Getting Started

Consultation service begins with your request, by:

  • Online request form
  • Telephone: 1-800-382-1241
  • Contact during a promotional visit by a consultant

A confirmation will be sent to the email on file verifying the request has been processed and identifying the consultant(s) assigned.

The assigned consultant(s) will confer with you at the outset regarding the specific needs or concerns you describe. The consultant may also research any special problems you mention in the initial contact before scheduling a visit to your establishment.

Although you may include within the scope of the request all work conditions at the work site and your entire safety and health program, you do have the option to limit the visit to one or more specific problems. However, if the consultant observes hazards that are outside the scope of the request, you must be notified of their presence.

Opening Conference

Upon arrival at your work site for a scheduled visit, the consultant will briefly review his/her role during the visit and, if requested, review with you your safety and health program. The consultant will explain the following:

  • Relationship between on-site consultation and OSHA enforcement.
  • Employer obligation to protect employees in the event that “serious” hazardous conditions are identified.
  • Employee participation, including union participation as desired.

Walking Through the Workplace

During the activity, the consultant will:

  • Examine conditions in your workplace.
  • Examine injury and illness recordkeeping.
  • Identify any specific hazards and provide advice and technical assistance in improving your safety and health program and in correcting any identified hazardous conditions.
  • Provide education and training for you, your supervisors, and your employees if requested.
  • Provided an opportunity to speak with employees freely.
  • Evaluate either your entire operation or focus on those specific areas, conditions, or hazards for which you have requested assistance.
  • Evaluate mechanical and physical hazards in the workplace.
  • Evaluate current exposure controls to chemical substances and noise as necessary.
  • Offer advice and assistance on other safety or health hazards outside of the regulations currently in place.

Closing Conference

Following the walk-through survey, the consultant will meet with the employer and the participating employees in a closing conference. Separate closing conferences with the management and employee representative may be held. During the closing conference the employer and consultant will discuss:

  • Hazards/compliance issues identified.
  • Possible solutions: Develop a mutually acceptable plan of action
  • Time frames for correction of “serious” hazards
  • Potential improvements to the safety and health program.

In rare instances, the consultant may find an “imminent danger” situation during the walk-through. In such situations, an employer must take immediate action to protect all affected workers.

Employers must then advise affected employees of the hazards and notify them when the hazards are corrected. Union representatives must be provided with a copy of the hazards found.

Hazard Correction and Program Assistance

After the closing conference, the consultant will send you a written report explaining:

  • Findings and confirming any correction period.
  • Suggested means or approaches for eliminating or controlling identified hazards.

In addition to correcting the “serious” hazards, the employer must:

  • Post a list of those hazards included in the report.
  • Make information regarding corrective methods and “other-than-serious” hazards available to employees.
  • Confer with consultant as necessary to ensure timely closure of hazards.

If a union representative participates in the consultative visit with the consultant, a copy of the list of hazards must be made available to that representative.

Ultimately, you must correct “serious” hazards so that each consultation visit achieves its objective—effective worker protection. If an employer fails or refuses to eliminate or control an identified "serious" hazard (or any "imminent danger") according to the plan and any extensions granted subsequently, that situation may be referred from consultation to the appropriate OSHA enforcement office for review and action. This is a rare occurrence.