The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently issued a new initiative combining enforcement and outreach efforts to raise awareness of employers, workers and safety and health professionals of the serious health effects associated with occupational exposure to isocyanates.  These health effects include occupational asthma, irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, chest tightness as well as cancer.  Jobs that may involve  exposure to isocyanates include painting, blowing foam  insulation and the manufacture and thermal degradation of polyurethane products.  OSHA will be utilizing a site selection system that targets multiple industries and will focus on evaluating inhalation, dermal and other routes of occupational exposure to isocyanates.  Whether in general industry or construction, this is a good opportunity to assess your use of these compounds and determine if a proper hazard assessment has been conducted and sufficient controls are in place.

If you need assistance or more information, please contact Kevin Chaplin at kevinc@smith