Arsenic

Chapter 296-848, WAC

Effective Date: 06/01/07

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WAC 296-848-400

Exposure Control Areas

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Your responsibility:

To protect employees from exposure to inorganic arsenic by using feasible exposure controls and appropriate respirators.

IMPORTANT:

  • These sections apply when employee exposure monitoring results are above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 10 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) of air.

 

Exposure control plan

Exposure controls

Exposure control areas

Clean-up facilities and lunchrooms

Personal protective equipment

Respirators

 

WAC 296-848-40005  

Exposure control plan

IMPORTANT:

  • Use of employee rotation to control exposures isn't advisable since inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen.

You must

  • Establish and implement a complete written exposure control plan that includes at least the following, for exposure control areas:
    • - A description of each operation releasing inorganic arsenic, for example:
        • Crew size.
        • Current exposure controls.
        • Materials processed.
        • Machinery used.
        • Operating procedures.
        • Maintenance practices.
    • - Exposure evaluation data.
    • - A report of the technology considered for exposure controls.
    • - Engineering plans and studies used as a basis for selecting exposure controls.
    • - A detailed schedule for implementing:
        • Feasible exposure controls, if immediate implementation isn't possible.
        • Changes to enhance current exposure controls, when necessary.
    • - An analysis of the effectiveness of the exposure controls considered, when controls won't reduce exposures to or below the permissible exposure limit (PEL).
    • - Other relevant information.
        • Review and update your exposure control plan at least every 6 months to keep it current.
        • Implement exposure controls on the quickest schedule feasible if controls won't reduce exposure to or below the PEL.
        • Provide a copy of your exposure control plan to affected employees and their designated representatives, when they ask to review or copy it.

WAC 296-848-40020 

Exposure controls

IMPORTANT:

  • Use of employee rotation to control exposures isn't advisable since inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen.
  • Respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) don't substitute for feasible exposure controls.

You must

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

WAC 296-848-40025  

Exposure control areas

You must

  • Establish temporary or permanent exposure control areas where airborne concentrations of inorganic arsenic are above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) by doing all the following:
    • - Distinguish the boundaries of exposure control areas from the rest of the workplace in any way that minimizes employee access.
    • - Allow only authorized personnel to enter exposure control areas.
    • - Post signs at access points to exposure control areas that include this warning:

DANGER
Inorganic Arsenic
Cancer Hazard
Authorized Personnel Only
No Smoking or Eating
Respirator Required

    • - Make sure signs are kept clean and well lit so they are easy to read.
    • - Keep signs and areas near them free of statements that contradict or detract from their message.

Note

Note:

  • This requirement doesn't prevent you from posting signs required by other laws, rules, or ordinances.

You must

  • Make sure employees entering exposure control areas have an appropriate respirator.
  • Prevent all of the following activities from occurring in exposure control areas unless they are conducted in required lunchrooms, change rooms, or showers:
    • - Eating food or drinking beverages.
    • - Smoking.
    • - Chewing tobacco or gum.
    • - Applying cosmetics.

    Note

    Note:

    • 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.
    • When distinguishing 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.

    Reference:

    • To see other requirements for respirators within this chapter, go to Respirators, WAC 296-848-40045.

WAC 296-848-40030  

Clean-up facilities and lunchrooms

You must

  • Provide the following facilities for employees who could experience eye or skin irritation from exposure to inorganic arsenic or who work in exposure control areas:
    • - Clean change rooms with separate storage for street clothes and personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • - Shower facilities.
  • Make sure employees who could experience eye or skin irritation from exposure to inorganic arsenic or who work in exposure control areas:
    • - Shower at the end of the work shift
      and
    • - Wash their hands and face before eating.
  • Provide lunchrooms for employees working in exposure control areas that are:
    • - Located so they are readily accessible to the employees.
    • - Temperature controlled.
    • - Under positive pressure compared to surrounding areas.
    • - Provided with a filtered air supply.

    Note

    Note:

    Lunchrooms may be located within exposure control areas, but are considered separate from the exposure control area.

  • Do the following when exposures in exposure control areas exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average of 100 micrograms of arsenic per cubic meter of air (µg/m3):
    • - Provide facilities for employees working in exposure control areas where they can remove excess contamination from protective clothing and shoes.
    • - Make sure employees vacuum protective clothing and clean or change shoes before entering showers, change rooms, or lunchrooms.

    Reference:

    • To see additional requirements for hygiene facilities:
      • - Go to the Safety and Health Core Rules, chapter
        296-800 WAC
        .
      • - Find Drinking water, bathrooms, washing facilities, and waste disposal, WAC 296-800-230.

WAC 296-848-40040  

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

You must

  • Provide at no cost to employees, make sure employees use, and maintain PPE as follows:
    • - Provide clean and dry protective clothing to employees who could experience eye or skin irritation from exposure to inorganic arsenic or who work in exposure control areas.
    • - Provide impervious protective clothing to employees exposed to arsenic trichloride.

    Note

    Note:

    • Arsenic trichloride is corrosive and can be rapidly absorbed through skin.
    • Examples of protective clothing appropriate for inorganic arsenic exposures include:
      • - Coveralls or similar full-body work clothing.
      • - Gloves, and shoes or coverlets.
      • - Face shields or vented goggles when necessary to prevent eye irritation.

You must

    • - Make sure employees don't remove inorganic arsenic from PPE by blowing or shaking.
    • - Make sure protective clothing is removed:
        • In change rooms
          and
        • At the end of the work shift.
    • - Make sure contaminated protective clothing that will be cleaned, laundered, or disposed of, is placed in a closed container located in the change room.
    • - Make sure the container prevents the release of inorganic arsenic.
    • - Launder protective clothing:
        • At least weekly if employees work in areas where exposure monitoring results of inorganic arsenic are below an 8-hour time-weighted average concentration of 100 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3)
          or

        • Daily if employees work in areas where either exposure monitoring results of inorganic arsenic are above an 8-hour time-weighted average concentration of 100 µg/m3 or when more frequent washing is needed to prevent skin irritation.
    • - Maintain the effectiveness of PPE by repairing or replacing it, as needed:
        • Dispose of protective clothing if it won't be repaired.
  • Inform individuals who clean or launder protective clothing about the possible health effects associated with inorganic arsenic, including carcinogenic effects, by doing the following:
    • - Provide the information in writing
      and
    • - Label containers of contaminated PPE with the following warning:

Caution:

Clothing contaminated with inorganic arsenic

Don't remove dust by blowing or shaking

Dispose of inorganic arsenic contaminated wash water as applicable local, state, or federal regulations require

Reference:

  • To see additional Personal protective equipment requirements go to the Safety and Health Core Rules, chapter 296-800 WAC, and find the section titled, PPE, WAC 296-800-160.

WAC 296-848-40045  

Respirators

IMPORTANT:

  • The requirements in this section are in addition to the requirements found in other chapters:

You must

  • Provide each employee with an appropriate respirator that complies with the requirements of this section, and require that employees use them in circumstances where exposure is above the permissible exposure limit (PEL), including 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.
    • - Emergencies.
  • Provide high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or N-, R-, or P-100 filters for powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) and negative-pressure air-purifying respirators.
  • Provide a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) to employees required to use respirators when:
    • - The employee chooses to use this type of respirator or a licensed healthcare professional (LHCP) recommends this type of respirator in their written opinion.
      AND
    • - It will provide proper protection.
  • Follow these additional specifications for inorganic arsenic compounds with significant vapor pressure such as arsenic trichloride and arsenic phosphide.
    • - Select front- or back-mounted gas masks equipped with HEPA filters and acid gas canisters or any full-facepiece supplied-air respirator, when concentrations are at or below 500 mg/m3.
    • - Select for powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) and negative-pressure air-purifying respirators equipped with HEPA (or equivalent) filters and acid gas cartridges when concentrations are at or below 100.
  • Prohibit the use of half-facepiece respirators for protection against arsenic trichloride. This is because arsenic trichloride is corrosive and rapidly absorbed through the skin.

    Note

    Note:

    • When selecting air-purifying respirators for protection against inorganic arsenic, you'll need to consider whether other contaminants could be present at levels above permissible exposure limits and determine if a combination filter/gas-sorbent cartridge or canister is appropriate.

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