The guide also includes sections on specific types of hazards, such as chemical and physical hazards, noise and vibration, fire and explosions, and fall protection. Each section includes a list of resources where small businesses can find more information on protecting their workers from these hazards.
OSHA and EPA are two different agencies:
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and EPA is the Environmental Protection Agency.
OSHA was created as a federal government entity by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. It is part of the Department of Labor (DOL). The mission of OSHA is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, education and assistance; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.”
EPA is part of the Executive Branch:
It was created by the authority of Congressional legislation passed in 1970. Its mission is to protect human health and the environment (air, water, etc.). According to their website: “We’re working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people … EPA is composed of 17 distinct research, policy, and regional offices. These divisions work together to ensure environmental protection through an extensive variety of programs.”
OSHA has approximately 2,000 inspectors covering 8 million workplaces. EPA has a much larger number of employees – 16,568 – but their primary responsibility is not safety, so they have a much smaller number of inspectors – 302.
The most common way for a business to become aware of OSHA is through an inspection. This can happen when the inspector either responds to a call, finds something in the news about the company or they are notified by another party that there might be violations at your site that need attention. EPA does not do unannounced inspections.
OSHA can conduct inspections in response to a complaint or they can select their scope and conduct an inspection without any warning. EPA will often notify the business when it plans to visit, although there are times when they might show up unannounced for certain types of investigations.
There are pros and cons to both OSHA and EPA:
On the one hand, OSHA is better at conducting unannounced inspections, while EPA is better at notifying businesses in advance. On the other hand, OSHA has a smaller number of inspectors, while EPA has a much larger number of employees.
Overall, it is difficult to say which agency is better, as they both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, it is important for businesses to be aware of both agencies and what they are responsible for to stay compliant with safety and health regulations.