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“Terrorism Concerns Results in Chemical Storage Rule Delay” #WestTexasFire #Chemicals

The Trump administration is delaying a new rule tightening safety requirements for companies that store large quantities of dangerous chemicals. The rule was imposed after a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, exploded in 2013, killing 15 people.

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, delayed the effective date of the Obama-era rule until June.

Pruitt’s action late Monday came in response to complaints by the chemical industry and other business groups that the rule could make it easier for terrorists and other criminals to target refineries, chemical plants, and other facilities by requiring companies to make public the types and quantities of chemicals stored on site.

The EPA issued a final rule in January, seven days before President Barack Obama left office. The EPA said at the time that the rule would help prevent accidents and improve emergency preparedness by allowing first responders better data on chemical storage.

A coalition of business groups opposed the rule, saying in a letter to Pruitt that it would do “irreparable harm” to companies that store chemicals and put public safety at risk.

Chet Thompson, president and CEO of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, an industry group, praised Pruitt’s delay of the EPA rule.

“The midnight rulemaking in the final days of the Obama administration would not enhance safety, create security vulnerabilities and divert resources from further enhancing existing safety programs,” Thompson said.

Environmental groups questioned industry claims as “self-interested” and misleading.

Hazardous chemical incidents like the explosion in West, Texas, are “frighteningly common,” according to the Environmental Justice Health Alliance, an advocacy group. More than 1,500 chemical releases or explosions were reported from 20014 to 2013, causing 58 deaths and more than 17,000 injuries, the group said.

Instead of bowing to industry complaints, the EPA should “stand with the first responders, at-risk communities, safety experts, workers, small businesses and others who live at daily risk of a catastrophic chemical release or explosion,” the group wrote in a letter last month to members of Congress.

The Obama-era rule came after a three-year process that included eight public hearings and more than 44,000 public comments, the group said.

The Obama administration said the rule would help prevent chemical incidents such as the 2013 explosion in Texas, while enhancing emergency preparedness requirements, improving management of data on chemical storage and modernizing policies and regulations.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said the Obama-era rule gives “a blueprint to those who would like to do us harm,” adding that existing regulations will remain in place to continue ensuring the safety of chemical plants and other facilities.

Source: Insurance Journal

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“Conducting An Effective Job Hazard Analysis” – Infographic” #JHA #Safety

JHA_InfographicJob hazard analysis is an essential component of a successful safety program. This BLR infographic details the 6 steps of a JHA so you can assess the hazards at your facility and implement corrective actions.

“JHA Downloads”

JHA Checklist: http://bit.ly/20crSNM

OSHA JHA Powerpoint: http://bit.ly/1K1ebiT

“N95 Day: A NIOSH-Approved Holiday”

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Today is the 5th annual N95 Day, which focuses on respiratory protection awareness and proper use of N95 respirators. Here are some ways you can participate:

  • Social media. Look for N95-related information on Twitter (@NIOSH, @NPPTL, #N95Day) Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as well as the annual N95 Day NIOSH Science Blog. Share NIOSH’s infographics, and be sure to follow ASSE (@ASSE_Safety) and other campaign partners to find free training, resources, and safety tips.
  • Hospital respiratory protection program resources. NIOSH has launched a web page of resources dedicated to hospital respiratory protection programs.
  • Webinars. NIOSH is presenting two webinars this year: 1) The Science Behind Respirator Fit Testing in the Workplace: Past, Present and Future; and 2)  Why Do We Have to Fit Test? And Why Every Year? Although registration is now closed, the agency will post the webinar videos and slides after the event. Check the campaign page for updates.
  • ASSE materials. Check out ASSE’s Tech Brief on ANSI/ASSE Z88.2-2015, Practices for Respiratory Protection and visit our respiratory protection standards page.

Source: ASSE, NIOSH, CDC

“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.

“The DuPont Integrated Approach (DnA) For Safety”

A Focus on ‘Why?’ Accelerates Safety Performance

DuPont tests a new safety approach that goes beyond traditional behavioral-safety programs.

By: Bob Krzywicki, Global Practice Leader for Employee Safety, DuPont Sustainable Solutions

Instead of taking a sprawling corner office when he joined the company, former Alcoa Inc. CEO, Paul O’Neill, settled into his new role by taking his place in a cubicle. This wasn’t the only untraditional move O’Neill made as CEO of the aluminum giant.

Unlike other CEOs, O’Neill didn’t place profit or sales on the top of his agenda. Instead, he made safety his top priority and mission, saying that in order to be considered a world-class company; it first had to become the safest. His goal was to see that no employee was injured in the workplace. In 1987, when O’Neill joined Alcoa, the company’s rate of time lost due to employee injuries was one-third the U.S. average. Today, the time lost due to injury is less than one twentieth of the average and profits of the company broke records upon O’Neill’s retirement at $1.5 billion on sales of $22.9 billion. Today, Alcoa holds itself to the same standards and saw revenue increase to $6.4 billion in 2011.

Companies like Alcoa are no longer making safety a priority, but a value. Many of these same companies already have in place robust safety procedures and practices and have industry leading performances to match. That said, a growing number are looking for the next opportunity to move beyond plateaued safety performance, which for many is at or below a total injury recordable rate of 1.0 per 200,000 hours worked.

Take the DuPont Spruance plant in Richmond, Virginia. Since the 1960s, this plant has been producing Nomex, a flame-resistant meta-aramid fiber that is employed as a dielectric insulator for high temperatures. The plant is DuPont’s largest manufacturing site by employment and capital investment. The 550-acre plant, located on the James River, is the global headquarters for one of DuPont’s fastest-growing businesses, DuPont Protection Technologies.

The Nomex business at the plant has a great track record of growth and improvement over the last decade. Last year, its safety performance was considered better than the DuPont corporate average. But plant management wanted more – they were looking for something to take them to the next level of safety management. They wanted to ensure that plant operations didn’t get stale and stagnate.

A New Approach to Safety

Companies can and should look for a renewed approach to safety. With more than 210 years of experience as an owner/operator, DuPont continues to evolve its safety practices with a commitment to achieving zero workplace injuries and illnesses. Most recently, the company introduced the DuPont Integrated Approach (DnA) for Safety– a methodology designed to facilitate organizational transformation through the individual. Its basis is a “below-the-waterline view” of people’s values, attitudes and unobservable beliefs, in addition to their observable actions and behaviors. For companies that find themselves in a safety plateau, DnA offers a way to go beyond traditional programs by integrating behavioral, social and cognitive science as a means of more effectively influencing individuals’ values and, ultimately their behaviors.

Behavior-based safety programs and other traditional methods for managing workplace safety rely on clear expectations, an observation process, and feedback. This approach places emphasis on compliance and is dependent upon an observation / feedback process. What it doesn’t address, however, is why behaviors change in the absence of an authoritative figure or when employees leave the workplace. What is needed is an approach that drives not only compliant behaviors, but individual commitment. No one plans to go to work and injure themselves and yet, despite all the procedural and behavioral reinforcement measures in today’s workplace, accidents still happen. Companies should not accept these as “human error” and move forward with business as usual

DuPont Integrated Approach (DnA) for Safety

DnA for Safety is a new approach to safety because it takes into account how and why people make decisions. It accounts for motivational factors, which are both intrinsic and extrinsic, and addresses the means by which high-risk habits are formed. DnA enables companies to build a more effective, tailored safety program, based on the specific needs of a business and its personnel, using a more holistic understanding of what drives human behavior.

This core element is what differentiates DnA for Safety from traditional safety programs. Traditional programs are about shifting behaviors within an organizational culture; DnA is about shifting an individual’s own beliefs and values. This technique aligns an individual’s attitudes and values with those of an organization, thereby ensuring that they believe and act in the safest manner possible. This transformation process is a journey and takes place one day at a time, one individual at a time.

The next frontier in terms of safety is not necessarily related to breakthroughs in safety management practices. To reach new levels of success is going to require more effective safety leadership; less push and more pull, less emphasis on doing things right and more on doing the right things.

Setting a Sustainable Transformation

The DnA for Safety methodology is positioned to deliver such results and the Nomex plant was an ideal pilot. The program launched in December 2011 and provided a combination of training and coaching sessions, as well as workshops, to operators, first line supervisors and leadership at the plant. More than 30 managers and team members were trained. The process included:

  • A 2-day operational-level offering for the business safety leadership/DnA implementation team
  • A subsequent 2-day line supervisor offering
  • Focused coaching sessions for business leadership, line managers and first line supervisors
  • A 4-hour “shop floor” delivery for more than 400 hourly employees
  • “Supervisors skills workshops” delivered over a period of 6 months to strengthen safety supervisory skills

The DnA pilot program received a positive response from participants across all levels of the Nomex plant. The majority of the employees who participated in the “shop floor” sessions rated the class as the best safety engagement program they ever experienced. The feedback came from employees who ranged in career length from several years to over 40 years, and many people reported DnA for Safety was the ‘best ever’ program they’d encountered.

In comparison to other manufacturing operations at the Spruance site, with the DnA program, Nomex remains the site’s best performing business with regard to safety performance. The next step for Nomex is to continue the journey to safety improvement by implementing DnA methodology and reinforcing it as a part of their daily routines and work practices.

In order to be great, companies need visionary leaders that are constantly influencing change and striving for excellence in safety. To more effectively initiate change requires more effective leadership capabilities. Traditional methodologies drive results, but have limitations. With a better understanding of the individual decision making process, organizational leadership is far better equipped to motivate and inspire employees and to ultimately transform entire organizations.

Download Program Overview Here: http://www.dupont.com/content/dam/assets/products-and-services/consulting-services-process-technologies/articles/documents/DnA_USA_Brochure_06192012.pdf

Bob Krzywicki is a global practice leader for employee safety at DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS).

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“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.

“Download OSHA’s New 2016 HAZCOM – SDS Guidance Manual Here”

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Download OSHA’s New 2016 HAZCOM – SDS Guidance Manual in PDF format here: https://lnkd.in/bxmuBaz

Hazard Communication Safety Data Sheets
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs) to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products. As of June 1, 2015, the HCS will require new SDSs to be in a uniform format, and include the section numbers, the headings, and associated information under the headings below:

Section 1, Identification includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use.

Section 2, Hazard(s) identification includes all hazards regarding the chemical; required label elements.

Section 3, Composition/information on ingredients includes information on chemical ingredients; trade secret claims.

Section 4, First-aid measures includes important symptoms/ effects, acute, delayed; required treatment.

Section 5, Fire-fighting measures lists suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment; chemical hazards from fire.

Section 6, Accidental release measures lists emergency procedures; protective equipment; proper methods of containment and cleanup.

Section 7, Handling and storage lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.

Section 8, Exposure controls/personal protection lists OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); ACGIH Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); and any other exposure limit used or recommended by the chemical manufacturer, importer, or employer preparing the SDS where available as well as appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE).

Section 9, Physical and chemical properties lists the chemical’s characteristics.

Section 10, Stability and reactivity lists chemical stability and possibility of hazardous reactions.

Section 11, Toxicological information includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic effects; numerical measures of toxicity.

Section 12, Ecological information*

Section 13, Disposal considerations*

Section 14, Transport information*

Section 15, Regulatory information*

Section 16, Other information, includes the date of preparation or last revision.

*Note: Since other Agencies regulate this information, OSHA will not be enforcing Sections 12 through 15(29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(2)).

Employers must ensure that SDSs are readily accessible to employees.
See Appendix D of 1910.1200 for a detailed description of SDS contents.

 

“Infographic: Conducting An Effective Job Hazard Analysis”

JHA_InfographicJob hazard analysis is an essential component of a successful safety program. This BLR infographic details the 6 steps of a JHA so you can assess the hazards at your facility and implement corrective actions.

“JHA Downloads”

JHA Checklist: http://bit.ly/20crSNM

OSHA JHA Powerpoint: http://bit.ly/1K1ebiT

“U.S. Chemical Safety Board Releases New Safety Video, “Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, Texas,” Detailing Report Findings and Recommendations on 2013 Fatal West Fertilizer Company Explosion and Fire “

January 29, 2016, Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a safety video into the fatal April 17, 2013, fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, which resulted in 15 fatalities, more than 260 injuries, and widespread community damage. The deadly fire and explosion occurred when about thirty tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) exploded after being heated by a fire at the storage and distribution facility.

The CSB’s newly released 12-minute safety video entitled, “Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, Texas,” includes a 3D animation of the fire and explosion as well as interviews with CSB investigators and Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland. The video can be viewed above or on the CSB’s website and YouTube.

Chairperson Sutherland said, “This tragic accident should not have happened. We hope that this video, by sharing lessons learned from our West Fertilizer Company investigation, will help raise awareness of the hazards of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate so that a similar accident can be avoided in the future.”

The CSB’s investigation found that several factors contributed to the severity of the explosion, including poor hazard awareness and fact that nearby homes and business were built in close proximity to the West Fertilizer Company over the years prior to the accident. The video explains that there was a stockpile of 40 to 60 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the facility in plywood bins on the night of the explosion. And although FGAN is stable under normal conditions, it can violently detonate when exposed to contaminants in a fire.

In the video, Team Lead Johnnie Banks says, “We found that as the city of West crept closer and closer to the facility, the surrounding community was not made aware of the serious explosion hazard in their midst. And the West Fertilizer Company underestimated the danger of storing fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate in ordinary combustible structures.”

The CSB investigation concludes that this lack of awareness was due to several factors, including gaps in federal regulatory coverage of ammonium nitrate storage facilities. The video details safety recommendations made to OSHA and the EPA to strengthen their regulations to protect the public from hazards posed by FGAN.

Finally, the video explains how inadequate emergency planning contributed to the tragic accident. The CSB found that the West Volunteer Fire Department was not required to perform pre-incident planning for an ammonium nitrate-related emergency, nor were the volunteer firefighters required to attend training on responding to fires involving hazardous chemicals. As a result, the CSB made several safety recommendations to various stakeholders, including the EPA, to better inform and train emergency responders on the hazards of FGAN and other hazardous chemicals.

Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said, “The CSB’s goal is to ensure that no one else be killed or injured due to a lack of awareness of hazardous chemicals in their communities. If adopted, the Board’s recommendations can help prevent disasters like the one in West, Texas.”

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. The Board does not issue citations or fines but makes safety recommendations to companies, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Please visit our website, www.csb.gov

For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at public@csb.gov or by phone at 202.446.8095.

 

“CSB Board Votes on Status of Sixteen Safety Recommendations”

CSB

Washington, DC, April 20, 2015—The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has recently voted to update the status of sixteen recommendations resulting from twelve accident investigations including key safety improvements resulting from the 2006 CAI/Arnel fire and explosion in Danvers, MA and the 2005 BP Texas City refinery fire and explosion.  All recently voted on recommendations are highlighted on a newly launched webpage designed to update the public on safety recommendation status changes.
Deputy Managing Director for Recommendations Dr. Susan Anenberg said, “Safety recommendations are the CSB’s primary tool for achieving positive change and preventing future incidents. A recommendation is a specific course of action issued to a specific party, based on the findings of CSB investigations, safety studies, and other products.”
One of the recommendations voted upon by the board was issued to Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Public Safety, Department of Fire Services. The recommendation was to incorporate standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association into the state’s fire regulations and was the result of a powerful explosion and fire that took place at the CAI/Arnel ink and paint products manufacturing facility in Danvers, Massachusetts, on November 22, 2006. On January 1, 2015, the state of Massachusetts adopted a revised fire safety code that incorporates the CSB’s recommendations.
Dr. Anenberg said, “We are very pleased that Massachusetts’ revised fire code includes our recommended safety improvements. Their action ensures that the Board’s accident investigation has a lasting impact on safety in the state.”
Another acceptably closed recommendation is a 2007 recommendation to OSHA to implement a national emphasis program for oil refineries focusing on issues the CSB found contributed to the March 23, 2005, explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas. In response to the CSB recommendation, OSHA launched a “Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program,” which led to enhanced inspections of over seventy refineries nationwide.
Also, the CSB successfully closed a recommendation made to the National Fire Protection Association to revise standards based on findings from its investigation into the May 4, 2009, explosion and fire at the Veolia facility in West Carrolton, Ohio.
Dr. Anenberg said, “Actions taken by CSB recommendations recipients trigger important safety changes that can prevent accidents and save lives. Our goal is for all CSB safety recommendations to be successfully adopted and we look forward to sharing our progress with the public through our new website feature.”
For a full list of recently updated recommendations please view the CSB’s website at http://www.csb.gov/recommendations/recently-updated/
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.
The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.
For more information, contact CSB Public Affairs at public@csb.gov, Communications Manager Hillary Cohen, cell 202-446-8094 or Sandy Gilmour, Public Affairs, cell 202-251-5496.
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