Does "Subpart Z - Toxic and Hazardous Substances" Apply to You?

Subpart Z provides requirements relating to employee exposures to the following health hazards: asbestos, coal tar pitch volatiles, 13 carcinogens, vinyl chloride, inorganic arsenic, beryllium, chromium VI, cadmium, benzene, coke oven emissions, 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane, acrylonitrile, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, and respirable crystalline silica.

Do you have any of the health hazards listed above (i.e., 13 carcinogens, asbestos, benzene)? If yes, then you may need to comply with the standards in subpart Z. Click on the appropriate tabs below for more information.

Subpart Z - Toxic and Hazardous Substances

Do your employees have occupational exposure to asbestos?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to asbestos?

This standard regulates asbestos exposure in all construction work including but not limited to the following:

  • Demolition or salvage of structures where asbestos is present;
  • Removal or encapsulation of materials containing asbestos;
  • Construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, or renovation of structures, substrates, or portions thereof, that contain asbestos;
  • Installation of products containing asbestos;
  • Asbestos spill/emergency cleanup; and
  • Transportation, disposal, storage, containment of and housekeeping activities involving asbestos or products containing asbestos, on the site or location at which construction activities are performed.

Coverage under this standard is based on the nature of the work operation involving asbestos exposure. It does not apply to asbestos-containing asphalt roof coatings, cements and mastics.

Based on the above information, are your employees conducing construction work involving exposure to asbestos? If yes, then you need to comply with the asbestos standard. 

Asbestos has been used in products, such as insulation for pipes (steam lines for example), floor tiles, and building materials. Heavy exposures tend to occur in the construction industry and in ship repair, particularly during the removal of asbestos materials due to renovation, repairs, or demolition.

Related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topics pages for asbestospersonal protective equipment, hazard communication and respiratory protection. In addition, occupational exposure to asbestos falls within the OSH Division health hazards special emphasis program.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to coal tar pitch volatiles?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to coal tar pitch volatiles?

If yes, then you need to comply with the standard on coal tar pitch volatiles; interpretation of term. It states "As used in 1910.1000 (Table Z-1), coal tar pitch volatiles include the fused polycyclic hydrocarbons which volatilize from the distillation residues of coal, petroleum (excluding asphalt), wood, and other organic matter. Asphalt (CAS 8052-42-4, and CAS 64742-93-4) is not covered under the "coal tar pitch volatiles" standard."

Note: The requirement applicable to construction work for coal tar pitch volatiles; interpretation of term is identical to the general industry standard.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to one of the 13 carcinogens?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to one of the 13 carcinogens?

The 13 carcinogens include the following:

  1. 4-Nitrobiphenyl;
  2. alpha-Naphthylamine;
  3. methyl chloromethyl ether;
  4. 3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine (and its salts);
  5. bis-Chloromethyl ether;
  6. beta-Naphthylamine;
  7. Benzidine;
  8. 4-Aminodiphenyl;
  9. Ethyleneimine;
  10. beta-Propiolactone;
  11. 2-Acetylaminofluorene;
  12. 4-Dimethylaminoazo-benzene; and
  13. N-Nitrosodimethylamine.

If you have one of the chemicals listed above, then you need to comply with the standard on 13 carcinogens. It applies to any area in which the 13 carcinogens are manufactured, processed, repackaged, released, handled, or stored, but shall not apply to transshipment in sealed containers, except for the labeling requirements.The 13 carcinogens standard does not apply to the following:

  • Solid or liquid mixtures containing less than 0.1 percent by weight or volume of 4-Nitrobiphenyl; methyl chloromethyl ether; bis-chloromethyl ether; beta-Naphthylamine; benzidine or 4-Aminodiphenyl; and
  • Solid or liquid mixtures containing less than 1.0 percent by weight or volume of alpha-Naphthylamine; 3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine (and its salts); Ethyleneimine; beta-Propiolactone; 2-Acetylaminofluorene; 4-Dimethylaminoazobenzene, or N-Nitrosodimethylamine.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the 13 carcinogens standard are identical to general industry.

Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to vinyl chloride?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to vinyl chloride?

If yes, then you need to comply with the standard on vinyl chloride. It provides the requirements for the control of employee exposure to vinyl chloride (chloroethene). It applies to the manufacture, reaction, packaging, repackaging, storage, handling or use of vinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride, but does not apply to the handling or use of fabricated products made of polyvinyl chloride. The standard also applies to the transportation of vinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride except to the extent that the Department of Transportation may regulate them.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the vinyl chloride standard are identical to general industry.

Vinyl chloride is used in the plastics industry to make polyvinyl chloride plastic and vinyl products.  It is also used in the furniture and automobile industries for upholstery, automobile parts, housewares and other similar products. Related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to inorganic arsenic?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to inorganic arsenic?

If yes, then you need to comply with the inorganic arsenic standard. It applies to all occupational exposures to inorganic arsenic.This standard does not apply to employee exposures in agriculture or resulting from pesticide application, the treatment of wood with preservatives or the utilization of arsenically preserved wood.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the inorganic arsenic standard are identical to general industry.

Related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to beryllium?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to beryllium?

If yes, you need to comply with the standard on beryllium. It applies to occupational exposure to beryllium in all forms, compounds, and mixtures in constructioon. It does not apply to:

  • Articles, as defined in the hazard communication standard (HCS) that contain beryllium and that the employer does not process.
  • Materials containing less than 0.1% beryllium by weight where the employer has objective data demonstrating that employee exposure to beryllium will remain below the action level as an 8-hour TWA under any foreseeable conditions.

Beryllium is used industrially in three forms: as a pure metal, as beryllium oxide, and most commonly, as an alloy with copper, aluminum, magnesium, or nickel. Beryllium oxide (called beryllia) is known for its high heat capacity and is an important component of certain sensitive electronic equipment.

Additional information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topics pages for beryllium, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to chromium VI?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to chromium VI?

If yes, you need to comply with the chromium VI standard. It applies to occupational exposures to chromium (VI) in all forms and compounds in construction, except: 

  • Exposures that occur in the application of pesticides regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency or another Federal government agency (e.g., the treatment of wood with preservatives);
  • Exposures to portland cement; or
  • Where the employer has objective data demonstrating that a material containing chromium or a specific process, operation, or activity involving chromium cannot release dusts, fumes, or mists of chromium (VI) in concentrations at or above 0.5 µg/m3 as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) under any expected conditions of use.

Hexavalent chromium is one of several oxidation states of the element chromium and is commonly used in chrome plating operations to deposit a corrosion-resistant coating on metal parts. Hexavalent chromium is also produced when chrome metal or alloys containing chrome metal are heated to high temperatures, such as during the welding of stainless steel.

Additional information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topics pages for chromium VI, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection. In addition, occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium falls within the OSH Division health hazards special emphasis program.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to cadmium?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to cadmium?

If yes, then you need to comply with the cadmium standard. in all construction work where an employee may potentially be exposed to cadmium. Construction work is defined as work involving construction, alteration and/or repair, including but not limited to the following:

  • Wrecking, demolition or salvage of structures where cadmium or materials containing cadmium are present;
  • Use of cadmium containing-paints and cutting, brazing, burning, grinding or welding on surfaces that were painted with cadmium-containing paints;
  • Construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, or renovation of structures, substrates, or portions thereof, that contain cadmium, or materials containing cadmium;
  • Cadmium welding; cutting and welding cadmium-plated steel; brazing or welding with cadmium alloys;
  • Installation of products containing cadmium;
  • Electrical grounding with cadmium welding, or electrical work using cadmium-coated conduit;
  • Maintaining or retrofitting cadmium-coated equipment;
  • Cadmium contamination/emergency cleanup; and
  • Transportation, disposal, storage, or containment of cadmium or materials containing cadmium on the site or location at which construction activities are performed.

Electroplating, metal machining, welding and painting are operations associated with cadmium exposure.

Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to benzene?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to benzene?

If yes, then you need to comply with the standard on benzene. It applies to all occupational exposures to benzene. This standard does not apply to:

  • The storage, transportation, distribution, dispensing, sale or use of gasoline, motor fuels, or other fuels containing benzene subsequent to its final discharge from bulk wholesale storage facilities, except that operations where gasoline or motor fuels are dispensed for more than 4 hours per day in an indoor location are covered by this standard.
  • Loading and unloading operations at bulk wholesale storage facilities which use vapor control systems for all loading and unloading operations, except for the provisions of hazard communication as incorporated into this standard and the emergency provisions of this standard.
  • The storage, transportation, distribution or sale of benzene or liquid mixtures containing more than 0.1 percent benzene in intact containers or in transportation pipelines while sealed in such a manner as to contain benzene vapors or liquid, except for the provisions of hazard communication as incorporated into this section and the emergency provisions of this standard.
  • Containers and pipelines carrying mixtures with less than 0.1 percent benzene and natural gas processing plants processing gas with less than 0.1 percent benzene.
  • Work operations where the only exposure to benzene is from liquid mixtures containing 0.1 percent or less of benzene by volume or the vapors released from such liquids after September 12, 1989; except that tire building machine operators using solvents with more than 0.1 percent benzene are covered by this standard.
  • Oil and gas drilling, production and servicing operations.
  • Coke oven batteries.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the benzene standard are identical to general industry.

Benzene is a component of products derived from coal and petroleum and is found in gasoline and other fuels. Benzene is used in the manufacture of plastics, detergents, pesticides, and other chemicals. Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to coke oven emissions?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to coke oven emissions?

If yes, the you need to comply with the coke oven emissions standard. It applies to the control of employee exposure to coke oven emissions.. The emissions are from heated coal used to produce coke which is used in the manufacture of iron and steel. It does not apply to working conditions with regard to which other Federal agencies exercise statutory authority to prescribe or enforce standards affecting occupational safety and health.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the coke oven emissions standard are identical to general industry.

Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane?

If yes, then you need to comply with the 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane standard. It applies to occupational exposure to 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP).

It does does not apply to:

  • Exposure to DBCP which results solely from the application and use of DBCP as a pesticide; or
  • The storage, transportation, distribution or sale of DBCP in intact containers sealed in such a manner as to prevent exposure to DBCP vapors or liquid, except for emergency requirements, employee information and training, and communication of hazards required by the standard.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane standard are identical to general industry.

1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane is used as a soil fumigant and as a chemical pesticide. Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to acrylonitrile?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to acrylonitrile?

If yes, then you need to comply with the standard on acrylonitrile. It applies to all occupational exposures to acrylonitrile (AN). It does not apply to exposures which result solely from the processing, use, and handling of the following materials:

  • ABS resins, SAN resins, nitrile barrier resins, solid nitrile elastomers, and acrylic and modacrylic fibers, when these listed materials are in the form of finished polymers, and products fabricated from such finished polymers;
  • Materials made from and/or containing AN for which objective data is reasonably relied upon to demonstrate that the material is not capable of releasing AN in airborne concentrations in excess of 1 ppm as an eight (8)-hour time-weighted average, under the expected conditions of processing, use, and handling which will cause the greatest possible release; and
  • Solid materials made from and/or containing AN which will not be heated above 170 deg. F during handling, use, or processing.

Note: An employer relying upon exemption shall maintain records of the objective data supporting that exemption, and of the basis of the employer's reliance on the data.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the acrylonitrile standard are identical to general industry.

Acrylonitrile is used in the plastics industry. Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to ethylene oxide?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to ethylene oxide?

If yes, you need to comply with the ethylene oxide standard. It applies to all occupational exposures to ethylene oxide (EtO). It is used as an intermediate in the production of several industrial chemicals, the most notable of which is ethylene glycol. It is also used as a fumigant in certain agricultural products and as a sterilant for medical equipment and supplies.

It does not apply to:

  • The processing, use, or handling of products containing EtO where objective data are reasonably relied upon that demonstrate that the product is not capable of releasing EtO in airborne concentrations at or above the action level under the expected conditions of processing, use, or handling that will cause the greatest possible release.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the ethylene oxide standard are identical to general industry.

Acrylonitrile is used in the plastics industry. Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for personal protective equipment, hazard communication, emergency action plans, fire prevention planseyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to formaldehyde?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to formaldehyde?

If yes, then you need to comply with the formaldehyde standard. It applies to all occupational exposures to formaldehyde (i.e., from formaldehyde gas, its solutions, and materials that release formaldehyde). It is well known as a preservative in medical laboratories, as an embalming fluid, and as a sterilizer. Its primary use is in the production of resins and as a chemical intermediate. Urea-formaldehyde (UF) and phenol formaldehyde (PF) resins are used in foam insulation, as adhesives in the production of particle board and plywood, and in the treating of textiles.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the formaldehyde standard are identical to general industry.

Additional information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for formaldehyde, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to methylene chloride?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to methylene chloride?

If yes, then you need to comply with the methylene chloride standard. It applies to all occupational exposures to methylene chloride (MC) in general industry, construction and shipyard employment. Methylene chloride is used in various industrial processes, in many different industries including paint stripping, pharmaceutical manufacturing, paint remover manufacturing, and metal cleaning and degreasing.

Note: The requirements applicable to construction work for the methylene chloride standard are identical to general industry.

Additional information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for methylene chloridepersonal protective equipment, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and respiratory protection.

Do your employees have occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica?

Do your employees have occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica?

If yes, then you need to comply with the respirable crystalline silica standard. It applies to all occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica in construction work, except where employee exposure will remain below 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air (25 μg/m3) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) under any foreseeable conditions.

Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in the earth's crust. Materials like sand, stone, concrete, and mortar contain crystalline silica. It is also used to make products such as glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, and artificial stone.

Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topic pages for silica, personal protective equipment, hazard communication and respiratory protection. In addition, occupational exposure to silica falls within the OSH Division health hazards special emphasis program.