Of course you want your workers to be healthy. Of course you want their work environment to be safe. But making sure your company complies with OSHA regulations is more complicated than that.
Big corporations can afford to have people whose entire job is health, safety and compliance. But the little guys don’t have that luxury. And if you’re not a safety specialist, it can be hard to be confident that you’re doing the right thing.
What you might not know is that OSHA will set you up with a consultant who will work with you to help you maintain the health and safety of your employees and operate a safer facility. Best of all, this is a free service—your only obligation is to commit to fixing any imminent danger or serious safety and health hazards that are discovered.
Your company is eligible if it has no more than 250 employees at one site and no more than 500 employees total at all sites. Larger companies can still get help, provided that they ask for specific assistance.
To request this service, use OSHA’s Consultation Directory to find the contact information for your state, then get in touch with the appropriate office. A consultant will follow up to talk about your needs and set up a visit.
The confidential consultation process includes an opening conference, a walk-through inspection and a closing conference. Following the closing conference, the consultant will send you a detailed written report explaining the findings and confirming any abatement periods agreed upon. Findings will only be reported to OSHA if you fail to correct an imminent danger or serious hazard. Consultants may also contact you from time to time to check your progress.
This is a great way to get professional advice and on-site training. The consultants can even help build or strengthen employee safety and health programs. And after you complete the consultation, you can qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.
To learn more about the program, take a look at the OSHA Consultation Program fact sheet. And if you need help with safety but you're not ready for a consultation, a good place to start is with OSHA’s online compliance tool.