Office of Safety & Health Consultation
The Consultation Office provides FREE comprehensive on-site safety and health consultation surveys for small and medium sized Construction and General Industry businesses to identify potential workplace hazards, improve safety management systems and assist in voluntary 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.
On-site Safety and Health Consultation Service includes:
- Safety and health appraisals of all mechanical and environmental hazards and physical practices.
- Review of job safety and health programs, or assistance in establishing a customized safety and health program if not already in place.
- Workplace hazard identification and the appropriate corrective action recommendations to prevent a recurrence.
- Conference with management on findings.
- Written report of recommendations and agreements.
- Training and assistance with implementing recommendations.
- Air Quality Monitoring
- Noise Monitoring
- Moisture and Mold Testing
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 a one-year exemption from routine federal OSHA inspections.
Consultations are confidential. 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.
GETTING STARTED: 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:
- Full-service visit: An On-site Consultation visit that provides a complete comprehensive safety and health hazard assessment of all working conditions, equipment, and processes at the worksite for safety and/or health.
- Limited-service visit: A less comprehensive safety and health hazard assessment than that provided by a Full-service visit. An On-site Consultation visit that provides a focused assessment of a particular work process or type of hazard or a focused assessment that is conducted of only one discipline, safety or health.
OPENING CONFERENCE: 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.
HAZARD SURVEY: 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.
CLOSING CONFERENCE: 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.
ABATEMENT AND FOLLOW THROUGH: 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.
BENEFITS: 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 receive a certificate exempting them from programmed inspections for one year. The exemption may be limited to smaller employers and to employees covered by federal OSHA.
SAFETY AND HEALTH CONSULTANTS WILL:
- Help you recognize hazards in your workplace.
- Suggest general approaches or options for solving a safety or health problem.
- Identify kinds of help available if you need further assistance.
- Provide you a written report summarizing findings.
- Assist you in developing or maintaining an effective safety and health program.
- Provide training and education for you and your employees.
- Recommend you for a one-year exclusion from OSHA programmed inspections once program criteria are met.
SAFETY AND HEALTH CONSULTANTS WILL NOT:
- Issue citations or propose penalties for violations of OSHA standards.
- Report possible violations to OSHA enforcement staff unless they are not abated within the agreed upon time limit.
- Guarantee that your workplace will "pass" an OSHA inspection.