Find It and Fix It … Before OSHA Does

Filed in Labor, Safety and Health by on November 28, 2016 2 Comments

Jobsite inspections are a key component of any safety and health program. The responsibility of identifying and correcting hazards extends to every supervisor and worker at the company.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to conduct regular, day-to-day inspections of their jobsites, materials and equipment. The consequences of not having safety procedures in place could potentially result in serious injury or even death. It could also lead to thousands of dollars in fines and increased insurance costs.

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Those whom the employer designates to conduct the inspections should be competent enough to know the applicable safety standards and identify various hazards in the workplace. These individuals should also have the authority to take appropriate action. Specific requirements must also be met for some of OSHA’s standards as well, such as those for scaffolding and trenching.

Anytime a potential safety hazard is identified by the supervisor responsible for inspecting the jobsite — or it is identified by workers, subs, vendors or invited visitors — the hazard must be evaluated immediately and appropriate action must be taken.

Immediate action can include:

  • Evaluating the potential hazard and correcting it, if possible
  • Notifying all those who could be at risk to avoid the hazard
  • Contacting the designated person or safety coordinator to either fix the hazard or determine if no action is necessary

Finally, supervisors and safety coordinators should be responsible for documenting all of their findings from safety inspections and possible safety violations found by others.

For additional information and resources for developing a comprehensive safety program, take a look at the NAHB Construction Safety Program Toolkit.

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  1. Tom Brick says:

    Safety is everyone’s responsibility, including the OSHA compliance officers. When a compliance officer observes an potential safety hazard or none compliance they should take the same action/s they expect from anyone else…STOP the potential hazard immediately instead of observing the hazard for extended periods of time while they take videos or pictures. Allowing the potential hazard to persist for 30 minutes or sitting and waiting for someone to climb onto an unsafe scaffold, ladder or roof is unacceptable. If you allow it, you just condoned it! Everyone that observes a hazard must be held accountable to stop it immediately, including compliance officers.

  2. Tom Brick says:

    “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to conduct regular, day-to-day inspections of their jobsites, materials and equipment. The consequences of not having safety procedures in place could potentially result in serious injury or even death. It could also lead to thousands of dollars in fines and increased insurance costs”.

    Any Controlling Employer with an active safety program teaches their superintendence to recognize safety hazards, stop them, and direct corrective action whenever they are observed throughout their daily activity. They are trained to document their findings and any directed corrective actions.

    29 CFR Subpart C, 1926.20 (b)(2) states ” Accident prevention responsibilities, “Such programs shall provide for frequent and regular inspections of the job sites, materials, and equipment to be made by competent persons designated by the employers.” The standard does NOT state day-to-day inspections.

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