Feds OK New Labels for Hazardous Workplace Chemicals

Federal officials agreed this week to require new easy-to-read labels for hazardous chemicals in a move to protect the lives of the 43 million U.S. workers who deal with these substances on the job.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that the new labels could prevent more than 40 deaths and about 500 workplace illnesses and injuries from exposure to hazardous chemicals every year, according to the Associated Press. Easy-to-understand labels should help make hazardous chemicals safer to handle on the job for many low-literacy workers.

The new labels also conform to the international guidelines developed by the United Nations and will help chemical companies save more than $475 million annually in paperwork and training costs, says OSHA. Companies will have until 2016 to fully comply with the new labeling rules.

Exposure to common workplace chemicals such as benzene, beryllium, and hexavalent chromium can seriously injure or even kill workers.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by chemical exposure in the workplace, contact Sokolove law for a free legal consultation.


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