Businesses are covered by a variety of laws and regulations on several levels—local, state, and federal. These rules were created to ensure health and safety, and violations can lead to hefty fines. To avoid these fines, you should take the time to learn what rules apply to your business and make sure everyone in the workplace complies with them.
Understand Your State and Local Laws
Some state and local laws apply to all businesses, but others apply only to certain types of businesses. Examples of general rules may include zoning laws, employment rules, tax laws, and state regulations for licensing. Beyond that, there may be special laws pertaining to healthcare, manufacturing, restaurants, vehicle repair, beauty salons, and so on. It can be confusing, so learn what pertains to your specific business in your region. Good resources for information will be an industry-specific association or organization or the Small Business Association. Creating company policies based on these laws will make it easier for all employees to follow them.
Follow OSHA Rules
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, better known as OSHA, applies to almost all privately-owned businesses in the United States. Its purpose is to establish and enforce health and safety regulations. OSHA regulates how much employees can be exposed to hazardous conditions. OSHA rules are industry-specific and cover everything from what employees must wear for protection to how equipment must be handled. The rules for your business are available on OSHA’s website. To avoid fines, conduct regular inspections and keep careful records. If OSHA representatives visit your business, they will want to see them.
Know Environmental Regulations
Environmental rules exist on both the state and federal levels; some are general while others apply to specific kinds of businesses. Generally, they cover things like emissions, waste disposal, and other threats to air, water, or soil. They also protect endangered species.
Violations of any EPA regulation can result in expensive fines. To avoid them, learn what rules apply to your business and train employees to follow correct procedures, especially when it comes to proper waste disposal.
Ignorance of the rules will not save your business from penalties. While governments and agencies that regulate your business may give you a chance to correct any problems or violations, knowing the rules and training your employees are the best ways to avoid fines by any government or agency.
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