6 Steps to Partnering with OSHA to Reduce Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA announced a new partnership with the Ford Motor Company this month to reduce and prevent occupational fatalities, injuries and illnesses at over 25 plant locations.  Ford and OSHA will work together for three to five years during which time OSHA will help to enforce standards, provide training, and educate workers about safety.

The Ford, OSHA partnership is actually a renewal of a successful partnership in place since 2000. According to OSHA the partnership to date has “resulted in a 74 percent reduction in total case incident rates and an 88 percent decrease in days away from work, restricted duty and job transfers, better known as "DART," rates. In 2010, 75 percent of worksites participating in this partnership had DART rates below Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics industry averages.”

Forming a partnership with OSHA has many benefits and is a strategic move other companies may want to consider.  Via a partnership, officially called The OSHA Strategic Partnership Program for Worker Safety and Health (OSPP), OSHA is willing to help create or improve a comprehensive safety and health management systems in a practical timeline.  A partnership also serves as a catalyst for more employee involvement, incident prevention, and improved leadership and can help your company reach safety goals and identify hazardous work areas.

According to OSHA’s website, companies propose an OSHA partnership in 6 Steps:

  1. Educate yourself about OSHA’s Strategic Partnership Program
  2. Identify clear goals, strategies, and meaningful impact measures
  3. Identify Partners
  4. Draft Partnership Agreement
  5. Submit the final proposal to OSHA for acceptance
  6. Begin the Partnership

An OSHA partnership can be a great opportunity to improve workplace safety and focus company goals.