What is a Cal/OSHA Inspection?
Cal/OSHA inspectors make unannounced visits to make sure that the UC Davis campus and associated facilities are safe and healthy.
What triggers an inspection?
Inspectors visit worksites after a serious injury or exposure to one or more employees. Additionally, as part of the recent settlement agreement with the Los Angeles District Attorney, Cal/OSHA may also make unannounced visits to laboratory facilities. They will also conduct an inspection in response to employee complaints about any situation that may pose an imminent danger to workers.
What is the typical Cal/OSHA inspection process?
Typically, a Cal/OSHA inspector will report to the Safety Services Business Office. He/she will identify himself/herself and request to visit a certain department/location. An EH&S Safety Specialist will contact the Department Safety Coordinator, MSO, or Chairperson to inform them of the pending investigation. The EH&S Safety Specialist will then escort the inspector to the department/location to begin the inspection.
What should you do if an inspector shows up to inspect your department without an EH&S Safety Specialist?
Ask for identification. The inspector must ask for permission from a management representative to conduct the inspection. The Chancellor has assigned EH&S to serve as the management representatives on campus. Call EH&S at 530-752-1493 to inform of the pending inspection. The Cal/OSHA Inspector will wait until an EH&S Safety Specialist arrives for up to one hour before beginning his/her inspection. Please note that Cal/OSHA Inspectors can document observable conditions and/or start the inspection if a loss of critical information may occur while awaiting arrival of a UC Davis EH&S representative. This is at the determination of the Cal/OSHA Inspector.
What will happen during the inspection?
The Cal/OSHA Inspector will start with an opening conference to explain the reason for the visit. An inspection walkthrough of the entire department or a targeted work area will follow. Inspectors have the right to walk around the area (accompanied), interview employees in private, and document hazards with photos and measurements. Employees may ask for legal representation provided by the university to be present during the interview if desired.
Cal/OSHA Inspection DO’s and DON’Ts
- Ask for identification
- Immediately contact EH&S (752-1493)
- Be courteous and friendly
- Provide neutral, fact-based answers
- Keep notes
- Take photos and measurements mimicking those taken by an inspector
- Be prepared to show Injury and Illness Prevention Plann (IIPP)
- Don't give opinions or guesses
- Don't offer to follow-up later
- Don't argue
How do you find out what the Inspector observed?
Immediately after the walkthrough, the Inspector will conduct a closing conference and provide inspection results. He/she may ask for protocols, standard operating procedures, or other documents to be submitted to Cal/OSHA within 1-14 days. He/she can ask for your department’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) at the time of the closing conference.
What follow-up must you provide?
Make corrective actions and gather requested documents and provide them to EH&S for submission to Cal/OSHA by the stated deadline. Missed deadlines can result in additional inspections, citations, and fines.
How to prepare for a Cal/OSHA inspection?
Make certain your IIPP and Emergency Action Plan (EAP) are up to date and training requirements are current and documented. It is recommended for those in laboratory environments to complete their required annual self-inspection and confirm all safety program elements are in place.