New guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) alerts shipyard employers and their employees about abrasive blasting hazards and the controls that can be implemented to protect employees.
The new guidance also addresses the specific air contaminants that
employees may be exposed to during abrasive blasting. Other abrasive
blasting safety and health hazards are discussed and recommendations on how
to avoid these occupational hazards, such as engineering controls, the use
of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), exposure monitoring, medical surveillance and training on the OSHA Hazard Communication and PPE standards.
OSHA also recommends that employers perform an inspection of the
worksite to identify additional hazards, such as excessive noise, static
electricity, confined spaces, heat exposure and fall hazards. The guidance
also encourages employers to research each of the discussed hazards, as
well as understand the suggested preventative measures and the abatement
that has been detailed in the guidance.