Businesses must request for MSHA Consultation Services, as it is a voluntary activity. The following are basic steps of what to expect:
– Businesses initiate services by calling or sending a letter of request for services.
– The Consultant will contact the business to assess and discuss specific needs, as well as schedule a visit based on the priority assigned to the request, the employer’s work schedule, and the time needed for the consultant to prepare for the visit. MSHA encourages a complete review of a the mine’s safety and health situation. However, an employer may limit the visit to specific problems.
– The business must meet the certain obligations, including agreeing to correct all serious hazards found during the visit in an agreed-upon time frame.
– Consultants may also contact the business from time to time to check their progress in their mine safety and health plans. Businesses may always contact the consultants for assistance.
– Ultimately, MSHA does require hazard correction so that each consultation visit achieves its objective effective employee protection. MSHA enforcement office will receive a referral from the Consultants if there is a failure to eliminate or control identified serious hazards (or an imminent danger) that was identified in the plan and within the agreed time limits. Their office will take appropriate action as needed.