all businesses to establish safety and health programs and find and fix
hazards to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.
OSHA offers many resources designed specifically for smaller employers.
This site provides access to the most popular materials for small
businesses, from free on-site consultation to interactive computer
software to technical information to easy-to-follow guides for specific
OSHA standards. It also includes links to OSHA local offices and the Small
OSHA's Non-Retaliation Policy
OSHA has a long-established policy that information inquiries received by
the agency regarding safety and health regulations or other safety-related
subjects shall not trigger an inspection. The exact wording is:
"Employer Contacts. Contacts
for information initiated by employers or their representatives shall not
trigger an inspection, nor shall such employer inquiries protect them
against regular inspections conducted pursuant to guidelines established by
the agency. Further, if an employer or its representatives indicates that an
imminent danger exists or that a fatality or catastrophe has occurred, the
Area Director shall act in accordance with established inspection priority
There are a few rare exceptions to the policy, such as the employer
notifying OSHA of the presence of an imminent danger or the occurrence of a
fatality. However, OSHA policy is to provide assistance to help employers
prevent and reduce workplace fatalities, illnesses and injuries.
note: OSHA’s non-retaliation policy is outlined in the
OSHA Instruction CPL 02-00-103 (CPL 2.103), Field Inspection Reference
Manual, Section 5 - Chapter I, B.4.b.
Penalty Reductions for Small Business
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 embodied in
Chapter IV of the Field Inspection Reference
Manual (FIRM; OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103), which
is conveyed to and followed by all compliance
The FIRM provides that proposed penalties will be
reduced by the following percentages in
considering employer size:
- a 60% penalty reduction may be applied if an
employer has 25 employees or fewer;
- 40% if the employer has 26-100 employees;
- 20% if the employer has 101-250 employees.
OSHA's $afety Pays Program
helps employers estimate injury and illness
Safety and Health Add Value
OSHA is committed to assuring - so far as possible -
that every working man and woman in the nation has safe and healthful
working conditions. OSHA believes that providing workers with a safe
workplace is central to their ability to enjoy health, security and the
opportunity to achieve the American dream. Addressing safety and health
issues in the workplace also saves the employer money and adds value to the
business. Recent estimates place the business costs associated with
occupational injuries at close to $170 billion-expenditures that come
straight out of company profits.
When workers stay whole and healthy, the direct cost-savings to
Safety and health also make big reductions in indirect
costs, due to:
- lower workers' compensation insurance costs;
- reduced medical expenditures;
- smaller expenditures for return-to-work programs;
- fewer faulty products;
- lower costs for job accommodations for injured workers;
- less money spent for overtime benefits.
Employees and their families benefit from safety and
- increased productivity;
- higher quality products;
- increased morale;
- better labor/management relations;
- reduced turnover;
- better use of human resources.
Implementing an accident prevention program will allow
a small business to learn first hand that the cost of accident
prevention is far lower then the cost of accidents. Consultation offers
free help in identifying workplace hazards and establishing or improving
safety and health management systems corporate-wide.
- their incomes are protected;
- their family lives are not hindered by injury;
- their stress is not increased.