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OSHA issues final rule on chemical explosions.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued its long-awaited final rule to prevent catastrophic chemical explosions affecting petrochemical and chemical companies, and natural gas manufacturers and industries that transport such products. Among other requirements, the rule:

* requires industries to perform process hazard analysis at each step of the chemical process;

* mandates hazard analysis of at least 50% by May 1995, at least 75% by May 1996, and completion by May 1997;

* requires industry to provide written operating plans on how to implement employee participation;

* requires employers to provide employees with access to process hazard analyses, including safety procedures such as lockout/tagout;

* holds contractors responsible for training workers;

* requires employers to train workers on specific safety and health standards; and

* mandates employers to certify in writing that workers have the ability and knowledge to perform their jobs.

Chemicals covered under the rule that affect the plastics industry include acetaldehyde, acrolein (2-propenal), allyl chloride, butyl perbenzotate (tertiary), ethyl methyl ketone peroxide, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, hexfluoroacetone, and nitromethane.

Plastics facilities are affected by the rule if the company's processes involve one of the applicable chemicals in a liquid or gas state in a quantity of 10,000 lbs or more.
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Title Annotation:Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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