Preparing for an OSHA Inspection

By Kathleen Pohlid Founder & Managing Member, Pohlid, PLLC | December 09, 2012

In the past year, state and federal entities conducted over 500 inspections of hotel establishments within the United States for compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Many of those inspections were initiated by referrals from other governmental entities and from employee complaints. In some cases, establishments were issued citations for safety violations. Since employers are not provided prior notice of onsite OSHA inspections of their workplace, it is important to be prepared and to ensure establishments are in compliance with OSHA standards.

Hotel establishment employers are required under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to provide safe and healthful working conditions for their employees and to comply with applicable safety and health standards. In 2010, OSHA added over 100 employees to its existing compliance staff with the stated purpose of increasing inspections. Since an OSHA inspection can be triggered at any time and establishments are not given advance notice of an inspection, it is important to be prepared. Here are some measures to prepare for OSHA and enhance safety and health in your workplace:

Know the Standards that Apply

Employers are required to comply with the safety and health standards promulgated by OSHA which apply to their workplace. These standards are available via OSHA's website at and include the general duty standards set forth at 29 C.F.R. 1910 and the recordkeeping and reporting standards at 29 C.F.R. 1904. (Employers with ten or fewer employees during the preceding calendar year may be partially exempt from some of the recordkeeping requirements.) The OSHA website also contains valuable information for safety compliance and training programs. Establishments should conduct periodic workplace audits to identify standards that apply to their workplace and ensure they are in compliance with those standards.

Document and Implement Required Written Programs & Records

Some of the OSHA standards require employers to establish written safety programs or rules to address hazards or to maintain records relating to hazardous exposures. For example, 29 C.F.R. 1910.38(b) & 39(b) require employers with more than ten employees to have written emergency action and fire prevention plans and specifically set forth the contents that must be included within such plans.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Melinda Minton
Thomas E. Pastore
Judith Jackson
Julia Watson
Rani Bhattacharyya
Michael McCartan
Max Starkov
Peggy Borgman
W. Don Turner
Brandon Edwards
Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.