Labor Needs To Manage Its Workplace Consultation Program Better

HRD-78-155: Published: Dec 18, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 18, 1978.

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The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (0SHA) has not established or enforced adequate requirements for planning, conducting, or evaluating the consultation program. The program was to assure that employers receive help in complying with occupational safety and health standards and that workers are adequately protected. Although most employers who receive services are satisfied, there is little assurance that the program is directed toward the employers that need it most, offers adequate services, and results in serious workplace hazards being corrected. Labor's policy prohibits its employees from consulting with employers at workplaces because the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires citation for violations found and prohibits advance notice of visits. Labor has done little to evaluate the program. Available information has been neither analyzed nor provided to State and Labor regional officials who need it for program management. GAO found that the availability of services varied significantly among the six States visited. Labor needs to decide what level of service it will support and do more to help expand health capability through cross-training of safety consultants.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should: define the priorities for providing consultants, the scope of services to be provided, and the extent to which the demand for consultants should be stimulated; assure that each State is capable of providing both safety and heath consultations; require States to properly classify hazards and assure that serious violations are abated; and monitor and evaluate State programs.

    Agency Affected:


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