Ohio Safety and Health Administration – Small Businesses

By FredrickHobbs

Ohio Safety& Health Administration’s (OSHA) goal is to prevent any avoidable injuries that could occur on the job. This includes changing and adding various regulations and policies that may have that has the potential to fix or reduces injuries at work. OSHA takes into account the size of the business when resolving a penalty for a violation. Small businesses also have various programs to help increase understanding of health and safety matters.

Advantages for Small Businesses

One of the biggest benefits is that the Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM) may reduce a business’s penalties up to 60% depending on the size. The percentage reduced is depended on the number of people that are employed by a particular company. If a company has less than 26 employees, it may receive the 60% reduction. If the company has between 26-100 employees the reduction could be at 40% and between 101-250 employees the reduction could be as high as 20%. The final percentage off is still to the discretion of the OSHA inspector.

For very small businesses with less than eleven workers, the company is not obligated to follow all of the OSHA recordkeeping requirements. They are also excused from a large amount of the recording and reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses.

OSHA offers free consultation to assist in recognizing potential workplace problems and setting up new safety and health regulations for the company. OSHA starts with industries that have high accidents rates. These consultations can recommend solutions for a health problem; offer information about safety and health findings; aid in producing a safety efficient management system and; train the employees to avoid and distinguish potential safety issues.

The benefits of conducting a consultation include: employees become more aware of the potential hazards and safety issues; lower occurrences of injury and; lower costs from workers’ compensation.

Health and Safety Programs

There are four programs offered by the OSHA to help boost employees and employer’s awareness on safety matters. The first course is the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP is an on-site consultation that awards excellent employers who have gone above and beyond to promote safe working conditions for its employees. The major benefit of this is that the company is excused from OSHA’s general inspections for one year.

The next program is the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), which encourages organizations to pay close attention to the safety and health of its employees. The VPP helps management, labor, and OSHA to collaborate together in accomplishing safety and health strategies. The VPP and OSHA identify companies that have accomplished various strategies to prevent work-place hazards from occurring.

Compliance Assistance Specialists (CAS) coordinates with a wide variety of businesses of all sizes in accomplishing better safety procedures. CAS completes these issues by holding hands-on training and also classes to teach employees and employers various hazard avoidance techniques.

The last program is the Alliance Program. The goal of the Alliance is educate employers and employees on correcting workplace injuries that could have been avoided all together. It is used to get the employees and employers on the same page in terms of prevention policies and improving safety awareness.

The last useful tool for eliminating and responding to safety mishaps is the OSHA Small Business Handbook. The book will inform employers on meeting the standards imposed by the OS Act of 1970. The handbook also includes industry checklists to follow in order to easily recognize areas of improvement.