How to Prepare My Business for an OSHA Audit

August 7, 2017

OSHA audits are not usually something for which you advanced warning.  Often, an OSHA inspector simply shows up at your firm to conduct an inspection.  However, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your stress and to ensure that your audit goes smoothly.  It is always best to think about how your facility would respond to OSHA knocking at the door before it happens.

 What are some the things that might trigger an audit?

  • A planned visit
  • A workers’ compensation claim
  • Follow-up on a previous inspection
  • A complaint

An OSHA audit will generally consist of the following: the arrival, opening conference, tour, and closing conference. There are real benefits to planning in advance for an OSHA visit.  The benefits of advanced planning include:

  • The visit will go more smoothly
  • You will be more prepared
  • It will create a more positive impression
  • May result in fewer violations

Here are some items to keep in mind when preparing for a visit:

  • Have all training documented, including new employee orientation
  • Keep your MSDS book in an accessible location, and keep it updated
  • Keep and update all injury/illness records
  • Fall protection plan for all work above 4 feet
  • Machine guarding must be OSHA compliant
  • Make sure housekeeping is managed everyday
  • All electric panels must be closed
  • All/any drums must be clearly marked, including the name of the product and the hazard type
  • Make sure all your posting requirements are up to date
  • Keep your safety committee meeting minutes up to date and accessible

Closing comments:

  • Be honest
  • Don’t discourage employees from talking
  • Think about hazards—not just standards

Find more resources here Cal OSHA