Each and every year in the United States, there are tens of thousands of employees who get sick because they’re exposed on the job to dangerous chemicals. And these are chemicals than can be found in millions of workplaces every day. Now, officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have unveiled two new web resources to help companies to keep these workers safe.
While most people can usually tell you which chemicals are dangerous and which are not, OSHA might not have the most up-to-date or protective standards for the tiny number of chemicals that are regulated in the workplace.
Our Rock Hill workers’ compensation lawyers understand that toxic and hazardous substances are defined as chemicals in the workplace that can cause harm to workers. This term can include mixtures dusts and common materials like solvents, fuels and paints. Officials with OSHA only regulate exposure to about 400 of these substances. On the other hand, the OSHA Chemical Sampling Information file contains listings for approximately 1500 substances.
The first of OSHA’s new resources to help get a grip on these chemicals was created as a toolkit to help workers to identify chemicals that can be used in place of typically more dangerous ones.
“We know that the most efficient and effective way to protect workers from hazardous chemicals is by eliminating or replacing those chemicals with safer alternatives whenever possible,” said assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, Dr. David Michaels.
The second of the new resources is the Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits. This resource is going to help to keep the chemical exposure limits to a minimum.
As it stands now, there are approximately 750,000 hazardous chemicals that are used in the workplace around the world. Each and every year, there are hundreds more that are added.
Health hazards are hazards like skin irritants, carcinogens or respiratory sensitisers that have an adverse effect on a worker’s health as a result of direct contact with or exposure to the chemical, usually through inhalation, skin contact or ingestion. It’s critical for employees to know how to protect themselves against these materials to help ensure a safe workplace.
It is well recognized that employees have both a right and a need to know about the hazards associated with the chemicals they are exposed to when working. OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is designed to provide employees with the critical information they need so they are better prepared to take steps to reduce exposure, substitute less hazardous materials, and establish safe work practices.
Some chemicals move from one state to another with a change in temperature or pressure. Water is a chemical which is normally a liquid but becomes a solid at temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius.
Manufacturers and suppliers are required to label their products correctly. When substances are delivered to you, the label must indicate the hazards and risks. Suppliers must also provide MSDS to their workplace customers – this is a key source of information and includes the manufacturer’s recommended control measures
Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.
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