Nebraska companies using hazmat get attention from OSHA
Funeral homes, chemical and product manufacturing plants, printing facilities and outpatient care centers in Nebraska will get programmed health inspections by OSHA as part of a local emphasis program intended to educate employers and workers about highly hazardous chemicals, including formaldehyde and methylene chloride.
"This local emphasis program will allow OSHA to use its resources efficiently by focusing on industries that are known to use these types of highly hazardous chemicals," said Bonita Winingham, area director for OSHA in Omaha. "Through this program, OSHA will improve education for company management and strengthen worker protections."
Exposure limits, monitoring
Due to the increased health risks related to some chemicals, OSHA has created chemical-specific regulations known as expanded health standards. These regulations include exposure limits and monitoring requirements.
Industry sectors were selected for inspection based on recorded violations of these expanded health standards and the frequency of inspection in 2013.
Local emphasis programs are enforcement strategies designed and implemented at the regional and/or area office levels. These programs are intended to address hazards in industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office's jurisdiction. Often, these local emphasis programs are accompanied by outreach intended to make area employers aware of the program and the hazards that the programs are designed to reduce or eliminate.
In addition, OSHA has created a toolkit to identify safer chemicals that can be used in place of hazardous ones.