The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a new directive to establish a National Emphasis Program for the Primary Metals Industries. The purpose of the program is to determine and decrease or get rid of worker exposures to physical hazards and harmful chemicals in companies that produce metal products.
 
Companies in the primary metals industries extract and refine metals from rocks which contain lead, nickel, tin, iron, etc. This also includes companies that make insulated wires and cables, mails, steel piping, as well as aluminum and copper products.

OSHA became concerned over the primary metals industries following their review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. In the past, OSHA has found workers in these industries were exposed to carbon monoxide, lead and silica, metal dusts, fumes and more. Such workers were also exposed to heat and noise hazards. This program resulted from the frequent occurrences and seriousness of these problems.
Workers who are not protected from such hazards can get extremely sick. Exposure to such substances can cause damage to the nose, throat, skin and eyes. In addition, people can experience difficulty breathing as well as joint and chest pain. Overexposures can even lead to death.  
 
The goals of the National Emphasis Program are to minimize or eliminate exposure to chemical and physical hazards (such as heat and noise). Additional goals include inspecting facilities that make primary metals and metal products, as well as carrying out additional site visits to make sure exposures have been reduced or eliminated.
 
OSHA already has National Emphasis Programs in place for lead, crystalline silica and hexavalent chromium. For additional information, visit OSHA’s website page on toxic metals.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing healthful and safe workplaces for their employees. OSHA works to guarantee those conditions for working men and women.
 
Modern Business Associates is an HR company that focuses on payroll and HR outsourcing. We routinely work with clients on OSHA programs. As a Professional Payroll and HR outsource organization, our clients rely on us to help them effectively deal with these kinds of topics.