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OSHA's cooperative programs: strategic partnership

A previous Ohio blog post discussed one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) cooperative programs: Alliance. Alliance works with groups, such as unions and professional institutions, to improve workplace safety. Another one of OSHA's cooperative programs is the OSHA Strategic Partnership Program (OSPP).

OSPP allows OSHA to collaborate with interested stakeholders, such as employers, workers, professional associations, trade associations and labor organizations. Through these partnerships, members have the opportunity to work together in a non-adversarial way to establish goals, strategies and performance measures to improve workplace safety. By creating agreements designed to encourage and assist partner efforts to comply with OSHA standards, the partnerships improve safety and health in major corporations, government agencies and private sector industries.

Partnerships are established though written agreements, usually lasting three to five years. The scope of the agreement may be local, regional or even national. Members of the partnership work together to identify safety and health issues, address those issues and measure results. By providing employers, employees and other stakeholders with safety and health information, cooperation is encouraged among everyone involved.

There are many benefits to OSHA partnerships for both employees and employers. Employees may reduce their risk of injury, illness or death, increase their health and safety knowledge and take active roles in their protection. Employers can have access to technical and educational resources, establish effective safety and health management systems, increase worker productivity, qualify for incentives and reduce workplace accidents. A future post will discuss OHSA's three other cooperative programs: the Voluntary Protection Program, the OSHA Challenge Program and the On-site Consultation Program's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.

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