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OSHA Small Business Programs

The following information and resources are available from OSHA for small businesses:

OSHA’s Free On-site Consultation Program

OSHA’s free On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management systems. Read more about OSHA’s free On-site Consultation Program.

Compliance Assistance Specialists (CAS)

Each OSHA Area Office in states under federal jurisdiction has a Compliance Assistance Specialist. These staffers respond to requests for help from a variety of groups, including small businesses. CAS’s put on seminars and workshops for small businesses and other groups. They promote OSHA’s cooperative programs, OSHA’s training resources, and the OSHA web site. To read more about Compliance Assistance Specialists and find a directory of CAS’s in your area, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions for Small Business Employers

This area is very important in terms of providing key information related to small business and OSHA.

Penalty Reductions

OSHA considers the size of the employer, among other factors when determining the penalty to be proposed for any violation. The Agency has always had detailed procedures in place for making this determination; they are currently in the OSHA Field Operations Manual (FOM) (OSHA Instruction CPL 02-00-148 [PDF* - 3 MB]), which is conveyed to and followed by all compliance staff.

The FOM provides that proposed penalties will be reduced by the following percentages in considering employer size:

  • 60% penalty reduction may be applied if an employer has 25 employees or fewer;
  • 40% if the employer has 26-100 employees; and
  • 20% if the employer has 101-250 employees.

Training and Education

OSHA’s Training Institute (OTI) and OSHA’s Training Education Centers across the country provide basic and advanced courses in safety and health. OSHA’s area offices offer information services, such as audiovisual aids, technical advice, and speakers for special engagements. In addition, the Training Centers have begun offering one-day or one-half-day seminars to increase opportunities for small business employers to attend safety/health training.

Diverse Workforce/Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Coordinators

OSHA's Diverse Workforce/Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Coordinators assist a variety of groups, including small businesses, trade associations, union locals, and community and faith-based groups with outreach, education and training to Spanish-speaking and other diverse workers. The coordinators are available for seminars, workshops, and speaking events for diverse workers. They promote OSHA’s cooperative programs and Spanish/other-than-English training materials and compliance assistance resources available on the OSHA Web site. There is one Diverse Workforce/Limited English Proficiency Coordinator in each of the ten OSHA Regions. To find the Diverse Workforce/Limited English Proficiency Coordinator in your Region, click here.

Electronic Tools and Resources

  • OSHA eTools are "stand-alone", interactive, Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. They are highly illustrated and utilize graphical menus. Some also use expert system modules, which enable the user to answer questions, and receive reliable advice on how OSHA regulations apply to their work site.
  • Recordkeeping injury and illness resources.
  • OSHA's Compliance Assistance Quick Start is a tool to introduce employers and employees, especially those at new or small businesses, to the compliance assistance resources on OSHA’s website.
  • Frequently Cited OSHA Standards is a query tool which allows the user to determine the most frequently cited Federal and State OSHA standards for a given SIC code. The SIC code may be determined by accessing the online SIC Manual.

Publications

OSHA has many publications, including specific topics for small businesses that are available or can be ordered online. 


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