Responsible for conducting free investigations of workplace health hazards upon request of a public sector employer, employee, union, Board of Health or upon referral by another agency or health professional.
The Department of Labor Standards (DLS) Asbestos Program is responsible for the regulation of occupational asbestos exposure in the Commonwealth. The Program works with employers, employees, unions and state and local agencies to create healthier and safer work conditions for Massachusetts workers through site visits, analytical services, and technical information. The Program aids in the coordination of OSHA, EPA and Multi-State regulatory authorities along with the North Eastern U.S. States (CONES) in the common goal of protecting the public from long term damage from excessive asbestos exposure.
The goal of the Division of Occupational Safety's (DOS) Lead Program is to reduce the incidence and severity of lead exposures for the Commonwealth's workers and other members of the general public. DOS accomplishes this goal by administering and enforcing standards for renovation, repair and painting carried out in older homes and child-occupied facilities that may contain lead paint as well as for deleading operations. DOS also administers the Occupational Blood Lead Registry, which tracks elevated blood lead levels among adults, provides educational counseling and guidance to workers, and through its work medical consultant, offers advice to physicians on the medical management of lead poisoning.
The Mine Safety and Health Program is administered in Massachusetts by the Department of Labor Standards in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration. Under 30 CFR Part 56, safety and health standards are required to be in place for all surface metal/non-metal mines throughout the nation. Initial and annual refresher training of all mining employees is required as well (30 CFR Part 46). These requirements apply to the approximately 150 mining operations in Massachusetts and to their contractors, such as electricians, drillers and blasters. The mining operations include sand and gravel pits, crushed stone operations and quarries. Efforts by the Department of Labor Standards are focused on preventing injuries and illnesses by providing annual refresher training for miners and contractors and by conducting program audits
The Industrial Hygiene Laboratory, located in the Division's West Newton office, provides analytical and technical support to engineers and inspectors within the department, unions, local boards of health and state agencies. Samples are collected from workplaces throughout the Commonwealth and evaluated to assist in the identification and subsequent control and elimination of hazards to the workers.