Industrial Solvent Use by New Jersey Manufacturer Results in OSHA Health Inspection


Source: VOETS, LLC

VOETS provides employers with environmental, health, and safety consulting services to protect workers and keep companies in regulatory compliance.

New York, NY -- Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initiated an inspection at a New Jersey manufacturing plant after a flash fire injured a worker. The employee was cleaning a degreasing tank when the fire occurred and the inspection revealed the use of 1-bromopropane (1-BP), also known as n-propyl bromide. 

1-BP is a liquid solvent and OSHA reports the chemical’s use has increased in workplaces over the past 20 years. The solvent can frequently be found in products used in:

  • Vapor and immersion degreasing operations for cleaning metals, plastics and electronic and optical components;
  • dhesive spray applications;
  • Dry cleaning; and
  • Solvent sprays used in operations like asphalt production, aircraft maintenance and synthetic fiber manufacturing.   

Just this year, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment and peer review a draft risk assessment for the solvent. According to the document, 1-BP showed acute risks to women of childbearing age from adverse developmental effects. Other non-cancer and cancer health risks were identified for workers with repeated and chronic exposures, including neurotoxicity; kidney, liver and reproductive toxicity; and lung cancer.

“The New Jersey company has been fined by OSHA for a number of violations that include exposing workers to hazards related to 1-BP and failing to fit test employees using respirators,” said Michael Berrevoets, President, VOETS, LLC. “This occurred even though OSHA does not currently have a specific exposure standard for 1-BP. The ultimate responsibility for employee safety falls on the employer. Due to the vast breadth of work place safety concerns, OSHA cannot specifically address every issue. Employers must perform due diligence surveys on all potential hazards regardless of specific OSHA guidance.”

Helping companies in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut avoid costly fines and protect their employees from hazards are the industrial hygiene professionals at VOETS, LLC. Their experts offer comprehensive regulatory compliance and industrial hygiene testing services along with safety training. They also recently sponsored an educational video about 1-bromopropane that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/Ocm-1IYZus8

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