The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was created to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. To support this mission and encourage positive engagement with safe work practices, OSHA created a consultation program that is separate from enforcement and that does not result in penalties or citations. The OSHA On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small- and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs.
Using a no-cost consultation service largely funded by the OSHA, employers can find out about potential hazards at their worksites, improve their safety and health programs, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. The service is delivered by state governments using a well-trained professional staff. Most consultations take place on-site, though limited services away from the worksite are available. Consultations do not result in citations or penalties and are confidential. The only obligation will be to correct serious job safety and health hazards. B
The benefits of participating in the consultation program include recognizing and removing hazards from your workplace to prevent worker injury and illness and creating alert and informed employees who take responsibility for their own and their coworkers’ safety. Additionally, an increased understanding of workplace hazards and remedies will put your managers in a better position to comply with federal and state safety and health requirements, increasing productivity rates and assuring product quality. OHSA hopes businesses learn first-hand that the cost of accident prevention is far lower than the cost of accidents.
The On-Site Consultants Will:
- Help you recognize hazards in your workplace.
- Suggest general approaches or options for solving a safety or health problem.
- Identify kinds of help available if you need further assistance.
- Provide you a written report summarizing findings.
- Assist you to develop or maintain an effective safety and health programs.
- Provide training and education for you and your employees.
The On-Site Consultants Will Not:
- Issue citations or propose penalties for violations of OSHA standards.
- Report possible violations to OSHA enforcement staff.
- Guarantee that your workplace will “pass” an OSHA inspection.
To participate in the consultation program, your state’s Consultation Program’s contact information using the OSHA’s Consultation Directory. The consultant will discuss your specific needs with you and set up a visit date based on the priority assigned to your request, your work schedule, and the time needed for the consultant to adequately prepare to serve you.
Injuries at the worksite are avoidable with proper safety protections and training in place. Fall Protection violations remain the most frequently cited by OSHA for the NINTH consecutive year. There were 6,010 Fall Protection – General Requirements 1926.501 violations, almost double of the next ranking violation. The top ten also include Ladder (1926.1053) violations in sixth place and Fall Protection Training Requirement violations (1926.503) in 8th place. Make sure to understand your risks and work with a fall protection specialist to ensure you have compliant safety equipment in place.