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OSHA intends to offer extensive assistance to small businesses in order to aid with compliance through publications, Internet-based materials, outreach sessions, and its free consultation program. Furthermore, many of the conditions of the proposal have been aimed specifically to reduce the impact on small businesses such as the following examples:

  • Exempting the recordkeeping requirements for businesses which consist of 10 or fewer employees

  • Prolonging the phase-in prerequisites for job hazardinvestigation (2 years) and applying permanent controls (3 years)

  • Allowing the opportunity to use the Quick Fix option in lieu of implementing a full ergonomics program for a problem job

  • Job-based rule rather than facility-wide coverage

  • Selection of any mixture of engineering, work practice, and administrative controls to solve jobs where WMSD have taken place

  • Incremental abatement option--try one control to materially decrease the hazard and wait to observe whether it works. Insert other controls one by one as needed

  • Shortened work restrictions protection time—only 6 months, in contrast to 18 months for lead and cadmium standards

  • Limited work restriction protection — 90% of earnings for complete removal to retain incentive to return to work

  • Opportunity to drop back from a full program to just upholding controls for a job that has been solved if no WMSD arises in that job in a 3 year time period

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