The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing revisions to the regulations that govern its On-site Consultation Program that would enhance worker safety and increase the flexibility it has to inspect worksites.
The On-site Consultation Program offers employers free assistance in developing and implementing an effective safety and health management system, with priority given to small businesses in high-hazard industries. One of the proposed changes would allow inspectors to terminate an employer’s on-site consultation visit and conduct an enforcement inspection if OSHA receives allegations of potential workplace hazards or violations.
The proposed changes also would allow for the inspection of sites that normally are exempt because of their status in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). For example, SHARP sites could be included in industrywide inspections in response to workplace incidents that generate widespread public concern about a hazard or substance.
SHARP provides incentives and support to employers that implement and continually improve effective safety and health management systems at their worksites. OSHA also is proposing that employers that have achieved SHARP status receive an initial exemption from programmed inspections for one year, with an extension of up to another year.
Individuals have until November 2 to submit comments on the proposed rules. See the Federal Register notice for more details on submitting comments.
For more information about workplace safety issues, call Jason Bandermann, MBA, referral services manager, at 573-331-5825.