In the news this week is an Iowa egg producer, Austin J. DeCoster, under Federal scrutiny for the recent salmonella outbreak that sickened 1500 people. As reported by the New York Times, DeCoster, in testimony before a House subcommittee on Wednesday, apologized for the outbreak by saying “his family operation had become ‘big quite awhile before we stopped acting like we were small.’”
While DeCoster and White County Egg’s troubles are more of an FDA issue, any business regulated by OSHA, the EPA or the DOT would be wise to consider the implicit warning of DeCoster’s statement. Acting small when you’re not may be a great strategy when it comes to customer service, and valuing employees; however, it can lead to disaster when it comes to regulations.
What would happen if OSHA stopped by your workplace today? Would you be ready, or are your safety systems based on the size company you were a decade ago? If your business has grown in the last few years, it might be time to look at your organization through the eyes of the government, and make sure you’re prepared for an inspection.
Furthermore, if you think you are protected because of your small size, consider that industry-wide inspections could be triggered by the failings of just one or two businesses. If the spotlight shines brightly enough on an issue, say the spotlight of a congressional hearing, then every business within that industry could feel the repercussions.
The best time to prepare for an OSHA inspection or investigation is before OSHA knocks on your door. To help, MSDSonline offers a suite of on-demand training packages, including a program on OSHA investigations.
OSHA Investigations & Inspections covers how to prepare for and respond to an OSHA inspection starting with a strong safety and compliance program. Some of the many topics include: what actions can prompt inspections, what to expect in an inspection, how to respond to questions, how to provide documentation for review, your rights regarding confidential and proprietary information, steps in documenting the inspection, interviews of employees, hazard abatement expectations, responding to a citation, successful participation in informal conferences and settlement agreements, and others. Primary Regs: OSHA 29CFR 1904 NEW, Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness
Call 1.888.362.2007, or visit Workplace Safety Training for information about our on-demand training offering, including a list of available courses. If you’re interested in an option that does not require all employees to be present at the same time, you can take a pass on a classroom style format and consider an online solution.