Cal/OSHA Partnership Programs

About Partnership Programs

Construction WorkerCal/OSHA has long recognized its limitations in improving occupational safety and health in industry. Safety and health standards, no matter how carefully conceived and crafted, will never address all work activities and conditions. Available resources are insufficient to conduct regular or exhaustive inspections of all the state's workplaces. However, Cal/OSHA has long since recognized the potential for improving workplace safety and health when industry, labor and Cal/OSHA work together in a cooperative manner.

Cal/OSHA was first in the nation to develop a program that relies on industry, labor and Cal/OSHA to work as partners in encouraging and recognizing workplace safety and health programs that effectively prevent and control injuries and illnesses to workers. Currently, Cal/OSHA offers four different structured partnership programs, and is always interested in developing special alliances between industry, labor, and Cal/OSHA.


Participation in one of the Division's partnership programs will provide the following benefits. Some programs also offer an exemption from routine enforcement inspections.

  • Reduction in injuries and illnesses
  • Lower worker's compensation costs
  • Improvement in employee motivation
  • Higher quality and productivity
  • Community recognition as a leader
  • Statewide recognition from their industry and government as a quality employer
  • Increased job referrals and bid acceptance

Program Overview

California Voluntary Protection Program (Cal/VPP Star and Cal/VPP Construction) is a top-level safety and health leadership program designed for fixed and non-fixed site establishments. Large construction projects that will be in operation for at least one year may be eligible for Cal/VPP Star fix-site recognition. Non-fixed worksite employers, such as construction contractors may be eligible for VPP Construction. Statewide recognition and exemption from programmed inspections will apply to all sites in California where the Cal/VPP Construction employer has overall responsibility for worker safety and health at the site.

SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) is a mid-level recognition program that may offer eligible employers an exemption from Cal/OSHA Enforcement programmed inspections. Cal/SHARP is for high-hazard employers with fixed- and mobile-worksites.

Golden Gate is an entry-level program for small high-hazard employers and is site specific. Employers must have an established, minimally effective injury and illness prevention program in order to receive recognition. The Golden Gate program does not offer inspection exemptions.

October 2018