Minneapolis, MN, July 1st
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that a pallet manufacturer in Wisconsin has once again been cited for not protecting workers from exposure to wood dust. The citation resulted from a follow-up inspection and the company now faces penalties of over $188,000 for repeated, serious, and other-than-serious safety and health violations.
The company was first cited by OSHA in 2016 for these hazards. Additional citations were issued after the follow-up inspection for failing to evaluate respiratory hazards, medically evaluate and fit test employees using respirators, and several other issues.
Across the nation, there are countless workers that may be exposed to wood dust on a daily basis. This can occur during construction, renovation and demolition activities as well as in saw mills, wood processing facilities and other industrial operations. Wood dust becomes a potential health problem when wood particles become airborne. Breathing these particles may cause allergic respiratory symptoms; mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms; irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; pulmonary function impairment; and even cancer. Western Red Cedar dust has been shown to cause asthma.
“As stated by an OSHA area director in the case against the pallet manufacturer, employers are legally required to ensure that exposures to dust are properly evaluated and managed to protect employees from potential health hazards,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In addition to respiratory hazards, wood dust can cause a combustible dust explosion. Wood dust suspended in air can come into contact with an ignition source, if there is a sufficient quantity and concentration of the wood dust it can cause rapid combustion known as a deflagration. When the event is confined to an enclosed environment, such as in a building, the resulting pressure rise may cause an explosion.”
To help companies protect workers and assist them in their efforts to comply with existing regulations, EMSL offers a wide range of air and combustible dust testing services, sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments, respirators and other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE).
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, air quality, environmental and building science issues, or for access to air monitoring instruments, testing supplies and PPE, please visit www.EMSL.com
, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com
.About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.