As stated in our last blog, permissible exposure limits (PELs) are toxic substances that can create adverse health effects on anyone exposed to the substance for longer than the suggested permissible exposure limit standard.
OSHA outlines three industries specifically, and the types of PEL hazards are present within those industries. Below, the general industry, shipyard industry, and construction industry PEL hazards are outlined. It is important to know what these hazards can do to your workers, and how to combat against these hazards.
General Industry PEL Hazards
The general industry hazards are air contaminants which consist of those toxic and hazardous substances that remain airborne posing a threat to workers without proper worn equipment, or engineering control methods put in place.
Some of these air contaminants include, but are not limited to, asbestos, vinyl chloride, inorganic arsenic, lead, chromium, cadmium, benzene, and many more found in OSHA’s Chemical Hazards and Toxic Substances.
Our Vactagon drum top vacuums are paired with drum liners that collect hazardous substances, such as lead and asbestos, allowing for the bags to be taken away and disposed of by workers effectively. However, to combat against all airborne contaminants, dust collectors are the indirect suggestion by OSHA with their term engineering control.
Shipyard PEL Hazards
The maritime and shipyard industry have several toxic and hazardous substances that are the same as that of the general industry but have substances that are specific to this industry. During marine terminal operations hazardous atmospheres and substances include carbon monoxide, fumigants, pesticides, insecticides and hazardous preservatives, and many more.
Shipyard employment standards for coal tar pitch violate vinyl chloride, inorganic arsenic, and many more hazardous substances. These substances can be flammable or force an oxygen deficient atmosphere, which should always be labeled to ensure worker safety. These types of atmospheres must be monitored frequently, as they are extremely hazardous to breathe in and work in for extended periods of times.
The type of hazardous waste found in the maritime and shipyard industry can be cleaned up using our HEPA filter vacuum, where air output is filtered, returning only clean air. This results in any harmful material to be contained within the vacuum itself.
Construction PEL Hazards
Similarly, the construction industry has toxic and hazardous substances that are the same as that of the general industry. The dust present on construction sites is one of the leading drivers of worker health defects. Addressed in our recent blog, “Does My Construction Project Need an Industrial Dust Collector?”, we talk through the importance of protecting workers from concrete dust and welding dust.
Most of OSHA’s PEL’s for construction are contained within the gas, vapors, fumes, dusts, and mists category. Within these categories, there is an extensive list of specific names of these hazards. If you are in the construction industry, and haven’t considered using dust collection systems, consider implementing them to protect your workers from this growing hazardous substance list.
Why don’t I see my industry?
The general industry, shipyard, and construction industries are the only industries OSHA currently has exposure limits for. There are many other substances within industries that OSHA does not deliberately outline the exposure limits.
A lot of the PEL limits are outdated and in need of reassessment. The Z-table contains the most updated list of exposure limits. These exposure limits are put in place to protect workers from acquiring medical side effects due to hazardous substances.
Check out our range of dust collection systems, industrial vacuums, and Vactagon drum top vacuums today to assist you in maintaining control of the PEL within your industry. Afterall, it is all about protecting your workers from the imminent threats they face each day. Contact us today for further assistance.