NIOSH Publishes New Nanotechnology Guidance for Small to Medium Size Businesses on Workplace Safety

A guide published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been released, directed at entrepreneurial enterprises in the nanotechnology sector. Entitled Building a Safety Program to Protect the Nanotechnology Workforce: A Guide for Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises, the guide provides recommendations to businesses to develop a written health and safety program to protect workers; focusing on risk minimization and risk management. The guide takes a proactive approach to risk management, suggesting that for small and medium-sized enterprises where resources are limited, the key to ensuring safety is to prevent occupational exposures and incidents before they happen.

This guide is especially applicable to individuals with a limited health and safety background, focusing on key considerations when creating a risk management plan:

  • identification of potential hazards;
  • identification of exposure potential;
  • establishment of controls following a hierarchy of controls (including potential elimination and substitution techniques, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protection equipment considerations);
  • verification of controls;
  • preparation for emergencies;
  • regulatory compliance (including OSHA, EPA, CPSC, REACH, NIOSH and others).

The guide is free and available here.