Health and Safety Guide for Libraries

Recognize, evaluate and control workplace hazards in libraries.

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Designed and written as a practical workplace training and reference tool. This 141-page pocket guide is filled with clear-language text including safety tips, charts, diagrams, checklists and illustrations.


This is your guide to working safely in libraries and other information centres. This guide will enable you to:

  • Recognize workplace hazards.
  • Prevent accident and injury through safe work practices and use of personal protective equipment.
  • Respond to accidents and emergencies.
  • Understand your duties and rights as given in occupational health and safety legislation.
  • Contact government departments to find additional health and safety information.


This guide provides basic knowledge and skills for ensuring a healthy and safe workplace. It presents a step-by-step approach for dealing with workplace health and safety problems, namely:

  • Recognize potential problems relating to library work.
  • Evaluate risk.
  • Develop and implement controls.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of controls.
  • Identify sources of health and safety information.

Details of measurement techniques and exposure evaluation are beyond the scope of this guide. Such information is available from the Inquiries Service of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). For detailed hazard evaluation and implementation of control measures, a specialist should be consulted.

Target Audience

This guide is for persons employed in different library departments including:

  • Administration,
  • Lending services,
  • Cataloging,
  • Information services,
  • Photocopying,
  • Shelving, and
  • Audiovisual services.
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance

Each publication produced by CCOHS undergoes several stages of review. As part of this review, representatives from government, employers, and labour are requested to comment on draft copies of CCOHS documents for technical accuracy and readability.

Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy and completeness of the information, it is understood that CCOHS makes no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of such information and assumes no liability for any damages or loss suffered as a result of any inaccuracy or incompleteness therein.


The CCOHS Difference

CCOHS publications are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible.


Although our publications are protected by copyright, permission for non-commercial reproduction may be provided.

Please use our Copyright Authorization Form to request permission, or contact us for more information.