Tuesday, May 20, 2014

OSHA's top leader praises work of On-site Consultation projects

More than 160 safety and health professionals attended the 39th Annual On-site Consultation Training Conference on May 6 in Denver. Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels kicked off the three-day training by praising the work of the 52 on-site consultation projects across the country. The annual conference enables consultants to discuss issues most relevant to their work, including emerging hazards and key topics in safety and health.

OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers a free and confidential service for small and medium-sized businesses. Consultants work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations.

Program Information

Using a free consultation service largely funded by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (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. 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.

Benefits

Your Workforce

An effective workplace injury and illness prevention program at your worksite(s) will enable you to:
  • Recognize and remove hazards from your workplace.
  • Protect your workers from injury and illness.
  • Prevent loss of life at your worksite.
  • Cultivate informed and alert employees who take responsibility for their own and their coworkers' safety and for worksite safety as a whole.
  • Improve employee morale.

Your Managers

An increased understanding of workplace hazards and remedies will put your managers in a better position to:
  • Comply with federal and state safety and health requirements.
  • Become more effective at their jobs. Management experts believe that a company with a well-managed injury and illness prevention program enjoys better overall management.
  • Increase productivity rates and assure product quality.

Your Business as a Whole

An exemplary workplace injury and illness prevention program is "good business sense" that also makes financial sense because it will allow you to:
  • Learn first-hand that the cost of accident prevention is far lower than the cost of accidents.
  • Improve the bottom line by:
    • Lowering injury and illness rates,
    • Decreasing workers' compensation costs,
    • Reducing lost workdays, and
    • Limiting equipment damage and product losses.

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