Fire Protection in Shipyard Employment, contamination issues related to Hexavalent Chromium and Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are three additions to the Shipyard Industry Standards, a revised guidance document recently published by OSHA that provides employers and workers with an overview of all safety and health standards associated with the shipyard industry.
Metal fabrication operations, such as welding, brazing, cutting, painting, and paint removing which are commonly performed at a shipyard, release air pollutants harmful to the health of workers.
To protect the health of workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established permissible exposure levels (PELs) for various air pollutants released in the workplace. OSHA constantly reviews and revises the PELs on regulated air pollutants and establishes new ones for previously unregulated pollutants based on research studies and public petitions. In July 1993, OSHA was petitioned by the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers (OCAW) union to establish an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that would lower the PEL for Cr(VI) from the existing 100 µg/m3 to between 5 and 0.5 µg/m3.
On February 28, 2006, OSHA issued a new standard relating to occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium, also known as Cr(VI). OSHA determined that the new standard is necessary to reduce health risks posed by occupational exposure to Cr(VI). The standard lowers OSHA's permissible exposure limit (PEL) for hexavalent chromium, and for all Cr(VI) compounds, to 5 micrograms of Cr(VI) per cubic meter of air as an 8-hour time-weighted average. The new PEL is one-tenth of the old PEL. Revised Shipyard Industry Standards
"The Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
recommended that OSHA update and republish the shipyard and longshoring
industry digests," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA
chromium has been added to the list of air contaminants whose
concentrations should not exceed stated exposure levels."The
revised document is now up-to-date with current standards and will
continue to serve as another resource for protecting the safety and
health of shipyard workers."
Source: adapted from OSHA News section
OSHA: Shipyard Industry Standards
(OSHA 2268-03R 2009) OSHA: Complete Text of Hexavalent Chromium Rule
OSHA: Safety and Health Topics: Hexavalent Chromium OSHA: Standards related to Hexavalent Chromium OSHA News, January 10, 2004: OSHA Proposes Revised Rule on Hexavalent Chromium OSHA: Hexavalent Chromium Settlement between OSHA and the Surface Finishing Industry Council (SFIC)
Bhaskar Kura, Evaluation of Cr(VI) Exposure Levels in the Shipbuilding Industry, Project Summary, University of New Orleans, 2002
David Michaels, Celeste Monforton, Peter Lurie, Selected science: an industry campaign to undermine an OSHA hexavalent chromium standard,
Environ. Health, 5/5 (2006) doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-5-5
Related EVISA News
February 6, 2008: OSHA Issues Enforcement Procedures Directive for Hex Chrome Standards April 12, 2007: OSHA Agrees to Monitor Worker Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium-Containing Cement
October 4, 2006: OSHA Issues Hexavalent Chromium Guidance for Small Businesses February 28, 2006: OSHA Issues Final Standard on Hexavalent Chromium
last time updated: November 3, 2009