The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS), through its OSHA Consultation Program, offers free and confidential occupational safety and health consultation services to small and medium sized businesses–including Museums, Conservation Labs, Binderies, Cultural Heritage Facilities, and even Fabrication / Artist Studios. The OSHA Consultation Program can provide assistance with the identification and control of the hazards associated with acquiring, preparing, and caring for collections. The OSHA Consultation Program can also help in the development or improvement of safety and health programs and assist in training employees. The goal is to help prevent injuries and illnesses that may come about due to hazardous workplace conditions and practices.

“Museums and Cultural Heritage Site Hazards: On Display and Unseen,” a new short brochure from the DLS is embedded below with helpful information about potential hazards and how the OSHA Consulting Program might help.

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Some additional information about the DLS / OSHA Consulting Program, which is available statewide regardless of industry:

The On-Site Consultation Program, which is jointly funded by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards and the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is a confidential service in which your company’s name, and any other information you provide, including any unsafe or unhealthy working conditions found, will not be reported routinely to OSHA.

The consultation service is completely separate from the federal OSHA inspection effort. The On-Site Consultation Program consists of highly-trained safety and health (industrial hygiene) professionals with many years of experience. Consultants issue no citations or penalties for non-compliance. Your only obligation will be to agree to correct all serious safety and health hazards in a timely manner. OSHA will be notified only if identified serious hazards or imminent dangers are not corrected.

Some additional about what to expect, and how a consultation might help:

Our safety and health consultant staff will:
• Help you recognize hazards in your workplace.
• Suggest control measures and options for solving a safety or health
• Provide technical support and guidance.
• Monitor worker exposures to air contaminants and other potential
health hazards.
• Assist you in writing and implementing OSHA-required written programs.
• Help you establish or strengthen a safety and health program.
• Provide a detailed written report summarizing all findings.
• Provide training and education for you and your employees.

Our safety and health consultant staff will not:
• Issue citations or propose penalties for violations of
OSHA standards.
• Report possible violations to OSHA enforcement staff except for
unabated serious hazards.
• Guarantee that your workplace will “pass” an OSHA inspection.