Oregon's SHARP Alliance Grows a Network Devoted to Improving Workplace Health and Safety

Oregon’s SHARP Alliance

In 1999, several representatives of Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) companies met with leaders of Oregon OSHA to discuss an idea that would lead to the creation of the Oregon SHARP Alliance. They explored the creation of a coalition of SHARP companies to help Oregon OSHA’s Consultation Services in its mission to advance and improve workplace safety and health for all working Oregonians. The participants recognized that bringing people and organizations together removes barriers to sharing information, training, and services.

Oregon OSHA’s Consultation Services convened several exploratory and educational meetings to help put the idea into action. On Sept. 21, 2000, the Oregon SHARP Alliance was incorporated, including bylaws and a board of directors formed by 14 founding members who would operate and manage the Alliance.

Now in its 22nd year, the Oregon SHARP Alliance nonprofit group remains dedicated to its mission: promoting safety and health management and cooperation among companies and government to advance on-the-job health and safety for all Oregon workers.

The Alliance carries out its mission in a variety of ways, including helping sponsor seven different safety and health conferences across Oregon. It sponsors a formal safety and health networking break at each of the seven conferences.

The Alliance’s goals are as follows:

  • Promote achievement of SHARP and Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) recognition

  • Assist companies that are already in the process of becoming SHARP or VPP

  • Assist all companies in Oregon in safety and health management

  • Provide input to Oregon OSHA on activities, rules, best practices, and strategic planning

  • Serve as a resource for all Oregon workplaces

The Alliance comprises Oregon employers that currently hold SHARP or VPP status, companies working to achieve SHARP or VPP certification, and others who promote safety and health in the workplace.

In addition to sponsoring safety and health conference, the Alliance provides the following:

  • Quarterly three-hour training sessions at various locations across Oregon.

  • A web site (www.sharpalliance.org) where most of the group’s business and documentation are maintained.

  • Free training videos and other resources located on the website.

  • Networking and mentoring opportunities

  • Replacement SHARP graduate flags and VPP Star flags, as the Alliance is authorized to sell those flags.

OSHA On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards and how to fix them, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, train and educate workers, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from OSHA enforcement efforts. To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation program nearest you, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit www.osha.gov/consultation.

SHARP acknowledges small and medium-sized businesses that have used OSHA On-Site Consultation Services and operate exemplary workplace safety and health programs. Small businesses that achieve SHARP status receive a deferral from OSHA or State Plan programmed inspections for the period that the SHARP designation is valid. Acceptance of a worksite into SHARP is an achievement that identifies the employer as a model for occupational safety and health among its business peers.