The Small Business Safety and Health Handbook was recently revised in a joint effort by OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The handbook highlights the benefits of implementing an effective safety and health program, provides self-inspection checklists for employers to identify workplace hazards and review important workplace safety and health resources for small businesses, according to an OSHA news release.
Self-inspection checklists in the handbook for various work processes in general industry workplaces include these topics:
- fire protection
- hazard communication
- permit-required confined spaces
- respiratory protection
- walking-working surfaces
- compressed gas cylinders
- electrical safety
- exit routes and emergency planning
- portable powered tools and equipment
- lockout/tagout procedures
- machine guarding
- materials handling and storage
- first aid
- noise exposure
- PPE, and
- welding, cutting and brazing.
The checklists are not intended for construction or maritime industries.
A section of the handbook lists NIOSH and OSHA resources (including state plans) 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.
The handbook encourages small businesses to implement a safety and health program to:
- prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
- improve compliance with laws and regulations
- reduce costs, including significant reduction in workers’ comp premiums
- engage workers, and
- increase productivity and enhance overall business operations.