The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly referred by the acronym OSHA, is a governmental agency that is charged with the responsibility of improving and maintaining safety standards in workplaces. Many interesting facts about OSHA may not be evident to many people. Some of the points are highlighted below.
You Can Opt Not to Allow OSHA Inspectors to Enter Your Workplace
It is possible to prevent an OSHA inspector from entering your work premises. However, this is usually not a very good idea as it will lead to the inspector getting a warrant. With a permit, the inspector will have all the rights to inspect your property. The inspections are usually scheduled based on industry statistics. Other instances that may warrant an examination includes whistle-blower allegations, employee complaints, tips from other agencies, or a news story. The inspector can always get a warrant if he can show good reason for inspecting a particular workplace.
OSHA Can Cite Employers for General Violations
When there is no specific violation that can be cited by OSHA, the General Duty Clause can be used. The clause allows OSHA to cite the employer for the violations, given that the employer has to ensure there are no recognizable hazards in the workplace. For the clause to be used, however, the violations have to be very serious such that they can potentially result in injury or death.
Citations Can Be Contested Within 15 Days
In case you wish to dispute the findings of OSHA, you can do so by submitting your grounds for the dispute in a written format. The dispute has to be presented within 15 days after you receive the notice from OSHA. Trying to submit a dispute after the 15 days have elapsed will not bear any fruits.
Disputes Cannot Be Based on Employees Not Following Safety Rules
The employees should follow the set safety rules. If an employer is cited, he cannot contest the citation on the basis that some employees did not do what they were supposed to do. This means that employers are responsible for enrolling employees for training and ensuring that they follow all the safety rules. It is also essential that you keep records of all the training that you take your employees through as well as their discipline with regards to following safety rules. Such records can help during a dispute.