OSHA announces program to protect workers from isocyanate exposure

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on June 25 announced a new National Emphasis Program to protect workers from the serious health effects from occupational exposure to isocyanates.

The program is scheduled to run for three years. It includes outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards with emphasis on workplaces in general, construction and maritime industries.

"Workers exposed to isocyanates can suffer debilitating health problems for months or even years after exposure," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Through this program, OSHA will strengthen protections for workers exposed to isocyanates."

OSHA said jobs that involve exposure to isocyanates include spray-on polyurethane manufacturing of products such as mattresses and car seats, and protective coatings for truck beds, boats and decks.