Local Hazardous Chemical Inspections

Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 03:11 PM gHale

With a goal toward reducing occupational illnesses and deaths, a local emphasis program is launching in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri for programmed health inspections of industries known to use hazardous chemicals and who have reported release of such chemicals to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“This local emphasis program will make efficient use of OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) industrial hygiene resources by focusing on industrial sites that are known to have released EPA-monitored hazardous chemicals,” said Marcia Drumm, acting regional administrator for OSHA in Kansas City. “Through this program, OSHA will improve education for company management and strengthen protections for workers exposed to these chemicals.”

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Chemicals reported to the EPA released into the environment include ammonia; barium, chromium and copper compounds; hydrochloric acid; hydrogen fluoride; lead and manganese compounds; N-hexane; styrene; sulfuric acid; and nitrate, vanadium and zinc compounds.

Industries ended up selected for inspection based on site-specific chemical release data from the EPA’s TRI Explorer database, which lists industry establishments that released chemical quantities equal to or exceeding 100,000 pounds.

OSHA has created a toolkit to identify safer chemicals to use in place of more hazardous ones. Click here to view the toolkit.

Local emphasis programs are enforcement strategies designed and implemented at the regional and/or area office levels. These programs should address hazards in industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office’s jurisdiction. Often times, these local emphasis programs also have outreach intended to make employers in the area aware of the program, as well as the hazards the programs should help to reduce or eliminate.

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