OSHA and ACC Unite for Chemical Safety

By Christine Torres

 diisocyanate chemical drums

Understanding the chemicals you work with creates a safer environment for all. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) are working together to raise awareness on diisocyanates to promote safe practices for their use in the polyurethane industry. Diisocyanates are used to make polyurethane products such as insulation, adhesives, and foam mattresses.

For the next two years, the team expects to raise awareness of how workers are exposed to and can work safer with the chemical by utilizing a web-based training program. OSHA and ACC will also develop guidance on medical surveillance and clinical evaluation techniques for employers and workers using the chemicals. The agreement also calls for seminars on health and safety procedure best practices. To help raise worker awareness about hazardous chemicals, download a free copy of HazCom 2012 Labeling guide.

Exposure to certain chemicals in the polyurethane industry can irritate skin and mucous membranes, can bring on chest tightness, and make breathing difficult. It can also trigger asthma and potentially cause other lung problems. These health issues can be clearly identified using highly visible, OSHA HazCom 2012-compliant labels, which will aid workers in keeping themselves safe.

 “OSHA’s new alliance with ACC will help ensure that employers and employees who work with the identified chemicals better understand the health hazards associated with these potentially hazardous chemicals, and the methods to control employee exposures,” said Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

Working Safer with Chemicals

 diisocyanate hazard label

Creating a safer work environment when chemicals are in the mix begins with proper safety communication. If you’re an employer, it is your responsibility to determine what hazardous substances are present in the workplace and notify workers of those hazards. OSHA has laws pertaining to the proper way to label chemicals.

Labels for a hazardous chemical must contain:

  • Name, Address and Telephone Number
  • Product Identifier
  • Signal Word
  • Hazard Statement(s)
  • Precautionary Statement(s)
  • Pictogram(s)

Create signs and labels notifying workers of the chemicals they will use and be exposed to in your facility. Whether you need a custom designed label or premade safety sign, Graphic Products can help with your visual communications needs. Ensure safe conditions for those working near and with chemicals by complying with standards. Provide training, continued education, and implement visual communication. Call Graphic Products: 888.326.9244.

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