The words a business owner never wants to hear: “Cal OSHA is here!” If you have never had a surprise visit, being prepared and knowing what to expect beforehand is key to preventing stress and possibly citations. In this blog post, we will discuss the how to prepare for an inspection, top reasons why Cal OSHA would show up and what to do if you receive a citation.
What Does Cal OSHA Do?
Cal OSHA (a division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration) makes sure businesses are following workplace health and safety standards in California. Theses standards help protect employees from work-related hazards.
What to Do Before Cal OSHA Visits
You should always assume they could show up any day. Therefore being prepared is imperative. Ensure that you have an effective safety program in place, known as an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). Most California employers are required by Cal OSHA to have one, as it is the foundation for workplace safety. It is also one of the first documents they will typically ask for during an inspection. Failure to have an effective IIPP will result in higher citation penalties amounts.
Why Would Cal OSHA Show Up?
Inspections often occur without the prior knowledge of the employer. Instances where a site has had a fatality, accident or receives a complaint from an employee will warrant a visit. A sure-fire way to help prevent an injury or fatality is by investing in safety training for employees. Learn more about how workplace safety training can benefit your business. There are also inspections that are conducted by Cal OSHA on Employers having high Workers’ Compensation ratings (EMRs) to “help” the employer reduce incidents.
Tips For When They’re at Your Door
Here are some things to consider when Cal OSHA is at your door:
Greet them and treat them like you would do for any other guest
- Ask them for their credentials to verify that they are from Cal OSHA
- Call the Compliance Officer’s office and verify how long they’ve been with the division and if they’re Safety or Heath (Engineer or Industrial Hygienist)
- Answer questions truthfully and don’t try to hide anything
- Don’t be overly talkative
- Only provide documents that are being requested
- During the walkthrough take most direct, least-hazardous path to requested area
During this time the inspector will explain the inspection procedure and provide information on rights and responsibilities. It’s vital that you listen to them carefully.
You will also want to consider the following during the inspection:
- Walk with the inspector at all times within facility
- Take notes of the inspection
- Take photos of everything the inspector photographs
- Do not accept guilt for anything
Have You Received a Cal OSHA Citation?
Before you do anything Contact OSTS! We will evaluate your case, prepare arguments, defenses and handle all negotiations with OSHA & Appeals Board.
OSTS will strive to settle your case as efficiently as possible. For nearly 30 years, we have had tremendous success in helping clients achieve significant reductions in citation classification, withdraw of citations, and reduction in total penalty amount owed. The average penalty reduction is above 70 percent.
Since each client case varies, OSTS cannot guarantee that OSHA will make a settlement offer, nor can we guarantee that your case can be significantly adjusted or reduced.