OSHA has implemented a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to raise awareness of the dangers associated with isocyanate exposure.

Isocyanates are hazardous chemicals that are often found in activities using paints, foam insulation, polyurethane, surface coatings, rubber, and adhesives.

They are powerful irritants to the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and throat. Hazardous health effects associated with occupational exposure to isocyanates include irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, hypersensitivity pneumotitis (inflammation in the lungs), and chest tightness.  A more serious hazardous health effect resulting from exposure to isocyanates is occupational asthma. Occupational asthma is an illness that can make it difficult to breath and causes chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. It is frequently serious and can be fatal. Isocyanates also include compounds that are classified as potential human carcinogens and have been known to cause cancer in animals.

Continue reading “Are your employees at risk of isocyanate exposure?”

The new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is upon us. OSHA, with help from the U.N. and global community, has updated the HazCom Standard in an effort to standardize and simplify the communication of chemical hazards. Before this new system, a worker handling drums of flammable material from different manufacturers could notice an array of different warning labels. One manufacturer could have labeled the material as “Flammable”, while another could have labeled it as “Extremely Flammable” or even “Caution Flammable Vapors”. The material is all the same, but now there is confusion as to the level of the hazard present. It is for this reason why the GHS is here.

Continue reading “OSHA GHS Deadline Approaching Fast…Are You Ready?”

Brian Edwards, PE of Conversion Technology, Inc. will be a trainer at the Understanding Combustible Dust Seminar presented by Lewellyn Technology on April 12, 2011. Brian will be discussing the science behind combustible dust incidents, along with fire and explosion prevention and protection. Visit www.safedust.com for details on how to register. To learn more about CTI’s consulting services, please visit: Combustible Dust Safety.

Other presenters will include:

Kevin Jeffries, CEAS – Corporate Safety Systems Manager at Imperial Sugar Co.
Scott Margolin – International Technical Director at Westex, Inc.

 

 

In late 2009, OSHA released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for combustible dust hazards, investigating regulatory methods of reducing the hazards associated with combustible dust at industrial facilities. In December 2009, stakeholder meetings were held in Washington, D.C. to allow industry’s voice to be heard on the issue. Now OSHA has set January 19, 2010 as the date by which all comments from interested or affected parties need to be submitted. All of these steps point to the fact that OSHA continues to progress in the rulemaking process, and the completion of formal regulations is not far away.

Even though this rulemaking process is incomplete, OSHA is already taking enforcement steps based on the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP), which was reissued in March 2008 and is concerned with facilities at which combustible dust is likely to pose a hazard. OSHA officials are currently performing inspections to enforce this NEP, and nationally nearly 4,000 violations have already been issued during over 800 inspections. Therefore, industrial facilities do not have the option of passively waiting until OSHA rulemaking is finalized to take steps toward compliance. To ensure facility safety, as well as avoid costly fines, facilities should work to identify and eliminate combustible dust hazards as soon as possible. Continue reading “Safety Alert: Combustible Dust”

Over the past year, OSHA has been acting under a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to address combustible dust hazards at facilities. This NEP identifies the industries where combustible dust may be present and establishes an inspection schedule for these facilities. In August 2009, OSHA will issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for combustible dust hazards where the Administration will begin evaluating the regulatory methods for reducing the hazards from combustible dust.

Continue reading “Safety Alert: OSHA is Not Waiting on the Combustible Dust Rule to Issue Citations”