General Report Outline

These guidelines are only suggestions — not requirements.

Purpose and Scope

This [partial], [unprogrammed] inspection was opened as a result of a [formal complaint] filed by a [recent employee] alleging safety and health violations in the workplace.

Description of Process

[Company Name] [does this]/[makes this].  This facility company focuses on [this type of product]. Therefore, [this process is used a lot.] Plus, [supporting processes].  Of note, [complaint item-specific processes.] This facility is approximately [square-footage] with [this many floors] and [this many buildings] housing [these respective processes.]  The raw materials used to produce [products] include [chemicals and materials], with a significant amount of [waste product].  Possibly after inputting the static information, it may fit this format better to describe the layout of the facility as it applies in the order of the process--from raw materials to finished product, for example.  But don't flesh out all the details since that is addressed in Walkaround Inspection Notes.

Opening Conference Notes

[When arrived].  [Conditions upon arrival].  CSHO first spoke with and identified himself to [first contact; management or not]. CSHO requested [highest management/official on site.] [Notes on request vs. arrival times.] [Management official] authorized the inspection.  CSHO discussed with [mgmt official] the [complaint items].  CSHO discussed [events for the day].  CSHO requested [paperwork, anything else to be gathered while on-site].  [Those on walkaround] then proceeded to the walkaround.

Walkaround Inspection Notes

[Chronological review of locations visited and items noted about the process(es).]

Citations Outline


This is chosen from within OSHA Express.  Currently, it is to be written in past tense — saying that the company did not do what the standard says to do.

  • For several years before OSHA Express, SAVEs were direct transcriptions of the standard. When observing old reports and case files, this can be seen.


Description of Hazard

First, explain the purpose of the standard (as had been done pre-OSHA Express).  This includes why it was instituted and what the hazard is if not instituted.

Next, describe the specific situation as it was setup at the worksite inspected, leading to the violative condition — but not the violating condition itself.  Save that for the "How requirements of standard were violated" section.

Evidence Which Supports Basis for Alleged Violation - See Photo(s)

How requirements of standard were violated

If the violation involves something to do with chemicals or HazCom, make sure to address the hazards posed by the chemicals.

Evidence of employee exposure

Employer knowledge of hazard

Photos supporting violation

Severity and probability assessment


Penalty Calculation

Viewing Past Reports

All reports and case files are available on the Labor Cabinet's intranet in one form or another. Reports that were created before OSHA Express was put into place are available in WordPerfect files. However, just like OSHA Express, these only include the narrative of the report. Appendices, sampling forms, warrants, etc., are not included.

This is where the importance of Imaging comes in to play. Every case file is scanned, stored, and available as an image. The only exception to this is any physical items that cannot be imaged — such as optical discs and USB drives. These are accessible only through physical access. A reference to these items should always be placed in your report and/or case file for the sake of completeness and, just as importantly, for governmental transparency.

Viewing Imaged Case Files

Imaged case files can be viewed through the intranet site located at http://labfnetws/imaging/. (This link is only accessible if you're connected to our Intranet.)

When you get to the Imaging site, you'll need to type in the Federal Inspection Number as the reference ID. The results will pull up the individual sections of the case file, such as OSH-1, LGL, or WKN. There will be some overlap between some of the sections because of the way the documents are scanned in and cataloged. (Don't ask me why. I don't know. -kbh) The document IDs are also arbitrarily generated IDs. They have nothing to do with FINs or Optional Report Numbers.

Outside of the fact that these imaged case files exist, the most important feature of Imaging is the ability to print these case files. Do not use the option where you check the box beside the individual document IDs and then choose print. (These either will print to a surprised someone's printer for which the location is unknown or will be sent off into the ethereal realm of lost electrons. I'm not sure. -kbh) Click on each document ID, allowing the new window to open. There is an option in the row of buttons to print the entire document. Make sure not to print just the single page you're viewing. I recommend printing to a PDF printer, such as CutePDF or Microsoft PDF Printer (if using Windows 10). That way you have a digital copy that is easily accessible, from which you can print whenever you want.

The software to access Imaging files is an ActiveX control, which only works in Internet Explorer. ActiveX controls such as this are knocking on death's door and will be phased out in IE by Microsoft sooner or later. If the files do not load when the pop-up window opens, you'll need to have IT/COT install/fix the ActiveX control. Therefore, contact your local IT support liaison.

Viewing WordPerfect (WPD) Files

Before OSHA Express was implemented (c.2013), reports were written in Corel WordPerfect. You'll surely run across these if you're looking for reports prior to 2013.

One way to open these files is by using Microsoft Word. Either associate the WordPerfect file type (extension .WPD) with Microsoft Word or open Microsoft Word, choose to open a file, and locate the WordPerfect file for the report you want to open. You may have to choose a file type in the drop-down box at the bottom of the window when browsing for a file — such as WordPerfect or just select "All files." The files will be converted to Word format. The file will have many formatting issues this way and the Table of Contents will more than likely not work.

There is another way to open these files to where everything will look as originally intended. A viewer application created by Corel to view WordPerfect files. This program is called WordPerfect Lightning. The program can be downloaded from here.