Employers in New York must follow regulations regarding toxic substances set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA encourages employers to change to safer chemicals and substances whenever possible but recognizes that such transitions may not always be possible, especially if a substance is essential to the operations of a business. Due to this, it has enacted some regulations and requirements employers must follow to keep employees safe.
Safety data sheets and other information about the substances or chemicals are required to be prominently displayed. These sheets inform about the hazards related to certain substances. Employers should offer training to employees to teach them about safe handling practices and to explain the hazards related to the substances they will be working with. Regulations are in place to ensure employees in certain industries follow specific rules about keeping employees safe. These include providing lists of exposure limits so employers are aware of what is safe and what is not. OSHA has also set exposure limits, which address how much exposure, both physical and air borne, employees may have to certain substances.
OSHA has set regulations to assist employers with preventing needless exposure. These include providing personal protective equipment to employees, such as googles and gloves, changing substances to safer ones, adjusting schedules so employees are rotated to different positions not working with the same substances all the time and changing processes or set ups to reduce exposure. Such practices are considered the best way to minimize toxic exposure and protect employees.