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ACC and OSHA Recognize Safe + Sound Week in August to Help Workplaces Stay Safe All Year Round

Workplace safety is a top priority for the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and that’s why we are excited to participate again in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Safe + Sound Week, August 10-16, 2020. Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August to recognize the successes of workplace health and safety programs.

OSHA’s official Safe + Sound Week website offers information, guidance, and resources on how to keep workers safe at the workplace. ACC encourages employers and employees to focus on health and safety programs through OSHA’s three core elements: management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing hazards.

In these uncertain times, ACC and OSHA are working tirelessly to help keep employees safe and informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. ACC’s Coronavirus Resource Center provides employers and employees with industry specific, state and federal resources to help industry navigate through the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage provides news and updates, guidance, standards, and resources to help employees stay safe at work.

In addition, through the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® initiative, ACC member companies report their progress on a variety of process safety-related performance measures each year, and ACC makes this information available to the public. Responsible Care companies have a long record of worker safety gains that far outstrip the U.S. manufacturing sector as a whole – five times better, on average – and almost three times better than the U.S. business of chemistry overall.

Industry is Leading the Way

Since signing their Alliance in 2017, ACC and OSHA have partnered to create resources that promote a safe working environment. ACC’s OSHA Alliance is led by three groups: the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI), the Diisocyanates Panel (DII), and the Aliphatic Diisocyanates Panel (ADI). The Alliance provides members, occupational physicians, stakeholders, and the polyurethanes value chain with information, guidance, and access to training resources related to diisocyanates. ACC also has a variety of additional resources and training programs that aim to protect the health and safety of workers using diisocyanate chemicals and working within the polyurethanes value chain. These resources include:

  • Resource Libraries: CPI, ADI, and DII all have substantial resource libraries with information about safety and product stewardship, including guidance materials on polyurethane safety, worker protection, waste disposal, transportation, industrial hygiene and regulatory compliance. ACC encourages those working with diisocyanate chemicals or within the polyurethanes value chain to utilize these resources.
  • SprayPolyurethane.org: For homeowners looking to hire somebody to install spray polyurethane foam (SPF), do-it-yourselfers, professional contractors and weatherization professionals, spraypolyurethane.org has important safety guidelines for the application of SPF.
  • SPF Health and Safety Training Program: CPI’s free, online SPF Chemical Health and Safety Training program was created for SPF applicators, supervisors, contractors and business owners working directly or indirectly with SPF insulation and roofing. The program covers hazard information on SPF ingredients, safety practices, handling and disposal, and work site safety controls. There are two versions of the program: U.S. and Canadian. The U.S. version is available in English and Spanish, and the Canadian version is available in English and French. Since 2011, more than 37,000 workers have completed the program.
  • Safe Handling of MDI and TDI Video Series: Earlier this year, CPI released an updated video series focused on the safe handling of Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI) and Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI). This training program aims to help both employers and employees learn about the potential hazards associated with transporting these materials and best practices to minimize potential risks. The videos, shown and used as a training tool for more than 1,000 employees per year, offer information on personal protective equipment, unloading procedures, emergency response procedures, and proper disposal of waste.
  • Automotive Refinishing Safety Video: Working with Diisocyanates: In 2019, the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR) partnered with the ADI Panel to produce this easy to understand, 3-minute instructional video for workers in the automotive refinishing industry to learn about working safely with these important products.
  • A Guide for the Primary Care Physician in Evaluating Diisocyanate Exposed Workers for Occupational Asthma: This document provides clinical guidance for the physician asked to evaluate an individual who may potentially be exposed to diisocyanates at work. The main objective is to serve as a resource to the physician in identifying those workers with a probable diagnosis of diisocyanate-related asthma by using accessible clinical tools.

Follow Along on Twitter!

Join us on  Twitter for Safe + Sound Week, August 10-16, where we will be highlighting workplace health and safety programs designed by @OSHA_DOL and sharing information and ideas on how to help keep America’s workers safe. Make sure to follow along on Twitter (@AmChemistry) and follow #SafeandSoundatWork!

ACC recognizes the importance of workplace health and safety programs every day. Implementing such programs is central to proactively identifying and mitigating hazards before they lead to potential illness or injury. Safe + Sound Week provides you and your organization with the resources and tools needed to enhance your workplace health and safety programs and continue to create a safe workplace!

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