April 19, 2007
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: (202) 693-1999
Agency agrees to implement new Portland Cement Inspection Procedures
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signed an agreement April 6, 2007, with the Building Construction Trades Department (BCTD), AFL-CIO, Laborers' International Union of North America, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters, to settle their challenge to OSHA's hexavalent chromium standard (BCTD, et al., v. OSHA, Case No. 06-2433 (3d Cir.)).
As a result of the settlement, OSHA will issue a new document which provides specific enforcement procedures for compliance officers to follow at all construction sites where employees are working with portland cement. The document, Portland Cement Inspection Procedures, will explain how existing OSHA standards and requirements (air contaminants, personal protective equipment, sanitation, hazard communication and recordkeeping) apply to operations involving portland cement and collects all of the applicable provisions in a single inspection checklist.
Portland Cement Inspection Procedures will be also published as Appendix C-1 to the OSHA compliance directive on the Chromium (VI) standards ("Cr(VI) directive") to be issued to regional administrators later in 2007. While the Cr(VI) directive has not yet been finalized, OSHA is forwarding the Portland Cement Inspection Procedures to regional administrators and state designees in advance for immediate action. In a memo to regional administrators, OSHA is instructing compliance inspectors to review and implement the new Portland Cement Inspection Procedures.
Although the settlement agreement does not apply in the 22 states and territories with OSHA-approved state occupational safety and health plans in the private sector, OSHA strongly encourages these states to implement the new Portland Cement Inspection Procedures.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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