Employers are responsible for safety in the workplace according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
But if you’re a small business owner, there are resources available to help you ensure safety in the workplace. OSHA plays a role by outlining and enforcing safety standards and by providing education and training for U.S. businesses. In addition to turning to OSHA’s resources, you can also enlist the members of your team to help promote a safe and healthy workplace.
Workplace safety responsibilities according to OSHA
The OSHA Small Business Handbook is a good place to start understanding your responsibilities as it outlines the specific obligations of employers. Reference the handbook for a full, detailed outline of workplace safety responsibilities, which may include but are not limited to:
- Providing a workplace free from serious recognized hazards
- Using signage to warn employees of potential hazards
- Providing safety training in a language workers can understand
- Implementing a hazard communication program
- Keeping records of and reporting work-related injuries and fatalities
- Not discriminating against employees who exercise their rights under OSHA
- Posting OSHA citations
- Correcting OSHA safety violations
Workplace safety—enlist your team
Developing a workplace safety plan can seem daunting, so consider enlisting the help of your entire team. As you design a safety plan for your business, think about how you might assign the workplace safety responsibilities for each employee based on their role in your organization:
- Leadership – Outline and manage safety policies, ensure compliance with national and state regulations, oversee training, maintain records, and report injuries and illnesses
- Management – Implement safety measures, monitor, and report safety violations or hazards, train employees, and troubleshoot safety issues
- Labor – Follow safety procedures, report hazards and violations, and attend safety trainings
Don’t forget to check out OSHA’s safety training resources to support a safe and healthy workplace.
Thanks for reading! Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As best practices change regularly, you should refer to your trusted advisor for specific counsel. If you’re a small business owner, learn more about workplace safety or check your workers’ comp rate in 3 minutes.