The most powerful tool OSHA has in its arsenal is their inspections. Because of their inspections, they are able to enforce the standards that they set and make sure they are being followed appropriately.
OSHA trainers will often conduct surprise inspections. They do this to attempt to see the work environment as it is natural. Giving the employer a warning may allow them to hide known violations from them before the inspection begins.
There are many situations that can trigger an inspection:
Imminent Danger Situations
Imminent danger situations are defined as conditions that could cause further damage, injury or death if left unaddressed. These are unique situations that require action to be taken immediately in order to ensure that the workers are not placed in any unnecessary danger. These situations are kept at a top priority until OSHA trainers in NYC can fix the problem.
Fatality Investigation or Multiple Injuries
If a fatality occurs in the workplace, OSHA trainers will come to investigate the cause of the death. This also applies to occurrences that result in 3 or more injuries at the workplace. If either of these situations occurs, it must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours from the time of the accident. This is to allow the OSHA trainers to come out as soon as possible to investigate the cause of the incident and make sure other employees are not being placed under the same risks.
The inspector must be able to declare that there is no further risk of the same fate happening to other employees before they are allowed to continue operating. After inspection, the findings will either point fault at the negligence of the employer, negligence of the employee, or it can be deemed a no-fault accident. This is the case if it is found that neither the employer and the employee did anything to cause the accident and followed the OSHA guidelines correctly.
OSHA trainers take a proactive approach in injury prevention by listening to employee complaints. If they receive a complaint and they determine that the employee has a legitimate point, they will come out to investigate.
After the inspection is complete, OSHA trainers will keep the identity of the employee from the employer. This is to ensure that the employee will not feel that they are placing their job at risk when they come forward with a complaint like this. They will also notify their findings and the result of the inspection when they are through.
Every facility and employer will receive scheduled inspections while they are in operation. If the work is in a particularly hazardous field, the scheduled inspections will happen more often by OSHA trainers. This is to make sure that the most dangerous jobs are held to the highest safety standards.
Most inspections will also require follow-up inspections by OSHA trainers in NYC. These follow-up inspections are done at a designated time and are used to make sure the violations that were found previously have been fixed. If the violations require more time to get fixed, the OSHA trainers in NYC may still conduct an inspection to make sure the corrective actions are underway.