Contractors must remain proactive in the management of their jobsites if they wish to ensure the safety and health of their workers and avoid a citation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In addition to OSHA, Michigan employers must comply with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) standards, regulations, and statutory requirements. In this article, a Michigan OSHA lawyer will discuss how to prepare for a MIOSHA inspection on your jobsite.
Reason for MIOSHA Inspections
MIOSHA follows a similar criteria to OSHA when it comes to handling inspections. MIOSHA’s primary reason for conducting an immediate inspection is to assess any cases of “imminent danger,” such as exposed electrical wiring or exposure to fumes. Secondly, MIOSHA gives priority to situations involving fatalities or catastrophes in which multiple workers are hospitalized. Lastly, MIOSHA is obligated to inspect any jobsite that has recently received a complaint regarding safety.
Preparation of Written Programs
Under MIOSHA, employers are required to develop, implement, and maintain written programs. Almost all employers are required to have at least two written programs: Hazard Assessment and a Hazard Communication Program. Depending on your jobsite, you may also require written programs, such as a lockout/tagout program or a respiratory protection program.
During a MIOSHA inspection, the compliance officer will ask for a copy of each of these programs to be made available. To prepare for inspection, you should have a copy of each of these documents in a protected, easily accessible location. A Michigan OSHA attorney understands MIOSHA policy as well as what MIOSHA inspectors will look for and can assist with the compilation of necessary company records and documents to prepare for an inspection.
Prompt Correction of Hazards
Following an opening conference, the compliance officer and representatives will perform a walkthrough of any portions of the jobsite covered by the inspection. At this point in the inspection, the compliance officer may point out violations that can be immediately corrected. While these hazards must be cited under MIOSHA, prompt correction of these hazards is a sign of good faith on the employer.
Related: 6 Tips for Handling an OSHA Citation
Know Your Rights
During the opening conference, the compliance officer will explain your rights and responsibilities under MIOSHA. Knowing your rights during and after the inspection process is crucial for ensuring the safety of your jobsite and avoiding an OSHA citation. As a construction employer, you are entitled to a number of rights including but not limited to the right to appeal the department’s decision and the right to participate in a hearing.
If you receive a citation during the inspection, it is imperative that you contact a Michigan OSHA lawyer who will help you to examine the circumstances surrounding the citation, determine its validity, and, if warranted, create a defense to contest it.
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.