The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration collaborated with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to revise a handbook on workplace safety and health information for small business employers.
The Small Business Safety and Health Handbook highlights the benefits of implementing an effective safety and health program, provides self-inspection checklists for employers to identify workplace hazards, and reviews important workplace safety and health resources for small businesses.
“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,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. “Safety has to be a continuous process that involves preventing injuries and illnesses, and saving lives.”
The handbook includes self-inspection checklists for various work processes in general industry workplaces, such as fire protection, hazard communication, permit-required confined spaces, respiratory protection, and walking-working surfaces. The checklists are not intended for construction or maritime industries.
“Small businesses face many unique challenges and providing a safe and healthy work environment shouldn’t be one of them,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “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.”
A section of the handbook lists OSHA and NIOSH resources available to help employers recognize and correct safety and health hazards in their workplace, including the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program. The handbook also gives employers information on whistleblower protection laws, training through OSHA’s education centers, and professional occupational safety and health associations with local chapters that small businesses can join.