Federal agencies Inspections

Amid concerns, OSHA withdraws proposed rule on SHARP inspections

Washington – A proposed rule that would have revised the circumstances in which OSHA can conduct an enforcement inspection of worksites enrolled in the agency’s On-site Consultation Program was withdrawn Aug. 7.

OSHA cited stakeholder concerns that the changes would discourage employer participation in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.

SHARP recognizes employers operating an “exemplary injury and illness prevention program,” and employers meeting the program’s requirements are exempt from programmed OSHA inspections for one to two years.

Originally proposed in September 2010, the rule would have clarified OSHA’s ability to inspect sites regardless of SHARP status, allowed compliance officers to conduct enforcement visits from referrals and limited the exemption status of SHARP participants.

“If the small changes OSHA proposed could have the effect of discouraging participation in the programs, the agency does not believe it is worth amending the rule,” the rule withdrawal notice said.