Safety should be of the utmost importance to the small business owner. Not only to confirm compliance with the OSHA requirements for small businesses, but also to prevent illness and injury in the workplace—which will inevitably kill employee morale and halt productivity.
OSHA requirements for small businesses can differ based on industry; however, there are a few guidelines that stay consistent across the board.
Indicating Hazardous Areas
If there are any areas within your workplace where employees may be in contact with hazardous materials, OSHA requirements for small business requires that the business clearly indicates the danger potential.
Additionally, small businesses are required to provide training for employees on the handling and disposal of hazardous materials.
Maintaining an Emergency & Fire Safety Plan
OSHA requires small businesses to maintain a plan in the event that an emergency situation should occur—instructing employees which actions to take and how to exit to safety. The emergency plan should be reviewed with employees and displayed in the workplace.
In addition, the small business owner is responsible for ensuring that a fire safety plan exists—with instructions on both the steps to prevent fires, as well as what to do in the event of a fire. Emergency exits must be marked and easily accessible. The fire safety should be displayed in the workplace for employees’ review.
Walking Surface Safety
Slips and falls are the leading cause of workplace injuries and, as reported by OSHA, contribute to 15% of all accidental deaths. OSHA requirements for small businesses state that the workplace must be clear of walking hazards that could lead to a slip-and-fall situation.
This guideline does not apply to workplaces where domestic, mining, and agriculture work is primarily performed.
First Aid Supplies
OSHA requires all places of business to have first aid kits on site—equipped with supplies relevant to the potential hazards that exist. In the event that the place of business is located outside the proximity of a hospital or clinic, OSHA regulations for small business require the owner to have onsite emergency personnel. To learn about industry-specific OSHA regulations for small business, review the OSHA Small Business Handbook.
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