SALEM — While people often associate Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration with fines and inspections, OSHA also offers services to help businesses avoid workplace hazards in the first place.
Oregon businesses can request a free consultation with the agency. The consultations include services, such as risk assessment, safety trainings, sanitation advice and recommendations on eliminating hazards.
According to information provided by OSHA, the consultants will not issue citations or other penalties found through the consultation process, and will keep information confidential from other businesses.
“If you request a comprehensive consultation, the consultant will conduct an evaluation of the physical worksite, and then review your records, written programs, and your safety and health management plan,” the brochure states. “If you request a specific consultation, the consultant can focus on a specific operation, machine, or process at your worksite. You are in charge!”
Aaron Corvin, public information officer for Oregon OSHA, said in an email that the program predates COVID-19, but can also be used for advice and problem solving specific to COVID-19 mitigation, and can now be conducted virtually. The agency conducted an average of 2,550 consultations a year from 2014-18, affecting an average of 95,969 employees a year.
If businesses don’t want a full consultation, they can also call OSHA with specific questions.
Since the beginning of March 2020, Corvin said, OSHA’s consultation office has fielded 2,416 from Oregon businesses, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.
For more information on consultation services from OSHA, go to the agency’s website, at osha.oregon.gov/consult/Pages/index.aspx or call the Pendleton office at 541-276-2353.