OSHA’s New Plan Protects Workers from Hazardous Exposures

Primary metal industries are now following OSHA’s new National Emphasis Program (NEP) which protects workers from hazardous exposures.  Inspectors are now visiting plants that manufacture primary metals and metal products.  Their main job is to ensure that there has been a reduction or elimination of metal exposures.  The NEP also looks for chemical and physical hazards, such as noise and heat.

An OSHA administrator, Dr. David Michaels states that “OSHA’s new enforcement program will raise awareness of the dangers of exposure to metal and other chemicals, so that employers can correct hazards and comply with OSHA standards”.

Previous OSHA inspections in the metals industry have revealed that employees are exposed to metal dust, fumes, lead and silica, carbon monoxide, among others on a daily basis.  OSHA was worried about the frequency and seriousness of these issues.  Exposures to these substances may cause damage to the eyes, nose, throat, skin as well as difficulty in breathing, chest pain and joint pain.  Over exposures to these substances could also lead to death.

The Department of Health statistics from one state addresses that primary metal industries account for 26% of elevated blood lead levels.  At least one worker had a blood lead level of 30ug/100g or greater in 2005.  Previous inspections of metal facilities have resulted in citations for overexposures to a wide variety of health hazards including chemical exposures as well as physical stressors such as noise and heat.  SLIPNOT Metal Safety Flooring makes sure that they meet OSHA’s standards so their employees will not suffer any damage.

Walter, Laura. “OSHA Establishes New NEP for Primary Metal Industries”.  EHS Today. June 3, 2011. http://ehstoday.com/standards/osha/osha-establishes-nep-primary-metal-industries-0603/

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