Partner Channels

The Definitive Source of Information on the Following Subjects:

Building Automation | Building Envelope | Commercial Roofing | Cooling
Energy Measurement | LED Lighting | Lighting Control | Site Furnishings

New Program To Protect Workers From Hazards In Primary Metals Industries

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Safety

Tagged: , , , ,

Published on June 02, 2011 with No Comments

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a new directive establishing a National Emphasis Program for the Primary Metals Industries. The purpose of this NEP is to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures to harmful chemical and physical hazards in establishments producing metal products.

Establishments in the primary metals industries are involved in extracting and refining metals from rocks containing iron, lead, nickel and tin, among other elements. Among these establishments are those that manufacture nails, insulated wires and cables, steel piping, and copper and aluminum products.

The primary metals industries became a concern during OSHA’s review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Previous OSHA inspections of establishments in this industry revealed that workers were exposed to metal dusts and fumes, carbon monoxide, lead, and silica, among other substances. Inspections also showed that workers were exposed to noise and heat hazards. OSHA developed this program because of the seriousness and frequency of these problems.

“Workers who are not properly protected from the hazards of metals refining are at increased risk of serious, potentially deadly health effects,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “OSHA’s new enforcement program will raise awareness of the dangers of exposure to metals and other chemicals, so that employers can correct hazards and comply with OSHA standards.”

Workers exposed to various substances found in these industries can suffer damage to the eyes, nose, throat, and skin and can experience difficulty breathing and chest and joint pain. Overexposures can also lead to death.

The goals of the NEP include minimizing or eliminating exposure to chemical hazards and physical hazards such as noise and heat. Other goals include inspecting facilities that manufacture primary metals and metal products, and conducting follow-up site visits to ensure that there has been a reduction or elimination of exposures.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on New Program To Protect Workers From Hazards In Primary Metals Industries. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment