Friday, November 14, 2014

Trade News Release Banner Image


Oct. 23, 2014

New OSHA program will focus on Nebraska companies
using highly hazardous chemicals

OMAHA, Neb. – To educate employers and workers about highly hazardous chemicals, including formaldehyde and methylene chloride, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching a local emphasis program in Nebraska. The program will include programmed health inspections at funeral homes, chemical and product manufacturing plants, printing facilities and outpatient care centers.

"This local emphasis program will allow OSHA to use its resources efficiently by focusing on industries that are known to use these types of highly hazardous chemicals," said Bonita Winingham, area director for OSHA in Omaha. "Through this program, OSHA will improve education for company management and strengthen worker protections."

Due to the increased health risks related to some chemicals, OSHA has created chemical-specific regulations known as expanded health standards. These regulations include exposure limits and monitoring requirements.
Industry sectors were selected for inspection based on recorded violations of these expanded health standards and the frequency of inspection in 2013.

Local emphasis programs are enforcement strategies designed and implemented at the regional and/or area office levels. These programs are intended to address hazards in industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office's jurisdiction. Often, these local emphasis programs are accompanied by outreach intended to make area employers aware of the program and the hazards that the programs are designed to reduce or eliminate.

In addition, OSHA has created a toolkit to identify safer chemicals that can be used in place of hazardous ones.

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.