Workers exposed to chemicals in the workplace risk negative health outcomes. To help quantify these risks, Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) for approximately 1,000 chemicals have been set by various regulatory agencies. These include permissible exposure limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and recommended exposure limits set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). However, there are more than 85,000 chemicals in commercial use today, leaving employers with little guidance regarding the toxicity and exposure risks of more than 75,000 substances.
In July, NIOSH introduced an online tool that categorizes chemicals according to potency and the adverse health outcomes associated with exposure. Known as the occupational exposure banding e-Tool, the online application is meant to supplement other information that NIOSH provides to give employers additional guidance for using chemicals in the workplace. The e-Tool is an important step for helping identify potential hazards, especially since new chemical substances are being introduced faster than OELs can be assigned.
Public health agencies, occupational health and safety professionals, trade associations, state-level programs, and labor organizations have asked NIOSH for resources to help them make decisions about worker exposure to hazardous chemicals. Employers are not required by law to use the new e-tool, however. Many workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals every day. Recommended limits for exposure do not exist for many chemicals, and the risks to workers remain unknown.
If you or someone you know is experiencing serious health problems related to their working conditions, contact the experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Gross & Kenny, LLP. We will listen to the details of your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation for which you are eligible. Call us today at 267-589-0090 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.