Businesses must request for OSHA Onsite 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. OSHA encourages a complete review of a firm’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.
- – The consultant will send the company a detailed written report about 20 days after the closing conference that explains the findings and confirms agreed upon periods to address needed corrections. A list of hazards is included in the report and must be posted electronically or in an easily observable area by employees for three days or until the listed hazards are corrected.
- – Consultants may also contact the business from time to time to check their progress. Businesses may always contact the consultants for assistance. Employers using the consultation service are deferred from OSHA’s scheduled inspections while the consultation remains “in progress.” This period encompasses the time between the onset of the consultation and the final correction dates, including any extensions.
Ultimately, OSHA does require hazard correction so that each consultation visit achieves its objective – effective employee protection. OSHA 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.