OSHA – the Ghost of Halloween Past

I finally rushed from my office late morning on that October 31st. I was half way home and looking forward to helping my wife prepare for my son Paul’s birthday party, when I received THE CALL on my mobile. It was the office of my printing company informing me that an OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) inspector had arrived and I had 30 minutes to also be there, or they would start the inspection without me.

“You’re joking!” I responded to Jennifer, our production administrator. She assured me it was no joke. Jennifer was right in the middle of improving some of our Health and Safety systems, and we had even discussed getting ready for an OSHA inspection.

“Wouldn’t you know OSHA would show up on Halloween?” I grumbled, as I called my wife Susan to tell her I would be late. Reluctantly, I hurried back to the office.

During the ride, I remembered a recent conversation with a friend who also owns a printing company. He had just had a surprise inspection by OSHA and had called to warn me it might happen to us anytime. He likened the experience to the Nazi Gestapo entering his building…flashing badges, interrogating his staff and striking fear in his heart that they might fine him heavily or even shut his business down.

I had taken my friends prompting to heart and made some serious checks of our systems. The drive back allowed me to do a mental inventory of the things I was sure would pass inspection at our company, but the spectre of OSHA’s visit had me dreading what might turn out to be some lengthy inquest about things even our systems had missed. Fortunately, my wife and I had just seen a great film called “Facing The Giants,” and I was encouraged that my company had been prepared well enough that maybe even the “Gestapo” could not fault us now.

Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.
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  • Robert Bliss

    Real life experiences like this make for the best examples when trying to explain what System100 is all about. I like the OSHA Inspector have visited too many printing companies that are living from one chaotic experience to the next. Makes me wonder what positives these owners get out of being in this business.

    However, I knew from the begining of Philip’s story how it was going to end. I too have visited his printing plant and know why he loves his business and enjoys going to work every day!