OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Trade News Release
December 14, 2005
Contact: Elaine Fraser
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- A new safety and health guidance document posted on the Web today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will assist workers and employers in determining whether an activity is, or would be considered, an "emergency response" activity under OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard.
HAZWOPER applies to employers and workers who may be exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances and who are working in specific operations, including emergency response operations for releases, or substantial threats of release, of hazardous substances.
"We received inquiries from workers involved in hurricane cleanup and recovery operations along the U.S. Gulf Coast asking whether their activities met the requirements of HAZWOPER," explained Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare. "This guidance document was developed to not only help answer those specific questions, but to also provide another resource that will benefit all workers and employers who may be exposed to hazardous substances."
The OSHA guide provides an overview of the conditions in which a response or cleanup activity may fall under the requirements of HAZWOPER. It is divided into two sections: The Application of HAZWOPER to Worksite Response and Cleanup Activities and Employee Training for Worksite Response and Cleanup Activities. Each section links to useful information and practical guidance to help with the appropriate response.
Flowcharts are included in the document for easy reference and to help outline what compliance pathway workers should follow depending on the nature of the worksite situation. Each one follows a question and answer format to draw a conclusion on what other OSHA standards will be enforced.
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 workers 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.
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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