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Inside a Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection

Employers are legally required to provide their employees with a safe work environment at all times. Now, there are jobs that are inherently dangerous, but these employers must still provide a reasonable means for safety. When an employee reports a hazard to the employer and it is not fixed, it can be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for an inspection. Here's an inside look at an OSHA inspection.

If you want to request at inspection from OSHA at your workplace, complete the agency's official complaint form and submit it with additional information. Should there be immediate danger associated with your complaint, telephone OSHA in conjunction with filing the paperwork.

There will only be four occasions where OSHA will provide an employer with advance notice of an inspection. Those four cases include the following:

- Apparent imminent danger so the employer can remedy the situation immediately

- If inspection will occur after normal business hours or if special preparations are required

- If management or workers will not be on the site of the inspection unless given advance notice

- In any other areas where the OSHA area director believes a more complete inspection would be the result of advance notification

Any inspection that OSHA deems serious should occur within 30 days of the complaint being filed. If they do not, contact the agency to ensure that the inspection will occur.

According to the law, an employee designated by co-workers has the right to accompany OSHA representatives during the inspection. If you filed a request for an inspection, make sure your company designates a representative to work with OSHA when they are on site.

The inspection itself will include an opening conference, a walk around the entire facility and a closing conference.

Have questions about a recent OSHA inspection? Not sure if you are protected as an employee to report violations? An experienced workers' compensation attorney in Chicago can answer all of your questions.

Source: OSHA, "The OSHA Inspection: A Step-by-Step Guide," accessed June 16, 2017

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