When beginning a new venture and purchasing or renting an office or building space, many small business owners assume there are no safety or health issues or that those issues are handled by the seller or rental management agent. Such an assumption is wrong and, in many cases, could result in the small business owner being faced with significant OSHA penalties for safety and health violations. Every entrepreneur needs to realize that once he or she starts their new venture and hire their first employee, they are automatically covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and subject to safety and health inspections by Compliance Officers with OSHA. In addition, depending on the state in which the new business is started, there may be additional safety and health laws which have been promulgated by that particular state or local government entity. Thus, all entrepreneurs must determine, as part of any start-up operation, to review the OSHA safety and health standards, as well as the state and local safety and health standards, that might be applicable to their particular operation or work site.
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