Understanding and complying with OSHA’s many requirements can be daunting. At a recent Tulsa Area Employer Council meeting, Jason Hudson with the Oklahoma Department of Labor explained an excellent tool available for Oklahoma employers trying to address workplace safety and OSHA issues.
Hudson is director of the department’s Safety Pays® OSHA Consultation Division, which is staffed with Oklahoma safety and industrial hygiene consultants. An Oklahoma employer may request the Division to conduct a safety and/or hygiene on-site consultation. The consultation is voluntary, confidential and free.
Here’s how it works: After an initial meeting with the employer, Division consultants conduct a program review and jobsite walkthrough. The program review determines whether the employer is complying with OSHA recordkeeping, health program, and training requirements. During the walkthrough, the consultants assess the workplace and identify any hazards.
After the on-site program review and walkthrough, the Division not only prepares a written report that points out any deficiencies and hazards, but also recommends solutions to attain OSHA compliance and directs the employer to resolve the identified deficiencies and hazards.
Benefits for Oklahoma employers
There are a number of benefits to an employer participating in an on-site consultation conducted by the Oklahoma DOL. Most importantly, it offers an opportunity to identify and correct safety problems in advance of any OSHA investigation and before any workplace injury occurs. If you are later the subject of a federal OSHA investigation, the employer’s odds of being in compliance are dramatically increased, and your voluntary participation in the Oklahoma-sponsored consultation demonstrates to the feds a good-faith commitment to workplace safety. In fact, while participating in an Oklahoma on-site consultation, employers are exempt from any federal OSHA inspections. Finally, Oklahoma employers who successfully complete the consultation process can qualify for a $1,000 tax exemption.
Employers struggling with workplace safety and OSHA issues should consider the on-site consultation service offered by the Oklahoma Department of Labor. Mr. Hudson may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-496-7458. More information about the program can be found on their website [click here].
Did I mention it is free?