No one wants a surprise visit from the MLTSD, but they happen. If you are not prepared, odds are it could cost you big time.
The good news - there are a few easy things you can do to better prepare your entire company for a surprise visit from an inspector.
First, you should know that the MLTSD can’t be everywhere, they have criteria for determining where to investigate. If your workplace presents imminent danger, has a high incident rate, or has elicited a worker complaint, you are far more likely to receive a surprise visit. But, every company should ultimately be prepared for an audit. Should the day come where the inspector is waiting in the lobby, rest assured that it likely was not “scheduled.” Inspectors want to catch you unaware so they can evaluate your workplace in its everyday state.
1. Have a Designated Greeter in the Event of an MLTSD Visit
Do a mock safety audit. Consider having an employee or third-party safety company act as a visiting inspector. Assign employees various roles, including a greeter to welcome the inspector and is able to discuss your company’s safety program, and introduce the inspector to anyone else they may want to speak with.
2. Have a Comprehensive Safety Management Program and e Able to Show Proof
If you don’t have a comprehensive safety management program, it is high time to make the investment.
It is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees. Not only is implementing a safety program ethically necessary, it is also financially beneficial and demonstrates moral accountability.
3. Regularly Conduct and Document Safety Audits to Provide to an Inspector
If you regularly perform safety audits of your facility or jobsites to identify and correct hazards, retain all records in an easily-accessible location. Show them off to the inspector! Prove that you regularly assess safety and make adjustments for improved safety and compliance. Proving that you systematically identify, and proactively correct hazards and behavioral issues will affect the inspector’s assessment of your company favourably.
4. Train Employees
Train your employees to work safely and avoid injury from workplace hazards and, also coach them to interact with an inspector respectfully. Employees can request a supervisor to be present during an interview. Most importantly, make sure employees understand the gravity of an MLTSD inspection and respect the fact that ultimately, it is to keep them safe.
5. Have Safety Documents Filed and Easily Accessible for the Inspector
The inspector will, in all likelihood, ask to see training records for employees, Safety Data Sheets, safety policies, and more. All of these should be easily located by multiple employees. Having these files hosted in the cloud and accessible from multiple devices is one way to easily access them.
6. Designate Inspection Routes for Each Area of the Facility
If there is a specific location the MLTSD inspector wants to see, take a direct route there! Of course, the entire workplace should be kept safe; however, don’t inadvertently give a longer, full tour, and possibly uncover other possible violations and subsequent penalties.
Remember when preparing for an unannounced inspection, they can take place at any time. The only way to be prepared, is to always be prepared!