OSHA Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting Due March 2

OSHA Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting Due March 2

OSHA’s final rule on electronic injury and illness reporting that passed in 2023 took effect on January 1, 2024.  The new rule added some new companies and increased some of the reporting requirements.  Electronic reports for 2023 injuries and illnesses are due March 2.   Make sure you know what your company’s responsibilities are – do you need to report electronically?

What’s New in Electronic Reporting Standard

Companies with 20-249 employees whose NAICS codes were listed on Appendix A of the standard were required to submit their 300A electronically.  This did not change, however a new appendix, Appendix B, was created for companies with 100 or more employees.  This requires many more industries to report electronically.  In addition to submitting the 300A, the 100+ employee companies who fall under Appendix B will also now need to submit their 300 and 301 forms.

As with 300A information, data from the 300 and 301 logs will be published on the OSHA website.  Personally identifiable information from the 301, such as fields 1, 2, 6 and 7: employee name, employee address, physician name, and treatment facility name and address will not be collected.

The rules did not change for all companies with 250 or more employees.  All companies, regardless of NAICS code, will need to submit their 300A forms.  Those with 19 or fewer employees will still not be required to report.

Another change includes making inclusion of your company’s legal name required.  Previously, only the Tax Identification number was required.

See Appendix A Here

See Appendix B Here

Industries Moved from Appendix A to Appendix B

Some NAICS codes were moved from Appendix A to Appendix B due to increased fatalities or increases in DART (Days Away; Restricted; Transfer) rates.  Those companies with 20-249 employees who had been submitting only the 300A are now required to submit the 300 and 301.  These include:

  • NAICS 1133-Logging
  • NAICS 1142-Hunting and Trapping
  • NAICS 3379-Other Furniture Related Product Manufacturing
  • NAICS 4239-Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
  • NAICS 4853-Taxi and Limousine Service
  • NAICS 4889-Other Support Activities for Transportation

Why They Are Requiring the 300 and 301 Log for Some Industries?

Besides finding additional industry data on increased injuries, DART rate and fatalities, OSHA’s intent is to collect more accurate and detailed information for injuries and illnesses to help ultimately make workplaces safer.  The detailed information is meant to help make statistics more accurate and to help identify trends that are relevant to industries and types of workers.  The only time OSHA was able to get detailed information was through inspections.  The type of data they will be gathering allows for different kinds of statistical analyses and to help determine where initiatives are successful, are failing, or need to be developed.

OSHA sees gathering 300 and 301 information as a benefit not only to themselves, but by posting it online it can be beneficial information to industries, employers, employees, safety consultants like iSi, and to the general public.

Some examples of this that they used in their final rule document include:

  • 300A information only tells how many of each type of incident on that form are occurring. Now they will be able to see the different kinds of injuries and what they are.  For example, “respiratory conditions” could mean as a result of chemical exposure, COVID, TB, or Legionnaires.
  • Now data can be pulled by roles within any type of company. For example, injuries for nurses aides vs. nurses vs. doctors in medical facilities.
  • The Presidential directive on climate change has OSHA them focused on heat hazards. The new information will help them figure out what kinds of injuries and illnesses are attributed to heat.
  • This will help give employers another resource to consult besides industry groups and insurance to benchmark themselves against others in their industry. For example, the state of Michigan independently researched and found that bath refinishing contractors had 13 deaths in the span of 12 yrs.  From that information, they found it was because of the chemical strippers that were being used. As a result, safety guidance and training was sent to those companies to help improve safety and to alert them of those hazards in order to reduce the deaths.
  • Another employer in New York researched all injuries from their multiple worksites and found that there had been 11,000 lost workdays because of ladders. To reduce those numbers, they increased training in that area, making injuries drop to close to none.  With publicly available information, research like that can be done by multiple parties to help find ways to strengthen workplace safety.

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Which Annual Safety Training Requirements Should You Add to Your Calendar?

Which Annual Safety Training Requirements Should You Add to Your Calendar?

photo depicting annual OSHA safety training requirements for industry and constuction

Annual safety training is a best management practice and is most often required when conditions in the workplace change. However, the OSHA standards don’t specifically require annual safety training for all of its topic areas, just a handful of them.

Employee Access to Medical Records

This is one of the most overlooked requirements and one of the top items which pops up in our safety compliance audits. Annual notification for employee access to medical records is required. As a company you’re required to inform workers of their rights to access their medical records, where they’re kept, how to obtain them and who is responsible for keeping them.  This applies to both general industry and construction – the construction standard references the general industry standard, 1910.1020.

Respiratory Protection and Fit-Testing

Employees wearing respirators or participating in your company’s respiratory protection program are required to receive annual training regarding respirator use, care, inspection, maintenance, limitations and other requirements. In addition, employees must be fit-tested in their respirator annually. That is, each employee should be tested to ensure the seal is still fitting their face and protecting them. There are standard fit-testing procedures to use to accomplish this item.  This applies to both general industry and construction and the construction standard references general industry standard 1910.134.

Hearing Protection

If your employees are exposed to noise at or above an 8-hour time weighted average of 85 decibels, your company is required to have a hearing conservation program. As part of this program, annual training is required. Ensure you post a copy of the occupational noise exposure standard in your workplace and make any and all training materials related to this available to your employees.  Hearing conservation programs are required by both general industry and construction.

HAZWOPER

Employees responding to hazardous materials spills, conducting hazardous substance removals, or working at Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action or treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF) facilities are required to have hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) training. There are various levels of HAZWOPER. Those with 24 and 40 hour initial training are required to have 8 hours of training annually per year.  Annual training requirements for HAZWOPER can be found in 1919.120 for general industry and 1926.65 for construction.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Anyone with potential bloodborne pathogen exposure potential in general industry must have annual training and additional training whenever procedures and tasks are changed.  Those who conduct first aid in construction are required to have training in hazards associated with bloodborne pathogens, as well as employees conducting maintenance activities, those collecting or separating wastes (sharps), or who could be exposed to blood or other potentially infections material as part of their job. 

Fire Extinguishers and Fire Brigades

If your company provides portable fire extinguishers or other fire-fighting devices for designated employees to use in the workplace, training is required annually. For employees designated to inspect, maintain, operate or repair fixed fire extinguishing systems, annual training reviews are required.   Fire fighters in shipyard operations are required to have semi-annual drills and annual training for fire watchers.

If your company houses an internal fire brigade that fight fires beyond the incipient stage, all fire brigade members are to be provided with annual training. Any members who are required to conduct internal structural firefighting are to have quarterly educational sessions or training as well.

Fire protection programs must be developed for all phases of construction and demolition jobs and, as a result, employers shall provide firefighting equipment and a trained and equipped fire fighting organization (fire brigade/group of employees that are knowledgeable, trained and skilled in the safe evacuation of employees during emergency situations and in assisting in fire fighting operations).

Confined Space Rescuers

Those who conduct confined space rescue are supposed to hold practice drills once per year.  This applies to both general industry and construction.

Asbestos and Other Chemical and Substance-Specific Training

Anyone exposed to asbestos at or above permissible exposure limits are required to have annual asbestos awareness training. Maintenance personnel who may disturb asbestos within the course of their duties are also required to have annual awareness training.  Those who conduct Class I through IV asbestos operations (removal activities) are also required to have annual training through the construction standards.

Employees with potential exposures to OSHA 1910.1003’s 13 carcinogens, vinyl chloride, polyvinyl chloride, inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, benzene, coke oven emissions, cotton dust, acrylonitrile (vinyl cyanide), ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, Methylenedianiline (MDA) and 1, 3-Butadiene are required to have annual safe usage training.  Many of these are referenced individually in both the general industry and construction standards, but the construction standards will often reference the general industry standard rather than having separate rules.  Construction has specific rules for cadmium, chromium, ethylene oxide, lead and MDA.

Others Worth Mentioning

Mechanical Power Presses – Operators of mechanical power presses with the Presence Sensing Device Initiation (PSDI) mode on them are required to have annual operator training.

Agriculture Industry – In grain handling facilities annual training is required for workers at grain handling facilities. Topics to be covered include dust hazards, dust accumulation, ignition control and prevention, cleaning/clearing/housekeeping procedures, hot work procedures, preventative maintenance, lockout/tagout and bin entry and engulfment hazards (for those entering bins). In other agriculture-related workplaces where employees are required to use tractors, annual training regarding rollover protective structures is required and those using farm field equipment, farmstead equipment and cotton gins are required to have safe operating and guarding training annually.

Logging Industry – Supervisors and employees in logging industry operation are required to have annual CPR training, with first aid training every 3 years.

Every 3 years – Because of their prevalence in industry, we thought we’d also mention that forklift recertifications are due every 3 years as is refresher training for Process Safety Management.

Lockout/Tagout – Not necessarily a training requirement, but an annual requirement nonetheless, employers are required to review their energy control procedures at least annually to ensure the procedure and the requirements of the lockout/tagout standard is being followed.

Environmental Training

Looking for annual EPA and environmental training?  In addition to annual safety training, check out our article regarding annual environmental training requirements your company should schedule for the year.

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Are you low on staff to conduct your own safety training?  Tired of dealing with generic videos?  We can help!  Check out our onsite safety training and customized training options.

Environmental Training

Now that you’ve learned what safety training is required annually, learn more about what environmental training is required annually.

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2024 EPA and OSHA Compliance Deadlines

2024 EPA and OSHA Compliance Deadlines

It’s a new reporting year and time to plan for reporting and compliance deadlines from 2023’s activities and for the new year.  Mark your calendars with these environmental and safety reporting deadlines and other to-do tasks for 2024:

EPA/Environmental

 

OSHA/Safety

 

DOT/Transportation

State and Local Reporting Dates

There are other environmental and/or safety reports you must complete, but due dates may vary according to your state and local regulations or when your permits or reports were first completed.  Some examples include:

  • Title V Air Permits (Semi-Annual Compliance Certifications)
  • Hazardous Waste Reports
  • Wastewater Discharge Certifications and Monitoring Reports
  • Aboveground and Underground Storage Tank Registrations
  • Groundwater Monitoring Reports
  • Air MACT Certifications, Deviation Reports and Summary Reports
  • Stormwater Reports, Inspections and Sampling
  • Boiler Reports
  • X-Ray Equipment Registrations

Stay tuned to our blog for any updates or notices of new regulations.

Because environmental and safety regulations vary from state to state, city to city, there may be additional requirements for your company which are not listed above.  If you need assistance in determining which of these apply to you, or assistance with completing these reports and permits, iSi would love to help!  Please contact us for more information and pricing.

 

 

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The One Where You Must Post the Whole Standard

The One Where You Must Post the Whole Standard

iSi’s consulting team recently provided a presentation to the annual Kansas Safety and Health Conference about OSHA’s top poorly written regulations.  We gave the audience a chance to vote at the end and one of the top vote getters was found in standard 1910.95.  This is the occupational noise exposure standard.  More specifically, 1910.95(l)(1).

A Unique Requirement

The noise exposure standard aims to protect workers against the effects of noise exposure when sound levels exceed a certain scale pictured in the standard.  This is also where instructions on the rules for and how to develop a Hearing Conservation Program can be found.  Section K of the standard discusses the importance of training, what topics need to be covered, and the requirement that the training be repeated annually.

In the next section we find something very unique.  Section L covers access to information and training materials.  The very first requirement states “The employer shall make available to affected employees or their representatives copies of this standard and shall also post a copy in the workplace.”  What??  A copy of the standard?  Post a copy of the entire standard?

Yes, it means what it says.  This is the only standard OSHA has that requires you to take a copy of the standard and post it.  OSHA feels it’s important that in addition to training, employees have the chance to read the standard on their own without having to ask for it.  It must be centrally posted and at no charge.

Updates to the Rule

This rule was written in 1983 and has not been updated since then.  OSHA held firm on its stance in an interpretation letter written in 1988 from someone questioning posting the whole thing, but in 2016 OSHA decided to become a little more user friendly.  In 2016 someone sent OSHA a letter requesting electronic posting.  OSHA’s answer said they realized the internet was not around in the 80s, and thus, declared that with this letter, they were updating the policy to allow for electronic posting, but only under these certain conditions:

  • Your Hearing Conservation training program covers specific information to your employees on where and how to access the entire standard electronically;
  • The link you provide to employees does not go to a generic web page such as to your company’s website, a folder on your intranet or Sharepoint, or the home page for OSHA. It must go to the exact standard located here; and,
  • Computers must be located in all affected employees’ work areas so that they can have access to the standard at any time without having to request access to a computer or without having to ask for assistance on where to find it electronically.

Citations

It may be low risk that you’ll get fined for just this item unless the inspector has a special place in their heart for this standard.  However, it IS likely that it becomes an easy tack-on citation along with other citations of the noise exposure standard.

For example, in the state of Tennessee, this item is one of the most often items cited for this standard, but so are:

  • Lack of training or lack of training program;
  • Did not administer a continuing hearing conservation program when workplace noise levels indicated it was required;
  • Lack of a monitoring program when information indicated the exposure levels may equal or exceed the limits;
  • No audiometric testing program or audiometric testing;
  • Did not establish a baseline audiogram within 6 months of an employee’s first exposure at or above the action level; and
  • Not giving employees the opportunity to select their hearing protectors from a variety of suitable hearing protectors provided by the employer.

Where Do You Stand on Noise?

When was the last time you had your workplace AND your workers tested for noise exposure?  iSi conducts noise sampling, helps write programs, provides training and much more assistance for noise exposure issues.  Contact us today!

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What’s the Difference Between OSHA’s General Industry and Construction Standards on Asbestos?

What’s the Difference Between OSHA’s General Industry and Construction Standards on Asbestos?

With so many entities regulating asbestos – EPA to OSHA to State Governments to even City and County Governments – we see a lot of confusion.  These regulations cross over and intertwine with each other and it’s sometimes difficult to remember which rule is required by which agency.  In this article, we will tackle OSHA’s side.

OSHA has two separate regulations regarding asbestos.  The General Industry Standard is at 29 CFR 1910.1001 and the Construction Standard is at 29 CFR 1926.1101. Unlike other regulations that are shared between 1910 and 1926, these are NOT a carbon copy of each other.

Which One is For You?  Well….It Depends.

In many standards, a company follows either the standard in 1910 or the standard in 1926 based on what type of facility you are.  If you’re a manufacturer, fixed facility, traditionally the 1910 general industry standard applies to you.  If you’re a construction company who moves from site to site, the 1926 construction standards typically apply to you.  However, for asbestos regulations, the one that applies to you depends on what’s going on at your site and what your workers are doing.

A general rule of thumb is daily management of asbestos at your facility falls under the general industry standards.  When you are intentionally disturbing asbestos, then you follow the construction standards.  So a “general industry” facility could be subject to both the general industry and the construction standards if they have a renovation going on.  It’s important that you know the difference between the two distinctions.

The Similarities

We’ll first take a look at the similarities between the two standards.  Remember that OSHA’s goal is the safety of the worker so regulations are focused on worker protection.

Notifying Employees of the Hazards of Asbestos

Both regulations require that you notify workers of the hazards of asbestos and you can do this for everyone through your compliance activities for the hazard communication standard or you can do it through separate training.  This includes informing workers of the presence and location of asbestos in their workplace as well as the health hazards caused by asbestos.  Housekeeping personnel are required to be notified of asbestos-containing areas they could be cleaning.  Outside contractors and project bidders who could work in areas where asbestos could be disturbed are required to be notified where it is.  If asbestos is to be disturbed, such as a removal projects for a renovation, those people working in areas adjacent to those work areas are to be notified of the project.  Tenants of buildings are required to be notified by the owner of the building.

Signage/Labels

Warning signs are to be posted on regulated areas where removal is being conducted or asbestos is being disturbed.

Warning labels should be on raw materials, mixtures, scrap, waste, debris, bagged protective clothing, and other products containing asbestos fibers, or be placed on their containers. Entrances to mechanical rooms or mechanical areas where employees could be exposed should have labels attached where they will clearly be noticed by employees.

Exposure Limits and Medical Surveillance

Each standard sets limits for the amount of asbestos a worker can be exposed to.  If there’s the potential that a worker will be exposed past the limits in the standards, then respiratory protection is required and certain PPE is as well.  If that limit is exceeded, then the worker also needs to be placed in a medical surveillance program to monitor the health effects of their potential exposure.

Training

Each standard lines out required training. The level of training required depends on what the worker will be doing and whether or not they’ll be disturbing asbestos.  Training could range from an awareness class to a full week of intense training.  Most asbestos training is required to be repeated annually.

The Differences

General industry standards have a section on suggested work practices for housekeeping personnel to follow, but the construction industry standard dives into detailed work practices for those personnel intentionally disturbing asbestos-containing materials to follow.

In the construction standard is where we find the terms Class I, Class II, Class III and Class IV work.  The specific practices that workers are to follow are spelled out in detail for each class of work.

Class I work is for workers at the highest risk of exposure.  These are the one who will be removing friable asbestos materials.  Friable asbestos materials are those that when dry, can be easily crumbled or pulverized to powder by hand, making the potential for its fibers to be released even greater.  Class I work is the large-scale abatements of thermal systems insulation from pipes, boilers, tanks and ducts as well as removal of sprayed-on insulation, “popcorn ceiling” texture or acoustical plaster and vinyl floor covering.   This work requires specialized asbestos removal/abatement training of up to 40 hours with annual refreshers.

Class II work is the removal of non-friable asbestos.  Non-friable asbestos cannot be easily crumbled or pulverized to powder by hand and its asbestos fibers are usually bonded into other materials. If a non-friable material remains in good condition, it poses little hazard. Because of its strength, incidental contact will not usually release a fiber.  Class II work includes removal of vinyl asbestos floor tile, lay-in ceiling tile, Transite roofing panels, window glazing, asbestos siding and any non-friable materials.  This work requires specialized asbestos removal training that can vary from full 40 hour courses to specialized training for the specific material to be removed.

Class III work is the intentional disturbing of asbestos for repair and maintenance of other items.  For instance, if one needed to cut away a small amount of asbestos to fix a leaky pipe or to potentially disturb some asbestos in order to access an electrical panel for repair, that would fall under this class of work.  This type of work can often be done by in-house maintenance personnel or even maintenance contractors.  However, it’s still an intentional disturbance and so the workers who do these activities are required to take specialized asbestos removal training as well.  Class III work only allows workers to remove a certain quantity of material before it crosses the line and become Class I or II abatement work.  Specialized training to remove these small quantities is required, typically a 16-hour initial class with annual refresher training.

Class IV work is for those who will be conducting maintenance and custodial activities after a removal is completed, that is, cleaning up after Class I, II or III work.  This level has its own specific training requirements with specific content requirements.

Questions?

Asbestos regulations can be hard to interpret and confusing as actually 4 entities can get involved in regulating it: EPA, OSHA, State Governments and City/County Governments.  If you have any questions regarding this article or asbestos in general, contact us.

 

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OSHA Issues New National Emphasis Programs for Warehousing, Distribution Centers and Certain Retail Stores

OSHA Issues New National Emphasis Programs for Warehousing, Distribution Centers and Certain Retail Stores

OSHA’s latest National Emphasis Program (NEP) is targeting warehousing and distribution center operations, mail/postal processing and distribution centers, parcel delivery/courier services and certain retail stores with high injury rates.

An NEP is a temporary inspection emphasis based on a particular hazard that is typically targeted to specific NAICS codes where certain hazards are most prevalent or in safety areas showing a trend towards high hazards.  NEP inspections can be scheduled on their own, or OSHA can tack one on at an inspection if they see something that applies. So, if OSHA is onsite to investigate a complaint and they see something that could fall under an NEP, they can inspect for that too while they are there.

Who’s Covered in this NEP and Why?

OSHA recognizes a warehousing and distribution growth boom and an increased DART rate compared to other industries.  In 2011 there were 668,900 warehousing and distribution centers, and in 2021 that number was 1,713,900.  DART rates and total recordables for the industries covered in this NEP were over twice that of all private industry, some were more than three times the private industry rate from 2017-2021.

These are the NAICS Codes that will fall under the NEP:

  • 491110 Postal Service (Processing & Distribution Centers only)
  • 492110 Couriers and Express Delivery Services
  • 492210 Local Messengers and Local Delivery
  • 493110 General Warehousing and Storage
  • 493120 Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage
  • 493130 Farm Product Warehousing and Storage
  • 493190 Other Warehousing and Storage

The following warehouse-type retail stores are included because they have been found to have issues in loading and storage areas and have higher than average DART (Days Away; Restricted; Transfer) rates:

  • 444110 Home Centers
  • 444130 Hardware Stores
  • 444190 Other Building Material Dealers
  • 445110 Supermarkets and Other Grocery Stores
  • 452311 Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters

This retail list will change each calendar year based on which related establishments have the highest DART rates.

What Will Inspectors Look For?

Inspectors will be looking at these program areas:

  • Powered Industrial Vehicles (already an emphasis program in several regions)
  • Material Handling and Storage
  • Walking-Working Surfaces
  • Means of Egress
  • Fire Protection
  • Heat (already a National Emphasis Program)
  • Ergonomic Hazards

For heat, inspectors will review injury and illness records, ask about it during worker interviews, and look for these in the walkthrough.  If inspectors see exposures to heat-related hazards or if they find your NAICS code already falls under the Heat NEP, they will expand the scope of the inspection to include the Heat NEP.   Read more about what that inspection entails here.  Heat is a big emphasis right now with OSHA because it helps them meet their responsibilities in complying with the Presidential directive on climate change.

If inspectors see ergonomic hazards in their reviews of records, worker interviews and the walkthrough, they can also expand the scope to ergonomics and open a health inspection in addition to the safety inspection.

Read the full NEP documentation here.

Questions?  Need Assistance?

iSi can help answer questions you may have about this NEP or any others, as well as conduct a mock OSHA inspection to see where you stand if OSHA were to conduct this inspection at your facility today.  Contact us!

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Forklift Top 6: Common OSHA Compliance Pitfalls for Powered Industrial Trucks

Forklift Top 6: Common OSHA Compliance Pitfalls for Powered Industrial Trucks

We have been seeing more and more issues regarding OSHA powered industrial trucks (forklift) compliance. OSHA currently has a number of powered industrial trucks local and regional inspection emphasis programs in several states. This means if you have an OSHA inspection, it’s likely they’ll look at your powered industrial trucks program while they are there, even if the inspection wasn’t initially for that.

The following are 6 areas where our safety consultants are finding compliance pitfalls.  Below this list is a graphic which shows some examples of fines you may be facing if these issues are found at your facility.

Seat Belts

Although not explicitly stated in the standard, seat belts must be worn by workers operating a powered industrial truck. In a letter of interpretation, OSHA says that they would cite this issue under the OSH Act 5(a)(1). This act requires employers to protect employees from serious and recognized hazards.

ASME standards require powered industrial trucks manufactured after 1992 to have a restraint device such as a seat belt to protect the employee in case of tip over. If yours doesn’t have one, OSHA advises you contact the manufacturer to determine the best way to have one installed. If at any time the manufacturer contacted your company to let you know of a retrofit program for your powered industrial truck, you can be cited for not doing so.

Attachments

You cannot add any non-factory attachments to your truck without the manufacturer’s written approval. There are, however, some cases in which professional engineers can make these determinations with extensive safety study.

Once you do use attachments, all data plates, tags and decals need to be updated with revised capacity, operation and maintenance data. Anytime you do use attachments, when there is no load, the operator still needs to treat the forklift as partially loaded.

Legible Markings

It is very important that every control, nameplate and marking be visible and legible. If something has worn off or fallen off, you need to find a way to re-label that item so it can be read and identified. For example, a client received a fine of $4,700 for a forklift lever which wasn’t marked.

Make sure your aisleways and walkways are clearly marked so pedestrians know where to expect trucks will be operating, and ensure you have adequate lighting.

Training

Training must be provided before anyone is to use the truck. Initial training must include both instructional training (classroom, video, etc.), practical training (hands-on demonstration), and an evaluation of how the employee is performing in the workplace. Refresher training, that is, a reevaluation of the operator’s performance must be conducted every 3 years.

In addition to the triennial requirements, refresher training shall be provided to the operator when the operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner; the operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident; the operator has received an evaluation that reveals he/she is not operating the truck safely; or a condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck. It is important to note that the standard does not take into account whether or not the operator was at fault in accident or near-miss incident. Refresher training is also required when the operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck. An example of this would be a sit-down forklift vs. a stand-up forklift vs. an all-terrain forklift.

Usage

Make sure you know the contents of the atmospheres in which your forklifts will be operating. You are required by OSHA to know what your occupational exposures are anyway, however, only certain types of forklifts can be safely used in areas contaminated by certain chemicals and materials. The standard goes into great detail on which types of forklifts can be used in certain areas.

A forklift is considered unattended when the driver is 25 ft. away or more or it is out of their view. Thus, when the truck is unattended, the load should be fully lowered, controls neutralized, power off, and brakes set. If the driver is within 25 ft. and the forklift is still visible, they must follow all of these procedures except for turning off the forklift.

Inspections and Repairs

Inspections must be conducted daily and when the forklift is used around the clock, inspections must be conducted after each shift. If it’s found that there are any defects, issues with overheating, unsafe conditions or other repairs needed, the forklift must be taken out of service until those can be corrected.

Need Help?

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We have been seeing more and more issues regarding OSHA powered industrial trucks (forklift) compliance. OSHA currently has powered industrial trucks local and regional emphasis programs in a number of states. This means if you have an OSHA inspection, it’s likely they’ll look at your powered industrial trucks program while they are there, even if the inspection wasn’t initially for that.

The following are 6 areas where compliance pitfalls are seen.  Below this list is a graphic which shows some examples of fines you may be facing if these issues are found at your facility.

Seat Belts

Although not explicitly stated in the standard, seat belts must be worn by workers operating a powered industrial truck. In a letter of interpretation, OSHA says that they would cite this issue under the OSH Act 5(a)(1). This act requires employers to protect employees from serious and recognized hazards.

ASME standards require powered industrial trucks manufactured after 1992 to have a restraint device such as a seat belt to protect the employee in case of tip over. If yours doesn’t have one, OSHA advises you contact the manufacturer to determine the best way to have one installed. If at any time the manufacturer contacted your company to let you know of a retrofit program for your powered industrial truck, you can be cited for not doing so.

Attachments

You cannot add any non-factory attachments to your truck without the manufacturer’s written approval. There are, however, some cases in which professional engineers can make these determinations with extensive safety study.

Once you do use attachments, all data plates, tags and decals need to be updated with revised capacity, operation and maintenance data. Anytime you do use attachments, when there is no load, the operator still needs to treat the forklift as partially loaded.

Legible Markings

It is very important that every control, nameplate and marking be visible and legible. If something has worn off or fallen off, you need to find a way to re-label that item so it can be read and identified. For example, a client received a fine of $4,700 for a forklift lever which wasn’t marked.

Make sure your aisleways and walkways are clearly marked so pedestrians know where to expect trucks will be operating, and ensure you have adequate lighting.

Training

Training must be provided before anyone is to use the truck. Initial training must include both instructional training (classroom, video, etc.), practical training (hands-on demonstration), and an evaluation of how the employee is performing in the workplace. Refresher training, that is, a reevaluation of the operator’s performance must be conducted every 3 years.

In addition to the triennial requirements, refresher training shall be provided to the operator when the operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner; the operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident; the operator has received an evaluation that reveals he/she is not operating the truck safely; or a condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck. It is important to note that the standard does not take into account whether or not the operator was at fault in accident or near-miss incident.

Refresher training is also required when the operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck. An example of this would be a sit-down forklift vs. a stand-up forklift vs. an all-terrain forklift.

Usage

Make sure you know the contents of the atmospheres in which your forklifts will be operating. You are required by OSHA to know what your occupational exposures are anyway, however, only certain types of forklifts can be safely used in areas contaminated by certain chemicals and materials. The standard goes into great detail on which types of forklifts can be used in certain areas.

A forklift is considered unattended when the driver is 25 ft. away or more or it is out of their view. Thus, when the truck is unattended, the load should be fully lowered, controls neutralized, power off, and brakes set. If the driver is within 25 ft. and the forklift is still visible, they must follow all of these procedures except for turning off the forklift.

Inspections and Repairs

Inspections must be conducted daily and when the forklift is used around the clock, inspections must be conducted after each shift. If it’s found that there are any defects, issues with overheating, unsafe conditions or other repairs needed, the forklift must be taken out of service until those can be corrected.

By the Numbers

The following are examples of forklift-related fines levied to companies across the U.S. Please keep in mind that they are subjective, depending on severity and situation. For many of these, the costs listed were the final negotiated fine. In most cases, the fine was originally double the amount shown, then negotiated down.

forklift violation example

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OSHA’s Heat-Related Hazards National Emphasis Program

OSHA’s Heat-Related Hazards National Emphasis Program

OSHA has issued a new NEP on heat-related hazards. In this article, we’ll discuss what it includes, which companies will be targeted and what OSHA inspectors will be looking for in their inspections.

What’s an NEP?

A National Emphasis Program, or NEP, is a temporary inspection emphasis based on a particular hazard that is typically are targeted to specific industry groups or NAICS codes where those hazards are most prevalent.  Companies within those NAICS codes are randomly chosen for these inspections and others can be chosen because of past violations or certain circumstances.  NEP inspections can be scheduled on their own, or companies can have them added to other OSHA inspections. For example, if someone at your facility has complained to OSHA about one hazard, OSHA can conduct an inspection on that complaint issue and then if they see something else onsite that’s covered by an NEP or a regional or local emphasis program, they can inspect for that too while they are there.

OSHA’s Heat Hazard NEP

The heat NEP covers both indoor and outdoor heat hazards.  OSHA has had heat initiatives and heat awareness campaigns since 2021 and there has been debate in Congress about having a heat standard.  This NEP is also a response to President Biden’s Executive Order to “Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”  The Secretary of Labor developed a Climate Action Plan with a goal of reducing heat-related illnesses and this is one of the ways they are going about that.

For purposes of measurement, OSHA considers a heat priority day to be one when the temperature is 80° F or higher.  Programmed, targeted NEP inspections will be conducted on days when the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory or warning, including a Heat Advisory, Heat Wave, Excessive Heat Outlook, Excessive Heat Watch and an Excessive Heat Warning.

Which Companies Are Affected?

Of course, construction companies whose workers work out in the heat are affected.  There are other non-construction companies who have been targeted as well as other industries who can be targeted at your OSHA Area Office’s discretion.

The list was too long to include in this article, but you can find a PDF copy of that here.

Farming is included on this list, however farms with 10 or less employees (not counting family members who work on the farm), who have stayed at or below that number for the past 12 months, and have not had any temporary labor camps in the past 12 months will be exempt from the NEP.

What Triggers an Inspection for this NEP?

You can end up on the inspection list for this in several different ways:

  • You have a heat-illness related fatality, or have had a heat-illness related fatality that OSHA would like to follow up on;
  • There’s an employee complaint about heat-illness hazards;
  • Your company operates under one of the NAICS codes from the target list, you have been picked by OSHA’s random number generator and it’s a day when the National Weather Service has issued a heat alert;
  • OSHA inspectors are already onsite, and they find a heat-related illness on OSHA 300 logs, observe hazardous heat conditions, an employee brings a heat-related hazard to the attention of the inspector, or it’s a heat priority day. Inspectors have been encouraged to ask about your heat-illness prevention program on heat priority days;
  • OSHA previously cited you for a lack of a heat-illness prevention program and you still haven’t implemented one; or,
  • Your company has been added to the list by your Area Office based on a referral by another agency such as the Wage and Hour Division, the EPA, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they saw a media report about your company which shows there may be a heat issue onsite, or from the Area Office consulting other reference directories to find potential companies to inspect.

What Will Inspectors Look For?

  • Records Review – Inspectors will look at your OSHA 300 Logs and 301 Incident Reports for any entries indicating heat-related illnesses and will review any records of heat-related emergency room visits and/or ambulance transports even if there were no hospitalizations.
  • Employee Interviews – Interviews of current employees, new employees and employees who were away from the worksite and recently returned to work will be conducted. Inspectors will be asking for symptoms of headache, dizziness, fainting, dehydration or other conditions that may indicate heat-related illness.
  • Program Review – Next the inspector will look at your program. First, do you even have a written program? How do you monitor ambient temperatures and levels of work exertion at the worksite? Are you conducting calculations using a particular method suggested by NIOSH or ACGIH?  Is there unlimited cool water that’s easily accessible and are you requiring additional hydration and rest breaks?  Is there access to shade?  What do you do to acclimatize new and returning workers? Do you have a buddy system for hot days?  What kinds of administrative controls are used?  Is work scheduled during cooler periods of the day?  Do you have a screening program to identify health hazards? What does your training program contain?
  • Documentation of Conditions – The inspector is to document any conditions they find relevant to heat hazards such as heat index, heat alerts, information they get from the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App and/or Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WGBT) measurements. If they are there because of an incident, they’ll be looking at current conditions such as wind speed, relative humidity, dry bulb temperatures both at the workplace and in the shaded rest areas, WGBT, percentage of cloud cover and heat alerts.
  • Observation of Heat-Related Hazards – Inspectors will be looking for potential sources of heat-related hazards such as exposure to sun, hot air or hot equipment. What PPE is being used, that is, it bulky and heavy or does is deflect heat?  What tasks are being conducted and what’s the level of exertion being used to conduct those?  How long are employees conducting these tasks and how long are they continuously conducting moderate to strenuous activities?

Which Standards Will Get Cited?

Most citations for these inspections will fall under the General Duty Clause.  Other citations that could be tacked on, depending on the findings, could include:

  • Recordkeeping – If the employee became unconscious or needed oxygen and it wasn’t recorded you could be cited here.
  • Sanitation – Regulations in 1910.141 and 1926.51 specify your company is required to provide cool, potable water.
  • Construction Safety Training and Education – Under 1926.20 and 1926.21, construction companies are required to have a safety and health program.

A New Standard on the Horizon

OSHA has a standard called Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings already in the Prerule stage.  They have passed the comment stages from their Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and are scheduled to next go to the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness study.  In the meantime, there are several states with their own heat illness rules.  In the state of California there are already requirements for outdoor workers, and the California legislature asked Cal-OSHA back in 2016 to come up with a standard for indoor workers.  They have been working on that and are expected to have something in 2024.  What’s caused the delay is the issue of determining the exact thresholds that can be feasible for all industries since so many indoor workplaces can be different.

What’s in a Heat Illness Prevention Program?

Stay tuned here to our blog for our upcoming article featuring OSHA’s suggestions for what should be included in your heat-illness prevention program.

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What the Haz?

What the Haz?

A Deeper Dive Into the “Haz” Words in OSHA, EPA and DOT and Where They Can Crossover

Every once in a while, we will get a call from someone looking for “Hazmat” training.   To you, the word hazmat may mean one thing, but we guarantee to someone else it probably means something completely different.

iSi’s mission is to help companies navigate compliance with EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations.  Once you start familiarizing yourself with those regulations, you will find that the definition of hazmat can be different for different agencies and different situations.   You will also see that there are a number of words that include “haz” that can creep into the picture and be used interchangeably.  An even deeper dive will show that each agency will either make up their own definition or borrow from one another.

Each Agency Has Its Own Focus

Regulations and their definitions are typically written in the perspective of the focus of the agency.  Each agency has its own role to play in the workplace and how they use their haz words will often be reflective of that.

  • OSHA – OSHA’s focus is safe and healthful working conditions for workers
  • EPA – EPA’s focus is on human health and the condition of the environment
  • DOT – DOT’s focus is on the safe, efficient, sustainable and equitable movement of people and goods

Once you know the perspective for each, that will help you be able to better understand regulations when they crossover or refer to one another.

Hazmat

Hazmat is a shortened version of “hazardous materials.”  Each agency refers to hazardous materials a little differently.

In OSHA, the term hazmat can refer to hazardous materials or hazmat teams.  OSHA says a hazardous material is something that can be a health hazard or a physical hazard.  However, a hazmat team is an organized group of employees who perform work to handle and control spills or leaks of hazardous substances.  Individually trained members of the hazmat team are called hazardous materials technicians.  Later we’ll look at the OSHA HAZWOPER standard where many of these definitions are found.

To DOT, hazmat means “a substance or material capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce…”  It also can include hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature materials, materials listed in the Hazardous Materials Table, and materials meeting their criteria for hazard classes and divisions. The term Hazmat employee in the regulations are those persons who package or prepare, physically transport, load, unload, design or makes packages for, fills out paperwork for or ensures the safe transportation of hazardous materials.

To EPA, a hazardous material is any item or chemical which can cause harm to people, plants, or animals when released by spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping or disposing into the environment.

From the definitions, you can see that OSHA was focused on people, DOT was focused on transportation and EPA was focused on the environment.

HazCom

Another shortened haz word is HazCom.  This is short for the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.  This standard is all about hazardous chemicals, that is, any chemicals that are a physical or health hazard. The HazCom Standard deals with Safety Data Sheets (SDS), labeling, markings, training and more.

EPA’s Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, or EPCRA, regulations refer to OSHA’s hazardous chemicals when it comes to which chemicals apply to the EPCRA regulation.  Those which fall under the HazCom standard and have SDSs associated with them are included in EPCRA reporting requirements.  Some companies also refer to HazCom training by the term Employee Right to Know training.

Hazardous Waste

Another haz is hazardous waste. The term hazardous waste comes from EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste regulations.  There’s a lengthy determination process one must go through to even determine if something can be defined to be a hazardous waste.  You’ll see all of those criteria and the roadmap in the definition of hazardous waste at 40 CFR 261.2.

EPA’s website says, “Simply defined, a hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids gases, and sludges.”

Hazardous waste must be discarded and must be a solid waste.  To be a solid waste, it must be a material that has been abandoned, recycled, is inherently waste-like or is a military munition.

Once you determine that it’s discarded and a solid waste, there are another set of questions to ask to make the determination if a waste is hazardous or not.  This process is quite important and is required to be completed and documented for each of your wastes.

OSHA mentions hazardous waste in their HAZWOPER standard, calling hazardous waste anything that’s found to be a hazardous waste by the EPA definition or anything that DOT calls a hazardous waste in their definition.

In DOT regulations, DOT says hazardous waste is defined under EPA’s definition and that to ship hazardous waste a hazardous waste manifest is required.  Hazardous waste is a hazardous material that is regulated for transportation. So when a vendor comes to pick up your hazardous waste, your company is the one technically shipping it and are therefore subject to all of the DOT hazmat regulations the same as if you were shipping any other hazardous material.

Hazardous Substances

All 3 agencies use the term hazardous substance.

In EPA, a hazardous substance is “Any substance, other than oil, which, when discharged in any quantities into waters of the U.S., presents an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare, including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, shorelines and beaches (Section 311 of the Clean Water Act); identified by EPA as the pollutants listed under 40 CFR Part 116.”  Hazardous substances are referred to in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, aka Superfund), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the RCRA hazardous waste regulations, and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

OSHA makes it easy.  They say a hazardous substance is whatever EPA CERCLA says it is, whatever DOT says are hazardous materials, whatever EPA says a hazardous waste is, or any other biological or disease-causing agent that could lead to things like death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutation, physiological malfunctions or physical deformations in such persons or their offspring.

DOT says a hazardous substance is a hazardous material when that material is listed in their Appendix A and when its single package exceeds the reportable quantity listed in the Appendix. They also have other considerations if it’s a mixture or solution or a radionuclide.

HAZWOPER

And finally, there’s HAZWOPER.  Although it’s one of our more popularly discussed haz words, we left this for the end because this regulation actually uses all of the haz words in one place and seems to be one standard that incorporates so many different requirements from all 3 agencies within it.

HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.  HAZWOPER is found in the 1910 General Industry Standards under Subpart H, Hazardous Materials.  An identical copy can be found under a different subpart in the 1926 Construction Standards.

There are 3 main pieces or goals to HAZWOPER:

  1. Rules for conducting cleanup operations at sites determined to be EPA RCRA hazardous waste cleanup sites, cleanup operations at sites contaminated by hazardous substances on uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that EPA or another government agency have required to be cleaned up, or conducting voluntary cleanups at those same types of uncontrolled waste sites;
  2. Operations at treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSD) regulated by EPA RCRA; and,
  3. Emergency response to releases of hazardous substances at any facility, any location.

Being an OSHA regulation, HAZWOPER is all about protecting the worker and the public during the cleanup, so all the guidance centers around preparing for and safely cleaning up hazardous substances.

The regulation mentions the term Hazmat teams in relation to those responding to the emergency responses found in part 3 of the standard.

HAZWOPER says any materials cleaned up and containerized into drums must meet appropriate regulatory requirements for DOT transportation, RCRA hazardous waste and OSHA safety regulations.  Waste must be transported per DOT regulations while self-contained breathing apparatuses used by workers to protect themselves during work are to comply with DOT standards.

The DOT’s Emergency Response Guidebook is mentioned and often consulted for emergency response information and guidance.

If a company has prepared a contingency plan per EPA requirements and that plan includes emergency response information, the company can use that contingency plan as part of its emergency response plan so that efforts are not duplicated.

On the EPA side, because OSHA regulations don’t apply to local and state governments, EPA has adopted the HAZWOPER standard into 40 CFR 311 to apply to those local and state governments and any of those not covered by a state OSHA-approved plan.

Also in EPA, emergency spills trigger a whole host of reporting requirements as well as emergency response plans and training to protect the environment from hazardous waste spills, oil spills, pipeline leaks and chemical releases to water, air or land.

Conclusion

This is not an exhaustive list of haz references or examples where all 3 agencies cross over, but hopefully it gave you an idea of how these terms and the rules related to them can be so different in some cases, but so intertwined in others.  The haz words used can differ depending on the situation.

So, if you call us asking for hazmat training, you’re likely to get a lot of questions from us about your end goal.

What haz words have you come across?  What examples did we miss?  We’ll be posting this on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram pages.  We’d love to hear from you!  

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What Will Inspectors Look for in Combustible Dust Inspections?

What Will Inspectors Look for in Combustible Dust Inspections?

We recently discussed in this blog OSHA’s revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program.  Along with that revision OSHA’s shared its instructions to inspectors on what how to conduct the inspection, what to look for, how to build a case for a citation and which standards they could cite in a citation.

In this article, we’ll list out exactly what an inspector will be looking for if they arrive to your site for a combustible dust inspection, the information you’ll need to provide, and which standards you can be cited under.  There is no official OSHA combustible dust standard, so inspection instructions can help serve as a guidance to help you determine what you need to have in place not only to do well in an inspection, but to keep your people safe.

How Will OSHA Determine Who Gets Inspected?

First, will you be on the target list?

The NAICS codes who are likely to have combustible dust hazards are gathered together on Appendix B of the emphasis program.  OSHA will pull a list of all companies who qualify and generate a random order list.  Each company will be assigned a number and OSHA inspectors who have had specialized training in combustible dust hazards will be assigned to conduct inspections. This list will remain active for 3 years before a new one is generated. Between 2013 and 2017, OSHA conducted approximately 500-600 per year between programmed (planned) and unplanned inspections.

Your company can be deleted off the list if you have been inspected within the past 5 fiscal years, were inspected for combustible dust hazards and no citations were issued, or if you were inspected for combustible dust hazards, was cited but a follow-up inspection verified you did abate the hazards. Also, if you are a VPP or SHARP company, you can be deleted off the list.

If you’re not on the list for programmed inspections, you can still be inspected if there has been a complaint or if you have had a fatality or catastrophic incident related to combustible dust.

What Will Inspectors Be Looking for in a Combustible Dust Inspection?

This is the list of items that OSHA will be evaluating and the potential documentation they will be looking for:

  1. History of Fires and Explosions

Inspectors will be determining if your plant has a history of fires, flash fires, deflagrations of process vessels and inside buildings, and explosions of vessels.  They’ll be conducting employee interviews, looking at OSHA logs, looking at insurance claims, accessing local fire department records, and conducting onsite visual inspections to look at the condition of your equipment.  They’ll be placing special attention to discoloration, bulging, repairs and missing/damaged pieces or appendages of your equipment.

  1. Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)

Inspectors will go through your SDSs, looking for combustible dusts.

  1. Electrical Area Classification Drawings/Documents

Inspectors will be looking at your classification documents to find areas marked Class II, Division 1 or 2 to ensure electrical equipment is approved for that hazardous location.

You are required to have these drawings per 29 CFR 1910.307, which is the Hazardous (Classified) Locations Standard.

  1. Dust Hazard Analysis

Inspectors have been instructed to do a dust hazard analysis toward the end of the inspection to help them in determining your citation, rather than at the beginning of the inspection to determine the scope.  This analysis includes observations of all areas of the facility for accumulation issues to determine overall potential for fire, flash fire or explosion.

They’ll be looking at:

  • Horizontal structures
  • Conduits and pipe racks
  • Cable trays
  • Floors
  • Above suspended ceilings
  • On or around equipment, especially on elevated horizontal surfaces

They will be taking measurements of depth, determining physical area sizes, and may be bringing cameras and video cameras on poles to help take photos of high places.

  1. Control and Suppression Systems

Inspectors will be looking to ensure:

  • Dust collectors and dust handling equipment has explosion prevention/suppression systems and deflagration propagation prevention devices;
  • Dust systems that return clean air to buildings have proper protections;
  • There are no hazardous levels of combustible dust accumulations outside of equipment;
  • Number and sizes of horizontal surfaces are minimized and designed to prevent dust accumulation;
  • Equipment that produces, transports, stores or handles dust (mixers, silos, mills, ducts, dust collectors, etc.) are designed and maintained to prevent dust leakage/escape/clouds;
  • Material transport systems (conveyors, elevators) are designed to prevent dust leakage/escape/clouds;
  • The method of cleaning and the tools you use to clean are proper. Are you using specialized vacuums to clean up combustible dusts, what are you doing to clean up dust, and if you use compressed air is it under 30 psi with the right chip guards and PPE?
  • Electrical equipment and lights are proper for use in those areas;
  • Powered industrial trucks are approved for use in those locations;
  • Hot work, welding, cutting and grinding is not performed in those areas;
  • Ductwork from dust generation, handling and collecting systems is conductive, bonded and properly grounded to dissipate static accumulation;
  • Maintenance of mechanical equipment is conducted to prevent generation of heat and sparks;
  • Process systems have magnetic separators and/or tramp metal separators installed;
  • Your ductwork has proper transport velocity to prevent accumulation in the ducts and that ducts have inspection and cleanout ports/hatches;
  • Housekeeping procedures are in place; and,
  • You have ignition control programs for:
    • Hot work and hot surfaces
    • Bearings
    • Self-heating materials
    • Open flames
    • Fuel-fired equipment
    • Heated process equipment
    • Heated air
    • Frictional sparks
    • Impact sparks
    • Electrical equipment
    • Electrostatics or other similar sources in dust handling equipment.
  1. Sampling Results

Inspectors will be collecting dust samples from each area they believe has a potential for a combustible dust hazard.  This could be from elevated surfaces, horizontal surfaces as high overhead as possible, floors and equipment surfaces, dust collection equipment and within process equipment.  They are not allowed to enter into your confined spaces, but they can use a non-spark producing scope or scoop on an extension pole to collect their sample.

Samples will be sent to the OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center which has specialized knowledge and experience with combustible dust hazards.

A good practice with all OSHA inspections is to make sure you conduct your own side-by-side sampling, that is, you sample what they sample and get your own independent results.  Be advised, combustible dust samples are going to be considerably more expensive samples to have analyzed by a laboratory than other types of materials.

  1. Other Documentation

Inspectors will be gathering all kinds of other information including:

  • How your equipment is connected and how the process flows;
  • Piping and process diagrams;
  • They’ll take photographs, videos and make diagrams or sketches documenting extent and depth of dust and condition of equipment;
  • Room dimensions;
  • Engineering controls used;
  • Design information, make, model, serial numbers of dust collectors;
  • Date of installation and operator manuals for dust collection system;
  • Dirty and clean size/volumes for dust collection system;
  • Warning signs and alerts on equipment regarding combustible dust;
  • External ignition sources; and,
  • Internal ignition sources.

What are Some Potential Standards You Could be Cited Under?

OSHA does not have its own dedicated combustible dust standard, but it can use a wide variety of other standards to cite you for these hazards.  These include:

Housekeeping Standard (Non-Storage Areas) – 29 CFR 1910.22

A little dust here and there wouldn’t be enough.  You can be cited under this standard if you have a visible volume of combustible dust in the workplace.  This is where that dust hazard analysis comes in.  They will use their measurements and observations for extent, depth and calculations of area.  If you have dust everywhere and it’s pretty significant, expect a violation of this standard.

Housekeeping Standard (Storage Areas) – 29 CFR 1910.176(c)

This is from the Handling Materials – General standard which says that storage areas need to be free from accumulation of materials that constitute hazards including explosion and fire.

General Duty Clause – Section 5(a)(1)

As with a lot of other cases, usually there’s always something within the tried-and-true General Duty Clause that could be included. In this case it will be related to the dust collection system or your dryers, mixers, material storage, bucket elevators and mills.  In addition to reviewing your safety and maintenance manuals, inspectors may do some research into your industry to find potentials for combustible dust hazards and also use NFPA 65 or other NFPA standards to find issues.

Some ideas for citations under the General Duty Clause listed for inspectors in their inspection guidance include:

  • Problems with dust collectors;
  • Ductwork-related problems;
  • Improperly designed deflagration venting;
  • Unprotected processing and material handling equipment (no deflagration suppression); and,
  • Improperly designed or maintained blowers, collection systems and exhaust systems used at sawmills.

Ventilation – 29 CFR 1910.94

Paragraph (a) of this standard deals with abrasive blasting including fire and explosion hazards.  If your ventilation equipment is not constructed in accordance to NFPA 91 and 68, then you can be cited here.

PPE – 29 CFR 1910.132(a)

If employees are not wearing FR (flame-resistant) clothing around combustible dust areas where they could receive burn injuries from flash fires, you can be cited under the PPE standard.

Hazardous (Classified Locations) – 29 CFR 1910.307

This is in the Electrical Subpart S area of the standards.  If sample results show you have combustible dust in a Class II area and it’s not safe for it to be there, you would be cited under this one.  They can also cite Class I and III electrical-related issues here too if they find them along the way.

Powered Industrial Trucks – 29 CFR 1910.178

If you have a forklift that’s not rated an EX (explosion proof) in the area where there’s combustible dust, you can be cited here.  Also be aware that many jurisdictions still have Powered Industrial Truck emphasis programs so they can conduct an additional separate inspection regarding your trucks while they are there for combustible dusts.

Welding, Cutting and Brazing – 29 CFR 1910.252

Under the general requirements, if you are conducting cutting and welding in explosive atmospheres, you can be cited here.

Warning Signs – 29 CFR 1910.145

This comes from the standard for Specifications for Accident Prevention Signs and Tags under Subpart J, General Environmental Controls.  If you have safety instruction signs missing from equipment or missing from entrances where there are explosive atmospheres, expect a citation here.

Hazard Communication – 29 CFR 1910.1200

Did you know that combustible dust is considered a hazardous chemical?  This needs to be incorporated into your hazcom program.   All equipment containing combustible dusts, including drums and containers used to collect dusts from dust collectors and cyclones must be properly labeled just like any other hazcom container.

You should also document notifying and training employees on its hazards.

SDSs are now supposed to include combustible dust as a not otherwise classified hazard with the signal word “warning” and the hazard statement “may form combustible dust concentrations in the air.”

Others and Specialty Standards

  • Means of Egress – 29 CFR Subpart E
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers – 29 CFR 1910.157 (no emergency action plan or fire prevention plan)
  • Fire Brigades – 29 CFR 1910.156
  • Spray Finishing – 29 CFR 1910.107
  • Bakery Equipment – 29 CFR 1910.263
  • Sawmills – 29 CFR 1910.265
  • Pulp and Paper Mills – 29 CFR 1910.261

Do you need help with combustible dust?  iSi can help with programs, audits and hazard assessments, sampling, PPE determinations, training and more.  Contact us today!

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OSHA Injury Posting Requirements

OSHA Injury Posting Requirements

It’s that time of year again when employers need to post and submit last year’s injury and illness data.  Here is a list of timeframes and more information about which companies this affects:

Posting Injury and Illness Data

All employers who are required to maintain OSHA logs must post a copy of their OSHA 300A log from February 1 through April 30.  This needs to be placed in a common area where an employee can easily see it.  Make sure you have a company executive sign and certify it before posting.


Electronic Submittals to OSHA

osha injury reporting recordkeeping compliance chart for 2023

Employers with more than 250 employees and employers with 20-249 employees under certain NAICS codes are required to submit their 300As to OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA) website.  Here’s a list of those special industries covered by the recordkeeping rule:  Covered Industries.

In order to post to the website, you’ll need two separate accounts.  First is an account with the Injury Tracking Application website.  The other, new as of October 2022, you’ll have to have an account at Login.gov, a secure website the federal government uses for many different applications.   You need to make sure you use the same email address for both so that the records can be connected.

Information can be manually uploaded, uploaded via a CSV file (available as a template from the OSHA ITA website), or transmit it electronically through an API.

If your company has multiple locations, or establishments as they are referred to, you need to report for each establishment, but can use the same ITA account to do it.  A third party can help do this for you, but accuracy and completeness of data is still your company’s responsibility.

Even if you have 0 recordables, you still need to report, and if you miss the March 2 deadline, you can still submit at any time of the year.  Just be aware you’re not compliant until you do.  If you submit early and find out there was an injury last year that became recordable, they would like for you to update the information, but it’s not required.

What’s Recordable, What’s Not?

If you have questions or need help in determining what’s recordable and what’s not, iSi can help.  We can advise on a case-by-case basis, and we have conducted presentations that cover some of the trickier examples that we can provide through our training program.  Contact us for pricing on either of those.

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EPA Issues Changes to 6H NESHAP for Paint Stripping & Surface Coating

EPA Issues Changes to 6H NESHAP for Paint Stripping & Surface Coating

EPA has issued Final Rule updates to 40 CFR Part 63, subpart HHHHHH, the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources.  This NESHAP standard applies to companies coating miscellaneous parts/products made of metal, plastic or a combination, anyone stripping paint using methylene chloride, or conducting motor vehicle/mobile equipment refinishing.

EPA issued the changes as part of its technology review.  They didn’t find any new developments in practices, processes or controls that warranted changing existing rules, but they did decide to take the opportunity to update and clarify some of the items in the current requirements.

Here is a summary of what has changed in the regulation:

Electronic Reporting

Rather than mailing reports to EPA, you will now be required to be submit electronically through the CEDRI/CDX platform.  This includes initial notifications, notifications of compliance status changes, annual notification of changes reports and the report required in 40 CFR 63.11176(b).

HAP Content

EPA updated the definition of a “target HAP containing coating” to clarify that compliance is based on the hazardous air pollutant (HAP) content of the coating applied to the part, not the content purchased.

Spray Gun Cups and Liners

For spray guns with disposable cap liners, EPA amended “spray-applied coating operations” to clarify that the allowance to use spray guns outside of a spray booth is based on the volume of the spray gun cup liner, not volume of the cup itself.  They also clarified that repeatedly refilling and reusing the 3.0 fl. oz. cup or cup liner, and/or using multiple liners for a single spray-applied coating operation will be considered trying to circumvent the regulation and you can be fined for this.

Exemptions Became Easier

If motor vehicle/mobile equipment spray coating operations don’t spray apply coatings that contain the target HAP, rather than the current petition for exemption process, the rule now allows companies to submit notifications to the Administrator.  This process is meant to be simplified and easier.  All records to support the notification shall still be kept as a backup to support the notification, but those records don’t need to be sent to the administrator.

Military Equipment: Tanks and Submarines

The NESHAP no longer applies to surface coating or paint stripping on tanks and submarines when that work is conducted onsite at military installations, NASA, or at the National Nuclear Security Administration.  It also doesn’t apply when conducted offsite where military munitions or equipment are manufactured by or for the Armed Forces and that equipment is directly and exclusively used for the purposes of transporting military munitions.

OSHA Carcinogen References

EPA removed references to OSHA’s carcinogens because OSHA no longer spells out what those are.  Instead, EPA will be putting in their own list.  These will include target HAPs that must be counted if they’re present at 0.1% by mass or greater.  All other HAPs will be counted if present at 1.0% or greater by mass.

No Non-HAP Solvents

The term “Non-HAP solvent” will be removed because there’s no requirement in the standard to use them and there is no other place where this is used.

Filter Test Method

EPA updated the spray booth filter test method to the most recent ASHRAE method, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 52.2-2017 Method of Testing General Ventilation Air-Cleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size.  The standard also now includes a reference to EPA Method 319-Determination of Filtration Efficiency for Paint Overspray Arrestors as an alternative method.  EPA Method 319 is the same one referenced in the NESHAP for Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework to test paint spray booth filters for hexavalent chromium emissions.

For more information about changes to the rule, you can find the final rule in its entirety here.

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Chemical Hygiene Plan: What You Need To Know

Chemical Hygiene Plan: What You Need To Know

What is a chemical hygiene plan?

A Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is a written document required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It outlines specific safety procedures that workers must follow while working with hazardous chemicals, in order to minimize risk of exposure to potentially dangerous substances.

The CHP covers topics such as personal protective equipment, engineering controls, safe work practices, health and hygiene, medical surveillance, chemical labeling and storage, spill response plans, hazardous waste disposal and more. It is important to have a comprehensive and up-to-date CHP in place as it ensures that workers are aware of the hazards associated with their job duties and how to protect themselves against them.

What are the objectives of a chemical hygiene plan?

A Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is an organized and comprehensive plan designed to protect laboratory workers from the potential health hazards posed by hazardous chemicals in the work environment. It outlines safety protocols for working with hazardous materials, identifies any special procedures or precautions that need to be taken when dealing with them, and provides guidance on how to safely handle common laboratory operations such as waste disposal and emergency response.

A CHP establishes the safety procedures that must be followed in order to ensure that laboratory personnel are adequately protected from hazardous chemical exposure, while also ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

The main objectives of a CHP include minimizing employee exposure to hazardous chemicals, reducing the potential for accidental spills or exposures, identifying appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for each type of operation, and providing training for personnel on the appropriate use of hazardous materials.

What should a chemical hygiene plan include?

A CHP should include a written policy outlining the responsibilities of personnel, recommendation on protective clothing and equipment, training requirements for workers, methods for labeling and storing chemicals, emergency procedures in case of spills or other incidents, and equipment maintenance protocols.

In addition, the CHP should document any hazardous chemical exposures that have occurred. By following these guidelines, workplaces can ensure that personnel are adequately protected from exposure to hazardous substances and minimize the risk of injury or illness due to chemical use.

What does a chemical hygiene officer do?

A Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) is an important role in any organization that works with hazardous chemicals. Their primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of personnel and protect the environment by designing and implementing chemical safety programs, policies, standards, and procedures.

The chemical hygiene officers also oversee compliance with all applicable laws related to health and safety in the workplace. They are responsible for monitoring chemical use, storage, and disposal; performing safety audits; conducting safety training; and providing expert advice on safe chemical handling practices.

In addition to these core duties, the CHO may coordinate with other departments such as Human Resources and Environmental Health & Safety in order to ensure compliance across the organization and present health and safety requirements.

What is the OSHA chemical safety plan?

The OSHA Chemical Safety Plan is a set of steps that employers must take to ensure the safety and health of their workers, as well as the workplace itself, when handling hazardous chemicals. It outlines the preventive measures that employers should implement in order to protect employees from exposure to hazardous materials.

This plan includes training for workers on proper handling and storage of chemicals; personal protective equipment (PPE); emergency response plans; and other safety measures. Proper implementation of the OSHA Chemical Safety Plan can help to reduce incidents and injuries caused by hazardous chemicals, as well as ensure a safe environment for all employees. The plan also serves to keep businesses compliant with federal regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

What is the OSHA laboratory standard for chemical exposure?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets a standard for chemical exposure and protective laboratory practices in the workplace. This includes keeping employees safe from any kind of hazardous chemical, whether it be by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact. OSHA enforces this standard through its Hazard Communication Standard, which requires employers to provide workers with information about the chemicals they use, including proper storage, labeling and handling instructions.

The OSHA lab standard also sets limits on the amount of exposure an employee can have to certain chemicals, ensuring that workers remain safe from any potential harm. To make sure these standards are met, employers must provide adequate training and ensure that employees follow safety protocols when working with hazardous materials.

What are the 10 steps to chemical safety?

Chemical safety is an important part of any workplace environment. Knowing and understanding the 10 steps to chemical safety can help ensure that all employees are safe while handling hazardous materials.

  1. The first step to chemical safety is to identify potential hazards by reviewing the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS includes detailed information about the properties of a given chemical, including its health hazards, protective measures, and emergency response information.

  2. The second step is to use the right personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with hazardous materials. This may include safety glasses, respirators, gloves, lab coats, and other items that are necessary for safe handling of chemicals.

  3. Thirdly, it’s important to keep all containers of chemicals labeled and sealed properly. Labels should include the name of the chemical, concentration, date prepared, and appropriate hazard warnings.

  4. The fourth step is to practice good housekeeping in the lab or work area by keeping all areas clean and free from debris that might contaminate products. All spilled materials must be removed from the work area as soon as possible.

  5. The fifth step is to make sure that all employees are trained on the proper handling of chemicals in their work area. This includes understanding how to use protective equipment and safety measures to reduce exposure.

  6. The sixth step is to provide good ventilation in the lab or work area. Poor ventilation can increase exposure to hazardous materials, so it’s important to keep areas well-ventilated.

  7. Seventhly, emergency equipment should be readily available in case of an incident. This includes items like fire extinguishers, eye wash stations, and spill kits to contain hazardous materials.

  8. The eighth step is to create a culture of safety by ensuring that all employees are aware of the dangers associated with handling hazardous materials. All workers should understand the proper safety procedures, and regular training should be conducted to reinforce these procedures.

  9. The ninth step is to monitor employee exposure levels by providing personal protective equipment and conducting periodic air quality tests. This will help ensure that all workers remain safe while working with hazardous materials.

  10. Finally, the tenth step is to document all safety measures taken in a detailed hazard assessment report. This report should include a description of the potential hazard, control measures taken to limit exposure, and any additional safety precautions that were implemented.

By following these 10 steps to chemical safety, employers can ensure that their employees remain safe while handling hazardous materials in the workplace.

What are 4 hazardous chemicals?

Chemical safety is an important topic in any work environment, as exposure to hazardous chemicals can have serious effects on a person’s health and wellbeing. To protect workers and customers alike, it is essential that businesses identify the potential risks associated with their products or services, and take steps to minimize them. One way to do this is by identifying the four main classes of hazardous chemicals: corrosives, flammables, oxidizers, and toxic materials.

Corrosives are substances that can cause severe damage to the skin or eyes upon contact. These can include acids, alkalis, and other caustic materials. Flammables are extremely combustible liquids or gases that can ignite easily and burn rapidly under certain conditions. Oxidizers are substances that can cause rapid or spontaneous combustion when they come into contact with flammable materials. Finally, toxic materials are substances that can cause chronic or acute health problems if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.

What are the five rules of chemical safety?

Chemical safety is a critical part of all standard operating procedures. It helps ensure the safety and health of personnel, as well as protects equipment and materials from potential hazards. There are five basic rules of chemical safety that must be followed in order to minimize risk and maintain a safe working environment.

  • Read the labels and material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for any chemicals that you plan to use. Be sure to understand the hazards of each chemical as well as the proper disposal or storage requirements.
  • Wear the appropriate protective clothing and equipment when working with dangerous chemicals. This includes gloves, goggles, and an apron or lab coat. Additionally, it is important to ensure that your work area is well-ventilated.
  • Never mix chemicals, even if they are similar. This can lead to unpredictable and potentially hazardous reactions.
  • Store chemicals properly in order to prevent spills or other accidents. Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions regarding recommended storage temperatures and containers.
  • Always clean up any spills immediately and properly dispose of all chemicals after use. This includes cleaning any equipment or surfaces that may have been exposed to hazardous materials.

Adhering to these five basic rules of chemical safety can help ensure a safe working environment for everyone in your laboratory.

What is a common hazardous chemical in healthcare?

Healthcare workers are exposed to all kinds of hazardous substances. These can range from pesticides used in the garden, to chemical cleaners used in bathrooms and kitchens, to toxic drugs and medicines. One of the most common hazardous chemicals found in healthcare is formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a colorless, odorless gas that has many industrial uses such as preserving specimens for research laboratories and embalming. It can also be found in some furniture, carpets, cleaning supplies and even cosmetics.

In healthcare settings, formaldehyde is often used as a disinfectant to prevent the spread of infections. Exposure to high levels of formaldehyde can cause respiratory irritation, headaches and nausea. Healthcare workers must take extra precautions to protect themselves from exposure by wearing personal protective equipment such as respirators, eye protection and gloves.

Additionally, employers should use ventilation systems to reduce exposure levels in the workplace. By following these simple steps, healthcare workers can help protect themselves from dangerous chemical hazards and potentially hazardous chemicals.

Another hazardous chemical that is often found in healthcare is ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide is a colorless gas with a sweet odor and bitter taste. It is used in healthcare as a sterilizing agent for medical equipment and supplies.

However, exposure to high levels of ethylene oxide can cause skin irritation, headaches and dizziness. Healthcare workers must take precautions to protect themselves from any potential health risks associated with this chemical by wearing protective clothing such as respirators, masks and gloves when handling ethylene oxide. Proper chemical hygiene training and a chemical hygiene plan are crucial for employee safety.

What are 5 top laboratory hazards?

Laboratories are places for experimentation and research, but they can also be dangerous. Understanding the potential hazards that exist in a laboratory is essential to ensure safety. The five top laboratory hazards include chemical exposure, fire, radiation, biological agents, and electrical shock.

Chemical exposure is a significant hazard in any laboratory situation due to the use of hazardous materials such as acids, solvents, and other hazardous compounds. It is important to wear the appropriate protective gear such as safety glasses, gloves, and an apron when working with chemicals to reduce potential exposure.

Fire can cause serious damage in any laboratory setting due to the presence of volatile materials. Laboratories should be equipped with fire extinguishers and personnel should be trained on how to use them. In addition, flammable materials should be stored in proper containers and away from direct sources of heat.

Radiation is a potential hazard in laboratories that use radioactive materials or radiation-generating devices such as X-ray machines. It is important for personnel using these devices to wear protective gear such as lead aprons and glasses, and follow safety protocols.

Biological agents can also be a hazard in certain laboratory settings. It is important to wear protective clothing when working with biological materials and to practice proper hygiene such as washing hands regularly and avoiding contact with eyes, nose, or mouth. Additionally, it’s important to dispose of infectious waste properly and use safe disposal methods for sharp objects such as needles.

What are the 10 lab safety rules?

It is important to understand the 10 lab safety rules in order to ensure a safe and productive laboratory environment. The 10 lab safety rules are:

  1. Wear proper protective gear – including clothing, eye protection, and gloves – whenever handling chemicals or working with equipment that generates heat, sparks, and open flames.
  2. Read labels carefully before using any chemical or equipment.
  3. Follow the instructions provided and adhere to safety protocols in the lab and laboratory safety manual.
  4. Keep chemicals away from sources of heat, ignition, and open flames.
  5. Know how to properly handle and dispose of hazardous materials according to safety protocol.
  6. Know the location of emergency exits, fire extinguishers, spill kits, eyewash stations, and first aid kits.
  7. Never work alone in the lab; always ensure that someone else is present in case of an emergency.
  8. Do not touch or taste any chemicals without permission from a qualified supervisor.
  9. Report any accidents or spills to your supervisor immediately.
  10. Clean up all equipment and materials after use and before leaving the laboratory with prior approval.

Adhering to these 10 lab safety rules is essential for ensuring a safe and productive workplace in any laboratory setting. Always be aware of the potential hazards and use caution when handling hazardous materials or working with dangerous equipment.

How often should a workplace or laboratory chemical inventory conducted?

It is important to conduct a workplace or laboratory chemical inventory at least once a year. This helps to ensure that all chemicals stored onsite are accounted for, and any expired or unwanted materials can be safely disposed of. Additionally, employers should update the list as soon as a new container of hazardous material is received.

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OSHA Considering Changes and Updates to the PSM Standard

OSHA Considering Changes and Updates to the PSM Standard

OSHA Considering Changes and Updates to the PSM Standard

 

OSHA has been accepting comments on several proposed changes to its Process Safety Management, or PSM standard.

PSM is an OSHA regulation that is concerned with processes at your facility that use highly hazardous chemicals.  PSM provides a compliance framework to evaluate each process with the end goal of no spills, fires, explosions, reactions, releases or other incidents arise from their use.  The official standard can be found at 29 CFR 1910.119.

PSM hasn’t been updated since its creation in 1992.  OSHA has been reevaluating PSM, and EPA has been similarly been reevaluating their Risk Management Plan, or RMP standard since the 2013 West, Texas fertilizer storage facility explosion.  Just like the difference between OSHA and EPA, PSM is meant to protect workers while RMP is meant to protect the environment.

Potential changes to PSM could include:

  • Clarifying the exemption for atmospheric storage tanks;
  • Strengthening employee participation and stop work authority;
  • Requiring the development of written procedures for all elements specified in the standard, identification of records required by the standard, and a records retention policy (previously referred to as “Written PSM Management Systems”);
  • Including oil-well and gas-well drilling and servicing as part of the standard and resuming enforcement for oil and gas production facilities;
  • Expanding coverage and requirements for reactive chemical hazards;
  • Updating and expanding the list of highly hazardous chemicals in Appendix A;
  • Requiring continuous updating of collected information (paragraph (d));
  • Requiring formal resolution of Process Hazard Analysis team recommendations that are not utilized;
  • Better defining what critical equipment means, what equipment deficiencies are, and expanding paragraph (j) to cover the mechanical integrity of critical equipment;
  • Clarifying the scope of the retail facilities exemption;
  • Defining the limits of a PSM-covered process;
  • Better defining recognized and generally accepted as good engineering practices (RAGAGEP) and requiring evaluations of any updates to them;
  • Requiring safer technology and alternatives analysis;
  • Requiring consideration of natural disasters and extreme temperatures;
  • Amending paragraph (k) of the Explosives and Blasting Agents Standard to cover dismantling and disposal of explosives and pyrotechnics;
  • Clarifying that paragraph (l) covers organizational changes;
  • Amending paragraph (m) to require root cause analysis;
  • Requiring coordination of emergency planning with local emergency-response authorities;
  • Requiring third-party compliance audits; and,
  • Including requirements for employers to develop a system for periodic review of and necessary revisions to their PSM management systems (previously referred to as “Evaluation and Corrective Action”).

This action is currently in the comments stage, and stakeholder meetings were held in October 2022 with comments accepted through mid-November 2022.  We will keep you updated when anything final is published.

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Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance Audit: What You Need To Know

Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance Audit: What You Need To Know

Organizations that handle highly hazardous chemicals must have a comprehensive safety management program to ensure their employees, contractors, and members of the public are protected from potentially catastrophic incidents.

Organizations should regularly audit their operations to identify any potential gaps or areas of improvement in their safety management program.

What does PSM stand for?

PSM stands for Process Safety Management.

The Process Safety Management system should include policies and procedures for identifying, evaluating, controlling, and monitoring all risks associated with working with these materials.

It should also include training on safe work practices as well as emergency preparedness and response plans to ensure that personnel are adequately trained and equipped to handle emergencies and unexpected releases with hazards involved.

What is a PSM audit?

A PSM audit assists companies in determining whether they are doing what is required for compliance against OSHA’s PSM mandate.

An audit of Process Safety Management compliance is an important and necessary step for companies to ensure they are meeting OSHA’s regulations and guidelines.

These audits help identify any gaps in PSM implementation or areas where further training may be needed, enabling organizations to take corrective action quickly.

How often is a PSM audit required?

Recommended, once every three years.

The process safety management audit must include an audit of the PSM program that covers all components, including management commitment and employee participation, process safety information, process hazard analysis, operating procedures, training programs, contractor selection/management, pre-startup safety review procedures, mechanical integrity of equipment associated with the process systems being used by the company and incident investigation.

What is the OSHA standard for PSM?

OSHA developed the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard (issued in 1992) designed to prevent catastrophic events, such as explosions and releases of toxic substances, from occurring by requiring employers to identify and assess the risks associated with the hazardous materials and processes.

Employers must also develop safe operating procedures for activities that involve these chemicals or processes, as well as provide training for employees on proper use of equipment and safe work practices. In addition, employers must implement an emergency response plan and monitor the safety system to ensure that it remains effective.

The Osha’s process safety management applies to processes involving threshold quantities of flammable liquids and gasses (10,000 lbs) as well as 137 listed highly hazardous chemicals. It also covers the manufacturing of explosives. Osha PSM requirements and safety programs help maintain safe and healthy workplaces.

Occupational safety, emergency procedures and emergency planning are just a few ways Osha is assisting companies protect the safety and health of their employees.

What are 4 areas that a compliance audit examines?

The 4 areas compliance audits examine are compliance preparations, security policies and procedures, user access controls, and risk management procedures.

An effective audit is essential to any organization’s success. It helps ensure that the organization adheres to all applicable regulations and best practices, protects its assets, reduces risk, and maintains the trust of its stakeholders.

The audit should assess an organization’s compliance standards, policies and procedures, access controls, security measures, written procedures, user activity monitoring systems, and incident response plans.

It should also identify any areas where the organization may be failing to meet its obligations, and provide recommendations for improvement. A successful audit will enable an enterprise to better protect itself against legal, financial, and reputational risks.

Additionally, a thorough audit can help ensure that the organization remains compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

What are the 14 Process Safety Management (PSM) elements?

  1. Process Safety Information
  2. Process Hazard Analysis
  3. Operating Procedures & Safety Procedures
  4. Hot Work Permits
  5. Emergency Preparedness & Emergency Shutdown Systems
  6. Mechanical Integrity
  7. Pre-startup Safety management
  8. Training Management
  9. Change Management
  10. Incident Investigation
  11. Contractors
  12. Compliance Audits and Compliance evaluations
  13. Employee Involvement and Employee Safety
  14. Trade Secrets

Companies can use these 14 elements to determine and analyze data in near real-time to automatically identify potential hazards before they become a problem.

This allows them to quickly respond and address problems before any harm is done, mitigating the risk of a catastrophic event.

In addition, automation can be used to streamline process safety operations, providing more accurate and timely data to improve decision-making.

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Health and Safety Consultants

Health and Safety Consultants

Consultants provide essential services to businesses, organizations, and individuals. They help ensure workplace safety by providing advice on health and safety regulations and policies, developing risk assessments, inspecting equipment or premises for safety hazards, conducting staff training sessions and developing emergency response plans.

These are knowledgeable in areas such as occupational health and safety regulation compliance, industrial hygiene principles, ergonomics, hazardous material management, fire protection engineering, accident investigations, construction site hazard recognition and more. Their expertise helps mitigate the risk of injury or illness within a work environment.

Additionally they can assist organizations in meeting all legal requirements for health & safety legislation in their respective countries or regions. Ultimately their work helps protect workers from potential hazards that may arise from working conditions.

Furthermore, safety consultants and safety professionals can provide a valuable service to businesses looking to expand or introduce new processes or practices. They can provide advice on the best practices for their particular industry, as well as how to best implement them with minimal risk of disruption to the operations.

Ultimately, this helps make sure that employees are working in an environment where their safety is paramount. Engaging with a qualified Health and Safety Consultant is essential for ensuring that an organization meets its legal obligations in terms of health and safety regulations and requirements.

Additionally, it allows companies to minimize risks, create a safe work environment for their staff, and ultimately protect their reputation should an incident occur.

OSHA Compliance Solutions

OSHA Compliance Solutions is a comprehensive suite of tools and services designed to help businesses stay in compliance with all applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The service includes access to the most up-to-date federal and state information, as well as an online library of safety training materials, safety programs, safety manuals, instructional videos, and other resources for your safety manager to use.

With these tools, businesses can easily create compliant work environments that protect employees from safety risks and injury. Additionally, OSHA Compliance Solutions can recommend a safety consulting company in which offers consulting services and technical assistance to further support companies’ compliance efforts.

These services include onsite visits for inspections or consultations, as well as identify workplace hazards and provide recommendations for corrective action plans when necessary. Your company will also be presented safety data sheets from these experienced safety professionals. OSHA Compliance Solutions helps businesses ensure their workplaces are safe, efficient, and in compliance with federal and regulations.

OSHA Training Solutions

OSHA Training Solutions is an industry leader in occupational safety and health training. With expertise on a wide range of topics related to workplace safety, OSHA Training Solutions provides comprehensive training courses, both online and in-person, to help employers meet their safety and health compliance requirements.

Their courses are designed to cover topics such as ergonomics, fall protection, hazardous materials handling, risk assessment, health programs, machine guarding, fire safety and more. They also offer a vast selection of online resources that provide easy access to up-to-date information on the ever changing regulations governing workplace safety. OSHA Training Solutions is committed to providing outstanding customer service and quality training solutions to ensure that workers stay safe while on the job.

With their commitment to excellence and dedication to helping employers protect their workforce from injury or illness, OSHA Training Solutions has become an industry leader in occupational safety and health training.

OSHA Compliance Evaluations

OSHA Compliance Evaluations are conducted in order to assess the safety and health conditions of a workplace and ensure that it is compliant with federal standards. During such evaluations, an inspector will look for potential hazards review company policies and procedures, inspect work areas, and verify compliance with OSHA regulations.

These evaluations also serve as an opportunity for employers to address any existing or potential safety risks before they become larger issues. Ultimately, OSHA Compliance Evaluations make workplaces safer places by identifying and preventing potentially dangerous situations.

Additionally, these evaluations can help employers save costs associated with employee injury or illness due to unsafe working conditions. By conducting assessments regularly, companies can protect the health and well-being of their workers while also avoiding violations of regulatory standards.

OSHA Inspection Guidance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides inspection guidance to ensure compliance with federal safety standards. During OSHA inspections, OSHA inspectors conduct workplace inspections to assess compliance with safety regulations and identify any potential hazards that could cause harm to workers.

Inspectors may also speak with employers and employees during the inspection process in order to gather more information on working conditions. The inspector will then issue a report which includes recommendations for improvements or corrections based on their findings, along with a citation of violations if any were found. Employers must take the necessary steps to address the concerns raised in the report in order to come into full compliance with all applicable regulations.

By providing timely guidance and enforcement, OSHA helps keep workplaces safe from injury and illness, protecting both employers and employees.

Written OSHA Program Preparation

Written OSHA Program Preparation is an important part of any workplace safety program. It involves the development and implementation of policies and procedures for keeping workers safe from potential hazards. This includes identifying and addressing potential safety issues, training employees on safe practices, documenting all safety measures, and regularly auditing the system to ensure amenability with federal regulations. Taking these proactive steps helps to protect workers and create a safer work environment.

By setting up an effective written OSHA program, employers can ensure that their workplace is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations, while also protecting the safety and wellbeing of their employees. Written programs provide a roadmap for achieving workplace safety goals as well as creating an environment where employees understand the risks associated with their work and feel empowered to take action for protecting themselves and their colleagues.

Safety Data Sheet Preparation

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a key document required by all employers to ensure the safety of workers in hazardous working conditions. SDSs are prepared to provide information about the properties of a particular substance or mixture, including its health and safety hazards, protective measures for handling, storing, using and disposing of it safely.

SDSs also include details on how to respond in case of an emergency involving the product. Preparation of SDSs requires knowledge of hazardous substances as well as knowledge of composition, toxicology and occupational health. Since many hazardous materials can exist in a number of different forms, it is important to ensure that the SDS accurately reflects the particular product’s characteristics. Furthermore, information must be regularly updated in line with changes in legislation and any new or revised hazard assessment data.

Health and Safety Program (HSP) Development

Health and Safety Program (HSP) Development is a comprehensive process that involves identifying potential risks, developing strategies to reduce risks and implementing those strategies in the workplace. A successful HSP requires proper planning, training, assessment and reporting of safety issues. The goal of HSP development is to protect workers from injury or illness associated with their job duties.

Emergency Response Plans

Emergency response plans are important to have in place for any organization, as they help to outline the steps that should be taken in the event of an emergency. These plans should include information about how to respond and evacuate a building safely, who is responsible for different aspects of the plan, and how to contact emergency services. This response plans should also consider potential risks, such as natural disasters or hazardous materials spills, and outline procedures for responding effectively.

Having a well-developed emergency response plan helps ensure employees are safe during an emergency situation, while also preventing costly damages if an incident occurs. Additionally, proper training on these plans allows staff members to become familiar with their roles so they can act quickly in the face of danger.

On-Site Health and Safety Management

On-site health and safety management is an essential part of any successful business. Effective management of workplace safety can help reduce risks, minimize injury and illness, protect employees’ rights to a safe work environment, and ensure that businesses meet all applicable safety regulations.

An effective on-site health and safety management system should include procedures for identifying hazards in the workplace, setting standards for worker protection, providing training for workers on how to safely conduct their job duties, responding quickly to reported or observed unsafe conditions or practices, conducting periodic inspections of the facility for potential hazards, and maintaining records documenting compliance with OSHA regulations.

LOTO Procedure Development

LOTO (Lock Out/Tag Out) Procedure Development is an essential element of workplace safety. Properly designed and implemented LOTO Procedures help to ensure that hazardous sources of energy are effectively isolated from equipment, thus preventing potential injuries or damages.

When creating a LOTO Procedure, it is important to accurately identify all potentially hazardous sources of energy, determine the proper type of lockout device needed for each source, and develop step-by-step instructions on how to properly de-energize and lock out the machine. Additionally, procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary in order to ensure they remain up-to-date and effective.

By following these steps in the development process, businesses can greatly reduce their risk exposure while also protecting their employees from potential hazards.

For more detailed information, businesses should consult OSHA regulations on LOTO Procedure Development as well as their own corporate safety policies. With the proper development and implementation of LOTO Procedures, businesses can ensure a safe and secure workplace environment while also adhering to all relevant safety regulations.

By investing in the proper protocols and procedures upfront, businesses can make sure that they are providing their employees with the necessary protection against hazardous energy sources. This is an important step toward ensuring a safe work environment for everyone involved.

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Fit Testing Questions Answered

Fit Testing Questions Answered

Once you conduct an evaluation to determine what type of respirator your workers will be required to use to protect them from the contaminants around them (that is, what type, Assigned Protection Factor (APF) needed, what filters and/or cartridges are required, etc.), there are three general steps that come next: a medical evaluation to ensure they’re medically capable of wearing one, fit testing to determine which size most comfortably and accurately fits, and training.  In this blog, we dive into the fit testing side.

Respirator fit testing is conducted on tight-fitting respirators to make sure the respirator gets a good seal on the employee’s face so that no contaminants will leak into the mask.  They may not always be the most comfortable or convenient things to wear, but fit testing finds a balance of comfort and protection at the same time.

Qualitative or Quantitative?  What’s the Difference?

Fit-testing methods are referred to as qualitative or quantitative.

In qualitative fit-testing, once the person being fit tested has his/her mask on, the tester introduces items such as saccharine, Bittrex, banana oil or irritant smoke near the mask to see if the person can smell or sense it.  This method relies on the worker’s ability to sense odor or irritants. NIOSH currently doesn’t recommend irritant smoke for fit-testing.  Qualitative fit testing is only for half-face, full-face and N95 filtering facepiece respirators that have an APF of 10.  An APF is the level of protection the respirator will provide if it’s functioning and wore correctly.  For example, an APF of 10 means the user can expect to inhale no more than one tenth of the contaminant present. Qualitative fit-testing is easy, fast and fairly inexpensive.  It’s considered to be only a pass or fail type of test.

Quantitative respirator fit-testing uses a machine to measure pressure loss inside the mask or to count quantities of particles to calculate a fit factor.  Quantitative testing is considered more accurate than qualitative fit-testing.  Quantitative fit-testing must be conducted for respirators requiring an APF over 10.  Full-face tight fitting respirators that are quantitatively tested have an APF of 50.  An APF of 50 means the user can expect to inhale no more than one fiftieth of the contaminant present.

​When Do I Need to Fit-Test Someone?

Employers are to ensure employees wearing tight-fitting facepiece respirators are fit-tested:

  1. Before use
  2. Whenever a different respiratory facepiece is used (size, model, make, style)
  3. Annually

Why is Fit-Testing Required Each Year?

A study published by NIOSH has affirmed the need for OSHA’s annual requirement for fit-testing for filtering facepiece respirators and other tight-fitting respirators.

In its study, NIOSH followed 229 subjects over three years’ time, making fit and physical characteristic measurements every 6 months. It was found that after one year, 10% of the subjects had changes in fit. In two years it was 20%, and in the third year, it was up to 26%. OSHA’s intended threshold for fit changes, when it made its rules in 1998, was 7% annually.

NIOSH also found that subjects who had lost 20 or more pounds had respirator fit changes. The greater the weight loss, the higher the chance that the respirator fit changed. Thus, NIOSH recommends those persons who lose 20 or more pounds get priority fit-test scheduling, even it is less than a year since their last fit-test.

In addition to weight loss and gain, other events such as dental changes, facial scarring and cosmetic surgery can affect respirator fit as well.

Note: NIOSH’s study can be found at: https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2016/01/05/fit-testing/

What Difference Does Respirator Brand Make in Fit Testing?

Different brands also fit differently, so a size a worker may wear in one mask may not be the same size in another brand.  If the person wears glasses, hearing protection or other items around their head during the job, they must wear them during the fit test.

What Facial Hair is Acceptable in a Fit-Test?

Beards and facial hair on men are back in style, but beards and respirators do not get along.  Certain kinds and lengths of facial hair including beards, sideburns, some mustaches, and even a day or two of stubble can interfere with the seal.  According to NIOSH, presence of facial hair under the seal causes 20 to 100 times more leakage.  Gases, vapors and particles will take the path of least resistance and will flow right through the hair into the mask and into the lungs.

Our Physician is Booked Now, Can I Go Ahead and Do the Fit Test Before I Get My Respirator Physical?

No!  Respirator physicals (medical evaluations) need to be done before the fit test to ensure the person getting tested is even medically qualified to wear one.  Wearing a respirator can put a strain on the heart and lungs and it is very important that an employee has been evaluated by a medical professional to prevent causing any damage to the employee.

How Often is Respirator Training Required?

Respiratory protection training is required ANNUALLY, that is, within 12 months.  Doing this training around the same time as the physical and the fit testing can help reinforce proper care techniques for the respirator.  This training should cover how to properly don (put on) and doff (take off) them, their limitations and capabilities, why a respirator is needed, how to use them in an emergency or when they malfunction, how to inspect and remove the seals, how to clean and store it properly, how to recognize medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent its effective use, and the general requirements of the respiratory protection standard.

Additional training shall be conducted if there are any changes in your workplace, changes in respirator that would make previous training obsolete and when a worker’s actions show additional training is required to ensure their safe use.

What Documentation Do I Need to Keep?

Once you’ve had someone fit tested, you need to ensure you maintain records of the fit test.  The documentation needs to include:

  • The name of the person tested,
  • Type of test conducted
  • Specific make, model, style and size of respirator tested
  • Date of the test
  • Pass/fail results for qualitative fit testing, or the fit factor and strip chart recording from a quantitative fit test
  • A written copy of your Respirator Protection Program

Where Can I Find the Requirements for Fit-Testing? 

OSHA governs the usage of respirators and sets forth its standards in 29 CFR 1910.134 for general industry, and for construction, standard 29 CFR 1926.103 references back to the general industry standard, saying its requirements are identical.  The specific protocols and instructions on how to conduct a fit test are in Appendix A of that standard.

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Workplace Safety Audit Guides

Workplace Safety Audit Guides

Work Site Safety Audits

A Work Site Safety Audit is an important part of any workplace. It helps to identify potential hazards and risks, and ensures that all safety protocols are being followed. The audit includes a comprehensive review of the environment, as well as any equipment or materials used in the area. It can also include interviews with employees and other stakeholders to assess their understanding of safety policies and procedures.

Safety Audits vs. Safety Inspections: What’s the Difference?

Safety audits and safety inspections serve different purposes. Safety audits are more comprehensive and review the overall safety program of an organization, while safety inspections focus on specific worksites or processes.

Audits evaluate compliance across multiple areas such as employee training, equipment maintenance, hazardous materials management, accident investigation/reporting procedures, emergency response plans, etc., whereas inspections are conducted to ensure that existing regulations and requirements are being met in a particular area (e.g. confined space entry, machine guarding).

Safety audits provide organizations with valuable feedback on their current safety practices and allow them to identify any potential risks before they become significant issues. Inspections can help find violations quickly and lead to corrective actions when needed. Both types of assessments are important components of an effective safety management system.

3 Types of Safety Audits

There are three primary types of safety audits: administrative, environmental, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Administrative audits assess compliance with safety policies and procedures; environmental audits evaluate the physical environment for conditions that may pose a risk to personnel; and PPE audits review the effectiveness of an organization’s PPE program in providing adequate protection for workers.

All three types of safety audit provide valuable insight into the overall safety performance of a company, helping to ensure that it is meeting its commitment to providing safe working conditions.

How to conduct a safety audit?

Conducting a safety audit is an important step in improving the safety of any workplace. It allows organizations to assess their current protocols and identify areas for improvement. When conducting a safety audit, it is important to consider all potential hazards and develop safety regulations and safety procedures to eliminate or control hazards.

This can include everything from evaluating how equipment is used and maintained, to reviewing employee training programs and procedures. Additionally, health and safety audit companies should pay attention to the environment around the facility, ensuring that employees are working in safe conditions with reasonable access to emergency exits.

After identification of risk areas, action plans should be developed and implemented in order to make sure that all necessary steps have been taken in order to provide a safe working environment for everyone involved. Finally, employers should regularly review their safety audit report and audit data and make adjustments to ensure that the workplace remains safe for all workers.

By doing this, businesses can prevent major accidents from occurring and create a safer work environment for everyone. Through consistent safety audits, organizations can be sure that they are taking every measure to ensure the wellbeing of their employees.

The Steps of a Successful Safety Audit

A safety audit is an important part of any successful workplace safety program. It helps to identify risks and implement controls that protect workers and facilitate compliance with relevant legislation.

The steps involved in a successful audit include planning the review process, conducting interviews, collecting data, analyzing results, revising policies and procedures as needed, and finally reporting findings to key stakeholders. To ensure optimal results, it’s important to consult experts who have knowledge of applicable regulations and industry best practices.

With audit findings, workplaces can create safer environments for all personnel. Doing so will go a long way towards preventing accidents or injuries from occurring. Ultimately this leads to increased productivity and improved morale among employees.

The benefits of conducting regular audits are clear and there are many resources available to help employers ensure their workplace safety programs meet or exceed standards. With the right approach, any organization can benefit from a successful safety audit process.

By taking the steps necessary to conduct an effective safety audit, companies can have peace of mind that they are putting their employees first while complying with relevant laws and regulations. Additionally, an audit helps organizations identify areas of potential improvement in order to strengthen existing policies and procedures and create a more secure environment for workers.

This is essential to creating a culture of safety within any organization. Conducting regular audits helps ensure safe working conditions and ultimately better outcomes for everyone involved.

Prepare for the Audit

It is important to thoroughly prepare for an audit, as it will help ensure that the process runs smoothly. Start by gathering all relevant documents and financial statements in one place. It is also beneficial to have a checklist of items that need to be addressed during the audit.

Additionally, make sure you are aware of any applicable laws and regulations related to your industry and business operations.

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What are the Benefits of Performing a Safety Audit?

Performing a safety audit is an essential part of any workplace safety program. Regularly performing safety audits helps to identify potential risks, ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations, minimize accidents and injuries, and keep workers safe. Safety audits also help to reduce costs associated with legal fees, insurance premiums, medical expenses, lost time due to injuries or illness, and other related costs.

In addition to this financial benefit, regular safety audits can increase employee morale by demonstrating the commitment of management towards workplace safety. Overall, the benefits of performing a safety audit are clear – improved worker health and reduced potential liability for employers.

How frequently should safety audits be conducted?

When it comes to safety audits, the frequency of their execution can vary depending on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, these audits should be conducted at least once a year. However, this timeframe may need to be adjusted depending on the industry, environment and context of the business in question.

What Are the Best Practices in Conducting Safety Audits?

Safety audits are essential for any work environment, and there are best practices that should be followed when conducting them. First, safety audits should be conducted regularly to ensure all areas of the workplace are up-to-date on safety standards.

It’s also important to involve personnel who can provide a fresh perspective and spot potential hazards. Additionally, auditors should document their observations as they conduct the audit, which allows for an objective assessment of safety practices.

Finally, it’s important to take any corrective actions needed following the audit in order to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Following these best practices can help create an effective safety audit that ensures all areas of the workplace are up-to-date on standards and that potential hazards are identified and addressed quickly.

What is a Compliance audit?

A Compliance audit is a systematic review of an organization’s policies, procedures, and operations to ensure that they are in alignment with legal and regulatory requirements. It is a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of internal controls across all areas of the business.

The main goal of this audit is to identify potential risks or weaknesses in the processes so that corrective action can be taken accordingly.

Use Competent and Objective Auditors

Competent and objective auditors play an essential role in ensuring the accuracy of financial documents. Auditors are responsible for evaluating the accuracy of financial records, assessing internal controls, analyzing transactions to detect errors, and providing assurance that the financial statements present a fair view of the company’s performance.

They must have expertise in accounting principles and be able to assess potential risks with objectivity. Auditors must also be able to clearly communicate their findings and recommendations in a way that is understandable to management.

An effective auditor will use a range of different techniques, such as reviewing documents, interviewing staff, using electronic data analytics tools and performing testing procedures, to ensure accuracy and completeness of the financial records.

What Are the Key Elements of a Safety Audit?

A safety audit is an essential tool for any organization that wants to ensure the health and safety of its employees. The key elements of a safety audit are identifying potential hazards, assessing the risk associated with these hazards and determining how best to reduce or eliminate them. To do this, workers must be trained in hazard identification, risk assessment methods, and prevention techniques to control risks.

Additionally, policies and procedures must be created and enforced to reduce the chance of harm or injury occurring in the workplace. Finally, safety audits should include regular follow-up reviews to ensure that any changes have been effective in improving safety. By using a comprehensive approach to safety management through a safety audit, organizations can help protect their staff from potential hazards and prevent accidents from occurring.

What is the difference between an auditor and assessor?

The main difference between an auditor and an assessor is the purpose of their respective roles. An auditor is responsible for verifying that financial information or systems are accurate and in compliance with laws, regulations, and standards.

An assessor’s role is to measure or evaluate a system, process, project, or organization against a set of criteria. Additionally, auditors are usually outside third-party professionals, while assessors can be internal staff employed by the organization they are evaluating. Ultimately, an auditor is interested in determining the truth of a situation, while an assessor is focused on understanding how well it meets standards or criteria.

Both roles play a valuable role in ensuring that financial and operational information is accurate and meeting legal requirements.

Does OSHA require safety audits?

Yes, OSHA does require safety audits for employers to ensure that their workplaces are safe and in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). By conducting regular safety audits, employers can identify potential hazards and take measures to reduce them.

This helps protect employees’ physical health by reducing the risk of workplace injuries, as well as their mental health by creating a positive working environment. OSHA safety audits allow employers to identify potential hazards and make sure that their workplace is in compliance with the OSHA standards, thus protecting both employees’ physical and mental well-being. Additionally, regular safety audits can help employers save on costs by reducing liability in case of an accident or injury.

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Waste Disposal Facility Audit Checklist

Waste Disposal Facility Audit Checklist

What is a waste audit?

There are two types of audits: manual and automated.

A waste audit can be conducted in a variety of ways, depending on the organization and its goals. Generally, there are two types of audits: manual and automated. Manual waste audits involve sorting through garbage bags or dumpsters to determine what is being thrown away. Automated audits use sensors or other technology to track the types and quantities of waste that an organization produces.

The resulting data from waste audits can be used to develop a better understanding of the organization’s waste stream and how it can be improved. The data can also help organizations make informed decisions about their purchasing practices, lead to more efficient processes and identify cost-saving opportunities.

How do you plan a waste audit in an organization?

A waste audit is an analysis of a company’s waste stream where you inspect waste management and then implement waste management protocols. It gives insight into the types and amounts of materials that are being sent to landfill and helps inform strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle more effectively.

What are the steps involved in a waste audit?

To plan a successful waste audit in an organization, there are several steps that should be added to your waste audit checklist:

1. Select your team and plan a date for the waste audit.
2. Gather your equipment.
3. Go through the garbage!
4. Calculate your diversion rate.
5. Communicate your results.

What is included in a waste audit?

Waste audits are useful for many reasons. They can provide facility managers and other stakeholders with important insights into the effectiveness of their current waste management practices and how they might be improved.

Waste audits can also help identify areas where more resources should be devoted to better manage waste, or where additional training or education is needed. By understanding the composition and volume of the waste generated, organizations can better understand how to reduce, reuse and recycle more efficiently and effectively.

Additionally, detailed audits can provide information about potential safety and health hazards within a facility’s regular waste stream.

What are the 7 principles of solid waste management?

The following are the seven principles that will effectively explain solid waste management:

  • Rethink
  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse & recycle
  • Repurpose
  • Repair
  • Compost
  • Conclusion

Solid Waste Management is an important tool to reducing our environmental impact. By adding the 7 principles to the solid waste management checklist, we can begin to make a positive difference in the amount of waste generated and disposed of into the environment.

Rethinking how we purchase and use products, refusing those items that are not necessary, reducing the total amount of waste going into the environment, reusing and recycling items that can be either repurposed or repaired, and composting rather than throwing organic waste away are all effective methods of reducing our environmental impact without creating more waste.

By making small changes in our everyday lives, we can have a large impact on the amount of waste going into the environment. The way households and company disposes of waste will significantly aid in the improvement of the communities we live in as well as limit unnecessary waste in landfills.

What are the four criteria that the EPA uses to classify hazardous waste?

EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) identify four hazardous waste characteristic properties: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity (see 40 CFR 261.21- 261.24).

As part of EPA compliance, company key members, facilities teams, and site management should identify, collect, and document all hazardous waste that is in their facility. Regular site visits and inspections helps determine is the hazardous waste management protocols are properly enforced and in good condition.

Steps following an waste disposal facility audit:

1. Determine whether the waste containers size and pickup frequency still match your needs. If your trash output changed, a different size or number of pickups could cost you less money.
2. Add recycling service to your plan. If you don’t have recycling bins as part of your waste removal plan, consider add it.
3. Set a goal for increasing your recycled waste rate.
4. Create recycling guidelines for meeting that goal and share them with your staff.
5. Set a goal for reducing the amount of waste in your largest categories.
6. Determine the steps to meet that goal and let your staff know. Implementation is key.
7. Identify any items you can reuse. For example, can you repair or recycle your electronics instead of purchasing new ones? Can you repurpose any of your packaging materials?
8. Decide on a timeline for meeting your recycling and reduction goals. One or two years usually makes sense. Plan to conduct another waste audit at that time to see if you met your goals.

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EHS Software for Healthcare

EHS Software for Healthcare

What is EHS healthcare?

EHS healthcare is a type of healthcare that focuses on the environmental, health and safety aspects of an individual’s wellbeing. It encompasses a wide range of preventive and proactive approaches to ensure individuals stay healthy both in and out of the workplace. With this type of healthcare, emphasis is placed on a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential hazards or risks associated with a particular area, such as air quality, water supply, hazardous materials and other environmental factors.

Additionally, the goal of EHS healthcare is to provide educational resources to individuals in order to empower them with knowledge on how best to stay safe and healthy in their environment. Furthermore, EHS healthcare includes activities such as monitoring and responding to health-related incidents, performing safety drills and inspections, providing instruction on health topics, and preparing safety plans. Ultimately, this type of healthcare helps people stay safe and healthy while living in a potentially hazardous environment.

What does EHS stand for?

EHS stands for Environment, Health and Safety. It is an important acronym in the corporate world as it emphasizes the importance of protecting people and the environment through a set of policies, procedures and regulations. EHS promotes a safe workplace for employees and visitors, as well as a healthy environment to live and work in.

These measures help reduce risks associated with potential accidents or incidents. Additionally, they help ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations, which can help a business avoid costly fines. Ultimately, EHS creates a safer and healthier environment for everyone.

What are the EHS standards?

The EHS (Environment, Health & Safety) standards are guidelines and regulations that aim to ensure the safety and well-being of workers, customers, and communities in a given environment. They cover areas such as hazardous materials management, process safety management, emergency response planning, air pollution control and monitoring, noise control and monitoring, waste management practices, occupational health and safety programs, and much more.

Organizations that follow these standards are able to reduce the risk of accidents, increase productivity, and better protect their workers from potential harm. EHS standards are designed to be comprehensive and flexible; they can be tailored to the needs of any particular organization or industry, making them an effective tool for creating a safe working environment.

What is a the purpose of the EHS management system?

The purpose of an Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) management system is to ensure that organizations are aware of and comply with relevant environmental, health and safety laws, regulations and standards. It also helps organizations perform risk assessments to identify risks associated with their operations and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.

EHS management systems also provide a framework for the development of policies and procedures that ensure the health and safety of employees and minimizes potential impacts on the environment. Ultimately, EHS management systems help organizations protect their people, assets, and reputation while remaining compliant with relevant laws and regulations.

Furthermore, an effective EHS management system can provide a competitive advantage to organizations by giving them an edge in terms of demonstrating their commitment to environmental responsibility.

Environmental, Health, and Safety for Healthcare

Healthcare facilities must adhere to strict Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) standards in order to ensure the safety of their employees, customers, and visitors. These standards include ongoing training for staff on hazardous materials management, waste disposal, air quality monitoring and control, proper handling of medical waste and hazardous chemicals, as well as emergency preparedness protocols.

Facilities are also required to comply with local, state, and federal regulations regarding air quality, water quality, hazardous materials management, indoor air quality, and noise levels. By adhering to EHS standards in healthcare settings, providers are able to protect their patients from potential harm caused by environmental factors.

5 Top Safety Risks in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry is an incredibly complex and regulated environment, and safety risks for workers are abundant. From hazardous chemicals to dangerous manufacturing processes, the risks must be managed vigilantly.

The five top safety risks in the pharmaceutical industry include exposure to hazardous materials, inadequate ventilation systems, improper handling of biohazardous waste, machine-related injuries, and slips or falls on wet surfaces. Exposure to hazardous materials can have serious health consequences for workers, so safety protocols must be strictly followed.

Inadequate ventilation systems can lead to a buildup of dangerous gases and particulate matter, negatively impacting the health of those working in manufacturing plants. Improper handling of biohazardous waste can also pose a serious risk by contaminating environments with disease-causing agents.

What is the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the Pharmaceutical Industry is a set of safety gear used by workers to minimize potential harm and exposure to dangerous materials. PPE can include items such as gloves, masks, respirators, ear plugs, protective clothing and glasses/goggles.

Depending on the type of job or task being performed, different types of PPE may be required. For instance, a worker operating in a sterile environment might be asked to wear a face mask or respirator while handling hazardous chemicals. PPE is designed to both protect the user and patient and reduce the risk of contamination from one job site to another.

By implementing proper safety protocols, such as wearing appropriate protective clothing and equipment, workers can help ensure safe working environments that are free of potential hazards. It is important for employers to provide workers with the proper PPE so they can do their jobs safely and effectively.

Environmental Compliance in Healthcare

Environmental compliance in healthcare is a critical issue. Healthcare organizations must take steps to ensure that their practices and operations are not only legal, but also adhere to sustainability principles. This includes proper handling of hazardous materials, waste management, and energy efficiency. Healthcare facilities must comply with laws governing air, water, and land pollution as well as safety standards for employees and visitors.

Additionally, healthcare organizations must develop and implement an environmental management system to track and manage their environmental performance. By ensuring compliance with environmental regulations, healthcare facilities can contribute to local communities by protecting the environment and public health. Thus, proper environmental compliance is essential for all healthcare organizations.

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Incident Reporting Software

Incident Reporting Software

What is safety incident tracking software?

Safety incident tracking software is an important tool for organizations to maintain safety and security in the workplace. It records and monitors all reports related to safety incidents, providing real-time visibility into potential risks.

This helps organizations identify trends, assess root causes of accidents, and take preventive measures. This tracking software also keeps a record of corrective actions taken by management that can used as a reference for future incidents. This allows for more informed decision making, increased accountability and ultimately an improved safety culture within the organization.

Additionally, it helps organizations comply with applicable safety regulations and standards. Incident tracking software can help organizations create a safer environment, reduce their liabilities, and provide peace of mind to employees.

What are the types of incident reporting software?

Incident reporting software provides organizations with the ability to document and track a workplace incident, helping them investigate issues and prevent future occurrences. It is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes as it enables them to efficiently manage incidents and reduces the risk of costly liabilities. There are several types of incident reporting software available, each designed to meet specific needs.

These include web-based systems that allow reporting to be done online, desktop versions that can be installed on computers in the workplace, and mobile applications that are accessible on smartphones and tablets. Regardless of the type, all incident reporting software offers features such as customizable forms for recording incidents, tracking information, notifications of new incidents, and reports to analyze data.

What is safety incident reporting tool used for?

A safety incident reporting tool is used to track incidents, collect information about them, and report on the data that has been gathered. This kind of tool enables organizations to quickly identify potential hazards and take corrective action before accidents occur or escalate.

The data gathered by the reporting tool also helps with compliance and provides an audit trail for insurance purposes. Additionally, it can be used to measure the effectiveness of safety measures and provide data for developing better workplace safety initiatives. In short, a safety incident reporting tool is an invaluable tool that helps organizations to monitor and improve safety in their workplaces.

By having access to detailed data about an EHS incident, organizations can also identify trends and common issues that arise, allowing them to take proactive steps to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

Additionally, having access to such data can be used by management and safety teams to develop better safety initiatives and ensure that employees are aware of their own responsibilities for maintaining a safe working environment. In short, using a safety incident reporting tool is an invaluable way of helping organizations protect their employees and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

What is the incident recording system?

The incident recording system is a critical component of workplace safety management. It is used to document incidents, near misses, hazardous conditions or any other type of event that may contribute to an unsafe working environment.

The system allows employers and employees to report details about the workplace incident, such as time and date, location, witnesses involved, type of injury, as well as develop a root cause analysis. This information is then stored in a centralised database, making it easy to quickly review the incident and analyse patterns in order to identify potential hazards.

With such an effective system in place it is easier for employers to prevent future incidents from occurring. Additionally, the system helps ensure that any legal or insurance regulations are followed correctly.

What are the 4 types of incident reports?

  1. Accident Report
  2. Property Damage Report
  3. Security Incident Report
  4. Behavioral Incident Report

Incident reports are written summaries of events that have occurred in a workplace, business, or organization and can be divided into four categories. The first type of incident report is an accident report, which documents any accidents or injuries that occur onsite.

This information can then be used to identify potential risks and take measures to reduce them in the future. The second type is a property damage report, which records any damage to the premises or equipment that has occurred due to dangerous working conditions or negligence. Thirdly, security incident reports document any threats to personnel, data, or assets.

Finally, behavioral incident reports are used to record incidents of verbal abuse, harassment, and other forms of disruptive behavior in the workplace. All four types of incident reports help to create a safe working environment and keep track of any issues that may arise.

Types of workplace incidents:

Workplace incidents are events that occur in the workplace and can have a variety of effects on employees, customers, visitors, and the organization as a whole. Incidents range from minor grievances to serious violations of safety regulations or corporate policies. Common types of workplace incidents include physical assaults, bullying or harassment, property damage, threats or intimidation, fraud and theft, violence or intimidation, and sabotage. It is important for organizations to have policies in place to address each of these incidents appropriately. This ensures that all employees are treated fairly and with respect, while helping to maintain a safe and productive working environment.

Organizations should also have protocols in place for reporting workplace incidents, such as making sure reports are documented accurately and filed promptly with the appropriate authorities. This helps to ensure that incidents are avoidable and can be properly managed if they do occur. By following these protocols, organizations can help to protect both the safety and morale of their employees.

In summary, workplace incidents vary greatly in severity and type, but all are important for organizations to take seriously. Having clear policies and procedures in place is essential to ensure a safe and productive work environment, while also protecting the rights of all employees. It is important for organizations to be vigilant in identifying potential incidents and taking appropriate steps to address them in order to maintain a secure work environment.

What is an incident management software?

A safety incident management software is an application specifically designed to help organizations and businesses respond quickly and efficiently to any type of incidents, such as natural disasters, technical issues, or other emergency situations.

This software simplifies the process of gathering information related to an incident from different sources and aggregating it in a single platform for easier decision-making. Incident management software also provides the necessary tools such as an incident management module, to report incidents, create plans, assign tasks, and track progress towards resolving the incident in a timely manner. Ultimately, this type of software helps businesses investigate incidents and reduce the impact and duration of workplace safety incidents as well as improve overall business continuity.

What is safety incident management?

Safety Incident Management is a process used to identify, assess, and mitigate safety incidents. This process helps organizations protect their personnel by responding quickly and effectively to safety incidents that could potentially cause harm or injury.

It enables organizations to create a comprehensive system for managing injuries, accidents, and other safety-related issues in the workplace through documenting safety incident data. Safety incident management also allows organizations to develop corrective actions and strategies for preventing similar incidents in the future. Overall, it is a critical process that ensures safety and health in the workplace.

What is the ITIL incident management system?

The ITIL incident management system is an effective way to proactively manage service interruptions and minimize their impact. It helps organizations predict, detect, identify, diagnose, and resolve incidents as quickly as possible.

With the help of the ITIL incident management tool, organizations can develop standardized processes for resolving software and hardware incidents in a timely manner. The process includes notifying team members, escalating issues to appropriate personnel, and logging incidents for analysis.

By using the ITIL incident management tool, organizations can ensure that their services are running smoothly and customers receive prompt support when needed.

It also helps organizations develop proactive measures such as training employees on how to use the system and implementing preventive maintenance procedures to reduce service interruptions.

Need help?

Our team of experts can help you with whatever compliance issues you may be facing. Whether it is understanding the complexities of a given regulation or recognizing where your company needs to improve, we have the necessary skills and experience to provide assistance.

We will take the time to understand your unique needs and develop tailored solutions that address those needs. For facilites looking for help navigating the often perplexing regulatory landscape, contact us today!

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Safety Auditors: There is more to it than you think!

Safety Auditors: There is more to it than you think!

Safety Auditors: There is more to it than you think!

What is a safety audit?

A safety audit is a comprehensive review of a company’s safety practices, procedures and compliance with safety regulations. The goal of a safety audit is to identify potential hazards and risks that could adversely impact the company’s employees, property or operations.

Safety audits are typically conducted by experienced safety professionals who have knowledge of applicable safety laws and regulations. The auditor will review the company’s program elements, such as its policies, workplace health procedures, training programs and recordkeeping systems. The auditor will also observe workplace conditions and interview employees to get their feedback on the company’s program.

Based on the findings of the audit, the auditor will make recommended changes to policies and procedures.

What is the primary role of safety auditors?

Safety auditors play a vital role in ensuring the safety of workplaces. Their primary purpose is to identify health and safety hazards, assess the effectiveness of the measures in place to control those hazards, and ensure compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

By performing these audits, safety auditors help to protect workers from potential injuries and illnesses. Additionally, safety audits can also help to improve the overall efficiency of a workplace by identifying areas where improvements can be made. The audit team members will provide you with an audit report, documented proof, industry practice requirements, federal requirements, inspection reports, training requirements, basic findings, written programs and document reviews.

The National Safety Council advises companies to conduct a safety audit, maintain employee training, report audit findings, plan for corrective actions, report completed corrective actions and strive for continuous improvement.

What are the three types of safety audits?

There are various specific safety audits. Some focus more on identifying hazards and others focus more on risk management.

Compliance Audit

A compliance audit is an important part of ensuring that a company adheres to safety standards and regulations. A compliance auditor reviews a company’s safety performance, workplace programs and rules to ensure that they are in line with OSHA standards or other safety regulations.

Compliance audits can help identify potential hazards in the workplace and ensure that corrective action is taken to eliminate them. Audits can also help verify that employees have received proper safety training and that effective safety procedures are being followed.

Regular compliance audits are essential to maintaining a safe and compliant workplace. They can help prevent accidents and workplace injuries, and ensure that employees are aware of and following all relevant safety rules and regulations.

Safety Program Audit

If you’re looking to ensure that your safety program is effective, a safety audit is a way to go. By thoroughly evaluating your program’s design and implementation, you can identify any areas that need improvement and make necessary changes.

Safety audits are an important part of maintaining a safe workplace, so don’t hesitate to get started on one today. You’ll be glad you did when you see the positive results in your company’s safety record.

A safety program audit is a comprehensive evaluation of a company’s safety practices and procedures. The purpose of an audit is to identify any areas where improvements can be made in order to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Management System Audit

A management system audit is a combination of both a compliance audit and a program audit. This audit aims to evaluate the existing performance of the entire safety procedure and determine its alignment with the company policy and regulatory norms.

A management system audit helps integrate the standard auditing procedure and worker interviews, compliance reviews and workplace observation. It is an intertwined system whose collaboration helps project an overall image of the organization’s safety plan.

This type of safety audit is important because it can help identify gaps in the safety program that need to be addressed. Additionally, it can help ensure that the safety plan is aligned with company policy and regulatory norms. Conducting a management system audit can help improve the overall safety of the workplace and strengthen program administration through the normal management chain.

 

How do you prepare for a safety audit?

When it comes to preparing for a safety audit, there are a few key things you can do to ensure that the process goes smoothly. First, make sure that you have a clear understanding of the purpose of the audit and what specific areas will be covered. This will help you focus your preparations and ensure that you are providing the most relevant information from your company specific program.

Next, collect all of the necessary documentation ahead of time. This should include safety policies and procedures, facility safety inspections, safety services, safety meeting topics, regulatory violations, previous audits, hazard identification, emergency response, employee training records, affected managers and incident reports. Having this information readily available will save time during the audit itself. Finally, it is always helpful to review your organization’s safety performance in advance of an audit. This will give you a good idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and what areas or specific program may need more attention.

By following these simple tips, you can be sure that you are as prepared as possible for your safety audit.

What is involved in a safety audit?

Safety audits are a comprehensive assessment of your company’s procedures, policies, and practices. Workplace safety audits are conducted by an external auditor and/or safety professionals and audit team, who will evaluate all aspects of your programs to ensure compliance with safety regulations. A safety audit can be an invaluable tool for identifying potential hazards and risks involved in occupational safety and occupational health. By conducting workplace safety audits, you can ensure that your workplace is safe for both employees and customers.

After they perform audits, the audit team members will provide a completion and review date, a concise report, applicable regulations and health programs, set a hazard communication standard, record keeping, and program requirements. They will likely put you in touch with EHS professionals and other qualified consultants to make sure your company is properly executing the new set of regulations.

When should you do a safety audit?

The best time to do a safety audit is during a time when work practices and work environment can be observed as they are normally conducted and when there will be the least number of distractions in a productive workplace.

To conduct thorough audits and safety inspections, it is best to use a checklist. There are many different types of audit checklists with the number of items on the list varying from only a few to hundreds depending on the complexity of the audit. Each type of checklist has its specific purpose.

 

What 4 areas are included in safety audits?

There are four basic questions safety audits and safety inspections should answer:

1. What is the company’s policy?

2. What procedures are in place to ensure compliance with the policy?

3. What training do employees receive on the policy and procedures?

4. How effective is the policy and procedure in preventing accidents and promoting safe work practices?

What is the difference between health audits and safety audits?

Health and safety audits are two very important processes that help ensure employees and the workplace are safe. Here’s the biggest difference between these two safety processes: Safety inspections look for risky behaviors and hazards that might lead to accidents. Health audits, or industrial hygiene audits, look for worker health exposures to the chemicals, dusts, fumes, noise or other atmosphere around them while they work.

What are some corrective actions?

1. Protect employees from further incidents by creating safety programs

The most important and obvious purpose of corrective action is to prevent the same incident from happening again. Is employee training effective? YES. Conducting regular facility inspections, along with increasing employee knowledge through training, protects your employees from any harm or serious injuries that can occur if the incident reoccurs.

2. Cost-saving and economic benefits

Minimizing incidents can also help your company boost the bottom line by preventing property loss or damages caused by incidents, and lower workers compensation claims.

3. Boost productivity

A safe working environment is every employee’s right. Beyond the legal obligation, demonstrating care through corrective actions makes your employees feel protected and valued. This can improve morale and boost productivity.

4. Protect your company from legal liability

Implementing and keeping a record of correctional actions taken has the potential to protect your company from litigation or fines from a regulatory body.

Should your company be investigated in court for an incident, corrective action records can act as proof that you have fulfilled your legal responsibilities. They also demonstrate to the court your company’s commitment to controlling hazards and the organization’s health.

5. Facilitate insurance claims

Corrective actions can also provide your insurers with the essential information needed to process a claim after an incident successfully.

Conclusion

After the safety audit is complete, the auditor will compile a report of their findings. This report will include recommendations for improvements to the company’s safety program. The company can then use this report to make changes to their program and improve their overall safety execution.

How Can We Help? Ask a Question or Request Info or Pricing

Do you need an idea of where you stand with EPA or OSHA regulations?  Do you need full-time or temporary personnel to manage the day-to-day compliance tasks?  Would your employees benefit from onsite environmental training?  Our team of environmental consultants, safety consultants and industrial hygienists would love to help. Call (316) 264-7050 today!

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Lithium Batteries: Safety Hazards and Their Impact on Businesses

Lithium Batteries: Safety Hazards and Their Impact on Businesses

More lithium and lithium-ion batteries are being used in products today and just like any material, if we understand how to use it safely, it should not pose any problem. (Note: Lithium batteries are single-use batteries and lithium-ion batteries are the rechargeable kind.)

Lithium-containing batteries, when damaged. defective or used improperly, can present a fire and/or an explosion hazard.  Small items such as a laptop can typically have 6 lithium cells in them, while an electric vehicle can use 7,000 lithium-ion cells. This change in size greatly increases the risk and effects of a fire. If an electric vehicle catches on fire in your garage, you most likely do not have a way to deal with a 3,632° F fire.

Should I Really Worry About My Battery Catching on Fire?

If your battery stays intact, and does not allow moisture to get inside, or as long as there is not an issue with overcharging where the temperature runs away, you should be fine. The issue is that lithium and water don’t like each other. In fact, in its pure form, water causes lithium to react, sometimes violently, creating sparks and lots of heat, as well as hydrogen gas.

Lithium-ion batteries are a little different than the pure form of lithium in that they are filled with a lithium compound, and not pure lithium. Because of this, the material in many batteries are not quite as active with water. But when you have 7,000 cells in one place, if one catches on fire, a chain reaction can occur that you cannot control. Also fighting that fire with water may not be the best solution when water can cause it to react more.

This can be the same for industry. Lithium-ion batteries are being used in everything from pumps and instruments, to cars and equipment, hand tools, computer servers, and so many more products. Even your wireless mouse may have lithium-ion batteries.

If you just throw that away in the trash, not only are you potentially violating waste regulations and DOT shipping regulations, you may also be creating a fire hazard for the waste removal truck the landfill that it goes to.

DOT Issues Advisory Warning for Lithium-Containing Batteries

Recently DOT has found the issue with shipping lithium-containing batteries for recycle or waste has gotten out of hand. The Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is the HazMat division of the DOT, has issued a safety advisory on the dangers to help people out. The advisory warns that shippers and carriers need to take extra (and sometimes different) precautions when shipping damaged, defective or recalled lithium-containing batteries.

During recent compliance inspections, DOT inspectors have been finding improperly packaged and shipped lithium-containing batteries for disposal or recycling.  Some examples include:

  • Not packaging to prevent short circuiting
  • Mixing damaged batteries with others in the same packaging for recycling/disposal
  • Shipping pallets of batteries in boxes and drums with inappropriate package identifications

From a hazardous waste perspective, EPA recommends that lithium batteries be managed under the Universal Waste regulations.

Battery Disposal Rules – for Consumers

Regular citizens should take used, damaged, defective or recalled lithium-containing batteries to recycling facilities geared for accepting them, or your local household hazardous waste collection point. Do NOT throw them away with your other garbage.  If there is an item that’s recalled that has the battery in it, follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions and disposal instructions. Pay attention to any warnings.

Find an authorized provider to ship any lithium-containing batteries because they are considered to be hazardous materials.  When the post office asks if you are shipping hazardous materials, lithium-containing batteries makes that answer yes.

Battery Shipping and Disposal Rules – for Businesses

If you are a business, there are a number of regulations you need to follow to properly deal with lithium-containing batteries.  First, they can only be shipped by ground methods, so that’s by truck, rail or vessel. Overnight shipments or any shipment that could potential go via air methods are out of the question.

There are also specific regulations and procedures you need to follow to properly package, label and ship them.  There are regulations about the type of box you send them in because those packages must have special permits for this role.   There are special labels and markings that need to go on the packages and special ways they need to be packaged. Workers who will be participating in any function of the process are required to have proper training specific to their role, and that training is required every 3 years.  Emergency response information must also be included in the package process.

Training and Consulting Resource

iSi conducts hazardous materials shipping for businesses as well as conducts training to properly ship hazardous materials via ground, air, and vessel.  If you are a business that has question about how to deal with your lithium-containing batteries or if your workers need training, contact us today!

Need Help?

iSi can help with lithium battery issues as well as employee training!

Keith Reissig
Keith Reissig

Contributing:

Ryan Livengood

International Hazardous Materials Logistics Manager | EHS Regulatory Trainer

As a former corporate environmental, health and safety manager, Ryan has a vast experience in working with both environmental and safety compliance issues in multiple states.  His specialties include national and international dangerous goods transportation, hazardous waste, environmental compliance, industrial hygiene and safety compliance. He is also an ISO 14001 Lead Auditor.

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iSi’s Top 12 General Industry Safety Audit Findings

iSi’s Top 12 General Industry Safety Audit Findings

Safety regulations are enforced by OSHA, and in some states such as California and Indiana, by a state safety agency. How do you make sure you have your bases covered? A safety audit can determine your current status and what your vulnerabilities are. iSi’s general industry safety audits are conducted like a mock OSHA inspection for the 29 CFR 1910 general industry regulations. There is a wall-to-wall walkthrough, a records review of written programs, training programs, and past inspections, and interviews with employees.

Some of the below cited items start in the OSHA regulations, but detailed actions are prescribed by other regulations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standards. Others are based on items we see our clients cited for in OSHA inspections which we have added to our audits.

The following are our top 12 specific findings we see most when we do our general industry safety audit.

12. Safety Showers and Eyewash Stations

Facility safety showers and eyewash stations are not being inspected on a regular basis.  1910.151(c) discusses suitable facilities, but ANSI standard Z358.1-2014 specifies weekly visual inspections of both showers and eyewash stations.

11. Lifting Slings

We find that often there is no formal program in place to conduct a periodic inspection of all lifting slings. This must be conducted annually. 1910.184 includes guidance on the use of slings and item (d) covers inspections.

10.  Machines

At number 10 is fixed machines. We find fixed machines are not securely mounted to the floor or the bench top to prevent them from “walking.” 1910.212 is the standard for all machines and machine guarding. Item (b) covers the anchoring requirements.

9.  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE evaluations and hazard assessments must be conducted for each task. We find that these are either not conducted or not documented. The potential for workplace hazards must first be assessed and if PPE is needed, PPE must be selected, communication decisions must be communicated to affected employees and PPE must be fitted to each employee.

A written certification must be created which identifies the workplace evaluated, the person certifying the evaluation, the date the assessment was conducted, and signification that the document is a certification of hazard assessment.

These rules are found in 1910.132(d).

8. Fire Extinguishers

Are your fire extinguishers mounted too high, not mounted at all or are they blocked from access? 1910.157(c) is the standard which covers this issue.

7.  Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting, in many locations, is not being tested every 30 days for 30 seconds or for 1.5 hours annually. Lighting can be found in Subpart E, Means of Egress, Maintenance, Safeguards, and Operational Features for Exit Routes, 1910.37(a)(4) and the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code 7.9.3.1.

6.  Lamps

We find that lamps less than 8 feet from the floor are not protected from accidental contact. Lamps need to be guarded and protected from accidental contact. This can be found in 1910.305(a)(2)(ix). Although a particular height requirement is not specified in this regulation, you should consider the reach of your tallest employees and length of the parts and/or tools being used in the area.

5.  Forklifts 

We see many issues with forklifts. The most common issue we find with forklifts no documentation of daily inspections, or no inspections being conducted. However, more recently we have been seeing issues with employees not wearing seatbelts, controls where the labeling has worn off, the use of non-factory attachments, and not updating data plates, tags and decals with revised capacity, and operation and maintenance data. Forklift standards are found in 1910.178.

4.  Grinder Wheels 

Machine guarding issues are a common item we see. One of the most prevalent ones relates to grinder wheels. The gap between the grinder wheels and the work rest plate should not be more than the maximum allowed 1/8 inch. The adjustable tongue guards shouldn’t be more than the maximum allowed 1/4 inch from the tongue guard. These regulations can be found in Subpart O, Abrasive Wheel Machinery, 1910.215(a)(4) and (b)(9).

3.  Electrical Panels 

With electrical panels, we often see the minimum required areas of clear space around the panels is not being maintained. Sufficient access must be maintained for safe operation, access, and maintenance. The rules, including a distance chart to help you determine proper clearances can be found in Subpart S, 1910.303(g).

2.  Hazard Communication

Within the hazard communication (hazcom) standard, there are requirements for secondary containers. We find many secondary containers of hazardous chemicals are not labeled correctly or have illegible writing on them. The regulation comes under the “labeling” section of 1910.1200. All containers, either primary or secondary, need to be labeled and contain product identifier and words, pictures, symbols or a combination of them. Portable containers, that is, containers you transfer chemicals to and intend for immediate use are not covered by this requirement.

1.  Access to Medical Records

The number one item we find in our audits relates to access to medical records. Employees are required to receive information on their access to medical records. This is required initially upon hire, and then annually thereafter. The regulations can be found in 1910.120(g)(1). Included with this requirement is notifying employees the existence, location and availability of records covered by 1910.120, the person responsible for maintaining and providing access to records, and each employer’s rights to access those records. As an employer, you need to keep a copy of 1910.120 and its appendices and make copies readily available, upon request, to employees.

This information can be covered within your annual training classes, or can be a written notice of information in an email, or a memo that is posted with your OSHA logs and other OSHA-required notices. The important part is that you document that you completed this requirement and how.

Where Do You Go From Here?

iSi can help you get a baseline on your safety compliance status by conducting a walkthrough. From there, we will create a matrix of issues we see with the corresponding regulatory standard. We can also help you prioritize the ones which are most critical to be taken care of.

Request a quote for a general industry safety audit today! Need more information about these issues?  Contact us at (888) 264-7050 or email us!

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Warehouse Inspection Checklist

Warehouse Inspection Checklist

Why is warehouse safety important?

Warehouse managers have a difficult job. Not only do they need to keep their facility running smoothly, they need to ensure the safety of their workers, and facilitate warehouse operations.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), warehouse managers face a number of potential hazards in their workplace, including unsafe use of a forklift, improper stacking, and unsatisfactory fire safety provisions. These line items plus many more will be included in an osha inspection.

How to use a warehouse safety checklist?

Maintaining compliance with industry safety standards is critical for any business, but can be especially difficult for small businesses. One way to ensure compliance especially before a company is required to do a formal safety audit is to use safety inspection checklists that are compliant with OSHA standards. iSi offers a checklist free of charge to help companies start their compliance journey.

Additionally, using pre-written checklists can help reduce the amount of time spent on safety inspections, allowing business owners to focus on their core operations. Finding a warehouse safety checklist is the first step to this process.

What should be checked during warehouse safety inspections?

Forklifts:

In any warehouse, forklift accidents are a major concern that can facilitate numerous hazards. Forklift operators need to be properly trained and aware of potential safety risks, especially while loading docks. In order to avoid injuries, it is important to maintain haulage equipment, make sure it is in good working order, never exceed 5 mph outside or in a warehouse, examine the area before driving a forklift, and perform regular checks on all equipment.

Docks and Dock doors

Injuries can occur when warehouse employees are struck by items or equipment falling from the dock or while loading dock doors, when the forklift runs off the dock, or when employees engage in “dock jumping.” It is important for the safety of workers to drive slowly, never go in reverse, and wear a hard hat. Ladders and stairs should meet OSHA’s guidelines, and “dock jumping” should be prohibited.

Material Storage

A good item to examine on the warehouse safety checklist is material storage. Warehouses are often dangerous places to work, as the slightest mistake can lead to a worker being injured. In order to keep workers safe, it is important that warehouses implement safety measures to prevent falls and other injuries from occurring. One such way to prevent falls and protect employees is by positioning items evenly throughout the warehouse and on storage racks.

This means that when workers walk through the warehouse, they will not have to navigate around large piles of boxes or other items. This is important for the safety of the workers. Placing heavier loads in lower distances will also help to keep workers safe, as it will be easier for them to maintain their balance when carrying heavy objects. Implementing these simple safety measures can help keep your workers safe and injury-free.

Charging Station

In the warehouse, one of the most important safety steps you can take is to identify hazards and know how to prevent them. According to OSHA, there are a number of things that you can add to your warehouse safety inspection checklist to maintain warehouse safety, including banning smoking and open flames, keeping an adequate inventory of fire extinguishers, and properly positioning forklifts before charging.

Chemicals

In order to be compliant with local, state, and federal regulations, it is important for warehouses to have safety data sheets (SDSs) on hand. SDSs are documents that contain all the relevant information about hazardous materials and chemicals, including its hazards, proper storage and handling, first-aid and firefighting measures, toxicological information, and more.

For warehouses that store hazardous chemicals, it is especially important to be up to date with all regulations. This is because hazardous materials and chemicals can pose a danger to employees if not handled properly. In order to prevent accidents, employees will need regular training and management should preform regular inspections.

Warehouses should make sure they have up-to-date SDSs for all of their chemicals. Having these documents on hand will help ensure a safe work environment and the warehouse is in good standing with all regulations.

Person lifting or handling

For employees who are performing regular lifting and handling of heavy objects, quick is not safe. Most cases of back pain are caused by strain or injury to the muscles, ligaments, or discs in the back. The good news is that these injuries can often be prevented by using proper lifting techniques as well as storing heavy or cumbersome items preoprly on storage racks.

Security System

As technology advances, more and more businesses are turning to warehouse security systems to protect their investments. With the installation of alarms and surveillance cameras near all access points, business owners can rest easy knowing that their facilities are under 24/7 monitoring. While there are many companies that offer these services, it is important to do your research before selecting a provider.

One of the first things you will want to consider when hiring a security company is their experience in servicing storage areas and other sensitive locations. It is also important to look at the quality of their equipment. In addition, the company should offer cloud storage so that you can access videos from anywhere at any time.

Finally, be sure to ask about the company’s customer service policies. You should expect 24/7 support in case of an emergency.

Fencing

Most people know that fences provide a layer of security by keeping unauthorized individuals out of a designated area. What many people don’t realize, however, is that fences also need to be routinely inspected in order to ensure they are still structurally sound and haven’t been compromised. Just as you would perform maintenance on your car or home, it’s important to inspect your fence on a regular basis and identify safety hazards to prevent any unwanted access or damage from happening.

Employees

Employees that can identify when something doesn’t seem right can be your best protection against potential security breakdowns. This should be a part of your hazard communication. Security breaches can happen anywhere, at any time, so it’s important to have a plan in place for how to handle them. That means having employees who are alert and paying attention to their surroundings, and who know what to do if something seems suspicious.

What are the most common warehouse safety hazards?

Fire Safety

A warehouse is a large, open space where goods are stored and processed. Because of the nature of their work, warehouses pose a unique fire risk. In order to ensure that your warehouse is as safe as possible in the event of a fire, it is important to take some precautions.

The most important thing you can do is make sure that your warehouse is well-marked with clear exit signs and that there are adequate fire extinguishers available. You should also store flammable materials in a safe place and make sure that wires are properly insulated. Having proper emergency exits, fire exits, and fire alarms can and will save lives as well as products.

Falls

It’s no secret that safety is of utmost importance in the workplace. Every employee should be aware of the proper safety protocols to follow in case of an emergency. In addition, it’s important to take measures to ensure the safety of employees while they are working.

This may include using safety railings, harnesses, and other protective devices. It’s also beneficial to cordon off uneven or damaged areas while repairs are being made.

Heavy machinery

Heavy equipment is often essential to completing construction or other tasks. However, working with this equipment can be dangerous if not done properly. It is important that you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you when using heavy equipment. All vehicles

Some tips to keep in mind are: being aware of your surroundings, safely entering and exiting equipment, sustaining communication with other workers, using appropriate spotter signals, creating buffer zones, and workers knowing when to stop so that they are not in a dangerous situation.

Trip hazards

It’s no secret that the warehouse industry is a dangerous one. Every year, workers in a warehouse are injured and killed on the job because of common hazards. In an effort to reduce these numbers, it’s important for employers to be aware of the most common warehouse safety hazards and take steps to correct them.

One of the most common types of accidents in a warehouse is a slip or trip. This can be caused by many things, such as poor lighting, loose materials on the floor, spills, or uneven flooring.

To avoid these accidents, it’s important for employers to take steps to improve visibility and make sure that all surfaces are even and free of hazards. Implementing hazard signs and caution tape can also help increase awareness among workers.

Overexertion

What are overexertion injuries? For example, injuries caused by lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing objects all fall under the category of overexertion.

To help prevent overexertion-related accidents, your workers must receive proper safety training. In particular, learning how to lift and carry objects without injury is a vital part of warehouse worker training.

Carrying heavy items improperly can result in a number of different types of injuries: back strains and sprains, hernias, neck strains and sprains, shoulder strains and sprains. Injuries like these can keep your workers off the job for weeks or even months at a time. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your workers know how to safely lift and carry boxes and other items in the warehouse setting.

Falling objects

Working in a warehouse almost guarantees that some materials will be stacked on racks above everyone’s heads. Hard hats, hard hats, hard hats… is the number one thing every person should be wearing to prevent injury. Therefore, it’s possible for items to fall from those racks and cause injuries or get lost in the flue space. In order to prevent these things from happening, a safety protocol should be put into place.

That protocol should include the use of a safety harness, regular inspections of the racks, and employee training on how to properly stack materials.

Lack of Awareness

The biggest hazard in warehouse safety is lack of awareness. When you go through your warehouse safety checklists make sure your warehouse workers, co-workers, and managers are practicing situational awareness.

To help maintain this level of awareness, your team should know all current regulations and latest regulations as well as provide effective training to all workers. When you provide training make sure to include hazard communication with warehouse workers and take preventive measures to keep everyone safe.

If an incident arises, take immediate corrective actions and safety procedures, create reports of the incident and leave the warehouse in good condition.

How do warehouse inspections work?

Warehouse safety inspections, also known as warehouse audits, are an important part of maintaining a safe and efficient working environment in a warehouse setting for warehouse staff. By following a set of documented processes, employers can ensure employee safety, protect inventory from theft or damage, and optimize workflows and procedures. A warehouse safety checklist can help to guide warehouse workers through the necessary steps to complete an effective inspection. Inspections is a warehousing industry standard.

Conclusion:

Having a warehouse is an important part of any business, and it’s essential to make sure they are functioning properly. A warehouse inspection checklist can help you do just that.

A good inspection checklist will cover all the key areas of a warehouse, from the inventory to the security systems. It should also be customized to your specific needs, so that you can be sure nothing is missed.

A well-executed warehouse inspection can help you identify any potential problems before they become serious issues. It can also help you ensure that your warehouse is running as efficiently as possible, which can save you time and money in the long run.

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Sustainability Software

Sustainability Software

Sustainability software is a powerful tool for businesses and organizations that are looking to become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint. This type of software collects data on energy usage, waste disposal, water consumption, and other environmental factors in order to measure the sustainability performance of an organization or business.

It can provide detailed reports showing which areas need improvement as well as suggest ways to reduce emissions and optimize resource use. By collecting this data, companies can set goals and reach them with greater accuracy and efficiency than ever before.

With sustainability programs, organizations have the power to make a real difference in the world around them while also saving money in the long run by reducing their energy costs. In short, it’s a win-win proposition for everyone involved.

Sustainability software is an important tool in the fight against climate change. By taking a more holistic view of sustainability, companies can make decisions that will benefit everyone – from individuals to corporations, and even entire nations.

The data provided by these solutions helps organizations and businesses understand where they stand with regards to their ESG goals and objectives, while also providing them with the tools they need to achieve their desired results. With the right software in place, organizations are well on their way towards making sustainable progress for years to come.

What is Sustainability Software?

Sustainability software is a type of technology that helps organizations reduce their environmental footprint. It provides tools and resources for companies to track, monitor, and improve the sustainability performance of their operations. By utilizing data-driven insights, businesses can make informed decisions about how to reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, and ultimately create a sustainable future.

Sustainability software also helps organizations stay in compliance with regulatory bodies by providing visibility into their current eco-friendly initiatives. With this kind of software available, it’s never been easier for businesses to make meaningful changes toward creating a more sustainable world.

10 sustainability management software providers to consider:

  1. IBM

  2. Metrio

  3. Microsoft

  4. FigBytes

  5. Ecometrica

  6. Benchmark Digital Partners

  7. Diligent ESG

  8. OneTrust

  9. Persefoni

  10. SAP

Sustainability and ESG Data & Reporting

Sustainability data and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) data are an increasingly important part of corporate responsibility. Companies are now under pressure to demonstrate their commitment to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct in all of their operations. As a result, sustainability reporting and ESG reporting have become key components of effective corporate governance.

Companies must be able to clearly articulate the steps they are taking to reduce their environmental impact, address issues related to employee welfare, or improve governance structures. By doing so, companies can help ensure that stakeholders have faith in their commitment to responsible business practices and set themselves up for long-term success, especially with ESG and sustainability reporting.

Not only does this type of reporting help ensure that a company is adhering to best practices but it also helps them stand out in the market and attract more customers. In today’s globalized economy, businesses must prioritize sustainability reporting and ESG reporting if they want to thrive in an ever-changing landscape. These should act as your company’s reporting solutions which will generate reports that drive data reliability and sustainability goals.

Key features in sustainability management software

Sustainability management software is designed to help businesses and organizations track, measure, and manage their sustainability efforts. The key features in this type of software include data collection capabilities, reporting metrics tools, visualization dashboards, risk analysis tools, and integration with other systems.

Data collection allows organizations to collate information from numerous sources including internal business operations, external environmental sources, and more. Reporting metrics provide insights into the organization’s sustainability performance and how it can be improved.

Visualization dashboards allow users to easily comprehend complex data in an interactive format. Risk analysis tools offer more sophisticated insights into potential risks associated with a business or organization.

Lastly, integration with other systems allows for seamless integration of various data sources and a unified view of sustainability performance. With all these features, organizations can better understand the impacts of their sustainability initiatives and how to improve them.

Benefits From Professional Sustainability Management Solutions

Leading sustainability software providers can help businesses achieve their environmental and social objectives, as well as reduce costs. These solutions provide businesses with tools to improve their efficiency and reduce energy consumption, thus reducing their carbon emissions and overall carbon footprint.

Additionally, by understanding the impacts of their operations and taking appropriate action, businesses are able to increase the value of their products or services more sustainably. Furthermore, sustainability management solutions can help businesses with their public relations, as they demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility.

With Metrio sustainability reporting software, you can easily collect, analyze, disclose, report and communicate your ESG data. Our software enables organizations to compare and save data in a centralized platform, enabling better decision-making and improved corporate sustainability performance.

Finally, by understanding the current and potential impacts of their operations, businesses can create positive relationships with stakeholders by implementing responsible strategies for long-term sustainability which ultimately empowers organizations.

Sustainability Progress – The Need is High, But Progress is Slow

Sustainability Progress is an integral part of achieving a more sustainable global future. It involves making changes to our lifestyles, businesses, and communities that promote environmental responsibility and long-term economic growth.

Through setting and monitoring progress goals with specific targets, companies can track their own performance while demonstrating commitment to corporate sustainability objectives. Stakeholders are able to assess and evaluate a company’s commitments to sustainability, enabling better decision-making and improved corporate transparency.

Net-Zero Emissions Targets are a Top Priority

Net-Zero Emissions is an important concept in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent further climate change. This goal seeks to achieve a balance between releasing carbon into the atmosphere and removing it from the atmosphere by using strategies such as renewable energy production, carbon accounting, energy efficiency measures, and carbon capture and storage technologies. This can help campnys measure and manage their portfolio exposure to climate risks and financed emissions as they navigate the risks and opportunities in the net-zero transition.

The ultimate aim is for society to reach a point where the level of greenhouse gas emissions released is equal to the amount that is taken out, thus creating a cycle of zero net emissions. Emissions management software can help achieve this goal.

Tackle your Scope 3 Challenge

As with any challenge, the first step to success is understanding the problem. When it comes to tackling Scope 3 emissions, this means gaining an in-depth knowledge of your business’s sources of emissions and the different strategies you can use for reducing them. Once you have a clear picture of what needs to be done, you can start mapping out your Scope 3 emissions reduction plan, taking into account all of the relevant stakeholders and resources.

Ultimately, as part of a good sustainability strategy, you’ll need to develop a comprehensive action plan for reducing emissions, based on the best practices for energy efficiency and low-carbon operations. Setting targets and timelines will help you stay focused and motivated towards achieving your goals.

Finally, consider how you can collaborate with other companies in order to share expertise and resources, which will make it easier to reduce emissions across your entire supply chain. With careful planning and commitment, you can make strides towards meeting your Scope 3 emission reduction objectives.

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Health and Safety Checklist: What You Need To Know

Health and Safety Checklist: What You Need To Know

What is a safety checklist?

Safety inspection checklists are an important part of any safety inspection program. By using a safety checklist, safety professionals can identify potential hazards in the workplace and take steps to mitigate those hazards.

Each workplace has its own set of unique hazards, and it is essential that health and safety professionals be able to select the appropriate checklist for their specific workplace in order to ensure full compliance with all applicable safety standards.

There are a wide variety of OSHA-approved checklists available for use by safety professionals, and each checklist is designed for a specific industry or application. Some of the most common types of checklists include: chemical processing, electrical work, construction, maritime operations, and agricultural operations.

What should be included in safety inspection checklists?

Housekeeping inspection:

Maintaining a clean and healthy work environment is essential for the safety of employees. A housekeeping inspection checklist can help employers ensure that their workplace health is up to code with regard to health and safety regulations.

The checklist contains a variety of items related to cleanliness, sanitization and personal protection practices, which can be applied to a range of industries. Professionals may use the checklist to maintain a particular level of health regulation on their work site. The housekeeping inspection checklist may be especially helpful for those professionals working in food services, healthcare and manufacturing industries.

Self-inspection for general industry:

Safety checklists are a critical component in any workplace for any company. No matter what industry you work in, it’s important to have a safety checklist to make sure you are adhering to all the necessary safety standards. In some industries, such as construction, there are more regulations in place that dictate what safety measures must be taken.

However, in other industries, such as general industry, there may be less regulation and workers may not be as familiar with safety best practices. That’s why it’s important for every workplace to have their own self-inspection checklist tailored to their specific industry.

One great resource for creating a self-inspection checklist is the General Industry Safety Standards Checklist from OSHA. This checklist includes a wide variety of items that should be checked for safety compliance in general industry workplaces. Some of the items are similar to those found on the construction self-inspection checklist, but there are many more general items included as well. Having this comprehensive list available can help professionals ensure that their workplace is safe for employees.

Self-inspection for construction:

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Every day, they face potential injuries from heavy equipment, falling objects, and hazardous materials. In order to minimize these risks, construction companies have safety protocols in place that employees are required to follow. A large part of following safety protocol is having a well-organized and comprehensive safety checklist.

The purpose of this safety checklist is to provide a comprehensive overview of all the items that should be considered when implementing a health and safety plan for a construction site. Not every item on this list will apply to every work site; instead, it is meant as a general guide for safety management on construction projects. Some of the topics covered by this checklist include: personal protective equipment (PPE), first aid kits and supplies, fire prevention, and chemical handling.

Each section of the document contains specific details about what needs to be done in order for employees working on the construction area to stay safe. It is important for both management and employees alike to familiarize themselves with this checklist so that everyone understands their role in keeping everyone safe while on the job site.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) inspection:

The PPE inspection checklists are comprehensive resource that can help professionals identify potential hazards in the workplace. The checklist contains a variety of items, including those that relate to compliance with providing, maintaining, using and updating equipment that protect employees from occupational hazards such as safety glasses, gloves, and suits for proper ventilation.

While many industries use the PPE safety inspection checklist in conjunction with others, it is an important tool for workplaces looking to provide employees with additional protection from potential risks.

Electrical inspection:

It’s no secret that electrical safety is a critical issue in many industries. In fact, electrical accidents are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities in the United States. The electrical inspection checklist is a valuable resource for professionals in any field who want to ensure the safety of their employees and coworkers.

The electrical inspection checklist pdf includes organization, exposure, consistency, any potential explosive, hazardous substances and chemicals. Some of the most important items on the list include guidelines for proper storage of materials and ensuring that electrical infrastructure is up to code and having fire extinguishers on hand. By following these guidelines, professionals can rest assured knowing that they have done everything possible to create a safe work environment.

Truck safety inspection:

It’s no secret that vehicular accidents can cause serious delays, not to mention fatalities. What may be less known is the fact that many of these accidents could be mitigated with a simple safety inspection checklist.

Professionals in transportation and supply management industries can use this checklist to maintain the safety of long-haul and delivery vehicles. The checklist includes items that relate to the evaluation and maintenance of a vehicle’s viability and condition, which may help identify potential mechanical issues for repair and maintenance. Ultimately, this may mitigate accidents, incidents, and transportation delays.

Fall protection:

The Fall Protection Safety Inspection Checklist is a comprehensive document that covers all the necessary items related to fall protection. The checklist can be used by professionals in various industries, but is especially beneficial for construction workers who navigate high scaffolding and elevated structures on a daily basis.

The checklist contains specific sections for Fall Arrest Systems, Fall Restraint Systems, Fall Prevention Plans, and more. Each section includes a variety of tasks or steps that should be completed in order to ensure safety. Areas to focus on are floors, stairs, platforms, storage in facilities, and more.

What is a risk assessment?

Risk assessments are critical process in ensuring the safety of people, property, and the environment. By identifying hazards and assessing the risks associated with them, Risk assessors can develop mitigation plans to control or eliminate potential dangers. While Risk assessment is often thought of in terms of industrial or workplace safety, it is also an important tool for personal safety and security.

What are the 5 things a risk assessment should include?

  1. Identifying hazards and potential hazards
  2. Assess all risks including situational
  3. How to control and manage the risk
  4. Record your findings and outcomes
  5. Review and maintain controls

What are safety records?

‘Safety records’ or reports are documented occurrences of the safety management processes and activities, safety recommendations, related remedial actions and their follow-up.

What type of records are required for health and safety checklist?

OSHA Form 300, OSHA Form 300A, and OSHA Form 301.

Conclusion:

Inspections are important. It is widely accepted that safety checklists are an important part of any safety inspection program. A well-constructed safety checklist can help safety professionals identify potential hazards in the workplace and take steps to mitigate hazards. However, not all workplaces are the same, and it is essential that health and safety professionals be able to select the appropriate checklist for their specific workplace in order to ensure full compliance with all applicable safety standards.

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Basics

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Basics

What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

PPE is essential in protecting workers from potential harm and is mandatory in many industries. Employers must provide PPE to all their employees free of charge if they are likely to be exposed to hazards during work. The different types of PPE used depend on the risk assessment carried out by the employer, which will determine the level of protection needed for each individual employee.

Common examples of PPE include safety helmets, gloves, safety goggles, ear defenders and respirators. In some cases, employers may also need to provide fire retardant clothing or specialist footwear such as steel toe capped boots.

It is important that employers follow guidelines set out by regulatory bodies when providing PPE, as failure to do so could result in serious injury or even death. It is also important that employees use the PPE provided correctly and understand the associated risks of not doing so.

What different industries require PPE?

Transportation

The most common type of PPE used by truck drivers are:

  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Steel toe boots
  • High visibility clothing

It is important to be aware of any hazardous materials that you may come into contact with while making a delivery and to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate PPE. In some cases, full-body suits may be necessary to protect against hazardous materials.

Chemical

  • Face shields/Face mask
  • Respiratory protective equipment
  • Chemical splash goggles
  • Gloves
  • Aprons/Overalls

PPE should always be used where there is a risk of exposure or contamination of corrosive liquids. It is important to ensure that PPE is appropriate for the task, fits properly, and is maintained in good condition. To determine appropriate types of PPE, it may be necessary to have a qualified person assess the nature and extent of potential hazards.

Food

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shields
  • Hairnets

PPE is an essential part of any restaurant, cafe, or bar staff’s uniform and should be worn at all times while on the job. Employees who don’t wear the right PPE can easily get injured from sharp knives or hot dishes, increasing both their risk of harm and the potential liability of their employer.

Healthcare

  • Gloves
  • Gowns
  • Eye protection
  • Disposable N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shield

PPE for healthcare workers is essential for occupational safety. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends gloves, gowns, eye protection, and face shields/masks as the basic requirements for any and all healthcare workers.

Wearing PPE such as basic respiratory protection, protective clothing, a surgical mask, protective eyewear, and lab coats, when worn correctly, can significantly help prevent workplace hazards and biological hazards, thus helping protect workers and health workers.

Oil and Gas

  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Hand/Foot protection
  • Flame-resistant clothing
  • Gas detection monitors

Essential PPE for oil and gas workers significally reduce employee exposure to physical hazards present as well as notify them on things they cannot see.

Automotive

  • Peripheral safety goggles
  • Cut-resistant gloves

Peripheral eye protection is especially important in the Automotive Industry, as liquids like fuel and oil can drip down the face, and working in dusty environments with fiberglass, or metal fragments can work their way around non-sealed safety glasses.

Sealed glasses and goggles provide the best protection against such hazards while allowing unrestricted vision to perform service tasks. Motor vehicle technicians and mechanics should always wear proper eye protection whenever doing repairs, as the risks of serious injury or permanent vision damage are simply too great to ignore.

It is also important for anyone working in an automotive environment to get regular vision exams to ensure that any issues can be caught and treated early. Cut-resistant gloves will help prevent skin damage and skin hazards.

Construction

  • Protective gloves
  • Hearing protection to prevent occupational hearing loss
  • Full face shields when cutting, grinding, or chipping
  • Goggles for chemical splashes
  • Proper respiratory equipment and protection
  • Fall protection equipment when working above 6 feet

In addition to these PPE requirements, all construction site employees must be aware of the site-specific health hazards associated with working on a construction or renovation site. Employees should know what types of hazardous substances are present and how they can protect themselves.

Appropriate PPE such as respirators, gloves, boots, and chemical protective clothing may need to be worn depending on the particular job site. Make sure that you understand all safety procedures before beginning work and follow them at all times.

It is the responsibility of each employee to take appropriate steps to protect themselves from any potential harm.

Finally, make sure that you report any unsafe conditions or practices immediately to your supervisor or the project manager in charge of the site. Safety first – always!

Manufacturing

  • Gloves
  • Hard hat
  • Goggles
  • Full-body suits
  • Face shields

When working in a manufacturing facility, it is important to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself and protect employees around you.

This includes gloves, protective hearing gear, hard hats, goggles, respirators, and full-body suits. Wearing PPE can help protect you from various hazards in the workplace. Some facilities may require using a self contained breathing apparatus or powered air purifying respirators as well as other equipment designed for a specific purpose.

What are some examples of PPE?

Masks and Respiratory Protective Equipment

When choosing a respirator, it’s important to understand the differences between APRs and ASRs. Air-purifying respirators (APRs) filter out contaminants from the air that is breathed through them. These types of respirators are most effective when used in environments with low levels of contamination, since they are unable to protect against high concentrations of airborne contaminants. Some examples are:

Protection for the Face and Eyes

Eye and face protection is important in any workplace setting to not only protect against eye injuries, but also for ensuring optimal employee productivity. Depending on the work environment and tasks that need to be completed, there are four primary types of eyewear available to help minimize risk.

General safety goggles are designed with side shields that provide a greater area of coverage, and some models may even include a wraparound frame. They are suitable for most workplace conditions, including those with light debris or dust particles in the air. Another example of safety goggles is laser safety goggles.

Head and Shoe Protection

Wearing a hard hat with a chin strap is the best way to ensure that an employee’s head remains protected when working in hazardous situations. The chin strap will keep the hat secured and prevent it from falling off in case of a fall or other accident. Hard hats must also be inspected regularly for any cracks, dents, scratches, punctures or other signs of damage.

Damaged hard hats must be replaced immediately to ensure an employee’s safety. Employees should also check the fit of their helmet before beginning work. A well-fitting hard hat will provide maximum protection and comfort for employees working in hazardous conditions. Safety equipment can only help you if you use it properly.

Gloves

Different types of gloves include: Leather, Canvas or Metal Mesh Gloves, Fabric and Coated Fabric Gloves, Chemical- and Liquid-Resistant Gloves, and Insulating Rubber Gloves. Gloves are used in many different scenarios and provide protection against anything from infectious materials, contaminated body fluids, bloodborne pathogens, and bacterial contaminants, to physical hazards such as cuts and abrasions.

What is required for OSHA standards for PPE?

Employers should assess the workplace to determine if PPE is necessary. If it is, employers should provide employees with appropriate protective equipment and ensure its use. Employers must also make sure that the protective equipment is well-maintained and kept clean.

Additionally, employers must train employees on how to properly wear and care for their eye and face protection in order to ensure its effectiveness. Employees should also be informed about potential hazards in their work environment, as well as any limitations of the protective equipment they are using.

If an employee needs prescription lenses while wearing safety glasses, employers may have additional requirements to meet OSHA standards. It is important to note that non-prescription safety glasses do not provide adequate protection against hazardous materials.

Employers should ensure that employees who require prescription lenses have access to appropriate protective equipment and can safely perform their job duties without endangering themselves or others.

If an employer has determined that protection is necessary, they must also provide employees with a copy of OSHA’s standard 1910.133 which outlines the requirements for protection in the workplace.

This document contains detailed information on types of hazards, selection criteria, performance requirements, instructions for use and care, as well as other helpful information employers need to know when providing appropriate face protection to their employees. The World Health Organization and OSHA reiterate that employees must wear PPE and proper equipment in order to protect them properly.

Why do you and your employees need PPE?

  1. Liability

  2. Long-term issues

  3. Keep what you got!

  4. Increase quality work environments

Conclusion:

When it comes to workplace safety, personal protective equipment (PPE) is an essential piece of the puzzle. PPE protects workers against hazards in the environment that could cause physical harm or injury. Industries such as manufacturing and mining are particularly hazardous, and effective use of PPE can help prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.

To ensure maximum protection, it is important that workers always wear the correct type of PPE for the job they are doing. This could include safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats and other items that are designed to protect against specific hazards.

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Laboratory Safety Checklist

Laboratory Safety Checklist

What You Need To Know:

What is a safety audit checklist?

A safety audit checklist is a document used by companies to ensure their workspaces are compliant with industry health and safety standards.

The purpose of a safety audit checklist is twofold: first, to ensure that all areas of potential danger have been identified and addressed; and second, to provide a record of due diligence in the event of an accident or injury.

Many companies use safety audit checklists as part of their regular safety program, while others only implement them in response to an incident.

What should be included in a lab safety checklist?

Lab safety is of utmost importance in any laboratory setting. A lab safety checklist helps to identify and minimize chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards present in a laboratory facility.

It helps ensure that the laboratory complies with environmental standards to prevent overexposure to hazardous chemicals, injuries and respiratory-related illnesses or fatalities.

What are the 5 major areas of lab safety?

Cuts:

Laboratory accidents are one of the most common types of workplace accidents. In severe cases, nerves and tendons may be severed.

Often, these injuries occur as a result of attempting to force a cork or rubber stopper into a piece of glass tubing, thermometer or distilling flask thus the result can be broken glass.

To prevent this accident from occurring, workers should make a proper-sized hole, lubricate the cork or stopper, and use gentle pressure with rotation on the glass portion along with any removal of broken glass after an incident.

Toxic fumes:

Chemical fumes can be extremely dangerous, and it is important to take the necessary precautions when working with them especially while working inside. Fumes can cause serious health problems if they are inhaled, so it is important to make sure there is proper ventilation in the lab and to maintain a safe distance when pouring chemicals. Fumes can also be an environmental health issue.

Skin Absorption of Chemicals:

It is important to be aware of the physical injuries that can occur in the laboratory. Chemicals can cause burns, and even if they are not corrosive, exposure can cause allergic reactions or other problems if absorbed by the skin. This can cause acute or immediate effect on the person.

Remember that gloves may be permeable to certain chemical reagents – even without visible deterioration – so trade out any gloves that have come into contact with such chemicals for a new pair immediately. Never touch your face or eyes until your hands are clean of all chemicals or solvents.

Explosions and fires:

In a lab, it is important to be aware of the dangers of flammable liquids. Vapors can travel long distances and may ignite if they reach a flame or spark. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher on hand and ensure each individual in the laboratory knows its exact location to prevent fires from spreading.

The appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), like a flame-resistant (FR) lab coat, should also be worn.

Chemical or thermal burns:

Chemicals are an important part of laboratory work. They can be used to create reactions or to purify substances. However, they also can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Burns, chemical spills, and unsafe laboratory conditions are all potential hazards and you should immediately report any incident with you chemical or thermal burns.

It is therefore important to exercise caution when working with chemicals and to always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

What are the major overlooked lab safety issues and hazards?

Ergonomic safety:

Musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs are a serious problem in the workplace, and they can be caused by many different things.

One of the most common causes is repetitive awkward postures, which can occur when employees are not properly trained on ergonomics safety. This type of injury can lead to discomfort and loss of productivity, and it is important for employers to take steps to prevent them.

Laboratory waste disposal:

One of the most important aspects of ensuring a safe and healthy work environment is properly managing hazardous waste. Improper disposal of these materials can have serious consequences for both employees and the environment.

Pathogenic diseases and chemical reactions are just two examples of the many dangers posed by hazardous waste if it is not handled correctly. By implementing a comprehensive waste management program, employers can mitigate many of these risks.

Dress code safety:

Proper dress codes can be overlooked when trying to protect students and protect employees. In order to maintain a safe laboratory environment, adding the dress code to the daily lab checklist is a must.

Employees must ensure all safety equipment including goggles, face shields, safety gloves, body, and respiratory protection are in good condition before entering the laboratory.

Proper labels:

Labels are an important part of, not only general safety but also laboratory safety. Putting a proper label on gas cylinders or any substance that is harmful will ensure compliance and meet laboratory standards which will eliminate lab risks.

Record of an incident:

Another overlooked issue that should be on the lab maintenance checklist is proper record-keeping. You should be keeping records of the following: Damaged equipment, equipment malfunction, toxic contamination, radioactive materials leaked, chemical exposures, chemical spills, laboratory cleanliness, maintenance of labs, and any other issues along with the person responsible.

Conclusion:

Laboratory safety, chemical safety, biological safety, radiation safety, and general safety begin with a proper checklist. Starting with regular self inspections can help tremendously but don’t shy away from outside help if you feel you need it. Safety officers and safety consultants can help you with basic requirements for you laboratories, maintain laboratory health, help you achieve a good inspection checklist, cultivate emergency procedures, and ultimately prevent laboratory risks to help you avoid unwanted legal action again your company. Following tips safety consultants provide is paramount. Maintaining a lab, keep it in peak condition, and keeping employees safe is always the utmost priority.

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Trailer Safety

Trailer Safety

Trailers are often used in the workplace — by operations personnel down to even the sales department who may move their exhibits from show to show.  The construction industry uses a lot of trailers to move equipment. 

With the summer season, our employees may be using trailers to haul boats, ATVs, campers, or extra large smoker grills.  U-Hauls can be rented by anyone for moving from house to house or to move a kid to or from college, to haul cars or other items.

Here are some trailer safety tips to help avoid a potential accident:

  • Choose the right tow vehicle and trailer for the load. Review the tow capacity and ensure it’s capable of handling the weight of the trailer and what you’re going to be towing on it.  Exceeding the capacity can severely affect handling, braking and damage your vehicle’s suspension. Check the hitch for the maximum trailer and maximum tongue weights it can safely support.
  • If you’re going to be carrying additional loads or passengers in the vehicle, check the gross vehicle weight rating issued for your vehicle and make sure the load will not exceed that rating, nor that the combination of the trailer and vehicle weights will be exceeded.
  • Make sure you have the proper hitch ball for the trailer. Incorrectly sized hitch balls are the #1 cause of trailer accidents.
  • When hauling loads, 60% of the load on the trailer should be placed on the front half of the trailer, with a tongue weight of 10-15% of the total weight that’s loaded on the trailer. Ensure weight is evenly distributed on the left and right sides of the trailer.
  • Straps are critical — broken or cheap straps can fail fast. Use ratchet straps for anything heavier than an average person and use more than one strap in case one comes loose.  The working load of the strap should be more than the weight of what you’re hauling.  For vehicles, strap vehicles at four points of the trailer corners.
  • Check your tires on both the vehicle and the trailer. Underinflation can cause rolling resistance and forces the engine to work harder and consume (now more expensive) fuel.
  • One of the most common trailer issues is lights — make sure your lights work before you leave, make sure the load doesn’t obscure them and take spare bulbs and fuses with you.
  • Check your brakes and make sure the breakaway cable is properly attached to your tow vehicle. In the event the trailer somehow disconnects from the hitch, the cable will trigger the trailer brakes.
  • Always cross safety chains so that they form a cradle for the tongue to fall down onto.
  • Adjust your mirrors so that you can have a clear view of the entire trailer, to the end.
  • Carry spare parts such as at least one trailer spare tire as well as extra wheel bearings and hubs.
  • When unhooking the trailer from the tow vehicle, use wheel chocks in front of and behind the trailer’s tires to ensure it doesn’t roll away.
  • Towing can stress your engine, so make sure your vehicle has all of its fluids to prevent overheating. Make sure your vehicle has proper levels of coolant, oil and transmission fluid.
  • Be patient when passing and take extra care when changing lanes.
  • Don’t speed and know the speed limits of the trailer and of your state/local area. Some areas have specific speeds for trailers.
  • Stop gradually when possible and allow for plenty of stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. It takes longer to stop when pulling a load. Scan the road ahead to anticipate potential problems.
  • Watch out for trailer sway. High winds, large trucks, downhill grades and high speeds can lead to your trailer swaying.  If you’re not careful, it can swing like a pendulum.  Consider using a hitch stabilizer or a sway control unit to help alleviate this issue.
  • Don’t drive in if there’s no way out. It’s easy to get blocked in, so make sure there’s plenty of space to make a complete turnaround.

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