PLANNING AND CONDUCTING A WORKPLACE INSPECTION*




RESEARCH BEFORE THE INSPECTION

1. WHAT COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN REPORTED?

  • OSHA 300 / DOSH 900 log
  • worker questions and complaints
  • reports of workers’ health symptoms and illnesses

2. WHAT IS THE WORK PROCESS?

  • site map and building plans
  • process flow charts
  • narrative descriptions of operations
  • written operating procedures
  • written emergency plans

3. WHAT SUBSTANCES ARE PRESENT?

  • lists of raw materials, intermediate materials, finished products
  • lists of byproducts and wastes - hazardous and non-hazardous
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
  • Community Right to Know reports (SARA Title 3)

4. HAVE ANY PREVIOUS ASSESSMENTS BEEN MADE?

  • reports of previous inspections
  • workplace and environmental sampling results

5. WHAT IS THE CORRECT AND SAFE WAY TO DO THE JOB?

  • OSHA, NIOSH, EPA, ANSI, ASHRAE, etc.
  • ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety
* adapted from “How to Inspect Your Workplace”

Eileen Senn Tarlau and Bruce Millies

Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies

Empire State College

May 1991

 

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

1. MANAGEMENT

OSHA / PESH Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records

Standard (29 CFR 1910.1020)

results of workplace and environmental sampling

workers’ medical records (privacy protected)

other information from management through collective bargaining agreement and NLRA

2. WORKERS

complaints, questions

surveys, questionaires

meetings

3. GOVERNMENT (may require Freedom of Information request)

OSHA

NIOSH

state and local health departments

fire departments

building departments

right-to-know databases

hazardous waste databases

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What types of HAZARDS will you focus on?

2. What AREAS of the workplace will you inspect?

3. What are your GOALS for this inspection?

4. How will you gain ACCESS to conduct the inspection?

5. What RESEARCH will you do before the inspection?

6. Who will be on the inspection TEAM?

7. What TASKS will each team member perform?

8. What EQUIPMENT will you need?

9. Will MANAGEMENT participate in the inspection? Who?

10. What will be your STRATEGY for dealing with management during the

inspection?

11. Will you INTERVIEW workers during the inspection?

12. Will you collect SAMPLES or take MEASUREMENTS?

13. What OBSTACLES might you encounter during the inspection?

14. How will the REPORT be produced?

15. How will you FOLLOW-UP the inspection?

16. Will you consider filing an OSHA / PESH complaint?

17. What did you learn from your MOST SUCCESSFUL inspection?

18. What did you learn from your LEAST SUCCESSFUL inspection?