The problems and issues involving the need to inform employers and workers about workplace hazards and hazard controls are reviewed. Issues addressed include notification, measurements, follow up programs, cancer screening procedures, transfer rights, workers' compensation, health insurance, economic impacts, and disclosure of information. Based on data derived from current NIOSH studies and surveys of health hazard exposures in the American workplace, estimates indicate that as many as 880,000 American workers currently face full or part-time exposure to carcinogens regulated by OSHA and that approximately 21 million American workers currently may be exposed on either a full or parttime basis to OSHA regulated hazardous substances. The authors estimate that the annual costs to society of monitoring workers with either full or parttime exposures to all OSHA regulated hazardous substances, including carcinogens, could range between 675 million and 2 billion dollars. The major policy implications for governmental agencies complying with the workers' right to know under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct) are outlined. The authors conclude that all of the agencies involved in implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act and the OSHAct could contribute to solving the problems associated with informing workers of past or current exposures to OSHA regulated substances.
NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Cincinnati, Ohio, 42 pages