Workers can face a variety of potential problems in the workplace that could lead to injuries and illnesses. The N.C. Department of Labor helps employers—especially small businesses—achieve a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. Our professional staff helps employers identify safety and health hazards. We also provide recommendations to reduce or eliminate hazards and will evaluate your safety and health program. Our goal is to help businesses meet safety and health regulations and develop effective safety and health management programs. We provide you with confidential, comprehensive reports of our findings and recommendations.
Who we help:
The Consultative Services Bureau helps employers in both the private and public sectors. In the private sector, consultation is limited to employers who have 500 or fewer employees nationwide. The bureau's main focus is to help the small business employer, small employers with hazardous operations or employers in high hazard industries. In the public sector, priority is given to smaller municipal, county and state agencies.
Services are provided free of charge. Records maintained by the Consultative Services Bureau are kept confidential and are not shared with other NCDOL bureaus.
Services we provide:
Full-service on-site safety and health surveys, or specific surveys tailored to your request
Safety and health program assessment and assistance
Ergonomics evaluation and assistance
Air sampling and analysis
Under the agreement with the Consultative Services Bureau, the employer promises to correct, within a reasonable time frame, all hazards identified by the bureau. This commitment is made in advance.
The employer must also agree to post the list of hazards that accompanies the bureau’s report. If an employer refuses to correct or verify correction of a serious hazard, the bureau chief may refer the matter to the NCDOL Compliance Bureau. This is a rare occurrence in this program.
A consultant, with the Consultative Services Bureau, will call to arrange a convenient date and time to conduct the on-site assessment. The visit includes an opening conference with top management, followed by a walk-around assessment of the facility to identify safety and health hazards and evaluate work practices.
During the on-site visit, written programs are reviewed and a safety and health assessment is conducted. Employee and employer training can be conducted during the on-site visit or arranged for a later date, if necessary.
The consultant will need to confer with a reasonable number of employees and, in unionized workplaces, an employee representative must be afforded an opportunity to participate in the walk-around and the opening and closing conferences.
The consultant may also provide some example programs that can be useful in the development of your safety and health program. The visit concludes with a closing conference to discuss findings and recommendations. If hazards are identified, the employer and the consultant set and agree on a date for correction.
Health surveys concentrate on issues such as exposure to air contaminants, ventilation, noise measurements and controls, hazardous chemicals, ergonomics, respirators, bloodborne pathogens, and hazard communication.
Safety surveys address issues such as working and working surfaces, machine guarding, electrical hazards, fire protection, means of egress, mechanical equipment, personal protective equipment, power tools, housekeeping and sanitation. All surveys will include assistance and information to develop an effective safety and health management program and system.
After the visit, all information is evaluated and research conducted where applicable. This may include laboratory analysis if air samples were taken. A report detailing findings, recommendations, agreements and ways to improve your safety and health management program is prepared and forwarded to you.
If you have any questions about the evaluation or the report, the consultant is always available to assist you.
Our consultative services program requires the employer to correct all hazards identified during the on-site visit and to provide the consultant with written confirmation of hazard correction on, or before, the agreed upon hazard correction due date. If an employer is unable to correct a hazard by the date specified, an extension can be requested.
In some instances, a return visit may be necessary. For example, the consultant may need to take more air quality samples or verity that hazards have been properly corrected.