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An Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation

If Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators have any reason to believe that an inspection is necessary, they will first get an overview of the situation to better understand the situation and how to best move forward.

Here are the six priorities that investigators consider before deciding to open an investigation:

-- Immediate danger. If an OSHA officer sees immediate danger on a job site, they will demand that all workers leave the area until a solution is found.

-- Employee illness, injury or death. All companies are required to report a work-related death within eight hours. Along with this, hospitalizations and loss of eyes or limb should be reported within 24 hours. This typically leads to an OSHA investigation.

-- Worker complaints. If a worker or group of workers complain about work conditions, OSHA may step in to learn more.

-- Local, state or federal hazard referrals. This type of inspection comes about at the urging of a local, state or federal agency regarding the safety of a worksite.

-- Targeted inspection. Companies in high risk and high hazard industries can be investigated to ensure that they're doing everything as required by law.

-- Follow-up inspections. For instance, if a company is a repeat offender, OSHA may complete a follow-up inspection to ensure that everything is still in good working order.

If you are injured on the job, it's important to first receive medical care. From there, report the accident to your employer. Finally, if necessary, you may also want to make OSHA aware of what happened, including the reason for the accident and your employer's response.

Source: Industry Safe, "The 6 priorities of an OSHA inspection," accessed May 05, 2017

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