U.S. OSHA: New National Emphasis Program for Primary Metals Industries

Jun 15th, 2011 | By | Category: Health and Safety

A new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for the Primary Metals Industries was announced by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on June 2,2011. The NEP is intended to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures to harmful chemical and physical hazards in facilities that produce metal products. The goals of the NEP include minimizing or eliminating exposure to chemical and physical hazards such as noise and heat. Other goals include inspecting facilities that manufacture primary metals and metal products, and conducting follow-up site visits to ensure that there has been a reduction or elimination of exposures.

The primary metals industries became a concern during OSHA’s review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Previous OSHA inspections of establishments in this industry revealed that workers were exposed to metal dusts and fumes, carbon monoxide, lead and silica, among other substances. Inspections also showed that workers were exposed to noise and heat hazards. OSHA developed this program because of the seriousness and frequency of these problems.

Covered Facilities

The Primary Metal Industries (PMI) are a group of establishments engaged in the smelting and refining of both ferrous and nonferrous metals. These metals are refined from ore, pig, and scrap during rolling, drawing, casting, and alloying operations. Some of the products manufactured in PMI facilities include nails, spikes, insulated wires and cables, steel piping, sheets and bars, copper and aluminum products, and coke.

Covered industries are provided in Appendix B of the listing document. They include

  • Steel Works, Blast Furnaces (including Coke Ovens), and Rolling Mills (SIC 3312; NAICS 324199, 331111, 331221)
  • Electrometallurgical Products Except Steel (SIC 3313; NAICS 331112)
  • Cold-Rolled Steel Sheet, Strip and Bars (SIC 3316; NAICS 331221)
  • Steel Pipe and Tubes (SIC 3317; NAICS 331210)
  • Gray and Ductile Iron Foundries (SIC 3321; NAICS 331511)
  • Malleable Iron Foundries (SIC 3322; NAICS 331511)
  • Steel Foundries, Not Elsewhere Classified (SIC 3325; NAICS 331513)
  • Primary Smelting and Refining of Copper (SIC 3331; NAICS 331411)
  • Primary Production of Aluminum (SIC 3334; NAICS 331312)
  • Primary Smelting and Refining of Nonferrous Metals, Except Copper and Aluminum (SIC 3339 ; NAICS 331419)
  • Secondary Smelting and Refining of Nonferrous Metals (SIC 3341; NAICS 331314, 331423, 331492)
  • Rolling, Drawing and Extruding of Copper (SIC 3351; NAICS 331421)
  • Aluminum Extruded Products (SIC 3354; NAICS 331316)
  • Copper Foundries (SIC 3366; NAICS 331525)
  • Aluminum Foundries (SIC 3365; NAICS 331524)
  • Nonferrous Foundries Except Aluminum and Copper (SIC 3369; NAICS 331528)

More Information

More information on this NEP is available in the OSHA Instruction for NEP – Primary Metals Industry (Directive Number CPL 03-00-013, effective May 19, 2011).

OSHA also has NEPs for Hexavalent Chromium, Lead and Crystalline Silica.

For more information on the hazards of various metals and solutions to control exposures, visit OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics and Publications pages on Toxic Metals.

About OSHA

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to assure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

About the Author

Michael Bittner, CPEA, is an associate partner in the Boston, U.S.A. office of Environmental Resources Management and editor of the EHS Journal. He has more than 20 years of experience in the EHS field, including 17 years in EHS consulting and four years as the corporate environmental manager for a U.S. Department of Defense contractor. Mr. Bittner specializes in global EHS solutions including

  • Compliance and management systems auditing
  • EHS management systems implementation and design
  • Sustainability solutions
  • Mergers and acquisitions support

He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Auditing Roundtable.

Photograph: Decommissioned! Old forges of Clabecq, Belgium by Dimitri Castrique, Belgium.

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