OSHA’s Consultation Services: What You Need to Know
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government agency whose mission is “to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”
Congress created OSHA with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Over the years, OSHA has continued to stay dedicated to its mission, which has resulted in the creation of its ‘On-Site Consultation Program.’ Here’s more on OSHA’s consultation services and how these services can help high-risk businesses.
OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program: What Is It?
OSHA’s Consultation Program offers safety and health assistance to employers through on-site visits. These services help prevent occupational injuries and illnesses within a business.
Who Conducts On-Site Visits?
According to their website, “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.”
Who are these Consulting Services Offered to?
According to their website, OSHA “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.”
How Does OSHA Consulting Help Your Business?
OSHA’s on-site consultation program helps your business by addressing hazards in the workplace.
Additionally, during an on-site visit OSHA consultants:
- “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”
These steps help reduce injury and illness rates, lower workers’ compensation costs, improve worker morale, and increase productivity. As well as helping to identify, analyze, and remove hazards, use safer work practices, improve safety programs, strengthen safety culture, and provide training assistance, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations.
Best of all, OSHA’s on-site consultation program is free of charge. Throughout this consultation, OSHA does not issue citations or propose penalties for violations, and it is confidential. “Your name, your firm’s name, and any information you provide about your workplace, plus any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions that the consultant uncovers, will not be reported routinely to the OSHA inspection staff,” according to OSHA’s site.
What Does a Consultation Include?
On-site visits might include:
- Hazard Assessments via walkthrough (find and fix hazards)
- Industrial Hygiene Surveys (i.e. noise surveys, chemical exposure assessments)
- Safety and Health Program Assessments
- Workers’ Training and Education
- And more
Interested in learning more about OSHA’s on-site consultation program? Download their small business handbook, which is chock full of information and self-inspection checklists.