2.12 OSHA Inspections (for U.S. Only)

Safety, Health, and Environmental Manual


OSHA inspects thousands of workplaces every year, including various Church locations. Knowing what to expect before an inspector arrives will help you handle the inspection skillfully and successfully. In most cases you will not receive advanced notice of an inspection. Contact Risk Management or your safety representative as soon as you know you are going to be inspected.

2.12.1 Typical Format of Inspection

OSHA inspections typically follow this format:

  • Presentation of credentials. Ask for the OSHA inspector’s identification and business card.

  • Opening conference. The inspector will tell you the reason for the visit. If it is because of an employee complaint, you are entitled to a copy of the complaint but not the name of the complainant.

  • Examination or review of records. The inspector may ask for OSHA 300 logs to look at work-related injuries and illnesses. He or she may also want to see your written hazard communication program, safety data sheets, and other written safety procedures. Contact Risk Management or your department safety representative if you have any questions about obtaining logs or written programs.

  • The walk-around inspection. The inspector will examine the location.

  • Closing conference. The closing conference will address violations and citations identified by the inspector.

2.12.2 Inspection Pointers

The following are suggestions to help manage an OSHA inspection:

  • Notification. Notify your manager and department safety representative as soon as possible after the inspector arrives. It is not uncommon for an OSHA inspector to wait or delay the inspection until all interested parties are present.

  • Inspector escort. The OSHA inspector should be accompanied by an appropriate management representative at all times unless the inspector is interviewing an employee.

  • Photos and videos. Inspectors may take photographs and videos. The escort should take duplicate photos for documentation.

  • Employee interviews. Inspectors have the right to question any employee privately during regular work hours or at other reasonable times during the course of an inspection.

  • Factual information. Respond simply and accurately to the inspector’s questions. Do not volunteer additional information.

  • Questions. Answer questions if you know the answer. If you don’t know the answer, say, “I don’t know.”