Cadmium is described as a soft, silver-white metal used in a variety of industries such as metal machining, plastics, ceramics, painting, and welding operations. Workers may also be exposed from smelting and refining metals or from air in industrial plants that make batteries, coatings, or plastics.
Chronic cadmium poisoning can cause kidney damage and cancer of the lung or prostate, OSHA advises. Cadmium also is believed to cause pulmonary emphysema and bone disease -- osteomalcia and osteoporosis. OSHA's online tool is aimed at helping employers comply with the agency's cadmium standard. The Cadmium Biological Monitoring Advisor analyzes biological monitoring results provided by the user. The information, along with answers to various questions generated, is used to identify the biological monitoring and medical surveillance requirements that must be met under the OSHA standard. They include the frequency of additional monitoring and other mandatory components of the employer's medical surveillance program.
A separate cadmium standard protects construction workers. OSHA says the new online tool may be useful in assisting medical analysis of biological monitoring but "it does not refer to the applicable provisions of this standard and should therefore be used primarily in a general industry setting."
The new online tool is among a series of Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employers and employees understand federal employment laws and resources.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
January 14, 2013
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