Formaldehyde

Chapter 296-856, WAC

Effective Date: 09/01/06

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WAC 296-856-400

Exposure Control Areas

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YOUR RESPONSIBILITY:

To control employee exposure to airborne formaldehyde and protect employees by using appropriate respirators

IMPORTANT:

  • These sections apply when employee exposure monitoring results are above the permissible exposure limit (PEL):
    • – The 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA8) of 0.75 parts per million (ppm)
    • or
    • The 15-minute short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 2 parts per million (ppm).

Exposure controls

Establishing exposure control areas

Respirators

WAC 296-856-40010

Exposure controls

IMPORTANT:

Respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are not exposure controls.

You must

  • Use feasible exposure controls to reduce employee exposures to a level below the permissible exposure limit (PEL) or to as low a level as achievable.

Reference:

For example of exposure controls, go to Airborne contaminants, Chapter 296-841 WAC, and find the section, Control Employee Exposures, WAC 296-841-20010.

WAC 296-856-40020

Establishing exposure control areas

You must

  • Establish temporary or permanent exposure control areas where airborne concentrations of formaldehyde are above either the 8-hour time weighted average (TWA8) or the 15-minute short-term exposure limit (STEL), by doing at least the following:
    • – Clearly identify the boundaries of exposure control areas in any way that minimizes employee access.
    • – Post signs at access points to exposure control areas that:
      • Are easy to read (for example, they are kept clean and well lit)
        and
      • Include this warning:

DANGER
Formaldehyde
Irritant and Potential Cancer Hazard
Authorized Personnel Only

Note:

This requirement doesn’t prevent you from posting other signs.

 

You must

  • Allow only employees, who have been trained to recognize the hazards of formaldehyde exposure, to enter exposure control areas.

Note:

  • When identifying the boundaries of exposure control areas you should consider factors such as:
    • - The level and duration of airborne exposure
    • - Whether the area is permanent or temporary.
    • -The number of employees in adjacent areas.
  • You may use permanent or temporary enclosures, caution tape, ropes, painted lines on surfaces, or other materials to visibly distinguish exposure control areas or separate them from the rest of the workplace.



You must

  • Inform other employers at multi-employer work sites of the exposure control areas, and the restrictions that apply to those areas.

WAC 296-856-40030

Respirators

IMPORTANT:

  • The requirements in this section are in addition to the requirements found in the following separate chapters:
  • Medical evaluations meeting all requirements of Medical and emergency evaluations, WAC 296-856-30020, will fulfill the medical evaluations requirements found in Respirators, Chapter 296-842 WAC, a separate chapter.

You must

  • Develop, implement, and maintain a respirator program as required by chapter Chapter 296-842 WAC, Respirators, which covers each
    employee required by this chapter to use a respirator.
    • - Require that employees use respirators in any of the following circumstances:
      • Employees are in an exposure control area.
      • Feasible exposure controls are being put in place.
      • Where you determine that exposure controls aren’t feasible
      • Feasible exposure controls don’t reduce exposures to, or below, the PEL.
      • Employees are performing tasks presumed to have exposures above the PEL.
      • Emergencies.
  • Select, and provide to each employee who uses a respirator required by this chapter, an appropriate respirator as specified in this section and in WAC 296-842-13005 in the respirator rule.
  • Equip full-facepiece air-purifying respirators with cartridges or canisters approved for protection against formaldehyde.
  • Provide to employees, for escape, one of the following respirator options:
  • - A self-contained breathing apparatus operated in demand or pressure-demand mode;

    or

    - A full-facepiece air-purifying respirator equipped with a chin-style, or front-or-back-mounted industrial size canister or cartridge.

  • Make sure all air-purifying respirator use is accompanied by eye protection either through the use of full-facepiece models, or effective, gas-proof chemical goggles.
  • Provide employees with powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) when:

    – The employee has difficulty using a negative presssure respirator or a LHCP recommends this type of respirator;
    and

    – The employee chooses to use this type of respirator.

  • Replace the chemical cartridges or canisters on air-purifying respirators:

    – When indicated by NIOSH-approved, end-of-service life indicators if these are used;
    or

    – When NIOSH-approved ESLIs aren't used:

    • At times specified by your cartridge change schedule;

      or

    • At the end of the work shift, when this occurs before the time indicated by your cartridge change schedule.

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