Ever think you know more than an OSHA inspector?

This case shows you might — even OSHA inspectors can get things wrong. In the unlikely event an OSHA inspector shows up at your door, make sure you gather the same evidence as the inspector – photos, records, etc. If you disagree with the inspector’s conclusions, be prepared to raise concerns during the closing conference or fight the citations in court.

Here’s a challenging court case you could encounter at your facility: This company was hit with citations for improper fall protection, despite an OSHA inspector giving the safety plan the OK. The company is sure it’s in the right. Can you guess the outcome?

The OSHA inspector told the manager the fall protection was good enough while on the site, but when he got back to his office and talked with others, he determined there was a safety violation. However, when in court, the inspector was vague and did not seem to remember specific details about the site or the conversations he had with the manager that day.

In contrast, the manager came to court prepared and confident. He had years of experience with this type of work and demonstrated that he knew the rules for fall protection well. He also knew the exact circumstances of the job site and could defend his choices clearly. The court determined the fall protection used was within the rules and dropped the charges.

Experience speaks the company was successful and the court threw out the citations. Know your OSHA’s rules!! your inspector may not.


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