How Small Businesses Can Protect Their Workers From Health Risks

Small businesses and mom-and-pop shops are the heart of many cities, helping to connect neighbors and support the growth of local communities.

Despite the importance of small businesses, these companies can also be the most vulnerable to significant setbacks due to ongoing health and safety risks like COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. If small business employees continually get sick, the company can face considerable challenges in staying open, or its reputation could be damaged if customers receive poor service due to a staffing shortage.

Employers and managers at small businesses must protect their customers and staff against the inherent risks associated with their work, with unique considerations for hair and nail salons, gym and workout facilities, childcare centers, and small lodging establishments.

Protecting Against Ongoing Health Risks in Small Business Settings

Our Healthier Workplaces guidance documents offer practical advice for how employers can improve their workplace safety and limit the spread of illnesses and viruses like COVID-19. The guidance borrows from the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advice and expert counsel from other leading health, government, and business organizations.

In the below "Resources By Type" under "Support Documents," you will find four Healthier Workplaces documents relevant for small business employers:

Each of these documents offers clear strategies for employers to reduce health risks for themselves, their employees, and their customers, including guidance on:

  • How to properly ventilate your office or building

  • Cleaning and disinfecting practices for small business settings

  • Personal protective equipment recommendations

  • Ways to mitigate risks in high-traffic areas like a waiting room or restroom

  • What to do if an employee or customer displays symptoms of COVID-19

  • Employee communication and training strategies to protect their health

Additional Safety Resources For Small Business Employers

To access more help and resources to understand and avoid the ongoing health risks at small businesses, we recommend you explore the following resources and networks.