OSHA’s SHARP Program for Small Businesses

August 12, 2016

Shepherd Insurance loves to be recognized as one of the leading agency’s in the country. We also know that you love to be recognized for the hard work you put into your business whether large or small. Shepherd Insurance would like nothing more than for you to receive the recognition you deserve and there’s no better recognition than to be recognized for keeping your employees safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) to recognize small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system. Acceptance into SHARP is an achievement that will single your business out among your peers as a model for worksite safety and health. Upon receiving SHARP recognition, your worksite will be exempt from programmed inspections during the period that your certification is valid.

What are the Benefits of SHARP?

When your business achieves SHARP status, it will be granted an exemption from OSHA-programmed inspections for up to two years and subsequent renewal for up to three years. In addition, you will reap a variety of benefits, including:

  • Protection for workers from safety and health hazards in the workplace;
  • Better morale, improved communication and a better working environment;
  • A positive reputation stemming from official OSHA recognition, which attracts top talent and adds value to the brand; and
  • Positive impact on your bottom line through reduced workers’ compensation premiums, improved worker retention and reduced days away from work.

How Can Your Organization Participate in SHARP?

To participate in SHARP, you must do the following:

  • Request a consultation visit that involves a complete hazard identification survey;
  • Involve employees in the consultation process;
  • Correct all hazards identified by the consultant;
  • Implement and maintain a safety and health management system that, at a minimum, addresses OSHA’s Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines;
  • Lower your company’s Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate and Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate below the national average for your industry; and
  • 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.

SHARP Certification and Inspection Exemption

After you satisfy all SHARP requirements, the Consultation Project Manager in your state may recommend your worksite for final SHARP approval.

When you are initially certified as a SHARP site, you will be granted an exemption for up to two years. After your initial certification, you may request SHARP renewal for up to three years, provided that you:

  • Apply for renewal during the last quarter of the exemption period;
  • Allow a full-service comprehensive visit to ensure that your exemplary safety and health management system has been effectively maintained or improved;
  • Continue to meet all eligibility criteria and program requirements; and
  • Agree (if requesting a two or three year renewal) to conduct annual self-evaluations and to submit a written report to your state On-Site Consultation Program Manager that is based on the elements of the Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines and includes OSHA’s required injury and illness logs.

If your organization meets most, but not all, of the SHARP eligibility criteria and are committed to working toward full SHARP approval, you may be recommended by your state On-Site Consultation Project Manager for an inspection deferral of up to 18 months under the following conditions:

  • You have had a full-service, comprehensive consultation visit at your worksite and you have corrected all hazards;
  • You have informed your workers of all hazard corrections;
  • You are in the process of implementing an effective injury and illness prevention program; and
  • You can meet all SHARP requirements during the deferral period.

For more information on implementing a health and safety program at your organization and/or the SHARP program, contact Shepherd Insurance and visit www.osha.gov.