What OSHA Can Do
Under the law, OSHA may inspect your work site to look for safety hazards, may set standards for safe practices and may issue fines and penalties.
An OSHA Inspection
An OSHA inspector will arrive at your work site for an inspection without advance notice. If this happens, ask to see the inspector's credentials and verify his authenticity. While the inspector has the right to enter the work site at that time, you may request that the inspector wait for a few minutes until a senior officer from your company can arrive. You can request a warrant for entry, but this very important decision should be made with legal assistance.
The inspector will brief you on the nature and focus of the inspection. This may include talking to employees, which can be done privately. If the inspector has been summoned by an employee, that employee may remain anonymous. The inspector may take pictures, collect samples and videotape evidence.
The onsite company representative may — and should — accompany the inspector during the site inspection. You should take notes about what happened and what was said by both the inspector and you. Also take pictures of the same evidence the inspector photographs.
Finally, after the inspection, the inspector will confer with you about any alleged hazards found.
What You Must Do Under the Law
If you have 10 or more employees at any time during the year, you must maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses at each business location. Use the following recordkeeping forms:
OSHA Form 301 — Injury and Illness Incident Report. This is one of the first forms you must fill out when a recordable work-related injury or illness has occurred. Together with the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses and accompanying Summary, these forms help the employer and OSHA develop a picture of the extent and severity of work-related incidents. Within seven calendar days after you receive information that a recordable work-related injury or illness has occurred, you must fill out this form or an equivalent. Some state workers’ compensation, insurance or other reports may be acceptable substitutes.
OSHA Form 300 — Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. The Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses is used to classify work-related injuries and illnesses and to note the extent and severity of each case.
OSHA Form 300A — Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. The Summary indicates the total number of injuries for the year in each category. At the end of the year, post the Summary in a visible location so that your employees are aware of the injuries and illnesses occurring in their workplace.
Refer to your state and local laws and regulations. Most state laws require filing of OSHA records with a state agency, from the employer's first report of injury.
If an on‑the‑job accident occurs that causes the death of at least one employee and/or the hospitalization of three or more workers, you are required to report the accident in detail to the nearest OSHA area office or state agency.
You are required to post a notice or poster announcing safety protections in a conspicuous place. Go to www.osha.gov to view and order notices and posters.
Copies of OSHA forms 301, 300, and 300A — as well as detailed instructions and examples for filling them out — can be found in "Managing Your Employees: Human Resources Guide for Builders," available at BuilderBooks.com. The publication contains a model personnel policies and employee handbook you can customize for your company, a section on legal and regulatory authorities that affect personnel policies and suggested systems and processes for managing your workforce. It also contains a CD of forms and checklists for managing human resources policies and programs. View or purchase "Managing Your Employees" online, or call 800-223-2665.
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