What are Your OSHA Employer Requirements in Business and at Work?


During the part of my career when I worked inside organizations as part of an HR / Operations / Environmental, Health and Safety team in large manufacturing and distribution organizations, these employers were clearly required to adhere to all OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, established by Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970) regulations and requirements.

Smaller organizations in different sectors can find OSHA employer requirements confusing. There’s a wealth of information and resources on the OSHA website, including but not limited to (from the OSHA New Business web page):

Your responsibilities as an employer (all employers):

Under the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), as the employer, you must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to your employees regardless of the size of your business. You must comply with OSHA standards and regulations under the OSH Act. You must also be familiar with those OSHA standards and regulations that apply to your workplace and make copies of them available to employees upon request.

Your employee posting requirements (all employers):

You must display OSHA’s Safe and Healthful Workplaces poster (OSHA 3165 or the state equivalent) in a conspicuous location in your workplace where workers and prospective employees can see it. This publication informs employees of their rights and responsibilities under the OSH Act.

Whether or not you’re required to keep records and submit reports to OSHA, based on number of employees and/or in a “partially exempt” industry:

Most businesses with 11 or more employees at any time during the calendar year must maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses as they occur using OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. Such record-keeping is not required for employers in most retail trade, finance, insurance, real estate, and service industries. All employers, including those partially exempted by reason of company size or industry classification, must report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye (Emphasis mine).

The complete list of so-called “partially-exempt” organizations can be found on this OSHA web page; employers with 10 or fewer employees are also considered “partially-exempt” from OSHA employer record-keeping and reporting.

Still confused? The NYS Department of Labor has an Onsite Safety and Health Consultation program for NYS employers (as do a number of other states), which is free and confidential to any business or organization in New York state – more information is available at this website.

Do you know what your OSHA employer requirements and responsibilities are in business and at work?

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