Some may think the three mistakes listed below are extremely obvious and although this may be the case, these mistakes are listed as a result of companies continuing to make them and the court cases that commonly ensue. Here are 3 major mistakes you and your company want to avoid making when dealing with a safety inspector.
Mistake #1: Refusing to Let Inspectors in
OHS and other regulatory laws typically give inspectors broad powers to conduct inspections, including the right to enter a workplace, take samples, install measuring equipment, examine company property and review records. Unless they have come to conduct a criminal investigation, they do not need a search warrant to do any of these things. Additionally, companies are obligated to cooperate and refrain from obstructing inspectors when they perform their duties. If an inspector shows up at your workplace to do a routine inspection and you refuse to let him in the door, you and the company could very well face obstruction charges.
Mistake #2: Ordering Inspectors to Leave
If refusing to let inspectors into your workplace is bad, it is even worse to throw them out once they have entered. Tossing the inspector out the door or even asking him politely to leave will almost certainly lead to obstruction charges.
Mistake #3: Threatening Inspectors
An inspection can be a stressful experience—especially if the inspector indicates that there is some sort of a problem. If you lose your cool and threaten the inspector, whatever problem the inspector found will pale in comparison to the problems you and the company will now likely face. In the case of this mistake, it is not unlikely for threatening an inspector to result in jail time as well as additional punitive action.