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OSHA aiming to protect workers from refrigeration toxin exposure

The Global Cold Chain Alliance represents roughly 1,650 employers affiliated with the temperature-controlled (or cold chain) products industry. These employers, and the 300,000 or so workers they employ, make significant efforts aimed at ensuring that various perishable products that Americans rely on maintain their quality and are safe when consumers pick them off store shelves or otherwise come into contact with them.

This industry is vitally important. Without the employers and workers that focus on this area of consumer safety, Americans would basically risk food poisoning on a regular basis and would lack access to refrigerated medications and other critical products. Yet, for all the efforts that these workers make to ensure the safety of consumers and patients, they often risk toxic exposure due to the nature of their positions.

In an effort to better protect these vital workers from toxic exposure to refrigeration contaminants, the GCCA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have renewed an alliance that they began several years ago. As part of their ongoing efforts to protect these workers from toxic exposure and occupational illness, this alliance will focus on improving safety management processes related to the ammonia refrigeration systems that many workers interact with on a regular basis.

All workers benefit from basic safety precautions, such as slip and fall prevention measures which can affect office workers, as well as construction workers, healthcare professionals and commercial fishermen. However, some industries require highly specific safety initiatives in order to keep workers safe. As such, the GCCA and OSHA alliance helps to serve a very specific community with unique safety needs.

Source: United States Department of Labor, "OSHA renews alliance with Global Cold Chain Alliance to help prevent worker exposure to hazardous chemical releases," Aug. 18, 2014

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