Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created two online resources aimed at reducing chemical hazards in the workplace. The first is an online toolkit to help employers identify chemicals that can be used as alternatives to more hazardous substances, or eliminate them altogether. According to OSHA, the toolkit is appropriate for manufacturers that use chemicals in their production processes and businesses that use products containing chemicals in their everyday operations. The webpage includes seven linkable steps to make the workplace safer, as well as an introductory video.
OSHA has also launched the Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) tables "which will enable employers to voluntarily adopt newer, more protective workplace exposure limits." These tables provide side-by-side comparisons of the following values:
- OSHA PELs for General Industry
- California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs)
- American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH®) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs®)
In a press release, OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels said: "There is no question that many of OSHA's chemical standards are not adequately protective," adding "I advise employers, who want to ensure that their workplaces are safe, to utilize the occupational exposure limits on these annotated tables, since simply complying with OSHA's antiquated PELs will not guarantee that workers will be safe."
Photo credit: BanksPhotos