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workers, building, architect

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

927EID1102 - Fire Inspections as a Channel to Small Business Outreach

Start Date: 10/1/2010
End Date: 9/30/2014

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Robert Malkin
Phone: 513-533-8375
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: EID
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed


Attributed to Manufacturing


Project Description

Short Summary

The purpose of this project is to determine if the fire department is effective at distributing OSH material without negatively impacting their duties as a fireman

This project is contributing to the manufacturing sector

The major output is development and distribution by the fire department of OSH handouts for the small business owner and brochures for the employees. An intermediate outcome is development of information regarding OSH needs of small business.


The hypothesis of the project is that the fire department is effective at disseminating safety information. The goal is for the fire department to be effective at distributing OSH material and for the recipients to report improved OSH as a result of receiving the material.

The information that will be distributed by the fire department will consist of 3 materials:

1. A book of OSH handouts that discuss the development of a safety program; and information about where further OSH information can be obtained.
2. Brochures designed for the employees on the same subjects that were covered in the book.
3. Posters on selected topics that could be placed in the worksite

The topics for the OSH chapters and brochures were taken from a NIOSH study where small business owners were asked to list their top three occupational safety and health concerns. This study found that slips, trips, and falls were selected more often than any other occupational safety and health concern with general safety and lifting safety selected as the second and third concerns. All of the topics selected in this study were selected as a concern in the NIOSH study �Occupational Safety and Health Concerns in Small Business� NIOSH/EID/TREB, 2007.

The OSH material will be arranged as a �packet� of materials that can be easily handled by the firemen; they can pick up a package of OSH material at the times s/he leaves the station house for an inspection. These informational materials have been developed from other NIOSH or OSHA projects and publications. The material provided to small business owners in this study will contain suggestions that may reduce the number of occupational injuries requiring response by the fire department.

This part of the project should be started in 2010 and completed in 2012

Mission Relevance

Small business entrepreneurship is a vital component of the U.S. economy. Occupational safety and health activities including research, regulation, enforcement, and intervention historically have not focused on small businesses despite their predominance and relatively large numbers of employees overall. Few small business establishments provide on-site occupational health units, medical screening tests, pre-placement physicals, or employ or use industrial hygiene or safety personnel/consultants. As a consequence, prevention of occupational injury and illness is often difficult in small business establishments because they generally have few safety and health resources, do not hire staff devoted to safety and health activities, and often lack the ability to identify occupational hazards and conduct surveillance. Small business owners have a multitude of concerns and occupational safety and health issues are only one of them. Promoting occupational safety and health in small businesses is often a difficult task due to the dispersion of work sites, the variability of work settings, the poor receptiveness of the small business owner to government intervention, and the small number of workers in each company.