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Inspections
National Summary

This topic covers workplace inspections, which are OSHA’s primary method of ensuring that its safety and health standards are followed. Inspections can lead to citations and penalties if employers are not in compliance with applicable regulations. In states with their own occupational safety and health agencies, state agency officials, rather than federal OSHA inspectors, are responsible for conducting inspections.

29 CFR 1903 describes the rights and responsibilities of the employer with respect to inspections, violations, and abatement verification as well as the requirements for posting the OSHA notice and the availability of the Act, regulations, and standards for employee review.

This topic also covers OSHA’s requirements for self-inspections, as well as the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) self-inspection requirements for hazardous materials motor carriers.

For related resources and training materials, refer to the following topics:


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Interpretations Clarification of New Nonformal Complaint Process. 05/10/1995National
Directives 01/22/1999 - OSHA Credential Cards Program 07/22/2003National
Directives 02/25/2000 - Home-Based Worksites 07/22/2003National
Directives 02/26/1981 - STP 2.18 - Inspections and Investigations: Obtaining Warrants on an Ex Parte Basis and Prior to Attempting Entry 07/16/2003National
Directives 03/01/1991 - CPL 2.45B CH-2 - Changes to the Field Operation Manual (FOM) 07/22/2003National
Directives 06/15/1989 - CPL 2.45B - Revised Field Operations Manual (FOM) 07/21/2003National
Directives 06/15/1992 - CPL 2.45B CH-3 - Changes to the Field Operations Manual (FOM) 07/22/2003National
Directives 09/26/1994 - CPL 2.103 - Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM) 07/22/2003National
Directives 10/30/1978 - PER 3.1 - Acceptance of Gratuities 07/08/2003National
Directives 10/30/1978 - STP 2.3 - Providing for Consultation in a State 18(b) Plan 07/09/2003National
Directives 11/05/2003 - IRT 01-00-016 - The IMIS Whistleblower User's Guide (PDF) 11/05/2003National
Directives 11/24/2004 - 04-08 (CSP 02) - Consultation Policies and Procedures Manual, Chapter 2: OSHA Cooperative Programs (PDF) 11/24/2004National
Directives 11/24/2004 - 04-09 (CSP 02) - Consultation Policies and Procedures Manual Chapter # 6, Documenting Consultation Services (PDF) 11/24/2004National
Directives 12/31/1990 - CPL 2.45B CH-1 - Changes to the Revised Field Operations Manual (FOM) 07/22/2003National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1903.12 Inspection not warranted; informal review  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1903.3 Authority for inspection  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1903.4 Objection to inspection  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1903.5 Entry not a waiver  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1903.6 Advance notice of inspections  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1903.7 Conduct of inspections  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1903.8 Representatives of employers and employees  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1903.9 Trade secrets  National
Case Studies Can Statements Made to a Safety Inspector Be Used Against You in a Criminal Case?  National
Directives Cancellation of OSHA Directive CPL 02-00-146, General Industry Focused Inspections in OSHA's FY 2008 Annual Operating Plan's Industry Areas of Emphasis [09-07 (CPL 02)] 08/13/2009National
Checklists Checklist Before the Compliance Officer Arrives (Word)  National
Checklists Checklist for Handling Agency Inspections (Word)  National
Directives Communicating OSHA Fatality Inspection Procedures to a Victim’s Family [CPL 02-00-153] 04/17/2012National
Questions & Answers Do we need to inspect eye washes and safety showers, fire alarms, and emergency lighting monthly or annually? 04/21/2010National
Trainer's Outlines Effective safety inspections  National
Guidance Documents Effective safety inspections  National
Guidance Documents Employers Rights and Responsibilities Following an OSHA Inspection  National
Directives Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program (FEDTARG11) - [10-08 (FAP 01)] 11/15/2010National
Directives Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program for 2013 (FEDTARG13) 01/25/2013National
Interpretations Federal Highway Administration Contract Language (Inspection-Right of Entry).[1975.1] 08/19/1992National
Policies Government Inspection Response Team (Word)  National
Interpretations Inspection guidance for calculating the number of employees at an inspeciton site. 09/24/2002National
Interpretations Inspection of chemical accidents.(1910.119) 05/14/1992National
Guidance Documents Inspection Requirements for Major Environmental Laws  National
Regulatory Analysis Inspections  National
Safety Slogans Inspections  National
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