The Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program services and operate exemplary safety and health programs. Acceptance of your worksite into SHARP from OSHA is an achievement of status that singles your company out among your business peers as a model for worksite safety and health.
OSHA's 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.
On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs.
To participate in SHARP, employers must:
After you satisfy all SHARP requirements, the Consultation Project Manager in your state may recommend your worksite for SHARP approval. The state and OSHA will formally recognize your worksite with a SHARP Certificate. Many states coordinate with your worksites to hold ceremonies and further recognize your achievements.
When you are initially certified as a SHARP site, you will be granted an exemption from OSHA programmed inspections for up to 2 years. After your initial certification, you may request SHARP renewal for up to 3 years, provided that you:
See how many worksites have become Small Business Success Stories through SHARP!
If you meet most but not all of the SHARP eligibility criteria and are committed to working toward SHARP approval, you may be recommended by your state On-site Consultation Project Manager for Pre-SHARP status. Upon achieving Pre-SHARP status, you are granted a deferral from OSHA programmed inspections.
To achieve Pre-SHARP status:
To determine your eligibility for Pre-SHARP, please schedule an On-site Consultation visit by contacting the On-site Consultation office in your state.
Note: Participation in SHARP does not eliminate the responsibilities of owners or rights of workers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Under OSHA, the following types of incidents can trigger an OSHA enforcement inspection at SHARP sites: formal complaints, fatality, imminent danger situations and any other significant events as directed by the Assistant Secretary of OSHA.
As part of the SHARP audit, OSHA consultants use the Safety and Health Program Assessment (SHPA) Worksheet to assess the quality of an SMS. (From here on, we'll refer to it as the "Worksheet.") It is a tool that helps the evaluator objectively review and evaluate 58 attributes and cues within the following seven categories:
We will take a closer look at attributes and cues in the next section.
Attributes. Each attribute is considered critical to the effectiveness of one or more programs in the SMS. Each attribute is worded as a positive statement and is rated as "in place" if true and "not in place" if the statement cannot be justified as being true. To arrive at a conclusion about the quality of each attribute, the evaluator analyzes a number of metrics or "cues."
Cues. Cues are specific facts or perceptions that help justify the rating given to an attribute. All cues listed below the attribute either support/confirm (+) or oppose/negate (-) the attribute statement. Each cue gives added weight to the rating for the attribute. On the worksheet, the evaluator checkmarks the plus (+) column if the cue is present or minus (-) if it is not. Cues are uncovered through observations, inspections, measurement, interviews, and document review.
The table below displays the format used in OSHAcademy's Ultimate SHARP Audit. Attribute #1 is followed by a sample of its related cues.1. A comprehensive, baseline hazard survey has been conducted within the past five (5) years.
|CUES||Yes (+)||No (-)|
|a. Surveys address hazards in a timely and effective manner.||√|
|b. The survey results in an updated hazard list or survey report (action plan).||√|
|c. The survey was completed by a certified specialist.||√|
As you'll see in the next section, this attribute would receive a rating of "2" because there are few negating cues and multiple confirming cues.
Rating the attributes - Analyzing the Cues
OSHA consultants assess each of the cues to establish a rating for the associated attribute. If a large number of confirming cues that support the attribute are present, the evaluator may objectively determine that the attribute statement is true or "in place."
The table below shows the rating scale, a definition, and the criteria for the rating the attribute. Here's how it works.
The evaluator's conclusion about the attribute is entered as one four numeric ratings (0, 1, 2, or 3). Some evaluators may also use the "NE" or "NA" ratings. However, OSHA evaluators use only the numeric ratings.
To rate the attribute, the evaluator enters one of the ratings next to the attribute's statement.
|0||No discernible or meaningful indication that the item is even partially in place.||No confirming (+) cues. Eliminated by a single confirming (+) cue.|
|1||Some portion or aspect is present, although major improvement is needed.||Requires a few negating (-) cue and one or more confirming (+) cues.|
|2||The attribute is largely in place, with only minor improvement needed.||Requires multiple confirming (+) cues and a few negating (-) cues.|
|3||The attribute is completely in place.||No negating (-) cues. Eliminated by a single negating (-) cue.|
|NE||Not Evaluated: Recognizes that comprehensive evaluations can be incremental.||Optional: Not used by OSHA consultants.|
|NA||Not Applicable: Must have justification in the comments box why the item is not applicable.||Optional: Not used by OSHA consultants.|
For more information on the SHARP process see OSHA's SHARP Manual.
Find out who has achieved SHARP status in your state by clicking on OSHA SHARP Sites by State.
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