Fire Drills – Why, When, and How

September 20th, 2017

Preparation is the key to effective response to workplace fires. Fire drills help prepare employees to respond quickly, calmly, and safely.

Fire drills play a very important role in workplace fire safety. Although OSHA does not require fire drills, it strongly recommends them.

Fire Alarm

In its “Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool,” OSHA says:

“It is a good idea to hold practice drills as often as necessary to keep employees prepared. Include outside resources such as fire and police departments when possible. After each drill, gather management and employees to evaluate the effectiveness of the drill. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your plan and work to improve it.”

It’s important to note that even though OSHA doesn’t require drills, local fire codes and your insurance carrier may require you to hold periodic fire drills to ensure safe evacuation of employees. Read the rest of this entry »

Deciphering New Standards for Cut-Resistant Gloves

September 20th, 2017

In 2016, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) updated its voluntary standard for hand protection, ANSI/ISEA 105. The standard specifies standardized testing methods for U.S. manufacturers to use in classifying protective gloves, rating them on protective factors that include cut, abrasion, and puncture resistance; chemical permeation; and other factors like flame resistance and dexterity.

Europe also updated its voluntary standard, EN 388, in 2016. EN 388 certification is required for gloves that will be sold in Europe. The standard specifies test methods for mechanical hand protection, including abrasion, cut, puncture, and tear resistance. In addition, the updated standard includes test methods and ratings for impact resistance that are required for any gloves that are marketed as “impact resistant.” Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight on Safety Enforcement

August 18th, 2017

OSHA isn’t publicizing its enforcement efforts as much as it did under the Obama administration, but that doesn’t mean employers aren’t being cited and fined. Today and tomorrow, we’re taking a look at 21 recent enforcement cases that all led to penalties of over $40,000.

Here are some cases in our roundup: 

Alabama—A motor vehicle parts manufacturer was cited with three repeat violations and three serious violations. The repeat violations were issued for lockout/tagout deficiencies and failing to provide injury and illness records to authorized government representatives within 4 business hours. Serious violations were issued for fall protection, machine guarding, and lockout/tagout.
Total penalty: $84,255  Read the rest of this entry »

OSHA Enforcement

August 18th, 2017

Ohio auto insulation manufacturer faces penalties following worker injury

A worker at a Toledo, Ohio, automotive parts supplier lost his hand and part of his arm in a shredding machine. OSHA’s investigation of Autoneum North America found that the company failed to equip the machine with safety guards and train workers on lockout/tagout procedures, and exposed workers to struck-by hazards from machine parts. The company was cited for three willful and two repeated violations and proposed fines of $569,463. For more information, read the news release. 

Michigan landscaping company obtains Cease Operations Order for exposing workers to hazards Read the rest of this entry »

EPA Seeks Elimination of $28 Million Monitoring Requirement

August 18th, 2017

A requirement to place wireless continuous monitors on containers at off-site waste and recovery operations (OSWROs) to detect leaks from pressure relief devices (PRDs) would be eliminated under an EPA proposal (August 7, 2017, FR).

The proposal responds to an industry petition for reconsideration of the requirement, which is included in the Agency’s 2015 residual Risk and Technology Review (RTR) of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for OSWROs. Jointly submitted by the American Chemistry Council and Eastman Chemical Company, the petition argued that the transitory nature of containers at OSWRO sites would make the installation of continuous monitoring devices technically impossible. Moreover, the petitioners said other federal regulations cover leak detection of OSWRO containers, and therefore, the RTR requirement is redundant. Read the rest of this entry »

Construction Safety – Tips for an Effective Program

August 18th, 2017

An effective construction safety program goes beyond compliance to address overall loss control, which includes employee protection, property damage, and liability claims. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has created a model safety program for builders. It’s built on a solid foundation of safety principles that will resonate with safety professionals in the building industry and beyond.

Here’s what NAHB recommends: Read the rest of this entry »

Changes in Refrigerant Regulation – Are You Prepared

August 18th, 2017

The regulation of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment is changing.  The universe of regulated refrigerants is expanding, commonly used refrigerants are being phased out, and revised refrigerant regulations are being phased in.  Is your facility prepared to cope with the changes in order to avoid penalties and enforcement actions?

The Changes

Refrigerant regulations originally addressed only ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) used as refrigerants.  However, revisions to the regulations, effective January 1, 2017, revised the definition of “refrigerant.”  The effect of this change was to extend the refrigerant regulations for ODS refrigerants to non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerants. The change was primarily meant to address hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have a very high global warming potential, but it does apply to any substitute refrigerant, other than the few that are specifically listed as exempt, and greatly expands the universe of regulated refrigerants. Read the rest of this entry »

11 Rules for Safe Handling of Hazardous Materials

August 18th, 2017

Do your employees know how to handle hazardous materials safely? Here are 11 basic rules all employees who handle hazardous materials should know and follow.

These 11 rules are presented in no particular order. They are all top priorities for chemical handlers. However, feel free to rearrange them in whatever order you think is best for your workplace, your workers, and your material hazards.

You’ll undoubtedly have other safety rules to add to the list. Better yet, present the list in a safety meeting and get employees involved in helping you add to the list. This will create a sense of ownership over your safe chemical handling rules.  Read the rest of this entry »

Updated ASTM AAI Standard Referenced by EPA

July 5th, 2017

In a direct final rule, the EPA is allowing the use of an updated nongovernmental consensus standard—American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E2247-16, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property—to meet the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) requirement applicable to purchases of forestland and rural property. Read the rest of this entry »

Safety Leadership Tips for Frontline Supervisors

July 5th, 2017

At Safety 2017, the annual professional development conference of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Judy L. Agnew, PhD, senior vice president of safety solutions with Aubrey Daniels International, spoke to a large room filled with safety professionals in a session titled “Setting Frontline Supervisors Up for Success in Safety.”

Referring to frontline supervisors as “the linchpins of safety,” Agnew emphasized that creating a safe workplace requires active participation at all levels of the organization. Frontline supervisors, she said, play a key role in holding together the many moving parts of a safety program, from training and hazard identification to equipment inspections and recordkeeping. Read the rest of this entry »