Were you aware that you can face fines of up to $136,532 per violation for not passing an OSHA compliance audit?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for overseeing all businesses in the US. Their main goal is to ensure that businesses are operating safely by using a variety of healthy practices.
OSHA does this by performing compliance audits, which involves sending an inspector to where the business operates. Using several compliance audit tools, your business can prepare for an audit so that you don’t get fined. We’ll go over everything you need to know.
Read on to learn how to pass an OSHA compliance audit without any problems!
Know What to Expect
One of the main things that businesses struggle with when it comes to OSHA audits is not knowing what to expect. When you don’t know what’ll happen during the audit, preparing will be difficult because you may still do something that could prevent you from passing.
OSHA audit and compliance processes revolve around ensuring that your business is safe for both employees and customers. When an OSHA inspector visits your business, they’ll request credentials and look around the building. They’ll also want to see how you perform different tasks.
The audit will begin with an opening conference. The inspector will explain why they’re performing the audit and you can ask questions. After the conference, they’ll start the inspection process.
If you run a small business, you shouldn’t have a problem meeting with the OSHA inspector. However, those that operate several businesses will benefit from hiring someone else to meet with them.
The person that you assign to meet with the inspector should know where all your documents are. They must also be well-versed with your company’s policies.
Aside from choosing a person to meet with the inspector, you should hire a 2nd person that can take their place if they’re unable to. This will prevent the OSHA inspector from receiving incorrect information during the audit.
One of the best compliance audit tools a company can use is employee training. OSHA requires employers to teach employees how to perform their jobs as safely as possible. When an inspector shows up and sees that employees aren’t performing safe practices, you’ll end up getting in trouble.
Line of fire safety is especially important if your employees are working physical jobs. Depending on the position, you may have to come up with several types of training material. However, using the likes of videos and booklets are suitable for training all employees.
Another way to prepare for a health and safety compliance audit is to document everything. Throughout the entire training process, you should monitor how well an employee performs. Recording their progress will make it easier to go over things they don’t understand well.
Your employees should also verify that they understand your company’s policies. You can do this by having them sign their names.
Any time you make a document, produce copies of it to give to the OSHA inspector. Use both physical and digital copies to prevent you from losing anything.
Understand Your Rights
Before an OSHA inspector shows up, it’s best to know what your rights are so that you don’t do something you’re not required to. For example, employees aren’t required to speak to OSHA inspectors. However, they should respond if they’re explicitly asked something.
When an employee decides to speak with them, they won’t be required to sign anything. If they want to sign a witness statement, they must go over the statement to ensure that everything is correct. Similar to your recordkeeping process, employees should make copies of signed statements for future reference.
Do the Same Things That Inspectors Do
When an OSHA inspector arrives, you should follow them around and document the things they do. This is crucial because it’ll help you perform mock audits to better prepare for the next audit.
Be prepared to use a variety of tools because the inspector will check several things in your building. Things like a notepad, pen, flashlight, and measuring tape will all be used. Using a camera can also help because you can record the exact process they go through so you can show other employees.
Perform Practice Audits
After you have a better understanding of how the audit process works, you can start performing practice audits. A practice audit is one of the most beneficial things you can do because you can see exactly where you fall short.
Instead of assigning one of your employees to act as an inspector, you should take the role. This will give you a better idea of what an OSHA inspector will see when they visit. If you go to OSHA’s website, you can find more info about what an inspector does so you can mimic them.
Inform employees that you’ll be performing an internal audit so that everyone can get accustomed to the process. Remind them of their rights and what they can expect from you. When going through the audit, record everything that needs to get improved.
Prepare for an OSHA Compliance Audit Today
After reading this article, you shouldn’t have a problem passing an OSHA inspection. We encourage all businesses to use this advice because it’ll prevent you from facing things like fines when OSHA performs a compliance audit.
Using this advice will not only ensure you pass, but it’ll also make your business safer for everyone involved. When employees feel safe, they’ll work more efficiently and your business will grow.
Check out our other articles to learn more about a variety of topics!
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