Exploring the Limits of OSHA’s Inspection Authority: A Precursor to Exercising Your Rights

If an OSHA inspector, known as a compliance safety and health officer (CSHO), arrives at your door, presents his or her credentials, and asks for you to consent to an inspection of your workplace, what do you do? If you consent, what should you expect to happen next? And if you refuse to consent, then what? Obviously it would be wishful thinking to conclude that the CSHO would simply leave, bid you good day and never come back. These rather elementary questions are among the many questions you will need to answer before, during, and after an OSHA inspection. In order to answer these questions in the face of an OSHA inspection in an informed, prudent manner, it is critical to have an understanding of the limits of OSHA’s inspection authority and a clear understanding of the process. In other words, what is OSHA permitted to do and, also, what are your rights?

My recent article in IndustryWeek, “Exploring the Limits of OSHA’s Inspection Authority: A Precursor to Exercising Your Rights,” answers many of the questions that are likely to come to mind should you be so unlucky to get the proverbial “knock on the door” by OSHA and aims to provide you with the knowledge and insight necessary to confidently assert your own rights during an inspection. A complete copy of the article can be found here.

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