Places such as construction sites and medical practices are high-risk environments that require workers to face danger every day, whether they’re constructing a building or taking care of ill patients. These settings must follow specific guidelines to prioritize worker safety.
With OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) being the central organization that handles compliance mandates for these types of businesses, here are five types of OSHA inspections that take place in high-risk settings.
Unavoidable Danger Inspections
Otherwise known as imminent danger inspections, these visits usually involve situations in which a hazard can cause significant harm or fatalities. Significant risks that can cause imminent danger range from electrical hazards and falling objects to fire hazards. An OSHA officer will assess the danger and offer solutions to eliminate the risk from the environment.
Employers must report all accidents in full detail within eight hours of the event occurring. Once OSHA receives word that a severe accident has resulted in a fatal injury or the hospitalization of several workers, it can send a compliance officer to investigate the scene for possible causes. The officer’s primary concern is determining the cause of the accident and whether OSHA regulations were violated.
An employee complaint inspection only occurs if a worker feels that their place of employment does not meet the OSHA guidelines for a safe work environment. Employees often raise concerns about their workplace conditions in hopes that an OSHA officer will address their findings to the employer. After the compliance officer identifies themselves, they’ll explain the inspection procedures to avoid miscommunications.
Programmed inspections are scheduled visits that an employer will know about ahead of time. These visits aim to reduce the risks of hazards present in a hazardous work site or environment. OSHA will choose the business based on injury occurrence, the number of citations the business has received, and rate of employee exposure.
Lastly, a follow-up inspection usually occurs after an employer has had the chance to correct their violations. If officers deem the hazard still present, they can cite the employer for further penalties.
Knowing these five types of OSHA inspections for high-risk businesses gives a bit of insight into what this safety administration does and how it does its best to look out for worker well-being.