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Hexavalent chromium rule added to revised OSHA Shipyard Industry Document


Metal fabrication operations, such as welding, brazing, cutting, painting, and paint removing  which are commonly performed at a shipyard, release air pollutants harmful to the health of  workers.

To protect the health of workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration  (OSHA) has established permissible exposure levels (PELs) for various air pollutants released in  the workplace. OSHA constantly reviews and revises the PELs on regulated air pollutants and  establishes new ones for previously unregulated pollutants based on research studies and public  petitions. In July 1993, OSHA was petitioned by the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers  (OCAW) union to establish an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that would lower the PEL for Cr(VI) from the existing 100 µg/m3 to between 5 and 0.5 µg/m3.  

On February 28, 2006, OSHA issued a new standard relating to occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium, also known as Cr(VI). OSHA determined that the new standard is necessary to reduce health risks posed by occupational exposure to Cr(VI). The standard lowers OSHA's permissible exposure limit  (PEL) for hexavalent chromium, and for all Cr(VI) compounds, to 5 micrograms of Cr(VI) per cubic meter of air as an 8-hour time-weighted average. The new PEL is one-tenth of the old PEL. 

Photo: ShipyardRevised Shipyard Industry Standards:

"The Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health recommended that OSHA update and republish the shipyard and longshoring industry digests," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab.

Hexavalent chromium has been added to the list of air contaminants whose concentrations should not exceed stated exposure levels.

"The revised document is now up-to-date with current standards and will continue to serve as another resource for protecting the safety and health of shipyard workers."

Source: adapted from OSHA News section

Related Information

OSHA: Shipyard Industry Standards (OSHA 2268-03R 2009)
 OSHA: Safety and Health Topics: Hexavalent Chromium
 OSHA: Standards related to Hexavalent Chromium

Related studies:

 David Michaels, Celeste Monforton, Peter Lurie, Selected science: an industry campaign to undermine an OSHA hexavalent chromium standard, Environ. Health, 5/5 (2006) DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-5-5

Related EVISA News (Newest first)

May 28, 2009: Hexavalent chromium rule added to revised OSHA Shipyard Industry Document 
February 6, 2008: OSHA Issues Enforcement Procedures Directive for Hex Chrome Standards
April 12, 2007: OSHA Agrees to Monitor Worker Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium-Containing Cement
October 4, 2006: OSHA Issues Hexavalent Chromium Guidance for Small Businesses
February 28, 2006: OSHA Issues Final Standard on Hexavalent Chromium


last time updated: May 21, 2024


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