CTI ENewsletter - Spring  2016
March, 2016

Welcome to CTI's Quarterly ENewsletter  that is packed with information on the latest workplace Health & Safety regulations, information, insights and compliance stories that may affect your company's day-to-day business.  Click the link to learn more about CTI's Team of Engineers, Trainers, Project Managers, and day-to-day operations professionals. CTI Team 
EHS Issues Proposed Rule 
Changes on Risk Management Program to Boost Process Safety
On March 14, 2016, EPA published in the Federal Register the proposed rule changes on its Risk Management Program ( see changes ). The EPA claims the new requirements would improve chemical process safety and keep first responders safer. Comments on the proposed revisions are due on May 13, 2016.

The RMP rule changes come after two years of outreach to communities, first responders, local governments and industry stakeholders  and would require:
  • Employers to use safer technologies and alternatives in Process Hazard Assessment
  • Third-party audits and root-cause analysis to identify areas where safety improvements can be made at facilities
  • Coordination between facilities and local emergency response agencies in emergency planning and preparedness
  • Certain facilities to conduct emergency response exercises in conjunction with local responders
"This proposal is a step in the right direction," Mathy Stanislaus, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management, wrote in a blog post. "We want to build on the success of leaders in the chemical industry by enhancing their operations to prevent accidents, and we want to make sure that communities are fully prepared for a chemical plant accident, so that first responders, workers, and neighboring community members are protected."

The proposed changes were prompted by an Executive Order that directs government agencies to improve chemical facility safety. The order was issued in the wake of the 2013 fertilizer facility explosion in West, TX, that killed 15 people, including several first responders.

A Peek from the Legal Side:  Does OSHA Provide a Defense for Employee Misconduct?  
It Depends!
Just because an employee is injured at work does not necessarily mean that the employer has violated OSHA (no matter what your friendly neighborhood OSHA investigator might tell you). Indeed, according to OSHA's Field Operation's Manual [pdf], an employer has defense for "employee misconduct".   To successfully assert the employee misconduct defense, an employer must show:
  1. A work rule adequate to prevent the violation;
  2. Effective communication of that rule to employees;
  3. Methods for discovering violations of work rules; and
  4. Effective enforcement of rules when violations are discovered.
While you cannot control your employees' reckless stupidity, you can control your safety rules, employee training, routine investigation, and enforcement. How?

  1. Ensure all safety policies and programs are up to date.
  2. Train all relevant employees on your safety policies and programs, and keep a record of their attendance at these training sessions.
  3. Give your supervisors a vested interest in rooting out safety violations by making safety inspections an essential function of their jobs, and hold them accountable.
  4. Discipline employees for safety violations as you would any other work-rule violation. The more serious the offense, the more serious the response, including termination when warranted.
You may not be able to totally prevent accidents or injuries, just as you cannot prevent an OSHA investigation or fines. By following these simple guidelines, however, you can put your company in the best position to fight those fines in the event an employee is injured because of a violation of your safety rules.
 

EPA Announces 2017 - 2019 Enforcement Initiatives
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its seven National Enforcement Initiatives for fiscal years 2017-2019 on Feb. 18, saying they focus on national pollution challenges where EPA's enforcement efforts will protect public health. Starting on Oct. 1, 2016, EPA will retain four of its current National Enforcement Initiatives (items 4-7), add two new ones (items 1-2), and expand one to include a new area of focus (item 3). The seven are:
  1. Keeping Industrial Pollutants Out of the Nation's Waters (new)
  2. Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities (new)
  3. Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants (expanded)*
  4. Reducing Air Pollution from the Largest Sources
  5. Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Comply with Environmental Laws
  6. Keeping Raw Sewage and Contaminated Stormwater Out of the Nation's Waters
  7. Preventing Animal Waste from Contaminating Surface and Groundwater
*EPA expanded this initiative by adding large storage tanks and hazardous waste facilities.
 
Initiatives #1 through #4 and #6 have the greatest direct impact on manufacturers while initiative #5 will continue to affect the fracking industry.
 
"National Enforcement Initiatives help us focus time and resources on national pollution problems that impact Americans locally," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance at EPA. "These initiatives were chosen so we can better protect communities, especially those overburdened by pollution, and were informed by extensive analysis and public input. We remain committed to a vigorous enforcement program that reduces pollution and protects public health."   The agency selects National Enforcement Initiatives every three years and took public comments on this latest list. According to the agency, progress achieved to date includes:
  • More than 98 percent of cities with large combined sewer systems and more than 90 percent of cities with large sanitary sewer systems are under enforceable agreements or have permits that put them on a schedule to address untreated sewage discharges into waterways.
  • 59 percent of individual power generating units at coal-fired power plants have installed the required pollution controls or are under a court order to do so.
  • Since 2011, EPA has secured enforceable agreements to address violations at 539 facilities emitting toxic air pollution.
  • Since 2011, EPA has concluded 217 enforcement actions at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for violations of the Clean Water Act and 196 enforcement actions at natural gas extraction and production sites.
Did you Know . . . 

OSHA "  competent person is defined as "one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them."

people_board_meeting.jpg
Are you providing adequate training on EHS and transportation regulations to assure competent employees? Could your training program need a fresh, more thorough approach?  CTI"s customized on-site training will cost-effectively increase workers' competency at your facility.   CTI Training

brown gavel and open book on a wooden table of the law in the courtroom
FINAL VERDICT: "Safety training at the plant was woefully insufficient."

Behr Iron & Steel Inc. pleads guilty to OSHA violation that caused worker fatality 

Behr Iron & Steel Inc. recently pled guilty to failing to provide required lockout/tagout and confined space protection for employees assigned to clean a shredder discharge pit at its Beloit, Ill., facility. The metals recycling company admitted that those violations caused the death of a worker whose arm was caught in a moving, unguarded conveyor belt. The worker was pulled into the machine and killed. Behr also admitted that workers were inadequately trained on how to use the shredder and conveyor belt. The company faces a maximum of five years of probation, maximum fine of $500,000 and restitution to the victim in an amount to be determined by the court at sentencing on July 12, 2016. For more information, read the news release
New OSHA Standard for First Aid in the Workplace
Guest Article by Bill Oler, 
President of Chagrin Safety Supply

As of January 12, 2015, OSHA Standard 1910.151b Governing First Aid in the workplace has been revised. The Revised Standards are based on the revised ANSI Standard Z308.1-2015, a performance-based standard entitled "Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies". Sections of the Standard address compliance, first aid kit classifications, performance requirements and criteria, and recommendations and precautions concerning kit use and maintenance. The Class A kits include contents designed for the most common types of workplace injuries, while Class B kits include a broader range and quantity of supplies to deal with injuries in more complex or high-risk environments. 
 
The burden is on the employers to determine workplace hazards and the potential for severity of major and minor workplace injuries (ie wounds, burns and /or cuts and abrasions, etc) and then match the first aid contents according to the risks identified. Employers should consider their physical location(s), number of employees as well as the accessibility of medical response in their geographical area(s) among other factors in determining first aid kit contents. First aid kits must be labeled and markings legible and permanent. Each kit location must be visibly marked.
 
First Aid Kit Isolated on White with Clipping Path
First Aid kits should be inspected regularly by competent personnel to ensure completeness, relevance and fitness of supplies including checking and replacing expiration and outdated items. Ready and immediate access to First aid kits is imperative and should never be locked. Non-First aid items should not be stored in the first aid kit. Each work location should have at least one individual available who is trained and/or certified in first aid and CPR.
 
For more information on the new classifications and types of First Aid Kits, please visit:  www.chagrinsafetysupply.com/FirstAid/2015OSHA-ANSIStandards. 

To upgrade your first aid kits and meet the new OSHA/ANSI minimum fill requirements, for a quote for the first aid kits as well as First Aid/CPR/AED/ BloodbornePathogen training on-site call 440-543-2777.

Questions for Bill?  Bill can be reached at 440-543-2777 or email at bill@chagrinsafetysupply.com
In This Issue
Quick Links

Top 10 UST Violations
Top 10 OSHA Citings of 2015

HazCom Deadlines 
for 2016
 
June 1, 2016

Employers must update alternative workplace labeling and HazCom programs, including re-training.

 

HazCom Effective Dates  

General Deadlines for Additional Reporting 
in  2016
 
April 15, 2016

Air Emissions Fee Reporting (Title V and Non Title V)

 

June 1 - Sept 30, 2016

Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) for Toxic Substances Control Act (CY 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015)

 

July 1, 2016

2014 - 2015 Biennial RCRA Report

See CTI Winter ENewsletter

 

July 1, 2016

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Report (for CY2015) 

 

keyboard_time_for_action.jpg

 

 

Interim Ban Placed on Lithium-Ion-Battery Cargo Shipments on Passenger Planes
as first appeared in Wall Street Journal (02/23/16) Pasztor, Andy
Lithium ion battery for electronic devices isolated on white
Over the past two years, nothing has created as many changes in air transportation regulations (both IATA and ICAO) as have the multiple lithium battery mishaps.  Now, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has banned all cargo shipments of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from the storage areas of passenger planes until 2018. Many airlines (IATA) have already implemented similar policies, but the agency's announcement ensures the rule will be enforced globally. ICAO says the ban will remain in place until the United Nations adopts new packaging rules that are meant to lower the risk of fires and explosions. The decision will not affect batteries or electronic devices that are carried on-board by passengers. Tests have found that the batteries can overheat and catch fire when packed tightly together. Modern airplanes are not built to withstand the explosions that can occur as a result of those fires. The ICAO also ruled that the batteries may only contain a 30 percent charge when being shipped as cargo in planes.
Employers must post 300A injury/illness Summary Form February through April, 2016

OSHA's Form 300A


OSHA is reminding covered employers to post OSHA's Form 300A  which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2015. The summary must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2016, and should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.

Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in specific low-hazard industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. Due to changes in OSHA's recordkeeping requirements that went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, certain previously exempt industries are now covered. Lists of both exempt and newly covered industries are available on OSHA's website. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule webpage for more information on recordkeeping requirements.   OSHA Form 300A
Further GHS Developments

The stated advantage of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), a United Nations initiative, is to "harmonize" or standardize the labeling and safety data format for hazardous materials worldwide.  Yet, the GHS standard and its implementation have been more of a developing, moving target (which is now on its sixth revision) than a final guidance document to follow. Consequently, there is no guarantee that a single GHS-compliant label and Safety Data Sheet will suffice, without other country-specific markings, for shipments of a hazardous chemical even between two countries, let alone around the world!  This is what makes the news from a March 3 rd webinar so encouraging related to shipments between the USA and our Northern neighbor, Canada. 

Compliance - street sign illustration in front of blue sky with clouds.

At this webinar, Representatives from OSHA and Health Canada discussed efforts in coordinating workplace hazard communication regulations between the two countries as part of implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The two countries have created a draft work plan outlining coordination efforts for 2016 and 2017; stakeholders have until March 31, 2016 to submit formal comments. In April, Health Canada and OSHA are scheduled to conduct discussions on finalizing the work plan based on comments, and a bi-national stakeholder meeting is set for May 4-5 in Washington regarding the final draft work plan and implementation. Depending upon how difficult it is to minimize variations between the two countries, the final version is scheduled for release on June 30. Keep in mind that coordination efforts include dealing with compliance differences between the two countries' rules, but officials have already said that GHS guidance documents issued by one country would only apply to compliance with that country's rules and regulations.


"YOUR COMPLIANCE 
IS OUR GOAL!"
Hey . . .  There's an 
APP  for That!
Prepare for the smart phone to strike again!  Besides the worries of distracted driving and workers spending far too much time texting or playing with their favorite App, an upcoming Smartphone application may make it even easier for whistleblowers to report apparent violations to OSHA.  Sure, a quick phone call by an employee to OSHA has long been all it takes for OSHA (unless the call can clearly be deemed to be a hoax) to be obligated to do a site visit to investigate the allegation(s). As a result, over 25% of all OSHA workplace inspections were initiated by employee or anonymous complaints. But, the yet un-named App, being developed by a New Haven CT firm, Click Fix, may soon make the complaint filing process easier, quicker, and chock full of photos and/or videos of the safety issue. While such pictures may assist OSHA in determining if an on-site inspection is warranted, the media can also be utilized as evidence in supporting citations, penalties and/or court cases against the employer.


The App could also be used for almost any other sort of employment-related complaint such as environmental issues, wage-related disputes, sexual harassment, discrimination, and the like. Potentially, the App could organize complaints in such a way as to flag a workplace for having a pre-determined number of complaints from workers, thus, triggering an investigation by the Department of Labor.
 
What can an employer do?  First, an employer of any size should have a suitable and up-to-date safety program to help protect workers from serious injuries. If a safety program is not in place, begin building one. A good safety program includes required documentation and current training, periodic hazard inspections, recordkeeping, and verifiable evidence that all applicable regulations are covered; studies involving air sampling, noise sampling and ergonomics may also be required. Don't forget to involve workers in the safety program, which may help to reduce the likelihood of safety-related complaints to OSHA in the first place.
 
Also, is your Company Policy Handbook updated in order to establish fair and equitable standards for workers to meet or exceed company expectations. The Company Policy Handbook should provide suitable channels to resolve safety, environmental or other serious employee concerns; this, hopefully, would minimize the number of disgruntled workers and anger-induced complaints to OSHA or other agencies.
 
Learning and tracking all of the EHS-related responsibilities, ever-changing laws, and reporting requirements are full-time jobs. Leaving it to be given part-time attention by an HR or Quality person is not in the best interest of the company so, if needed, seek help from consultants. The advantage of hiring consultants is typically their amount of expertise on the subject, as well as experience in writing and implementing programs that assure best-practice solutions.

Compliance Technologies Inc. (CTI) helps businesses identify OSHA and EPA compliance issues in their workplaces, manage their safety and environmental programs, and become a partner who the client can depend on to remain current on the ever-changing regulations affecting their business. In addition to offering custom written safety programs for companies, CTI provides required safety training, indoor air quality sampling, noise sampling, and workplace inspections.
Connect with Conrad Hornung  at CTI




C onrad has hit the ground running since joining CTI in February.  You may have heard from him already, as he is reaching out to our clients and familiarizing himself with our clients' programs and needs.

Conrad has been busy with Safety Assessments and Training these past few weeks.  If you are concerned about employee safety at your site, please contact Conrad to schedule a walk-though assessment of your facility.

CTI's  Walk-Through Assessment takes a few hours depending on the size of your facility and will provide your company with valuable insight into your company's workplace processes and identify possible risks.

As a Health & Safety Specialist, Conrad will assist current and new clients in regulatory compliance activities associated with, but not limited to:
  • Identifying hazards in the workplace.
  • Inspecting and evaluating workplace environments, equipment, and practices for compliance with corporate and governmental health and safety standards.
  • Sampling the workplace for hazardous exposures to employees.
  • Designing and aiding in the implementation of workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from potentially hazardous work conditions.
  • Investigating accidents and incidents to identify their causes and to determine how they might be prevented in the future.
  • Conducting employee training across the realm of OSHA safety programs.
Conrad can be reached at 216-341-1800 ext 13 or by email at  chornung@compliancetechnologies.biz


Sincerely,
 
Kathy Grattino
Compliance Technologies, Inc.

Stay Connected 
Your Compliance is Our Goal