Safety and OSHA News

Fake OSHA inspector allegedly collects $35K from company

A woman is suspected of bilking construction companies in California out of $500,000 by posing as an OSHA inspector.

The woman faces 50 felony counts of grand theft, burglary, diversion of labor funds and theft by false pretenses.

During the past six months, police in Clovis, CA, say the woman was suspected of bilking seven companies and conducting fake training classes for a fee to clear up alleged Cal-OSHA violations.

One company called police after the woman allegedly collected $35,000 as a fine for alleged safety violations.

OSHA inspectors never collect money for citations on site.

A real OSHA inspector visiting a company would:

  • Present credentials which include a photo and serial number
  • Explain why OSHA selected the workplace for inspection and describe the scope of the inspection during an opening conference
  • Conduct the walkaround inspection, and
  • Hold a closing conference to discuss findings, but certainly not ask for immediate payment.

You can read more about OSHA inspections here.

(Corrects error regarding accused woman in previous form.)

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Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this story. I am sharing it with my managers as an FYI since we have never had an OSHA inspection before.

  2. Joe Messina says:

    While isolated, incidents of this nature occur periodically; Our company policy requires Corporate Safety Dept. be notified immediately when visited by OSHA; credentials are verified before admission to property.

  3. Just a suggestion, but, it has been policy where I’ve worked before that teh inspector was not granted immediate access to teh facility. Instead, time was taken to notify the proper management representatives, and to verify the inspector’s credentials. Two main reasons: 1. The inspector has not been trained in facility safety and operating procedures, and thus presents a risk to himself as well as employees; 2. Because of this, an appropriate tour guide must be selected to accompany the inspector throughout the facility, this being a manager or qualified employee. If teh inspector is legitimate, you’ve just demonstrated that you are a safe facility, and are willing to take the time necessary to follow safe and documented procedures. If they are not approved to be in your facility, you’ve just saved yourself one hell of a headache and possibly even some lives. Verify, verify, verify.

  4. When an OSHA inspector arrives you take him to a briefing room and hold them there for 1 hour. During that time you can have people correct any discrepencies before the inspector can have at it.

    Take note that if you keep your facility up to par with the obvioius safety items, the inspectors don’t look quite as deep. It’s when they see obvious discrepencies that inspire them to look deeper. It’s a queue for all inspectors that if you’re not taking care of the obvious items then you’re obvioiusly not taking care of the not so obvious items.

    Records are your number one target. They will be the first thing an inspector is going to want to see. If your records aren’t current then you’re in for it.

    Disciplinary write ups are important. They will ask why no one has ever been written up. You tell them because you have a safe facility, all they have to do is look at the scratches in the paint on a forklift or see skid marks to know that you are full of BS.

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