OSHA Sets 5 Micrograms As Hexavelent Chromium's New PEL
March 06, 2006 From American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc.
Forced by a lawsuit to set a much lower Permissible Exposure Limit for occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium, OSHA published on Feb. 28 a new PEL of 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air as an eight-hour time weighted average, according to a news brief issued by Occupational Health & Safety magazine. While that is one-tenth of the current 52 PEL, it is above the plaintiffs' requested .25 and above OSHA's 1 microgram proposal two years ago. The rule will mandate medical surveillance if employees are exposed above the action level of 2.5 micrograms for 30 or more days a year.
The final rule will take effect May 30, 2006, though some groups said they will challenge the requirement in court as still not being low enough. According to Occupational Health & Safety magazine: "The rule says dry shoveling, sweeping, and brushing are prohibited housekeeping methods, but effective wet shoveling, sweeping, and brushing are allowed. Compressed air may be used to remove Cr(VI) when no alternative method is feasible. Signs, labels, and training are required in accordance with the HazCom Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200). The rule requires shipyards and construction to assess exposures and maintain those exposure records. The start-up date for all provisions except engineering controls is 180 days after the effective date for employers with 20 or more employees, one year after the effective date for employers with 19 or fewer employees."
The Federal Register notice on the rule can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=18599.
For more information contact:
VP of Communications
American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information.
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