OSHA and the insurance industry have announced plans to provide safety training for small businesses.

A series of free pilot workshops, "Safety at Work: Risk Management Techniques for Small Businesses" will launch the joint venture. The first workshop was held in late October in Erie, Pa. Workshops are aimed at small business owners or managers with fewer than 100 employees or companies that do not have a full-time safety professional or risk manager on staff.

"These workshops will help answer small business owners' questions and offer the extensive resources of OSHA and the insurance industry to help manage workplace safety and health," says OSHA chief Charles Jeffress.

Sponsors include the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) and other industry trade groups. Insurance companies participating in the first workshop included: Erie Insurance Group, American Contractors Insurance Group, CNA Insurance, Harleysville Group and Clarendon Insurance.

Future workshops may focus on ergonomics, recordkeeping, and slip-and-fall protection, according to OSHA.