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OSHA, NIOSH update safety and health handbook for small businesses

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Washington — OSHA and NIOSH have teamed up to revise a safety and health handbook for small businesses.

The handbook outlines the benefits of an effective safety and health program. Included are self-inspection checklists to identify workplace hazards for general industry establishments.

“Small businesses face many unique challenges, and providing a safe and healthy work environment shouldn’t be one of them,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in an Aug. 3 press release. “The updated small business handbook is an easy-to-use tool to help keep your most valuable asset – your employees – safe and healthy on the job.”

The checklists cover topics such as hazard communication, fire protection, respiratory protection, permit-required confined spaces and walking-working surfaces. The checklists aren’t designed for construction or maritime employers, the release notes.

 

Resources from both agencies, including OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program, are included in the handbook, which also provides information on whistleblower protection laws, training available through OSHA’s education centers, and local chapters of workplace safety and health associations that small businesses can join.

“The revised small business handbook is a valuable tool to help employers identify where to take action to make their workplaces safer and more healthful for their employees,” acting OSHA administrator Jim Frederick said in the release. “Safety has to be a continuous process that involves preventing injuries and illnesses, and saving lives.”

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