On March 20, 2015, OSHA rescinded portions of its recent memorandum, “Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program: Updated Size”, after only four-months in response to employers’, state officials’, and Congressional members’ outcries. As described by Tressi Cordaro in her February 3, 2015 OSHA Law Blog post, the November 24, 2014 memorandum redefined the size requirement for participation in the Safety and Health Achievement and Recognition Program (SHARP), a free consultation program that allowed employers to avoid programmed inspections for two or three years if they meet all the eligibility requirements. Under the November 24 memorandum, SHARP’s participants who had 250 or more employees at a worksite or 500 or more workers corporate wide and thus failed to meet the new size requirement were required to leave the voluntary program.
In its most recent memorandum, OSHA reversed itself, stating that all SHARP employers that were in the program at the time of the November 24 memorandum could remain in the program and reapply even if they grew beyond the new size requirements. However, employers who grew beyond the new size requirement would be encouraged to seek participation in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program.
The March 20 memorandum also noted that State-plan states could choose to offer larger employers SHARP’s recognition if funded with 100% of State funds but that State-plan consultation programs funded under Section 21(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 would be expected to follow the procedures and requirements set out by OSHA.
Information about OSHA’s revised policy can be found here.