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Joe Marconi

Has OSHA Come knocking on your Door Yet?

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After hearing a number horror stories about a few shops in the surrounding counties, I reluctantly agreed to voluntary audit by the Department of Labor to identify any OSHA violations. OSHA walked into these other shops unannounced and the fines were pretty hefty, ranging from $5,000 to over 50,000.

 

The Dept. of Labor spent about 5 hours at my shop this past Thursday, walking through my two facilities, looking at my MSDS sheet, Emergency Action plan and any other programs and policy I had in place. The rep made a few recommendations and identified violations that I need to take care of. Most of my violations were small, but still would have added up to a few thousand dollars.

 

I will get a written report from the Dept. of Labor, the report and the voluntary audit is confidential. In fact, if OSHA walks into my shop now, I can tell them to please leave, because of this voluntary audit, unless someone has made a formal complaint against me or my company.

 

I did find out a few things I would like to share with you: Housekeeping is the biggest issue. The more sloppy and dirty the shop is the more OSHA will dig to find violations. If everything is neat and clean and your book work is in order, the inspection will go better. Another thing to consider, the number one reason for an OSHA visit is when an employee (either former or present) files a complaint against a company for unsafe conditions.

 

Overall, the experience was good, I learned a lot and now know what I need to do to protect myself, and hopefully I will never have to go through an actual OSHA inspection. I don’t know what programs are available in every state, but it might be worth checking out.

 

If any shop had an OSHA inspection, please share your experience.

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