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US Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA_200-150The US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is charged with ensuring safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women. It does this by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 654) contains what is referred to as the ‘General Duty Clause’. This requires employers to "furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."

Section 5(a)(2) of the same act requires employers to "comply with occupational safety and health standards" promulgated under this Act.

OSHA has provided the following list as examples of standards that may be applicable in situations where employees are exposed to nanomaterials

  • 1904, Recording and reporting occupational injuries and illness 
  • 1910.132, Personal protective equipment, general requirements
  • 1910.133, Eye and face protection
  • 1910.134, Respiratory protection
  • 1910.138, Hand protection
  • 1910.141, Sanitation
  • 1910.1200, Hazard communication
  • 1910.1450, Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories 
  • Certain substance-specific standards (e.g., 1910.1027, Cadmium)

Further information on any of these standards may be found by clicking the links above. OSHA intends to consider modifications to these standards on a case-by-case basis depending upon evidence.

Did you know?

4 µm is the median aerodynamic diameter of particles that fall within the respirable size range.