Good advice: Plan for those OSHA inspections

COMPANIES in the tank truck industry should be prepared for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections by having company-wide plans in place so that employees know how to react, said Marcel Debruge of Burr and Forman LLP.

He made the comments at the National Tank Truck Carriers Cleaning Council Seminar March 28-29 in Phoenix, Ariaona.

Various types of OSHA inspections call for various responses. “Companies that know how to react on a moment's notice will do better,” Debruge said. He recommended that companies take an approach that is “grounded in reality” by being cooperative while understanding what their roles require, asking what type of inspection brings the inspectors to the facility, and seeing that the inspection is specific to the complaint.

He reminded managers to review their OSHA policies and documentation annually to ensure requirements are being met, and train employees to respond to OSHA questions should an inspection occur.

Compliance problems may center around issues such as personal protection equipment, forklift standards, confined entry, and nitrogen blankets.

When an OSHA inspection is inevitable, the company should base its response on the subject of the inspection. In addition, employers should know that they can request employees be interviewed after work hours.

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