The Economic Effects of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Regulations on Small Businesses: A Focus on the Hazard Communication Standard at GFG Foodservice, Inc.
Kennelly, Christopher J.
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Workplace safety is a major concern for employees in the United States of America. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was developed to reduce the number of workplace accidents. However, the Administration has come under close scrutiny due the burdens it places on businesses in the free market system. The effects of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's regulations on small businesses will be the focus of this analysis. Included in this analysis is a history of OSHA and its regulations, as well as its opposition. Political and economical opposition to OSHA is supported through statistical information. An example of how OSHA regulations affect a small business is shown through the effects of the Hazard Communication Standard on GFG Foodservice, Inc. Also included in this paper are my own work experiences at GFG Foodservice, Inc. during the summer of 1996, where I helped to implement a written program concerning OSHA's regulations. The conclusions drawn by the research of this paper suggest that OSHA regulations are not effective and have an adverse effect on business. Small businesses receive a greater financial burden for compliance with these regulations than large businesses. Therefore, OSHA regulations result in economics of scale in compliance. Due to the lack of effective regulations from OSHA, compounded with the unequal effect of the regulations on different sized businesses, changes to the regulatory structure of OSHA will be likely in the future.