Category: Chemicals

Today’s workplace uses thousands of chemicals, many of which are hazardous. The resources in this section will help guide you in the safe and legal identification, storage, transport, and use of these chemicals, and in making sure that your employees right to know how to be safe around such substances is provided, as required by law.

8 Ways to Successfully Manage Flammable and Combustible Liquid Risks

The presence of flammable and combustible liquids in the workplace greatly increases the risk of fire and explosion. Precautions like these can help prevent accidents. 1.  Storage All storage must be in tanks or closed containers. The quantity of liquids allowed in manufacturing/production areas (outside of primary storage) is limited according to the liquid class and […]

How to Comply with PEL Requirements

Yesterday, we explained how to calculate PELs. Today, we talk  about how to comply with them. To achieve compliance with PELs, OSHA says a facility must determine and then implement administrative or engineering controls whenever feasible. Engineering controls involve the use of: Exhaust and general ventilation Enclosure of the source of emissions Process and equipment […]

Chemical protective mask

How to Calculate PELs for Air Contaminants

To protect workers from harmful exposures to air contaminants, you have to be able to calculate exposure limits accurately. Here is a review of the formulas used to calculate PELs. OSHA has developed 470 PELs (permissible exposure limits) for various forms of approximately 300 chemical substances. The PELs provide numeric standards that determine how long […]

Is the "Silent Killer Stalking Your Workplace?

Carbon monoxide is called the “silent killer” because it’s an invisible, odorless poison. It’s so hard to detect without a monitor that it kills hundreds of unsuspecting people on the job and in their homes every year. Organic materials such as wood, oil, or gasoline produce carbon monoxide (CO) when they burn. CO is also […]

Preventing Lead Exposure: What OSHA Requires

OSHA requires employers to take specific precautions to protect workers from lead poisoning. From hygiene to housekeeping and medical surveillance to PPE, employers must be prepared to prevent exposures. Because the consequences of occupational lead poisoning can be so serious, OSHA requires strict protective measures in its general industry lead standard (29 CFR 1910.1025). If […]

Workplace Lead Exposure Still a Problem, CDC Reports

OSHA says that exposure to lead occurs in at least 120 different occupations. Overexposure to lead can result in serious illness and death. And according to a recent CDC study, occupational exposures are on the rise. Lead exposure continues to be a risk for workers in the United States, reports the Centers for Disease Control […]

How to Get "Right to Know" Right

If there are hazardous chemicals in your workplace, OSHA says your employees have a right to know about the hazards and how you propose to protect them from those hazards. OSHA estimates that more than 32 million workers are exposed to 650,000 hazardous chemical products in more than 3 million American workplaces. If yours is […]

Process Safety: Preventing Your Worst Nightmare

Fires. Explosions. Massive chemical releases. The worst nightmare of any company that works with highly hazardous substances is the kind of catastrophe in which employees are injured or killed, and the facility is badly damaged or destroyed. Process safety management is a framework for managing the serious risks associated with processes that involve highly hazardous […]

OSHA in the Process of Inspecting Process Safety Management

Failure to comply with process safety management requirements can lead to catastrophic incidents in which employees are injured or killed, the public is threatened, facilities are damaged, and OSHA is on your case. Since last summer, facilities where accidental release of highly hazardous chemicals could result in toxic discharges, fires, or explosions have been the […]

Hazmat Transportation Safety Tips

Yesterday, we talked about hazmat transportation security. Today, we focus on safety requirements for preparing shipments so that they comply with DOT’s hazmat transport regulations. The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and its regulations (49 CFR Parts 171-180), impose broad requirements for every aspect of hazardous materials transportation, including preparing materials for […]