Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 149, Section 6, authorizes the Department of Labor Standards to conduct workplace inspections to determine whether public employers are providing a safe workplace.
What to Expect during a Safety and Health Inspection
- The DLS representative will conduct an opening conference to explain the purpose of the visit, and the scope of the inspection. The opening conference will include a request to speak with the workplace union representative, if applicable. The representative may request to review injury records.
- After the opening conference, the DLS representative will conduct a site walkthrough to evaluate tasks, equipment or conditions which could cause a work related injury or illness.
- Photographs, noise testing or air testing may be conducted. The employer is welcome to take notes and obtain their own photographs or testing.
- At the conclusion of the inspection, the DLS representative will conduct a closing conference to discuss observations. The representative will also indicate conditions where corrective action may be required. The representative may also request documentation such as safety policies and training records. Due to the nature of work activities or equipment, additional research by DLS may be required before a report is provided.
- A written report will be sent to the department management. If conditions were observed which could cause a work-related injury or illness, the report may take the following formats:
- A Written Warning may be issued which contains an order to correct the condition by a correction due date.
- A Civil Citation with Civil Penalty may be issued which contains an order to correct the condition by a correction due date. DLS may consider issuing a Civil Citation with Civil Penalty in circumstances when the employer repeatedly allowed an unsafe condition to occur, or if the condition has already caused a serious work-related injury, or if the employer has ignored a previous Written Warning.
- The written report will contain a corrective action due date. Extensions for the corrective action may be requested if the employer can show diligent progress toward correction.