OSHA changes hex chrome notification requirements

March 18, 2010

Employers must notify affected workers of all exposures to hexavalent chromium, regardless of whether the exposures fall above or below the permissible exposure limit, OSHA declared in a new rule that amends the 2006 hex chrome standard.

OSHA this week published both a notice of proposed rulemaking and a direct final rule amending the standard. The rule was issued in response to a court order calling on OSHA to reconsider its decision to limit employee notification of exposure to only instances in which the exposure exceeded the PEL; this ran counter to the proposed hex chrome standard and OSHA's past practice in other substance-specific standards.

After re-examining the final hex chrome standard, OSHA said it decided to amend the provision to be consistent with language in the proposed standard requiring employee notification of all exposures.

If the agency receives no significant adverse comments on the direct final rule by April 16, it will go into effect June 15. If adverse comments are received, OSHA will withdraw the direct final rule and proceed with the notice of proposed rulemaking.