Do Employees at Your Construction Sites Have Isocyanate Chemical Exposure?

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What's that you ask? Isocyanates are the raw materials that make up all polyurethane products. Jobs that may involve exposure to isocyanates include painting, foam-blowing, flooring, etc. On June 25, 2013, OSHA issued a new special emphasis program for construction companies with the following NACIS numbers:

  • 238230, painting and wall covering contractors;
  • 238310, drywall and insulation contractors;
  • 238330, flooring contractors; and
  • 238150, glass and glazing contractors.

Although the directive does not call for special inspections based upon potential exposure at construction sites, be prepared that OSHA compliance officers will check for exposures during normal inspections.

Even if you are not the creating employer, remember that OSHA's multi-employer worksite policy can affect you and your employees if they are exposed to isocyanate chemicals from another contractor that is on the worksite.