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Types of Safety Inspections

Complete Guide to The Types of Safety Inspections.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted over 24,000 inspections last year. The figure is understandably lower than before 2020 due to the pandemic. However, the reason for these inspections remained the same.

It’s one of OSHA’s main intervention strategies. The goal is to lower incidents of illness, injuries, and deaths in the workplace. The agency works with employers and employees throughout the process to achieve this.

But an increase in the agency’s budget will likely result in more inspections. Is your company prepared for one?

You can start by learning What is a safety inspection? Read on to find out this and more.


What is a Safety Inspection?

The goal of a safety inspection is to determine the potential for hazards to occur in a workplace. It usually involves physically walking through the job site to identify any issues. These are issues that can affect personnel working at the site and other site occupants.

What happens if there are potential hazards? OSHA will identify alternatives for remedial action.

Companies can safeguard themselves by using an OSHA safety inspection checklist. This can help them ensure compliance.

OSHA safety inspections fall into two major categories – programmed and unprogrammed inspections.


What are the Five Types of Inspections that OSHA Will Conduct?

There are five types of OSHA inspections that fall within the two categories mentioned above. All aim at ensuring companies are complying with standard OSHA requirements.


1. Programmed Inspections

Programmed inspections are more common than unprogrammed ones. OSHA selects companies within a specific industry, particularly those with hazardous work sites. Past injury occurrences and citations can factor into the selection.

However, companies can also be randomly selected. But once selected, OSHA schedules on-site safety inspections with each.


2.  Imminent Danger Inspections

This is one of the four different types of unprogrammed safety inspections. It ranks higher in priority than the others.

It involves life-threatening practices or conditions at a job site. Enforcement of OSHA requirements can usually prevent them.


3. Investigative Inspections

OSHA will conduct this type of investigation after an accident at a job site. The incident usually involves more than three employees with serious injuries.

The inspection attempts to determine the cause of the accident. It also aims to reveal if it occurred due to a violation of OSHA standards.


4. Complaint Inspections

These are usually reported or referred to OSHA by an employee. An employee can lodge a complaint if their employer is violating OSHA standards.


5. Follow-up Inspections

If violations are evident, OSHA will give an employer time to correct them. An employer can also contest the findings. OSHA will then conduct a follow-up.


The Three Phases of Safety Inspections

OSHA’s Compliance Safety and Health Officers will conduct effective workplace inspections. They do this by following specific guidelines before and during the inspection. These include:

  • Opening conference
  • Walk-through
  • Closing conference


The officer will explain why the company is being inspected. They’ll also run through the inspection process. Both will occur during the opening conference. Based on the officer’s findings, OSHA will have the option to issue a fine or citation.


Making Workplace Safety a Priority

What is a safety inspection? A necessary tool that can reduce the number of work-related injuries and deaths. This is the main priority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

It should be yours too! Ensure your company complies by using a safety inspection checklist. If you’re faced with any of the five different types of safety inspections, you won’t want a citation. You can also get assistance from an expert in the field.

Atlantic Environmental has 41 years of experience in the environmental, health, and safety industry. We’ll provide you with the tools to help ensure compliance. Contact us to learn more!

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