OSHA QuickTakes – August 6, 2013

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In this issue

White House releases executive order on improving chemical facility safety and security


New Labor Secretary committed to workplace safety and health


Hazard alert warns of dangers of 1-bromopropane exposure


OSHA, NWS remind employers to protect outdoor workers during heat wave


Three companies ordered to reinstate workers for whistleblower violations of clean air, surface transportation and aviation acts


Echo Lake Foods fined $150,000 for 27 safety violations


Western Sugar Cooperative cited for combustible dust and other hazards


Arkansas poultry processor cited for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals


OSHA releases new fall prevention training guide with “tool box talks”


ASA/OSHA webinar reminds employers to train, protect all temp workers


Webinar answers questions about GHS requirements


OSHA schedules ACCSH meeting


Outreach campaign aims to protect health care workers from musculoskeletal disorders


OSHA helps NH responders prep for emergencies


OSHA demonstrates safe grain handling at Wisconsin Farm Tech Days


Free On-site Consultation program helps small businesses improve workplace safety and health


OSHA and partners count successes in oil and gas safety stand-down


Follow us on Twitter and visit us on Facebook


New OSHA Web resources available


Better health insurance choices coming in October 2013

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OSHA and NIOSH Issue Hazard Alert on 1-bromopropane, Urge Efforts to Safeguard Workers From Exposure to Toxic Chemical

OSHA News Release: [07/31/2013]
Contact Name: Adriano Llosa
Phone Number: (202) 693-4686
Email:
Llosa.Adriano.t
Release Number: 13-1563-NAT

OSHA and NIOSH issue hazard alert on 1-bromopropane, urge efforts to safeguard workers from exposure to toxic chemical

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor‘s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health today issued a hazard alert to urge employers that use 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to take appropriate steps to protect workers from exposure.

“The use of 1-bromopropane has increased in workplaces over the last 20 years,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Workers exposed to this toxic chemical can suffer serious health effects, even long after exposure has ended. Hazardous exposure to 1-BP must be prevented. Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their workers.”

Exposure to 1-BP has been associated with damage to the nervous system among workers, and it has been shown to cause reproductive harm in animal studies. The chemical is used in degreasing operations, furniture manufacturing, and dry cleaning. The hazard alert was issued in response to information on the increased use of 1-BP as a substitute for other solvents as well as recent reports of overexposure in furniture manufacturing. 1-BP was nominated as a chemical of concern in OSHA’s Web Forum to Identify Hazardous Chemicals.

Workers can be exposed to 1-BP by breathing in vapors or spray mists and by absorption through the skin. The most effective way to protect workers from exposure is to eliminate the use of 1-BP, substituting the chemical with a less toxic substance or less hazardous material. Replacement chemicals also may have associated hazards that need to be considered and controlled.

Engineering controls to reduce worker exposure to 1-BP include isolation of workplace operations and the installation of proper ventilation systems. Other controls, such as a reduction in the time a worker is exposed to the chemical, should also be considered.

The hazard alert can be viewed at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA_3676.pdf

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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