Back in school, when a teacher suddenly announced it was time for a pop quiz, you may have been filled with a sense of dread. Yet despite the surprise, you might very well have felt at ease if you were prepared and had a strong handle on the subject matter.
An unexpected visit from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or any other regulation agency may fill you with the same feeling of discomfort. You don’t want to be found lacking in safety or building standards, yet at the same time you’ve got a business to run. Being prepared for an inspection may seem like a distraction from the bigger tasks of running your company.
Like anything unexpected, being prepared in advance is the key to dealing with it successfully. When it comes to an unexpected business inspection, having certain plans in place will lead to receiving a passing evaluation free of violations and help alleviate any stress about an inspector showing up out of the blue.
Business Inspection Guidelines
Here we’ll outline a few pointers on how to best prepare for an unexpected business inspection:
· Appoint a Safety Manger:
When an inspector arrives at your place of business and announces an evaluation will be taking place, it might not simply catch you off guard, but you may not have someone prepared to show the inspector around and answer any questions he may have. Assigning someone on your management staff with the designated responsibility of being the company representative can help the process go much more smoothly and demonstrate the professionalism of your organization.
· Establish Communication between Management and Employees:
Each employee should be aware that management is open to learning about any safety concerns or problems. Accidents will happen and employees should inform managers when they do. Establishing a procedure for these concerns can stem any problems from growing into larger issues.
· Keep a Record of Hazards or Injuries:
Hopefully, your records of problems or employee injuries will amount to zero, or very few, but maintaining records on them will help keep you organized and send the message to an inspector that you’re serious about safety. It will also show that you’re interested in complying with the necessary regulations, and a document of recorded incidents can make the process an efficient one.
· Conduct DIY Inspections:
A great way to prepare for inspections is to put your company through one. In other words, you can periodically do safety and hazard checks through your building and verify that all your equipment and infrastructure are in proper working order. This can entail replacing a lighting system, renovating a ventilation system, or making sure retaining ring applicators are fastened properly to exposed pipes. Taking the time to go through these mock inspections can potentially prevent problems when an actual inspector comes calling.
Inspection Preparation: An Ongoing Process
It may not have happened yet or you may be an inspection veteran, but for the safety and health of your employees, a building inspection will likely be done to assess your company’s working conditions. Many businesses may not have a building inspection on their radar, but beyond the idea of an inspection, you owe it to your employees to provide them with a healthy, safe environment. Such a workplace will play a role in your business’s productivity and employee morale. Keeping all that in mind, a sudden OSHA inspection might be a surprise, but it won’t be cause for alarm if you follow the suggestions outlined here for a smooth evaluation. Staying on top of these concerns will keep you away from dealing with any mandated penalties and keep your operations running safely and efficiently.