New NIOSH Document to help protect from Nanomaterials

Safety in the workplace is getting increasingly complicated. Every year new chemicals are created necessitating new rules on exposure, PELs, etc… Now, the advent of Nanotechnology has NIOSH trying to protect worker from nanomaterials in manufacturing and that isn’t an easy thing to do.

A new publications by NIOSH, available on the CDC website entitled “Current Strategies for Engineering Controls in Nanomaterial Production and Downstream Handling Processes” outlines in its 96 pages how manufacturing companies need to protect their workers.

Control measures for nanoparticles, dusts, and other hazards should be implemented within the context of a comprehensive occupational safety and health management system[ANSI/AIHA 2012]. The critical elements of an effective occupational safety and health management system include management commitment and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and sufficient training for employees, supervisors, and managers (www.osha.gov/Publications/safety-health-management-systems.pdf). In developing measures to control occupational exposure to nanomaterials, it is important to  remember that processing and manufacturing involve a wide range of hazards.

Nanotechnology is here to stay and with it a whole host of potential hazards and problems. This NIOSH guide is a great start but it’s just that and nothing more. There’s still a long way to go.