Oregon Permissible Exposure Limits laws & safety compliance analysis

Oregon Permissible Exposure Limits: What you need to know

Oregon has adopted the federal rules for air contaminants in general industry workplaces by reference (OAR 437-002-0360), and adopted its own permissible exposure limits (PELs) for certain air contaminants that are stricter than federal PELs.

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The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services/Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) administers and enforces safety and health rules in private and public sector workplaces.

OAR 437-002-0382

The state has adopted its own PELs that are stricter than federal PELs for exposure to thiram, mineral dusts, and carcinogens in laboratories. The PELs for all regulated air contaminants are found in the state's Z tables. Contact OR-OSHA for a copy of the state Z tables.

The state air contaminants standards for general industry and construction contain PELs for 70 chemicals for which OSHA does not have a PEL, lower PELs for 13, an additional ceiling limit for acetic anhydride, and a shorter duration level for carbon disulfide.

Oregon's air contaminants standard for agriculture contains a shorter list of chemicals, though with the same PELs.

Federal OSHA had revised its Z tables of hazardous substances and PELs in the 1980s to include the substances adopted by Oregon's standards, but in 1992 a federal circuit court struck down the OSHA revisions. Several states, including Oregon, retained some of the PELs from the pre 1989 OSHA Z tables, which are stricter than existing federal standards.

PEL table. For a copy of the Oregon PEL tables for air contaminants, click http://www.orosha.org/pdf/rules/division_2/div2z-0382-oraircont.pdf

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