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While the number of administrative inspections has increased and the number of on-site OSHA inspections has decreased during 2020 and 2021, OSHA is still hard at work trying to target high-risk industries. In addition to adding COVID-19 complaints and referrals to their inspection list, OSHA has been spending more time outside looking for open-air inspections.

To prepare for an inspection in the pandemic environment, here are a few tips:

  • Take precautions against COVID-19 and provide handwashing stations and masks where required by the local jurisdiction. Social distance whenever possible. Encourage employees to be vaccinated if they are able, and if they are sick, stay home until their symptoms pass or test negative for COVID-19.
  • Clean up the work area. Housekeeping hazards are easy for an inspector to spot from the public way and may encourage them to open an inspection.
  • Protect employees from falls with fall protection. Like housekeeping, this is an easy hazard for an inspector to see from a distance, which increases the chance of an inspection.
  • Review and update your safety and health programs.
  • Maintain employee training. Are your workers up to date with training? Can employees recognize fall hazards and other jobsite hazards? Do they need refresher training?
  • Conduct frequent and regular inspections. OSHA inspectors want to make sure all employers are aware of what is happening on the jobsite and that they adequately prepare the employees for the hazards ahead.
  • Inspect your safety equipment and machinery at regulated intervals to ensure they are in safe operating conditions and used as intended.

Doing these things will help make sure your jobsite is ready for an OSHA inspection.

Key to remember: Keep up with your employee’s safety and health, even during a pandemic, for the betterment of the company, protection of your employees, and to minimize your chances of being inspected by OSHA.