29 CFR 1903.4 - Objection to inspection.
(a) Upon a refusal to permit the Compliance Safety and Health Officer, in exercise of his official duties, to enter without delay and at reasonable times any place of employment or any place therein, to inspect, to review records, or to question any employer, owner, operator, agent, or employee, in accordance with § 1903.3 or to permit a representative of employees to accompany the Compliance Safety and Health Officer during the physical inspection of any workplace in accordance with § 1903.8, the Safety and Health Officer shall terminate the inspection or confine the inspection to other areas, conditions, structures, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment, materials, records, or interviews concerning which no objection is raised. The Compliance Safety and Health Officer shall endeavor to ascertain the reason for such refusal, and shall immediately report the refusal and the reason therefor to the Area Director. The Area Director shall consult with the Regional Solicitor, who shall take appropriate action, including compulsory process, if necessary.
(b) Compulsory process shall be sought in advance of an attempted inspection or investigation if, in the judgment of the Area Director and the Regional Solicitor, circumstances exist which make such preinspection process desirable or necessary. Some examples of circumstances in which it may be desirable or necessary to seek compulsory process in advance of an attempt to inspect or investigate include (but are not limited to):
(1) When the employer's past practice either implicitly or explicitly puts the Secretary on notice that a warrantless inspection will not be allowed;
(2) When an inspection is scheduled far from the local office and procuring a warrant prior to leaving to conduct the inspection would avoid, in case of refusal of entry, the expenditure of significant time and resources to return to the office, obtain a warrant and return to the worksite;
(3) When an inspection includes the use of special equipment or when the presence of an expert or experts is needed in order to properly conduct the inspection, and procuring a warrant prior to an attempt to inspect would alleviate the difficulties or costs encountered in coordinating the availability of such equipment or expert.
(c) With the approval of the Regional Administrator and the Regional Solicitor, compulsory process may also be obtained by the Area Director or his designee.
(d) For purposes of this section, the term compulsory process shall mean the institution of any appropriate action, including ex parte application for an inspection warrant or its equivalent. Ex parte inspection warrants shall be the preferred form of compulsory process in all circumstances where compulsory process is relied upon to seek entry to a workplace under this section.