OSHA - Guide to Requirements for New Businesses - Free

OSHA Help for New Businesses

(or new to OSHA Requirements)

The following links provide an introduction to the many OSHA requirements. We hope you find it useful!. The related guides are available for free.

Back to the Table of Contents page for information on many other subjects!

Back to the main Safety / OSHA page


This fact sheet will give you -- the employer starting a new business or an existing business trying to be sure you've covered everything -- basic information about OSHA requirements and additional publications to assist you in complying with those requirements.


As an employer you are responsible under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to your employees. You must comply with standards, rules and regulations issued by OSHA under the Act. You must be familiar with the standards and make copies available to employees for review upon their request.


OSHA's regulations are contained in Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 1900-1910. Construction workplaces are covered by Part 1926. Asbestos working areas are covered under 1910 in many places.

Copies of various OSHA standards are available here on EHSO at no charge - or they may be purchased through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (phone 202-512-1800) (fax 202-512-2250). Payment may be made by check, GPO Deposit Account, or VISA or MasterCard.


Most employers of 11 or more employees are required to maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses as they occur. Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers regardless of size in certain industries are exempt from keeping such records unless they are selected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to participate in the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

OSHA recordkeeping is not required for employers in

  • retail trade,
  • finance,
  • service industries--Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 522-89 - except IS required in: bulletbuilding material and garden supplies, SIC 52; bulletgeneral merchandise and food stores, SIC 53 and 54; bullethotels and other lodging places, SIC 70; bulletrepair services, SIC 75 and 76; bulletamusement and recreation services, SIC 79; and bullethealth services, SIC 80).
  • insurance, and
  • real estate
  • Forms:

    Two forms are needed for recordkeeping: OSHA No. 200, Log and Summary of Occupational Supplementary Record of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. Copies of OSHA recordkeeping forms are available free here on EHSO on our OSHA forms page or through the OSHA Publications Office, Room N-3101, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210 (telephone 202-219-4667) (fax 202-219-9662). A publication, Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, can also be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325, (phone 202-512-1800) (fax 202-512-2250); GPO Order No. 029-016-00165-4.

    OSHA Poster

    Every employer must post in a prominent location in the workplace the Job Safety and Health Protection workplace poster (OSHA 2203 or state equivalent) which informs employees of their rights and responsibilities under the Act. The poster may be obtained through the OSHA Publications Office or downloaded from from EHSO's OSHA forms page.

    Hazard Communication

    The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard requires employers to inform their workers of the potential dangers of any chemical hazards on the job, and to train them in proper safeguards. This includes information on the hazards and identities of chemicals they are exposed to when working and the protective measures available to prevent adverse effects.

    Employers who use the chemicals, rather than produce or import them, are not required to evaluate the hazards of those chemicals. Hazard determination is the responsibility of the producers and importers of the materials who then must provide the hazard information to employers who purchase their products. All employers must have a written workplace compliance program.

    Copies of the Hazard Communication Standard and the publication, Chemical Hazard Communication (OSHA 3084 Revised), are available here or through the OSHA Publication Office. Another publication, Hazard Communication Guidelines for Compliance (OSHA 3111), is also available free here, or it can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (phone 202-512-1800) (fax 202-512-2250). It is GPO Order No. 029-016-00163-8.

    A compliance kit on the standard entitled Hazard Communication -- A Compliance Kit -- can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (phone 202-512-1800) (fax 202-512-2250), Order No. 029-016-00147-6. The kit contains detailed information on how to establish hazard communication and training programs, and explains material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and requests for MSDSs, and training or other records.


    OSHA conducts workplace inspections to enforce its standards. Every establishment covered by the Act is subject to inspection by OSHA compliance safety and health officers, who are chosen for their knowledge and experience in the occupational safety and health field. The booklet, OSHA Inspections (OSHA 2098), is available through the OSHA Publications Office or to download online here.

    OSHA Offices

    OSHA Regional and Area Offices and a national map are listed in OSHA Publication 3046 and Program Highlight 98-42. Both items are available from the OSHA Publications Office or click the links to download an online presentation.)

    State Programs

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act encourages states to develop and operate their own job safety and health plans. OSHA approves and monitors these state plans and provides up to 50 percent of an approved plan's operating costs. States must set job safety and health standards at least as effective as comparable federal standards. (Most states adopt standards identical to federal ones.) Twenty-three states or jurisdictions operate complete state plans covering both the private sector and state and local government employees. Two others, Connecticut and New York, cover public employees only. A fact sheet, State Job Safety and Health Programs (OSHA Program Highlights No. 15), is available through the OSHA Publications Office. (and online here)


    Employers who want help in recognizing and correcting hazards and in improving safety and health programs can get it from a free consultation service largely funded by OSHA and delivered by State government using well-trained professional staff. A booklet, Consultation Services for the Employer (OSHA 3047), is available here online as a pdf file (but it's big: 2.6 megabytes) or in paper through the OSHA Publications Office.


    Training courses in safety and health subjects are available to the private sector through EHSO and our nation-wide affiliates. For information on the subjects, dates, tuition, and location of these courses telephone the EHSO Registrar (770-645-0788) or write an email to EHSO.

    Small Businesses

    There are booklets in OSHA's Small Business Safety Management Series to help small businesses comply with OSHA requirements. These include OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses -- OSHA 2209 - PDF file 7836 kb, GPO Order No. 029-016-00176-0; and, Assessing the Need for Personal Protective Equipment: A Guide for Small Business Employers (OSHA 3151), Order No. 029-016-00179-4. Both items can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-93259 (phone 202-512-1800) (fax 202-512-2250). A flyer for small business employers, Keeping Your Workplace Safe: Q's & A's for Small Business Employers -- OSHA Brochure - PDF file 551 kb provides an overview of OSHA services and can be downloaded from OSHA's Home Page.

    Publications Catalog

    A catalog, OSHA Publications and Audiovisual Programs, lists various OSHA products and is available here.


    To report life-threatening situations, catastrophes, or fatalities, call (800) 321-OSHA. Complaints will go immediately to the nearest OSHA area or state office for help.

    Ways to save money AND help the environment:

    Eat healthier AND save money: Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer and Electric Pressure Cooker Combo with Multicooker Lids that Fries, Steams, Slow Cooks, Sautés, Dehydrates

    Save water AND money with this showerhead adapter, it lets the water flow until the water is hot, then shuts off water flow until you restart it, ShowerStart TSV Hot Water Standby Adapter

    Protect your health with these:

    Mattress Dust mite-Bedbug protector, 100% Waterproof, Hypoallergenic, Zippered

    Handheld Allergen Vacuum Cleaner with UV Sanitizing and Heating for Allergies and Pet, Kills Mite, Virus, Molds, True HEPA with Powerful Suction removes Hair, Dander, Pollen, Dust,

    Immune Support Supplement with Quercetin, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D3

    GermGuardian Air Purifier with UV-C Light and HEPA 13 Filter, Removes 99.97% of Pollutants

    5 Stage Air Purifier, Features Ultraviolet Light (UVC), H13 True Hepa, Carbon, PCO, Smart Wifi, Auto Mode, Quiet, Removes 99.97% of Particles, Smoke, Mold, Pet Dander, Dust, Odors

    Interesting Reads:

    THE PREPPER'S CANNING & PRESERVING BIBLE: [13 in 1] Your Path to Food Self-Sufficiency. Canning, Dehydrating, Fermenting, Pickling & More, Plus The Food Preservation Calendar for a Sustainable Pantry

    The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! Paperback

    The Citizens' Guide to Geologic Hazards: A Guide to Understanding Geologic Hazards Including Asbestos, Radon, Swelling Soils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes

    The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

    Book: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Paperback

    See Echo Dot on Amazon