Change to hex chrome standard to go into effect

May 20, 2010

An amendment to OSHA's hexavalent chromium standard requiring broader employee notification of exposures is scheduled to go into effect June 15.

Announced May 14, the direct final rule amends the four-year-old standard to require employers to inform affected workers of all exposures to hex chrome, regardless of whether the exposures fall above or below the permissible exposure limit.

In the original 2006 hex chrome rule, employers only had to notify workers when the exposure exceeded the PEL. This, along with other provisions of the original final rule, was petitioned by several stakeholder groups before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Although most of the case against OSHA was turned away -- including a petition to strengthen the PEL -- the court ordered the agency to re-examine the employee notification provision. In response, OSHA decided to amend the standard with the direct final rule.