Since OSHA's inception in 1971, there have been thousands of inspections which have ranged from nerve wracking to polite and professional.
Although regulations are very specific, each inspector can be more prone to crack down on different areas. Some are heavy handed when it comes to fire prevention, and others are aware of PPE.
You actually can learn a lot about cooperation and collaboration through the experience. Having said that, there’s always a looming fear of discovery and paranoia surrounding an impending OSHA inspection – much like the fear and nervousness we face when we’re dealing with an IRS audit.
The best prepared companies for inspections are those who have been through it before and know what to expect. There are always looming worries that you'll be inspected and the best cure is to be prepared.
With the news that OSHA fines are increasing over 70% later this year, the fear of OSHA inspection will be more prevalent. There are three key points to erase that fear: Right attitude, understanding, and expectations.
The right attitude starts at the top. When supervisors are consistent about holding their employees accountable, it shows a priority for safety and not just another program. Employees will recognize how safety is managed and follow suit of the actions of their supervisors and managers.
When employees are regularly trained and participate in hands on safety programs, it changes the focus from "My boss is trying to protect himself" to "My boss is trying to protect me."
Preparation will always be key. When everyone from the top to the bottom is involved in your company's health and safety program, the worries you have when OSHA comes knocking will be eliminated and you'll be confident that the inspection will be a painless experience.