Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents|
| Record Type:||Occupational Exposure to Cadmium|
| Title:||Section 9 - IX. Summary and Explanation of the Final Standard (Construction Industries)|
IX. Summary and Explanation of the Final Standard (Construction Industries)
OSHA believes that, based on currently available information in the cadmium rulemaking record, the requirements set forth in this final rule are necessary and appropriate to provide adequate protection to employees exposed to cadmium.
53). OSHA has developed a cadmium standard for the construction industry that is somewhat modified from the standard for general, agriculture, and maritime industries, which is being published separately (29 CFR 1910.1027). However, most of the provisions in this standard are the same as those in the general industry standard, and most of the reasons and supporting evidence for the provisions are also the same. Consequently, this preamble generally relies upon and hereby incorporates by reference the preamble to the general industry standard, where and to the extent relevant. Thus, explanations for particular provisions in this standard generally are not repeated in this preamble for provisions that are the same or essentially the same as those in the general industry standard. The complete discussion of these provisions can be found in the summary and explanation of parallel requirements in the general industry standard in the preamble to that standard.
The language of the standard and the order of the various provisions are consistent with drafting in other recent OSHA health standards, e.g., the Asbestos Construction Standard (29 CFR 1926.58). OSHA believes that a similar style should be followed from standard to standard to facilitate uniformity of interpretation of similar provisions. Modifications made to the cadmium general industry standard were in response to the particular conditions in the construction industry.
This final cadmium standard for the construction industry applies to all occupational exposure to cadmium and all cadmium compounds, in all forms, including fume and dust, and in all construction work where an employee may potentially be exposed to cadmium. Such work is defined as work involving construction, alteration and/or repair. Such work includes but is not limited to: Wrecking, demolition or salvage of structures where cadmium or materials containing cadmium are present; use of cadmium containing-paints and cutting, brazing, burning, grinding or welding on surfaces that were painted with cadmium-containing paints; construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, or renovation of structures, substrates, or portions thereof, that contain cadmium, or materials containing cadmium; cadmium welding; cutting and welding cadmium-plated or cadmium alloy steel; brazing or welding with cadmium alloys; installation of products containing cadmium; electrical grounding with cadmium welding, or electrical work using cadmium-coated conduit; maintaining or retrofitting cadmium-coated equipment; cadmium contamination/emergency cleanup; and transportation, disposal, storage, or containment of cadmium or materials containing cadmium on the site or location at which construction activities are performed. The standard, as modified herein for the construction industry, covers all occupational exposures to cadmium, because there may be serious health consequences to any person who is occupationally exposed to cadmium. The risk from exposure to cadmium is dependent on the extent of exposure and not on the segment of industry where the employee may be employed. OSHA estimates that approximately 70,000 employees are potentially exposed to cadmium in the construction industry (Table VIII-A1, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Regulatory Impact Assessment Section). This is slightly more than 1% of the 5,000,000 construction workers and about 13% of all 525,000 workers potentially exposed to cadmium in all industry segments.
Under the Construction Safety Act (40 U.S.C. 333), 29 CFR 1911.10 and 29 CFR 1912.3, OSHA consults with the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) regarding the formulation of regulatory proposals that have significant or unique application to employment in construction. In accordance with that Act, OSHA in mid-1989 consulted with ACCSH. At the time, and with the Advisory Committee's approval, the Agency planned to protect construction workers within the standard for general industry. At its meeting on September 13, 1989, ACCSH recommended that OSHA publish a separate cadmium standard for the construction industry in 29 CFR part 1926, with certain provisions of the general industry standard tailored, as necessary, to the particular conditions in construction. The Advisory Committee established a working group to develop comments on the cadmium proposal and to consider what, if any, modifications to the general industry standard were reasonably necessary and appropriate to protect construction workers from cadmium exposure.
OSHA discussed these matters with the Construction Advisory Committee and agreed to place whatever final cadmium standard was applicable to the construction industry in 29 CFR part 1926. On February 6, 1990 in its notice of proposed rulemaking (55 FR 4052), OSHA proposed to include the construction industry in the cadmium standard for general industry. However, the Agency also gave express notice in that document that the final standard for construction would be published in part 1926. OSHA also gave notice that the Advisory Committee's comments and other record evidence might lead the Agency in the cadmium rulemaking to promulgate a standard for the construction industry that might be different in some respects from the standard to be promulgated for general industry (29 CFR 1910.1027). OSHA expressly requested the public and interested parties to provide information and comments on how, if at all, the proposed cadmium standard should be modified if a distinctive standard for the construction industry were to be developed out of the unitary proposal (55 FR 4053).
Based upon the record evidence in this rulemaking, including pre-hearing comments submitted by the Advisory Committee concerning special working conditions in the construction industry, testimony at the public hearing by a representative of the Committee, and the draft of recommended modifications to the proposed rule submitted by the Committee (Exs. 8-665; 14-5; 53), OSHA has developed a separate and somewhat modified cadmium standard for the construction industry, 29 CFR 1926.63.
The only important issue raised in the rulemaking concerning the scope of the proposed cadmium standard was whether the standard should apply to the construction industry, as well as general industry. Several commenters favored covering the construction industry in the general industry standard (Exs, 19-8; 19-21; 57; Tr. 7/17/90, pp. 51-217). However, a representative of OSHA's Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health testified in opposition to extending the general industry standard to construction and in favor of a construction-specific standard that would address the unique conditions in that industry (Tr. 6/13/90; pp. 4-16).
OSHA agrees with the Advisory Committee that such a standard is needed. Thus, OSHA is publishing this separate standard for the construction industry that is comparable to the general industry standard but adapted to the particular conditions of the construction industry. The primary concern reflected in the comments favoring inclusion of the construction industry within the scope of the general industry standard is that construction workers be assured prompt and adequate protection from excess exposure to cadmium. OSHA believes that this can be accomplished more effectively by promulgation of a comparably protective, construction-specific standard, in conjunction with the promulgation of a general industry standard that excludes the construction industry.
A full discussion of the scope provision is provided in the summary and explanation of the general industry standard.
Action level. The final standard retains the same definition of "action level" (AL) incorporated in the proposal for the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 5 ug/m(3). The action level is defined as an airborne concentration of cadmium of 2.5 ug/m(3), calculated as an 8-hour, time-weighted average.
The action level provides the airborne concentration of cadmium at or above which medical surveillance, air monitoring, and the provision of a respirator to any employee who requests one are required. Other requirements of the standard are not triggered until exposures exceed the PEL. Where exposures are determined to be below the action level, no compliance activities are required of the employer, except those required by paragraphs (d)(4), (m)(3) and (m)(4) of this standard for hazard communication. A full discussion of the issues related to the action level is included in the summary and explanation of the general industry standard.
Competent person, in accordance with 29 CFR 1926.32(f), means a person designated by the employer to act on the employer's behalf who is capable of identifying existing and potential cadmium hazards in the workplace and the proper methods to control them in order to protect workers, and who has the authority necessary to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate or control such hazards. The duties of a competent person under this standard shall include at least the following: Determining prior to the performance of work whether cadmium is present in the workplace; establishing, where necessary, regulated areas and assuring that access to and from those areas is limited to authorized employees; assuring the adequacy of any employee exposure monitoring required by this standard; assuring that all employees exposed to air cadmium levels above the PEL wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and are trained in the use of appropriate methods of exposure control; assuring that proper hygiene facilities are provided and that workers are trained to use those facilities; and assuring that the engineering controls required by this standard are implemented, maintained in proper operating condition, and functioning properly.
In comments made to OSHA (Ex. 57), the Advisory Committee on Construction Occupational Safety and Health (ACCSH) and its Task Force on cadmium requested that OSHA include the definition of a competent person, as defined in 29 CFR 1926.32(f), and that OSHA outline the duties and responsibilities of that competent person in the cadmium standard for the construction industry. OSHA recognizes the need for a competent person in construction. Safety and health problems on a construction site are sufficiently complex and unique to justify requiring the employer to appoint an identifiable "competent person" who is on site to act on the employer's behalf in this regard. For example, multiple employers may be working on different projects at a particular worksite or in adjacent worksites, as part of the same overall construction job. As a result, actions by one employer on the worksite may subject employees of other employers to occupational hazards.
Moreover, hazards on construction jobs may vary according to environmental conditions (e.g., open air exposure, confined spaces), workforce turnover, the processes involved and the frequency and duration of exposures. The ACCSH Task Force identified specific jobs, (e.g., welder, painter, electrical worker) and specific tasks (e.g., brazing/burning/welding surfaces that were painted with cadmium prior to 1970) in which cadmium exposures were expected to be high and therefore needed to be carefully monitored. The Task Force indicated that cadmium exposures in the construction industry typically are short-term and intermittent, although some jobs periodically may involve long-term chronic exposures. However, the Task Force also indicated that no accurate exposure data were available regarding the average length of exposure per week, exposure levels, and worker turnover in various job categories. Consequently, there is an obvious need for site characterization and analysis by a competent person who is able to identify the hazards present and the types of control measures that are effective.
Site characterization is a continuous process because of changing environmental and work conditions as a construction job is being completed. At each phase of site characterization, information must be obtained and evaluated to define the potential hazards on the site. That information must be collected and evaluated by a person designated to represent the employer and who is capable of identifying and controlling hazards. For these reasons, OSHA agrees with the ACCSH Task Force and is including this definition of a competent person (Exs. 14-5; 57).
Employee Exposure is defined as the exposure to airborne cadmium that would occur if the employee were not using respiratory equipment. This definition is intended to apply to all variations of the term "employee exposure" that have essentially the same meaning, such as "exposed employee" and "exposure". The definition is consistent with OSHA's previous use of the term in other standards.
Final medical determination is the physicians written medical opinion of the employee's health status. Under paragraphs (l)(3)-(l)(12), the written medical opinion of the examining physician is the "final medical determination." Where either multiple physician review or the alternative physician determination mechanism has been invoked under paragraph (l)(13) or (l)(14), respectively, the final medical determination is the final, written medical finding, determination or recommendation that emerges from that process.
The terms "Assistant Secretary", "authorized person", "Director", "high-efficiency particulate absolute [HEPA] air filter", and "regulated area" are defined in this final standard essentially as proposed. These definitions are based on OSHA's previous experience and are consistent with OSHA's use of these terms in other health standards. These definitions generally have not been commented upon. The employers' obligations with respect to HEPA filters and regulated areas are discussed later in this preamble. In the discussion of regulated areas a clarification in the final standard is explained.
Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)
Employers are required to assure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of cadmium in excess of the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 5 micrograms of cadmium per cubic meter of air (ug/m(3)). A full discussion of this is included in the summary and explanation of the general industry standard.
This final standard imposes monitoring requirements pursuant to section 6(b)(7) of the OSH Act (29 U.S.C. 655), which mandates that any standard promulgated under section 6(b) shall, where appropriate, "provide for monitoring or measuring of employee exposure at such locations and intervals, and in such manner as may be necessary for the protection of employees." To this end, as discussed below, OSHA has made four significant changes to the monitoring requirements included in the cadmium standard for general industry.
First, prior to the performance of any construction work where employees may be potentially exposed to cadmium, the employer is required by paragraph (d)(1)(i) to establish the applicability of this standard by determining whether cadmium is present in the workplace and whether there is a possibility that an employee may be exposed to cadmium at or above the AL. The employer must designate a competent person to make this determination. Investigation and material testing techniques are to be used, as appropriate, in the determination. Investigation should include a review of relevant plans, past reports, material safety data sheets, and other available records, and consultations with the property owner and discussions with appropriate individuals and agencies. Material testing techniques may include a "spot test analysis" designed for geochemical applications, i.e., for rigorous and sensitive analyses of cadmium content in complex matrices, which was reviewed by ACCSH and may be used for on-site identification of the presence of cadmium (EX. 14-5).
In comments to OSHA, the Task Force specifically indicated that in the construction of new buildings or structures, and cadmium that is to be used will be specified on the blueprints and contracts used in developing the plans of that construction activity. In these cases, the presence of cadmium at a particular worksite will be known prior to the initiation of any work (Ex. 14-5). However, in the case of wrecking and demolition, or retrofitting and repair of existing equipment, such information may not be available. In the latter case, prior to the initiation of any work, it must be determined whether cadmium is present at the worksite. For that purpose, the investigation and material testing techniques, discussed above, may provide information about the presence, location, and extent of cadmium (Ex. 14-5).
Under paragraph (d)(1)(i), where cadmium has been determined to be present in the workplace, and the possibility that some employee will be exposed at or above the AL has been established, the competent person is to identify employees potentially exposed to cadmium at or above the action level. This identification may be based upon any information, observations, or calculations that would indicate employee exposure to cadmium, including any previous measurements of airborne cadmium. As indicated in the definition section of this standard, employee exposure is the exposure to airborne cadmium that would occur if the employee were not using a respirator.
Under paragraph (d)(2)(1)(i) and (ii), and except as provided for in paragraph (d)(2)(iii), where an employee has been identified as potentially exposed to cadmium at or above the action level, the employer must conduct initial exposure monitoring as soon as practicable that is representative of the exposure for each employee in the workplace who is or may be exposed to cadmium at or above the action level. In certain circumstances, sampling each employee's exposure to cadmium may be required for initial monitoring. However in many cases, the employer under paragraph (d)(1)(iv) may monitor selected employees to determine "representative employee exposures."
Second, under paragraph (d)(2)(ii), if the employee periodically performs tasks that may expose the employee to a higher concentration of airborne cadmium, the employee must be monitored while performing those tasks. This provision was added to this standard because employees in the construction industry are more likely than in general industry to perform such tasks. The provision only makes express an obligation to monitor that is implicit in the general industry standard. The competent person should assure that any exposure monitoring required by this standard is performed adequately.
Under paragraph (d)(3)(i), if the initial monitoring or periodic monitoring reveals employee exposures to be at or above the action level, the employer shall monitor at a frequency and pattern needed to assure that the monitoring results reflect with reasonable accuracy the employee's typical exposure levels, given the variability in the tasks performed, work practices, and environmental conditions on the job site, and to assure the adequacy of respiratory selection and the effectiveness of engineering and work practice controls.
Third, unlike the general industry standard for cadmium, no minimum frequency for monitoring is required by this standard. That is because the nature of much construction work and the changing nature of the job and work conditions would often limit the value of periodic monitoring on a fixed schedule, e.g., semi-annual monitoring. For example, for the many jobs that run less than six months, it would make no sense to require the employer to monitor at least every six months. Moreover, for tasks that are performed episodically in the course of a job, semi-annual monitoring also would be of questionable value.
Fourth, under paragraph (d)(5)(i), no later than five working days after the receipt of the results of any monitoring performed under this section, the employer shall notify each affected employee individually in writing of the results and shall post the results in an appropriate location that is accessible to affected employees. This is a change from the general industry standard, which allows the employer 15 days to notify the affected employee of his/her monitoring results. OSHA concluded that a shorter notice period would be appropriate for the construction industry in light of the short term nature of many construction jobs.
The changes in the language of the general industry standard basically follows the recommendations of the ACCSH Task Force on cadmium (Ex. 57). A full discussion of the monitoring requirements in this standard can be found in the summary and explanation of the general industry standard.
Under paragraph (e)(1) and (e)(2), whenever an employee exposed to cadmium is or can reasonably be expected to be in excess of the permissible exposure limit (PEL), the employer is required to establish a regulated area that is adequately demarcated and alerts employees of its boundaries and that protects employees from airborne exposures in excess of the PEL. OSHA recommends that the employer consider establishing regulated areas wherever the following construction activities are conducted: Electrical grounding with cadmium welding; cutting, brazing, burning, grinding or welding on surfaces that were painted with cadmium-containing paints; electrical work using cadmium-coated conduit; use of cadmium containing paints; cutting and welding cadmium-plated steel; brazing or welding with cadmium alloys; fusing of reinforcing steel by cadmium welding; maintaining or retrofitting cadmium-coated equipment; and wrecking and demolition where cadmium is present. A full discussion of regulated areas is provided in the summary and explanation of the general industry standard.
Methods of Compliance
Under paragraph (f)(1)(i), the employer is required to implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee exposure to cadmium at or below the PEL, except to the extent that the employer can demonstrate such controls are not feasible. Under paragraph (f)(1)(ii), the requirement to implement engineering controls to achieve the PEL does not apply where the employer demonstrates that no employee is exposed above the PEL on 30 or more days per year by the employer and that any employee who is exposed above the PEL on 29 or fewer days is only exposed intermittently, by which OSHA means that the employee is effectively not exposed to cadmium on any more than 29 days.
The provisions in paragraph (f)(1) are basically the same as those in the cadmium standard for general industry. However, unlike the general industry standard, there is no provision in this standard for a separate engineering control air limit (SECAL), because there appears to be no need in the construction industry for such a higher engineering-and-work-practice-control limit. No comment was received on the need for a SECAL in any construction sector during the rulemaking. Consequently, employers in the construction industry, like the vast majority of employers covered by the general industry standard (Ex. 13), will have to implement engineering and work practice controls, to the extent feasible, to control air cadmium levels to the PEL. The other provisions in paragraph (f)(2)-(3) also are in general agreement with the general industry standard.
However, under paragraphs (f)(2)-(3), several construction-specific modifications were added to the general industry standard. First under (f)(2)(i), abrasive blasting on cadmium or cadmium-containing materials is to be conducted in a manner that will provide adequate protection. Second under paragraph (f)(2)(ii), heating cadmium and cadmium-containing materials and welding, cutting, and other forms of heating of cadmium or cadmium-containing materials shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.353 and 29 CFR 1926.354, where applicable.
Third, under paragraph (f)(3)(i), in cases where cadmium exposures will be above the TWA PEL, high speed abrasive disc saws or similar abrasive power equipment, such as power grinders, rotary peening machines, needle guns, power brushes, and power sanders, must be equipped with appropriate engineering controls to minimize emission. In cases in which the exposure level is uncertain, the employer or the designated competent person should determine the exposure level.
Fourth, under paragraph (f)(3)(ii), materials containing cadmium should not be applied by spray methods if the resultant exposures are above the TWA PEL, unless employees are protected with appropriate respirators, i.e., supplied-air respirators with full facepiece, hood, helmet, suit, operated in positive pressure mode, and unless specific measures are instituted to limit overspray and prevent contamination of adjacent areas. In those cases in which exposure levels are uncertain, the employer or designated competent person should determine whether exposures from such operations will be at or below the TWA PEL.
According to comments submitted to OSHA (Ex. 14-5, 10/13/89), cadmium is now considered to be a contaminant in coatings in the construction industry. That is, cadmium is only found in "microscopic" quantities, and for all practical purposes is not applicable in construction activities that involve new coatings. However, cadmium is a component of coatings applied prior to 1970, and OSHA is particularly concerned about the health hazards to workers who handle such coatings. According to industry comments, about twenty years ago, cadmium was used, at times, as a substitute and supplemental filler-pigment, in conjunction with lead in primers and other heavy metal pigmented coatings. However, as a result of the lead regulations and the cost of the use of multi-metal pigments, their use was discontinued.
Therefore, the ACCSH Task Force focused its comments on the relevance of the cadmium standard to activities that involve remodeling or renovation projects. In cases where old coatings are removed, primary concern would be where at least two-three coats of primer on steel had been applied, prior to 1970, to a thickness of 15/1,000th of an inch. If "old" primer is to be burned off, complete burning should be carried out in such a manner so as to control cadmium exposures to levels that are at or below the TWA PEL (Ex. 14-5, 10/13/89).
The employer's obligation in paragraph (f)(5) of this standard concerning a compliance program is similar to the obligation in the general industry standard. It requires the employer, where employee exposure is above the PEL, to establish and implement a written compliance program to reduce employee exposure to or below the PEL. However, there are three ways in which the obligation under this standard differs somewhat from the obligation in the general industry standard. First, since specific elements of the written plan required in the general industry standard might prove burdensome and inappropriate in construction jobs and industries, no specific elements of the plan are required by this standard. Nonetheless, OSHA recommends that such plans include as many of the elements required in the general industry standard as are appropriate. Second, the compliance plan must be established and implemented, to the extent appropriate, prior to beginning the job. Because countless construction jobs will be undertaken after promulgation of this standard, OSHA has made explicit the obligation to establish and implement a compliance plan prior to commencing work. In fact, the same obligation is implicit in the general industry standard for plants that are opened subsequent to the promulgation of that standard.
Under paragraph (f)(5)(ii), written compliance programs must be reviewed and updated as often and as promptly as necessary to reflect significant changes in the employer's compliance status or where it was infeasible to achieve the PEL exclusively by engineering and work practice controls, to reflect significant changes in the lowest air cadmium level that is technologically feasible. However, under paragraph (f)(5)(iii), a competent person is to review the comprehensive compliance program initially and after each change. OSHA believes it is important that the compliance program, which is the overall plan for protecting workers from occupational hazards, be carefully reviewed by a competent person. Under paragraph (f)(5)(iv), written compliance programs are to be submitted upon request for examination and copying to the Assistant Secretary, the Director, affected employees, and designated employee representatives.
To control the hazards associated with cadmium exposure, primary reliance in this standard is still placed upon engineering controls and work practices, which is consistent with good industrial hygiene practice (TR. 7/17/90; pp. 56, 77; Exs. 19-8; 19-21) and with the Agency's traditional adherence to a hierarchy of controls that prefers engineering and work practice controls over reliance upon respirators. The primary reliance upon engineering and work practice controls is also supported by some employers and company doctors (Exs. 19-31; L-19-57; 118; 19-2). However, OSHA is aware that in the construction industry there are likely to be a considerable number of situations in which engineering controls are not feasible. A complete discussion of methods of compliance can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the cadmium standard for general industry.
This final standard adopts the proposed respiratory protection provisions with little or no substantial modification and is basically the same as the cadmium standard for general industry. The provisions of this standard are in keeping with requirements for respiratory protection in other OSHA health standards (Lead 29 CFR 1910.1025; Benzene 29 CFR 1910.1028), recent developments in the field, and OSHA's revision of the generic standard on respiratory protection (29 CFR 1910.134).
Respirators are necessary as supplementary protection to reduce employee exposure when engineering and work practice controls cannot achieve the necessary reduction to or below the PEL. Respirators may also be necessary at other times, for example: While engineering and work practice controls are being implemented, during emergency situations, during intermittent exposures under the 30-working day exclusion when engineering and work practice controls are not required, and for brief or intermittent exposures that cannot be controlled through engineering and work practice controls. A respirator also must be provided by the employer for all authorized employees in regulated areas.
Because of the risk of serious adverse health affects from cadmium exposures, OSHA accepts the need for requiring respirators in the above mentioned circumstances in order to reduce an employee's cumulative dose of cadmium.
Table 2 lists the type of respirator to be used at each airborne concentration of cadmium in the workplace. The standard requires fit testing of all respirators to assure at least a minimally acceptable fit. It is also important that all employees who wear respirators be medically screened to determine employee fitness for respirator usage.
Paragraph (l)(6)(ii) of this standard, therefore, generally requires that medical examinations be made available to workers with a job that requires the use of a respirator prior to assignment to that job. A complete discussion of this respirator provision can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the cadmium standard for general industry. That discussion is fully applicable to the requirements in paragraph (g) of this standard because they are the same as the parallel requirements in the general industry standard.
To deal with emergency situations, the employer must develop and implement a written plan for emergency situations involving substantial releases of airborne cadmium. This provision basically tracts the proposed cadmium standard and is the same as the cadmium standard for general industry. A fuller discussion of this provision can be found in the summary and explanation of the parallel provision in the preamble to the general industry standard.
Protective Work Clothing and Equipment
This final standard, with few substantial modifications, adopts the requirements of the proposed cadmium standard and is basically the same as the general industry standard regarding protective clothing and equipment. These requirement are typical of other OSHA health standards and are based upon widely accepted principles and conventional practices of industrial hygiene.
Clean protective clothing and equipment shall be provided by the employer at least weekly, and more often as necessary to assure its effectiveness, to each affected employee and at no cost to the employee. OSHA recommends that clean protective clothing be provided at least daily for employees with exposure to cadmium at levels approaching or exceeding 100 ug/m(3). Removal of cadmium from protective clothing by blowing, shaking, or any other means that disperse cadmium into the air is prohibited.
A complete discussion of this paragraph regarding protective clothing and equipment can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the cadmium standard for general industry. That discussion is fully applicable to the requirements in this standard because they are essentially the same as the parallel requirements in the general industry standard.
Hygiene Areas and Practices
This final standard, like the proposal, requires employers to provide employees exposed to cadmium above the PEL with hygiene and lunchroom facilities and to assure employee compliance with basic hygiene practices to minimize additional potential sources of exposure to cadmium. With the exception of the start-up date, in paragraph (p), below, the requirements in this standard are essentially the same as those in the parallel provision in the cadmium standard for general industry.
OSHA believes it is essential for employees to have separate locker and storage facilities for street and work clothing to prevent cross-contamination of their street clothes. This provision will minimize employee exposure to cadmium after the work shift ends, because it reduces the period during which they may be exposed to cadmium-contaminated work clothes.
A complete discussion of this paragraph regarding hygiene facilities and practices can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the cadmium standard for general industry. That discussion is fully applicable to the requirements in this standard.
Like other OSHA health standards dealing with toxic dusts or fibers (Asbestos, 29 CFR 1910.1001), this cadmium standard imposes the general housekeeping requirement to maintain all surfaces as free as is practicable of accumulations of cadmium.
These housekeeping provisions are exceptionally important because they minimize additional sources of exposure that engineering controls generally are not designed to control. Good housekeeping is a cost effective way to control employee exposure levels by removing from the worksite cadmium dust that can become reentrained by air currents and carried into employee breathing zones.
A complete discussion of this housekeeping provision can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the cadmium standard for general industry. That discussion is fully applicable to the requirements in paragraph (k) of this standard because they are the same as the parallel requirements in the general industry standard.
(l) General. The medical surveillance provisions of paragraph (l) in this standard generally are similar to the general industry standard with the following exceptions:
(1) Under paragraph (l)(1)(i)(A), as requested by the ACCSH Task Force (Ex. 57), all employees who perform the following tasks, operations or jobs are automatically covered by the medical surveillance provisions of this standard, unless the employees are exposed to cadmium on less than 30 days per year: Electrical grounding with cadmium welding: cutting, brazing, burning, grinding or welding on surfaces that were painted with cadmium-containing paints; electrical work using cadmium-coated conduit; use of cadmium containing paints; cutting and welding cadmium-plated steel; brazing or welding with cadmium alloys; fusing of reinforcing steel by cadmium welding; maintaining or retrofitting cadmium-coated equipment; and wrecking and demolition where cadmium is present. The ACCSH Task Force recommended that workers performing these tasks or jobs be included in medical surveillance because those workers generally will be exposed to significant levels of airborne cadmium and because ACCSH thought that they therefore should not have to await the results of exposure monitoring to be included in medical surveillance. In addition, all workers exposed at or above the action level are covered unless the employer demonstrates that the employees are exposed above the action level on fewer than 30 days per year (12 consecutive months).
(2) Under paragraph (l)(1)(i)(B), employers must also provide medical surveillance to all employees who might have been exposed to cadmium by the employer prior to the effective date of this standard in tasks specified under paragraph (l)(1)(i)(A), unless the current employer demonstrates that the employee did not in the years prior to the effective date of this standard work in those tasks for the employer for an aggregated total of more than 12 months prior to the effective date of this standard.
This provision, to extend medical surveillance to veteran employees who previously were potentially exposed to relatively high levels of cadmium but no longer are exposed to cadmium in sufficient amounts to make them otherwise eligible for medical surveillance, is similar to the parallel provision in the cadmium standard for general industry.
The only difference is that the minimum aggregate total of previous exposure in this standard is lower than in the general industry standard. The total is lower for two reasons. First it is believed that many employees who performed in the specified tasks typically were exposed to cadmium at levels considerably above the AL, which is all this is required by the general industry standard. With a higher expected average daily dose, the duration of exposure should be shortened to assure adequate surveillance. Second, in light of employment conditions in the construction industry, such as high turnover and mobility of employees, OSHA believes that requiring that the employee have worked for the employer in the named tasks for much longer than 12 months to be eligible for medical surveillance would make it likely that many veteran construction workers with considerable past exposure to cadmium would not be covered by medical surveillance.
This 12 month minimum requirement in the performance of specific tasks is similar to a parallel provision for inclusion of workers exposed prior to the effective date of the benzene standard (29 CFR 1910.1028, paragraph (i)(1)). In the Benzene standard, the only other OSHA health standard to cover veteran employees who were exposed prior to the effective date of the standard, "veteran" workers who performed a specific task, e.g., tire building, or were exposed above a specific exposure level during one year were included under medical surveillance. The determination of an employee's prior exposure to cadmium must be, were relevant, reasonable, and practical, based on the employee's previous exposure records, first measurements taken of that employee after the effective date of this section, and on comparisons with employee exposure records in the same or similar operations, where the engineering controls, cadmium containing materials, and other relevant working conditions are the same or similar.
(3) In part because of the transient nature of much construction work and employment, deadlines for employer action or earlier deadlines than in the general industry standard are established in this standard. For example, under paragraph (l)(5) of this standard, the employer must reassess employee exposures within 30 days; by contrast, in the general industry standard no deadline is specified. The time period is specified in the construction standard to address the need for prompt action addressed in the testimony of the Construction Advisory Work Committee on Cadmium (Exs. 14-5: 53).
With regard to medical removal protection (MRP) and medical removal protection benefits (MRPB), paragraphs (l)(11) and (12), the provisions in this standard are the same as the parallel provisions in the cadmium standard for general industry. However, because of the different employment conditions in the construction industry, the provisions may impact quite differently in this industry.
In both standards, MRP and MRPB generally assure that an employee who is medically removed from his/her job for cadmium related reasons will be no worse off in terms of wages and employment benefits and rights than if the employee had not been removed. However, under neither standard would MRP and MRPB put the removed employee in a better position than he/she would have been in had the employee not been removed. Thus, if a removed employee's job comes to an end while he/she is on medical removal, the medical removal benefits also come to an end, even if the period for which the employee has been removed is less than the 18-month maximum authorized under this standard. In theory, this is as true under the standard for general industry as under the construction standard. But in practice, this fact is likely to have greater impact in the construction industry, where many jobs and much employment is short-term and the turnover rate among many construction workers is relatively high.
Other provisions in the medical surveillance program remain unchanged from the cadmium standard for general industry. A complete discussion of the medical surveillance provision can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the cadmium standard for general industry. That discussion is fully applicable to the many requirements in paragraph (l) of this standard that are the same or essentially the same as the parallel requirements in the general industry standard.
Communication of Cadmium Hazards to Employees
In this final cadmium standard paragraph (m) incorporates the employer's requirements to communicate to employees about the hazards of occupational exposure to cadmium. These hazard communication provisions are generally the same as those in other OSHA health standards (e.g., paragraph (j), Benzene Final Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1028) and for general industry. However, in a multi-employer workplace, an employer who produces, uses, or stores cadmium in a manner that may expose employees of other employers to cadmium is required by paragraph (m) to notify the other employers of the potential hazard in accordance with paragraph (e) of the hazard communication standard for construction, 29 CFR 1926.59.
This is consistent with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1926.59) for the construction industry which requires all chemical manufactures and importers to assess the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import and to develop appropriate information about those hazards, which they are required to communicate in various ways to their own exposed employees and to relevant downstream employers, as specified under paragraph (d)-(h) of the Hazard Communication Standard ((HCS); (29 CFR 1926.59)). Downstream employers, in turn, are required to communicate the information concerning the hazards of such chemicals in various ways to their own employees. The transmittal of hazard information to employees is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which must include container labeling and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets and employee training.
The Cadmium Standard, for example, requires that regulated areas be posted with appropriate warning signs. For some work areas regulated areas are permanent, because air cadmium exposures persist there and cannot be reduced below the PEL by means of engineering controls. Perhaps more important for construction work, the nature of which (and the hazards associated with it) may change dramatically in the course of completing a project, regulated areas may also need to be established on a temporary basis. This might be so during intermittent operations, maintenance and/or emergency situations. The use of warning signs in these types of situations is especially important since employees who are regularly scheduled to work in or near these areas need to be warned about new or unexpected exposure to cadmium at levels above the PEL.
A complete discussion of the hazard communication provision in this standard can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the cadmium standard for general industry. That discussion is fully applicable to the many requirements in paragraph (m) of this standard that are the same or essentially the same as the parallel requirements in the general industry standard.
The recordkeeping provisions of this final standard are essentially the same, except where indicated, as those in the final cadmium standard for general industry and the cadmium proposal, which received little or no public comment. These provisions generally are similar to recordkeeping provisions in other OSHA health standards.
Two provisions in paragraph (n) are different from those in the general industry standard. First, under (n)(iv), the employer must provide a copy of the results of an employee's air monitoring prescribed in paragraph (d) of this standard to an industry trade association and to the employee's union, if any, or, if either of such associations or unions do not exist, to another comparable organization that is competent to maintain such records and is reasonable accessible to employers and employees in the industry. This is to assure that, in an industry with much short-term employment, relatively high rates of worker turnover, and mobile job sites and employees, employers and employees have ready access to a relatively stable back-up source of air monitoring records, if needed.
Second, under paragraph (n)(3)(iv), the employer is required upon request by an employee to provide a copy of the employee's medical record or update, as appropriate, to a medical doctor or union specified by the employee. This requirement also is to assure that, in an industry with much short-term employment, relatively high rates of worker turnover, and mobile job sites and employees, employees have a relatively stable, designated backup source for obtaining their medical records, if needed.
OSHA recognizes that over the years employees may change construction jobs many times, work for many employers, and be exposed to cadmium at various levels and for different durations. OSHA further recognizes that some diseases that may be associated with excess exposure to cadmium, like lung cancer, may take many years to manifest themselves. Over such long periods, employees may misplace or lose records in their possession from earlier times. OSHA is therefore attempting in paragraphs (n)(1)(iv) and (n)(3)iv) to establish at minimum cost to all concerned some alternative, more stable source of this record.
A complete discussion of the record keeping provision in this standard can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the cadmium standard for general industry. That discussion is fully applicable to the many requirements in paragraph (n) of this standard that are the same or essentially the same as the parallel requirements in the general industry standard.
Observation of Monitoring
This standard contains provisions for employee observation of exposure monitoring. This is in accordance with section 8(c) of the OSH Act, which requires that employers provide employees and their representatives with the opportunity to observe monitoring of employee exposures to toxic substances or harmful physical agents. Observation procedures are set forth that require the observer, whether employee or designated representative, to be provided with the personal protective clothing and equipment that is required to be worn by employees working in the area. The employer is required to assure the use of such clothing, equipment, and respirators, and is responsible for assuring that the observer complies with all other applicable safety and health procedures.
This provision is the same as the parallel provision in the cadmium standard for general industry. A complete discussion of the requirements of paragraph (o) in this standard can be found in the summary and explanation of the preamble to the general industry standard.
The standard will become effective on December 14, 1992. All obligations imposed by the standard commence on the effective date unless otherwise noted. All obligations that do not commence on the effective date shall be complied with as soon thereafter as possible and in any event no later than the start-up date, which is a compliance deadline.
Because small construction businesses frequently have fewer resources for interpreting and implementing complex requirements to protect their workers, and in order to implement an outreach program and to provide technical assistance to employers with small businesses (nineteen (19) or fewer employees), start-up dates for certain provisions of the standard are later for these establishments.
The requirements for initial exposure monitoring (paragraph (d)(2))and for hygiene facilities (paragraph (j)) must be completed no later than 60 days after the effective date of the standard (120 days for small construction businesses). The requirements for the permissible exposure limit (paragraph (c)), regulated areas (paragraph (e)) and respiratory protection (paragraph (g)), must be completed no later than 90 days after the effective date of this standard (150 days for small businesses). The requirements for initial medical examinations (paragraph (l)(2)), written compliance programs (paragraph (f)(5)(ii)), and employee information and training (paragraph (m)(4)) must be completed no later than 90 days after the effective date of this standard (180 days for small businesses). The start-up dates for hygiene facilities other than handwashing facilities and for lunchroom facilities is considerably shorter in this standard than in the cadmium standard for general industry. This is because OSHA believes that most such facilities in the construction industry will be rented or purchased and will be mobile and will require no substantial amount of time for the employer to design, construct or install them.
In addition, the start-up date for compliance programs also is considerably shorter in this standard than in the cadmium standard for general industry. This is because OSHA believes that compliance with the PEL in the construction industry generally will be achieved by respirators, in conjunction with off-the-shelf, portable engineering controls, which require little or no time for the employer to design, manufacture or install. It also is because so many construction jobs are short term jobs.
Engineering and work practice controls generally are required to be fully implemented no later than 120 days after the effective date (240 days for small businesses). Work practice controls are to implemented as soon as possible. OSHA assumes that most engineering controls in the construction industry are of the off-the-shelf, portable variety and need not be specially designed, manufactured or elaborately installed.
With the exception previously stated for small construction businesses, nearly all of the start-up dates established in this standard are conventional. They have been developed out of OSHA's experience with similar standards and closely parallel, start-up dates in other health standards (e.g., Lead Final Standard). The start-up dates in this final standard generally also closely parallel those in the proposed cadmium standard. The primary exceptions are discussed in the preamble to the general industry standard. In addition, the effective date of this standard is 90 days after publication of this final standard, rather than the proposed 60 days. OSHA is providing 90 days in order to give employers slightly more time to prepare to comply with all the obligations that take effect on and after that date.
The final cadmium standard contains six appendices that are designed to assist employers and employees in implementing the provisions of this standard. Appendix C is incorporated as part of this standard and imposes additional mandatory obligations on employers covered by this standard. Appendices A, B, D, E, and F are non-mandatory, except that appendices A, D, and F must be reviewed by physicians in order for physicians to be licensed to medically evaluate any cadmium-related illnesses. Also, questions 3-11 and 25-32 of appendix D are required as part of the limited medical examination that is required prior to the use of a respirator. Otherwise, these appendices are not intended to add to, or detract from any obligation that the cadmium standard otherwise imposes.
The Appendices that are included in the standard are: Appendix A - Substance Safety Data Sheet, Cadmium Appendix B - Substance Technical Guidelines, Cadmium Appendix C - Qualitative and Quantitative Fit Testing Procedures Appendix D - Medical and Occupational History with Reference to Cadmium Exposure (suggested format) Appendix E - Sampling and Analysis Appendix F - Non-mandatory Protocol for Laboratory Standardization for Biological Monitoring for Cadmium
Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents|