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NIOSH Testimony on Labeling/Hazard Communication by J. Melius, June 21, 1982.

NIOSH 1982 Jun:6 pages
This testimony summarized the need for workers to be informed about the potential hazards of substances to which they may be exposed on the job. A recommended standard was published by NIOSH in 1974 for the purpose of providing an identification system for occupationally hazardous materials. This standard contained an approach for informing employees through labels on potentially hazardous materials and through further information made available to them about the hazards of the materials they were handling. A proposed rulemaking has been recently published by OSHA concerning hazard communication which would establish a standard for conveying such information to employees in some industries. One of the primary concerns NIOSH has expressed in relation to the proposed OSHA standard was that certain employees in key industries were excluded from consideration. These industries included automotive repair, hospitals, vocational schools and others. A 1972 survey conducted by NIOSH of potential occupational exposures in about 5,000 industrial facilities throughout the United States indicated that roughly 25 percent of the American workers were potentially exposed to an occupational health hazard. Almost 70 percent of the recorded exposures were to 85,000 individual trade name products. In 90 percent of these cases neither the employer nor the employee knew the actual identity of the chemicals in the product. Nearly half the products contained an OSHA regulated chemical and a little over 5 percent contained a NIOSH suspected carcinogen. Most large facilities had extensive safety manuals, but the recommendations were not always followed.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Testimony; Melius-J; Industrial-hazards; Hazardous-materials; Education; Occupational-hazards; Safety-practices;
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NIOSH, 6 pages
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division