Beginning immediately, at all US construction sites where Portland cement is being used, OSHA will specifically determine whether employers are in compliance with regulations addressing sanitation, personal protective equipment, training, hazard communication, and recordkeeping. This special emphasis is a result of a recently settled lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.
In early 2006, OSHA issued a hexavalent chromium standard that excluded workplace exposures to portland cement. That exclusion was challenged in the Court of Appeals and a settlement was reached between OSHA, the three Unions who were plaintiffs, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Specialty Steel Industry of North America.
A “Portland Cement Inspection Procedures” document will be developed by OSHA, incorporating the terms of the settlement agreement, and an inspection memorandum will be issued to all inspectors. Other provisions of the agreement address reporting and making available information about the number of inspections and their outcome, encouraging states to follow the
agreement, and in certain cases checking for compliance with regulations on gases, vapors, fumes, dusts, and mists.