NE Contractors should be Prepared for OSHA

How to survive an OSHA inspection, which are on the rise along with citations and fines in Nebraska

Construction and agriculture businesses are prime targets for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Nebraska.

"Nebraska is one of the worst states for fatalities in these two industries, so if you're in construction or ag and you haven't been hit yet by OSHA, you probably will be," Teague Lottman told about 40 people - mostly business owners and managers.

Lottman, an Inspro Agribusiness agronomy claims specialist and loss control specialist, said he's seen higher fines and more aggressive enforcement efforts. He makes four or five presentations a year and talks to individual business owners weekly to help them prepare for and survive OSHA inspections.

"I think most companies do things safely, but they don't document that they do it safely, so they have no proof. That's the big thing; document what you're doing," he said.

OSHA will inspect a business or job site for several reasons, Lottman said, including incidents of catastrophic or fatal accidents, employee complaints, or high hazard industries.

When OSHA determines imminent danger is present, "It's just like the police and probable cause, they have the right to come right on into your place, whether it's a job site or a work place, and they can do a full-blown inspection and there's not a darn thing you can do about it," Lottman said.

(More on how to survive an OSHA inspection . . . )