Music. The Occupational Safety and Health Act provides for on-the-spot inspections by OSHA compliance officers and inspectors. Let's take a look. Inspections may occur on the spot or as part of an investigation of a complaint or as part of targeted enforcement in high-hazard industries. In Marshall versus Barlow's Incorporated, the US Supreme Court held that safety inspectors must produce a search warrant if an employer refuses to voluntarily allow inspectors into their facility. The court also ruled that an inspector does not have to show probable cause to obtain a search warrant. A warrant can be obtained easily if a search is part of a general enforcement plan. When an OSHA compliance officer arrives, managers should ask to see the inspector's credentials. Next, the company HR representative or safety professional should insist on an initial conference with the compliance officer. During the inspection, the officer checks organizational records to see if they're being maintained and determines the number of accidents that have occurred. Following this review of safety records, the officer conducts an on-the-spot inspection and may use a wide variety of equipment to verify compliance with standards. Many types of violations are cited by OSHA, ranging from the most severe to minimal, including a special category for repeated violations. The most common are outlined next. Although OSHA inspectors can issue citations for violations of the Act, whether a citation is issued depends on the severity and extent of the problems and on the employer's knowledge of them. In addition, depending on the nature and number of violations, monetary penalties can be assessed against employers. The nature and extent of penalties depend on the type and severity of the violations as determined by OSHA officials. When there's reasonable certainty that a condition will cause death or serious physical harm if it's not...
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