Below is an outline of the general inspection process with our recommendations. Much of this assumes that your company has developed the necessary programs and conducted annual employee training.  

In general, the OSHA inspection process will consists of:  

  • An opening conference (stating the reason for the inspection),
  • The Inspection of your facility (also called the “Walk around”), 
  • A closing conference (stating the findings of the inspection), 
  • Notification of results (citations & fines to your business)


•Welcome all inspectors to the site. 

•Determine exactly who they are by requesting a card/identification from each person. 

•Include key personnel such as the Safety Director and/or owner and accompany the inspector at all times. 

•Determine the reason for the inspection, whether it is for a specific cause or general purpose. (Opening Conference) 

•Seat the inspector in a private area to begin reviewing your safety programs. 

•Determine the exact area the inspectors are targeting and proceed to that area only.  If an inspector sees or views anything suspect, they are obligated to investigate.  You should control what they see or view by keeping them in the targeted area only. 

•Review the designated areas of the facility as directed by the inspector, answering any questions.  Answer only the questions asked.  DO NOT offer any additional information.  Move the inspection process along at a reasonable pace. •Most often the inspector will ask to talk with an employee on the shop floor.  This is often a requirement so allow them to pick someone they wish to interview.  (You may request to be present during the interview but most often you will not be allowed.) 

•If any corrective action is requested, stop the process involving the action and correct it immediately, if possible.  If the correction is more involved, indicate that you will meet with the owner or safety committee to correct the action as quickly as possible.  Make note of any correction hinted but not registered, and assure the inspector that you will see that it is corrected. 

•If you are not comfortable in answering a question for any reason, simply state that you would like to check with your safety contact at WORK SAFE SOLUTIONS, INC. and get back to the inspector with the answer. 

•Upon completion, the inspector will notify you of the next steps, which will include:  when & how you will be notified of the results; the closing conference date; and how you may appeal citations & fines.  If there are no violations, the inspector may close the case immediately.


  • Can I deny OSHA from Inspecting?  You may deny OSHA access to inspect your facility but this may not be the best option.   Upon denial OSHA can, and has, obtained an inspection warrant, allowing them to inspect.  When an inspection warrant is involved, leniency is seldom granted to the inspected business. 

  • Can I reschedule the inspection?  This depends on your inspector.  If you know an area is out of compliance and, more importantly, can correct the situation then you should attempt to reschedule the inspection.  However, if the inspector allows it, the inspection will probably only be pushed back a day or two. 

  • What if I don’t have safety programs to review?  Answer all questions and do not mislead or misrepresent any facts but do NOT offer any information that you know is out of compliance.  Safety Programs are a requirement for all businesses and should be developed & updated annually with documentation of annual employee training.