OSHA Hosting Forum to Identify Hazardous Chemicals | Looks to Develop New PEL’s

OSHA announced that it is hosting an online forum from August 16 – 27, 2010 to give stakeholders an opportunity to help it identify which hazardous chemicals to focus on as it works on a new set of Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL's).

Quoting statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that workers suffered 55,000 plus illnesses related to chemical exposures in 2007 and that there were 17,500 chemical-related injuries and illnesses resulting in workers spending days away from work, OSHA's release suggested old standards were partly to blame.

Dr. David Michaels, OSHA's assistant secretary, said, "Many of our permissible exposure limits are based on 1950s-era science that we now realize is inadequate to protect workers in 21st century workplaces."

OSHA says the forum will allow visitors to "identify harmful chemicals and explain why OSHA should focus on these chemicals in developing long- and short-term solutions for reducing workers' exposure."