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.
What is the relationship between the Consultation Services and enforcement activities?
The programs are separate from each other. The Consultation Program has been directed by the Oregon Legislature to ensure employer confidentiality. It is Oregon OSHA policy that the Enforcement Section will not conduct scheduled inspections at locations where an appointment has been scheduled with a consultant for the seven days prior to the opening visit and for 60 days after the date on the final report, 30 days for mobile sites such as logging, construction and agricultural labor housing consultations.
How can consultative services help me?
Oregon OSHA consultants can provide many free services, including:
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 are my obligations if I request a consultation?
When you request an Oregon OSHA consultation, we assume you agree to correct any serious hazards or imminently dangerous situations that might be identified. You will receive a report listing the hazards identified along with our recommendations for corrections. Of course, we encourage you to correct the hazards to make your worksite a safe place for your 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:
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:
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.