TITLE 56: LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
SUBCHAPTER b: REGULATION OF WORKING CONDITIONS
PART 350 HEALTH AND SAFETY
SECTION 350.100 GENERAL INSPECTION PROCEDURES
Section 350.100 General Inspection Procedures
a) Scope. Comprehensive general inspections cover the majority of areas of concern in an establishment. When the focus of an inspection is limited to certain potentially hazardous areas, operations, conditions or practices, then the scope is considered to be a partial inspection.
b) Conduct of Inspection. Times and places of inspections shall be set by the Department or the inspection officer.
1) Presenting Credentials. At the beginning of an inspection, the inspection officer or officers shall identify themselves to the operator, supervisor, or agent in charge of the place of employment at the time of the inspection and present credentials signed by the Director to verify their identity. When the person in charge is not available, the inspection shall not be delayed unreasonably to await that individual's arrival. This delay should not normally exceed one hour. The physical inspection can be conducted without the representative of the employer being present.
2) Refusal to Permit. If the public employer refuses entry upon being presented proper credentials or allows entry but then refuses to permit or hinders the inspection in some way, the inspector shall leave the premises and immediately report the refusal to the Area Manager. The Area Manager shall notify the Director and initiate the compulsory legal process and/or obtain an administrative warrant for entry.
3) Forcible Interference. If an inspector encounters forcible resistance, opposition, interference, etc., or is assaulted or threatened with assault while engaged in the performance of official duties, all investigative activity shall cease. The Area Manager and Director shall be notified immediately and appropriate legal action taken.
4) Strike/Labor Dispute. If an unanticipated labor dispute at a proposed inspection site is encountered, the inspector shall consult the Area Manager as to how to proceed. Programmed inspections may be deferred during a strike or labor dispute; however, unprogrammed inspections will proceed according to protocol.
5) Employee Participation. Employees and/or their representatives must be given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of the inspection.
c) Opening Conference. All affected employers shall be informed of the purpose and scope of the inspection and provided a copy of the complaint if applicable. The opening conference shall include employees unless the employer objects. The opening conference shall be kept as brief as possible. A separate opening conference will be held to cover the scope and details for the employees and/or their representatives if the employer initially objects.
1) Walkaround Representatives. Representatives of the employer and employees are allowed to accompany the inspector throughout the inspection process. Different representatives can be designated to represent different aspects of the inspection if necessary.
2) Disruptive Conduct. The inspector may deny the right of accompaniment to any person whose conduct interferes with a full and orderly inspection.
3) Trade Secrets and Classified Areas. In order to assure trade secret status or maintain classified security, employee representatives may be excluded from affected areas during the walkthrough. However, the inspector shall interview employees present in classified areas or involved in trade secret status work.
4) Examination of Records. The inspector shall review the injury/illness records to the extent necessary to determine compliance and assess trends. Other written safety programs and records shall be reviewed at the inspectors' professional discretion.
d) Walkaround Inspection. The purpose of the walkaround inspection is to identify potential safety and/or health hazards in the workplace. The inspection shall be conducted in such a manner as to eliminate unnecessary personal exposure to hazards and to minimize unavoidable exposure to the extent possible. The employer's safety and health program shall be evaluated to ascertain the employer's good faith. Apparent violations shall be brought to the attention of the employer and employee representatives at the time they are documented.
1) Collecting Samples. The inspector shall determine as soon as possible after the start of the inspection whether samples (i.e., air samples, noise samples, etc.) will be collected. Summaries of the sampling results will be provided to all parties present as soon as practicable.
2) Taking Photographs/Video. The inspector shall take photographs or videotapes whenever there is a need. Any photos that support violations shall be properly labeled and included in the file.
3) Interviews. A free and open exchange of information between the inspector and the employees is essential for an effective inspection. Interviews shall be conducted in a reasonable manner and normally will be conducted during the walkaround; however, they can be conducted at any time and any location. Privacy shall be maintained in the interview process if the employee so requests.
4) Employer Abatement Assistance. Inspectors shall offer appropriate abatement assistance during the walkaround, suggesting how workplace hazards might be eliminated. The information shall provide guidance to the employer in developing acceptable abatement methods or in seeking appropriate professional assistance.
e) Closing Conferences. At the conclusion of the inspection, the inspector shall conduct a closing conference with the employer and employee representatives, jointly or separately as circumstances dictate. The closing conference may be conducted at the site or by teleconference as deemed appropriate by the inspector. The inspector shall describe the apparent violations found during the inspection, abatement means, timeframes and other pertinent issues. Both the employer and the employee representatives shall be informed of their rights to appeal and to participate in any subsequent conferences, meetings or discussions, and of their right to contest. Conference attendance records shall become part of the file.
f) Special Inspection Procedures. Follow-up and monitoring inspections are necessary to determine if the previously cited violations have been corrected. Monitoring may be conducted to determine if hazards are being corrected and employees are being protected, whenever a long period of time is needed for an establishment to obtain compliance or verify compliance. Follow-up or monitoring inspections would not normally be conducted when evidence of abatement is provided by the employer.
1) Failure to Abate. If the employer has not corrected a violation for which a citation has been issued and the abatement date has passed, a failure to abate violation is issued. The Area Manager shall implement the appropriate measures to rectify the situation, be it extension of deadlines or institution of legal action.
2) Reports. A copy of the original citation shall be reissued, along with a brief explanation of the outstanding citations. If more than one citation was originally issued and some hazards were corrected, it should be noted on the follow-up report. The follow-up inspection reports shall be included in the original (parent) case file.