OSHA Conducts Surprise Safety Inspections, Improving CA Workplace Safety

Don’t be surprised when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) knocks on your door. They’ve been doing this for awhile—and for good reason.

As an employer, it’s up to you to ensure the safety of your workers, be it in a clean office or the dusty grounds of a warehouse. Even though you carry workers compensation insurance as per law, nothing says safety better than an accident-free workplace. OSHA has made several surprise visits in the past, in an effort to ensure preventative measures have been taken to provide a safe workplace.



However daunting, there seems to be a silver lining to OSHA’s surprise visits. With the use of California workers compensation data, Michael Toffel of the Harvard Business School and his team found a steep decline in workplace injuries in places randomly visited by the OSHA. Four years after the visit was conducted, the companies in question enjoyed a nine-percent decline in workplace injuries:


“Companies undergoing random inspections saw workplace injuries decline by about 9% in the four years following the date of inspection compared with injury reports during the same time period in firms that were not inspected. The cost of the injuries reported—including medical treatment and missed work—fell by 26%. Using information from financial data provider Standard & Poor’s, the investigators found that the inspections had no effect on employment, total earnings, sales, or the survival of the company.”


Toffel cited that, in the past, OSHA tended to focus on workplaces that reportedly had multiple accidents or injury claims filed.


“Most safety regulators don’t inspect companies at random and instead typically focus on those that have accidents or where workers have filed complaints. Afterward, injury rates tend to revert back to whatever they were before the incident occurred, even without an OSHA inspection. So researchers could infer that the inspection played a bigger role in the reduction of injuries than it actually did.”


The best way to look good during an OSHA inspection is to ensure CA workplace safety. Statistics show that lack of fall protection measures seems to be the leading cause of work-related injuries and costly claims. As an employer, it’s a good idea to train your staff in the art of workplace safety, making sure to prevent any injury.

Human resources services like Omega on Demand can provide training for workers in the said field. Part of their services include tips on what to do when the OSHA catches you off-guard, and how to prepare your office to ensure the utmost safety.

Article and image excerpt from It’s Official: Random Inspections Improve Workplace Safety, Science Now, May 17, 2012

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