WASHINGTON – After testimony from the American Wood Council, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) Standards Board declined a staff proposal to lower the existing permissible exposure limit (PEL) for wood dust from 5 milligrams per cubic meter to 1 milligram per cubic meter.
AWC has been engaged in the process for the last several years and worked with several allied trade associations, to oppose the proposal.
“Cal/OSHA staff had not generated sufficient information to claim the 1 milligram per cubic meter level was feasible to achieve. A PEL of anything less than 2 would force many workers to wear respirators, contrary to the hierarchy of controls,” said AWC chief scientist Stewart Holm, who testified on the issue.
In May, Woodworking Network reported that regulation of worker exposure to wood dust moves another step closer in California, where the state Occupational Health & Safety Administration closed a comments period.
Ultimately, the Standards Board voted against the recommendation to lower the PEL and asked Cal/OSHA to restart the rulemaking. See www.awc.org for more information.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.