The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a set of Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs to assist employers in developing a methodical approach to improving safety and health in their workplaces. The recommendations update OSHA's 1989 guidelines to account for changes in the economy and workplaces and evolving safety and health issues. They feature a new, easier-to-use format and a section on multi-employer workplaces, and place a greater emphasis on continuous improvement. The recommendations also include supporting tools and resources and should be of particular value to small and medium-sized businesses. "Since OSHA's original guidelines were published more than 25 years ago, employers and employees have gained a lot of experience in how to use safety and health programs to systematically prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "We know that working together to implement these programs will help prevent injuries and illnesses, and also make businesses more sustainable." The seven core elements for a safety and health program, as set forth by the recommendations, are: management leadership; worker participation; hazard identification and assessment; hazard prevention and control; education and training; program evaluation and improvement; and communication and coordination for host employers, contractors, and staffing agencies. The recommendations are advisory only and do not create any new legal obligations or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.