The handbook should help small business employers meet the legal requirements imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act), and achieve an in-compliance status before an OSHA inspection. An excellent resource to accompany this information is OSHA's Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, (54 Federal Register 3904-3916, January 26, 1989), also available on OSHA's website.
This handbook is not a legal interpretation of the provisions of the Act and does not place any additional requirements on employers or employees. Employers cannot be cited under the General Duty Clause in Section 5(a)(1) of the Act for failure to follow recommendations in this handbook.
The materials in this handbook are based upon Federal OSHA standards and other requirements in effect at the time of publication and upon generally accepted principles and activities within the job safety and health field. They should be useful to small business owners or managers and can be adapted easily to individual establishments.
It is important to point out that 24 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands operate their own OSHA-approved safety and health programs under Section 18 of the Act. While the programs in these State Plan States may differ in some respects from Federal OSHA, this handbook can be used by employers in any state because the standards imposed by State Plan States must be at least as effective as Federal OSHA standards. A list of states that operate their own safety and health programs can be found on OSHA's websit at www.osha.gov.
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