Knock, Knock… it’s OSHA

By: October 30th, 2008 Email This Post Print This Post

So, OSHA is standing at your doorstep… what now?

In this months issue of Medical Environment Update, Ann Costello MT(ASCP), a clinical lab scientist at IGO Medical Group in San Diego and safety officer at the 10-physician facility shares some of her experiences complying with OSHA standards. Costello also indicated she had experienced an OSHA inspection at a previous employer, and offered some advice that we have conveniently turned into a game of fact or fiction.

Fact or Fiction: OSHA inspectors are nasty, mean people whose sole purpose is to make a safety officer’s life a misery.

According to Costello, OSHA inspectors have been “very accommodating.” They didn’t carry that out-to-get-you mentality. Remember, they are in place to make sure your employees are safe.

Don’t tell anyone in your facility. The less they know the better.

Fiction: Let everyone know that OSHA is here (OSHA rarely announces ahead of time that they are coming). Make sure people know what the inspector is there for, so they do not volunteer information unnecessarily. In fact, Costello recommended keeping someone with the representative for the duration of the inspection.

Treat the inspector rudely. After all, they are in YOUR facility.

Fiction: A good attitude goes a long way, according to Costello. The inspector is just there to do their job, and the more accommodating you are the better. At the same time, don’t offer up information unprovoked and never give estimates if you don’t know exact figures. Consult an attorney or another knowledgeable source if need be.

Tell the truth.

Fact: Ok, that was an easy one. As Costello noted, lying will only dig you into a deeper hole. Answer the questions directly and honestly without offering up too much additional information.

Have any advice for handling an OSHA inspection? Share your story in the comments section below.


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