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Q: Can OSHA offer focused inspections as incentives to OSHA Strategic Partnerships?
A: Yes, as long as the partners have jointly identified the most serious hazards.
Q: What is the role of workers in an OSHA Strategic Partnership?
A: Partnerships rely on the combined participation of labor, management and OSHA to leverage resources and maximize results. Since each Partnership is unique, the roles played by each differ, and are clearly defined in the agreement. Examples of employee participation include developing and offering training, conducting self-audits, serving on safety committees, and contributing to the evaluation of the Partnership.
Q: Do OSHA Strategic Partnership programs have to be written agreements between the partners and OSHA?
A: Yes. Strategic Partnerships are written agreements with specific core elements and signatures.
Q: Must an employer have an effective safety and health management system already in place before it can join a Comprehensive OSHA Strategic Partnership?
A: No. In many OSP's, partners work together to develop safety and health management systems. By doing so, partners will continue to improve workplace safety and health long after the OSP is completed.
Q: In Partnerships that require employers to implement effective safety and health management systems, is there a time limit for employer implementation?
A: The partners agree in advance on an implementation plan and timetable. Together, the partners will evaluate, at least annually, the progress toward this goal and make adjustments as necessary.
Q: Does OSHA consider partnering with employers who have a prior enforcement history that resulted in citations and penalties?
A: OSHA considers each Partnership proposal on an individual basis. While prior citations and penalties are a consideration, OSHA also takes into account the efforts made by the employer to improve workplace safety and health since receipt of the citations, as well as other demonstrations of good faith. The goal is to work with willing employers to improve workplace safety and health.
Q: Can the agency modify its traditional enforcement by offering a programmed inspection exemption to employers as an incentive for participation in an OSHA Strategic Partnership?
A: No. The agency allows exemptions from routine inspections only for VPP and SHARP participants.
Q: If an employer or other partner is interested in a Partnership with OSHA, how is the process started?
A: For local Partnerships, contact the respective Regional Partnership Manager. If interested in partnering on a national or multi-regional level, contact the Office of Partnerships and Recognition.