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Consultation Frequently Asked Questions

What are consultative services?

The Occupational Safety and Health consultation program is a confidential, non-regulatory service available to Oregon employers. Oregon OSHA's experienced, professional consultants can evaluate your current safety, health and ergonomic programs and help you identify hazards in your workplace.

 

Is there a cost for consultation services?

The program is funded by premium assessments from workers' compensation insurance carriers, with no additional cost to the employer.

 

If I request a consultation, will I be inspected later by Oregon OSHA?

By law, employers who seek a consultation are ensured confidentiality. Businesses are exempt from scheduled Oregon OSHA enforcement visits when an appointment has been set with a consultant for the seven days before the opening visit, for 60 days after the date on the final report, and for 30 days for mobile sites such as logging, construction and agricultural labor housing.

 

How can consultative services help me?

Oregon OSHA consultants can provide many free services, including:

  • Safety, health and ergonomic hazard evaluation and identification
  • Ergonomic assessments
  • Recommending solutions to eliminate hazards
  • Written program evaluation
  • Industrial hygiene services, such as noise monitoring and air sampling
  • Technical updates on Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) standards
  • Hands-on training
  • Safety and health program assistance
  • Training materials, videos, and publications

 

Does my business qualify for assistance?

All employers in the state of Oregon may request Oregon OSHA services.

 

What will the consultant want to see?

You are in charge! We can do as little or as much as you wish.

If you request a comprehensive consultation, the consultant will review your written programs as well as conduct an evaluation of the physical worksite and the company's Oregon OSHA 300 logs. Written safety and accident prevention programs will be reviewed, as well as other applicable programs, such as lockout/tagout, confined-space entry, hazard communication and material safety data sheets.

 

How long will a consultation take?

Depending on the size of your facility and the scope of the evaluation requested, the consultation may vary from a couple of hours to a full day or more.

 

What is expected of me if I request a consultation?

There are no obligations. When an employer requests an Oregon OSHA consultation, the employer agrees to correct any serious hazards or imminently dangerous situations that might be identified. Employers will also receive a report listing the hazards identified along with recommendations for corrections. The goal is to correct hazards to make the worksite a safe place for employees.

 

How much will it cost to correct identified hazards?

Our experienced consultants will offer suggestions and options for eliminating hazards. They can also suggest resources available to you. The potential long-term and hidden costs associated with workplace injuries are often much greater than the short-term costs of correcting hazards.

 

If I make the corrections recommended by consultation, does that guarantee that my company will pass an inspection?

No. However, if you implement the recommendations suggested and support a strong safety and health culture among your employees, you will be less likely to experience worksite injuries and illnesses and more likely to have a worksite that is in compliance with Oregon OSHA's rules. Oregon OSHA enforcement is not bound by consultation findings, and consultants cannot guarantee they will identify all Oregon OSHA violations.

 

If my company utilizes consultation, will enforcement be notified?

No. State administrative rules governing the funding of the Oregon OSHA consultation program guarantee confidentiality for participating employers.

 

Will a consultant visit my competitors?

Participation in the Oregon OSHA consultation program is completely voluntary. If your competitor calls for assistance, we will provide it, but your Oregon OSHA participation, hazards, and business processes will not be discussed with any other employer.

 

What are the benefits of a consultation?

An Oregon OSHA consultation can help you:

  • Reduce workplace illnesses and injuries
  • Minimize workers' compensation and medical costs
  • Stay informed of and become compliant with Oregon OSHA requirements
  • Keep days away restricted and transferred (DART) rate and total case rate (TCR) below the national averages for your industry
  • Maintain successful safety and health programs
  • Plan safety and health training
  • Control damage to equipment and materials
  • Improve safety and health management systems
  • Improve employee morale and reduce turnover

 

What is SHARP?

The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) was developed by Oregon OSHA to recognize companies that have learned to learn to manage their own occupational safety and health programs more effectively. Oregon companies can take advantage of Oregon OSHA consultation's expertise while they learn effective safety and health management techniques.

SHARP is intended to help companies improve their safety and health management systems by incorporating the following:

  • Management leadership
  • Employee involvement
  • Hazard anticipation and detection
  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Administration and supervision
  • Safety and health training
  • Planning and evaluation

SHARP is open to Oregon employers (private sector or state or local government entities) who have been in business for more than one year, regardless of size or type of business.

Employers who are recognized for their second-year SHARP certificate may be exempt from programmed Oregon OSHA inspections for one year. Subsequent SHARP renewals include additional one-year exemptions, until a worksite graduates from the SHARP program.

Want to learn more? Take a look at the SHARP information page, then talk to Oregon OSHA consultation about how your company can work toward achieving this recognition.

 

How can my organization or peers learn more about the Oregon OSHA consultation program?

Oregon OSHA consultants and representatives are available to present program information to the general public at appropriate safety-related forums such as meetings, trainings, business seminars or safety/health conferences. We welcome the opportunity to share our services with business groups, trade associations, chambers of commerce, labor organizations and other groups interested in improving workplace health, safety and ergonomics. Contact us for more information.