National Conference on Management of Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites, Washington, D.C. 1983:322-325
Hazardous waste worker health and safety guidelines are reviewed. The historical development of problems arising from hazardous waste disposal is summarized. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 are noted. These Acts have had a profound effect on the number of workers exposed to hazardous materials. It is estimated that up to 40,000 workers are involved in cleaning an estimated 30,000 abandoned hazardous waste sites in the United States. The role of NIOSH in protecting workers from hazardous materials is summarized. It is noted that many of the chemicals studied by NIOSH have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as those of greatest concern at hazardous waste sites. Comprehensive guidelines for worker health and safety have been developed by EPA, OSHA, NIOSH, and the United States Coast Guard. The four agencies have agreed to develop a comprehensive guidance manual based on the guidelines to be used by field supervisors and government authorities. The purpose of the manual is to provide consistent, reliable, and detailed occupational health and safety technical information to all those involved in the management, clean up, treatment, and disposal of hazardous wastes. The manual consists of four sections: introductory information, information gathering processes and techniques, evaluation and hazard assessment procedures, and hazard control programs.