Transporting Class 9 Hazmat – HMEs and Registration

November 3rd, 2017

There seems to be much confusion regarding transporting class 9 hazardous materials (hazmat). Let’s take a look at two issues, one concerning the need for a hazmat endorsement and the other concerning registration.

In the classification system of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hazmat, class 9 hazmat includes those that don’t come under any of the other hazmat classes (e.g., explosives, flammables). But, they are still hazardous materials, and there is a placard for them. But, does the placard have to be used?  Read the rest of this entry »

Strategic EHSQ and Mission-Critical EHSQ – The Future of Environment, Health, and Safety Management

November 3rd, 2017

At Medgate, we’re always obsessively thinking about where the market is heading and how we can stay ahead of the curve, especially as it relates to customer requirements.

Strategic EHSQ—An Overview

Today, every industry faces ever-rising customer expectations, ever-evolving competition, and ever-changing compliance requirements. Beyond risk mitigation and compliance, effective Environment, Health, Safety, and Quality (EHSQ) programs can be a competitive advantage. Harnessing data to gain insight into—and proactively improve—operations can be the difference between market leadership and market irrelevance. Read the rest of this entry »

POTW NESHAP Rule Leaves Emissions Limits Unchanged

November 3rd, 2017

Following its Clean Air Act Section 112 residual risk and technology review (RTR) of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), the EPA has determined that the technology-based standards in the existing NESHAP protect the public health with an ample margin of safety and that no developments in practices, processes, and control technologies were identified, which warrant revisions to the standards for this source category. Consequently, the final RTR rule contains no revisions to existing emissions limits. Read the rest of this entry »

OSHA Top News

November 3rd, 2017

OSHA Memorandum Outlines 30-Day Enforcement Plan for Silica Construction Standard

Enforcement of OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica standard for construction went into effect on Sept. 23. The agency announced in a September 20 memorandum a 30-day enforcement phase-in to help employers comply with the new standard. Citations may be considered for employers not making any efforts to comply. For more information on silica hazards and OSHA’s standard, visit the Silica Final Rule webpage.  Read the rest of this entry »

OSHA Enforcement

November 3rd, 2017

Chicago Container Manufacturer Cited After 4 Workers Suffer Injuries

BWAY Corp., a Chicago container manufacturer, was cited by OSHA for multiple repeated and serious safety violations after the agency responded to four separate reports of employee injuries. One employee suffered two broken bones in his hand after it was crushed by equipment. Three other employees suffered amputations from unguarded chain and sprocket assemblies. Violations include failing to train workers on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental machine start-up; failing to lockout equipment prior to clearing jams; and inadequate machine guarding. Proposed penalties total $503,380. Read the news release for more information. Read the rest of this entry »

Hazardous Drugs, Risky Behaviors: Why Won’t Healthcare Workers Wear Their Gloves?

November 3rd, 2017

Pharmacists who compound antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs, and the nurses who then administer them, are at high risk of occupational exposure. These exposures can cause acute health effects, from sore throats to hair loss; allergic reactions; cancer; and reproductive toxicity—including an increased risk of miscarriage. Despite this, multiple studies have shown that healthcare workers can be remarkably cavalier about the precautions that could prevent exposure, like wearing gloves. A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) survey reported that the most common reason given for failing to wear gloves was that “skin exposure was minimal”—an opinion at odds with various biological measures of worker exposures.

Yesterday we looked at the ways that healthcare workers can be exposed to hazardous drugs. Today we’ll look at some of the reasons they give for failing to comply with safe work practices that could help to prevent occupational exposures. Read the rest of this entry »

What Confuses Everybody About Secondary Containment

September 20th, 2017

What are the specific requirements for secondary containment of oil containers at SPCC-regulated facilities?

The entire containment system, including the walls and floor, must be capable of containing oil and must be constructed so that any discharge from a primary containment system, such as a tank or pipe, will not escape the containment system before cleanup occurs (40 CFR 112.7(c)).

Exceptions apply to qualified oil-filled operational equipment and flowlines and intrafacility gathering lines at oil production facilities.

Here’s more on simplifying secondary containment requirements. Read the rest of this entry »

Setting environmental objectives and targets for ISO 14001 Compliance

September 20th, 2017

Setting environmental objectives and targets for ISO 14001 Compliance 

What is an Objective? What is a Target?

Environmental objectives are goals that you would like to meet in the future.
Targets are the means for providing verifiable evidence that you have actually met the objective.  For example, your environmental objective may be to reduce the generation of hazardous wastes.  Your may then set your target at 20 percent reduction within 12 months.  In the parlance of ISO 14001, objectives are “documents” whereas targets are “records.”  Documents can be modified while records cannot.  For example, you can modify your objectives, but you cannot change having missed your targets. Read the rest of this entry »

OSHA Enforcement and News

September 20th, 2017

Florida roofing company issued $1.5M in penalties after repeatedly exposing workers to fall hazards

Jacksonville, Fla., roofing company, Great White Construction Inc., has been cited and fined after OSHA inspectors observed employees – without the use of proper fall protection – removing shingles and plywood sheeting from the roof of a multi-story residential structure. Although the employees wore harnesses, they were not tied off to the rope grabs and roof anchors. Great White was cited with 14 violations and proposed penalties totaling $1,523,710. Given the employer’s extensive prior history of violations, OSHA issued 11 separate willful citations for failing to protect employees from fall hazards. The company was also cited for three repeat violations for failing to ensure employees used eye protection while operating nail guns and for ladders used to access roof sites, again exposing employees to fall hazards. OSHA has investigated the company 12 times since 2012, and issued 22 citations for similar violations. Great White is now in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. For more information, read the news release. Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Disasters – Is Your Workplace Prepared?

September 20th, 2017

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recognizes each September as National Preparedness Month. This is the perfect time to make sure that not only your household is prepared for disaster but also that your workplace is as well.

If your organization does not have plans such as these in place already, follow these steps to begin the process of preparing your workplace for natural disasters.

Assess Your Local Hazards

In order to best prepare, evaluate your area and determine which natural disasters could pose a threat. For example, if your office is located in Wichita, Kansas, it would better serve you to prepare for tornados rather than tsunamis. Don’t exclusively assess your locality, but take your office building into account as well. You’ll need to consider which floor your office is on, exit routes, hazards within your building, and more when creating your plans. Aside from personal dangers your company could experience, identify the ways in which your business would be impacted. This is critical for the planning process to bounce back after disaster hits. Read the rest of this entry »