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New OSHA Website Could Be Useful for Funeral Directors

Posted: May 4, 2012

NFDA's OSHA General Counsel Ed Ranier recently reviewed a new OSHA website for workers employed in nail salons. According to Ranier, the site could be useful for funeral directors and embalmers because the information about chemical, ergonomic and biologic hazards discussed are also applicable to funeral service.

The Chemical Hazards section of the website reviews the health effects of chemicals such as acetone, formaldehyde, toluene and other chemicals found in nail polishes and nail polish removers. Funeral service employees use formaldehyde in various preparation fluids, acetones in various glues and other products. Some the chemicals listed on the site can also be found in the non-consumer-grade cosmetics and nail polish used by funeral directors. This section also gives a brief overview of the new hazard communication standard and revised safety data sheets; it also contains information on ventilation issues and work practices to avoid regular or accidental exposure.

Another section, Muscle Strains from Awkward Positions, reviews ergonomic issues, gives recommendations to avoid muscle stress and more. This information is applicable to funeral service because of the ergonomic issues involved in the preparation process, including spending long hours in awkward positions.

The Biologic Hazards section of the website gives an overview of bloodborne pathogens (e.g., hepatitis B and C, HIV) the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and provides recommendations on how to avoid contamination. There is a link to a bloodborne infectious disease information database, a link to information about EPA-registered disinfectants and information about exposure control plans.

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