OSHA SCAMS: 3 WAYS THE FEAR OF OSHA REGULATIONS TRICKS BUSINESSES OUT OF THEIR MONEY
Most businesses try to make sure they comply with OSHA regulations. They don’t want any accidents or injuries and they don’t want big fines if an OSHA inspector comes through. Some scammers, though, take advantage of the anxiety a business owner or manager may feel if they think they’re out of compliance with the regulations.
These scam artists use the threat of getting fined as a weapon to scam businesses out of their money. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these companies may use names like “Occupational Safety and Compliance Administration” that are designed to make you think they’re a legitimate government entity. They’re not.
The three most popular OSHA scams:
- BUY POSTERS. This one is the most popular, because almost everyone has seen all the posters that the Department of Labor, OSHA, and other organizations say must be in full view at all times.
All required OSHA posters and other informational materials are FREE. OSHA is a government agency and will not attempt to sell you posters. In addition, beware of people who claim to be offering official OSHA training but don’t have the documentation to back it up.
- BUY KITS. Yes, OSHA does require you to have a first aid kit in your workplace. Does OSHA sell a first aid kit that you must purchase to meet their requirements? No. The same applies to the additional safety kits required in some settings such as health care.
Everything required in a standard first aid kit can be purchased at a drug store. There are no secret items and there is no requirement that the kits be “approved” or “certified” to meet the standards. OSHA does not sell a first aid kit.
- GIVE US MONEY. A fake OSHA inspector will arrive at your business, locate a number of “violations”, and then tell you that you either must pay them right now or that you can negotiate out of the official fine by giving them money up front.
Anyone who shows up, starts “inspecting”, and then tells you that you have to give them money is not an OSHA inspector. Before conducting an inspection, a real OSHA employee will provide you with proper identification and paperwork, explain why they’re there and what they’re going to do, and make a report. They will NEVER ask you for money and they will not offer to let you buy your way out of a fine under the table.
These may seem like very silly an obvious scams. But don’t forget that these people are very good at what they do. They use official-sounding language and may have what looks at first glance to be an official identification. They are very good at using persuasion and threats to convince people that if you don’t buy their trainings, posters, or kits, you’ll be out of compliance and be punished for it.
The easiest way to make sure you don’t fall for OSHA scams? Keep the number of your local OSHA field office on hand. If someone calls or shows up and insists that they are there to take your money in the name of OSHA, you can always call the real thing and ask them.