June, 2003
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

SBA provides new online virtual classroom for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs


Small business owners can now access an online virtual classroom of business courses, workshops, information resources, learning tools and counseling assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s E-Business Institute Web site.
The E-Business Institute is a virtual campus offering free tutorials, workshops and educational resources. It offers a range of online business training and counseling tools to assist entrepreneurs with business start-up, from developing marketing strategies to effective employee management. It also provides valuable information for existing small business owners.

The E-Business Institute is an easy-to-use tool that provides 24-hour access to business courses via the Internet. The E-Business Institute was designed with small business entrepreneurs in mind to provide interactive business guidance on a range of topics. There are 16 training categories with more than 70 interactive courses and electronic guides to provide educational tools and resources on entrepreneurship. Many of the courses include audio sound bytes, quizzes and feedback.

The online courses make the SBA's business management resources available anytime and anywhere. The E-Business Institute also features a virtual library with more than 200 free E-books and publications, links to the top business magazines and national newspapers, direct links to colleges and universities that offer online business courses and programs, and a section for young entrepreneurs to pursue their business interests.

Go to www.sba.gov/training.

EPA incorporates ASTME 2121in mitigation policy

In June 2002 EPA solicited comments on its proposal to incorporate ASTMI E2121 by reference into its National voluntary radon program. After due consideration of the comments received, EPA has decided to incorporate E2121 by reference and to retain EPA’s Radon Mitigation Standards (RMS) in effect until at least 2006.
This decision is consistent with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119 on Federal participation in the development and use of voluntary consensus standards, and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995.

EPA’s original proposal was to incorporate E2121 by reference and retire the RMS. However, after reviewing the comments provided by the states, radon industry, proficiency organizations, and others, EPA has decided to retain the RMS until at least 2006. A discussion paper is being prepared that will provide EPA’s radon stakeholders with the full context for the decision to incorporate E2121 by reference. The discussion paper will also provide a summary and response to the principal comments received by EPA.

Please check the www.epa.gov/radon Web site for the discussion paper and other materials regarding this policy. Questions concerning this policy? Contact Philip Jalbert (jalbert.philip@epa.gov) or Eugene Fisher (fisher.eugene@epa.gov). The policy is available on the site as a PDF.

EPA releases new video onradon in real estate

The EPA would like the ASHI Membership to help distribute its recently released video, “Breathing Easy: What Home Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Radon” as well as other consumer friendly guidance on risk reduction. Single copies of the video are free from IAQ-Info (1-800-438-4318) in VHS format [ask for (EPA 402-V-02-003) (TRT 13.10)]; copies in CD-ROM and DVD formats will also be available soon.

“The Homebuyers and Sellers Guide to Radon” is also available as a pamphlet, as is the recently revised “The Consumer Guide to Radon Reduction - How to fix your home.” Both can be downloaded or ordered from the EPA Web site to be used to inform your customers about radon. Go to www.epa.gov/radon.

ASSE publishes new fire safety and electrical safety books

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) released new editions of classic texts on electrical safety and fire safety management. Edited by Thomas M. Kovacic, “An Illustrated Guide to Electrical Safety,” now in its fifth edition, focuses on electrical safety codes and requirements for safety professionals, educators, employers and compliance officers.

The new fifth edition of “An Illustrated Guide to Electrical Safety” covers electrical safety requirements and training, including the revisions of the 2002 National Electric Code (NEC), which is revised every three years by the Standards Council of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NEC has been adopted as a law by cities, counties and states throughout the U.S. The guide also includes expanded coverage on the 2000 Edition of the NFPA 70E, “Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Work Practices.”

Kovacic is president of TMK Associates, a firm based in Cleveland, OH, specializing in electrical safety and lockout/tagout. He is a Certified Plan Examiner and Electrical Inspector by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. A Professional Member of ASSE, Dr. Della-Giustina is a professor in the Safety and Environmental Management Program in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University, Morgantown.

“The Fire Safety Management Handbook,” order number 4398, is $49.95 for ASSE members, $54.95 for members of the American Industrial Health Association (AIHA) and Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers (ACHMM), and $59.95 for non-members. “An Illustrated Guide to Electrical Safety,” order number 4400, is $49.95 for ASSE members, $57.50 for AIHA and ACHMM members, and $64.95 for non-members. To order the books contact ASSE Customer Service at 847-699-2929 or visit ASSE’s Web site www.asse.org.

Founded in 1911, the non-profit ASSE is the oldest and largest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 30,000 members manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor and education.