Chemicals at Work: 2 Safety Stories

Two stories regarding worker safety: Nurses' miscarriages are linked to chemicals at work and revised Acetylene Standard will take effect March 5.

Revised Acetylene Standard will take effect March 5.
OSHA's direct final rule revising the Acetylene Standard for general industry goes into effect March 5. The revised standard replaces a reference to an outdated consensus standard with an updated reference from the Compressed Gas Association Pamphlet G-1-2009, Acetylene. The update will provide employers with guidance that reflects current industry practices for health and safety management to better protect workers from injury or death.

In a Dec. 5 Federal Register notice, OSHA announced the direct final rule would go into effect after three months, barring any significant adverse comments on the rule. OSHA received only one comment, which it determined was not a significant adverse comment.

Nurses' miscarriages are linked to chemicals at work.
A new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has found a greater-than-expected risk of miscarriages among nurses exposed to hazardous substances at work. Occupational exposure to chemotherapy drugs and disinfectants were associated with increased risk of miscarriage. The published article is available in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

More workers are injured in the healthcare and social assistance industry sector than any other. Health care workers face a number of serious safety and health hazards, including bloodborne pathogens, chemicals, gases, lifting and repetitive tasks, workplace violence, radioactive materials, and x-rays. For more information, visit OSHA's Safety and Health topics page about healthcare facilities.
Kathleen Hurley