If you have the type of business that is subject to state inspections, you know that it is a matter of when, not if, someone will show up to look things over. Many small businesses in the healthcare or food service fields can look forward to at least one or two inspections each year, and, depending on how things go, inspectors may return weeks later to assure that deficiencies have been corrected.
Don’t expect to be forewarned, as state regulators and inspectors may show up at any time and generally use the element of surprise to their advantage. They are not, however, out to get you; they really just want to insure that basic standards are being met.
Greet inspectors and let them know that you are available to answer questions and assist, if needed. Don’t allow yourself or your employees to become overly stressed, or that can make things worse. You can improve the situation by keeping a positive attitude and being prepared as much as possible.
Keeping required paperwork such as licensing and other documentation in order, up to date and easily accessible is an excellent way to be prepared ahead of time. It is probably best to have a particular employee take responsibility for such things.
If a problem does arise, ask questions and document, as fully as possible, what corrections must be done, how much time is allowed for completing them and what penalty may arise if more time is needed for the corrective action.
Inspections are a part of the business and shouldn’t cause undue suffering if you are willing to spend a little time, on a regular basis, to keep files in good order and keep records up to date.