OSHA official: We offer free consultancy services

A REPRESENTATIVE of the CNMI Occupational Safety & Health Administration said the agency offers free consultancy services to employers as part of a federally funded program.

Mariana Coates, project manager for CNMI-OSHA, said the on-site consultation program for CNMI employers aims to help businesses correct any safety hazards at work sites.

CNMI-OSHA also provides training for employers and employees to ensure construction safety, she added.

But Coates said the office doesn’t solicit clients; it only provides free services upon employer’s request.

“Because it’s free, it’s voluntary and employers must request for it in order to avail themselves of our services,” she said in an interview.

Coates was one of the presenters at the Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s general membership meeting held recently at Saipan World Resort.

She said the office is separate from OSHA Enforcement.

“We are here to assist employers to correct their hazards but we don’t do citation or investigate work sites. We don’t impose penalties. Enforcement is the one doing that,” she added.

“We do visit the sites and if we see any hazard, we sit down with the employers and give them time to correct the hazards. The maximum time is 14 days,” she said.

The following are considered hazards: when the exit door is locked; when construction workers are not wearing a mask, a hat or a harness; when the fire extinguisher is obstructed and the electrical panel is unlabeled.

“If we find these hazards in a business office, building or construction site, we will tell the employer that these need to be corrected,” Coates said.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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