• During my tenure as labor & employment counsel for a major retailer, it was my recommendation (policy) that when any facility was sought to be inspected by OSHA, it was to be required to obtain a warrant to enter the company premises. That rule had several advantages including the time that permitted an in house compliance check up, as well as the required specificity of purpose for the inspection that the warrant permitted, eliminated the fishing expeditions OSHA is noted for..
    With this new perversion of OSHA’s rules, those warrants should be demanded on a wider basis.
    My experience, and those of my contemporaries at the time, was that you won no “brownie points” cooperating with OSHA. In fact on one occasion, while I was unavailable, another lawyer in the company unwittingly allowed a warrantless inspection in a subsidiary’s warehouse that resulted in a demand for $750,000 in proposed fines! A costly affirmation of my policy, if ever there was one.

  • “OSHA’s published regulation on the matter does not refer to unions, but allows for an OSHA-approved “third party who is not an employee of the employer (such as an industrial hygienist or a safety engineer)” to accompany an OSHA inspector.”

    So, does this make union personnel accompanying OSHA inspectors “volunteers” (and so “employee[s] of the government’] for the purposes of US liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act? Improper release or use of the company’s info by the union could result in fairly high tort damages.