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OSHA - Frequently Asked Questions
1. I have a question about how OSHA rules apply to a specific situation at my business. How can I get answers?
If you have questions about OSHA regulations relating to your specific situation, call your local OSHA office directly or submit a question by email. You can also view OSHA's Letters of Interpretation, which are formal explanations of OSHA's requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances.
2. What OSHA requirements should I follow when starting a business?
Under the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), employers must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees regardless of the size of business. Employers must comply with OSHA standards under the OSH Act.
3. Does OSHA offer free help for my business to comply with regulations?
OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the U.S., with priority given to high-hazard worksites. The Consultation Program is completely separate from the OSHA inspection effort, and employers can find out about potential hazards at their workplace, improve programs that are already in place, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. No citations or penalties are issued and the employer's only obligation is to correct serious job safety and health hazards.
In addition, OSHA's Area Offices provide advice, education, and assistance to businesses (particularly small employers), trade associations, local labor affiliates, and other stakeholders who request help with occupational safety and health issues. We work with professional organizations, unions, and community groups concerning issues of safety and health in the workplace.
4. Am I required to prepare and maintain recordkeeping records?
Employers with more than ten employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must record work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301.
Partially exempt industries include establishments in specific low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate industries.
Employers who are required to keep Form 300, the Injury and Illness log, must post Form 300A, the summary of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses in their workplace every year from February 1 to April 30. Current and former employees, or their representatives, have the right to access injury and illness records. Employers must give the requester a copy of the relevant record(s) by the end of the next business day.
5. What is recordable under OSHA's Recordkeeping Regulation?
Keep in mind the following: