Consultation Services

SHARP Eligibility

Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (see the Introduction to SHARP video on YouTube)

A safe and healthy workplace is the result of teamwork that includes both employers and employees. Through a spirit of cooperation, employers, employees, and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry can work together to reduce injuries and illnesses in our workplaces.

The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) was developed to provide incentives and support to smaller, high-hazard employers to work with employees to develop, implement, and continuously improve safety and health programs.

SHARP recognizes worksites that operate exemplary safety and health programs that result in the immediate and long-term prevention of job related injuries and illnesses. This is achieved by:

  • Encouraging employers to use Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) funded consultation service and to involve their employees in establishing fully effective safety and health programs;
  • Providing public recognition for employers and employees who have worked together successfully to establish effective and exemplary safety and health programs; and
  • Removing the company’s name from general schedule compliance inspection lists.

View SHARP Sites


You are eligible for SHARP if you:

  • Have no more than 250 employees at the site and not more than 500 total employees at all sites within the same Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) controlled nationwide;
  • Are a single, fixed worksite;
  • Have at least one full year in operation;
  • Have a lost workday injury and illness (LWDII) rate and a total recordable case rate (TRCR) below that for your industry within the established SIC or be willing to commit the time and resources to reduce your current rates to those required over an 18-month deferral period; or
  • Be on VOSH’s high hazard inspection list, or have a SIC on any emphasis program list at the national, state or local level.

Employers with Existing Exemplary Safety and Health Programs

Employers found during the initial visit to meet all the criteria to participate in SHARP as outlined in the eligibility section may be recommended for participation without having to meet the 18-month deferral period. The company must demonstrate that its LWDII and TRCR are currently below the national average for the establishment SIC and have been maintained at that level over time.

Employer Responsibility

Employers requesting initial participation must agree to the following:

  • A full service comprehensive survey of all conditions and operations of the establishment, including a complete safety and health program review;
  • Involve employees in the development, operation, and improvement of all elements of the workplace safety and health program and in the decisions that affect their safety and health; and
  • Work with the consultation program to:
    • Correct all identified safety and health hazards and provide confirmation of corrections;
    • Effectively implement all elements of a safety and health program;
    • Lower the LWDII and TRCR rates below that of the national average for the establishment SIC;
    • Consult in advance with the consultation program on any changes in working conditions or work processes that might introduce new hazards into the workplace; and
    • Notify the consultation program at the end of the deferral period to request a final comprehensive visit to verify the above requirements have been met. The site may then be recommended for SHARP approval and participation by the Program Manager.

Larger Employees

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry offers a companion program for large employers, the Virginia Voluntary Protection Program (VVPP). If you are interested in this program go to VVPP.