OSHA Issues Metalworking-Fluids Best Practices Guide

Compiled By Jill Jusko The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a best-practices guide to help employers provide a safer workplace for workers exposed to metalworking fluids. Metalworking fluids include a mix of oils, detergents and lubricants, and are used primarily for their coolant, lubricating and corrosion-resistant properties during machining. The new manual provides general information about metalworking fluids, recommends methods to reduce exposure and contact with the fluids, and suggests instituting exposure monitoring on an annual basis, at minimum. Additional recommendations include establishing a fluid-management program that includes giving responsibility to individuals knowledgeable about the chemistry involved in metalworking processes. The best-practices manual is not a new standard or regulation. It is informational and advisory in nature. The manual is available at the OSHA Web site.

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