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The Consultation Office provides FREE comprehensive on-site safety and health consultation surveys for small and medium sized businesses in the General Industry, Construction, and Agricultural sectors. Surveys help businesses to identify potential workplace hazards, improve safety management systems, and assist in compliance with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
All On-site Consultation services are voluntary and confidential. There are no fines, penalties, or fees associated with the service.
The On-site Consultation service is offered by the Delaware Department of Labor and is delivered by the Office of Safety and Health Consultation using a well-trained professional staff. Most consultations take place on-site, although limited services away from the worksite are available. Primarily targeted for small and medium sized businesses, this safety and health consultation program is completely separate from federal OSHA enforcement and inspection. In addition, no citations are issued or penalties proposed. Businesses may qualify for participation in Consultation’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).
Your name, your company name, any information you provide about your workplace, and any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions that the consultant uncovers will not be routinely reported to the federal OSHA enforcement staff.
Your only obligation will be to commit yourself to correcting serious job safety and health hazards — a commitment which you are expected to make prior to the actual visit and carry out as agreed upon with the consultant.
Since the consultation service is voluntary, you must request the service. Employers are required to complete a Request for Assistance Form. The completed form can be e-mailed from our website, faxed or mailed. A consultant will contact you to review your request needs and conduct research prior to the visit in order to better assist you. This ensures that a thorough review of your company safety and health situation occurs.
The On-site Consultation service offers two types of safety and health visits:
When arriving at your worksite for the scheduled On-site Consultation initial visit, the consultant will first meet with you in an opening conference to briefly review the consultant’s role, obligation you incur as an employer, and your employer rights.
Together, you and the consultant will examine conditions in your workplace and identify hazards that expose employees to safety and health risks. The consultant will also review which mandatory work practices, engineering and administrative controls and written safety and health programs are in place. The consultation service strongly encourages maximum employee participation in the survey. Better informed and more alert employees can more easily work with you to identify and correct potential injury and illness hazards in your workplace. Talking with employees during the survey helps the consultant identify and judge the nature and extent of specific hazards. With the employer’s permission, the consultant may photograph hazards identified during the survey and include the photos in the written report. They may suggest other measures, such as self-inspection, safety and health training and program implementation, to prevent future hazardous situations.
The consultant will then review detailed findings with you in a closing conference. You will learn not only what you need to improve, but what you are doing right, as well. At that time you can discuss problems, possible solutions and abatement periods to eliminate or control any serious hazards identified during the survey.
In rare instances, the consultant may find an “imminent danger” situation during the survey. If so you must take immediate action to protect all employees. In certain other situations — those which would be judged a “serious violation” under OSHA criteria — you and the consultant are required to develop and agree to a reasonable plan and schedule to eliminate or control that hazard. The consultants will offer general approaches and options to you. They may also suggest other sources for technical help.
Following the closing conference, the consultant will send you a written report explaining the findings and confirming any abatement periods agreed upon. Consultants may also contact you from time to time to check your progress. You, of course, may always contact them for assistance.
If you fail to eliminate or control identified serious hazards (or an imminent danger) according to the plan and within the agreed upon time limit, the situation must be referred from consultation to the local area federal OSHA enforcement office for appropriate action.
Knowledge of your workplace hazards and ways to eliminate them can only improve your own operations — and the management of your firm. You will get professional advice and assistance without hiring additional staff. The consultant can help you establish or strengthen an employee safety and health program, making safety and health activities routine considerations rather than crisis-oriented responses. Fixed worksites which undergo a comprehensive consultation, correct all identified hazards, and establish an effective safety and health program may be recommended for Consultation’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP participants receive additional benefits, including certain exemptions from OSHA programmed inspections.
Related Topics: Safety & Health Consultation