Alliance targets health issues involving the application of spray-on bedliners

July 13, 2005
A cooperative relationship between OSHA and the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry will focus on reducing and preventing exposures.

The Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry (API) has formed an alliance with federal offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin, and state plan OSHAs in Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota.

This establishes a cooperative relationship that will focus on reducing and preventing exposures of diisocyanates during the application of spray-on truck bedliners.

Truck bed lining products have protected vehicles from wear and tear over many years through the application of polyurethane, polyurea or polyurea hybrid systems. Though the spray application of these products protects the truck bed, the actual spraying of the truck bed liner requires specific handling and care. Virtually all of these products use methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). Diisocyanates such as MDI have been known to cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin. They also can cause allergic reactions (sensitization) of the skin and lungs.

API has addressed truck bed liner worker protection issues through publication of a brochure, Truck Bed Liners; Worker Protection.

“Due to the small size of many businesses in the truck bed liner industry, it can be difficult to target and educate workers about how to protect themselves from exposures to diisocyanates,” said Dick Mericle, executive director of API. “This alliance with OSHA will bring together industry experts to address important worker safety issues such as the proper use of personal protective equipment and respirators and proper maintenance of equipment and ventilation booths.”

As part of the alliance, the organizations will work together to raise industry awareness of job hazards and the business value of a company’s commitment to employee safety and health.