In an example of interagency use of reporting information for enforcement purposes, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced the launch of an emphasis program in three Midwestern states (Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri) to focus attention on hazardous chemicals reported to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The emphasis program involves programmed health inspections of industries known to use hazardous chemicals and who report annual releases of at least 10,000 pounds to EPA’s TRI Explorer database.

The hazardous chemicals under focus include:

  • ammonia;
  • barium, chromium and copper compounds;
  • hydrochloric acid;
  • hydrogen fluoride;
  • lead and manganese compounds;
  •  N-hexane;
  • styrene;
  • sulfuric acid; and
  • nitrate, vanadium and zinc compounds.

“Through this program, OSHA will improve education for company management and strengthen protections for workers exposed to these chemicals,” Marcia Drumm, OSHA’s acting regional administrator in Kansas City, said.

Companies should examine and ensure their policies, procedures and practices are compliant. In some instances, an independent audit by outside experts can be helpful