A facility stores and processes sheet metal that contains a hazardous chemical requiring a material safety data sheet (MSDS) under OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR section 1910.1200). The sheet metal, when in storage, is considered a manufactured solid and is therefore excluded from the definition of hazardous chemical under Section 311(e)(2). Does this exclusion still apply when the sheet metal is cut, welded or brazed?
The exclusion for manufactured solids in Section 311(e)(2) applies to "[a]ny substance present as a solid in any manufactured item to the extent exposure to that substance does not occur under normal conditions of use." Sheet metal is considered a "manufactured item" which is typically present as a solid. To determine whether or not the sheet metal falls under this exemption, the owner/operator of the facility needs to determine the extent of exposure to the substance under normal conditions of use at that facility. Storing, welding, cutting etc. can all be considered "normal conditions of use" at a facility. In this example, only the sheet metal in storage is exempt under Section 311(e)(2) because it does not create a potential for exposure to a hazardous chemical. Cutting, welding, brazing, or otherwise altering the form of the sheet metal does create a potential for exposure, thus negating the exclusion under Section 311(e)(2). During these operations, if the amount of fume or dust released is at or above 10,000 pounds, then these sheets of metal are subject to reporting under sections 311 and 312 (See Guidance published on July 13, 2010 (75 FR 39852)).