Being prepared for OSHA

Pennsylvania business owners should always be prepared for an unannounced visit from the Occupation Safety and Health Administration. While OSHA visits are usually not random or unexpected, it is still better to always be ready.

A majority of OSHA visits are a result of either a referral or complaint from an employee or a third party. An OSHA representative may also conduct periodic inspections just to ensure that policies and record keeping are in place according to guidelines.

Even if OSHA has not scheduled a visit, business owners should take steps to identify hazardous conditions in the workplace. Once the risks have been identified, an action plan should be created to eliminate the problem areas and prevent them from reoccurring. Employees should also always be aware of what qualifies as a hazardous condition in their workplace.

When an OSHA investigator arrives, hazard reports and business records will be some of the first things that the representative will examine. There should be workplace safety procedures and policies in place and proof that they are being adhered to. There should also be verification that the occurrence of unsafe incidents have been documented and reported within the appropriate window of time. For example, all workplace deaths or catastrophes have to be reported no more than eight hours after the event takes place.

Unsafe and unhealthy workplace conditions can lead to accidents, which can result in a workplace injury. Employees and customers who sustain injuries due to such conditions may be able to pursue damages. An attorney who practices personal injury law may be able to suggest the best way to obtain monetary compensation.