Small Business Benefits Available from OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to ensure that potential small business clients do not feel left out of OSHA’s helpful provisions, which is why the organization promises quality service to all of its small business customers. In order to vitalize relationships with small businesses, OSHA offers additional benefits and resources to these types of clients. The following are some of those benefits:
Free On-site Consultation Program. OSHA provides free on-site consultation and confidential advice to small and medium sized businesses, in every state. Priority is given to worksites determined as ‘high hazard.’ Consultation services will include assistance in identifying specific workplace hazards, advice on how to best comply with OSHA regulations and standards, and methods in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.
Compliance Assistance Specialists (CAS). Compliance Assistance Specialists have been employed respond to requests for assistance from a variety of groups, particularly small businesses. These specialists offer seminars and workshops, help promote both of OSHA’s cooperative programs and valuable training resources, and aid in publicizing the OSHA web site.
Reduction in Penalties. When assessing and levying penalties against businesses, OSHA takes employer size into consideration the company size. Most often, if the mistake is not too egregious, OSHA will reduce fines and penalties on smaller sized businesses. Usually, mitigating or extenuating circumstances are involved regarding the perceived offense.
Cooperative Programs. OSHA offers cooperative programs where small businesses can work in a collaborative effort with the agency to help minimize and prevent injuries, illnesses, and even fatalities in the workplace.
Diverse Workforce and Limited English Proficiency Coordinators. Diverse Workforce and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Coordinators help small businesses develop outreach programs, as well as educational classes and training sessions for diverse and minority workers, especially those where English is their second language. Both Diverse Workforce and LEP coordinators make themselves available for workshops, seminars, and speaking engagements to help minority and diverse workers. In addition, these coordinators broadcast OSHA’s website as a helpful tool, informative guide, and compliance assistance resource concerning its cooperative programs and ‘English as a second language’ training materials.
Training and Education. OSHA’s has training institutes (OTIs) and training education centers all over the country that provide both basic and advanced courses, teaching both safety and health. These institutes and centers also offer informational services, of which include audiovisual aids, technical advice, and guest speaking engagements.
Electronic Tools and Resources. OSHA offers its standalone “eTools” web program, which is an interactive training tool for education on occupational safety and health topics. This interactive eTools web based program enables users with the opportunity to answer questions, as well as receive advice concerning how OSHA regulations apply to their small company’s specific worksite.
Publications. Over the years, OSHA has produced several publications to help companies achieve OSHA’s set standards and protocol. Some of these publications include topics specifically geared towards small businesses. These publications are readily available, and can be ordered online either by calling or through the OSHA website.