Common comments from small and medium sized businesses when faced with seemingly harsh OSHA compliance requirements is that they don’t have the wherewithal, time or knowledge to comply with the many OSHA regulations that are required of their operations.Though OSHA regulations have been in place since the 1970s, I still run into employers today who throw their arms up in frustration and claim OSHA isn’t fair, that they’re a small business and they don’t have the time or the money to comply.
When the OSHA Act of 1970 was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon, businesses were legally obligated to comply with the new laws or face citations and monetary fines until they became compliant.
I understand fully small companies’ positions and their common complaints of the time and costs involved in OSHA compliance. But being compliant to applicable OSHA regulations has to be taken and achieved - It is the law.
OSHA, in its own way, has also recognized the many burdens that OSHA compliance brings to small and very small businesses. Of particular interest is OSHA’s compliance assistance section, where free OSHA consultation is offered to assist small and very small businesses with the myriad OSHA requirements. OSHA also offers free fact sheets, booklets, expert advisors and eTools on applicable safety and health topics for small businesses. There are free examples sprayed all over the web of required OSHA programs such as Lockout/Tagout that can be downloaded and customized to any establishments operations.
It’s simply not right or fair (nor legal) to the responsible, accountable and law-abiding businesses both large and very small that continue to spend the necessary time and money to be in OSHA compliance while allowing others to fail to meet those same requirements.