OSHA Establishes New NEP for Primary Metal Industries

June 3, 2011
OSHA is establishing a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for the primary metals industries to better protect workers from hazardous exposures in workplaces that produce metal products.

Establishments in the primary metals industries are involved in extracting and refining metals from rocks containing iron, lead, nickel and tin, among other elements. These establishments include those that manufacture nails, insulated wires and cables, steel piping and copper and aluminum products.

“Workers who are not properly protected from the hazards of metals refining are at increased risk of serious, potentially deadly health effects,” said OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels. “OSHA’s new enforcement program will raise awareness of the dangers of exposure to metals and other chemicals, so that employers can correct hazards and comply with OSHA standards.”

The agency announced the new NEP on June 2 and said its goals include minimizing or eliminating exposure to chemical hazards and physical hazards, such as noise and heat; inspecting facilities that manufacture primary metals and metal products; and conducting follow-up site visits to ensure that there has been a reduction or elimination of exposures.

The primary metals industries became a concern during OSHA’s review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Previous OSHA inspections of establishments in this industry revealed that workers were exposed to metal dusts and fumes, carbon monoxide, lead and silica, among other substances. Inspections also showed that workers were exposed to noise and heat hazards. OSHA developed this program because of the seriousness and frequency of these problems.

Workers exposed to various substances found in these industries can suffer damage to the eyes, nose, throat and skin and can experience difficulty breathing and chest and joint pain. Overexposures also can lead to death.

For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=4944.

About the Author

Laura Walter

Laura Walter was formerly senior editor of EHS Today. She is a subject matter expert in EHS compliance and government issues and has covered a variety of topics relating to occupational safety and health. Her writing has earned awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) and APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Her debut novel, Body of Stars (Dutton) was published in 2021.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!