Skip to Content

Awards and Recognition Programs

SHARP Program
The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) is a similar program to the VPP STAR, but is designed for smaller employers and provides assistance in developing and implementing effective safety and health programs. TOSHA consultants form a partnership with the employer and employees and provide information and assistance on workplace hazards and implementation of safety and health management systems and programs. Benefits include reduced injury and illness rates, decreased worker compensation costs, increased employee morale, and an exemption from programmed compliance inspections. The initial exemption period is 12 months, and subsequent exemption periods are 24 months. The participants also receive a plaque that recognizes their achievement.


  • Have a Lost Workday Injury and Illness (LWDII) rate and Total Recordable Case Rate (TRCR) below the average for their industry
  • Be a single, fixed worksite
  • Have a minimum of one-year operating history

If you take special pride in your workplace and think it deserves special recognition for joint employer-employee safety and health efforts, you'll want to look at the SHARP program.

Current Tennessee SHARP Sites

For more information, call 1-800-325-9901 or 615/741-2793, or e-mail us at TOSHA Consultative Services.

Volunteer STAR
The Volunteer STAR is patterned after the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and recognizes the best of the best in the area of safety and health programming and performance. Qualified candidates must demonstrate that they have performed in a manner that is below the national average for injury and illness rates in their industrial classification. They must also have all of the critical safety and health management system components in place and involve their employees in a manner that ensures total involvement in safety and health issues.

On average the Tennessee Volunteer STAR sites experience three-year Total Case Incident Rates (TCIR) 69.4% below their industry average and three-year Days Away, Restricted or Transferred Case Rates (DART) 72.1% below their industry average.

A certificate of recognition is awarded to the STAR recipient, as is a flag that can be flown at the site. The company is also permitted to use the Volunteer STAR logo on their correspondence and company documents. This recognition program includes an exemption from TOSHA Compliance programmed inspections for three years. This can be extended by successful continuation of the program requirements. The links below will provide you with an understanding of the Volunteer STAR Program and help you determine your site's eligibility.

Have Questions?
Contact David Blessman, STAR Program Manager at (615) 253-6890 or via e-mail at for more information regarding the STAR programs or to obtain an application package.

Volunteer Protection Programs Participants:
Federal OSHA VPP Page
Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association VPPPA
Region IV Voluntary Protection Program

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Safety Awards Program is designed to stimulate interest in accident prevention and to promote safety. The program recognizes manufacturing and construction firms throughout the state that achieve and maintain a safe and healthful workplace.

The Governor's Award of Excellence
This award honors employers and their employees who together have achieved the required number of hours worked without experiencing a lost workday or restricted duty case at their establishments. Lost workday and restricted duty cases are listed in columns H and I of the OSHA form 300.

To qualify for the Governor's Award of Excellence an establishment must compile the following number of man-hours without a Lost Workday or Restricted Duty Incident:

Number of Employees Man-Hours
1-25 employees
26-50 employees
51-100 employees
101-150 employees
151-250 employees
250-400 employees
more than 400 employees
1 million

The Commissioner's Award
This award honors employers and their employees, who together have achieved the required number of hours worked without experiencing a lost workday case and have maintained total injury and illness incidence rates below the national average. Lost workday cases are listed in column H of the OSHA form 300.

To qualify for the Commissioner's Award an establishment must compile the number of man-hours listed in the preceding table without a Lost Workday Incident. In addition the site's average Total Case Incident Rate (for the most recent three years) must be 10% or more below the most current national average Total Case Incident Rate for the industry-specific North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Industry specific Total Case Incident Rates can found at by searching for “Table 1. Incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses by selected industries and case types, 2007”.

The Safety Awards Program is available to any manufacturing (NAICS 31-33) or construction (NAICS 23) firm located within the state of Tennessee. The facility must have a written Safety and Health Program in place. During the award period and the preceding 36

  • Willful safety or health violation
  • Discrimination violation
  • Uncorrected or contested serious violation
  • Work-related fatality

Eligibility is determined on a site-by-site basis, and all information submitted shall be site-specific.

Eligibility is limited to one award during any calendar year.

To Apply
To obtain an application or additional information on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Safety Awards Programs contact the VPP Manager in the Nashville Office at: 1-800-325-9901 or 615-741-5421


Send comments to Division of Occupational Safety and Health