After the inspection tour, a closing conference is held between the compliance officer, the employer, and the employer representative. It is a time for free discussion of problems and needs; and a time for frank questions and answers.
The compliance officer discusses all unsafe or unhealthful conditions observed on the inspection and indicates all apparent violations for which a citation may be issued or recommended. The employer is also informed of appeal rights. No specific proposed penalties are indicated at this time, only the OSHA area director has that authority.
During the closing conference, the employer may wish to produce records to show compliance efforts and to provide information that can help OSHA determine how much time may be needed to abate an alleged violation.
When appropriate, more than one closing conference may be held. This is usually necessary when health hazards are being evaluated or when laboratory reports are required.
If the employee representative did not participate in the opening conference held with the employer, a closing discussion is held with the employee representative, if requested, to discuss matters of direct interest to employees.
The compliance officer explains that OSHA area offices are full-service resource centers that:
Inform the public of OSHA activities and programs, such as new or revised standards, including the status of proposed standards, comment periods, or public hearings;
Provide technical experts and materials, including courses offered at the OSHA Training Institute;
Refer callers to other agencies and professional organizations as appropriate; and
Promote effective safety and health programs through voluntary protection programs and expanded employer abatement assistance efforts.