If you run a small business, you’ll naturally need to follow many regulations. However, not all regulations are easy to find; at times, there are shades of gray regarding regulations, and you may be uncertain about which ones actually apply to you. Perhaps one of the most difficult issues to navigate is OSHA. OSHA is responsible for overseeing occupational safety. Not only do most businesses in the private sector need to follow OSHA regulations; they often need to subject their employees to OSHA training
The question is, what qualifies your business for OSHA requirements and OSHA training? Let’s look into the matter below.
1. Do You Have 10 Or More Employees?
One way to know whether you’re subject to OSHA regulations is to simply assess the number of employees in your business. At the minimum, if you have at any point in the past calendar year had 10 or more employees, you must keep OSHA injury and illness records. The only reason why you wouldn’t is if OSHA considers you exempt or partially exempt.
2. Is Your Business Hazardous?
Consider how physical your business is, and the potential hazards that your employees may be subjected to while on the job. If your employees spend much time climbing ladders, lifting heavy objects, working with power tools, or engaging in other dangerous activities, your business will be subject to OSHA regulations. This is why OSHA training is so often emphasized – this training will ensure that your employees are as safe as possible. Companies in low-hazard industries like retail and finance may be considered exempt or partially exempt.
3. Which State Does Your Business Reside Within?
OSHA is far-reaching, but it’s not omnipotent. The state in which your business functions affects whether it’s subject to OSHA regulations. Although OSHA is backed by the United States Department of Labor, there are 22 states which have their own employee safety programs. These programs have been approved by OSHA, and you will answer to these programs before you answer to OSHA. A state will either be a federal OSHA state, or it will not; but a few states with OSHA-approved state programs only cover government or state employees, and not those in the private sector.
Follow OSHA regulations carefully if need be. Violating OSHA regulations could seriously affect your business in the long term.