While American workers use tens of thousands of chemicals suspected of being harmful every day, only a small number are regulated in the workplace. As a result, workers suffer more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths annually related to chemical exposures, including cancers and other lung, kidney, skin, heart, stomach, brain, nerve and reproductive diseases.
The best way to protect workers is through a chemical management system that goes beyond OSHA standards and strives to reduce or eliminate chemical hazards through a process of informed substitution.
OSHA has developed a step-by-step toolkit to provide employers and workers with information, methods, tools and guidance on using informed substitution in the workplace. This toolkit can be used by all types of employers, including manufacturers using chemicals in their production processes as well as businesses that use products containing chemicals in their everyday operations.
Workers also can use this toolkit to better understand chemical use in their workplace, find opportunities for using safer chemicals, and engage with their employers throughout the process of identifying, evaluating, and transitioning to safer alternatives.
To learn more visit OSHA’s Transitioning to Safer Chemicals webpage, where you’ll find information on the basics of informed substitution and alternatives assessment, success stories and more.
The OSHA Training Center is offering OSHA 2015 – Hazardous Materials in multiple locations in 2016, including:
- September 26-29 | Henderson, NV (Las Vegas Area)
- October 11-14 | Reno, NV
- October 17-20 | Honolulu, HI
- November 29-December 2 | Bakersfield, CA
- December 12-15 | Sacramento, CA