When you own or run a business, of course ensuring the safety of your workplace and employees is a top priority. Luckily, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provide regulations and guidelines to ensure the safety of all U.S. businesses.

While at first glance these rules might seem overwhelming, businesses receive great benefits from compliance. And, OSHA offers helpful and useful ways to minimize injuries and lost workdays. Here’s some key information to keep in mind.

OSHA Basics

OSHA is a U.S. government agency dedicated to improving the health and safety of American workers. Since OSHA’s inception in 1971, workplace fatalities have been reduced by 50%, and occupational injury and illness rates have been reduced by 40%.[1] OSHA is responsible for developing workplace safety regulations, conducting health and safety inspections, and providing employers and employees with safety training and help complying with regulations.

How You Benefit Financially from OSHA Programs

Aside from the obvious benefit of keeping employees safe, healthy, and productive, meeting the workplace safety standards set by OSHA makes financial sense for employers:

  • Every dollar spent on proper health and safety programs can save a business $4 to $6![2]

  • With less work-related illness and injury, employers see significant savings on absenteeism and workers’ compensation insurance[3]

  • According to one study by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), businesses inspected by OSHA “saved an estimated $355,000 in injury claims and compensation paid for lost work” in the four years after inspections[4]

  • Businesses that meet OSHA’s standards avoid inspection violations and possible fines

Working with OSHA

To help businesses, especially small businesses, comply with OSHA regulations, the Department of Labor and OSHA make every effort to guide business owners and employees in setting up proper safety programs.

  • The Department of Labor offers employers and employees simple guides covering how to comply with OSHA standards

  • OSHA is legally obligated to assist small businesses in complying with regulations and recommendations

  • OSHA offers free consultations and training to help small businesses recognize and correct workplace dangers before receiving violation citations

  • Small businesses are exempt from some OSHA regulations and pay reduced penalties in the event of a violation

Make sure your business is taking full advantage of all the help available to ensure a safe workplace and healthy workers. As we’ve seen, working with OSHA not only avoids violations and fines, it saves your business a number of costs in the long run. 

To learn how you can get additional help with OSHA regulations and compliance, view our Professional Employer Organization (PEO) brochure.

[1] https://www.osha.gov/archive/oshinfo/success.html

[2] https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3163/osha3163.html

[3] https://www.osha.gov/Publications/safety-health-addvalue.html

[4] https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/products/topics/businesscase/