Tennessee Permissible Exposure Limits laws & safety compliance analysis

Tennessee Permissible Exposure Limits: What you need to know

Tennessee has adopted its own safety and health rules for permissible exposure limits (PELs) for air contaminants in general industry workplaces that are stricter than federal PELs.

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The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development/Division of Occupational Safety and Health (TOSHA) administers and enforces workplace safety and health rules for private and public sector workplaces in the state.

PELS Rule 0800-1-1-.07

The state air contaminants standards for general industry contain PELs for several dozen chemicals for which federal OSHA does not have a PEL, and lower PELs for certain carcinogens. See the PEL table for exposure limits on specific chemicals.

Federal OSHA had revised its Z tables of hazardous substances and PELs in the 1980s to include the substances adopted by Tennessee's standards, but in 1992 a federal circuit court struck down the OSHA revisions. Several states, including California, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington, 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 state PEL table (Table Z-1-A) for air contaminants, click https://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/labor/attachments/tosha_chemicals.pdf.


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