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An inspector from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has shown up at your door. For some employers, it’s a paralyzing moment. An uneasy silence ensues as managers, foremen and workers share uncertain glances.
How should an employer react? Welcome the inspector in? Shut down? Block the door and start calling lawyers?
When I served as Virginia’s labor commissioner (2010-13), I had many opportunities to be intimately involved in every step of enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, from the initial knock on the door to issuing citations to legal review. The responses of employers and their attorneys ran the gamut, from professional to disastrous. Here are some practical tips on how to get past an OSHA inspection at each phase of the process, so you can get back to the business of doing business.
Before the Inspection
When OSHA Knocks
After the Citation
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