A. CO/IH's Responsibilities.
1. The primary responsibility of the Maryland Occupational
Safety and Health Compliance
Officer/Industrial Hygienist (CO/IH) is to carry out the mandate
given to the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, namely, "to
ensure, to the extent practicable, that each working man and woman
in the State has working conditions that are safe and
healthful...." To accomplish this mandate, the Division of
Labor and Industry employs a wide variety of programs and
initiatives, one of which is enforcement of standards through the
conduct of effective inspections to determine whether employers are:
a. Furnishing places of employment
free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to
cause death or serious physical harm to their employees, and
b. Complying with safety and health
standards, regulations and laws promulgated under and within the
MOSH Act (the Act).
2. The conduct of effective inspections requires
identification, professional evaluation and accurate reporting of
safety and health conditions and practices. Inspections may vary
considerably in scope and detail, depending upon the circumstances
in each case.
1. General Planning. It is important that
the CO/IH spend an appropriate amount of time in professional
activity to ensure proper preparation for an inspection.
a. CO/IHs shall plan individual work
schedules in advance in coordination with their MOSH Supervisor,
reflecting the priorities of the agency and considering existing
b. MOSH Supervisors shall ensure that CO/IHs carefully review pertinent information and data available
at the Regional Office. These may include inspection files,
other establishment files and reference materials. When CO/IHs
need additional information concerning the type of industry to
be inspected, the MOSH Supervisor shall be consulted.
c. During review of previous
inspection case files, CO/IHs shall note those citations that
were issued and their abatement status as documented in the case
file, especially those high gravity serious and willful.
2. Preinspection Planning. Due to the wide
variety of industries and associated hazards likely to be
encountered, preinspection preparation is essential to the conduct
of a quality inspection. The CO/IH together with the MOSH
Supervisor, if appropriate, shall carefully review:
a. All pertinent information
concerning the history of an establishment and appropriate
reference sources to become knowledgeable in the potential
hazards and industrial processes that may be encountered and
shall identify the personal protective equipment necessary for
protection against these anticipated hazards.
b. Appropriate standards and sampling
methods and, based on experience and information on file
concerning the establishment, shall select the instruments and
equipment that will be needed for the inspection and prepare
them according to the standard methods of sampling and
3. Inspection Materials and Equipment. The CO/IH shall have all report forms available in sufficient quantity
to conduct the inspection, all assigned personal protective
equipment available for use and in serviceable condition, and
appropriate handouts, if available.
a. If, based on the preinspection review or
upon facts discovered at the worksite, a need for unassigned
personal protective equipment is identified, the MOSH Supervisor
shall ensure that any required equipment is provided. Prior to
the inspection, it is essential that the MOSH Supervisor ensure
that the CO/IH has been trained in the uses and limitations of
such equipment and signify such on the equipment checklist. If
the necessary equipment is not available at the regional level,
the MOSH Supervisor shall contact the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative to obtain the equipment.
b. A CO/IH shall always wear either a
hat or hardhat, jacket or other article as appropriate which
identifies him or her as a MOSH CO/IH.
c. A CO/IH shall wear all prescribed personal protective
equipment which employees at the inspection site are required to
wear, or as potential hazards might dictate.
d. Inspections involving the use of negative
pressure respirators shall not be assigned without the CO/IH
having had an adequate quantitative fit test within the last
year, and medical evaluation in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.134.
Since respirators with tight-fitting facepieces require the skin
to be clean shaven at the points where sealing occurs, CO/IHs
assigned to conduct inspections which involve the use of such
respirators shall not have interfering facial hair.
e. If there is a need for special or
additional inspection equipment, the MOSH Supervisor shall be
consulted to ensure that training in the use and limitation of
such equipment has been accomplished prior to the inspection.
f. If after the inspection commences, the CO/IH
determines the need for special or additional inspection
equipment, the MOSH Supervisor shall be immediately consulted.
The MOSH Supervisor shall ensure that a review or recheck in the
use of all equipment is given to the CO/IH at least once a year.
This can be accomplished during on-the-job training sessions or
evaluations conducted by the MOSH Supervisor.
- Expert Assistance. The MOSH Supervisor
shall arrange through the Assistant Commissioner/Authorized
Representative for a specialist from within MOSH to assist in an
inspection or investigation when the need for such expertise is
identified. If MOSH specialists are not available, the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative shall arrange for the
procurement of the services of qualified individuals/consultants.
a. Expert assistance may be necessary during
inspections for evaluation of engineering or administrative
controls involving, but not limited to, noise, air contaminants,
complicated machine guarding and construction.
b. MOSH specialists may accompany the CO/IH
or perform their tasks separately. Outside qualified
individuals/consultants must be accompanied by a CO/IH. MOSH
specialists and outside qualified individuals/consultants shall
be briefed on the purpose of the inspection and personal
protective equipment to be utilized.
c. All data, conclusions and recommendations
from the assigned specialists shall be made part of the
inspection report, including information on any resultant
- Safety and Health Rules of the Employer. CO/IHs shall comply with all safety and health rules and
practices at the establishment and wear or use the safety clothing
or protective equipment required by MOSH standards or by the
employer for the protection of employees.
- Immunization and Other Special Entrance
Requirements. Many pharmaceutical firms, bio-tech companies,
medical research laboratories and hospitals have areas which have
special entrance requirements. These requirements may include proof
of up-to-date immunization and the use of respirators, special
clothing or other protective devices or equipment.
a. The CO/IH will not enter any area where
special entrance restrictions apply until the required
precautions have been taken. It shall be ascertained prior to
inspection, if possible, if an establishment has areas with
immunization or other special entrance requirements. If the MOSH
Supervisor and CO/IH cannot make a determination, the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative or MOSH Supervisor may
telephone the establishment using the following procedures. Such
communications will NOT be considered advance notice. (See
Section "C" of this chapter if advance notice is to be
(1) Telephone as far in advance of the
proposed inspection date as possible so the employer cannot
determine a time relationship between the communication and
a possible future inspection.
(2) Identify themselves as a Department
of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, MOSH official.
(3) State the purpose of the inquiry and
advise the management official of potential future
inspection. DO NOT GIVE A SPECIFIC DATE.
(4) Determine the type of immunization(s)
and/or special precautions required and the building or area
which has restricted access.
b. If immunization is required, the MOSH
Supervisor shall advise the Assistant Commissioner/Authorized
Representative to ensure that the inspecting CO/IH has the
proper immunization and that any required incubation or waiting
period is met prior to the inspection. Those immunizations
necessary to complete inspections will be provided by the
- Personal Security Clearance. Some
establishments have areas which contain material or processes which
are classified by the U. S. Government in the interest of national
security. Whenever an inspection is anticipated which may require
personal security clearance, the MOSH Supervisor shall refer the
matter to the Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative.
a. Clearance Procedures. Security
clearances, such as those required by the Department of Defense
(DOD) or the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA)
may be required both at civilian establishments with government
contracts requiring security areas and at government
installations that have civilian contractor operations.
b. Coordination. The Assistant Commissioner/Authorized
Representative shall ensure that establishments requiring personal
security clearances are referred to Federal OSHA.
C. Advance Notice of Inspections.
1. Policy. Section 5-805 of the Act
contains a general prohibition against the giving of advance notice
of inspections, except as authorized by the Commissioner or an
authorized representative of the Commissioner.
a. The Act regulates many conditions which
are subject to speedy alteration and disguise by employers. To
forestall such changes in worksite conditions, the Act prohibits
unauthorized advance notice and authorizes MOSH to enter
worksites "without delay" (Section 5-208) in order to
preserve the element of surprise.
b. There may be occasions when advance notice
is necessary to conduct an effective investigation within the
framework of the Act. These occasions are narrow exceptions to
the statutory prohibition against advance notice. The Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative shall be advised formally
of all requests to allow advance notice of an inspection or
c. Advance notice of inspections may be given
only in the following situations:
(1) In cases of apparent imminent danger
to enable the employer to correct the danger as quickly as
(2) When the inspection can most
effectively be conducted after regular business hours or
when special preparations are necessary;
(3) To ensure the presence of employer
and employee representatives or the appropriate personnel
who, as determined by the Assistant Commissioner/Authorized
Representative, are needed to aid in the inspection; and
(4) When the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative determines
that giving advance notice would enhance the probability of
an effective and thorough inspection (e.g., in complex
d. Advance notice exists whenever anyone sets
up a specific date or time with the employer for the CO/IH to
begin the inspection, or to continue an inspection that was
interrupted or delayed more than 5 working days. It does not
include nonspecific indications of potential future inspections.
e. Although advance notice normally does not
exist after the CO/IH has arrived at the worksite, presented
credentials and announced the inspection, many causes can serve
to delay or interrupt the continued conduct of the inspection.
For example, the employer representative on site may request a
delay of entry pending the return of the president or some other
higher ranking official, or sampling may have to be delayed for
some reason after completion of the initial walk around. This
might be the case when processes are not running at the initial
entry time and require physical observation or sampling.
(1) Such delays shall be as short as
possible. If an employer's (or an employee representative's)
request for delay appears reasonable, the CO/IH may delay or
interrupt the inspection for up to an hour. The MOSH Supervisor shall be contacted if the delay lasts
or is anticipated to last longer than one hour.
(2) The MOSH Supervisor shall decide
whether the circumstances justify a delay of more than one
hour and, if so, for how long. If the delay appears
reasonable, the inspection may be delayed or interrupted for
the time judged necessary, but in no case for longer than 5
working days. The Assistant Commissioner/Authorized
Representative shall be advised and consulted
concerning all inspection and investigation delays lasting
longer than 24 hours.
(3) In cases where screening sampling,
bulk or wipe sampling is performed and laboratory analysis
of the samples is required, there shall be no more than 5
working days between receipt of screening results and the
onset of full-shift sampling. In cases where this is not
practical (i.e., process to be sampled is not running) the
MOSH Supervisor shall be advised and documentation of the
delay and apparent reason shall be placed in narrative form
for the case file. The Assistant Commissioner/Authorized
Representative shall immediately receive a copy of
(4) The inspection shall be resumed as
soon as reasonably possible. Delays or interruptions of less
than 5 working days shall not require implementation of
advance notice procedures.
f. If the employer or the employee
representative requests a delay which the MOSH Supervisor
believes is unreasonable or without sufficient justification
(e.g., too long, not in good faith) or if the delay requested is
for more than 5 working days, the CO/IH shall inform the
requester that agency policy does not allow for such a delay. If
the employer representative continues to insist on the delay,
the situation shall be treated as a refusal of entry and shall
be handled accordingly.
g. In unusual circumstances, the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative may decide that a delay
of more than 5 working days is necessary (e.g., the process to
be sampled may not be activated within that time or compliance
personnel may not be available because of higher priority
demands). Any situation involving a delay of more than 5 working
days, whatever the justification, shall be handled as advance
notice and must be approved by the Assistant
2. Procedures. Advance notice shall only
be given by the MOSH Supervisor or CO/IH when written authorization
from the Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative has been
received. The Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative shall
be notified as soon as possible and kept apprised of all details.
a. If it is decided to provide advance
notice, the MOSH Supervisor or Assistant Commissioner/Authorized
Representative shall do so by telephone or other
appropriate contact. This contact normally shall be made not
more than 24 hours prior to the inspection. Documentation of the
conditions requiring advance notice and the procedures followed
shall be included in the case file.
b. During the telephone contact with
the employer, the MOSH Supervisor or Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative shall identify
himself/herself, explain the purpose of the inspection, state
when the inspection is expected to be conducted, ascertain the
employer's normal business hours and whether special protective
equipment or precautions are required. If security clearances or
immunizations are necessary the appropriate sections of this
chapter shall be followed.
c. If advance notice is to be given at
a construction or other multiple employer site, the MOSH
Supervisor or Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative
shall contact the general contractor. If there are two or more
general contractors, each shall be contacted. The general
contractor shall be informed of the responsibility of advising
all subcontractors on the site of the impending inspections.
d. If a general contractor is
contacted, it shall be pointed out that it is that contractor's
responsibility to instruct each subcontractor of the obligation
to notify employee representatives promptly of the inspection.
e. An important purpose of advance
notice is to make arrangements for the presence of employer and
employee representatives to aid in the conduct of an effective
and thorough inspection. A responsible management official shall
be requested to assist in the inspection. The MOSH Supervisor or
Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative shall advise
the employer that Section 5-208(b) of the Act requires that an
employee representative be given an opportunity to participate
in the inspection
f. The MOSH Supervisor or Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative shall determine if
employees at the establishment are represented by a labor
organization(s) and if there is a safety committee with employee
representatives. The employer shall be advised that, when
advance notice is given, it is the employer's responsibility to
notify the authorized employee representative(s) promptly of the
inspection. The MOSH Supervisor or Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative shall provide any other
g. The advance notice requirement with respect to employees applies
only if there is a known representative authorized by employees, such as a
labor organization or a safety committee with employee representatives.
The employer should clearly understand that the employer is not permitted
to designate an employee representative. If there is no authorized
employee representative or if the representation cannot be determined with
reasonable certainty, the CO/IH shall consult with a reasonable number of
employees during the inspection concerning the impact or possible adverse
effects of the advance notice.