May 18, 2023

New Chapters on Ergonomics, Young Workers Added to OSHA Handbook

OSHA has updated its handbook on safety and health information for small businesses to include new chapters on ergonomics, young workers, workplace violence, and infection control plans (PDF), the agency announced in May via its QuickTakes e-newsletter. The new sections of the Small Business Safety and Health Handbook are checklists that employers can use to ensure hazards are being controlled and regulatory requirements are being met with respect to each topic. For example, the infection control checklist asks whether frequently-touched surfaces are routinely cleaned and disinfected, and the checklist for young workers directs employers to ensure that workers between 18 and 21 years of age do not drive commercial vehicles across state lines.

A checklist on heat-related illnesses, developed through an OSHA-NIOSH partnership, was added in September 2022. The handbook also provides checklists for electrical safety, fire protection, hazard communication, lockout/tagout procedures, noise exposure, personal protective equipment, and a range of other safety and health topics. Additional sections summarize the benefits of safety and health programs and outline additional resources for controlling hazards, training employees, and protecting whistleblowers.

QuickTakes is released twice per month in English and Spanish. A free PDF of OSHA’s Small Business Safety and Health Handbook is available from the agency’s website. To learn more about OSHA’s recent safety and health actions and initiatives, visit its May 16 e-newsletter.