Employers in the skilled trades have a particular obligation to pay attention to occupational health and safety. But, how do you know if your workplace is safe enough, according to current government standards? The easiest way to find out is to request to join OSHA’s Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program.
What is OSHA’s Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program?
OSHA’s Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) acknowledges “small business employers who have used OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program services and operate exemplary safety and health programs.” The no-cost program recognizes companies who serve as a model for workplace safety and health.
Who is Eligible?
Businesses who are already in OSHA’s on-site consultation program are eligible for recognition. New companies can join the consultation program if they have 250 or fewer onsite employees and fewer than 500 corporate-wide employees.
What are the Benefits of an Occupational Health and Safety Recognition?
If your company achieves SHARP status, you will join a select group of small businesses who have maintained exemplary occupational health and safety programs. The recognition has several important benefits.
SHARP businesses are known for providing workplaces that protect employees from health and safety hazards. They have the opportunity to work with OSHA to identify and implement best practices for worker protection.
Improved Workplace Culture
By minimizing safety and health hazards in the workplace, you can create a more welcoming working environment with better employee morale.
Companies that have achieved SHARP status are recognized as leaders in occupational health and safety. This acknowledgement can help with attracting both new employees and clients.
Your participation in the OSHA program could lower your worker’s compensation insurance premiums; reduce workers’ days out of work; and improve employee retention.
Your company will receive an exemption from OSHA programmed inspections for up to two years.
How to Participate
If you would like to participate, you must:
- Request a consultation visit from OSHA that involves a complete hazard identification survey
- Involve employees in the consultation process
- Implement and maintain occupational health and safety programs that address OSHA guidelines
- Maintain your company’s Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate and Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate below the national average for your industry
- Agree to notify your state’s On-site Consultation office prior to making any changes in the working conditions or introducing new hazards into the workplace
Once your company satisfies all of the SHARP requirements, your state’s Consultation Project Manager may recommend your work site receive recognition. If approved, your company will receive a SHARP certificate as proof of your achievement.
A SHARP consultation is confidential and is not routinely reported to the government agency’s inspection staff. You will not receive any citations or penalties. Your only obligation is to correct serious occupational health and safety hazards.