OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Get Some Help on the Details

Get Some Help on the Details

First, you may need to catch up with all the changes made since the Act became law in December 1970.

For example, the federal law contains provisions for allowing a state to develop and operate its own occupational safety and health program in place of the federal OSHA program. It is possible that the regulatory aspect of the law (setting of mandatory minimum standards and conducting inspections of workplaces) is now being operated by your state government.

You need to know which level of government has current jurisdiction over your establishment. If you are not sure of this, telephone the nearest OSHA Area Office to find out. (See Appendix E.)

Second, you will need certain federal OSHA publications (or comparable state publications) for use in your safety and health activities:

  1. OSHA workplace poster (Job Safety and Health Protection - OSHA 2203) - You must have the federal or state OSHA poster displayed in your workplace.
  2. Standards that apply to your operations - You need these standards for reference material in your business. (See Appendix D.) These are the regulations OSHA uses when inspecting for compliance with the Act. These standards are the baseline for your own inspections and are useful in determining what specific changes need to be made when hazards are identified. Most businesses come under OSHA's General Industry Standards, but if you are involved with construction or maritime operations you will need the standards that apply to these classifications. (In states with OSHA programs, use the appropriate state standards.)
  3. Recordkeeping requirements and the necessary forms - You need these if you have 11 or more employees. These forms are not too different from other information forms you have been keeping for workers' compensation and other records.
  4. Occupational Safety and Health Act - You may want this for your own information and reference in the future.

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