Monday, January 8, 2007   VOLUME 3 ISSUE 2  
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ILMA Publishes Dermal Assessment Guide as Part of OSHA Alliance

January 2, 2007, ILMA, through its Alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has prepared a “Dermal Assessment Guide” as a tool for managers and business owners to understand the possible connection between instances of employee dermatitis and facility operations that use metal removal fluids (MRFs).

The Guide was prepared by the Dermatitis Task Force of ILMA’s Safety, Health, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs (SHERA) Committee, in consultation with various members of OSHA’s Alliance team. It is not intended as a primer on dermatitis for individual employees. Rather, the guide provides a framework for management to evaluate operations in a systematic manner to uncover a possible collection of factors that may relate to instances of employee dermatitis, especially when there does not appear to be an obvious cause.

In the introduction to the Guide, ILMA states that there are many aspects interacting in the metal removal environment that can raise skin irritation potential. When skin irritation occurs, it is important to investigate as many of these aspects as possible. The Guide presents the topics Machining Operation Variables, Metal Removal Fluid Variables (including fluid type, concentration, system additives, and contaminants including microbiological), Engineering and Environmental Parameters, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Skin Care, Employee Feedback and other Considerations in relation to the potential for skin irritation.

Through the Alliance, ILMA and OSHA have worked together to encourage employers, including small businesses, to increase employee access to safety and health information and training resources, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to industrial hazards associated with MRFs in the manufacturing environment.

In addition to being a first-rate document, the guide reflects the new depth and dimension that ILMA is experiencing through its alliance with OSHA. The opportunity to collaborate with regulators through the ILMA/OSHA Alliance gives ILMA’s customer-oriented products a unique perspective that compliments the SHERA Committee’s vast reservoir of industry knowledge and insight. Considering that ILMA and OSHA extended the Alliance for another two-year term and the relationship continues to build steam, keep your eyes peeled for new initiatives in 2007.

The Dermal Assessment Guide can be downloaded from ILMA's website.


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