OSHA Requires PPE, Chemical Evaluations

By Jeffery C. Camplin  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Identify Hazards to Keep Workers SafePt. 2: Safety Programs Start with Hazard AssessmentPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Grounds Managers Should Make a List of Safe Work Practices

OSHA mandates that managers eliminate or reduce job-site hazards by implementing engineering and administrative controls. Unfortunately, many hazards remain in the workplace and require the use of PPE.

Workers often use PPE to protect eyes, hands, feet, faces, torsos, respiratory systems, and hearing. The equipment also includes fall-restraint devices and special clothing.

OSHA requires employers to evaluate worker tasks to determine PPE needs. Once an employer identifies a need, OSHA requires a written program defining: when PPE is necessary; proper use and fitting of equipment; proper care, cleaning and storage of the equipment; and employee training.

Hazard Communications

OSHA requires employers and employees to know about workplace hazards involving chemicals. These materials pose a range of health hazards that includes irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity, as well as physical hazards that include flammability, corrosion, and reactivity.

Chemical hazards in grounds care operations include fuel, batteries, paints, pesticides, fertilizers and cleaning agents. Additional hazards can include toxic dust, fumes, silica, asbestos, lead and carbon monoxide.

OSHA requires employers who use hazardous chemicals in workplaces to prepare and implement a written hazard-communications program, ensure all containers are labeled, give employees access to chemical information, and conduct effective training for potentially exposed employees.

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  posted on 2/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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