DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Requirements for Protective Clothing During Oil Spill Beach Cleanup Operations

In response to what continues to be a safety concern for hundreds of workers, OSHA explained the requirements for protective clothing during the oil spill cleanup operations along the Gulf in a press release issued last week.

OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels issued the following statement:

"If someone is at a beach that has been impacted by the oil spill, they may see workers wearing protective clothing to prevent their skin from coming into contact with weathered oil. Skin contact with weathered oil can cause dermatitis.

"Workers who are on the beach, but are not going to come in direct contact with weathered oil, are not required to wear protective clothing. Any individual not wearing protective clothing should avoid coming in contact with the weathered oil.

"For workers involved in beach cleanup operations where solid tar balls or tar patties are being removed using shovels, rakes, buckets, etc., OSHA only recommends the use of gloves, boots and long pants, but not coveralls. In these cases, when such coveralls are not necessary, OSHA does not recommend using disposable coveralls because of concerns for heat stress.

"However, in other operations such as removal of oiled debris, cutting oiled vegetation, and mopping up liquid oil mouse, using chemical protective coveralls is warranted. These operations have a greater risk of skin contact with weathered oil; therefore, a greater level of protective clothing is necessary.

"OSHA has received reports that some workers have requested to wear the disposable coveralls not to protect their skin, but to protect their clothes from getting dirty. Individuals on beaches may not be able to differentiate between workers wearing coveralls to prevent clothes from getting dirty, such as cotton coveralls, and chemical protective clothing, such as Tychem or Tyvek, because they may look the same."

For more information, please visit: http://www.osha.gov/oilspills/oil_ppematrix.html

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posted by Daniel E
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