Consultation Program Gives Employers
“Second Pair of Eyes”
to Ensure Workplace Safety
For immediate release
October 3, 2007
no-cost consultation program offered to employers by the Connecticut Department
of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA), is helping an
increasing number of employers in their efforts to improve health and safety
procedures and better protect the workforce.
More than 450
companies took part in the On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program last
year, and according to CONN-OSHA Program Manager Kenneth Tucker, approximately
500 consultations were already accomplished by the end of September.
available to all private sector companies in Connecticut that are required to
comply with federal OSHA safety and health standards, is completely voluntary.
As part of the
consultation, CONN-OSHA health and safety personnel tour the physical facility
and check a wide range of items, including the presence of air contaminants and
blood borne pathogens, improperly-stored hazardous chemicals, missing or
incorrectly installed machine guarding, and improper lockout/tagout procedures.
is non-binding” Tucker notes, “in that the company is not fined or penalized for
any safety concerns we identify. Instead, all that we ask is for the employer to
correct the problem in order to create a safer workplace.
“We find that
companies interested in taking a pro-active approach to safety are interested in
taking part in the program,” Tucker added. “We have been told time and time
again by employers that they appreciate this program because it gives them a
second pair of eyes to double check their company’s health and safety.”
In addition to
checking work areas and equipment such as grinding machines, CONN-OSHA
consultants also inspect loading docks, stockrooms, lunch areas and restrooms.
The consultation also includes an examination of electrical outlets, safety
gloves and electrical cords, and verification of the company’s health and safety
written records. The inspection portion of the visit can be accomplished in one
involved with the On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program include four
occupational safety officers and four industrial hygienists. These highly
experienced individuals work closely with company representatives to ensure that
everyone understands the process and is satisfied with the results.
“Communication between CONN-OSHA and the employer is key throughout the entire
process,” Tucker notes. ”We are there to work with a company, and our goal is to
help improve them health and safety procedures and practices, rather than to
criticize or reprimand.”
During the visit, a
CONN-OSHA staff member and a company representative tour the worksite. The
CONN-OSHA consultant will critique what they’ve found, identify possible
hazards, and make written recommendations within 30 days. “We work one-on-one
with employers and go over anything contained in the report, point by point,”
however, does not take the place of a visit that might be undertaken by
representatives of federal OSHA. While CONN-OSHA has regulatory jurisdiction
over public sector employers in this state, including state agencies, hospitals
and schools, private sector employers come under federal OSHA jurisdiction.
“We want to get the
word out about our On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program because it’s
bringing about positive results for those employers who have taken the
opportunity to use this free service,” Tucker said.
interested in more information regarding the On-Site Safety and Health
Consultation Program can contact CONN-OSHA at (860) 263-6929.
Media Contact: Nancy Steffens (860) 263-6535