OSHA is seeking stakeholder input to classify hazardous chemicals for which OSHA should develop exposure reduction strategies. As an initial follow-up to its “Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) Chat” meeting during which ideas for addressing the issue of outdated PELs were discussed, the Agency is hosting a Web Forum, from August 16 through 27. The Forum allows stakeholders to nominate chemicals of concern and explain why OSHA should focus on developing long- and short-term solutions for reducing workers’ exposure. Interested parties can complete a nomination form at http://www.osha.gov/pelforum.html
In announcing the Forum, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels said that many of the existing PELs are based on 1950s-era science that is inadequate to protect workers in 21st century workplaces, and that protection must be assured for workers currently exposed to well-recognized chemical hazards for which the PEL is inadequate or there is no PEL at all.
OSHA is looking for input on chemicals beyond those it is already addressing through ongoing rulemaking. Nominations of those chemicals for which the existing PEL is particularly inadequate or for which OSHA has no standard at all, and that are putting workers at risk for occupational illness are preferred. Participants are asked to include their criteria for selecting a specific chemical for nomination.