Transitioning to Safer Chemicals:
A Toolkit for Employers and Workers
Hello. I am Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. At OSHA, our mission is to protect America's workers from death, injury and illness - and that includes protecting workers from hazardous chemical exposures.
Chemicals play a vital role in our economy, and are used to produce goods we all need and enjoy. But they also can be hazardous.
American workers are exposed to thousands of chemicals every day, and new chemicals are being developed faster than their safety can be evaluated. Every year in the United States, many thousands of workers are made sick from chemical exposures, and the long-term effects of chemical exposures in the past are believed to cause as many as 50,000 deaths annually.
For many dangerous chemicals, there are safer alternatives available.
We must do more to protect America's most valuable resource - our workforce. The most efficient and effective way to do this is by eliminating or replacing hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives whenever possible.
I am pleased to offer OSHA's new online toolkit to support the transition to safer alternatives. Our toolkit helps employers and workers find ways to eliminate hazardous chemicals, or substitute them with a safer chemical, material, product or process. It's easy to use and designed to help you find the tools that best fit your needs.
We all want to continue to help businesses thrive and together we can strengthen America's businesses by protecting its workers.