Does "Subpart G - Occupational Health and Environmental Control" Apply to You?

Subpart G provides the ventilation standard for operations involving abrasive blasting, grinding, polishing, buffing and spray finishing. It also provides the standards for noise and non-ionizing radiation exposures in the workplace. 

Do you have abrasive blasting operations? Do you have grinding, polishing, and/or buffing operations? Do you have spray finishing operations? Do you have operations that have noise exposures? Do you have operations with non-ionizing radiation exposure? If you said yes to any of these questions, click on the applicable tab below to see if that standard applies to you.

 

 

Subpart G - Occupational Health and Environmental Control

Tab/Accordion Items

The ventilation standard covers three operations: paragraph (a) - abrasive blasting; paragraph (b) - grinding, polishing and buffing; and paragraph (c) - spray finishing.

Do you have an operation where an abrasive is forcibly applied to a surface by pneumatic or hydraulic pressure, or by centrifugal force? If yes, you need to comply with paragraph (a) of the standard. It requires complying with subpart Z - toxic and hazardous substances when respirable dust or fume are in the breathing zone of the abrasive-blasting operator or any other worker and complying with the referenced consensus standards (also see incorporation by reference). In addition, it provides requirements pertaining to blast-cleaning enclosures, exhaust ventilation systems, personal protective equipment, and operational procedures and general safety. Note: This standard does not apply to steam blasting, or steam cleaning, or hydraulic cleaning methods where work is done without the aid of abrasives.

This section of the standard provides definitions including:

Abrasive - A solid substance used in an abrasive blasting operation.

Exhaust ventilation system - A system for removing contaminated air from a space, comprising two or more of the following elements (a) enclosure or hood, (b) duct work, (c) dust collecting equipment, (d) exhauster, and (e) discharge stack.

More related information can be found on our safety and health topics pages for abrasive blastingpersonal protective equipmenthierarchy of controls, ventilation and respiratory protection

The ventilation standard covers three operations: paragraph (a) - abrasive blasting; paragraph (b) - grinding, polishing and buffing; and paragraph (c) - spray finishing.

Do you grind, polish, or buff ferrous and nonferrous metals? If yes, you need to comply with paragraph (b) of the standard. It prescribes the use of exhaust hood enclosures and systems in removing dust, dirt, fumes, and gases generated through the grinding, polishing, or buffing of ferrous and nonferrous metals. This standard applies whenever dry grinding, dry polishing or buffing is performed, and employee exposure, without regard to the use of respirators, exceeds the permissible exposure limits prescribed in subpart Z - toxic and hazardous substances. It requires a local exhaust ventilation system to be provided and used to maintain employee exposures within the prescribed limits. It also provides specific requirements for hood and branch pipe, exhaust systems, hood and enclosure design, and definitions specific to this section including:

Exhaust system - A system consisting of branch pipes connected to hoods or enclosures, one or more header pipes, an exhaust fan, means for separating solid contaminants from the air flowing in the system, and a discharge stack to outside.

More related information can be found on our safety and health topics pages for personal protective equipmentcombustible dusthierarchy of controls, ventilation and respiratory protection

The ventilation standard covers three operations: paragraph (a) - abrasive blasting; paragraph (b) - grinding, polishing and buffing; and paragraph (c) - spray finishing.

Do you have spray finishing operations? If yes, you need to comply with paragraph (c) of the standard. This applies to spray booths or spray rooms used to enclose or confine all spray finishing operations but does not apply to the spraying of the exteriors of buildings, fixed tanks, or similar structures, nor to small portable spraying apparatus not used repeatedly in the same location.

It provides the requirements for design and construction of spray booths and rooms, ventilation systems (reference spray finishing using flammable and combustible materials, velocity, air flow, and make-up air, along with referenced consensus standards (also see incorporation by reference).  

Applicable definitions:

Spray-finishing operations are employment of methods wherein organic or inorganic materials are utilized in dispersed form for deposit on surfaces to be coated, treated, or cleaned. Such methods of deposit may involve either automatic, manual, or electrostatic deposition but do not include metal spraying or metallizing, dipping, flow coating, roller coating, tumbling, centrifuging, or spray washing and degreasing as conducted in self-contained washing and degreasing machines or systems.

Spray room is a room in which spray-finishing operations not conducted in a spray booth are performed separately from other areas.

Spray booth is a power-ventilated structure provided to enclose or accommodate a spraying operation to confine and limit the escape of spray, vapor, and residue, and to safely conduct or direct them to an exhaust system.

Spraying area is any area in which dangerous quantities of flammable vapors or mists, or combustible residues, dusts, or deposits are present due to the operation of spraying processes.

More related information can be found on our A-Z safety and health topics pages for personal protective equipmentflammable liquidshierarchy of controls and respiratory protection

The occupational noise exposure standard applies when employees are exposed at or above the action level of 85 decibels based on an 8 hour time weighted average or a dose of fifty percent based on Table G-16 - Permissible Noise Exposures. This is after feasible administrative or engineering controls have been utilized but failed to reduce sound levels to those provided in the table.

Based on the above information, do you have employees that are exposed, or may be exposed, to noise at or above the action level in the workplace? Note: The noise exposure should be considered without the use of personal protective equipment in place. If yes, then you need to comply with this standard.

This standard provides requirements for a hearing conservation program, noise level exposures, monitoring, training program, audiometric testing program, audiometric test requirements, hearing protection, hearing protector attenuation, and recordkeeping. In addition, appendix A provides noise exposure computations, appendix B provides methods for estimating the adequacy of hearing protector attenuation, appendix C provides information on audiometric measuring instruments, appendix D covers audiometric test rooms, appendix E covers acoustic calibration of audiometers, appendix F covers calculations and application of age corrections to audiograms, and appendix G provides information to help employers comply with the noise monitoring obligations.

Note: Employers engaged in oil and gas well drilling and servicing operations only need to comply with paragraph (a) regarding providing protection (personal protective equipment) against noise levels exceeding permissible noise exposures (Table G-16) and using feasible engineering or administrative controls, paragraph (b).

Appendix I, provides definitions for this standard including: 

Action level - An 8 hour time weighted average of 85 decibels measured on the A-scale, slow response, or equivalently, a dose of fifty percent.

Time-weighted average sound level - That sound level, which if constant over and 8-hour exposure, would result in the same noise dose as is measured.

Additional information can be found on our A-Z safety and health topics pages for noise and personal protective equipment.

The non-ionizing radiation standard applies to all radiations originating from radio stations, radar equipment, and other possible sources of electromagnetic radiation such as used for communication, radio navigation, and industrial and scientific purposes. This standard does not apply to the deliberate exposure of patients by, or under the direction of, practitioners of the healing arts.

Do you have, or have the potential to have, exposures to non-ionizing radiation in the workplace? If yes, then you need to comply with this standard. This standard provides requirements for a radiation protection guide and a warning symbol.

Definitions applicable to this standard include: 

Non-ionizing radiation applies to all sources originating from radio stations, radar equipment, and other possible sources of electromagnetic radiation such as used for communication, radio navigation, and industrial and scientific purposes.

Electromagnetic radiation - Restricted to that portion of the spectrum commonly defined as the radio frequency region, which for the purpose of this specification shall include the microwave frequency region.

Radiation protection guide - Radiation level which should not be exceeded without careful consideration of the reasons for doing so.

Additional information can be found on our A-Z safety and health topics page for radiation, ionizing and non-ionizing.  

Note: Through a Memorandum of Understanding between the NC Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Division and the Radiation Protection Section (RPS) of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation, RPS will be the lead agency for enforcement of worker safety for protection against ionizing radiation.  Accordingly, the NC OSH Division will be the primary enforcement agency for worker exposure to non-ionizing radiation.