OSHA, ILMA Focus on Lube Industry, Storage Tank Safety

The Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association and OSHA recently renewed their alliance, saying they will continue encouraging employers, including small businesses, to increase access to safety and health information for employees. The alliance focuses on reducing and preventing exposure to industrial hazards and issues related to above ground storage tanks.

"The collaborative relationship between OSHA and ILMA over the past two years has produced useful and informative materials for employers and employees in manufacturing," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "As the alliance moves forward in its efforts to improve safety, we remain committed to promoting healthful working conditions for the working men and women in this industry."

Through the alliance, ILMA published an article by Foulke titled "Making the Business Case for Safety and Health" in the March 2007 issue of Compoundings. ILMA developed guidance resources including the "Dermal Assessment Guide," a tool to help small businesses understand the potential connection between the use of metal removal fluids in facility operations and the development of dermatitis. The organization also produced Metalworking Fluids in Small Business: A Health and Safety "QUICKSTART" Guide, a step-by-step outline on working safely with metalworking fluids (MWFs) and how businesses can effectively manage the health, safety, and environmental impacts of MWFs. In addition, the association's representatives serve on the editorial boards for OSHA's Safety and Health Topics pages on Dermal Exposure, Making the Business Case for Safety and Health, and Metalworking Fluids.

ILMA Executive Director Celeste M. Powers, CAE, said the alliance allows the association to keep "open channels of communication with OSHA, enabling us to enhance our continuing efforts to share health and safety information on lubricant products with our members, their employees, their customers, and different publics our industry serves." John Burke of Houghton International Inc. added that the alliance renewal was a "no brainer" for the Safety, Health, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs Committee, which he chairs for ILMA. "Over the course of our alliance relationship, we have spoken at each other's events, written for each other's periodicals, and created a series of first-rate materials that have had a material impact on improving health and safety in workplaces where lubricants are used."

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