Although most employers are aware of Cal/OSHA’s enforcement activities, another equally important component of the Cal/OSHA program is the Cal/OSHA Consultation Service.
The Service offers free consultation, training and publications to employers and their employees to help them comply with California workplace safety and health regulations. Services are provided to employers only at the request of the employer. Cal/OSHA Consultation Service consultants help to remove hazards, lower accident rates, save money, and boost profitability. If the Service reports to an employer’s workplace and conducts a walkaround survey, and if they identify hazards, the employer is only required to correct those hazards – they do not issue citations or levy penalties.
Mission and Objectives of the Cal/OSHA Consultation Service
The mission of the Service is to help eliminate worker injuries and illnesses by providing effective workplace safety and health assistance to California’s employer and employee communities.
Its objectives are to:
- Identify and promote safety and health to small high hazard employers
- Educate employers and employees about the benefits of safety and health
- Encourage employers and employees to implement and maintain good safety and health practices
Services provided by the Service are designed to reduce/eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses through voluntary compliance with occupational safety and health regulations and best practice improvements. This is accomplished through the following services:
- Onsite visits to the employer’s job site
- Offsite consultation by phone/email
- Providing Educational Materials and Research
- Partnership programs
- Outreach assistance
The Service WILL:
- Keep employer names and locations confidential
- Give priority service to small high hazard employers
- Focus on effective safety and health programs
- Emphasize proper workplace safety culture
- Offer additional resources for assistance
The Service WILL NOT:
- OSHA-Proof an employer
- Refer an employer to Cal/OSHA Enforcement
- Guarantee that Cal/OSHA enforcement will not inspect the workplace
- Perform work the employer is required to do
- Ignore an unabated serious violation
- Provide onsite emergency assistance
Employers may phone to request an on-site assistance visit, which is only provided in response to a request by the employer. Employers and employee groups may phone to request consultation away from the job site. Consultants will focus on evaluating and suggesting improvements in workplace safety and health programs. Employers receive a report from the consultant after the on-site visit has been concluded.
On-site visits by a consultant include the following:
- Opening conference
- Review of employer safety records
- Program review
- Walk-around hazard identification
- Training and abatement assistance during and after the on-site survey
- Closing conference
If serious hazards are observed during the on-site visit, the employer must correct the condition and submit a “Correction of Serious Hazards Found” report to the consultant.
Consultants may also provide consultation away from the worksite via telephone, email or office meetings on subjects such as:
- Hazard assessment
- Regulatory requirements
- IIPP and other programs
- Workplace improvements
- Other workplace safety and health issues
Providing Educational Materials and Research
The Research and Education Unit provides California employers and employees with educational materials to help reduce/eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses.
These materials are produced in the form of booklets, fact sheets, brochures, pamphlets, and eTools. They contain practical information in user-friendly formats. Many of these materials are available in Spanish and some in Tagalog, Chinese, Russian, Punjabi, Korean and Vietnamese.
The Unit draws on the knowledge and expertise of labor, industry, trade associations, professional organizations, governmental agencies, educational institutions and other organizations and individuals.
Cal/OSHA publications are available on-line at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/PubOrder.asp
Cal/OSHA eTools are available on-line at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/etools
Cal/OSHA administers partnership programs where industry, labor and Cal/OSHA work as partners. These partnerships encourage and recognize workplace safety and health programs that effectively prevent and control injuries and illnesses to workers. These programs include:
- California Voluntary Protection Program (Cal/VPP)
- Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)
- Golden Gate
Cal/OSHA conducts and participates in workplace safety and health seminars, conferences workshops and other outreach venues with employers and employees. These activities are focused on high-hazard industries, processes, and occupations.
Cal/OSHA Consultation Service Contact information
Contact Cal/OSHA to explore their range of services using a toll-free number:
- “We’ve saved thousands of dollars by using the program…There are just so many ways it’s helped…getting the consultation at no cost” Filing Source
- “You have a lot of specialists in the field of safety…one person might know something about cranes, but they don’t really see the overall picture…I really felt that our consultant was the kind of person that saw the overall picture.” Diversified Container