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Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Kaelin A.B.,ABKaelin LLC | Liang S.T.,AM Health and Safety Inc.
Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings | Year: 2015

The final OSHA Confined Space in Construction Standard was published on May 5, 2015, and the new rule was effective from August 3, 2015, with enforcement delayed until October 2, 2015. The Confined Space in Construction Standard included some specific provisions, which were customized to address conditions unique to the construction workplace. The new rule also added a number of requirements, including permit system, controlled access, and communication system. Source

• In a very general sense, employee exposure to hexavalent chromium in the steel industry, including the stainless/specialty steel sector, has been well below the OSHA PEL and the AL. Certain elevated areas in stainless steel/high-chromium meltshops have demonstrated that these areas can at times have airborne Cr+6 concentrations above the AL and/or PEL. The existing ventilation controls in the shops, as well as positive-pressure filtered air units on cranes and the closure of doors and windows on the crane operators' cab, have been effective in maintaining the exposures to crane operators below the AL. For those intermittent occasions when maintenance employees have to access and work in these areas for several hours, the use of respiratory protection has been effective in protecting the employees. • The tasks or processes with the most potential concern are those involving welding/torch cutting and oxygen lancing. Manual welding on stainless and high-chromium-grade steels using sodium- or potassium-containing fluxes or coatings resulted in the potential for the highest exposures of Cr+6 above the PEL. The use of alternative welding processes or combination of methods - i.e., MIG, TIG or SAW, lower sodium/potassium-containing welding rods, use of fume extraction welding guns and/or local exhaust ventilation, along with work practices - will result in lower airborne hexavalent chromium exposure. • If not already done, conduct initial exposure determinations relative to Cr+6. Review the operations and processes at the facility, and determine whether hexavalent chromium may be present. Review the raw materials, byproducts and products manufactured, chemical inventories, and the material safety data sheets (MSDSs). Are chromates or chromic acid solutions used in any of the processes? What grades and types of steel are being produced? Is welding/plasma torch cutting performed on stainless steel or high-chromium-grade steel? Create a spreadsheet to summarize the review. Source

Momyer B.J.,AM Health and Safety Inc.
Iron and Steel Technology | Year: 2011

The mitigation of explosive dust combines basic safety practices and technology by eliminating ignition sources such as heat sources, mechanical friction, and friction sparks. Friction sources can be controlled by preventing foreign material from entering the system when such foreign material presents an ignition hazard. Electrical equipment can be a major source of ignition, particularly when incorrectly specified electrical equipment presents hot surfaces and sparks for flammable gases, vapors and dusts. Static electricity, usually generated when any two materials make and then break contact, although not as prevalent, is a source of ignition. The buildup of the charge on electrically isolated conductors and/or on insulating materials can give rise to electrostatic discharges. Non-conductive or insulating material may be utilized; however, these materials can build up static charge, insulation of conductive materials, and charge retention on liquids and powders in non-conductive containers. Source

Momyer B.J.,AM Health and Safety Inc. | Zemen L.A.,AM Health and Safety Inc.
Iron and Steel Technology | Year: 2013

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised the hazard communication standard in 2012 to address hazards in steel plants. This revision was done to align the United States with the United Nations' global chemical labeling system. This system was called the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA also introduced HAZCOM 2012 , adopting most of the provisions of the GHS Revision 3, which defined specific criteria for each physical and toxicological hazard. OSHA also added pyrophoric gases, simple asphyxiants and combustible dust to the definition of 'hazardous chemical' in HAZCOM 2012. It allowed self-classification, which meant evaluating available data for each chemical or component in a mixture and comparing that data to the criteria adopted in each category. Source

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