The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented a free consultation service to help employers find out about potential hazards at their worksites and improve their occupational safety and health management systems. Companies meeting certain program criteria may qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.

Primarily targeted for smaller businesses, this safety and health consultation program is completely separate from the OSHA inspection effort. In addition, no citations are issued or penalties proposed.

The service is confidential. Individual names, company names, and any information provided about the workplace, plus any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions that the consultant uncovers, will not be reported routinely to the OSHA inspection staff.

The only obligation on the part of the company will be a commitment to correct serious job safety and health hazards prior to the actual visit and a commitment to carry out corrective measures in a timely manner.

The OSHA consultant will:

Help the company recognize hazards in the workplace.

Suggest general approaches or options for solving a safety or health problem.

Identify the 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 for management and workers.

Recommend the company for a one-year exclusion from OSHA programmed inspections; once program criteria are met.

The OSHA consultants will not:

Issue citations or propose penalties for violations of OSHA standards.

Report possible violations to OSHA enforcement staff.

Guarantee that the workplace will “pass” an OSHA inspection.

Because the consultation service is a voluntary activity, the company must request it. A telephone call or letter to the local OSHA office will set the process in motion. The consultant will discuss the company’s specific needs and set up a visit date based on the priority assigned to the request, the company’s work schedule, and the time needed for the consultant to adequately prepare for the visit. OSHA encourages a complete review of the company’s safety and health situation; however, if the company wishes, they may limit the visit to one or more specific problems.

The following link provides a list of OSHA offices that provides this consultation service:

COPYRIGHT ©2006, ISO Services Properties, Inc.