On June 20, 2013, OSHA implemented a National emphasis Program (NEP) for occupational exposure to isocyanates. Isocyanates are used in the manufacturing of materials such as flexible and rigid foams, paints and varnishes. The products are often used in manufacturing environment as well as the automobile industry and in construction. Exposure to isocyanates can have a wide range of adverse health effects on workers, which include irritation to the eye nose and throat, inflammation of the lungs (Hypersensitivity pneumonitis) and even death due to asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

The goal of the NEP is to reduce employee exposure to isocyanates that may cause health effects. Through the NEP, OSHA will be targeting general industry, construction and maritime industries which likely use isocyanates. OSHA’s inspection procedures will include a review of the isocyanates used, injury and illness logs, and evaluation of the employers controls used to reduce or eliminate exposure. During the inspection process, OSHA will be collecting air samples, conducting wipe sampling of various surfaces, including dermal sampling and sampling of PPE.

The full NEP can be found here: https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_03-00-017.pdf