Frequently Asked Questions about Workplace Safety
On-Site Safety and Health Consultation
Is there a charge for the consultation visit?
No. The consultation program is a no-cost service to qualifying Missouri small business employers.
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Who should sign the Application for Consultation Service?
The signature on the Application for Consultation Service signifies a contract with the Missouri Consultation Program in which the business agrees to correct all Serious hazards identified by the consultant. Therefore, the person signing the application must have managerial authority to insure that corrective action will be taken. An example would be the owner, president, production manager, etc.
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When will I receive my consultation visit?
You will receive a letter acknowledging our receipt of your application. We will then place your facility on the consultant’s list of companies to visit. We are required to prioritize requests by the smallest facility with the highest level of hazards expected. You can expect a visit to be scheduled between two to six months, depending on the priority assigned and your location in the state. The consultant will not come to your facility until you have been contacted and a visit date has been scheduled.
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What is an imminent danger condition, a serious or other-than-serious hazard?
- Imminent Danger Condition means any conditions or practices in any place of employment which are such that a danger exists which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm, either immediately or before the danger can be eliminated.
- A Serious hazard is a hazard that is likely to cause serious injury, illness or death and would be cited as a standards violation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Other-than-serious hazards are cited in situations where the accident/incident or illness that would be most likely result from a hazardous condition would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
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How much time do I have to correct Imminent Danger Conditions and hazards?
Imminent Danger Conditions and hazards must be corrected immediately or we are required to refer the company to OSHA enforcement. (Imminent Danger Conditions are very rare.)
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How much time do I have to correct Serious hazards?
The employer and the consultant will mutually agree to correct Serious hazards identified in the shortest feasible time frame. This timeframe will depend on the gravity of the Serious hazard and the corrective measures needed to abate it.
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What if I am unable to correct one of the Serious hazards in the agreed upon time frame because of some complication?
You will need to contact the consultation project manager prior to the end of the given time frame and submit a written justification for the delay, the interim protections being provided to the employees, and request a new reasonable time frame to correct the Serious hazard.
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Do I have to correct all hazards identified or implement all recommendations suggested by the consultant?
You will need to correct all hazards identified by the consultant; however, the employer is only required to submit written corrections of Serious hazards identified by the consultant.
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Will OSHA be notified that I have applied for the consultation service or have a visit in progress?
No. By federal law, OSHA compliance officers cannot request any information about any consultation visit from our office. If an OSHA compliance officer asks if you have utilized the Consultation Program, it will be your choice to share that information. (However, if OSHA requests any exposure monitoring records, you must provide the information to the OSHA compliance officer.)
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Are we more likely to have an OSHA inspection after we have used your service?
No. The consultation service is confidential. OSHA has no information about our visits nor do they know where we are scheduled to visit. You have the same chance of experiencing an OSHA visit whether you utilize our service or not.
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What if I disagree with the opinion of the consultant involving a suggested Serious hazard?
Our consultants must adhere to OSHA standard regulations and directives in their process of identifying hazards. The consultants use the same information that an OSHA compliance officer would use in classifying those hazards. We encourage the employer to contact the Consultation Project Manager with questions concerning specific hazards identified.
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What if I refuse to correct a Serious hazard that has been identified by the consultant?
By signing the Consultation Application for Service, you have agreed to correct all Serious hazards identified by the consultant in the shortest, feasible time frame. If you refuse to correct a Serious hazard that could cause Serious harm or death to an employee, the consultant is required to notify the Consultation Program Manager of your refusal. The Program Manager will attempt to assist you in understanding the consequences of your refusal to correct the Serious hazards, including his obligation to refer your company to OSHA compliance for an immediate visit.
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Do I have to post the List of Hazards that came with my official report?
Yes. You must post the List of Hazards either electronically or in a location where it is readily observed by all affected employees for three days or until the hazards identified on the list are corrected, whichever is longer.
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