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OSHA's prioritized approach to inspections

If you have ever been concerned about safety at your place of work in Minnesota, you might have wondered how safety hazards are monitored and how you can be protected. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration does actually conduct inspections of job locations but due to the sheet volume of businesses it could theoretically inspect. These inspections are carried out by compliance safety and health officers who are trained to identify hazards.

There are six levels of priority for OHSA inspections with the least urgent being those conducted to follow up from a prior inspection or violation. Next on the list are inspections at businesses targeted either due to their inherent industry risk or because they have had previous issues. Issues reported by the media and any other government agency or organization are next followed by issues reported by employees.

Situations involving any serious injury, severe illness or fatality get the second-highest priority for inspections. A serious injury may include the loss of an eye or limb or a hospitalization. The incidents involving imminent danger are rated at the most urgent and get top priority for any inspections by OSHA. Notice does not need to be given to a company or its representatives before a compliance safety and health officer is set to arrive for an onsite inspection.

If you would like to learn more about workplace inspections by OSHA personnel, please feel free to visit the job site safety and worker protection page of our Minnesota workplace accident and injury website.

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