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OSHA Launches New Program to Help Reduce Risks of Chemical-Related Work Accidents in Massachusetts, Nation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) just released the new “National Emphasis Program” (NEP) to be used by chemical facilities to help keep employees safe from work-related accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Employers are required by law to provide safe working conditions for all employees. OSHA takes the responsibility to oversee work sites to help ensure employees are doing the right thing to help protect workers.
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“Far too many workers are injured and killed in preventable incidents at chemical facilities around the country,” said Dr. David Michaels with Occupational Safety and Health. “This program will enable OSHA inspectors to cover chemical facilities nationwide to ensure that all required measures are taken to protect workers.”

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand that this new program was designed to replace the previous Chemical Facility National Emphasis Program from 2009. The new program will be used to enforce the new procedures and policies for inspectors to investigate work areas that are covered under the administration’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. The new inspections will be done at random, and will target only those companies that work with high amounts of hazardous chemicals. Companies working with dangerous chemicals can be susceptible to serious accidents if the proper safety measures aren’t taken to protect employees.

The previous program covered only a portion of the companies nationwide that deal with dangerous chemicals. The new program will be looking over many more companies. In addition to conducting inspections, the program will be working to raise awareness about the dangers that come along with working closely with dangerous chemicals. The new program will also provide useful tools for employers and employees to use help prevent a chemical-related work accident.

The first Process Safety Management standard was launched in 1992 after a number of catastrophic accidents occurred around the world and involved dangerous chemicals and serious work-related injuries.

In 1994, OSHA took enforcement even farther by launching a new program. This new instruction established policies, procedures, clarifications, and compliance guidance for enforcement of the PSM standard under the “Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals.”

Then in 2009, the administration launched a pilot National Emphasis Program for chemical facilities that were covered under the PSM. The pilot program tested the new approach for inspecting PSM-covered facilities that allowed for a greater number of inspections nationwide. Officials determined that OSHA was then able to increase the number of PSM facilities inspected with relatively limited resources.

Employers are required to protect employees on the job. This is especially important for workers who work with dangerous chemicals. The new program offers a list of safety measures and other preventative measures that employers can take to help to reduce the risks of a potentially serious work accident.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman LLC is a group of experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys who are dedicated to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured because of a work-related accident in Massachusetts. Call 1-877-617-5333 for a free consultation.

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