OSHA has a great deal of information to assist employers in complying with their responsibilities under OSHA law. Several OSHA programs and services can help employers identify and correct job hazards, as well as improve their injury and illness prevention program.
Establishing an Injury and Illness Prevention Program
The key to a safe and healthful work environment is a comprehensive injury and illness prevention program.
Injury and illness prevention programs are systems that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses, while reducing costs to employers. Thousands of employers across the United States already manage safety using injury and illness prevention programs, and OSHA believes that all employers can and should do the same. Thirty-four states have requirements or voluntary guidelines for workplace injury and illness prevention programs. Most successful injury and illness prevention programs are based on a common set of key elements. These include management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement. Visit OSHA’s illness and injury prevention program web page at for more information.
Compliance Assistance Specialists
OSHA has compliance assistance specialists throughout the nation located in most OSHA offices. Compliance assistance specialists can provide information to employers and workers about OSHA standards, short educational programs on specific hazards or OSHA rights and responsibilities, and information on additional compliance assistance resources. For more details, visit OSHA compliance specialists or call (800) 321-OSHA (6742) to contact your local OSHA office.
Free On-site Safety and Health Consultation Services for Small Business
OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard work sites. Each year, responding to requests from small employers looking to create or improve their safety and health management programs, OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program conducts over 29,000 visits to small business work sites covering over 1.5 million workers across the nation.
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 on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management programs.
For more information, to find the local On-site Consultation office in your state, or to request a brochure on Consultation Services, visit the OHSA website or call (800) 321-OSHA (6742).
Under the consultation program, certain exemplary employers may request participation in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Eligibility for participation includes, but is not limited to, receiving a full-service, comprehensive consultation visit, correcting all identified hazards and developing an effective safety and health management program. Work sites that receive SHARP recognition are exempt from programmed inspections during the period that the SHARP certification is valid.
OSHA offers cooperative programs under which businesses, labor groups and other organizations can work cooperatively with OSHA. To find out more about any of the following programs, visit OSHA’s cooperative programs.
Strategic Partnerships and Alliances
The OSHA Strategic Partnerships (OSP) provide the opportunity for OSHA to partner with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and/or other interested stakeholders. OSHA Partnerships are formalized through unique agreements designed to encourage, assist, and recognize partner efforts to eliminate serious hazards and achieve model workplace safety and health practices. Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses by developing compliance assistance tools and resources to share with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.
Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)
The VPP recognize employers and workers in private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management programs and maintain injury and illness rates below the national average for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control, work site analysis, training, and management commitment and worker involvement.
Occupational Safety and Health Training
The OSHA Training Institute in Arlington Heights, IL, provides basic and advanced training and education in safety and health for federal and state compliance officers, state consultants, other federal agency personnel and private sector employers, workers, and their representatives. In addition, 27 OSHA Training Institute Education Centers at 42 locations throughout the United States deliver courses on OSHA standards and occupational safety and health issues to thousands of students a year. For more information on training, contact the OSHA Directorate of Training and Education, 2020 Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005; call (847) 297-4810; or visit the OSHA webpage.
OSHA Educational Materials
OSHA has many types of educational materials in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages available in print or online. These include:
- Brochures/booklets that cover a wide variety of job hazards and other topics
- Fact Sheets, which contain basic background information on safety and health hazards
- Guidance documents that provide detailed examinations of specific safety and health issues
- Online Safety and Health Topics pages
- Small, laminated QuickCards™ that provide brief safety and health information; and
- QuickTakes, OSHA’s free, twice-monthly online newsletter with the latest news about OSHA initiatives and products to assist employers and workers in finding and preventing workplace hazards. To sign up for QuickTakes visit OSHA’s QuickTakes newsletter
To view materials available online or for a listing of free publications, visit OSHA’s publications page. You can also call (800) 321-OSHA (6742) to order publications.
OSHA’s website also has a variety of eTools. These include utilities such as expert advisors, electronic compliance assistance, videos and other information for employers and workers. To learn more about OSHA’s safety and health tools online, visit www.osha.gov.
NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program
Getting Help with Health Hazards
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a federal agency that conducts scientific and medical research on workers’ safety and health. At no cost to employers or workers, NIOSH can help identify health hazards and recommend ways to reduce or eliminate those hazards in the workplace through its Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program.
Workers, union representatives and employers can request a NIOSH HHE. An HHE is often requested when there is a higher than expected rate of a disease or injury in a group of workers. These situations may be the result of an unknown cause, a new hazard, or a mixture of sources. To request a NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation go to the OSHA webpage. To find out more about the Health Hazard Evaluation Program:
- Call (513) 841-4382, or to talk to a staff member in Spanish, call (513) 841-4439; or
- Send an email to HHERequestHelp@cdc.gov