Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


OSHA Cooperative Programs Can Help Your Company Improve Safety Programs


OSHA-approved State Plan 

Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program

On-site Consultation Program

Voluntary Protection Programs

OSHA Challenge

OSHA Cooperative Programs Can Help Your Company Improve Safety Programs

OSHA offers several cooperative programs under which SMACNA contractors can work cooperatively with OSHA to help prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the workplace. If you are located in a State with an OSHA-approved State Plan, you can contact your state agency for information about cooperative programs.

The Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA's On-site Consultation Program services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. Acceptance of your worksite into SHARP from OSHA is an achievement of status that singles you out among your business peers as a model for worksite safety and health. When you are initially certified as a SHARP site, you will be granted an exemption from OSHA programmed inspections for up to 2 years. After your initial certification, you may request SHARP renewal for up to 3 years.

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Union support is required for applicants represented by a bargaining unit. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.

Through OSHA Challenge, launched in 2004 as a pilot program, OSHA provides participating employers and workers an avenue to work with their designated Challenge Administrators to develop and/or improve their safety and health management program. Challenge participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA programmed inspections. Through OSHA Challenge, OSHA-approved volunteer third party Challenge Administrators collaborate with participating employers to improve their safety and health management programs through mentoring, training and progress tracking. OSHA Challenge's three stages guide Challenge participants from the initial planning and development process through the implementation of an effective safety and health management program.

For further information on these voluntary cooperative programs, contact Mike McCullion, SMACNA’s director of market sectors and safety at or 703-995-4027.