OSHA Releases New Resources on Hazardous Chemicals

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The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched two new web resources to assist companies with keeping workers safe.

The first is a toolkit to identify safer chemicals that can be used in place of more hazardous ones. The toolkit walks employers and workers step-by-step through information, methods, tools and guidance to either eliminate hazardous chemicals or make informed substitution decisions in the workplace by finding a safer chemical, material, product or process.

Another new web resource, the Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits, will enable employers to voluntarily adopt newer, more protective workplace exposure limits. OSHA’s PELs set mandatory limits on the amount or concentration of a substance in the air to protect workers against the health effects of certain hazardous chemicals; and OSHA will continue to enforce those mandatory PELs.

Since OSHA’s adoption of the majority of its PELs more than 40 years ago, new scientific data, industrial experience and developments in technology clearly indicate that in many instances these mandatory limits are not sufficiently protective of workers’ health.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.