ComplianceOnline

OSHA Inspections - Avoiding the 10 Most Common Mistakes

Instructor: James  T. Dufour
Product ID: 701835
  • Duration: 90 Min

recorded version

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Read Frequently Asked Questions

This OSHA inspection webinar will cover aspects of an OSHA inspection from how establishments are targeted, how to limit the scope of an inspection or investigation, how not to self-incriminate, and when and how to appeal.

Why Should You Attend:

An OSHA inspection can be a costly and disruptive experience for any employer, especially if that employer has not dealt with the Agency, does not have an in-house safety professional or attorney. An OSHA inspection that goes badly essentially says the employer has a defective safety program, is not sufficiently focused on the safety and health of its employees, or is willfully or flagrantly exposing its workers to harm.

This OSHA inspection webinar will cover methodology of an OSHA inspection from how establishments are targeted, how to limit the scope of an inspection or investigation, how not to self-incriminate, and when and how to appeal. We will cover the 10 most common mistakes that often lead to bad outcomes in the event of an OSHA inspection. Understanding how to avoid these (mentioned below) pitfalls will result in fewer citations and smaller penalties:

  • Not knowing the enforcer and the applicable regulations/standards.
  • Not understanding how inspections are targeted.
  • Not recognizing that an employer can be liable for a hazard to another employer’s workers.
  • Not knowing what to do if an inspection is anticipated.
  • Not knowing or understanding the reason or probable cause for the inspection.
  • Now knowing how to limit the scope of an inspection.
  • Not strategically managing the inspection as to where the inspector goes, what he/she gets to look at, handling employee interviews, etc.
  • Not effectively managing documentation requirements and generating incriminating reports that can be requested by OSHA.
  • Not knowing what to do when citations are received.
  • Not knowing the appeals process and how to defend against a citation.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

The following general topics will be covered within the 10 Mistakes agenda:

  • The OSHA jurisdiction that will inspect an establishment. About half of the states are under federal OSHA jurisdiction, and the remainder subject to independent state OSHA programs.
  • Understanding the “probable cause” for the inspection is the key to limiting the scope of an inspection
  • Understanding “consensual inspection” is the key to exercising the employer’s rights during an inspection.
  • Effective safety program document management can avoid smoking guns.
  • A late or ineffective appeal (not knowing defenses) can exacerbate the outcome of an inspection.

Handout Materials:

Webinar will include examples of forms, documents, photographs, and links to sources of standards and other inspection-related information.

Who Will Benefit:

This webinar is designed to be sufficiently basic that non-safety professionals and lawyers, like managers, HR personnel, facility managers, and others assigned to handle safety and health matters and OSHA inspections.

  • Safety professionals
  • Consultants
  • Insurance loss control advisors
  • Attorneys not practicing OSHA law will find tricks of the trade and strategies revealed in the webinar
Instructor Profile:
James T. Dufour

James T. Dufour
Founder and Principal, Dufour Safety, Environmental & Regulatory Law

James T. Dufour, MS, JD, CIH, REA is an attorney with a background in environmental management and industrial hygiene and workplace safety with more than 3 decades of experience, including private law practice since 1987 effectively representing clients in federal, California, and other state OSHA appeals and administrative, civil and criminal environmental cases. Recognized as a proficient strategist, his preventive and post-enforcement cost-effective compliance/clean-up plans have been highly regarded by clients, regulators, and judges. (www.dufourlegal.com)

He also has devised corporate regulatory compliance programs in response to new standards and regulations for corporations and trade association membership, including compliance manuals on OSHA and environmental compliance topics published by the California Chamber of Commerce and other trade groups, including the best selling Injury & Illness Prevention Program Compliance Manual (first edition – 54,000 copies), Cal/OSHA Basics and Written Programs, OSHA Compliance in 10 Practical Steps, Proposition 65, and the California Environmental Compliance and Hazardous Waste Handbooks.

James also has instructed thousands of participants in seminars and webinars sponsored by Dufour Seminars & Training, corporate and association clients, and webinar producers since 1986.

Topic Background:

An OSHA inspection can be a costly and bad experience for any employer, especially if that employer has not dealt with the OSHA, does not have an in-house safety professional or attorney. Or do not have experience with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections and do not know the Agency’s procedures and employer’s rights. The company can make mistakes that result in citations for regulatory or safety standard violations, and substantial civil penalties.

An OSHA inspection that goes badly essentially says the employer has a defective safety program, is not sufficiently focused on the safety and health of its employees, or is willfully or flagrantly exposing its workers to harm. What is worse is that other liabilities beyond normal Workers’ Compensation costs can result from an OSHA citation related to a serious injury, including a Workers’ Compensation Serious & Willful claim, civil and even criminal liability. Federal OSHA under the new Administration has already established mandatory minimum penalties for serious violations and assessed 6- and 7-figure penalties pursuant to a ramped up egregious violation enforcement. Some states are following suit with California in the lead with $25,000 penalties for serious citations ($18,000 mandatory minimum if accident-related), and a “dumbed-down” definition of a serious violation. As OSHA becomes more pervasive and aggressive, employers need to understand how to avoid the 10 most common mistakes.

The following are the standards for which OSHA assessed the highest penalties in fiscal year 2010 (October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010): (here is the link http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/frequent_standards.html)

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