Outlining what permissible exposure limits (PELs) are to OSHA is vastly difficult, as not all of them have fully been identified. New chemicals are integrated in the workplace each and every day. These chemicals pose hazards not identified for days, months, or sometimes years. It is virtually impossible to fully understand all the hazards present within your workplace, but it is important to understand the ones currently threatening you, and how you can comply.
OSHA has permissible exposure limits for about 470 toxic substances that were determined based on the: “severity of the health effect, the number of exposed workers, toxicity of the substance, uses and prevailing exposure levels of the substance, the potential risk reduction, availability and quality of information useful in quantitative risk assessment to ensure that significant risks are addressed and that workers will experience substantial benefits in the form of enhanced health and safety” as outlined by OSHA. These toxic substances can create adverse health effects to anyone exposed to the substance for longer than the suggested permissible exposure limit standard.
What is OSHA’s Recommendation?
The real question is, how can your workplace combat against these toxic substances, and how does OSHA recommend combating against these substances? For starters, OSHA always states that there must be engineering control over the substance posing a threat to workers. This term “engineering control” is something we have addressed in our recent blog, “Engineering Control: OSHA’s Meaning for Why Dust Collection Systems Should be Used”. But incase you missed that blog, or want a quick recap, OSHA believes that engineering control is a solution to control the hazard because the hazard cannot be completely removed; ultimately allowing workers to continue to work. However, since most industries cannot completely remove the substance, or hazard threatening their workers, they must find alternative ways of removal.
What Substances Are Threatening Me?
In OSHA’s Z-Table they outline those substances still regulated under the PEL standard. If these substances are found, or can be found in your workplace, initiatives must be put in place to maintain or remove these hazards. We at Industrial Vacuum have systems that can control the substances currently in your workplace, but not remove them altogether, as that is close to impossible.
Understanding the PEL’s that will affect you in your industry are vital to maintaining a safe workspace. However, having the right machinery to combat against the hazard present is just as vital. Browse through Industrial Vacuum’s dust collection systems, industrial vacuums, drum-top vacuums, and more to figure out which of our systems will assist you today.