OSHA's Final Rule Updating Walking-Working Surfaces Standards
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule updating its general industry Walking-Working Surfaces standards specific to slip, trip, and fall hazards. The rule also includes a new section under the general industry Personal Protective Equipment standards that establishes employer requirements for using personal fall protection systems... [ more ]
OSHA's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime. OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The Final Rule is projected to provide net benefits of about ... [ more ]
Final Rule: Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements
The EPA Administrator signed the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule on October 28, 2016 and it was published in the Federal Register (FR) on November 28, 2016. This rule finalizes a much-needed update to the hazardous waste generator regulations to make the rules easier to understand, facilitate better compliance, provide greater flexibility in how hazardous waste is managed, and close important gaps in the regulations ... [ more ]
Lithium Battery Shipment by Air Updates
Lithium batteries have become the preferred energy source to power a wide variety of consumer goods ranging from mobile phones to children toys to cars and e-bikes. Though widely used, most people are not aware that lithium batteries are dangerous goods that can pose a safety risk if not prepared in accordance with the transport regulations. To help with compliance, IATA has developed guidance for shippers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, airlines and passengers. [ more ]
PHMSA increases minimum and maxium fines for HAZMAT violations
PHMSA Adjusts Maximum and Minimum Civil Penalties for Inflation. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Final Rule to revise its regulations and increase the maximum civil penalty amount for violations of the Federal hazardous materials safety law. Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties, Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, federal agencies are required to adjust their civil monetary penalties each year to account for changes in inflation. [ more ]
IATA Dangerous Goods Documentation Page
Looking for the latest updates to IATA's Dangerous Goods regulations? This is thier update website.
Clarification of the Employer's Continuing Obligation to Record Injuries
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has passed, and the President has signed, Public Law 115-21, a resolution of disapproval of OSHA's final rule titled, "Clarification of Employer'sContinuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of eachRecordable Injury and Illness." OSHA published the rule, which contained v arious amendments to OSHA's recordkeeping regulations, on December 19, 2016. The amendments became effective on January 18, 2017. Because Public Law 115-21 invalidates the amendments to OSHA'srecordkeeping regulations contained in the rule promulgated on December 19, 2016, OSHA is hereby removing those amendments from the Code of Federal Regulations.
$54,000 Settlement for Hazardous Waste Violations
PHILADELPHIA (May 8, 2017) Potomac Electric Power Company has agreed to pay a $54,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its maintenance facility in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.
The settlement addresses compliance with environmental regulations that help protect communities and the environment from potential exposure to hazardous waste. [ more ]
$279K Proposed Penalty for Machine Guarding, Lead Exposure
CANTON, Ohio – Republic Steel, an automotive steel manufacturer, faces $279,578 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after agency investigators found workers at its Canton plant exposed to machine hazards and lead.
OSHA found one maintenance worker suffered severe injuries after being struck by an unguarded machine, and at least seven workers were exposed to excessive levels of lead, which can cause serious health issues.
"Companies must continuously monitor their facilities to ensure health and safety procedures are adequate and effective in protecting workers from injuries and illness on the job," said Dorothy Dougherty, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
On Dec. 5, 2016, a 64-year-old maintenance worker suffered a fractured pelvis after being struck by a sail – a large clamp that holds the steel billet – because lock-out devices were not affixed to the machine's operating parts to stop movement during maintenance. [ more ]
RCRA Generator Improvement Rule Takes Effect in NJ, PA, AK and IA
As of May 31, 2017 the updated generator standard takes effect in jursidictions that don't have authorized RCRA enforcement programs. These jursidictions include Iowa, Alaska and Indian reservations. New Jersey and Pennsylvaina both have authorized RCRA enforcement programs, but, due to how they both incorporate federal updates into their programs the rule has taken effect in those states as well. All of the other states, and Washington D.C. have until June 1, 2019 to adopt the more stringent requirements. [ more ]
OSHA and NIOSH's Updated Heat Safety Tool App
The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool is a useful resource for planning outdoor work activities based on how hot it feels throughout the day. Featuring real-time heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH. [ more ]
OSHA issues $714,000 in citations for trenching violations
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – A month after a 33-year-old worker died while working in an unprotected trench, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found another employee of the same Missouri plumbing contractor working in a similarly unprotected trench at another job site.
OSHA determined that, in both cases, Arrow Plumbing LLC of Blue Springs failed to provide basic safeguards to prevent trench collapse and did not train its employees to recognize and avoid cave-in and other hazards. Trench collapses are among the most dangerous hazards in the construction industry. In 2016, OSHA received reports of 23 deaths and 12 injuries nationwide in trench and excavation operations. In the first five months of 2017, 15 deaths and 19 injuries have been reported nationwide. [ more ]
OSHA proposes to delay compliance date for electronically submitting injury, illness reports
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today proposed a delay in the electronic reporting compliance date of the rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, from July 1, 2017, to Dec. 1, 2017. The proposed delay will allow OSHA an opportunity to further review and consider the rule.
The agency published the final rule on May 12, 2016, and has determined that a further delay of the compliance date is appropriate for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy. The delay will also allow OSHA to provide employers the same four-month window for submitting data that the original rule would have provided. [ more ]
Proposed Rule: Occupational Exposure to Beryllium
Workers who inhale airborne beryllium in the workplace can develop a lung condition called chronic beryllium disease or CBD. Occupational exposure to beryllium has also been linked to lung cancer. Beryllium is classified as a human carcinogen by the US Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
On January 9, 2017, OSHA published its final rule Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in the Federal Register. The final rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to a new 8-hour time-weighted-average (TWA) PEL of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air (μg/m3). OSHA issued three separate standards in the final rule – for general industry, for shipyards, and for construction. In addition to the revised PEL, the final rule established a new short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 μg/m3 over a 15-minute sampling period and an action level of 0.1 μg/m3 along with a number of ancillary provisions similar to those found in other comprehensive health standards. [ more ]
OSHA launches application to electronically submit injury and illness data on August 1
WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will launch on Aug. 1, 2017, the Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The Web-based form allows employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data from their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A. The application will be accessible from the ITA webpage.
Last month, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to extend the deadline for submitting 2016 Form 300A to Dec. 1, 2017, to allow affected entities sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system, and to provide the new administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements prior to their implementation. [ more ]
OSHA investigation finds safety failures led to the death of 3 workers who entered a manhole containing lethal gases
KEY LARGO, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a South Florida utility company and related contracting company after the agency's investigation into the deaths of three workers who succumbed to toxic gases in a manhole on Jan. 16, 2017.
A 34-year-old pipe layer entered the manhole – a confined space – and quickly became unresponsive. A 49-year-old laborer entered the hole and attempted to rescue the first employee. After the second employee also became unresponsive, a 24-year-old equipment operator followed to help his fallen coworkers. All three men died. Post-incident atmospheric testing in the manhole revealed lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide. Two other employees and a volunteer firefighter were also exposed to the toxic gases in the manhole during rescue attempts but survived. [ more ]
OSHA Investigation Finds Psychiatric Hospital Workers Remain Exposed to Serious Workplace Hazards
A Massachusetts behavioral health facility faces $207,690 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations found while conducting a follow-up inspection.
On June 29, 2017, OSHA issued UHS of Westwood Pembroke, Inc. – doing business as Lowell Treatment Center – a notification for failure to abate violation involving workplace violence. This follows a serious violation related to the same hazards that federal safety and health inspectors found on May 19, 2015. As a result of the 2015 inspection, the employer and OSHA entered into a Formal Settlement Agreement on April 12, 2016, which outlined specific provisions of a workplace violence prevention program. [ more ]
D.C. Circuit Vacates Portions of EPA's Definition of Solid Waste Rule
On July 7, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the D.C. Circuit) vacated portions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2015 rule on the Definition of Solid Waste (the 2015 Rule). See American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, No. 09-1038 (D.C. Cir. 2017) (API Opinion). Both industry and environmental groups challenged the 2015 Rule. The 2015 Rule revised a Definition of Solid Waste Rule promulgated by EPA in 2008 (the 2008 Rule). See 80 Fed. Reg. 1694 (Jan. 13, 2015) (the 2015 Rule) and 73 Fed. Reg. 64668 (Oct. 30, 2008) (the 2008 Rule). [ more ]
OSHA Cites New York Paperboard Mill for 61 Safety, Health Hazards
NEW YORK, NY – A New York paperboard mill faces $357,445 in proposed penalties for exposing workers to 61 safety and health hazards.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Syracuse opened an inspection of Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc., on Dec. 27, 2016, in response to a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. Inspectors discovered employees exposed to serious safety hazards, including more than 20 instances of machinery lacking safety guards to prevent employees from the risk of amputation. [ more ]
EPA's Preparedness Resouce Center
Each September, National Preparedness Month encourages and reminds Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.
Use this opportunity to find ways or help others understand more about preparing for disasters that reduce risks to health and the environment from contamination, leaks, spills, hazardous materials, and other dangers. This page doesn't include all possible ways of preparing but provides many ideas and links to more information. [ more ]
OSHA Cites Chicago Container Manufacturer After 4 Workers Suffer Injuries
CHICAGO, IL – A Chicago manufacturer of rigid metal, plastic, and hybrid containers faces $503,380 in proposed penalties after inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to four separate reports of workers suffering injuries at the facility.
As a result of its investigations, OSHA cited BWAY Corporation for five repeated and five serious safety violations of machine safety procedures, and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. In the past five years, 15 workers suffered amputations at the Chicago plant.
"Lack of machine safety guards and procedures contribute to multiple employee injuries nationwide each year," said OSHA Area Director Kathy Webb, in Chicago. "Companies must continuously monitor their facilities, and review procedures and training to ensure employees are protected from machine hazards." [ more ]
EPA settles with Big State Logistics for three separate spills on Alaska’s Richardson Highway
Seattle – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached settlement with Big State Logistics, Inc. ("BSL"), a fuel hauler and trucking firm based in Fairbanks and Valdez, Alaska, over three separate spills on Alaska's Richardson Highway. The spills took place in 2016, between Fairbanks and Valdez and ranged from 339 gallons to 3,571 gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
One spill was caused by equipment failure and the other two spills involved ice and snow packed road conditions. In each incident, BSL and its contractors responded quickly and conducted fuel recovery and clean-up actions. Following these events, the company also halted transportation of double trailers during the harshest weather months and gave BSL drivers the discretion to not haul double trailers if the roads were judged to be in poor condition. The company will pay a total of $43,000 in penalties as part of this settlement. [ more ]
Signifigant Changes in 2018 Dangerous Goods Regulations
The 59th edition of IATA's Dangerous Goods Regulations is out. The 59th edition goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
You can review some of the changes here.
OSHA Cites Pittsburgh Contractor after Hazards Lead to Fatal Electrocution
PITTSBURGH, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Pittsburgh masonry contractor for exposing workers to serious dangers including fall and electrical hazards after an employee was fatally electrocuted in April.
On April 20, 2017, OSHA conducted an investigation of Ski Masonry LLC after a 21-year-old laborer doing restoration work at a Pittsburgh residence was electrocuted. The residential and commercial masonry contractor received two willful and five serious citations for violations, including knowingly allowing employees to work within 10 feet of overhead, energized, and uninsulated electrical lines, failing to provide fall protection, and using scaffolding without a secure base plate. [ more ]
Field Work in Support of Pending Cleanup at the Raymark Superfund Site in Stratford, CT
BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with the Stratford Health Department, and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) today announced that numerous field activities will be conducted in areas of Stratford with known Raymark Waste.
Raymark waste is contamination that was generated by Raymark Industries, Inc., an asbestos brake lining manufacturing plant that operated in Stratford from 1919 to 1989. Specifically, crews will be focused on collecting soil and sediment samples from the entire length of Ferry Creek from interstate 95 to Beacon Point, from several properties along Ferry Boulevard and East Main Street, and from portions of the Department of Public Works property and Wooster Park. Other crews will be conducting boundary and topographic surveys, and completing habitat and wetland assessments in these same areas. [ more ]
OSHA Issues Final Rule Setting Compliance Date for Crane Operator Certification Requirements
WASHINGTON, DC – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a final rule setting November 10, 2018, as the date for employers in the construction industries to comply with a requirement for crane operator certification. The final rule becomes effective November 9, 2017.
OSHA issued a final cranes and derricks rule in August 2010. After stakeholders expressed concerns regarding the rule's certification requirements, OSHA published a separate final rule in September 2014, extending by three years the crane operator certification and competency requirements. This one-year extension provides additional time for OSHA to complete a rulemaking to address stakeholder concerns related to the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.
OSHA's Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) recommended delaying enforcement of the certification requirement and extending the employer assessment responsibilities for the same period.
$43,458 in Fines for Spill Response and Hazard Communication
GIBSONTON, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Tampa Electric Co. and Critical Intervention Services, a security services provider, for $43,458 in total proposed penalties, following a release of anhydrous ammonia – a chemical refrigerant – at its Gibsonton facility.
On May 23, 2017, OSHA responded to the incident and determined that the ammonia release occurred when a relief valve activated after a pipeline became over pressurized. As a result, four workers were taken to the hospital for observation and released.
OSHA issued Tampa Electric two serious citations for failing to include all the minimum requirements in their emergency response plan and not ensuring employees exposed to hazardous substances wore appropriate respiratory protection. The Agency also issued the power company a Hazard Alert Letter with recommendations to mitigate asphyxiation hazards. [ more ]
$333,756 Proposed Penalty for Confined Space and Fall Protection
DOWNINGTOWN, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited US Environmental Inc. for 12 safety violations, including willfully exposing workers to confined space and fall hazards at its Downingtown location. The company faces proposed penalties of $333,756.
Investigators inspected the facility on May 31, 2017, and found that the company failed to implement rescue procedures for employees in confined spaces; provide protective equipment when working in confined spaces; and provide employees with fall protection training and equipment. OSHA cited the company for one other-than-serious, four willful, and seven serious violations. [ more ]
OSHA's Winter Weather Website
Winter weather presents hazards including slippery roads/surfaces, strong winds and environmental cold. Employers must prevent illnesses, injuries, or fatalities, by controlling these hazards in workplaces impacted by winter weather.
OSHA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working together on a public education effort aimed at improving the way people prepare for and respond to severe weather. This page is designed to help businesses and their workers prepare for winter weather, and to provide information about hazards that workers may face during and after winter storms. [ more ]
U.S. Department of Labor Imposes Maximum Fines on Motion Picture Company for Failing to Adequately Protect From Fall Hazards
SENOIA, GA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Stalwart Films LLC for failing to protect employees from fall hazards while filming the television show, "The Walking Dead."
OSHA issued a serious citation and proposed penalties totaling the maximum allowable fine of $12,675, for the company's failure to provide adequate protection from fall hazards. OSHA investigated Stalwart's filming location in Senoia after a stuntman was fatally injured after falling more than 20 feet. [ more ]
Preventing the Spread of Flu in the Workplace
This page includes information for workers and employers about reducing the spread of seasonal flu in workplaces. It provides information on the basic precautions to be used in all workplaces and the additional precautions that should be used in healthcare settings. Healthcare workers in contact with flu exposed patients are at higher risk for exposure to the flu virus and additional precautions are needed. [ more ]
EPA Begins Reviews of 24 New England Superfund Sites
Boston – EPA plans to conduct comprehensive reviews of site cleanups at 24 National Priorities List Sites (Superfund Sites), including two Federal Facilities, across New England by performing required Five-Year Reviews of sites. The Superfund program, a federal program established by Congress in 1980, investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and endeavors to facilitate activities to return them to productive use.
"Under Administrator Pruitt, EPA has a renewed focus to make progress on Superfund sites across the country," said EPA regional administrator Alexandra Dunn. "We are dedicated to addressing risk at sites, which is why it's important for us to conduct these regular reviews of previously completed cleanups to make sure these remedies remain protective of human health and the environment." [ more ]
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