Partnership - An OSHA Cooperative Program

Working Together to
Improve Worker
Safety and Health
Working Together to Improve Worker Safety and Health

Partnerships Produce Results

A Federal Partnership in the West:
Employees reviewed safety and health plans and participated in walkthrough inspections. Lost Time Case Rates were reduced 52 percent in one year compared to the baseline year, and workers' compensation claims were reduced 59 percent in the same time period.

A Construction Partnership in the South:
Self-inspections identified 1,536 total hazards, all of which were corrected without OSHA being on-site.

An Ergonomic Partnership in the Midwest:
Partners reviewed and developed solutions to musculoskeletal disorders. Automation of processes reduced workers' compensation costs by 77 percent at one site. Employees also reported an improvement to morale because automation eliminated heavy lifting, pushing and pulling, and reduced exposure to ergonomic injuries.

Working Together to ImproveWorker Safety and Health

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program

The Strategic Partnership Program provides an avenue for employers, employees and other stakeholders to improve their safety and health management systems while working with OSHA in a cooperative, non-adversarial way. This approach is proving to be effective in reducing fatalities, injuries and illnesses in workplaces across America.

Partnerships are flexible, enabling OSHA and its partners to work together to assess mutual concerns and create customized agreements to improve worker safety and health. Partnerships also strengthen relationships among labor, industry and government partners.

How Partnerships Work

Through Partnerships, OSHA and its partners agree to work cooperatively to address critical safety and health issues and measure results. Together they identify workplace safety and health issues and develop goals, strategies, and performance measures to address those issues.

Each partnership is established through a written, signed agreement which usually lasts three to five years, but which can be customized for specific situations. The agreement may be national, regional or local in scope.

Partners Include

Partners may be trade associations such as building contractor or nursing home associations; unions such as the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and employers in industries such as construction, food processing or public warehousing and storage. Partners may be large entities but most often are small businesses averaging fewer than 50 employees.

Other stakeholders may include local/state governments, State Consultation Projects and insurance companies, which often contribute expertise and resources. OSHA serves mainly as a technical resource and facilitator.

Partnerships Are Valuable to Employers

Partnerships help employers:

  • Develop practical skills to identify and abate hazards;
  • Establish effective safety and health management systems;
  • Obtain access to technical assistance and other educational resources;
  • Work closely with partnering Consultation Projects;
  • Reduce injury and illness rates, workers' compensation rates, absenteeism and other costs;
  • Increase productivity;
  • Enhance positive relations with employees beyond safety and health activities; and
  • Transform relations with OSHA from adversarial to cooperative.

Partnerships Are Valuable to Workers

Partnerships help workers:

  • Reduce their risk of death, injury and illness;
  • Increase practical safety and health knowledge and skills;
  • Take an active role in their own safety and health protection; and
  • Strengthen morale.

Partnerships Are Valuable to OSHA

Partnerships help OSHA:

  • Encourage cooperation among workers, employers and other stakeholders;
  • Leverage resources;
  • Showcase industry models to encourage employers to take a proactive approach to improve workplace safety and health; and
  • Reach employers and employees with important safety and health information.

For more information on Partnerships,
visit OSHA's website at