WASHINGTON (Aug. 21, 2013) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has withdrawn a proposed rule to amend its regulations for its On-Site Consultation Program.
Funded and administered by OSHA, the On-Site Consultation Program offers free safety and health advice to small businesses, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Employers that successfully complete an On-Site Consultation visit, correct all problems identified during the visit and implement an ongoing workplace safety and health program may achieve status in OSHA's Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP).
In the proposed rule published in September 2010, OSHA provided clarification of the length of the exemption period provided to "recognized" sites that had been removed from OSHA's programmed inspection schedule. It also initiated unprogrammed inspections.
The Small Business Administration opposed the amendments to the program, as did small business groups such as the Automotive Service Association. The proposal, they said, would change the criteria under which participants in the program would be subject to inspections, and thus discourage small business participation.