OSHA proposes harmful revisions to its On-site Consultation Program

[tweetmeme]OSHA published a notice in the Sept. 3 Federal Register proposing to revise regulations that govern the agency’s On-site Consultation Program.

The proposed changes will allow OSHA to conduct enforcement inspections, even if those sites are normally exempt because of their status in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. For example, SHARP sites could be included in industry-wide inspections carried out by OSHA.

The biggest and most important proposed change would allow inspectors to terminate an employer’s on-site consultation visit and conduct an enforcement inspection when the agency receives allegations of potential workplace hazards or violations from state or local health departments, media, and other sources.

As an employer you should be very concerned about this change. Now if you invite OSHA in, they CAN and most likely WILL switch the rules in the middle of the game, and issue citations for violations they see.

In the past, if you invited OSHA on site for consultation they would advise you of deficiencies and allow you to correct them before issuing citations. With this proposed change it appears they will be able to simply call “time out” from the consultation visit, and immediately issue citations.

So the question is: Why would you invite the fox into the hen-house in the first place?

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