Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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OSHA Compliance Assistance

OSHA offers a variety of compliance assistance products and services to help employers comply with OSHA requirements and prevent or reduce workplace fatalities, illnesses, and injuries. These resources include the OSHA website, publications and guidance documents, training materials and courses, cooperative programs, free On-site Consultation services, and Compliance Assistance Specialists. If you are in a state with an OSHA-approved State plan, you may be subject to different or additional requirements, and other compliance assistance resources and cooperative programs may be available to you.

General Information

The OSHA website at www.osha.gov provides information on OSHA's activities and programs, including laws and regulations, Web-based training tools called "eTools," posters and other publications, education and training programs, cooperative programs, and agency contact information. Online users can read OSHA's e-newsletter, QuickTakes, which provides timely information about agency activities.

A variety of OSHA publications are available on the agency website and through the OSHA Publications Office. Publications can be ordered online or by calling (800) 321-OSHA.

In addition, employers and employees can call (800) 321-OSHA toll-free for workplace safety and health information or assistance 24 hours a day. Employers and employees can also submit questions electronically to OSHA by clicking on the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of each OSHA webpage.

Non-English-speaking Employers and Employees

OSHA maintains a Spanish-language webpage at www.osha.gov/as/opa/spanish/index.html and a page with compliance assistance resources for employers with Hispanic employees at www.osha. gov/hispanic. In addition, the agency has Spanish-speaking operators available at (800) 321-OSHA. Many OSHA publications, training materials, and videos are available in Spanish.

Education and Training Options

The OSHA Outreach Training Program trains individuals to teach others the basics of occupational safety and health. After taking a one-week course, trainers teach 10- or 30-hour courses on construction or general industry safety and health standards.

OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers, located throughout the country, offer OSHA courses and seminars to the public. Courses run from one-half day to four days and vary in price. Topics include recordkeeping, machine guarding, hazardous materials, ergonomics, and construction- related issues. OSHA also presents webcasts on new rules, guidance documents, and technical subjects. Course schedules are available on the OSHA website.

In addition, OSHA awards training grants under the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program to nonprofit organizations to train employees and employers to recognize, avoid, and prevent safety and health hazards in their workplaces.

OSHA’s Cooperative Programs

OSHA offers a variety of programs under which businesses, labor groups, and other organizations can work cooperatively with the agency to help prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the workplace.

Through OSHA's Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to safety and health, including businesses, trade or professional organizations, unions, and educational institutions, to leverage resources and expertise to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and share information with employers and employees to help prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the workplace. OSHA and the organization sign a formal agreement with goals that address training and education, outreach and communication, and promotion of the national dialogue on workplace safety and health.

OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential assistance to small and mediumsized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Consultation services are totally separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. The service is largely funded by OSHA and delivered by state governments using welltrained professional staff. Employers can use this service to identify and correct hazards at their worksites and improve their safety and health management systems. Additionally, the On-site Consultation Program recognizes small employers that operate exemplary safety and health management systems through the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Active SHARP sites are exempt from OSHA's programmed inspections.

The OSHA Strategic Partnership Program (OSPP) provides the opportunity for OSHA to partner with employers, employees, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, state On-site Consultation Programs, and/or other interested stakeholders. OSHA Strategic Partnerships (OSPs) are designed to encourage, assist, and recognize efforts to eliminate serious hazards and achieve model workplace safety and health practices. Each OSP develops a unique, formal agreement that establishes specific goals, strategies, and performance measures. The OSPP is available to all private sector industries and government agencies in locales where OSHA has jurisdiction.

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) are OSHA's premier recognition programs for employers and employees who have implemented exemplary workplace safety and health management systems. A hallmark of VPP is the principle that management, labor, and OSHA work together in pursuit of a safe and healthy workplace. On average, VPP participants have injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) national average for their industry. OSHA's other VPP initiatives, VPP Corporate (a streamlined process for large organizations to bring sites into VPP) and VPP Mobile (offered to employers with non-fixed worksites), provide new opportunities to qualify.

The OSHA Challenge Pilot uses the VPP model as a foundation to provide a roadmap to eligible employers interested in implementing effective safety and health management systems. Volunteer Administrators help guide the participants through a three-stage process. Graduates of OSHA Challenge receive recognition from OSHA and an invitation to apply for VPP with possible expedited approval. OSHA Challenge is available to general industry and construction employers in the private and public sectors under OSHA's Federal jurisdiction.

The Role of Compliance Assistance Specialists

Compliance Assistance Specialists (CASs) in each OSHA area office provide general information about OSHA standards and compliance assistance resources. Small businesses, trade associations, union locals, community and faith-based groups, and others may call on CASs to speak at seminars, workshops, and other events. CASs promote OSHA's cooperative programs, training opportunities, and information and tools available on the OSHA website or from the agency. CASs are not involved in enforcement activities.

Additional Information

For compliance assistance products and services, call (800) 321-OSHA, visit the OSHA website at www.osha.gov, or contact your nearest OSHA regional, area or state office listed on the website.

This is one in a series of informational fact sheets highlighting OSHA programs, policies or standards. It does not impose any new compliance requirements. For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements of OSHA standards or regulations, refer to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. The voice phone is (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: (877) 889-5627.


For more complete information:

footnote imageOccupational
Safety and Health

U.S. Department of Labor
(800) 321-OSHA


DCSP 12/2008

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