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“Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016: A Starting Point for Workplace Safety”

OSHA inspection-1

Every October the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff. One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. Year after year, our inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury.

More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations, and hospitalizations would drastically decline.

Consider this list a starting point for workplace safety:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

It’s no coincidence that falls are among the leading causes of worker deaths, particularly in construction, and our top 10 list features a lack of fall protection as well as ladder and scaffold safety issues. We know how to protect workers from falls, and have an ongoing campaign to inform employers and workers about these measures. Employers must take these issues seriously.

We also see far too many workers killed or gruesomely injured when machinery starts up suddenly while being repaired, or hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts. Lockout/tagout and machine guarding violations are often the culprits here. Proper lockout/tagout procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them. And installing guards to keep hands, feet and other appendages away from moving machinery prevents amputations and worse.

Respiratory protection is essential for preventing long-term and sometimes fatal health problems associated with breathing in asbestos, silica or a host of other toxic substances. But we can see from our list of violations that not nearly enough employers are providing this needed protection and training.

The high number of fatalities associated with forklifts, and a high number of violations for powered industrial truck safety, tell us that many workers are not being properly trained to safely drive these kinds of potentially hazardous equipment. Rounding out the top 10 list are violations related to electrical safety, an area where the dangers are well-known. Our list of top violations is far from comprehensive.

OSHA regulations cover a wide range of hazards, all of which imperil worker health and safety. And we urge employers to go beyond the minimal requirements to create a culture of safety at work, which has been shown to reduce costs, raise productivity and improve morale. To help them, we have released new recommendations for creating a safety and health program at their workplaces.

We have many additional resources, including a wealth of information on our website and our free and confidential On-site Consultation Program. But tackling the most common hazards is a good place to start saving workers’ lives and limbs.

Source: OSHA -Thomas Galassi is the director of enforcement programs for OSHA.

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“Confined Spaces – “What To Do Before You Enter” #ConfinedSpace #StayAlive

80% of fatalities happened in locations that had been previously entered by the same person who later died.

Each year, an average of 92 fatalities occurs from confined spaces locations due to asphyxiation, acute or chronic poisoning, or impairment.

But, what is a “confined space?”

A confined space is a space that:

  1. Is large enough and so arranged that an employee can bodily enter it;
  2. Has limited or restricted means for entry and exit;
  3. Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Examples of confined spaces include:

  • Sewers
  • Storm drains
  • Water mains
  • Pits
  • And many more

Permit-required confined spaces include:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a material with the potential to engulf someone who enters the space
  • Has an internal configuration that might cause an entrant to be trapped or asphyxiated
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazards

Here are some steps you can take to help ensure the safety of your workers.

1. Is This a Confined Space?

2. Is the Atmosphere Safe?

Testing must be done in several levels of the space because specific hazardous gases react differently to the rest of the atmosphere. Why? Hydrogen Sulfide is slightly heavier than air, while other dangerous gases such as methane may be lighter than air and rise to the top. Only by testing all levels of the tank you are about to enter can you be reasonably sure the atmosphere is acceptable for breathing.

3. How Do I Exit Safely?

Before you start thinking about entering, first make sure you can get back out. Meaning you have a rescue plan and are working with someone else who can provide for rescue.

If you don’t have a rescue plan, don’t enter.

4. How Do I Enter Safely?

Does the job or project require special equipment to get in and out of the space, such as a body harness?

5. Will The Atmosphere Stay Safe?

Once you’ve established that the atmosphere is safe to enter, you next have to know that it will stay that way. Which leads us to our next point.

6. Does the Space Need Ventilating?

If the air is found to be unsafe within the confined space because of existing fumes or gas, or if the work being done will contribute to a degradation of the breathable atmosphere, the space needs to be ventilated and you need to be using an air monitoring device.

7. Equipment Check

It’s important to check your equipment before beginning any sort of confined space entry work. Has your gas detector been bump-tested or recently calibrated? Have all lanyards and lifelines been checked for wear? Have harnesses been properly stored?

8. Lighting

Confined spaces are often cramped, dark and awkwardly shaped. A well-lit worksite helps workers avoid injury.

9. Communication

Radios are a great way to stay connected with workers, but also keep in mind that, nothing can replace having a standby worker positioned at the exit when workers are in a confined space. This tried and true system allows the outside person not only to communicate with workers within the space but also to call for help if it is needed.

10. Are you and your crew up to the task?

Can each team member be relied upon in a life-threatening situation?

This list is not meant to be comprehensive, check the OSHA Standards for that.

Stop to consider the dangers before you enter, and be mindful that confined spaces can become dangerous after you have entered.

Source: Vivid Learning Systems – Safety Toolbox

“TSCA Reform: A Simple 5-point Summary of What You Need to Know “

After 40 years, the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) has been reformed in an effort to more effectively manage chemicals in this country and give EPA more authority to evaluate and mitigate the associated risks. This infographic summarizes the important points of TSCA reform.

TF-TSCA-reform-info

“Maximum Civil Penalties for Violations of Environmental (USEPA) Statutes Are Now Significantly Higher After Inflation Adjustment”

EPA-Logo130418

In a federal rulemaking published last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued interim final regulations adjusting the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for violations of various provisions of law. 81 Fed. Reg. 43091 (July 1, 2016).

The recently enacted Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act), not only required an adjustment form current penalty maximum levels to account for inflation, but also included a catch-up provision for inflation. That requires each agency to evaluate and provide for an inflation adjustment dating back to the enactment of the relevant statute’s effective date. (Section 5(b)(2)(C) of the 2015 Act provides that the maximum amount of any initial catch-up increase shall not exceed 150 percent of the level that was in effect on November 2, 2015.) See related Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, OMB Memorandum M-16-06 (February 24, 2016). In addition, beginning January 15, 2017, each agency must make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation.

EPA’s interim final rule revises Table 2 to 40 CFR 19.4, showing the results of the Agency’s calculations and adjustments, that include: (1) the maximum or minimum penalty level established when each statutory section was originally enacted or last adjusted by Congress; and (2) the statutory maximum or minimum civil penalty level, adjusted for inflation under the 2015 Act, that applies to statutory civil penalties assessed on or after August 1, 2016 for violations that occurred after November 2, 2015.

Readers familiar with EPA’s penalty structure know that statutory penalties of $25,000 per day per violation were previously adjusted for inflation to $37,500. With the catch up provision under the interim final rule, the maximum penalty will vary by statute. For example, the $25,000 per violation penalty under the Clean Air Act is now $44,539; under the Clean Water Act is now $44,539; under RCRA is now in a range of $56,467 to $70,117, and under CERCLA (including most EPCRA violations) is now $53,907. Other maximum penalties are also adjusted.

The new civil penalty amounts are applicable only to civil penalties assessed after Aug. 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.

For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Environmental Compliance, Enforcement & Permitting Team.

Source: Seyfarth, Shaw

“Are You In Compliance?”-“June 1, 2016 – HAZCOM And GHS, The Final Deadline”

HazCom and GHS: The Final Deadline

HazCom and GHS: The Final Deadline by Safety.BLR.com

June 1, 2016, is the final deadline in the 4-year phase-in period for OSHA’s 2012 revisions to the hazard communication standard that aligned with the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, or GHS. Check out the infographic for an overview of what the final deadline requires and tips to make sure your facility is prepared.

“June 1, 2016 – HAZCOM And GHS, The Final Deadline”

HazCom and GHS: The Final Deadline

HazCom and GHS: The Final Deadline by Safety.BLR.com

June 1, 2016, is the final deadline in the 4-year phase-in period for OSHA’s 2012 revisions to the hazard communication standard that aligned with the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, or GHS. Check out the infographic for an overview of what the final deadline requires and tips to make sure your facility is prepared.

“GHS: What’s Next? – The Timeline For GHS Compliance Explained”

According to OSHA, GHS affects over 5 million businesses and 43 million workers in the US alone. This infographic illustrates the next steps for GHS Compliance, and gives a timeline of the evolution of GHS and it’s implementation.

GHS: What
Infographic created by Creative Safety Supply

Can You Answer These 20 Questions About the New GHS Standard?

Great For Use as a Tool Box Talk!

Ready for the new GHS-required safety data sheet (SDS)? Here’s a little game of 20 questions to test your knowledge of the new SDS. Use the quiz to check supervisors’ understanding of the new format as well.

Although you still have over a year to train employees about the new GHS-required SDS and even more time before you have to replace the MSDS with the SDS, it’s a never too early to start getting your workplace ready for the change over.

In this quiz, you’ll be asked to identify sections of the SDS where specific information can be found. If you’re already using the ANSI-format MSDS, you should get all the answers right. Scroll down after the last question to check your answers.

1. What is the compliance deadline (month, day, and year) for training employees on the new SDS?

2. By what date must you switch over from the MSDS to the SDS?

3. In which section of the SDS would you find information about a chemical’s vapor density?

4. In which section would you find the CAS number for a hazardous chemical?

5. In which section would you find the chemical manufacturer’s or importer’s name, address, and an emergency phone number?

6. In which section would you find the UN number and proper shipping name, required for transporting chemicals?

7. In which section would you find information about the ecotoxicity and bioaccumulative potential of a hazardous chemical?

8. In which section would you find the signal word, hazard statement, symbol, and precautionary statement (corresponding to information on the label)?

9. In which section would you find a list of safety, health, and environmental regulations that apply to the product?

10. In which section would you find information about safe disposal of waste chemicals and contaminated packaging?

11.    In which section would you find information about first aid for exposures?

12.    In which section would you find about PPE required for handling the chemical?

13.    In which section would you find out how to fight a fire involving the chemical?

14.    In which section would you find about possible hazardous reactions involving the chemical and conditions to avoid?

15.    In which section would you find the flash point of a chemical?

16.    In which section would you find routes of exposure and symptoms of exposure?

17.    In which section would you find safe handling and storage procedures?

18.    In which section would you find information about necessary engineering controls?

19.    In which section would you learn how to handling a spill involving the chemical?

20.    In which section would you learn about other materials that are incompatible with a chemical, possibly causing a hazardous reaction if the materials are not segregated?

11.    In which section would you find information about first aid for exposures?

12.    In which section would you find about PPE required for handling the chemical?

13.    In which section would you find out how to fight a fire involving the chemical?

14.    In which section would you find about possible hazardous reactions involving the chemical and conditions to avoid?

15.    In which section would you find the flash point of a chemical?

16.    In which section would you find routes of exposure and symptoms of exposure?

17.    In which section would you find safe handling and storage procedures?

18.    In which section would you find information about necessary engineering controls?

19.    In which section would you learn how to handling a spill involving the chemical?

20.    In which section would you learn about other materials that are incompatible with a chemical, possibly causing a hazardous reaction if the materials are not segregated?

– See more at: http://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com/2012/10/can-you-answer-these-questions-about-the-sds/#sthash.Ilxu1XUE.dpuf

11.    In which section would you find information about first aid for exposures?

12.    In which section would you find about PPE required for handling the chemical?

13.    In which section would you find out how to fight a fire involving the chemical?

14.    In which section would you find about possible hazardous reactions involving the chemical and conditions to avoid?

15.    In which section would you find the flash point of a chemical?

16.    In which section would you find routes of exposure and symptoms of exposure?

17.    In which section would you find safe handling and storage procedures?

18.    In which section would you find information about necessary engineering controls?

19.    In which section would you learn how to handling a spill involving the chemical?

20.    In which section would you learn about other materials that are incompatible with a chemical, possibly causing a hazardous reaction if the materials are not segregated?

– See more at: http://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com/2012/10/can-you-answer-these-questions-about-the-sds/#sthash.Ilxu1XUE.dpuf

Answers

1. December 1, 2013
2. June 1, 2015
3. Section 9, Physical and Chemical Properties
4. Section 3, Composition/Information on Ingredients
5. Section 1, Identification
6. Section 14, Transportation Information
7. Section 12, Ecological Information
8. Section 2, Hazard Identification
9. Section 15, Regulatory Information
10. Section 13, Disposal Considerations
11. Section 4, First Aid
12. Section 8, Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
13. Section 5, Fire-fighting Measures
14. Section 10, Stability and Reactivity
15. Section 9, Physical and Chemical Properties
16. Section 11, Toxicological Information
17. Section 7, Handling and Storage
18. Section 8, Exposure Control/Personal Protection
19. Section 6, Accidental Release Measures
20. Section 10, Stability and Reactivity

 

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GHS Infographic: “Did Your Training Meet The December 1, 2013 Deadline?

In 2012, OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, or GHS. With the first compliance deadline for the GHS revisions just around the corner, are you prepared? Have you trained your employees on the new label elements and safety data sheets (SDSs) that will be required once GHS is fully implemented?

If you haven’t yet done so, you must complete this training ASAP!  Check out the infographic below to learn more about who must be trained, what training must include, and what the GHS revisions mean for you and your employees.

GHS Training Guide

GHS training: Are you ready for the December 1 deadline? by Safety.BLR.com

Is Your 1st Phase of GHS Training Done? – What’s Next?

Is your December 1, 2013 first phase of GHS Training complete? Here’s Whats Next!

Hazard Communication and GHS: What comes next?

Hazard Communication and GHS: What Comes Next? by Safety.BLR.com

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