Occupational Safety and Health Loan Programs

Gao ID: HRD-79-82 June 6, 1979

The occupational safety and health loan program as administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in cooperation with the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to help small businesses comply with mandated occupational safety and health standards. A review of the loan program showed that few loans have been made.

No assurance exists that loans are being made only to businesses that would suffer substantial economic injury without assistance or need the loans to comply with occupational safety and health standards. Controls are not adequate to ensure that workplace hazards are corrected. The occupational safety and health loan program is seldom used by small business. Neither SBA nor OSHA knows why. It has been suggested that more businesses do not request loans because of fear of an OSHA or state inspection or because of reluctance to prepare and submit engineering plans. SBA and OSHA need to do more to ensure that loans are needed to correct violations and that violations are actually corrected.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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