Safer Times: The Good Day's Work Blog

An OSHA visit: the worst day of your business

Posted by Don Tyler on Dec 13, 2016
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Many things can happen in an ag business to make it a really bad day, and one of the worst might be a day that OSHA decided to stop by for an unannounced audit.  For some businesses that have regular inspections it may not be a major event, but for most operations it could be an expensive review.


Earlier this year PORK Network Magazine ran an article titled, “On Your Worst Day” that highlighted some of the tactics that an OSHA, EPA, ICE or other government official might use to make an example of your operation.  The full article can be found here:

Some of the tactics mentioned include:

  • Coming on a day where it is impossible to get a good-looking picture, such as in the spring after it has been raining for several days and all the drives are muddy, the equipment is dirty, livestock are wet, etc.
  • If you get fined more than $40,000 they will send a news release to 10,000 media outlets about that fine, including several quotes from the area director of OSHA about your business and your violations.
  • Generally, they will try to go everywhere and look at everything, so know your rights for the limits of what they can and cannot do.

Not every OSHA inspection is packed full of fines and citations, but don’t take unnecessary risks.  Be sure to have your people trained, your documentation up-to-date and all potential hazards addressed so that if an inspector comes, it’s more of an educational visit than high-priced tuition.


Topics: OSHA law & compliance, OSHA inspections & violations

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