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|Title: 11/19/1990 - HCS applicability to hazardous by-products such as Ozone- generating operations|
|Record Type: Interpretation||Standard Number: 1910.1200(b)(1)|
November 19, 1990
MEMORANDUM FOR: LINDA R. ANKU , REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
THROUGH: LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS
FROM: PATRICIA K. CLARK, DIRECTOR , DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
SUBJECT: Hazard Communication Standard and Ozone- Generating Operations
This is in response to your memorandum of September 19, regarding the applicability of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to workplace machinery and operations that generate ozone as a by- product during normal operation. Your memo specifically mentioned the production of ozone generated during welding operations, or produced by high energy or photocopier machines, etc.|
Although by-products are covered by the HCS, the standard only requires chemical manufacturers or distributors to anticipate the downstream workplace uses of their chemical products and as part of their hazard determination procedures, account for worker exposure to hazardous by-products that may be formed during normal conditions of use. Under the HCS, the manufacturers of welding rods or other chemical products that are utilized during welding and other operations which are capable of resulting in employee exposures would be responsible for chemical hazard information (MSDSs, labels, etc.) to be transmitted to downstream employers.
However, manufacturers of "high energy machines", welding machines or photocopiers are not considered to be chemical manufacturers under the HCS since they produce machines and not chemicals, for use or distribution to downstream employers. Because ozone is not generated by the welding rod or flux, but rather results from the ionization of the air surrounding the arc or high voltage gap, ozone is not a by-product of the welding rod or photocopier chemical but of the welding or photocopying process. Ozone generated in this fashion would not fall within the scope of 29 CFR 1910.1200(b)(1).
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This new language in the hazard communication directive describes a previously unused "should" obligation for employers who expose their employees to hazardous substances, in situations where they do not create the hazards or bring them onto the worksite. This interpretation of the scope and application section of the standard will allow OSHA staff to encourage employers to include chemical hazard information in their existing hazard communication programs. This may be accomplished as part of an employer's abatement of written program violations or through the Agency's encouraging of the employer to address chemical hazards "known to be present" in their employee training sessions.
We hope this clarifies this issue for you. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Melody Sands of my staff at (FTS) 523-8036.
September 19, 1990
MEMORANDUM FOR: PATRICIA CLARK, Director Designate Directorate of Compliance Programs
FROM: LINDA R. ANKU Regional Administrator
SUBJECT: Hazard Communication Standard
Questions have arisen concerning whether ozone which is generated during the normal operation of machinery is covered by the Hazard Communication Standard. The ozone would be generated as a by-product of the operation such as welding, high energy machinery, photocopier machines, etc.|
It has been this office's understanding that ozone generated in the aforementioned manner would not be covered under the Hazard Communication standard since the ozone is not generated by a chemical process but rather as a by-product of electrical current. If the ozone referenced would be considered to be covered by the standard then the portions of the standard that would be applicable should be defined. Obviously, labels would not be required but would the employer be required to generate a material safety data sheet? Your comments on this issue are requested.
Please contact Jim Johnston of my staff (FTS 596-1201) if there are any questions.
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The official, public domain, OSHA version of this document is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=20130&p_text_version=FALSE