New OSHA program in 2010 targets hexavalent chromium (Hex Chrome)

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Courtesy of Atlantic Environmental, Inc.

OSHA has launched a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) in 2010, designed to target workplaces with exposures to hexavalent chromium and certain other metals such as antimony, arsenic, cadmium, lead and iron oxide. Targeted industries include electroplating, aircraft manufacturing, welding, shipbuilding, iron and steel mills, ferrous foundries, chrome color manufacturing and other pigment producers. Establishments with fewer than 10 employees are included in this NEP and may be subject to inspection.

If you are selected for inspection, a compliance officer will verify that hexavalent chromium and/or any of the other substances are present. If so, the inspector will evaluate exposures associated with normal operations, set-up, adjustments, cleaning, maintenance, upset conditions, engineering controls, proper use of PPE, hazard communication and medical surveillance programs. If safety hazards are noted, the officer may refer the matter to a safety compliance officer for follow-up.

If your operations involve potential exposure to hexavalent chromium and any of these listed metals, you should ensure that your company is in compliance with applicable OSHA standards. The OSHA standard is 29 CFR 1910.1026. Atlantic Environmental, Inc. has performed OSHA-compliance audits on a wide variety of work activities involving hexavalent chromium.

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