Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cal/OSHA Diacetyl Regulation Finally Published

After more than two years of work, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the Cal/OSH Standards Board have unveiled a first-in-the-nation regulatory proposal to control exposures to the potentially deadly flavorings chemical diacetyl. The proposal is in a comment period that ends with a Standards Board public hearing Nov. 19 in Costa Mesa.

The standard, General Industry Safety Orders §5197, would apply to all flavor and food manufacturing facilities that use diacetyl and flavorings that contain 1% or greater concentration of the chemical.

Facilities covered by the standard would be required to perform an exposure assessment to determine the concentration of airborne diacetyl each worker is exposed to as an eight-hour, time-weighted average. It also would require employers to establish a regulated area for each process using diacetyl, unless the employer uses a closed process.

Further, such employers would have to use engineering and work practice controls to reduce diacetyl and ensure that employees use respirators whenever they are in a regulated area. The standard also requires medical surveillance of workers, including health questionnaires, pulmonary function tests and medical removal for up to six months for employees to reduce exposure to diacetyl, if recommended by a physician or other licensed health care professional. And they would be required to prepare Material Safety Data Sheets for products containing more than 0.1% of diacetyl.

Additionally, employers would be required to report to DOSH any "flavor-related" diagnosis of fixed obstructive lung disease within 24 hours of becoming aware of it.

The public hearing is at 10 a.m., Nov. 19 at Costa Mesa City Hall, 77 Fair Dr.

**This has been taken from
OSHA 10 online