Another important inspection that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will perform are programmed inspections. Programmed inspections are precautionary, and are done to further decrease the levels of hazards in the construction industry. Construction job sites that are selected for this programmed inspections are picked based on a random number of criteria, i.e., rate of occurrence of injury, citation history, and employee exposure to hazardous substances on the jobsite.
Programmed Inspections Versus Unprogrammed Inspections
As Tampa construction attorneys, we know that when an OSHA compliance officer comes knocking at the door, they are there for one of two reasons: to conduct a programmed inspection or to conduct an unprogrammed inspection.
A programmed inspection occurs when the inspection is scheduled because of selection criteria chosen by OSHA. This criteria can include anything from injury rates, death rates, exposure to toxic substances to a high amount of lost workdays in the construction industry.
An unprogrammed inspection will come from one of three prioritized occurrences. The first is imminent danger. An imminent danger inspection occurs when OSHA is certain that a danger or hazard exists on the job site. This can be expected to result in death or serious harm immediately or before it can be eliminated through normal enforcement procedures. If a compliance officer discovers an imminent danger situation, they request that the employer voluntarily abates the hazard and removes employees from exposure. If the employer fails to do so, OSHA may apply to the Federal District Court for an injunction prohibiting further work as long as the hazardous conditions persist. The second priority goes to the investigation of fatalities and accidents resulting in the death or hospitalization of 3 or more employees. Such accidents must be reported to OSHA by the employer within 8 hours. OSHA would then investigate the cause of the accident and whether or not any existing OSHA standards were violated. The third priority is when an employee gives a formal complaint to OSHA regarding a possible unsafe working condition, or if the employee feels he/she is in imminent danger at the workplace.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.