OSHA Inspections

OSHA has the right to conduct workplace inspections as part of its enforcement mandate. OSHA can routinely initiate an unannounced inspection of a business. Other inspections occur due to fatalities and catastrophes, as part of routine program inspections, or due to referrals and complaints. These occur during normal working hours.

Workers have the right to request an inspection. The request should be in writing (either by letter or by using the OSHA complaint form to identify the employer and the alleged violations). Send the letter or form to the area director or state OSHA director. If workers receive no response, they should contact the OSHA regional administrator. It is beneficial to call the OSHA office to verify its normal operating procedures. If workers allege an imminent danger, they should call the nearest OSHA office.

These inspections include the following: checking company records; reviewing compliance with the hazard communication standard, fire protection, and PPE; and review of the company's safety and health plan. This inspection will include conditions, structures, equipment, machinery, materials, chemicals, procedures, and processes. These inspections may result in discovery of violation, which can lead to monetary citations.

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