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OSHA Alliance Program: Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently asked questions and answers about OSHA’s Alliance Program.

General Questions

OSHA created the Alliance Program in 2002 to develop voluntary, collaborative working relationships with organizations that are committed to workplace safety and health.

Alliances provide a vehicle for regular, proactive interaction between OSHA and other organizations. OSHA establishes Alliances through a written agreement with an organization for an initial term of two years, which may be renewed at OSHA’s discretion. Alliance participants that have successfully completed an initial two-year agreement and one renewal period may become program Ambassadors. Alliances can be formed at the National, Regional, or Area Office level.

OSHA does not need to enter into a formal Alliance to work with an organization on outreach and dissemination. OSHA and an organization may decide to work together informally on outreach activities, or may do so for a period of time before entering into an Alliance.

As a condition of their participation in the program, Alliance participants disseminate information on OSHA initiatives and resources to their stakeholders, and support their stakeholders’ engagement in the agency’s outreach efforts. In this way, Alliance participants serve as important information intermediaries, significantly amplifying and supporting OSHA’s outreach initiatives. As a result, more employers and workers receive information to help them comply with OSHA requirements and improve workplace safety and health in their industries. OSHA supports Alliance participants’ efforts by providing timely information to Alliance participants on agency regulatory activities, enforcement initiatives, and outreach campaigns, and connecting Alliance participants with appropriate OSHA compliance assistance and technical staff who can support exhibits, and participate in meetings and other events to present information about the agency and its initiatives.

Alliance participants may also conduct activities beyond outreach and dissemination, with priority given to projects that fill gaps and support agency initiatives. Examples of these projects include:

  • Planning and conducting stand-downs, training sessions, or other outreach events in support of key OSHA initiatives,
  • Providing technical briefings for OSHA staff,
  • Developing Alliance products, (e.g., to fill gaps where workplace safety and health materials do not exist or to address an emerging hazard), and
  • Reviewing OSHA compliance assistance materials.

For Alliance products and other projects that go beyond outreach and dissemination, Alliance participants must follow the Guidelines for OSHA’s Alliance Program Participants: Alliance Products and Other Alliance Projects.

No. Alliance participants may not use their relationship with OSHA to promote or to imply the agency’s endorsement of their policies, programs, products, or services.

OSHA will not resolve an industry’s enforcement disputes or policy concerns through an Alliance. However, Alliance participants are encouraged to share feedback with the agency about these issues and work collaboratively with the agency to develop compliance assistance resources and conduct outreach activities to raise awareness about relevant issues and compliant practices within an industry sector.

Organizations committed to workplace safety in health, including, but not limited to, trade and professional associations, labor unions, educational institutions, community and faith-based groups, and government agencies, may sign an alliance agreement with federal OSHA at the national, regional, or area office level. State Plans and On-Site Consultation programs may also sign or otherwise participate in Alliances.

OSHA may also sign Alliances with for-profit entities, Native American Tribes, Whistleblower Protection Entities, and Consulates with consideration for additional approval procedures. Please see Section VII of the Alliance Program Directive for additional information.

State plans, or OSHA-approved workplace safety and health programs operated by individual states or U.S. territories, are not required to operate Alliance programs. However, OSHA encourages states to participate in the implementation of OSHA’s Alliances and to develop their own state programs, patterned after the federal program. Federal OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs maintains a list of State Plan-operated Alliance programs here; you may also contact the state plan directly for details.

No. Alliance participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA inspections or any other enforcement benefits.

Criteria for New Alliances

When assessing potential Alliances to pursue, OSHA will consider factors such as:

  • Alignment of proposed goals with OSHA’s strategic priorities.
  • Capability of potential participant(s) to achieve goals with sufficient knowledge and expertise.
  • Ability of potential participant(s) to address emerging workplace safety and health issues.
  • Demonstrated commitment of potential participant(s) to working cooperatively with OSHA.
  • Reach of potential participant(s) to high-hazard industries, and at-risk workers.

OSHA may also use agency and other data to identify industry sectors and representative organizations with which to pursue Alliances.

OSHA does not need to enter into a formal Alliance to work with an organization on outreach and dissemination. OSHA and an organization may decide to work together informally on outreach activities, or may do so for a period of time before entering into an Alliance.

Fundamental Requirements for Alliance Participants

Alliance participants agree to certain fundamental requirements as a condition of their participation in the Program. These include:

  • Disseminating information to their members and/or stakeholders on OSHA rulemakings, enforcement initiatives, outreach campaigns, and compliance assistance resources.
  • Committing reasonable time and resources to achieve outreach and communication goals and complete any other mutually agreed-upon projects.
  • Providing OSHA with information pertaining to Alliance-related dissemination efforts, events, speeches/presentations, and other activities, as appropriate.
  • Making a reasonable effort to secure meaningful worker participation in the Alliance, which may be accomplished by, for example, having a union signatory to the Alliance, securing union participation, or ensuring other worker involvement in Alliance activities.
  • Following the Guidelines for OSHA's Alliance Program Participants: Alliance Products and Other Alliance Projects for Alliance activities beyond outreach and dissemination. Any products developed through the Alliance must be made available to the public free of charge.

Alliance Agreements and Renewals

Initial Alliance agreements have a duration of two years. Alliances may be renewed or concluded at the end of each agreement cycle at the discretion of OSHA and the Alliance participant. Renewal agreements typically have a duration of five years, but may range from two to five years at the discretion of the originating office.

In assessing whether to renew or conclude an Alliance, OSHA will consider whether the:

  • Participants remain committed to working collaboratively with the agency,
  • Participants are successfully meeting the Fundamental Requirements and the goals specified in the agreement,
  • Alliance has made sufficient progress on the projects in the work plan, where applicable, and
  • Alliance continues to be aligned with OSHA’s strategic priorities.

OSHA may also conclude an Alliance at any time based on its evaluation of these factors, or if it gives 30 days’ written notice.

Alliance Ambassador Program

Ambassador status reflects OSHA’s recognition that an Alliance participant has built and will continue to maintain a productive cooperative relationship with the agency. OSHA expects that Alliance Program Ambassadors will continue to share timely and relevant safety and health information with members, and work collaboratively on issues that emerge among its membership. However, Ambassador participants do not have the data reporting and other requirements that come with a formal Alliance. Ambassador relationships remain in effect for the duration of an ongoing cooperative relationship and a good faith effort by both parties to meet the intent of the arrangement.

Regional and Area Offices have discretion on whether to adopt the Ambassador Program option.

Alliances that have successfully completed at least one two-year initial Alliance and one renewal term may be eligible for Ambassador status.

Questions and Additional Information

OSHA Directive Number CSP 04-01-003, effective March 4, 2020, provides policies and procedures for the implementation of the OSHA Alliance Program. The Alliance Program Fact Sheet is also a useful resource.

For information regarding national Alliances, please contact OSHA’s Office of Outreach Services and Alliances at 202-693-2340. For information regarding regional or local Alliances, please contact the Regional Alliance Coordinator in the Regional Office nearest you.

Not necessarily. OSHA and an organization may decide to work together informally on outreach activities, or may do so for a period of time before entering into an Alliance. For more information, please contact OSHA’s Office of Outreach Services and Alliances at 202-693-2340, or the Regional Alliance Coordinator in the Regional Office nearest you.

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