In an illustration of how widely OSHA will be looking at industries that use highly hazardous chemicals, OSHA’s Omaha Area Director recently announced that a Local Emphasis Program will include health inspections at funeral homes, chemical and product manufacturing plants, printing facilities, and outpatient care centers. See, for instance, Appendix A.

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Appendix A, Directive CPL 02-14-009.

Bonita Winingham, the Area Director for OSHA in Omaha, Nebraska said that “this local emphasis program will allow OSHA to use its resources efficiently by focusing on industries that are known to use these types of highly hazardous chemicals.” “Through this program, OSHA will improve education for company management and strengthen worker protections.”

The Expanded Health Standard Inspection Local Emphasis Program (LEP), Directive CPL 02-14-009, was set to expire in September, but the Region’s announcement has indicated the Program’s renewal.

According to the Directive, the increased health risk of some chemicals, e.g. benzene, formaldehyde, and methylene chloride, led OSHA to created and enforce chemical-specific regulations for general industry known as “expanded health” standards (29 CFR sections 1910.1001 to 1910.1052). These regulations include exposure limits and monitoring requirements, and in some cases medical surveillance components.

The LEP, according to OSHA, was meant to increase the probability of inspecting establishments in industries that use highly-hazardous chemicals, within the jurisdiction of the Omaha Area Office, that have not received a comprehensive OSHA health inspection, and are not covered by other specific targeting programs.

These industries, both in the targeted area, and nationally, may wish to check their company safety policies, procedures, and training to ensure compliance with OSHA standards and to minimize any potential liability that may come with an OSHA inspection under this LEP and OSHA general industry standards.