By Lee Salamone and Sahar Osman-Sypher
You may have heard that ACC recently signed an agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to form a National Alliance. The whole idea behind this voluntary partnership initiative is to continue to foster safe and healthy American workplaces operating with diisocyanate chemicals along the polyurethane value chain.
One of the things we’re most excited about is engaging with OSHA and our stakeholders in the polyurethanes industry together about product stewardship, training, outreach and awareness of both OSHA’s regulatory requirements and the resources available from OSHA and from the industry.
Working through this Alliance, ACC will be able to provide users, occupational physicians, stakeholders, OSHA representatives at the state, regional and national level, and others with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help them further protect the health and safety of workers.
How will that work? Over the past several years, the polyurethanes industry has created a multi-lingual resource library with guidance documents, training modules, videos and workshops focused on safe use and handling of diisocyanates. At the same time, OSHA has created resources to assist companies with workplace safety and compliance.
For example, OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small- and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards and provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards.
Throughout the two-year term of the Alliance, we will create some new tools to deepen stakeholders’ understanding or to further support specific groups of users. By collaborating with OSHA, we can reach audiences we might not have reached before. And that’s really the key for us. The more people who understand sound safety principles, the better off workers are. And so an opportunity that helps us spread the message is a positive. This Alliance with OSHA will allow us to do just that.
We’ll be seeking to raise awareness of OSHA’s rulemaking and enforcement initiatives; we’ll conduct training to educate employers, workers and OSHA officials on safety issues; and we’ll be developing effective outreach and communication efforts to increase the visibility of the partnership and its goals. The more companies that know about our work, the more good we can do to promote worker health and safety.
Making our workplaces even safer has always been a top priority for us here at ACC, and the bottom line is this partnership with OSHA is going to build on what’s already a strong foundation of product stewardship.
Lee Salamone, ACC Center for the Polyurethanes Industry
Sahar Osman-Sypher, ACC Diisocyanates and Aliphatic Diisocyanates Panels