This directive will be cancelled on February 10, 2005. Please refer to the following link for the new directive effective on that date: CSP 03-02-002
|DIRECTIVE NUMBER: TED 8-0.2
||EFFECTIVE DATE: November 13, 1998|
|SUBJECT: OSHA Stategic Partnership for Worker Safety and Health|
||This instruction establishes the agency's policy for the development,approval, and
implementation of OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health (OSP).|
||Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines; Field Inspection Reference Manual; Government
Performance and Results Act; Paperwork Reduction Act.|
|State Plan Impact:
||This instruction describes a Federal Program Change for which State adoption is not required, but
notification of intent is needed. (See paragraph V.)|
||National, Regional, and Area Offices.|
||Directorate of Federal-State Operations|
||Cathy Oliver, Chief|
Division of Voluntary Programs
U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA
200 Constitution Ave. NW - Rm. N3700
Washington, DC 20210
By and Under the Authority of
Charles N. Jeffress
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Action Information
- Federal Program Change
- OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health (OSP)
- State Plans
- Enforcement Initiatives
- VPP and SHARP
- Other Forms of Compliance Assistance
- Core Elements
- Situation Analysis
- Identification of Partners
- Measurement System
- Safety and Health Programs
- Employee Involvement and Employee Rights
- Stakeholder Involvement
- OSHA Incentives
- OSHA Inspections
- Program Evaluation
- Strategic Partnership Proposal,
Review, and Approval
- Information Collection and Dissemination
- Reporting Time Spent on Partnerships
APPENDIX A FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OSHA
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS FOR WORKER SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPENDIX B SUMMARY OF CORE ELEMENTS - OSHA STRATEGIC
PARTNERSHIPS for WORKER SAFETY AND HEALTH (OSP)
APPENDIX C STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ANNUAL EVALUATION FORMAT
- Purpose Over the past several years OSHA has entered
into a variety of cooperative agreements to carry out its mission to protect the
safety and health of American workers. These partnerships have shown the value
of increasing the cooperative activities of the agency, but they also have revealed
a need for greater formalization and consistency so that certain agency-wide needs
and objectives may be met. This instruction describes and implements agency policy
favoring development of OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health
(OSP). In general, OSPs are voluntary, cooperative relationships between OSHA,
employers, employees, employee representatives, and possibly others. OSPs aim to
achieve a significant and measurable reduction in workplace deaths, injuries,
and illnesses. This instruction sets forth principles and procedures for development,
approval, implementation, and evaluation of these programs by National Office and
field personnel. Included are:
- A discussion on the background of this issue.
- A definition of the terms "OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and
Health" (including the subclassifications "Comprehensive" and Limited") and
"Leveraging" for the purposes of the policy described in this document.
- Statements on this policy's applicability to various OSHA programs.
- A set of core elements for OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and
Health. Comprehensive OSPs must contain all core elements. Limited OSPs
must contain the OSHA Inspections core element and must follow certain
procedural requirements, and they are encouraged to include other elements.
- A set of recommendations for all programs that meet the definition of OSHA
Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health.
- Information required to be submitted in an OSP proposal, and the system for
higher level review and approval of these proposals.
- A discussion of the need for OSP information collection and dissemination,
including reporting requirements.
- An Appendix of frequently asked questions and answers.
- An Appendix summarizing the core elements of OSHA Strategic Partnerships.
- An Appendix designating a format for annual evaluations of OSHA Strategic
- Scope This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
- Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, FRN 54:3904-3916, January
- OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103, Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM),
September 26, 1994.
- Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), P.L. 103-62.
- Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), P.L. 104-13.
- Action Information
- Responsible Office. The Directorate of Federal-State Operations has
responsibility for coordinating the development of OSHA Strategic Partnership
policy and for advising the Assistant Secretary concerning OSP issues.
- Action Offices. All National Office Directorates, Regional Offices, and Area
Offices involved in the design, approval, and implementation of OSHA Strategic
Partnership programs shall adhere to the instructions within.
- Information Offices. Regional Administrators shall ensure that the information
contained in this instruction is transmitted to all State Plan Designees and OSHA
- Federal Program Change
- This instruction describes a Federal Program Change for which State adoption is
not required. However, the States are encouraged to use the core elements of
OSHA Strategic Partnerships when undertaking partnership initiatives.
- In the interest of developing an information base on both State and Federal
partnership efforts, State plans are asked to provide information on their
partnership initiatives (as provided in Section XII) to their Regional
Administrators and to the Directorate of Federal-State Operations.
- Background Over the past several years, OSHA has
been expanding on its already substantial experience with voluntary programs by
proposing and implementing various new cooperative initiatives in both the
National Office and the field. These efforts have been designed to increase
OSHA's impact on worker safety and health and, at the same time, to help OSHA
change its way of conducting business from one of command and control to one
that provides employers a real choice between partnership and a traditional
enforcement arrangement. Employer groups, labor organizations, individual employers,
and employees and their representatives committed to developing and implementing
strong and effective safety and health programs are finding OSHA to be a willing partner.
Individual employers who fail to step up their efforts to protect their workers are
continuing to face strong enforcement.
In the absence of clear agency policy on partnerships, however, program developers
specified varying partnership requirements, qualifications, and OSHA incentives. Seeing
a need to establish "boundaries" for partnership programs, OSHA formed an ad-hoc
workgroup of agency staff. The workgroup's task was to develop a partnership
framework that would ensure a basic level of consistency for these various cooperative
efforts. The workgroup was particularly concerned to strike a balance between
consistency and flexibility so that the established boundaries were not so rigid as to
inhibit innovation. After several opportunities for review and comment by a group of
senior National Office managers, Regional Administrators, State Programs, and agency
stakeholders, the efforts of this ad-hoc workgroup evolved into this document.
This instruction states the agency's general policy on OSP programs but does not bind the
agency to approve or disapprove any particular partnership proposal, limit the agency's
discretion to enter into agreements that do not meet the criteria listed within this
instruction, or create any rights in private parties. Appendix A provides answers to some
frequently asked questions about this policy.
- OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health (OSP)
- The term OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health
(OSP) denotes an OSHA strategy, available for all industries, whereby
OSHA enters into an extended, voluntary, cooperative relationship with
groups of employers, employees, and employee representatives
(sometimes including other stakeholders, and sometimes involving only
one employer) in order to encourage, assist, and recognize their efforts to
eliminate serious hazards and achieve a high level of worker safety and
health. An OSHA Strategic Partnership aims to have a measurable,
positive impact on workplace safety and health that goes beyond what
historically has been achievable through traditional enforcement methods
and through a focus on individual worksites.
- Under the umbrella of OSHA Strategic Partnerships are two
subclassifications: Comprehensive OSPs and Limited OSPs.
- A Comprehensive OSHA Strategic Partnership contains all core elements
enunciated in this Instruction. The Comprehensive Partnership agreement
must include each participating employer's commitment to implement in a
timely manner an effective workplace safety and health program that
provides for management leadership and employee involvement, hazard
analysis, hazard prevention and control, safety and health training,
evaluation, and compliance with applicable OSH Act requirements.
- A Limited OSHA Strategic Partnership, while expected to make use of the
guidance provided by this instruction, is not required to include all the
core elements. For example, a Limited Partnership, rather than requiring
establishment of comprehensive safety and health programs, might focus
on eliminating a prevalent hazard in a particular industry. All Limited
OSPs, however, must contain the core element of OSHA Inspections and
must follow the Proposal, Review and Approval process (Section XI) and
the Information Collection and Time Reporting instructions (Sections XII
- An important element in all OSHA Strategic Partnership programs is the
need to leverage the agency's resources. In the context of OSP, the term
The application of strategies designed to eventually increase the impact of
the agency's activities on workplace safety and health without the need for
OSHA to devote significant additional resources. The increased impact
may involve reaching a greater number of employers and/or employees or
achieving increased worker protection sooner than by other means.
Whatever strategies are used, the ultimate goal of all leveraging activities
must be a reduction in job-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses.
- Leveraging involves a more efficient use of the agency's own resources to
address particular issues, i.e., getting "more bang for the buck." In the
context of OSP, leveraging also involves increasing OSHA's effectiveness
by working with persons or organizations outside the agency to achieve a
common goal. Under this approach, the agency can combine its own
resources with those of OSHA's public and private stakeholders, thereby
achieving a synergistic effect -- having a greater impact on safety and
health, not through the use of significant additional resources, but through
a more effective, cooperative application of existing resources.
- It should be noted that during the initial stages of an OSP, the agency may
need to expand its commitment of time and resources. Increasing impact
while limiting OSHA's resource expenditures is, however, a long-term
goal of OSP leveraging.
- To the extent possible, partners are expected to participate in this
leveraging by, among other actions, sharing their experiences and
successes with others.
- State Plans
State Plan States are encouraged to implement Partnership programs with
employers, employees, and employee representatives. When undertaking
partnership initiatives, the States are particularly encouraged, but not required, to
use the core elements of OSHA Strategic Partnerships described in this
- Enforcement Initiatives
Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs) and programmed inspection plans need not
adhere to the core elements of this policy. However, the developers and reviewers
of both SEPs and OSPs need to ensure that thorough intra-agency communication
minimizes duplication and potential program conflicts.
- VPP and SHARP
The Voluntary Protection Programs and the Consultation Program's Safety and
Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) are not expected to adhere to
the OSP requirements.
- Other Forms of Compliance Assistance
OSHA recognizes that there are many other forms of cooperative assistance
involving employers, employees, employee representatives, and other
stakeholders that are valuable and that OSHA will continue to engage in. Many of
these are short-term activities. Others do not involve the three-way relationship
between OSHA, employers, and employees and/or their representatives that is
being promoted by this policy.
Following are examples of compliance assistance activities that may be included
in an OSHA Strategic Partnership but that, by themselves, are neither Comprehensive
nor Limited OSPs:
- Conducting general outreach activities, such as providing training and
giving speeches at the request of a local labor union.
- Providing technical assistance at the request of an employer.
- Working with state and local governments, insurance companies, unions,
trade associations, and others to promote safety and health programs,
identify hazards, or develop sources of data for hazard identification.
- Developing a mutual referral system with a state department of
- Core Elements
The following core elements must be addressed in all Comprehensive OSPs. Limited
OSPs are required to address only the element of OSHA Inspections. However, logically
developed Limited Partnerships, if they are to meet the needs of the agency and merit
approval, are likely to contain most of the following core elements. Therefore, the
developers of Limited Partnerships are urged to use these core elements as a major source
of guidance and to incorporate as many as appropriate.
- Situation Analysis
This element is the analysis that determines if a particular situation lends itself to
the OSP approach. Examples of possible reasons for developing OSPs:
- Expanding OSHA's reach to industries and workplaces where no
intervention models presently exist, or where current intervention methods
- Providing the agency with a means to address cutting edge issues.
- Experimenting with abatement technologies that may prove to be as
effective as or better than traditional methods.
- Enabling OSHA to increase its emphasis on known or traditional hazards.
- Identification of Partners
Priority for OSPs will be given to those programs that support OSHA's Strategic
Plan and make the best use of agency resources. Accordingly, OSP programs
normally will be developed with groups of employers and employees and/or their
representatives in high-hazard workplaces or in workplaces with prevalent types
of injuries and illnesses. OSHA, however, may partner with employers, employees,
and/or their representatives from individual workplaces or low-hazard establishments
if the originating office finds it will have a significant impact on the reduction
of injuries and illnesses, e.g., partnering with a large establishment or conducting
a pilot program to test the efficacy of an innovative abatement strategy.
A clearly defined goal statement identifies the safety and health issues the
program is intended to address, expected program impact, measures to gauge
success, time frames including a "sunset clause" completion date (which can be
extended after careful evaluation), and OSHA's resource needs. Comprehensive
OSPs must contain goals for employers, employees, and/or employee representatives
that are clearly articulated, measurable, and verifiable.
- Measurement System
Comprehensive OSPs must contain a results-focused measurement system,
developed at the outset of the program. This measurement system must:
- Use activity, intermediate, and outcome measures (including measures to
address the effectiveness of leveraging).
- Identify baseline data corresponding to all summary line items on the
OSHA-200 Log. Collecting this information, which is consistent with
OSHA's data initiative, will help the agency compare the efficacy of
various programs and develop impact data that spans more than one
Consider for inclusion in the measurement system such measures as changes in
exposure levels, the experience modification rate (EMR), and comparisons of pre-
and post-intervention scores obtained using appropriate tools, e.g., the Safety and
Health Assessment Worksheet (OSHA Form 33). Note: Care should be taken in
using EMRs, because some are workplace-specific, while others are employer-specific
and involve multiple worksites. This makes direct comparisons of employers'
- Safety and Health Programs
Effective workplace safety and health programs are self-sustaining systems that
encompass four main areas: management leadership and employee involvement;
worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control; and safety and health training.
Employers participating in Comprehensive OSPs must have now or agree to
implement in the near future effective site-based safety and health programs.
These programs should be based on OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health Program
Management Guidelines whenever feasible. (Any alternative safety and health
programs that differ significantly from OSHA's 1989 Guidelines must be
carefully considered and thoroughly described in the Partnership proposal.)
A Limited OSP, e.g., one focused on a specific hazard, may find it feasible and
appropriate to either require or encourage employers to implement effective safety
and health programs.
One of the tools available to help determine a program's effectiveness is the
agency's Safety and Health Program Assessment Worksheet (OSHA Form 33).
- Employee Involvement and Employee Rights
- Employees can bring valuable skills and perspective to the development
stage of a Partnership. Their involvement in the initial formulation of
Strategic Partnership policy and direction is encouraged. Employee
involvement in the day-to-day implementation of worksite safety and
health programs and other Comprehensive OSP activities is required.
- Partnership Development: For Comprehensive OSPs that include the
participation of unionized worksites, all affected unions must be
supportive for the partnership to go forward. The level at which the union
is involved, i.e., local, international, or both, will depend on the scope and
nature of the Partnership. When employees are represented by labor
organizations, union representatives at either the local or international
level must be signatories to the Comprehensive Partnership agreement or,
alternatively, must indicate their willingness for the Partnership to proceed
but waive their opportunity to be signatory.
For non-union worksites, involving employees at the outset in the
development of the Partnership is encouraged, if feasible. It is highly
desirable that there be evidence of employee involvement in and
commitment to an OSP.
- Involvement at the Worksite: Experience has shown that employee
involvement is an essential component of any effective safety and health
program. In any OSP that requires implementation of safety and health
programs, partnering employers must commit to incorporating in their
programs a high level of employee involvement. The degree and quality
of such involvement must be considered during any onsite inspections and
as part of the periodic worksite safety and health program evaluations
expected of all participating sites.
- Examples of employee involvement include, but are not limited to:
- participating on safety and health committees, joint labor-
management committees, and other advisory or specific purpose
committees, if otherwise lawful and appropriate;
- conducting site inspections, safety and health audits, job hazard
analyses, and other types of hazard identification;
- developing and using a system for reporting hazards;
- developing and revising the site's safety and health rules and safe
- participating on workplace teams charged with identifying root
causes of accidents, incidents, or breakdowns;
- implementing controls to eliminate or reduce hazard exposure;
- collecting samples for monitoring;
- making presentations at safety and health meetings;
- delivering training to current and newly hired employees; and
- participating in safety and health program reviews.
- OSP programs must explicitly safeguard employees' exercise of their
rights under the OSH Act and OSHA regulations and policy, including
- Stakeholder Involvement OSP programs are expected to involve those
stakeholders, both national and local, whose input and participation are important
to the program's success, as appropriate. Communication with other OSHA
offices may be valuable in identifying important stakeholders.
- OSHA Incentives All Comprehensive OSPs must offer OSHA incentives. If a
Limited OSP chooses to offer any incentives, then it must adhere to the following
Incentives offered to OSP partners must be commensurate with the participating
employers' efforts to provide safe and healthful working conditions and their
degree of success. Further, OSP incentives must be consistent with OSHA
incentives contained in other agency programs, policies, and procedures.
Following are examples of OSHA incentives that OSP programs may offer:
- Outreach information and assistance during the initial implementation
phase of a Partnership.
- Priority consideration for onsite consultative services provided by OSHA's
7(c)(1) Program if the appropriate Consultation Project agrees.
- Programmed inspections that focus on the most serious hazards prevailing
at the partnering workplaces when these hazards are identified as targets of
the OSP effort.
- For any cited hazards, penalty reductions calculated in accordance with
agency procedures in the Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM) that
provide good-faith reductions for effective safety and health programs.
- Agreement about ways the parties may provide positive publicity about the
OSP and the partnering establishments.
- Technical Assistance. The providing of technical assistance will be a
valuable component in many OSPs. Onsite services may be provided by
OSHA's 7(c)(1) State Consultation Program to partnering employers who
qualify under the Consultation regulations. OSHA Consultation is
intended primarily to assist small and medium-sized businesses -- no more
than 250 employees at the site requesting assistance, and no more than 520
employees company-wide -- that are either in high-hazard industries or
involved in hazardous operations. A Partnership may make use of OSHA
Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) to deliver offsite
technical assistance to employers. OSHA personnel may provide onsite
and offsite training. OSHA's National and Regional offices are additional
potential sources of technical assistance, e.g., assistance from OSHA's
Health Response Team and other resources within the Directorate of
Technical Support. It is anticipated that some OSPs will employ private
consultants to provide technical assistance.
Note concerning OSHA Incentives and Programmed Inspections:
Within the context of OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health,
the term "programmed inspection" refers to traditional enforcement inspections as
described in the FIRM, i.e., inspection of workplaces that are selected according
to national scheduling plans for safety and for health or special emphasis
programs. Exemptions from routine programmed inspections will not be provided
under OSP programs. Only worksites qualifying for the Voluntary Protection
Programs (VPP) and the OSHA Consultation Safety and Health Achievement
Recognition Program (SHARP) are eligible for this incentive.
- Verification To ensure that employers are upholding their responsibilities
under a Partnership, verification procedures -- protocols -- must be written into all
Comprehensive OSP proposals and must subsequently be implemented. These protocols must
- The number or percentage of employers who will receive OSHA
verification inspections, as determined by the originating office based on
its analysis of the particular situation.
- The scope of the verification inspections.
- Assurance that citations will be issued and penalties assessed for
violations of standards, regulations, or the general duty clause found
during verification inspections. An employer's safety and health program
will not in itself be basis for citation except pursuant to CFR 1926.20,
1926.21, or other specific standards that mandate safety and health
- The manner in which employees and/or employee representatives will be
involved in verification inspections. At a minimum, the verification
protocols must afford employees all statutory rights pertaining to
participation in inspections.
OSPs may use their participants or private consultants to conduct worksite
assessments. Such use, however, does not take the place of required OSHA
- OSHA Inspections All OSPs, whether Comprehensive or Limited, must
stipulate that partnering employers remain subject to OSHA inspections and
investigations in accordance with established agency procedures.
- It will not be necessary for OSHA to conduct a programmed inspection of
a partnering employer if the agency has conducted a verification inspection
in accordance with the approved protocols of the partnership within the
last 12 months. The deletion Activity Code O#, which is described in
paragraph B.1.b.(1)(b)6 d of OSHA Instruction CPL 2.25I, Scheduling
System for Programmed Inspections, issued January 4, 1995, shall be used
to delete an establishment from the targeting list.
- Certain programmed inspections may be affected by focused inspection
provisions offered as an OSHA incentive and detailed in a Partnership's
approved verification protocols (see IX.H.3. and IX.I.. above).
- If a partnering employer appears on a Special Emphasis Program
list, i.e., an NEP or LEP list, the inspection will focus on the hazards
identified as targets of the SEP, if applicable, as well as any hazards
identified as targets of the OSP effort. It is anticipated that, in most
instances, the hazards that are the focus of an SEP will parallel or closely
relate to the hazards identified as most serious by an OSP.
- If a partnering employer is targeted for inspection under a programmed
inspection plan that calls for comprehensive inspections, the inspection
will be conducted in accordance with established agency procedures, will be
comprehensive, and will not be affected by any OSP focused inspection
- Program Evaluation All Comprehensive OSPs must include a process for
evaluation (normally at 1-year intervals) to determine if the program needs to be
modified or discontinued or has potential for national implementation. This
evaluation will make use of the data obtained by the Partnership's required
measurement system (IX.D.). See Appendix C for an Annual Evaluation Format.
The written evaluation must be sent to the Directorate of Federal-State Operations
- Leveraging In the interest of conserving OSHA resources, Comprehensive
OSPs must contain a leveraging component, to be determined after an analysis of
possible leveraging opportunities. (See VII.B. for a definition of the term
- Termination The documentation for all Comprehensive OSPs must contain
language that specifies the conditions under which the program will be terminated.
Examples include: "sunset" provisions; termination if any of the three primary
parties (OSHA, employers, employees and/or their representatives) unilaterally
withdraws from the Partnership; or termination when the goals of the program
have been met. Withdrawal of one of the primary parties from the agreement will
always result in the program's termination.
- Recommendations. The following issues should be considered
in the development of OSPs, but they are not core elements.
- OSHA Strategic Partnership programs should support the agency's Strategic Plan.
- State Consultation Projects and, if appropriate, State Plan States should be
involved at the outset in OSP planning and, as appropriate, during the implementation
of the program.
- Some employers (e.g., employers with a history of serious or willful or repeated
violations, those that in the last few years have experienced fatalities related to
OSHA violations, and employers with a history of adjudicated labor law violations,
tending to undermine genuine employee participation) normally should not be eligible
for OSPs, although exceptions may be allowed.
- Partnerships may require employers to post results of self-inspections and other
documents, and may require employers to make reports to OSHA of their activities
under the Partnership.
Note: Any requirements for employer reporting must adhere to
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).
- Although a Comprehensive OSP must be described in a written agreement
between OSHA and its partners, the particular structure and degree of formality of
the Partnership is left to the discretion of the originating office.
- Strategic Partnership Proposal, Review, and Approval
All Comprehensive and Limited OSHA Strategic Partnerships must follow the process set
forth in this section.
- Partnership Proposal An OSHA Strategic Partnership proposal must contain an
itemized description of how the program addresses the core elements. For Comprehensive
OSPs, this means all core elements. For Limited OSPs, this means the element of OSHA
Inspections plus other core elements the developers choose to incorporate. See Section
IX and Appendix B. The proposal also must contain a discussion of anticipated OSHA
resource expenditures. In addressing the core elements, proposal developers should
be careful to provide:
- Overview: A general statement of the safety and health problem that the
Strategic Partnership intends to address, including consideration of the appropriateness
of this particular approach.
- Identification of Partners: Complete identification of all parties who will
be signatory to the agreement or, for Limited Partnerships that do not
expect to have a written agreement, all parties committed to participate.
All local and international unions that have been involved in early
discussions and the development of the program should be identified, with
specific individuals and their positions named.
- Goal: A clearly defined statement of the Partnership's goal. As
appropriate, indicate how partnering with these parties will support OSHA's
- Data Collection/Analysis: Information on what data will be collected,
time frames, who will be responsible for data collection and analysis, and
how the program's measurement system is designed to measure results.
Indicate whether the measurement system meets Government Performance
and Results Act (GPRA) requirements for activity, intermediate, and
- Safety and Health Program: A commitment to establish effective safety
and health programs at all worksites that choose to join the Partnership.
Information on whether safety and health programs exist at this time and
what steps will be taken to promote their establishment, improvement, and
continuing effectiveness. Indicate if OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health
Program Management Guidelines will be used as the basis for these
worksite programs. If an alternative to the Guidelines is being proposed,
provide details and justification for the adoption of this alternative.
- Employee Involvement: How the Partnership will ensure meaningful
employee involvement in member worksites' safety and health programs
and, as appropriate, in the overall development and functioning of the
Partnership. The proposal should indicate the role being played by labor
organizations, when applicable.
- Stakeholder Involvement: What efforts are being made to involve other
appropriate stakeholders, and what roles these stakeholders have agreed to.
- OSHA Incentives: What kinds of assistance, recognition, or other
incentives OSHA can offer the Partnership. What forms of technical assistance
will be provided and who will provide these services. Include a thorough description
of any plans to use partnership participants or private consultants to conduct
worksite assessments. Note: Such assessments will not take the place of any
required OSHA verification.
- Onsite Verification: Details of OSHA's plan to verify through onsite
inspection that partnering employers in a Comprehensive OSP are meeting
their obligation to provide safe and healthful working environments,
including their commitment to develop and operate effective worksite
safety and health programs and their compliance with OSHA regulations.
See IX.I. for more information on verification protocols.
- OSHA Inspections: All OSPs must stipulate that partnering employers
remain subject to OSHA inspections and investigations in accordance with
established agency procedures. See IX.J. for more information. If a
Partnership intends to offer focused inspections to partnering employers,
provide details, including identification of the hazards to be focused on
and the process/data used to identify these hazards.
- Partnership Evaluation: A description of the process for periodic (usually
annual) evaluation of the overall Partnership (see Appendix C).
- Leveraging Strategy: A discussion of OSP leveraging, i.e., the ways in
which the Partnership expects to maximize, either immediately or in the
long run, the return on OSHA's investment of resources.
- Termination: Specification of the circumstances that will trigger
termination of the Partnership. Include the proposed term of the OSP
(e.g., 3 years) and the conditions for its premature termination.
- Review and Approval All Comprehensive and Limited OSHA Strategic
Partnership proposals must be reviewed and formally approved at the next higher
organizational level prior to implementation. It is recommended that potential
programs be communicated to affected parties as soon as possible, e.g.,the
Director of Construction, and that appropriate directorates be consulted prior to
submitting an OSP proposal for formal approval.
- Partnerships developed at the National Office level will be reviewed by the
appropriate National Office Directorate(s) and by the Director of Federal-State
Operations (FSO). The decision will be made by the Office of the Assistant Secretary
with consultation from the National Office of the Solicitor.
- Partnerships developed at the Regional Office level will be reviewed by
the appropriate National Office Directorate(s) and by the Director of
Federal-State Operations (FSO). The decision will be made by the Office
of the Deputy Assistant Secretary with consultation from the National
Office of the Solicitor.
- Partnerships developed in the Area Offices will be reviewed and a
decision made by the Regional Administrator with consultation from the
Office of the Regional Solicitor. (NOTE: A courtesy copy of all
Comprehensive Partnership proposals and a synopsis of all Limited
Partnership proposals developed at the Area Office level shall be provided
to the Office of Reinvention and appropriate National Office Directorate(s)
at least 2 weeks prior to implementation.)
- The approving authority shall approve an OSP proposal if, in its
judgement, the Partnership will advance the objectives of this instruction.
If the approving authority disapproves a proposal, it shall notify the
proponents of the OSP of the reasons for its action and afford them the
opportunity to submit a modified proposal.
- Information Collection and Dissemination
- OSHA intends to establish a formal system to regularly collect and
disseminate information about OSHA Strategic Partnership programs. The
agency expects that this system will help identify and assess particularly
useful ideas for circulation and broader implementation. Moreover, the
information will play a vital role in the agency's commitment to recognize,
publicize, and promote successful OSHA Strategic Partnerships.
- Although OSHA would prefer to have a uniform information collection and
dissemination system in place right now, implementation of the policies and core
elements for OSHA Strategic Partnerships should not be postponed until such a
system is fully functional. Therefore, the originating office for each OSHA
Strategic Partnership, whether Comprehensive or Limited, should establish and
maintain a file of information for each program. The information required to be
submitted in the initial program proposal (see XI.A.) will form the basis for this
file. To this should be added implementing instructions or other documents
subsequently developed, and any important information not in the original
proposal, e.g., involvement by new stakeholders, data collected through the
program's measurement system, data analyses, information on training and other
outreach activities, success stories, and program evaluation reports.
- Until a formal information system is established, the Director of Federal-State
Operations (FSO), in coordination with the Director of the Office of Reinvention,
will maintain information on all OSHA Strategic Partnerships. Therefore, the
originating office for each OSHA Strategic Partnership shall provide the Director
of FSO with:
- a copy of the initial program proposal,
- notification when a proposal receives approval, and
- a copy of subsequent annual evaluations.
It shall be the responsibility of the Director of FSO to enter partnership
information into a database.
- A courtesy copy of all comprehensive partnership proposals and a synopsis of all
limited partnership proposals developed at the Area Office level shall be provided
to the Office of Reinvention and appropriate National Office Directorate(s) at
least 2 weeks prior to implementation.
- Coordination of outreach efforts and the dissemination of success stories and
other information are important strategies to maximize Partnership impact,
recognize the efforts of OSHA's partners, and conserve agency resources. To
facilitate this coordination, the Director of FSO will share information on
Partnership activities with the Director of the Office of Public Affairs.
- All partners need to recognize the importance of disseminating information about
the Partnership and information gained as a result of Partnership efforts, e.g.,
successful hazard abatement techniques. To the extent possible, OSHA's partners
are expected to share their experiences and successes with others.
- Reporting Time Spent on Partnerships
The Office of Management Data Systems will issue separate instructions concerning the
reporting of time spent developing, reviewing, implementing, evaluating, and promoting
all OSHA Strategic Partnerships.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
OSHA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS FOR WORKER SAFETY AND HEALTH
||What are OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker
Safety and Health?|
||OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety
and Health (OSP) are programs in which the agency enters into cooperative relationships
with groups of employers, employees, and employee representatives (and possibly other
stakeholders) in order to encourage, assist, and recognize their voluntary efforts to
focus on and eliminate serious hazards and achieve a high level of safety and
health. OSHA Strategic Partnerships are characterized by core elements that may
not be present in other OSHA activities (see Appendix B). OSPs are divided into
two subclassifications: Comprehensive and Limited. The goal of all OSPs is a
significant and measurable reduction in workplace deaths, injuries, and illnesses.
For further information, see Section VII.A.|
||Can OSHA offer focused inspections as incentives to OSHA
||Yes, so long as the Partnership has carefully
identified the most serious hazards prevailing at partnering worksites.|
||Can OSHA offer penalty reductions greater than the
reductions that the present system provides, as an additional inducement for employers
to partner with OSHA?|
||No. Current procedures already provide for
substantial good-faith reductions for employers who implement effective safety
and health programs.|
||What is the role of workers in a Comprehensive OSHA
||All Comprehensive OSPs must have a high level
of employee involvement from the outset. At non-union workplaces, it is not expected
that employees will sign the Partnership agreement, but evidence of their involvement
and commitment is highly desirable. OSHA expects workers to be involved in the development
and operation of the Partnership as well as the individual sites' safety and health
||Do OSHA Strategic Partnership programs have to be written
agreements between OSHA, the workers or their representatives, and the
||Comprehensive OSPs must have a written agreement.
The written agreement should spell out the goals and objectives and address the other
core elements of the Partnership so that all parties understand what is
||Must an employer have an effective safety and health
program already in place before it can join a Comprehensive OSHA Strategic
||No. OSHA can enter into a Comprehensive Strategic
Partnership when it has some reasonable assurances that participating employers will
develop and implement effective safety and health programs in the near future. An OSP may
have as one of its primary goals the timely development and implementation of workplace
safety and health programs.|
||In OSPs that require employers to implement effective
safety and health programs, is there a time limit for employer
||No. That is up to the judgment of the originating
office. It is recommended that the originating office set a time limit.|
||How does OSHA define an "effective" safety and health
||As a general rule, an effective safety and health
program should conform to OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines. OSHA
recognizes that there may be situations, however, where a safety and health
program not based on the Guidelines would be appropriate for a particular OSHA
Strategic Partnership. Such an alternative program must be fully described in the
proposal and, at a minimum, must include the four main elements addressed by
the Guidelines and common to all comprehensive, effective safety and health
programs. These are management leadership and employee involvement, worksite
analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training. Moreover,
effective safety and health programs are self-sustaining systems that become fully
integrated into the day-to-day operations of a workplace.|
||Why is OSHA willing to consider, on a case-by-case basis,
the establishment of Strategic Partnership programs with employers that have a history
of serious safety and health hazards and violations or other labor law
||OSHA does not want to close the door on using the
Strategic Partnership approach to encourage the efforts of employers who are committed to
improving the health and safety of their workers. As the Partnership guidelines note, the
agency expects these situations to be the exception, not the rule. Partners in OSPs still
must meet all the requirements, and for Comprehensive OSPs these requirements include
implementation of an effective safety and health program, the active involvement of employees,
etc. Moreover, for all OSPs, worksites remain subject to programmed and unprogrammed
||agency stakeholders must be involved in developing an
OSHA Strategic Partnership program?|
||There is no hard and fast rule about stakeholder
involvement, because each situation will be different. It is up to the originating office
to identify and involve those stakeholders whose participation is needed to make the
program successful, keeping in mind that there are local and national level stakeholders
who may not always agree.|
||Why is OSHA not requiring all Partnership programs to be
identified through data analysis?|
||The agency does not want to preclude the development
of OSHA Strategic Partnerships in cases where objective data are not readily available. As the
guidelines clearly note, however, Partnerships should be based on analysis of objective data
||Can the agency modify its traditional enforcement by offering a
programmed inspection exemption to employers as an incentive for participation in an OSHA
||No. The agency allows exemptions from routine inspections
only for VPP and SHARP participants.|
||Can the agency still conduct unprogrammed inspections of
||Yes. OSHA will conduct complaint inspections, accident
inspections, etc., in accordance with established agency policy.|
||Can the agency provide onsite technical assistance in identifying
and correcting hazards to employers who participate in an OSHA Strategic Partnership
||OSHA's longstanding policy has not changed: CSHOs do not
provide onsite technical assistance to employers except as an incidental adjunct during an onsite
inspection. However, upon request, OSHA can provide other forms of technical assistance, e.g., its
Health Response Team and other resources within the National Office's Directorate of Technical
Support. OSHA encourages the participation of State Consultation Projects in OSHA Strategic
Partnerships when appropriate. It is anticipated that onsite technical assistance normally will
be provided by OSHA's 7(c)(1) State Consultation Projects when requested by a qualifying
employer and when Consultation resources permit. Alternatively, the Partnership may employ private
consultants to provide onsite technical assistance. OSHA field offices can provide onsite and
offsite training, offsite technical assistance, and other forms of outreach to partnering
||How does the policy contained in this instruction affect Special
Emphasis Programs (NEPs and LEPs) and other programmed inspection
||If a partnering employer appears on a Special Emphasis
Program list, i.e., an NEP or LEP list, the inspection will focus on the hazards identified as
targets of the SEP, if applicable, as well as any hazards identified as targets of the OSP effort.
It is anticipated that, in most instances, the hazards that are the focus of an SEP will parallel
or closely relate to the hazards identified as most serious by an
||If a partnering employer is targeted for inspection under
a programmed inspection plan that calls for inspections to be comprehensive, the
inspection will be conducted in accordance with established agency procedures and
will not be affected by any OSP focused inspection provisions.|
||Do programs that are developed using the OSHA Problem
Solving process have to comply with the requirements for OSHA Strategic
||Yes, if the Problem Solving process leads to a
solution that falls within the defining boundaries of Comprehensive and
Limited OSHA Strategic Partnerships.|
||Do State Plan States have to follow the agency's
policy for OSHA Strategic Partnerships?|
||No, but they are encouraged to do so.|
||Do I have to involve State Consultation agencies in the
development of an OSHA Strategic Partnership program?|
||It is recommended that they be involved as appropriate.
Their participation can be particularly helpful when an OSP requires comprehensive
and effective safety and health programs. The State Consultation agencies have much
valuable experience and expertise helping small high-hazard employers and their
employees develop effective site-based programs. Certainly, if an OSP wishes to offer
priority consideration for Consultation assistance, then the 7(c)(1) Consultation
Projectneeds to be involved during the OSP development phase.|
||What is the relationship between the Critical Specifications
followed in the Problem Solving process and the core elements of OSHA Strategic
||Critical specifications should be used in the Problem
Solving process. If a Problem Solving process results in an OSHA Strategic Partnership,
it must incorporate the required core elements. See Appendix B, Summary of Core
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ANNUAL EVALUATION FORMAT
Name and Address of Partnership [e.g., HOMESAFE]
Partnership ID #
Partnership Sponsor/Location [e.g., Region VIII, Directorate of Construction]
Name of Evaluator
Evaluation Period [e.g, May 1, 1998 to April 30, 1999]
OSHA-200 Log rates (IIR and LWDI) - averages for all Partnership worksites
Other Partnership measurement data
Analysis/explanation of changes in rates and other data
Impact of Partnership: Describe the impact of the partnership in terms of improvements to
baseline measures, number of sites and employees affected, and other successes, e.g., training
conducted. Cite concrete results, including improvements in injury and illness and lost-workday
average rates for the partnership and any other data measurements being collected by the
Significant changes in the Partnership over the past year [e.g., additional partners, new
stakeholder involvement, new activities begun during evaluation period].
Plans to improve Partnership
Recommendation: Should Partnership be continued or terminated?
Deputy Assistant Secretary
experience modification rate
Field Inspection Reference Manual
Government Performance and Results Act
hazard prevention and control
onsite consultative services
Paperwork Reduction Act
Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program
safety and health program
Safety and Health Program Assessment Worksheet
Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines
state and local governments
Voluntary Protection Programs