How to Survive a Workplace Audit

Workplace audits by government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can be very nerve-wracking. This is because if the audit does not go well, then it can result in a series of negative consequences for your business. Anything from fines to the temporary shutdown of your business could happen if the auditing agency finds things it doesn’t like. Here are some things that can help you survive a workplace audit.

1. Always have your documentation ready

You need to be prepared before the actual audit occurs. This means making sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork and documentation ready to go before the auditor gets there. Keep this paperwork in a specific area and make sure that none of it is missing. This can include permits, licenses, contracts, etc. Be ready to present this documentation.


2. Always make sure your business is clean

This is especially important if you run a business in the restaurant industry. Things such as mold, mice, dirt, grime, and other similar things can all cause you to get in trouble with the auditor. To prevent this from happening, you should take the necessary steps to make sure that your business is clean in the first place. That way, when the auditor gets there, he or she will not find anything that may be of concern to him or her.

3. Designate an employee to go around with the auditor

In most cases, at least one employee will be allowed to walk around the business location with the auditor. It is a good idea to have someone do this for two reasons. First, the person can serve as the friendly face of the company, and answer any questions that the auditor may have. Second, the person can keep track of the areas the auditor inspects. This can be helpful for reacting quickly and effectively to any negative consequences that may come as a result of the audit.

4. Comply with any demands the auditor makes

There is really no getting around it. You will have to comply with the things that the auditor tells you that you have to do. So, you should just be ready to potentially have to make a few changes. For example, if the auditor tells you that you and your employees have to attend a safety training seminar, then you will have to do this. The faster that you can comply with the auditor’s demands, the better.


Going through an audit may not be the most fun or relaxing experience for business owners. However, it will most likely happen to your business at some point. So, it is good to know how to deal with these situations. Following the advice in this article can help you to survive a workplace audit.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic - Head of Marketing

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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