OSHA’s New Toolkit Could Help Your Business Use Safer ChemicalsDecember 9, 2013
American workers use a lot of chemicals – tens of thousands of them. Because regulations control only a small number of these, many workers face exposure to a potpourri of hazardous substances . Every year, according to a California Policy Research Center report, American workers suffer more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths related to workplace chemicals.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is trying to take proactive actions to help employers protect the health of their employees. The organization recently unveiled a new toolkit to help employers replace hazardous chemicals with safer ones.
The goal is to help employers develop a chemical management system that reduces or eliminates hazards at the source. Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, says: “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.”
The toolkit is available here, on OSHA’s website. The kit helps employers prioritize, identify, assess, and implement safer chemical substitutions. OSHA states that the toolkit can serve as a resource for all types of businesses. It is for manufacturers using chemicals in their production processes as well as for businesses – like construction, auto repair shops, and janitorial companies – that use products containing chemicals in their everyday operations.
- Cyrus Philbrick