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Has your company / client ever experienced an OSHA inspection?
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 Post subject: OSHA Inspection
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:00 pm
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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Has your company / client ever experienced an OSHA inspection? (For any reason not just electrical. This includes state programs, MSHA and similar agencies including agencies in other countries)
  • No
  • Yes

Jim Phillips, P.E.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Location: North Carolina
Bad question when you throw in MSHA. Surface mines have to be inspected twice a year and underground mines four times per year in the U.S. by law.

Tally for places I've worked other than "typical" inspections/visits:
1. Co-worker violated rigging 101 (securing a load). Another co-worker became road kill when load squished them. Another fellow engineer just about ended up in the mental hospital when he repeatedly caught them over and over again over the next couple months attempting to disprove rigging 101 again.
2. Contractor on site violated stored energy principles. Got on the wrong side of a piece of HDPE pipe without securing it and it hit them across the head. Contractor took dirt nap and MSHA paid a visit.
3. Co-worker attempted to scare another co-worker by throwing a 'large firecracker" (silver salute size...basically quarter stick of dynamite). However he cut the wick short to achieve an air burst and instead blew his own hand off. MSHA visited then left when it was determined that no ANFO or squibs from the mine were involved. Then BATF visited especially because the tracer threads normally found in explosives were not present. Firecracker was apparently made illegally by someone in Ohio (BATF never did track them down).
4. Mine production folks attempted to defy the laws of physics by cutting into a layered limestone formation and expected the roof to stay up. Fortunately no one was present at the time but roof falls underground pretty much automatically invite MSHA to pay a visit.
5. Sister plant mine production folks also attempted to defy laws of physics by cutting all around one area (room-and-pillar), then attempted to cut through the MIDDLE of an area to make way for a haul road after all the stressors had concentrated on it. Oh yeah, roof bolts optional of course not that it mattered. Again, luckily no one was present at the time of the incident.
6. Goes down in the annals of "we came all this way for THAT". Traveled from East side of U.S. all the way to Fort McMurray, Canada (total of 8 hour trip including 4 different flights each way) to look at a shovel fleet at a large oil sands company. Paradoxically they just had to kill someone that day. The place was on lock down and OH&S visited instead of us.
7. Totally not safety related, but a hoot nonetheless. Camden County NJ sheriff made a trip once every month or two to a foundry for evidence destruction purposes. Guns, porno tapes, drugs, you name it.
8. County inspector visits and has a fit because we dared to do a construction project building a new truck scale out in front of the plant and they weren't invited (didn't pull permits). Inspector quickly realizes that he is totally out of his element when we give him a tour around the place and then sit down for a nice chat about jobs for public good vs. internal jobs. To appease them (make it look like they are doing something), I invite them after that about once every year or so on non-critical stuff in office buildings and such where it makes sense to do so and which doesn't involve 480 V or medium voltage equipment where they can at least recognize what they are looking at.

And, positively the most interesting visit from government agencies related to safety:
9. At the same plant where #1 and #7 occurred above (and believe me, I didn't consider it a stellar safety track record plant), the Department of Justice visited to see a "model" operation because our competitor was being sued for tons of labor violations (plant in Phillipsburg, NJ).

Although to your point...yes, OSHA essentially only visits when something bad happens. MSHA visits very frequently whether or not something bad happens. County and state officials are all over the map. In NJ, the state mining inspectors came pretty regular just like WV. Everywhere else, I've hardly ever seen them.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:47 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:21 pm
Posts: 11
Yes, but then again I deal with about 10 plants.

OSHA has some "emphasis programs" and I've seen 2 inspections specific to those emphasis programs within the past 2 years. Seen a few based on injuries, a few based on employee compliants and a few based on just random inspections in the past 10 years.

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