Small Business Assistance Program

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, and chambers of commerce can be used to 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, and thereby increasing 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?
  • Presented findings on Total Worker Health® in small business at the Work, Stress and Health Conference, including barriers and drivers for small businesses, and the overall takeaways from intermediary partners.
  • Supported Small Business Week through a new social media campaign which reached 10,000 Facebook users and 20,000 Twitter users.
  • Conducted employer interviews to learn the business priorities of small construction company owners, including liquidity, employee interactions, customer demands, and safety.
  • Collaborated with the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and Alianza Americas to collect data from employers on fall protection perspectives.
  • Contributed to small business guidance manual for the ASSP/ANSI Z-10 Standard that provides tools and resources to help keep people safe in small organizations.
  • Presented research findings to construction stakeholders and presented NIOSH research on methods for reaching small businesses with safety and health assistance at National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health meeting.
What’s next?
  • Create a Virtual Safety Consultant app to help small businesses in construction.
  • Prepare scientific journal articles on:
    • Total Worker Health approaches for intermediary organizations and small business
    • Updated surveillance of small business injury and illness burden
  • Collaborate with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve services and outreach to small businesses, including the:
    • OSHA Safe + Sound Campaign
    • OSHA-NIOSH Small Business Handbook.
  • Participate in the planning and presentations at the next international Understanding Small Enterprises Conference in Cyprus.

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

At-A-Glance

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

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
*Healthcare and social assistance
**Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

To learn more, visit
www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/sba/
August 2020

Page last reviewed: August 20, 2020