Free Safety Check

Are you wondering if you are in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements? Through its Onsite Consultation Program, OSHA provides free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses. Note that the Onsite Consultation services are separate from enforcement actions and do NOT result in penalties or citations.

Process

Using a free consultation service largely funded by the OSHA, employers can find out about potential hazards at their worksites, improve their occupational injury and illness prevention programs, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.

The service is delivered by state governments using well-trained professional staff. For example, in Georgia, the Onsite Consultation Program is through the Georgia Institute of Technology. Most consultations take place on-site, though limited services away from the worksite are available.

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.

It’s confidential, too. 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.

Your only obligation will be 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.

Visit

Because consultation is a voluntary activity, you must request it. To make a request, locate your state’s Consultation Program’s contact information using the OHSA 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. OSHA encourages a complete review of your firm’s safety and health situation; however, if you wish, you may limit the visit to one or more specific problems.

The comprehensive consultation includes:

  1. An appraisal of all mechanical and environmental hazards and physical work practices.
  2. An appraisal of the present injury and illness prevention program or establishment of one.
  3. A conference with management on findings.
  4. A written report of recommendations and agreements.
  5. Training and assistance with implementing recommendations.

To read more about the Onsite Consultation Program, go to this web page.