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Please answer original forum with a minimum of 500 words and respond to both students separately with a minimum of 250 words each with references 

 

please Follow directions or I will dispute 

 

 

page 1 or Forum with References 

page 2  John response with references 

page 3 Micheal response with references 

 

 

Original Forum 

 

Should OSHA inspectors be permitted by law to make unannounced inspections of workplaces without a warrant?  Why or why not?

 

 

Student Responses

 

John

 

 

 I think we need to err on the side of caution on this one and not take away too many rights from businesses. Under the fourth amendment of the constitution we are all protected from unreasonable searches in the workplace or at home. I think the most important and debatable word that we can look at is “unreasonable”. Is there a clear line and definition as to what is unreasonable? From my research there is clarity as to what that means. There has to be probable cause for searching.

The issue I found when doing research is how easy it is for OSHA to get a warrant and inspect. They just need to probable cause that could be an array of things such as worker injuries, complaints internally/externally, referral to inspect or past history of safety issues. And due to the concern for safety everywhere, not many judges are going to turn down a request for a warrant. OSHA is around to ensure that industries remain in strict compliance with the laws and regulations that have been set by the federal and state governments.

Fortunately for organizations there are a few steps that they can take should OSHA come knocking at their door unannounced.

  1. Ensure that the correct people are there for the inspection. Access to the installation should be restricted to the OSHA inspectors until the proper individuals are there. It is the number one step to take when an unannounced visit happens.
  2. Only authorized individuals should speak to the inspector. The inspector needs to declare why they are there. This ties into the above step, and will help determine if other individuals from the organization need to be present. Understanding why the inspector is there is critical to being able to respond to the complaint, hazard or unannounced visit.
  3. Another important step is to get the inspector to the area of investigation the quickest and safest route possible. I worked briefly for a rubber factory as an accounting / HR assistant. We met one time with a safety officer who was aiding in keeping us in compliance with OSHA.

He informed me that the OSHA inspector can cite any safety or hazard violation that is in clear view, even when they are there to address another complaint. Obviously if the business is practicing safety standards this should not be a concern, but things happen. He mentioned how you can even take them outside the whole way if need be. The inspector is not on a tour and does not have a right to see all areas of the building.

  1. Lastly, the organization should keep records of every piece of paper that they receive regarding the inspection. This should be scrutinized and taken very seriously. OSHA fines can be severe depending on the issue. Secondly, this allows the organization to take corrective and preventive actions to avoid future occurrences.

Unannounced OSHA visits are not something that organizations look forward to. Understanding your rights as a business is important when it comes to these visits. Unless there is a clear and immediate hazard, the inspector does not have a right to enter the premises without a warrant.

John

Micheal

 

OSHA is an agency that has the responsibility of setting and enforcing health and safety measures as well as conducting health and safety-related researches (Hofmann et al., 2017). It fulfills its duties by conducting inspections, issuing reports, and imposing the necessary penalties if its inspectors find any violations that are against the OSHA health and safety standards. The high number of companies makes it almost impossible for OSHA to conduct inspections on all companies. However, there several factors that make companies more likely to be investigated by OSHA; they include complaints from members of society, conditions, or practices that might result in loss of life or harm to employees and programmed inspections set to take place at a specific time. In any working environment, safety is of paramount importance. OSHA inspectors should, therefore, be allowed to conduct safety inspections of workplaces without warrants.

One of the reasons why OSHA agencies should have the freedom to conduct inspections whenever they want is based on the aspect that this will help give a clearer picture of what routinely takes place in different companies. Seeking for warranties might provide companies with time to make temporary changes to areas where they do not comply with health and safety regulations. The 1970 U.S Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was put in place to ensure companies and other employers offer their workers healthy and safe working environments without recognized hazards. The OSH Act has played a significant part in helping reduce work-related fatalities, illnesses, injuries, and public health problems. However, there is still more that needs to be done.

Every day, 12 employees die on the job in the U.S. Also, in 2013, more than three million nonfatal illnesses and injuries were reported in the private sector, while the local and state government recorded 746,000 cases (Okun et al., 2016). Allowing OSHA to conduct unannounced inspections without warrants ensure companies do not have time to hide what they might not want to be exposed, inspectors can, therefore, identify more non-compliant companies and ensure they enforce the necessary measures to help improve health and safety.

The second reason why OSHA inspectors should be allowed to conduct inspections without the need to get warrants is to avoid wastage of time. Getting such permits is a legal process that requires not only time but also the use of resources. It requires OSHA inspectors to submit written affidavits to a magistrate or judge with sufficient factual information indicating a lack of compliance with health or safety regulations by the company under investigation. OSHA assessments are not conducted on all companies due to their high numbers. Eliminating the process of acquiring a warrant to conduct inspections can potentially increase the number of firms OSHA can inspect within a specific period.

Some people might argue that seeking warrants is a necessary step when inspecting firms as it is a process that results in the disruption of regular company operations. Unannounced assessments might take place during inappropriate times, which might result in companies losing part of their revenues. However, providing OSHA agents with the right to conduct inspections without the need to seek warrants will play a significant role in providing accurate information on the health and safety situation within different workplaces. It also reduces the time inspections processes take, thus allow more companies to be evaluated.

References

Hofmann, D. A., Burke, M. J., & Zohar, D. (2017). 100 years of occupational safety research: From basic protections and work analysis to a multilevel view of workplace safety and risk. Journal of applied psychology102(3), pp.375-388.doi.org/10.1037/apl0000114

Okun, A. H., Guerin, R. J., & Schulte, P. A. (2016). Foundational workplace safety and health competencies for the emerging workforce. Journal of safety research59, pp.43-51.

 

 

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