When OSHA Contacts Me

What is OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created by Congress to assure safe and healthful working conditions for employees by setting and enforcing occupational safety and health standards for places of employment across the United States. 

What Triggers an OSHA Inspection?

OSHA inspections may occur at University of Minnesota facilities or work/field sites at any time. The reasons for an OSHA inspection include:

  1. Scheduled Inspection – An inspection that is randomly scheduled by OSHA.
  2. Complaint Investigation – A reported unsafe or unhealthy work condition.
  3. Accident Investigation – Work-related serious injury or fatality investigation.
  4. Imminent Danger – A reported or observed condition which could lead to a serious work-related personal injury or death.

Employee Responsibilities

When contacted by OSHA in person, by telephone, or by written correspondence, contact your Health, Safety, and Risk Management (HSRM) professional or call (612) 626-6002 immediately for assistance and forward the OSHA official or communications to your supervisor or manager. All employees are expected to fully cooperate with the inspection. Your manager or supervisor will provide guidance on what information you should provide to ensure that records are both complete and accurate.

Supervisor/Manager Responsibilities

During the Inspection

Notify your Health, Safety, and Risk Management (HSRM) professional immediately of OSHA’s presence or communications. If your HSRM professional is not immediately available, call (612) 626-6002, identify the reason for your call, and ask for immediate assistance. If OSHA is onsite, obtain the OSHA official’s business card and reason for being on-site. Do not proceed with an onsite investigation without making contact with a HSRM representative prior to proceeding. 

Your HSRM representative will provide guidance on the University procedures you will need to follow and the information you will need to provide. HSRM’s Workplace Safety Manager will manage all official written correspondence with the OSHA inspector and requests for information with the OSHA inspector.


To maintain a University record of the inspection, the OSHA official should be accompanied by a University representative at all times while onsite. If possible, the HSRM professional will be present as well.

In addition, you should:

  • Keep a record of the employees and witnesses contacted by the OSHA official.
  • Note any comments, photographs and/or observations made by the OSHA official.  If possible, take identical photographs of the photographs taken by the OSHA official.

After the Inspection

Following an inspection, record a detailed summary of the inspection, including photographs, and submit the completed report to your HSRM professional. If possible, immediately correct conditions conflicting with OSHA regulations.