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OSHA Strategic Partnership Program (OSPP)

Frequently Asked Questions

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: According to the OSHA Strategic Partnership Program Directive (PDF*), no new or renewed OSPs may have inspection exemptions or any other enforcement incentives.

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.


*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs at (202) 693-2200 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs at (202) 693-2200.

**eBooks - EPUB is the most common format for e-Books. If you use a Sony Reader, a Nook, or an iPad you can download the EPUB file format. If you use a Kindle, you can download the MOBI file format.

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