The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for the enforcement of health and safety requirements in the workplace. It should come as no surprise that OSHA deals a lot with construction sites as they can be very dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken. In order to protect employees, OSHA has regulations to ensure their safety to a reasonable degree. The administration conducts inspections procedurally and when there is thought to be a hazard; however there is no set schedule for an inspection so worksites need to be deemed safe and in regulation at all times. Although normally there is an advance notice of an inspection, and employers have the right to require an inspection warrant before allowing compliance officers to enter the worksite.
There is a hierarchy that will determine which worksites are top priorities based on how dangerous the site is perceived. Obviously, the top priority is any situation where imminent danger is assessed. Followed by severe injuries, worker complaints, referrals, targeted inspections, and follow-up inspections. Worker complaints and referrals can be submitted by anonymity when requested. Sometimes, when complaints are a lower-priority hazard, the complaint can be handled over the phone with the employer faxing the findings and solutions put in place to the compliance officer.
In the case that the worksite will go through an on-site inspection, there are a couple of things one can expect. Prior to the compliance officer entering the worksite, they will research the history of the worksite. Once on-site, the officer will provide their credentials which will include a photograph and a serial number. To begin the inspection portion of the process, the compliance officer will meet with company representatives for an opening conference. During this conference, the office will explain the reasoning behind the inspection and what to expect and conduct employee interviews. There will also be an assigned company representative to accompany the compliance officer throughout the duration of the inspection. Following the opening conference, the officer and representative will walk through the worksite inspecting for hazards that may cause an injury or illness. After the walkaround, there will be a closing conference to discuss the findings and possible courses of action to correct any problems.
Some violations may result in citations or fines. OSHA must issue a citation and proposed penalty within six months of the occurrence of the violation and will include a deadline for corrections. Employers have 15 working days after the receipt of a violation to appeal the allegation and/or the associated penalties.
Magellan Construction is dedicated to providing a safe worksite that follows all OSHA regulations to keep our employees safe. Safe employees allow our clients to get the construction they want on the schedule and budget agreed upon. For more information on how Magellan follows all OSHA regulations, contact us today!