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New Programs Aim to Reduce Exposure to Chemicals in the Workplace

Posted on 11/30/2013

In a new effort to decrease the tens of thousands of employees who get sick or die from exposure to hazardous chemicals, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a new program to help employers limit the risks.

OSHA claims the initiative is due in part to the various hazardous chemicals that are present in the workplace, yet not currently regulated by OSHA. In a recent statement about the initiative, OSHA claimed that their exposure standards were out-of-date and inadequately protective of the small number of chemicals that are regulated. The initiative includes two web resources to help reduce the dangers of hazardous chemicals in the workplace – a toolkit for safe chemical handling and education programs and the Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)which allow companies to voluntarily accept new standards of workplace exposure limits.

“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,” assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, Dr. David Michaels stated in an OSHA news release. “I advise employers, who want to ensure that their workplaces are safe, to utilize the occupational exposure limits on these annotated tables, since simply complying with OSHA’s antiquated PELs will not guarantee that workers will be safe.”

If you are exposed to chemicals on the job, you should advise your employer to review these new limits side-by-side with OSHA’s enforceable limits. Bringing up these new programs to your employer could help keep you and your coworkers safe from illness from exposure to hazardous chemicals.

If you or someone you love has a work-related illness from chemical exposure, call our legal team today. Our attorneys have experience handling workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania for individuals who have been exposed to hazardous chemicals. Call us today for a free consultation:  888-807-WORK (9675).

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