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CONN-OSHA Quarterly

Volume No. 46
Summer 2006

OSHA Publishes Final Standard on Hexavalent Chromium

The United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (USDOL/OSHA) issued a final standard for occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium in the February 28, 2006 Federal Register. This standard covers occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium [Cr (VI)] in general industry, construction and shipyards. This standard was published in accordance with the timetable established by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which in April 2003 ordered OSHA to promulgate a standard governing work place exposure to hexavalent chromium. The standard covers approximately 558,000 workers and is expected to result in 40-140 avoided lung cancers per year among exposed workers.

Hexavalent chromium compounds are widely used in the chemical industry as ingredients and catalysts in pigments, metal plating and chemical synthesis. Cr (VI) can also be produced when welding on stainless steel or Cr (VI) painted surfaces. The major health effects associated with the exposure to Cr (VI) include lung cancer, nasal septum ulcerations and perforation, skin ulcerations, asthma, and allergic and irritant contact dermatitis.

OSHA establishes the Chromium (VI) under 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office26 for general industry, 1915.Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office26 for shipyards, marine terminals and longshoring and 1926.1126 for construction. For the purpose of this article, it will discuss some of the requirements under 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office26 for general industry. For shipyards and construction please refer to those standards for specific requirements.

The information provided in this article is a non-exhaustive overview of the USDOL-OSHA Chromium (VI) Standard 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office26. The reader should obtain and review 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office26 to ensure compliance with this OSHA established regulation.

Chromium (VI) [hexavalent chromium or Cr (VI)] means chromium with a valence of positive six, in any form and in any compound. The major requirements under 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office26 are as follows:

(a) Scope. Standard applies to occupational exposures to chromium (VI) in all forms and compounds in general industry. For exemptions please refer to the standard.

(b) Definitions. The standard establishes an action level, which means a concentration of airborne chromium (VI) of 2.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air (2.5 ug/m3) calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA).

Employee exposure means the exposure to airborne chromium (VI) that would occur if the employee were not using a respirator. This is not a complete list of definitions found in the standard.

(c) Permissible exposure limit (PEL). The employer shall ensure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of chromium (VI) in excess of 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average TWA.

(d) Exposure Determination General. Each employer who has a workplace or work operation covered by this section shall determine the 8-hour TWA exposure to chromium (VI).

(e) Regulated areas. The employer shall establish a regulated area wherever an employee’s exposure to airborne concentrations of chromium (VI) is or can reasonably be expected to be excess of the PEL.

(f) Methods of compliance. (1) Engineering and work practice controls. Except as permitted in this paragraph, the employer shall use engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee exposure to chromium (VI) to or below the PEL unless the employer can demonstrate that such controls are not feasible. Then the employer shall reduce them to the lowest levels achievable and shall supplement them by the use of respiratory protection that complies with the requirements of paragraph (g) of the section. Note: The employer shall not rotate employees to different jobs to achieve compliance with the PEL.

(g) Respiratory protection. Refer to the conditions in the standard when the employer shall provide respiratory protection to the employees. Also, where a respirator is required by the standard the employer shall institute a respiratory protection program in accordance with 29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.134.

(h) Protective work clothing and equipment. Where a hazard is present or likely to be present from skin or eye contact with chromium (VI), the employer shall provide appropriate personal protective equipment at no cost to employees and shall ensure that employees use such equipment and clothing. Refer to the standard for additional requirements.

(i) Hygiene areas and practices. Where protective clothing and equipment is required, the employer shall provide change rooms in conformance with 29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.141. Also, where skin contact occurs the employer shall provide washing facilities in accordance with 29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.141.

(j) Housekeeping. The employer shall ensure that all surfaces are maintained as free as practicable of accumulations of chromium (VI). For further requirements refer to the paragraph in the standard.

(k) Medical surveillance. The employer shall make medical surveillance available at no cost to the employee, and at a reasonable time and place for all employees who are or may be occupationally exposed to chromium (VI) at or above the action level for 30 or more days a year, experiencing signs or symptoms of adverse health effects associated with chromium (VI) exposure, or exposed in an emergency.

(l) Communication of chromium (VI) hazards to employees. In additional to the requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.1200, the employer must ensure that employees can demonstrate knowledge of the requirements of this paragraph. Reference this paragraph for further details.

(m) Recordkeeping. The employer shall maintain an accurate record of all air monitoring, historical monitoring data, objective data, and medical surveillance records which comply with this section.

(n) Dates. The effective date of this standard is May 30, 2006. The start-up dates for all provisions of the standard except engineering controls are as follows:

For employers with 19 or fewer employees - May 30, 2007
For all others - November 27, 2006

The start-up date for engineering controls for all employers is May 31, 20Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.

In summary the CONN-OSHA office provides free consultations to public and private sector employers. These consultations help employers recognize and control workplace hazards as well as prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. If you would like help in complying with the OSHA Chromium (VI) Standard 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office26, or other OSHA Standards, or wish to schedule a consultation contact the CONN-OSHA office at (860-263-6900) or www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm.
 


Construction Safety: A Summary of Public Act 06-175

During the most recent legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly enacted Public Act Number 06-175. The act, which is effective October 1, 2006, affects public building projects, financed in whole or in part by the state, that cost $Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 or more. It requires verification that all employees performing manual labor on or in such public buildings have completed a construction safety and health course, as outlined in the act. For purposes of the act, a “public building” is defined as a structure designed for the housing, shelter, enclosure and support or employment of people, animals or property, including sewage-treatment and water-treatment plants. Roads, bridges, parking lots, and drainage systems are examples of projects that will not be impacted.

On or after July 1, 2007, contractors and subcontractors working on public buildings will be required to furnish proof to the Labor Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee, within thirty days after the date the contract is awarded, that their site employees have completed the ten-hour construction safety and health training course. The training class must have met federal Occupational Safety and Health Training Institute standards or, in the case of telecommunications employees, they must have completed at least ten hours of training in accordance with 29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.268. To avoid removal from the worksite, employees found not to be in compliance with the training requirement have fifteen days after notification of such noncompliance to provide documentation of course completion to the Labor Department.

To view the act, go to:
www.cga.ct.gov/2006/ACT/Pa/pdf/2006PA-00175-R00HB-05034-PA.pdf
 


A Review of Common Summer Hazards

Summer Storms
Each year lightning kills an average of 67 people in the United States and injures 300 more. Awareness of changing weather conditions could reduce that number. Increasing wind, towering clouds with a "cauliflower" shape, flashes of lightning, and radio static are signs of approaching storms. Lightning can strike as far as Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office miles away from the rain area. If you can hear the thunder, you are in the strike zone and should seek shelter. A building, not a lean-to or picnic pavilion, would be considered a suitable structure and, if not available, a car with a hard top and closed windows will do. Avoid anything connected to the power network; telephones, plumbing fixtures and appliances can carry an electric charge. Stay away from trees and towers, get off of the golf course and if you are in a boat, get to land.
 
Insects

Ticks are blood feeding external parasites found in wooded areas and in tall grass where they wait for a suitable host. The primary concern with a tick bite is the potential exposure to diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or Ehrlichiosis. While in infested areas wear light colored clothing, allowing you to easily see the tick. Tuck your pant legs into your socks so that ticks cannot crawl up inside your pant legs, and use a chemical repellent containing N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) or Permethrin. To remove a tick, use fine-point tweezers, grasp the tick just behind the point of attachment and pull slowly and steadily until the tick is dislodged. Wash the bite area, apply antiseptic and cover. State health officials report that the number of tick related illnesses increased 34% last year and that number is expected to increase.
Mosquitoes are blood feeding insects that act as carriers of West Nile Virus, Malaria, Encephalitis, and Dengue Fever. Mosquitoes incubate their eggs in stagnant water; reducing this environment helps control the population. The best defense against the mosquito is to avoid being outside when they are actively feeding, just before dawn and around sunset. If this is not possible, chemical and natural insect repellents may be used as a defense.

Sun Exposure
The sun emits both visible light and three types of ultraviolet light (UVA, UVB, UVC) which cannot be seen by humans. It is this unseen energy which causes skin cancer in one of every five Americans and increases the chance of cataract development. UVA and UVB rays are the only wavelengths that penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and sunscreen and sunglasses should protect against both. If you are going to be exposed to the sun, the protective measures that should be taken include: wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, avoiding exposure when the sun is the most intense (between 11am and 2pm).
Sunscreens were developed to block the damaging UV rays, which will increase the amount of time that a person can be exposed without burning. For example, if your skin starts to burn after Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office-minutes, using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) 2 will double that time to 20 minutes. Likewise SPF 4 increases that time to 40 minutes of protection. Broad spectrum sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB and should be applied according to the manufacturers instructions. To protect your eyes, select and wear sunglasses that filter out both UVA and UVB rays.
 
Heat Related Illnesses
Your body’s main heat release is sweating. As sweat evaporates from your skin it takes the body’s excess heat with it. Problems arise when high temperatures and humidity levels reduce evaporation rates hindering the heat removal process. When it is hot, frequent rest periods and drinking non-alcoholic, decaffeinated beverages, preferably water, every 15 to 20 minutes will ensure that the body stays well hydrated. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are: headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, moist skin, mood changes, and upset stomach/nausea. The symptoms of heat stroke are: dry hot skin without sweating, mental confusion or losing consciousness, and seizures. If someone exhibits these symptoms, call 911, move the person to a cool area, loosen their clothing, and provide them with cool water.
 
Poison Ivy and Poison Oak
Poison ivy and poison oak are identified by their leaves which are shiny and clustered in groups of three. The oil urushiol is contained in the leaves, stems, and roots. When people come in contact with these plants they may develop contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction to the oil. Exposure occurs by direct contact, indirect contact (touching tools, clothing, or animals), or by inhalation (burning brush produces a smoky resin). When you come in contact with the oil, wash your exposed skin thoroughly with soap and cool water as soon as possible. Cool water is recommended, as warm water tends to open the pores of the skin. The next best defense is preventing the oils from reaching the skin by covering the skin with clothing or barrier creams.
 


Hazard Corner ...

Employee Struck and Killed - Automobile Hits Worker While Extending Work Zone

Fatality
A bridge maintenance crew consisting of four employees was cutting bridge expansion joints in the northbound lanes of a four-lane highway for a future asphalt reclamation project. The crew had set up a traffic pattern consisting of cones and signage leading up to the work zone. All employees were wearing safety vests. While work was proceeding on the bridge, two employees were expanding the traffic pattern of cones to the next bridge. One employee was driving the vehicle, while the other took cones off of the front of the vehicle and placed them inside the divided line of the two northbound lanes. At this point, a limousine crossed over the divided line and struck and killed the employee placing the traffic cones. The impact caused the employee to be thrown to the pavement. The employee was pronounced at the scene. 
 
Compliance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and OSHA regulations is a necessary first step in providing a safe and healthy work zone environment.

  • Ensure that a traffic control plan is in place prior to work zone set up.

  • Ensure that the work zone is set up in accordance with the MUTCD.

  • Train employees on the MUTCD.

  • Close the road completely and reroute traffic where feasible.

  • Require all workers to wear high visibility safety apparel.

Summer Work Zone Safety
The Connecticut Department of Labor Conn-OSHA Division wants you and the employees in the work zone to return home safely to their families. While traveling this summer, you will encounter roadway work zone areas. You can make this summer safer by remembering the following work zone safety tips:

  • Stay alert, expect the unexpected.

  • Be patient.

  • Minimize distractions.

  • Don’t speed in work zones.

  • Obey the posted speed limits.

  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

  • Anticipate lane shifts – merge when directed to do so.

  • Avoid using mobile phones while driving in work zones.

  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
     

Work zones operate day and night. They can be moving or stationary. You can recognize work zone areas because they are marked with orange cones or barrels, concrete barriers, traffic control devices or vehicles with flashers. Drive as if their lives depend on it, they do!
 


Training Update

OSHA Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office-Hour Construction Class June 20, 27, 29, 2006 Sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (CT ABC). This course includes a copy of the OSHA regulation for the Construction Industry, 29 CFR 1926. Attendees who complete the course will receive a Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office-hour OSHA completion card. This class is being offered in Spanish on June 3 and June Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.
 
Lockout/Tagout –The Control of Hazardous Energy Sources July 11, 2006  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard for locking out and tagging out equipment is 29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.147. It presents a minimum performance standard for the control of hazardous energy.  This introductory class will take you through the various required sections of an effective written lockout/tagout program.  

Powered Industrial Trucks August 8 and September 8, 2006  Learn how to meet OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck Standard, 29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.178. This 3-hour workshop introduces participants to the standard and includes in-depth review of operator training.  Safe work practices will be covered, as well as other topics not specifically addressed in the standard, including training tips and hazard recognition.  Written handout materials will be provided to assist in the development of a site specific powered industrial truck training program.

OSHA 300 Recordkeeping September 15, 2006  Introduces the requirements and procedures related to the OSHA 300 Log.  The class will help develop skills to accurately report occupational injuries and illnesses.  Resources and reference materials will be provided.

Breakfast Roundtable Discussion Group Third Tuesday of every month. These free 90-minute workshops discuss safety and health issues in a supportive and informal environment. The roundtable meetings are held from 8:15 am to 9:45 am.  The location and topics vary, be sure to call concerning the discussion subject and the location.  Pre-registration is required.  For additional information or to be placed on the distribution list, call John Able at (860) 263-6902 or send an email to
able.john@dol.gov

Classes are free and will be held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A from 9 am - 12 noon, unless otherwise noted. To register for any of these sessions, call John Able at (860) 263-6902 or send an email to able.john@dol.gov

Pre-registration is required.  Visit www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm for more training information.

CONN-OSHA Quarterly Index

Last Updated: March 01, 2017


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