A safe and healthy workplace is paramount for both employers and employees. A compliance officer from OSHA inspected my facility, and several issues believed to be apparent violations were pointed out. I was at the risk of facing a number of citations and penalties. This paper summarizes the steps I would take as soon as the compliance officer leaves and the steps, I believe I could have taken during the walk-through that may have resulted in a quick-fix penalty reduction.
Steps I Would Take as Soon as The Compliance Officer Leaves
The first step would be requesting an immediate meeting with all staff who are involved with the inspection. The meeting's sole purpose is to discuss what happened during the inspection and, after that, draft a narrative report. I will make sure to include relevant photos and notes since everyone vividly remembers the day's events. If we discover that some of the violations pointed out by the compliance officer are incorrect, we would immediately gather enough evidence to come to our defense and attach it with the report (CarrHow, 2020). The evidence may include testing and training records that the officer failed to request. Such records will help in appealing citations with reasons like employee misconduct, where the workforce was unable to implement the training that had been offered. Proof of internal enforcement efforts like a warning email to employees will help in solidifying the case. The narrative report will be used in the closing conference as a defense presentation.
The next step will be an immediate abatement and correction of the violations, as stated by the compliance officer. They are several, and we shall, therefore, decide on the offense that needs immediate attention as we progress to the next. That includes correcting any hazard present in welding areas of the plant by installing adequate ventilation, providing adequate respiratory protection to the welders, and drafting a manual for health and safety, to mention a few. It would be prudent to go the extra mile and consult a qualified third party to be sure of the corrections we are making. It is critical since the penalty may be harsh if OSHA returns to find that no appropriate measures have been taken (Johnson, 2017). Once we are done with the abatement process, having included relevant photos and documents, I shall draft a letter to the enforcement officer from OSHA to be aware of the steps taken to correct the violations.
The next critical step would be instructing relevant staff to be on the lookout for the impending citation letter. Watching out for the letter is paramount to ensure the facility does not miss the deadline for appealing the citation. Failure to write to a local OSHA office in time will lead to the facility owning up to all citations. This is disastrous since we shall have to accept full penalties which the facility is not prepared to incur. Lastly, after receiving the citation letter, a meeting will be held wear there will be a thorough review of the contents therein. This will enable the team to edit the defense presentation as per the citation and after that post the letter and abatement certifications where every employee can view. Only then can the facility schedule an informal conference with OSHA.
Steps I Believe I Could Have Taken During the Walk-Through
The first step that would warrant a quick-fix penalty reduction is proofing to the compliance officer that I am a part of the senior management, which is fully committed to the inspection and ready to remedy any arising problems. During the walk around, the officer is keen to point out violations, either minor or grievous. Some of the mentioned violations that would have been fixed include provision of gloves to employees who use chemicals. Doing this in the full glare of the officer will be the right way of showing the facility’s willingness to correct all identified violations.
Another step is by ensuring I use shorter routes to get the officer to different areas of the facility. It is the first time that the area is inspected and, therefore, a compliance officer would not know the way around. This way, only a few areas can be exposed, limiting the number of violations and resultant penalties. The management team, after that, has enough time to correct the unchecked areas. It is essential to fix any hazard even though it is unnoticed as it is not the final inspection the facility will face.
I should have been keen on taking notes during the inspection, ensuring that I document insights from the compliance officer while paying close attention to pertinent statements. Overlooking anything an inspection officer does no matter how small is dangerous and can cost the facility a hefty fine. A good way of ensuring the facility gets a quick fix penalty reduction is by taking an extra step in everything the officer does. During an inspection, measurements and photographs are usually taken. As a senior management, I ought to have taken the role of taking pictures from different perspectives since compliance officers sometimes take photos from a misleading angle. Not forgetting that I should have made more inquiries on methods of measurement used and the number of samples taken.
Acquiring such information during the walk-through would be impactful when the company receives its citation letter. Since the facility has first-hand proof, it would be easier to identify any discrepancies. This way, reduction of the stated fine after winning an appeal would not be a daunting task.
CarrHow, R. (2020, June 2). What Happens After An OSHA Inspection? bes-corp.com. https://bes-corp.com/what-happens-after-an-osha-inspection/.
Johnson, D. (2017, December 15). How to Prepare for – and Manage – an OSHA Inspection. StackPath. https://www.ehstoday.com/standards/osha/article/21919418/how-to-prepare-for-and-manage-an-osha-inspection.
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Paper Sample on Creating a Safe & Healthy Workplace: Steps for Compliance. (2023, Oct 20). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/paper-sample-on-creating-a-safe-healthy-workplace-steps-for-compliance
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