NIOSH investigates metal exposure

September 13, 2005

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a 28-page report documenting a health hazard evaluation (HHE) of metal exposure at the OmniSource Corp., Lima, Ohio.

The company requested the organization's assistance in assessing the need for showers for employees exposed to lead. For workers cutting scrap metal with oxygen and propane torches, investigators found exposures to lead, cadmium, nickel, copper, and arsenic above the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) eight-hour permissible exposure limit or NIOSH 10-hour recommended exposure limit. NIOSH informed the employer of the need to comply with the substance-specific OSHA standard, including the requirement for employee showers, and also made recommendations regarding local exhaust ventilation and air monitoring for welding gases.