7. Walk Around Inspection. The main
purpose of the walk around is to identify potential safety and/or
health hazards in the workplace. The CO/IH shall conduct the
inspection in such a manner as to eliminate unnecessary personal
exposure to hazards and to minimize unavoidable personal exposure to
the extent possible.
a. General Procedures. It is
essential during the walk around on every inspection for the CO/IH
(1) Become familiar with plant processes,
collect information on hazards, observe employees'
activities and interview them as appropriate.
(a) For health inspections, a
preliminary tour of the establishment normally shall be
accomplished before any decision to conduct an in-depth
industrial hygiene investigation.
(b) Such a preliminary walk around
shall survey existing engineering controls and collect
screening samples, when appropriate, to determine the
need for full-scale sampling.
1 If screening reveals
potentially high exposure levels, a comprehensive
health inspection shall be conducted.
2 If screening samples must be
sent to the laboratory for analysis, the employer
shall be so informed.
a If the laboratory results
show that potentially high employee exposure
levels exist, full-scale sampling of the
potentially hazardous areas will be conducted.
b If the results are
negative, the employer and any employee
representatives shall be advised.
(2) Evaluate the employer's safety and
health program (whether written or not) as follows:
(a) By ascertaining the degree to
which the employer is aware of potential hazards present
in the workplace and the methods in use to control them:
1 What plans and schedules does
the employer have to institute, upgrade and maintain
engineering and administrative controls?
2 What is the employer's work
(b) By determining employee knowledge
of any hazards which exist in the establishment; the
extent to which the employer's program covers the
precautions to be taken by employees actually or
potentially exposed to plant hazards; emergency
procedures and inspection schedules for emergency
personal protective equipment; the program for the
selection, use and maintenance of routine personal
protective equipment; and overall quality and extent of
the educational and training program and the degree of
employee participation in it.
1 Compliance with the training
requirements of any applicable safety and/or health
standard shall be determined.
2 The following specific
elements of any established safety and health program
shall be evaluated in the detail appropriate to the
circumstances of the inspection:
Evaluate the degree to which the employer's safety
and health program addresses the full range of
hazards normally encountered in the employer's
operations. This is an overall evaluation and
shall take into account the evaluations of the
remaining categories. Indicate whether the program
Evaluate the employees' awareness of the access to
the safety and health program, taking into account
the principal means by which the program is
communicated to them (e.g., oral instructions,
booklets, memoranda, posters, etc.). Consider
whether safety meetings are held by the employer,
their frequency and the persons conducting them
(e.g., crew foremen, intermediate level
supervisors, safety director, etc.). The
effectiveness of these means shall be considered
in the evaluation.
Evaluate the degree to which safety and health
rules are actually enforced, taking into account
the principal methods used (e.g., warnings,
written reprimands, disciplinary action,
discharge, etc.) and the effectiveness of these
methods. Determine whether there is a staff (or
one specific person) with assigned safety or
health responsibilities and consider the
effectiveness of the staff's performance.
d Safety/Health Training
Program. Evaluate separately any safety and
health training programs the employer has. Factors
to be considered include the need for special
training in view of the hazards likely to be
encountered or of specific requirements for such
training and the need for ongoing or periodic
training or retraining of employees.
Evaluate the employer's efforts to make
accident/injury/illness investigations and
indicate whether adequate corrective and
preventive actions are taken as a result.
(3) Determine compliance with specific
performance standards that require emphases such as hazard
communication and hazardous energy control.
(4) Identify locations and conditions
that received citations during a previous inspection and
include follow-up or monitoring activities as part of the
walk around to ensure proper abatement or to determine
abatement progress, if the citations are a final, unstayed
order of the Commissioner. Follow-up and monitoring
activities do not constitute a separate inspection when they
are conducted as part of another investigation. No separate
OSHA-1 should be
(a) Record all facts pertinent to an
apparent failure to abate, repeated or willful violation
on the appropriate compliance worksheets.
(b) Determine if a letter of
abatement previously received from the employer
accurately described the correction of a previously
(c) Apparent violations shall be
brought to the attention of the employer and employer
representatives at the time they are documented.
(5) Collect all pertinent and necessary
information to support the existence of an apparent
violation. The following elements must be documented on the
(a) Standard apparently violated
(b) Date and time of violation
(e) Stress factors/medical
(i) Length of time
(k) Photos/videotapes (which are
(o) Employer comments
(p) Abatement steps
(q) Abatement method
(r) Abatement time
(6) Record all facts pertinent to an
apparent violation on the appropriate compliance worksheets.
Apparent violations shall be brought to the attention of the
employer and employee representatives.
(a) All notes, observations,
analyses, and other information shall be either recorded
on the worksheet or attached to it.
(b) The CO/IH shall provide as much
detailed information as practical to establish the
specific characteristics of each violation as follows:
1 Describe the observed
hazardous conditions or practices (i.e., the facts
which constitute a hazardous condition, operation or
practice and the essential facts as to how and/or why
a standard is allegedly violated). Specifically
identify the hazards to which employees have been or
could be exposed. Describe the type of accident which
the violated standard was designed to prevent in this
situation, or note the name and exposure level of any
contaminant or harmful physical agent to which
employees are, have been or could be exposed. If more
than one type of accident or exposure could reasonably
be predicted to occur, describe the one which would
result in the most serious injury illness. Include:
a All factors about the
violative condition which could significantly
affect the nature and severity of the resulting
injuries (e.g., fall of 20 feet onto protruding
rebar; fall into water-filled excavation).
b Other factors which could
affect the probability that an injury would occur,
o Proximity of the workers to
the point of danger of the operation.
o Stress producing
characteristics of the operation (e.g., speed,
heat, repetitiveness, noise, position of
c For contaminants and
physical agents, any additional facts which
clarify the nature of employee exposure.
d The identification of the
equipment and process which pose the hazards
(i.e., serial numbers, equipment types, trade
names, manufacturers, etc.). Include a sketch when
e The specific location of
o Building No. 3, second
floor, column no. 6.
o Machine Shop, N.W. corner,
o Foundry, N.W. corner,
f State the nature of the
more serious types of injury or illness which it
is reasonably predictable and could result from
the accident or health exposure.
o Thus, the entry for the
"fall from 20 feet onto protruding
rebar" might read "death from multiple
injuries." For exposure to asbestos, the
entry might read "asbestosis, cancer and
o Broad categories of
injuries and health effects (such as
"electric shock," "burns,"
or "lacerations") shall be qualified
to indicate whether the injuries or health
effects are major or minor.
o In identifying the
illnesses which a standard regulating exposure
to an air contaminant or harmful physical agent
is designed to prevent in a particular worksite,
it may be necessary to consider not only the
level of exposure but also the frequency and
duration of exposure to the contaminant or
g Any specific measurements
taken during the inspection (e.g., 20 ft. distance
from top of scaffold platform to ground level;
employee standing 2 ft. from unguarded floor edge;
employee seated 2 ft. from source of metal fumes)
which will further document the nature of the
hazardous conditions and operations.
o Describe how measurements
were taken during the inspection.
o Identify the measuring
techniques and equipment used and those who were
present (i.e., employee or employer
representative who observed the measurements
o Include calibration dates
and description of calibration procedures used,
h Exposure facts so as to
present a picture of employee exposure to the
hazard for each particular occupation, including:
o The occupation and the
employer of the exposed employees if the
employer is different from the one on the
o The number of exposed
employees in that occupation.
o The length of time that the
alleged violation has existed.
o The duration and frequency
that the employees are exposed (e.g., 2
o The name, address (with zip
code) and telephone number of at least one
exposed employee in each occupation. If
necessary, signed and dated witness
statements shall be obtained and
attached to the worksheet.
EXAMPLE: A radial arm
saw has been on a construction site for
3 months and has never been guarded
during that time. All of the employer's
14 carpenters on the job use the saw.
One of the carpenters is John Doe. Total
use of the saw on a daily basis is
approximately 4 hours.
i Any facts which establish
that the employer knew of the hazardous condition
or could have known of that condition with the
exercise of reasonable diligence. Enter any facts
which will show that:
o The employer actually knew
of the hazardous condition which constitutes the
violation. In this regard, a supervisor
represents the employer and supervisory
knowledge amounts to employer knowledge.
o The employer could have
known of the hazardous condition if all
reasonable steps had been taken to identify
hazards to which employees may have been
NOTE: If the CO/IH has
reason to believe that the violation may be a
willful violation, facts shall be included to
show that the employer knew that the condition
existed and, in addition, knew that, by law,
he had to do something to abate the hazard
(e.g., the employer was previously cited for
the same condition; an CO/IH has already told
the employer about the requirement; knowledge
of the requirement was brought to the
employer's attention by an employee safety
committee, etc.). Also, include facts showing
that, even if he was not
consciously violating the Act,
the employer was aware that the violative
condition existed and made no reasonable
effort to eliminate it.
j Any pertinent employer or
employee remarks made during the walk around
and/or the closing conference, especially comments
directly related to the instance described.
o Include employer comments
which may be characterized as admission of the
specific violations described.
o Include any other facts
which may assist in evaluating the situation or
in reconstructing the total picture in
preparation for testimony in possible legal
o Include any additional
comments (by the CO/IH), particularly any
explanation of abatement of dates when necessary
(e.g., when longer than 3 days for a serious
violation or when an abatement period exceeding
30 days is recommended for an item).
2 If employee exposure (either
to safety or health hazards) is not observed, state
facts on which the determination is made that an
employee has been or could be exposed. In appropriate
cases, state what the employer could have or should
have done to be in compliance. When violations are
grouped, describe the reason for grouping. If a
specific type of hazard exposure is caused by the
combination of violations, describe it in sufficient
3 If the exposing employer
neither created nor controlled the violative
condition, state the name and relationship of the
responsible party (e.g., prime contractor, electrical
subcontractor, building owner or equipment lessor).
Describe any steps taken by the exposing employer to
have the condition corrected.
b. Health Inspections. There
are special documentation requirements for health inspections.
During such inspections, the CO/IH shall:
(1) Record all relevant information
concerning potential exposure to chemical substances or
physical hazards such as symptomatology, duration and
frequency of the hazard, pertinent employee comments,
sources of potential health hazards, locations of employees
pertinent to the inspection, types of engineering controls,
use of personal protective devices including respirators,
ear and eye protection, clothing, etc.; and collect Material
Safety Data Sheets where available and appropriate.
(2) Observe employee activities through
the establishment, concentrating particularly on potentially
hazardous areas, and
(a) Estimate number of employees at
each operation to be evaluated, indicating whether they
are engaged in stationary or transient activities.
(b) Interview employees.
(c) Record the duration and frequency
of cyclic work processes, describing potential exposures
during each phase of the cycle.
(3) Request and evaluate information on
the following aspects of the employer's occupational safety
and health program (to be discussed in detail at the closing
(a) Monitoring. The employer's
program for monitoring safety and health hazards in the
establishment should include a program for
self-inspection. The CO/IH shall discuss the employer's
maintenance schedules and inspection records. Additional
information shall be obtained concerning such employer
activities as sampling and calibration procedures,
ventilation measurements, preventive maintenance
programs for engineering controls, laboratory services,
use of industrial hygienists and accredited
laboratories. Compliance with the monitoring requirement
of any applicable standard shall be determined.
(b) Medical. The CO/IH shall
determine whether the employer provides the employees
with preplacement and periodic medical examinations. The
medical examination protocol shall be requested to
determine the extent of the medical examinations and, if
applicable, compliance with the medical surveillance
requirements of any applicable standard.
(c) Recordkeeping. The CO/IH
shall determine the extent of the employer's
recordkeeping program. This is not to be limited to MOSH
required records, but shall be extended to information
pertinent to the inspection such as:
1 If records pertaining to
employee exposure and medical records are being
preserved in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1020, and
2 Where a specific standard has
provisions for employee access to the records, whether
the results of environmental measurements and medical
examinations are accessible to the affected employees.
(d) Compliance. The employer's
compliance program may include engineering, work
practice and administrative controls and the use of
personal protective equipment. The CO/IH shall identify
1 Engineering Controls.
Pertinent engineering controls consist of
substitution, isolation, ventilation and equipment
2 Work Practice and
Administrative Controls. These control techniques
include personal hygiene, housekeeping practices and
rotation of employees.
a There should be a program
of employee training and education to utilize work
practice controls effectively. Where pertinent,
the CO/IH shall obtain a detailed description of
b The CO/IH shall evaluate
the overall effect of such practices and programs,
considering the employees' knowledge of their
c Rotation of employees as
an administrative control requires employer
knowledge of the extent and duration of exposure.
3 Personal Protective
Equipment. An effective personal protective
equipment program should exist in the plant. A
detailed evaluation of the program shall be made to
determine compliance with the specific standards which
require the use of protective equipment (e.g., 29 CFR
1910.95, 1910.132-138, etc.).
(e) Regulated Areas. The CO/IH
shall investigate compliance with the requirements for
regulated areas as specified by certain standards.
1 Regulated areas must be
clearly identified and known to all appropriate
2 The regulated area
designations must be maintained according to the
prescribed criteria of the applicable standard.
(f) Emergency Procedures. The CO/IH shall evaluate the employer's emergency program.
1 When standards provide that
specific emergency procedures be developed where
certain hazardous substances are handled, the
evaluation shall determine if:
a Potential emergency
conditions are included in the written plan.
b Emergency conditions have
been explained to employees.
c There is a training
scheme for the protection of affected employees
including use and maintenance of personal
2 Where hazardous substances
are handled for which there are not standards
requiring emergency procedures, the CO/IH shall,
nevertheless, determine if such procedures have been
(4) Collecting Samples. The CO/IH
shall determine as soon as possible after the start of the
inspection whether sampling is required by utilizing the
information collected during the walk around and from the
(a) If sampling is necessary, a
sampling strategy shall be developed by considering
potential chemical and physical hazards, number of
samples to be taken, and the operations and locations to
1 There shall be no undue delay
between development of the sampling strategy and the
actual sampling or between the receipt of the results
of spot or screen sampling and full-shift sampling,
when the results indicate its necessity.
2 If a delay of more than 5
working days is unavoidable, the reasons for the delay
shall be included in the case file and the employee
representative shall be notified of the delay and of
any appointment made with the employer to begin
(b) When work schedules other than
the usual 8-hour day are encountered, such as four
10-hour days per week, the following procedures shall be
used when the standard itself does not cover such
1 Sampling for 8-hour exposure
levels shall be performed as usual; separate sampling
shall be conducted to determine any additional
exposure beyond the 8 hours.
2 The results from the 8-hour
sampling shall be compared to the Permissible Exposure
Level (PEL) to determine whether or not an
3 If it appears that the 8-hour
exposure limits do not provide adequate protection
from health hazards when longer workday schedules are
used, the CO/IH shall contact a MOSH supervisory
industrial hygienist for additional instructions on
further sampling that may be indicated as well as for
guidance on evaluation of sampling data.
4 No citation shall be issued
for exposures over 8 hours when the 8-hour exposure
level is below the PEL, without explicit approval of
the Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative.
(c) If either the employer or the
employee representative requests sampling results, a
written request shall be submitted in accordance with
the Maryland Public Information Act.
c. Taking Photographs and/or
Videotapes. Live action video recording and photographs
provide pictorial documentation of violations and, in general,
shall be taken where conditions will permit. Developed
photographs and tapes shall be properly labeled and the location
of such documented if not placed in the case file.
(1) In all cases the CO/IH shall ensure
that using flash or spark-producing equipment will not be
(2) The CO/IH shall ensure that employees
are not unexpectedly startled by the use of flash equipment.
(3) Any individual whose words may be
recorded shall be advised of the fact that videotape
recordings also may capture sound.
d. Employee Interviews. A free
and open exchange of information between the CO/IH and employees
is essential to an effective inspection. Interviews provide an
opportunity for employees or other individuals to point out
hazardous conditions and, in general, to provide assistance as
to what violations of the Act may exist and what abatement
action should be taken.
(1) Purpose. Section 5-208(a) of
the Act authorizes the CO/IH to question any employee
privately during regular working hours in the course of a
MOSH inspection. The purpose of such interviews is to obtain
whatever information the CO/IH deems necessary or useful in
carrying out the inspection effectively. Such interviews,
however, shall be conducted within reasonable limits and in
a reasonable manner and shall be kept as brief as possible.
Individual interviews are necessary even when there is an
(2) Employee Right of Complaint.
Even when employees are represented on the walk around, the
CO/IH may consult with any employee who desires to discuss a
possible violation, if the discussion will not interfere
with the conduct of the inspection. Upon receipt of such
information, the CO/IH shall inspect, where possible, for
the alleged violation and record the findings.
(a) Section 5-208(c) affords any
employee an opportunity to bring any condition believed
to violate a standard or Section 5-104(a) of the Act to
the attention of the CO/IH during an inspection.
(b) If during an inspection, the CO/IH
receives a complaint signed by an employee or
representative of employees that meets the requirements
of Section 5-208(c) of the Act, the CO/IH normally will
inspect for the violation alleged, during that
inspection. If the CO/IH has any doubt as to whether an
inspection should be conducted, the CO/IH shall contact
the MOSH Supervisor.
(c) Any such written complaint
received during an inspection alleging that a violation
of the Act exists in the workplace or indicating a
possible danger to the safety or health of employees
shall be included in the case file along with
documentation indicating the findings and results of the
investigation of the complaint.
(d) Before conducting the inspection
concerning the particular hazard, a copy of the
complaint shall be given to the employer. Upon request
of the complainant, the name of the complainant and the
names of individual employees referred to in the
complaint shall not be shown to the employer or
otherwise published, released or made available as
indicated in the complaint.
(e) An employee may bring a hazard to
the attention of the CO/IH in a manner not meeting the
formal requirements referred to above. Such a complaint
may be oral, unsigned, or may not set forth the
violation with sufficient particularity. In such
circumstances, the CO/IH should encourage the employee
to make a formal complaint and advise the employee of
the rights afforded to formal complainants as well as
the protection afforded employees against discrimination
under Section 5-604 of the Act. Even if no formal
complaint is made, the CO/IH should normally inspect for
the hazardous condition alleged.
(f) If, on the basis of the CO/IH’s
evaluation of any complaint received during an
inspection, whether formal or non-formal, it appears
that an imminent danger situation may be involved, the
CO/IH immediately shall inspect. (See Chapter VII,
(g) In certain instances, the
employer and/or the employee walk around representative
may not be able to provide all the necessary information
regarding an accident or possible violation. The CO/IH
shall consult with employees while conducting the walk
around inspection and, if necessary or useful, shall
schedule interviews with employees who may have
knowledge of pertinent facts.
(3) Time and Location. Interviews
normally will be conducted during the walk around; however,
they may be conducted at any time during an inspection.
(a) Workplace. If requested by
the employee and considered necessary by the CO/IH,
additional consultation shall be scheduled at a time
convenient to all parties concerned, with preference
given to employee breaks or off time. In retail or
service establishments, or in continuous production
operations (e.g., assembly line), interviews shall be
scheduled to afford minimum interference with the
employee's duties and the employer's business
operations. For example:
1 The interview shall not be
scheduled during peak periods when the employee must
be "on-the-job" to perform assembly line
work, make sales, or serve customers. An employee
shall not be interviewed on the selling floor or in
any area used by the public during business hours.
2 If an employee requests
consultation at a time that would hinder production,
work cycles or the employer's operation, the CO/IH
shall consult with the employee during break,
mealtime, or other appropriate time. If these
instructions cannot be met, the interview shall be
held away from the establishment and documented
(b) Other Than Workplace.
Interviews may be held at the employee's home, the MOSH
regional or central office, or at any other suitable
place in the community where privacy can be maintained.
(4) Privacy. At the time of the
interview, employees shall be asked if they desire the
interview to be in private. Whenever an employee expresses a
preference that an interview be held in private, the CO/IH
shall make a reasonable effort to honor that request. Even
in the absence of such a request, every reasonable effort
shall be made to conduct interviews with employees in
private. Any employer objection to private interviews with
employees shall be construed as a refusal of entry and
NOTE: "In private" refers
to the exclusion of the employer representative, not the
employee representative, unless the employee expresses a
desire to be interviewed out of hearing of both the
employer and the employee representatives.
(5) Interview Statements.
Interview statements shall be obtained whenever the CO/IH
determines that such statements are necessary to document
adequately an apparent violation.
(a) Interviews shall normally be
reduced to writing, and the individual shall be
encouraged to sign the statement. Interviews should be
preplanned by the CO/IH. Questions shall be arranged
prior to the interview, which answer pertinent issues
for which the pending statement is to be obtained. The
questions should be reduced to writing by the CO/IH and
placed on the interview statement form. The interviewed
employee should then be asked to respond to those
questions in writing. Following are some examples of
situations where written statements are essential:
1 When the CO/IH does not
observe employee exposure to the hazard.
2 When there is an actual or
potential controversy between the employer and
employee as to a material fact concerning a violation
about which the employee has information.
3 When there is a conflict or
difference among employee statements as to the facts.
4 When there is a potential
willful or repeated violation.
5 In accident investigations,
when attempting to determine if apparent violation(s)
existed at the time of the accident.
(b) Interview statements shall
normally be written in the first person and in the
language of the individual, if possible, by the
individual. The wording of the statement shall be
understandable to the individual and reflect only what
has been brought out in the interview.
1 Any changes or corrections
shall be initialed by the individual; otherwise, the
statement shall not be changed, added to or altered in
2 The statements shall end with
wording such as: "I have read the above, and it
is true to the best of my knowledge." The
statement shall also include the following: "I
request that my statement be held confidential to the
extent allowed by law." The individual, however,
may waive confidentiality. The individual shall sign
and date the statement and the CO/IH shall then sign
it as a witness.
3 If the individual refuses to
sign the statement, the CO/IH shall note such refusal
on the statement. The statement shall, nevertheless,
be read to the employee and an attempt made to obtain
agreement. A note that this was done shall be entered
into the case file.
(c) If the employee interview has
been tape recorded, the conversation shall be
e. Special Circumstances.
(1) Trade Secrets. Trade secrets
are matters that are not of public or general knowledge. A
trade secret is any confidential formula, pattern, process,
equipment, list, blueprint, device or compilation of
information used in the employer's business which gives an
advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.
(a) Policy. It is essential to
the effective enforcement of the Act that the CO/IH and
all MOSH personnel preserve the confidentiality of all
information and investigations that may reveal a trade
(b) Restrictions and Controls.
When the employer identifies an operation, process
or condition as a trade secret, it shall be
treated as such. Information obtained in such areas,
including all negatives, photographs, videotapes, and
MOSH documentation forms shall be labeled "CONFIDENTIAL--TRADE
1 Under Section 5-217 of the
Act, all information reported to or obtained by a CO/IH
in connection with any inspection or other activity
which contains or which might reveal a trade secret
shall be kept confidential. Such information shall not
be disclosed except to other MOSH officials concerned
with the enforcement of the Act or, when relevant, in
any proceeding under the Act. A memorandum shall be
included in the case file indicating the portion(s) of
the case file that must remain confidential. The case
file jacket will be appropriately marked to indicate
confidential information is contained in the file.
When the case processing is completed the confidential
information outlined by the CO/IH will be removed and
placed in the MOSH trade secret file. Trade secret and
confidential information will not be released under
the MPIA. Only operations, processes, or conditions
can be granted this protection. An entire case file
will not be considered restricted for purposes of this
2 Photographs and Videotapes.
If the employer objects to the taking of photographs
and/or videotapes because trade secrets would or may
be disclosed, the CO/IH should advise the employer of
the protection against such disclosure afforded by
Section 5-217 of the Act. If the employer still
objects, the CO/IH shall contact the MOSH Supervisor.
(2) Areas Requiring Immunization.
If, during an inspection, a nonimmunized CO/IH encounters an
area requiring immunization, the CO/IH shall not enter that
area but shall note a description of the area, immunization
required, employees exposed, location and other pertinent
information in the case file.
(a) Nonimmunized CO/IH. The CO/IH shall consult with the MOSH Supervisor about
scheduling a properly immunized CO/IH for an immediate
or later inspection, as applicable. The CO/IH shall then
complete the inspection of all other areas of the
(b) Nonimmunized Walk around
Representative. If, during an inspection, a properly
immunized CO/IH finds that walk around representatives
of employers and employees are not properly immunized
and, therefore, not authorized in the area, a reasonable
number of employees and the supervisor of that area
shall be consulted concerning workplace health and
(3) Violations of Other Laws. If a CO/IH observes apparent violations of laws enforced by other
government agencies, such cases shall be referred to the
appropriate agency. Referrals shall be made using