Q. What are the requirements for eliminating welding fumes? According to recent air contaminant testing, our employees are exposed to fumes that exceed the permissible limit. Michigan OSHA (MIOSHA) has not inspected us. Are we required to notify MIOSHA or the federal OSHA of the test results? Are we required to notify anyone else?
A. There is no requirement that you notify either MIOSHA or the federal OSHA of privately conducted air sampling. However, you are required to inform employees that you know have been overexposed. Usually this means notifying the employees who wore air-monitoring equipment.
You are also required to resolve the overexposure problem. The preferred corrective method is to implement “engineering controls”—a ventilation arrangement that eliminates the overexposure. Failing that, employees must be provided personal protective equipment to eliminate the overexposure.
When you notify your exposed employees, you should also tell them what steps you are taking to resolve the matter.
- Encourage, don't require, EAP counseling
- Keep the snark to yourself! If you suspect malingering, let system play out
- Retaliation: Don't sweat link between complaint and firing, if you would have fired anyway
- Required by law or not, make harassment training mandatory
- Too small for FMLA? Don't be too sure