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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
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Trade News Release
October 2, 2006
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999


OSHA Issues Hexavalent Chromium Guidance for Small Businesses

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued safety and health guidance to help small businesses comply with the Agency's new hexavalent chromium(Cr(VI)) requirements for general industry, construction and shipyards.

"This new resource is aimed at helping small businesses comply with the new standards, while helping them reduce the risk to employees potentially exposed to these compounds," said OSHA Administrator Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.

The guide describes the steps that employers are required to take to protect employees from hazards associated with exposure to Cr(VI). It is divided into sections that address the major provisions of the standards, and follows the same organization as the corresponding paragraph of the standards. However, the guide provides more detail than the standards to help employers better understand the requirements.

Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL), exposure determination, regulated areas, methods of compliance, respiratory protection, protective work clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, housekeeping, and medical surveillance, are the major topics included in the guide.

Hexavalent chromium compounds are widely used in the chemical industry as ingredients and catalysts in pigments, metal plating and chemical synthesis. Cr(VI) can also be produced when welding on stainless steel or Cr(VI)-painted surfaces. The major health effects associated with exposure to Cr(VI) include lung cancer, nasal septum ulcerations and perforations, skin ulcerations, and allergic and irritant contact dermatitis.

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 employees 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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U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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