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Use an OSHA Inspection Prep List

Nobody’s going to give your company prior warning before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shows up for an on-site inspection.

The best preparation you can make for this OSHA inspection is to have an active health and safety program you can assess regularly.

Each OSHA inspection covers a wide range of safety topics.

Use a great inspection preparation list, so you will be ready when OSHA comes to call. Some areas may apply to your business and others may not. Seek out the pertinent information in this list.

Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE

Every employee needs the appropriate PPE, such as hand, foot, eye, face and head protection.

There are procedures in place for testing, storing and properly cleaning PPE.

Fire Protection

Make sure your fire alarm system is tested and certified annually.

Make sure all fire doors are clear of obstructions.

Fire extinguishers should all have a tag saying they have been recharged and when.


Ensure that all walking surfaces are free of holes so people can walk safely on them.

Appropriately mark all aisles and remove obstructions.

Use non-slip materials on wet surfaces to improve traction.

If a walkway goes by moving equipment or other hazards, ensure people will not be exposed to those hazards.

General Work Environment

The workplace should be clean and sanitary.

Provide at least the minimum number of restrooms required for your employees.

Make sure your workplace is organized, with no tripping hazards or other problems that could arise due to a messy area.


Make sure all ladders are in good working condition.

Ensure that all employees who may be using a ladder have been trained to use it safely.

Egress and Evacuation

Label all exits with illuminated signs.

Ensure that enough exits exist to safely and quickly evacuate people in an emergency.

Mark all doors and routes that could be mistaken for exits, i.e. “This is Not an Exit,” or “Storage Room.”

Ensure that all exits are free from obstructions.

Machine Guarding

All machinery must be regularly inspected and serviced.

All equipment should have power shut-offs within reach of operators.

Make sure all emergency stop buttons are red.

Hand and Power Tools

Make sure all workplace tools are in good condition.

Tools should all be stored in a dry location.

Make sure moving parts are guarded to prevent injury.


All equipment must be de-energized or disengaged and locked out during cleaning or other maintenance.

Compressors and Air Receivers

Ensure that every receiver has a pressure gauge and at least one automatic safety valve.

Have a current operating permit on hand.

Welding and Cutting

Have all compressed air gas cylinders examined on a regular basis for leaks, rust or other defects.

Post signs warning against smoking, matches or other ignition sources.

Have PPE for employees including goggles, helmets and hand shields that meet standards.

Confined Spaces

Do regular testing of the atmosphere where people must be in confined spaces.

Post an attendant outside the entrance to a confined space while work is being performed.

Follow these basic tips and your company will be ready for an inspection when OSHA shows up at the door

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.