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How often are work sites actually inspected by OSHA? Should I worry about it?

"Worry? Since operating a safe workplace is the law, you have to assure compliance, but not out of fear of being inspected--unless you are in a high hazard industry or a special emphasis program. Keep in mind that OSHA standards represent the minimum requirements and are usually derived from compromise. A proactive safety program that takes people and incident prevention into consideration will always work toward best practices and a higher moral authority!"

--Corporate Director of Safety

"Managers should worry about OSHA inspections if they are exposing employees to serious safety and health hazards and are not making a good faith attempt to control these hazards. Another reasons to worry about OSHA is if records are being falsified, either injury and illness recording or other records such as for training, inspections, maintenance, medical surveillance, etc. OSHA doesn't expect the perfect workplace--it expects management to identify, evaluate and control safety and health hazards through proper management techniques."

--Safety Magazine Technical Editor

"Your site will almost never get inspected by OSHA, unless you are in a targeted industry, and even then it is very infrequent. Even when employees complain, if you respond to the letter in a rational manner you're unlikely to get inspected. Should you worry about it? It depends. Are you in violation of many OSHA rules? If it a bit like driving fast or driving drunk. You really don't have to worry about seeing a police officer unless you are guilty. Focus on having a safe workplace, and then comply with, but don't worry about, OSHA."

--Certified Safety Professional

Source: Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, July 2001