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What to Expect during a DOSH Consultation

Photo courtesy of L&I.  An L&I consultation visit is confidential and there is no charge for this service.  Photo shows L&I Consultant doing a consultation with an employer.

Did you know that consultation services are free of charge?
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At your request, a safety and health, risk management, or sprains and strains prevention consultation will take place at your business. The consultant will analyze your employee safety and health, and accident prevention programs. You will be offered suggestions that could help save money on your industrial insurance costs.

An on-site consultation can involve:

  • An opening conference with management to explain the employer’s rights and obligations.
  • A walk-through survey to evaluate the mechanical, physical and environmental hazards of the workplace and work practices, and an evaluation of your company’s accident prevention program.
  • A closing conference with management to discuss any conditions noted during the survey and to make recommendations.
  • A written report describing any conditions found and any recommendations or agreements made.
  • A follow-up visit, if appropriate, to assure that any necessary corrections have been made.

Employer Obligation

You must agree to the following conditions before a safety or health consultant can begin your on-site consultation:

  • Correct, in a timely manner, any serious job safety and health hazards or deficiencies found during the course of the consultation visit.
  • In unionized work areas, an employee representative must be provided an opportunity to participate in the opening and closing conferences and the walk-through survey.
  • At all work sites, the consultant must be able to confer with individual employees during the course of the visit. This helps the consultant identify and assess the extent of particular hazards within the scope of your request and evaluate your company’s safety and health program.
  • Note: You cannot be fined by a consultant as a result of the consultation. You will be required to correct serious hazards, but you face no financial penalties. 

No L&I inspector will see a copy of the consultant’s report unless you volunteer it. However, you may choose to use this report as evidence of your good faith effort to provide a safe workplace. There’s no obligation. If you change your mind about the consultation or don’t like what you’re hearing, you may end the consultation at any time. However, you must correct any serious hazards noted by the consultant.

You can involve your company’s safety committee and employees who work in potential hazard areas. The consultant will meet with your safety, explain their findings, and provide backup educational materials.

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