Using a free consultation service largely funded by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, companies can find out about potential hazardsat their work sites, improve occupational safety and health management systems, and even qualify for aone-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.
The confidential service is delivered by state governments. Primarily for smaller businesses, theconsultation program is completely separate from the OSHA inspection effort. No citations are issued orpenalties proposed.
The on-site consultant will:
- Help the company recognize hazards in the workplace
- Suggest general approaches or options for solving a safety or health problem
- Identify kinds of help available if further assistance is needed
- Provide the company with a written report summarizing findings
- Assist the company in developing or maintaining an effective safety and health program
- Provide training and education; and
- Recommend the company for a one-year exclusion from OSHA programmed inspections, once program criteria are met.
The on-site consultant will not:
- Issue citations or propose penalties for violations of OSHA standards
- Report possible violations to OSHA enforcement staff; or
- Guarantee that the workplace will pass an OSHA inspection.
In rare cases the consultant may find an "imminent danger" situation during the consultation. If so, thecompany must take immediate action. In other situations that would be judged a "serious violation" underOSHA criteria, the company and consultant are required to develop and agree to a reasonable plan andschedule to eliminate or control the hazard.
For more information check OSHA' s Web site.
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