Each nation generally has a regulatory agency responsible for promoting workers health & safety. The agency’s first priority is to prevent on-the job injury and illness. Health & safety inspectors may be assigned to inspect worksites to ensure a healthy and safe workplace and that the production is complying with national, regional and local health & safety regulations.
Without advance notice, an Inspector may visit any production site to inspect the workplace to identify hazards and unsafe work practices that could cause injury or illness. An Inspector may also inspect the site if a serious incident or injury has occurred, in response to a received complaint or if an area of potential non-compliance is noticed while walking or driving by the production location. In addition, there may be separate regulatory agencies responsible for fire prevention, environmental and non-health & safety labor law compliance. When an inspector arrives on site it is important that the following steps are completed:
- Immediately notify the Producer, UPM, the most senior crew member on site that a regulatory agency inspector has arrived. The inspection should only proceed when one of these individuals is present to accompany the inspector;
- Ensure that the Production Safety Specialist is notified of the regulatory agency visit as soon as possible;
- Be courteous and cooperative;
- Ask the inspector for credentials and identification;
- Inquire as to the nature and reason for the inspection;
- Inform the inspector that the inspection cannot proceed without authorization from the Producer, UPM or their designate. Inform the inspector that contact is being / has been made.
- If authorized by the Producer or UPM, accompany the inspector directly to the area in question; if possible, do not let the inspector wander into other areas.
- Do not sign anything or provide any written documentation; ask that the inspector’s request for any material be put in writing so that the production may respond in writing. Inform the inspector that this is the production’s policy.
- Depending on the jurisdiction, the inspector may have the right to privately interview crew members. However, the crew member generally has the right to either a union representative or legal counsel present during the interview.
- The inspector has the right to take photographs. However, it is important that the production take duplicate photographs of those taken by the inspector.
- Give concise answers to questions posed by the inspector. Do not volunteer information.
- Take detailed notes on the inspection.
- Inspectors are different. In many cases their purpose is to determine whether there is a basis for pursuing criminal action. An inspector may not inform you of this. However, you generally have the right to remain silent and a right to have legal counsel present when making statements to inspectors.