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Washington retailers experience safety inspection 8 times national average

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L&I safety inspection for retailers is eight times the average national inspection rate (32.3 vs 4.08) with 43% on employers with less than 10 employees from 1/3/2022 to 3/9/2022, according to the OSHA Inspection Tracker! Our Retail Services team have been seeing a recent increase these activities to our members as well. Safety inspections can be triggered for a number of reasons, such as a complaint coming from an employee (current or former), a customer, or following a major accident at your store location.  These inspections often lead to citations which include fines, an expense most businesses don’t budget for.

If you get a visit from an L&I inspector, they will expect you to provide several items in a timely manner, including:

  • Accident Prevention Program
  • Safety Meeting Minutes for the last 12 months
  • Training records (First Aid, Forklift, specific tool operation, etc.)
  • Accident Investigations

Inspectors will request other documents relevant to the complaint as well, which might include your Job Hazard Analysis, Hazardous Chemical Plan, Shop Safety Walks checklists, first-aid cards as required for relevant positions, etc.

When an inspector begins their review and verifies you have these items in place, the rest of the visit usually goes much smoother.  If these are not readily available, the inspection might broaden to include other topics, which may result in additional citations and fines.

Here is a checklist template that can assist you with what items you should ensure are in place.

If you want help with this preparation, check out our free Safety Ambassador Program, where we can help you get back up to speed on safety, Return to Work, and employment standard programs.

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