What happens when the L&I inspector comes knocking

Mar 31, 2022
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Written by Washington Retail
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Our Retail Services team has seen a recent increase in unannounced L&I visits to stores. Fisher & Phillips Law has confirmed the drop-in inspections in their compiled data.

Audits can be triggered for several reasons, such as a complaint from a current or former employee, a customer, or following a significant accident at your store location. Audits often lead to citations, including fines—an unexpected business expense.

If you get a visit from an L&I inspector, they will expect you to provide several items in a timely manner, including:

  • Accident Prevention Program
  • Safety Meeting Minutes for the last 12 months
  • Training records (First Aid, Forklift, specific tool operation, etc.)
  • Accident Investigations

Our automotive members have reported inspectors requesting lift inspection records as well.

If your inspection is due to a complaint, inspectors may request other relevant documents, including your Job Hazard Analysis, Hazardous Chemical Plan, Shop Safety Walks checklists, and COVID training log.

When an inspector begins their review and verifies you have these items in place, the rest of the visit usually goes much smoother. If these are not readily available, the inspection might broaden to include other topics, likely resulting in additional citations and fines.

Here is a checklist template that can assist you with what items you should ensure are in place.

If you want help with this preparation, check out our free Safety Ambassador Program, where we can help you get back up to speed on safety, Return to Work, and employment standard programs.

Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, is available to help members with safety. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected].

*Chart provided by Fisher & Phillips and is available here.