Small Business Assistance Program PPOP

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Small Business Assistance Program works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia. Small businesses are typically defined as those with fewer than 50 employees. The program focuses on the following areas:

  • Conducting research to better prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in small businesses.
  • Increasing awareness and use of effective interventions among small businesses.
What do we do?
  • Investigate the work environment in small businesses and the barriers to preventing workplace illness, injury, and death.
  • Explore how intermediaries such as insurance companies, trade associations, chambers of commerce, and local health organizations can connect with small businesses and the best way to partner with them.
  • Present on occupational safety and health issues to small businesses and intermediaries.
  • Foster collaborations with international small business safety and health leaders through scientific conferences and informal networking. This helps increase our understanding of small businesses and effective interventions both domestically and internationally.
  • Collaborate and provide support to other NIOSH programs and outside partners researching occupational safety and health issues that may affect small businesses.
What have we accomplished?
  • Participated in eight COVID-19 presentations where audiences included small businesses participating in a reopening webinar, & restaurants & food retail operators.
  • Participated in the development of COVID-19 factsheets & vaccination information, including those targeting information for small businesses.
  • Participated in COVID-19 factsheet user testing
    with employers & workers in grocery & food retail, ridesharing, & nail salons.
  • Served as active members of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Safety & Wellness Committee by providing speakers & activity suggestions, & sharing latest published information on COVID-19.
  • Met with construction industry partners & reported on OSH interviews held among small business owners in the industry.
What’s next?
  • Learn more about small outdoor service businesses through customer discovery interviews.
  • Formalize partnerships with intermediary organizations to better reach small construction businesses.
  • Draft a scientific journal article on Total Worker Health® approaches for intermediary
    organizations & small businesses.
  • Collaborate with Health Action Alliance on sharing new vaccine resources for small businesses.
  • Collaborate with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to improve services & outreach to small businesses, including the OSHA-NIOSH Small Business Handbook & mobile app.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The Small Business Assistance Program seeks to reduce occupational illnesses, injuries, and deaths in smaller businesses. This is done through research, outreach, and prevention activities. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming projects.

Rates of nonfatal workplace injuries & illnesses in small businesses by year per 100 full-time workers
Rates of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in small businesses (U.S. establishments with 11–49 workers) by year per 100 full-time workers
Rates of nonfatal workplace injuries & illnesses in small businesses by industry (2018) per 100 full-time workers
Rates of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in small businesses by industry

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Small businesses are U.S. establishments with 11-49 workers.
*Healthcare & social assistance
**Agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting

Spotlight: COVID-19 Guidance for Small Businesses
COVID-19 Guidance for Small Businessespdf icon[PDF - 57 KB]

To learn more, visit
September 2021

Page last reviewed: August 20, 2020