It is imperative that every employer makes health and safety a top priority in the organization.
The entire workforce — from the CEO to the newest hire — must recognize that employee health and safety is key to the profitability of the company.
OSHA provides leadership and encouragement to both employees and employers to take the responsibility for employee safety and health seriously.
The organization seeks to help employers and employees concentrate their efforts on bringing down the number of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, and to increase their obligation to enhanced safety and health.
OSHA can help small businesses and others through a variety of tools, including partnership, consultation, compliance assistance, OSHA certification courses, education and training, outreach, and plain language regulations.
OSHA’s Small Business Assistance program provides resources and information designed specifically for small business owners, including safety and health tools and publications, easy-to-follow guides for specific OSHA standards, and descriptions of benefits that small businesses receive from OSHA.
On-site Consultation Program: Via this program, both small and medium-sized organizations in all states across the country can benefit from OSHA’s free and confidential safety and occupational health advice. Priority will be meted out to high-hazard worksites. This program incorporates a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) which recognizes small business employers who have instituted a model injury and prevention program. Employers who qualify receive a 1-year exemption from OSHA’s general schedule inspections. This service is completely separate from OSHA’s inspection effort; no citations are issued or penalties proposed. An employer’s only obligation is to correct serious hazards that the consultant finds. The visit begins with a meeting between the consultant and the employer followed by a walk of the worksite.
Compliance Assistance Quick Start: Employers and employees in small businesses have access to a tool, QuickStart, that will introduce them to the compliance assistance resources available on OSHA’s website. Quick Start currently includes modules for General Industry, Construction, Health Care and Hispanic Outreach. By following the step-by-step guide, employers can generate an initial set of compliance assistance materials catering to their specific industry and workplace.
Third-Party Training and Education: OSHA also gives training and education grants to non-profit groups for developing programs to help small businesses establish safety and health programs. Once the grantees develop training programs and materials, they make them available to small businesses. The OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers are a national network of non-profit organizations authorized by OSHA to deliver occupational safety and health training to all levels of employees who can complete OSHA safety training.
Training and Education: OSHA’s Training Institute Education Centers across the country provide basic and advanced OSHA certification courses in safety and health. OSHA’s area offices offer information services, such as audiovisual aids, technical advice, and speakers for special engagements.
As an employer, you are duty-bound to protect your employees from injury and illness on the job. Not only that, it also makes good business sense to take safety and health seriously. Accidents and injuries are more expensive than many realize. They incur costs and lost workdays as well. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can help you.