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Employer Information

The OHS Act requires employers to furnish New Mexico employees with a safe and healthy work environment. While many employer concerns in the area of safety and health are handled by the NM OHSB Consultation Section, the inspection information on this page should be of interest to employers.

The Inspection Process

There are five general reasons that a business or public entity may be inspected:

    1.    A complaint filed by an employee or their representative.

    2.    A referral from another governmental agency or member of the

    3.    A general schedule inspection.

    4.    A fatality investigation.

    5.    An accident where three or more individuals are hospitalized.

Upon receipt of a complaint or referral, the Compliance Program Manager decides whether or not to initiate an investigation. If an investigation is decided upon, it is either in the form of an official letter of inquiry into the situation and the nature of the complaint, telephone call, by a fax inquiry, or in an on-site inspection. 

The letter of inquiry is sent to the employer notifying them about the complaint and inquiring as to the validity of the items. Employers are given a reasonable amount of time to respond. If the response sufficiently resolves the problem, then the file is closed. A phone or fax inquiry is handled much as a letter of inquiry.  If the response is inadequate to determine if the hazard exists or not, then a compliance officer may be sent to perform an inspection.

An inspection may be performed on any complaint or referral. Furthermore, many inspections are planned from a random list of high hazard industries. Inspections that arise from complaints and referrals are primarily limited to the scope of the complaint items, and any other hazards that are seen during the inspection. If the facility is considered to be a high-hazard industry according to the Standard Industrial Classification code (SIC code), the inspection can be conducted as a comprehensive inspection. The primary focus of an investigation is not to determine fault, but whether employees are exposed to hazards at the time of the inspection resulting in a violation of the occupational health and safety act.

Components of an Inspection

There are three parts to the inspection process:

    1.    The opening conference 
    2.    The walk-around or Inspection 
    3.    The closing conference. 

The Opening Conference

As the inspector enters the facility an opening conference is held with the management and other interested parties.      Information covered in the opening conference is as follows:

    1.    The reason the inspection is taking place.
    2.    The scope of the inspection.
    3.    The legal authority to perform the inspection.
    4.    Gathering of basic information about the company,
           it's processes, and employees.

The Inspection Walk-through

The inspection takes place after the opening conference. The inspector will inspect the work site or certain portions of it, depending on the reason for the inspection. The inspection may include the following:

    1.    Inspection of the work site. 
    2.    Employee interviews. 
    3.    Review of records. 
    4.    Policy and procedure review. 
    5.    Accident scene investigation. 

The Closing Conference

After the inspection walk-through, the inspector will end the inspection with a closing conference and the following information will be covered:

    1.    The hazards that were found.

    2.    Procedures for correcting the citable conditions and
           what action the employer is expected to take.

    3.    The amount of time given to correct the hazards.

    4.    The methods required for contacting NM OHSB
           after hazards have been  abated.

    5.    Employer rights and the methods for contesting
           citation, penalties, or abatement time.

    6.    Employee rights regarding the abatement time,
           and filing contests.

The closing conference covers all information that the employer requires in regard to citable conditions found during the inspection.  It also emphasizes what the employer can expect from OHSB and the employer/employee rights in regard to any citations issued.


Reporting Fatalities

Within eight (8) hours after the death of any employee from a work-related incident or the inpatient hospitalization of three or more employees as a result of a work-related incident, the employer must report the event to OSHA. For incidents within New Mexico, you contact the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau in person by visiting our offices at: 525 Camino de los Marquez, Suite 3 in Santa Fe, NM. You may also fax the information to our fax number at 505-476-8734. Or you may call 505-476-8700 during work hours or 800-321-OSHA (800-321-6742) outside of normal working hours.

The specific information you need to provide is described in 29 CFR 1904.39.



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Checklist name Word Word PDF PDF
Abrasive wheel equipment grinders Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Checklists for maintaining the foundation Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Chemical exposures Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Compressed gas and cylinders Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Compressors and compressed air Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Confined spaces: permit-required Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Cranes and hoists Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Electrical safety Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Elevated surfaces Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Emergency action plan Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Employer posting Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Environmental controls Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Ergonomics: computer workstations Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Ergonomics: general Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Exit doors Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Exits (Access and Egress) Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Fire protection Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Flammable and combustible materials Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Floor and wall openings Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Hand tools and equipment Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Hazard communication Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Industrial trucks Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Infection control Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Ladders: portable Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Lockout and tagout Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Machine guarding Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Materials handling Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Medical services and first aid Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Noise: hearing conservation Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Personal protective equipment (PPE) Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Piping systems: identification Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Recordkeeping Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Safety Committees and Meetings Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Split rim and multi-piece wheel tire inflation Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Spray finishing operations Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Stairs and stairways Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Tools and equipment: portable power-operated Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Transportation: employees and materials Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Ventilation for indoor air quality Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Walkways Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Welding, cutting and brazing Word iconWord PDF iconPDF
Work environment: general Word iconWord PDF iconPDF


                                                         NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program

In addition to the resources available from OSHA to address workplace health concerns, assistance also is available from the Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Through the HHE program, NIOSH responds to requests for evaluations of workplace health hazards from employers, employees and their representatives, and government agencies.

At no cost to the employer or employees, NIOSH conducts studies of workplaces in response to these requests to learn if workers are exposed to hazardous materials or harmful conditions. Workplace exposures studied include chemicals, biological agents, work stress, noise, radiation, and ergonomics. NIOSH evaluates the workplace environment and the health of employees by reviewing records and conducting on-site environmental and medical testing. Upon completion of the study, NIOSH issues a report that includes recommendations for addressing identified problems, reducing exposure, and preventing disease. HHEs can be especially helpful in the following situations:

  •                     1) Employees have an illness from an unknown cause.
  •                     2) Employees are exposed to an agent or working condition that is not regulated by OSHA.
  •                     3) Employees experience adverse health effects from exposure to a regulated or unregulated agent
  •                         or working condition, even though the permissible exposure limit is not being exceeded.
  •                     4) Medical or epidemiological investigations are needed to evaluate the hazard.
  •                     5) The incidence of a particular disease or injury is higher than expected in a group of employees.
  •                     6) The exposure is to a new or previously unrecognized hazard.
  •                     7) The hazard seems to result from the combined effects of several agents.



New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau
525 Camino de los Marquez, Suite 3
P.O. Box 5469
Santa Fe, NM 87502

Attention: Herman Hernandez
Program Manager, Compliance Section
E-mail Address:

For general information, please contact:

Phone Numbers: (505) 476-8700 or (877) 610-6742
Fax No. (505) 476-8734

Working hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM mountain time. After regular hours, it is possible to leave a message and a Compliance Officer will be able to respond the next business day

Link to OHSB Web Page

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