Under OSHA regulations, companies may appoint a representative to accompany an OSHA inspector during the inspection. You can use this valuable opportunity to ensure that mistakes aren’t made during an inspection. In fact, one organization relied on data collected by its representative during an inspection to successfully challenge a $43,000 OSHA citation.
Here’s what to do if you’re designated to serve as your company representative during a walkaround:
Make a complete and accurate record of everything the inspector does during the walkaround;
Take notes of everything the inspector says, including all questions asked and how they were answered;
Take all the same measurements, photographs, tape recordings and videos the inspector does; and
Photograph and/or videotape the inspector taking photos, measurements, etc. Example: If the inspector takes a photo of a blocked fire exit, you should also photograph the exit. If the exit is cleared five minutes later, photograph it again to document that you fixed the problem while the inspector was still at your facility.
Your notes, photos and other data might be used to contradict an inspector’s testimony in an appeal and could end-up saving your company thousands of dollars in unwarranted fees.