Conducting Inspections

From OSHKY Knowledge Library

Inspection Prep

The following information contains both mandatory items and non-mandatory items. In general, assume it's non-mandatory guidance if it's not referenced somewhere else in the Knowledge Library or in other official documents and communique.

After Receiving Assignment

  • Assign KYOSH Report No.
  • Secretary of State's Organization Search page
  • OSHA Establishment Search for previous activity
  • Research previous citations/violations.
  • Research complaint items.
  • Determine applicable regulations/standards for process(es) related to complaint items.
    • [Design for QUIK/KWIK cards?]
  • Gather any detection/sampling equipment that could be used during the Walk-Around. (Dräger, SLM/Edge5, QuestPro, Wipes, etc.)

Opening Prep

Items to gather that may be of use (or may be required) during the inspection:

  • Opening Conference Checklist (OSHA-1 info)
  • Complaint Copies (OSHA-7)/Referral Copies (OSHA-90)
  • EE Interviews Coversheet

For Employer

  • Employer Info Request Sheet
  • Sample Haz Com
  • Publication Request Form (


  • Rough Notes & Clipboard
  • OSHA Standards
General Items
  • Camera (charged battery)
  • Work cell phone (charged)
  • Screening equipment


  • Hard hat
  • Boots
  • Safety glasses w/side shields
  • Hearing protection
  • Gloves (latex or work)
  • Long sleeves
  • Reflective vest

Inspection Events


  • Announce KYOSH’s presence at first point of contact (guard shack, receptionist, etc.) and present them with a business card.
  • Request highest management official on-site to authorize inspection (authorize within an hour of announcing KYOSH presence).
  • To management official, present credentials, explain briefly that a complaint was received (or referral, programmed inspection, etc.) and KYOSH’s need to conduct an investigation.
  • Request authorization to conduct an investigation.
  • Determine if unionized or if employees are represented.  If yes, request presence of union/employee representative at Opening Conference.

NOTE: It is advised to not present the employer with a copy of the OSHA-7 complaint items until after they have authorized the inspection.


Fortunately, these do not happen frequently, but they do occur. In general, if you are refused entry, the first thing you do is note the time and immediately contact your supervisor or, if your supervisor is unavailable, contact another supervisor or follow the chain up from your supervisor. They need to know ASAP so they can contact legal and begin working on obtaining a warrant.

Once you've notified your supervisor, your next task is to gather as much information about who refused you and their title(s); what time you were refused; the location and physical description of the area around the facility; any other conditions about the refusal (such as at what point in the inspection process the refusal occurred). One additional item of information to gather is the manner in which the refusal came. The employer doesn't have to say the word "refuse" and, in fact, they usually will not say it. A refusal can come in the following ways:

  • a simple denial of entry, stating that they will not let us on the site to conduct the inspection;
  • authorizing entry but denying any required action of the inspection — such as allowing walkaround but not employee interviews; or refusing to allow any pictures to be taken.
ToDo: Insert more

Important Note

It is very important to remember that the employer has the right to refuse a compliance officer. As CSHO, it is important to not allow their refusal to affect your treatment or judgement of the employer during the rest of the inspection. Liken it to a government official wanting to enter your home to confirm if anything was wrong and arrived unannounced. Many of us would want them to have some strong proof confirming who they were. We may even ask them to obtain a warrant so we were sure the cause for entry was reviewed by a judge of the court. Private businesses are private.


  • Distribute OSHA-7 complaint page to all present.
  • Follow Opening Conference guideline sheet (if you utilize it).
  • Address these specific items in the report:
    • Time/date arrived
    • First contact
    • Scope and purpose of visit
    • Presentation of credentials
    • Right to refuse
    • Discrimination-free workplace
    • Program requests
    • Unusual circumstances encountered


  • CSHO's Own Safety: Be aware and observe what PPE employees in the area are wearing. If you weren't told to wear what they're wearing, and are not wearing that level of PPE, ask, WHY?
  • Pictures: If taking a close-up picture, ensure that a wider angle is included so that a clearer understanding can be obtained of that particular item's surrounding equipment and employee positioning.


  • Number to Interview: The rule of thumb is to interview at least 10% of the work force in the related area.  However, this depends on the total number.  If there are five, interview all five.  If there are 3,000, interviewing 300 would be too much.  The point is to get a general feel for the training efficacy; and what employees in the affected areas actually do and may be exposed to. [per Mike H.’s email 5/4/12]
  • At OTI, it is preached to have the employee you're interviewing read and sign any notes you take during the interview, attesting that they're true.
    • KYOSH mentions this in the FOM; but, in practice, it is usually neither encouraged nor discouraged except that it is encouraged during accident investigations.


  • Go over what was found as pertaining to complaints and anything else discovered during the inspection.
  • Collect any information and documents that were requested earlier in the day.


  • OSH-1, et al., in OSHA Express
  • Pictures
    • Transfer Pictures from device to computer.
    • Upload them to the network or ensure in some other way that they are backed up on more than just your computer.
  • Debrief
    • with supervisor.
  • Contact Info
    • Centralize all the contact info gathered from the inspection that day.
  • Physical Folder
    • Gather business cards, notes, etc., transfer to folder for case
  • Follow-up
    • to gain any data/information that was requested during the initial visit.
  • Complainant
    • Contact ASAP [per Mike H.'s email 1/10/2014]
  • Casefile Diary
    • Begin one if you haven't already, starting with the opening or other pertinent starter.
  • OSHA-300-I
    • in OSHA Express
  • Violations Possible
    • Make a list of possible violations to research.
  • Post-Calibrate
    • Any screening/sampling equipment


  • Prep: Prepare a list of the citation standards for the Employer.  Otherwise, you're dictating those standards while those in attendance write them.
  • Provide and review Post Inspection Guide.
  • Present recommended citations.
    • Make sure the Employer understands that these citations are not final and may change before citations are issued.
  • Provide Publication Request Form or direct to website.
  • Closing Conference Checklist


  • Complete OSHA-167-I

What happens after . . .


  • After a CSHO closes with an employer during an in-compliance inspection, the employer does not receive any further updates through the mail or otherwise to indicate status of an inspection in either the KYOSH or federal systems. (Per Diane, email, 11/17/2016)

Inspection Tools & Tips

Audio & Video Recording

According to the KYOSH Field Operations Manual, Chapter 3, paragraph D.6.j., tape recorders may be used on any inspections with Supervisor's permission, except for these specific instances:

  • Where operation and use of the tape recorder would itself create a hazard.
    • Ex.: In an atmosphere where only intrinsically-safe electronics can be used.
  • When the person who would be recorded objects to being recorded.