A business that stands out for the right reasons always does better than the competition. Maybe it offers the best customer service in the area. Perhaps its products are leaps and bounds above the rest. It might even distinguish itself by giving back to the community or looking after the environment. These are all admirable characteristics, but there’s another you may want to consider as a way to put your company on the map: OSHA SHARP status.
The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes small business employers who have established outstanding injury and illness prevention programs in their organizations. Potential clients, business partners and workers view such recognition by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) favorably, and it could enhance your company’s reputation. But there are also other benefits.
The Benefits of SHARP Status are Numerous
When you achieve SHARP status, you become a member of an elite group of small businesses. You earn an exemption from OSHA programmed inspections for up to two years. You can renew that exemption for another three years. But you can also take pride in the exemplary level of protection from health and safety hazards your workers enjoy. A truly safe work environment boosts employee morale, attracts higher quality job candidates, reduces costly turnover and days away from work, and lowers you worker compensation insurance premiums.
The Application Process is Simple
If you’d like OSHA to consider your business for SHARP status, you must request a comprehensive consultation visit from the local on-site consultation office . The consultation will include a complete hazard identification survey and involve your employees. If the OSHA consultant identifies any hazards during the consultation, you will have the opportunity to correct them.
The minimum requirement for SHARP status is the implementation and maintenance of a safety program that meets OSHA’s 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines. You must also maintain a DART rate (days away, restricted or transferred) and TRC rate (total recordable case) that is below the national average for your industry. Should your business require a change in working conditions at any point, you must agree to notify the local on-site consultation office.
Enjoy Up To Five Years of SHARP Recognition
Once you’ve satisfied the requirements, the consultation project manager will recommend your business for SHARP status. If the recommendation is accepted, OSHA will formally recognize your organization with a SHARP certificate. The administration will then grant you an exemption from OSHA programmed inspections for up to two years. After the two-year period, you can request a renewal for three years. Of course, there are a few additional requirements you must meet to do so.
- You must schedule a full-service comprehensive visit with OSHA to confirm you’ve effectively maintained or improved your safety program
- You must continue to meet all of the initial eligibility requirements
- You must agree to submit interim year SHARP site self-evaluation documents to your local on-site consultation program manager, including your company’s worksite injury and illness logs
Whether you’d like to develop a safety program that will help you achieve SHARP status or have other worksite injury and illness prevention questions, contact your safety consultant today.