Massive oil spills and facility infernos make headlines, but small businesses’ safety and health practices can have costly consequences on their neighborhoods as well. An integral part of the community, small businesses provide jobs for nearly 4.2 million in the state of Texas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
At its free, inaugural luncheon on Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gulf Coast Safety Institute, the Small Business Safety and Health Center will present information on small businesses’ rights and responsibilities under current law, as well as provide information on resources that are available to small businesses.
“The meeting will present a proactive approach to safety and health. Participants will learn more about resources available free of charge as well as have a networking opportunity to share with those who have similar experiences,” said Cindy Lewis, director of the Gulf Coast Safety Institute, which oversees the Small Business Safety and Health Center.
Owners and employees of small businesses in any field are welcome to hear experts in the field discuss current regulations in laymen’s terms and to provide feedback on desired resources. Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the OSHA Consultation Program have been invited to speak.

“We have such a dynamic market here, from retail to petrochemical companies,” said Lewis. “We want to hear businesses’ needs and develop resources that are specific to those needs.”
The Small Business Safety and Health Center is a Center of Excellence of the Gulf Coast Safety Institute, which provides education, training and outreach in the safety, health and environmental field to current and future employees and employers.

There is no charge, but attendees should RSVP to Small Business Safety and Health Center program coordinator Guinn Sharpe at 409-933-8338 or