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OSHA and SBA to Help Small Businesses Promote Ergonomics

OSHA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) pledged to work together to help small businesses reduce their ergonomic hazards through increased outreach and education.

"OSHA welcomes the opportunity to work closely with the SBA to help millions of small businesses across the country reduce ergonomic hazards in their workplaces," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "This partnership enables us to better educate the small business community about the assistance that is available to them and learn from their input and feedback on our efforts."

Under the agreement, OSHA and SBA will establish an information sharing process to distribute ergonomics program information to small businesses. The partners also will create a referral procedure to submit small business input on industry and task-specific ergonomics guidelines.

"We're pleased to be partners with OSHA in its efforts to reach small business as it develops new industry specific ergonomic guidelines," said Thomas M. Sullivan, chief counsel for Advocacy. "With the new guidelines and this agreement, OSHA can take a big step in listening to the concerns of small business. This new step towards cooperation is great news for small business owners and their employees alike," he said.

The SBA's Office of Advocacy agreed to distribute OSHA ergonomics information and gather comments from small businesses in various industries. In addition, the Office of Advocacy will promote small business access to ergonomics information through The Small Business Advocate and electronic regulatory communications.

The SBA's National Ombudsman will also disseminate OSHA small business resources and educational materials on OSHA's ergonomics plan at regional hearings and fairness boards, small business roundtables, and in its monthly electronic publication RegFair Report.

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