OSHA Touts On-Site Safety Consultations

For this, my 2,000th blog post(!), I bring you good tidings from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which wants you to know there’s an alternative to a confrontational approach to making sure the workplace is safe.

On-site consultation between OSHA inspectors and the employer’s representatives could just be the ticket–separate from enforcement and penalties, the agency tweeted recently.

The tweet links the readers to an agency web page devoted to the ins and outs of consultation.

At https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html, you’ll learn about the consultative process and benefits.

“This free safety and health consultation program is completely separate from the OSHA inspection effort. Primarily targeted for smaller businesses, employers can find out about potential hazards at their workplace, improve programs that are already in place, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.”

“The consultation is confidential and will not be reported routinely to the OSHA inspection staff. No citations or penalties are issued and your only obligation is to correct serious job safety and health hazards–a commitment which you are expected to make prior to the actual visit and carry out in a timely manner.”

On the right hand column on the page, there’s information about the onsite visit. Because consultation is a voluntary process, the employer must request it.

The onsite visit starts with an opening conference between the OSHA consultant, followed by a walkthrough of the premises (pointing out safety and health risks), followed by a review of the consultant’s findings.

“After the walk-through, the consultant will review the findings with you before leaving. Finally, the consultant will send you a detailed written report explaining the findings and confirming any abatement periods agreed upon. They may also contact you from time to time to check your progress.”

Sounds like something you should check out. To paraphrase our president, “what have you got to lose?”

Check back here tomorrow night for post number 2001–and thanks for reading me!

And keep those comments coming.

Postscript: Thanks for Jon Hyman of the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog for featuring this post in his Feb. 24 weekly roundup.

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