A Horton client in Wisconsin requested assistance to evaluate compliance with a change in an OSHA standard for a toxic metal, hexavalent chromium. Through industrial hygiene monitoring services provided by Horton Safety Consultants, it was discovered employees were exposed to levels exceeding the new, much lower mandated exposure limit.
Typically, the results would force the client to develop and implement a costly and complicated compliance program including routine employee medical evaluations, providing special respiratory protection, complete isolation of the operation from other areas of the facility, specialized training, and a host of other obligations.
Rather than recommend developing and implementing a costly program as most safety professionals would, Dave Valentine looked for ways to virtually eliminate exposure to the toxic metal. Dave explored beneath the surface and discovered the source of the unacceptably high monitoring results. A simple change in the wire used in the welding process to a wire free of the toxic metal resulted in exposures far below the new, lower exposure limit. Dave also made sure the new wire was an acceptable substitute for the old wire, and it performed flawlessly in production.
As a result of his work, the client was able to provide a safer workplace, prove compliance with a new OSHA standard, save tens of thousands of dollars it would have taken to implement and maintain an OSHA compliant hexavalent chromium compliance program and eliminate the possibility of a costly workers’ compensation claim. Rather than take the approach many safety consultants might by putting a band-aid on the problem, Dave removed the hazard altogether.
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