Following OSHA for Small Businesses

Dear M&M:

I own a local retail store in Sierra Vista and just heard that I have to follow OSHA.  I am a very small business.  Is that necessary?

–Craig

Dear Craig:

The best way to find out who is required to follow OSHA rules is to contact OSHA.  The rules and regulations vary from industry.   Just about all small businesses are required to follow OSHA’s guidelines. OSHA also has several online resources to get you started. Visit https://www.osha.gov/dcps/smallbusiness/index.html

There you will find a link to compliance assistance quick start. OSHA also provides On-site Consultation Program. According to the OSHA’s website “OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites.

In FY 2012, responding to requests from small employers looking to create or improve their injury and illness prevention programs, OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program conducted approximately 30,000 visits to small business worksites covering over 1.5 million workers across the nation. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations.

Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.” In the meantime you will also want to make sure your retail space is safe for both your customers and your employees. 

You will want to make sure you don’t have any fire hazards such as exposed wires, open flames (yes be careful with those candles) and any chemicals you might store. While low lighting might create a certain ambiance you will want to ensure your customers and employees can see.  Proper lightening can also reduce shoplifting. Source: https://www.osha.gov/index.html

-M&M

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation (EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org.

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