Welcome to CTI's Quarterly
Newsletter communication 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.
New OEPA Rules Proposed for Monitoring & Reporting Harmful Algae Blooms
When the last serious algae bloom occurred in the Western Basin of Lake Erie, it posed a potentially crippling effect on both area residents and businesses alike. The threat was well known. The algae contained cyanotoxin microcystins which could not be yielded harmless simply by boiling the water before use. In fact, boiling made the toxic nature of the water worse by releasing the microcystins in greater concentrations. What was even more alarming is that the agencies and local governments who were charged with the responsibility to notify and advise the public, had outdated analytical techniques, no "safe level" thresholds established and no effective cyanotoxin treatment procedures ready to activate.
On September 22, 2015, the Ohio EPA gave public notice of Proposed Rulemaking Establishing Monitoring and Reporting Rules for Harmful Algal Blooms and Amendments to Laboratory Certification Rules. As part of the rulemaking process, OEPA is required to consult with, among others, the business interests and individuals affected by these rules so the Agency will be hosting an informational webinar on October 7, 2015 to provide an overview of these rules. If you are interested in attending this event, you can register at
Then click the link for the HAB Rules Webinar.
The new and amended (proposed) rules will focus on:
- Establishing action levels for cyanotoxin microcystins.
- Setting forth cyanobacteria screening, and microcystin monitoring and reporting requirements for surface water public water systems (PWSs).
- Requiring PWSs submit written cyanotoxin treatment optimization protocols if microcystins are detected in raw or finished drinking water. Additionally, PWSs may be required to submit a cyanotoxin general plan with one or a combination of source water protection activities, reservoir management and in-plant treatment technologies.
- Requiring public notification in cases of monitoring violations and exceedances of action levels in drinking water, as well as consumer confidence reports.
- Establishing requirements for laboratory certification, analytical techniques and reporting deadlines.
Coupled with the generous grants awarded earlier this year to research ways to minimize algae growth (like means to reduce fertilizer runoff), this may yield a much more effective handling of the algal blooms next summer in Lake Erie and elsewhere.
Will OSHA Change its Focus in 2016?
OSHA will likely receive a 3 to 5 percent cut in its 2016 budget (the federal government's fiscal year ends Sept. 30, 2015). The House Subcommittee proposal sets OSHA's 2016 budget at $535 million - a reduction of nearly $18 million from the current year. This
that was approved June 17 by the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee is now with the full House Appropriations Committee, which is scheduled to consider the legislation soon.
In the Senate, OSHA faces a 5 percent budget cut as part of an appropriations bill approved June 23 by a Senate subcommittee. The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee is
to reduce OSHA's budget, currently at $552.8 million, to $524 million in fiscal year 2016.
Regardless of which proposed budget number is finalized, OSHA will need to do more with less in 2016. More importantly, where does OSHA plan to spend those limited funds? Currently, the research agency, NIOSH, is funded at about $335 million for its many programs. The
reduced that funding to $283 million, but the Senate subcommittee bill would increase it to $341 million. In contrast, the largest percentage increase requested by OSHA was earmarked for Enforcement but their request has been tempered in both the House and Senate bills. Still, the number of inspections conducted and the amount of fines levied have both become benchmarks in recent years, used in proving to the public OSHA's effectiveness in making the workplace safer. So, does this suggest OSHA will have fewer inspections in 2016? Probably yes, but they will also increase their focus on those industries with the worst safety performance and "optimize" those audits (meaning stricter enforcement with higher accompanying fines).
Will your industry be the focus of OSHA's emphasized enforcement program? One factor OSHA will likely consider is the recently released bad news from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which identified several industries that experienced higher fatality rates in 2014. Three industries - mining (17%), law enforcement (17%), and agriculture (14%) - showed double digit increases in fatalities, while manufacturing (9%) and construction (6%) were close behind in fatality increases. Other key findings included:
- Falls, slips and trip increased 10%
- Women incurred 13% more fatal work injuries
- After a sharp decline in 2013, fatal injuries among self-employed increased 10%
- Fatal injuries involving workers 55 years of age and over rose 9%
If you are in one of these emphasized enforcement industries, will your company be ready for more in-depth scrutiny by OSHA? CTI's Assessment Service can assist in getting you prepared.
Do you ship hazardous materials or dangerous goods?
If so, the retraining requirements are:
- Highway and rail (DOT) refresher training every three years.
- Air (IATA/ICAO) refresher training every two years.
- Water (IMOG) refresher training every three years.
- Retraining is also required when hazmat duties change or regulations affecting assigned duties change.
Do you ship hazardous waste?
Is your Training current (and documented)? CTI can assist with answering your questions and with your company training. CTI Training
- If so, in addition to DOT Training, RCRA Training is required (cannot sign Hazardous Manifest until properly trained).
- RCRA refresher training is required for all Large Quantity Generators (LQG) with annual refresher training.
- For Small Quantity Generators (SQG), all employees must be thoroughly familiar with proper waste handling and emergency procedures.
- For Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG), training is recommended but no applicable requirement.
Serious Injury Mistakes Are
Already Tragic Enough!
Any workplace accident serious enough to cause a fatality, amputation or loss of an eye is almost always preventable and, also, inevitably is followed by a prompt OSHA inspection of the work site. As a responsible manager, it is tragic enough to know that the irreversible injury (or death) would not have happened "if only I had" installed the proper machine guards, provided appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and/ or trained a new, young employee on the hazards of his job. That sense of loss escalates when that manager must face family members who now have to deal with that loss of limb or of a loved one's life. Such is the tragedy for a pallet company in Middlefield, Ohio which violated the law when they allowed a 14-year-old boy to operate pallet making machinery, resulting in the teen losing his hand. First, workers under 18 years old are prohibited from operating power-driven woodworking machinery such as the wood planer in this incident. More importantly, the equipment did not have proper safety mechanisms, and neither PPE nor proper training was provided to this worker.
In addition to whatever civil lawsuits may result, OSHA issued seventeen serious safety violations to the company with proposed fines totaling $43,200. Were there seventeen safety mechanisms missing from the wood planer? No... but during the site audit, the inspectors found that the pallet company also failed to:
- Train worksite staff to provide first aid
- Have an exposure control plan to protect against Bloodborne pathogens during first aid
- Train employees about chemical hazards in the workplace
- Provide, train and enforce the use of PPE
- Store flammable liquids correctly
- Use self-closing valves on gasoline drums used to power equipment
- Install electrical equipment properly
Are you confident your manufacturing facility does not have similar "minor" violations that could end up tragically? A Safety Assessment by CTI could help answer that question for you and provide a confidential list of action items before small oversights become a fatal (or serious injury) mistake.
Did you Know . . .
Your facility needs a Spill Prevention Controls & Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan and is regulated under 40 CFR part 112 if:
the completely buried oil storage capacity is over 42,000 gallons, OR
the aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity is over 1,320 gallons AND the facility is a non-transportation-related facility engaged in drilling, producing, gathering, storing, processing, refining,
transferring, distributing, using, or consuming oil, AND
oil products at your facility, due to their location, could reasonably be expected to discharge oil into or upon the navigable waters of the United States (as defined in 40 CFR 110.1).
For the purposes of calculating if your facility has reached the reporting thresholds (shown above), the total capacilty of storage tanks and/ or drums must be included (e.g. an 8000 gallon storage tank counts as 8000 gallons of storage even if only half full). However, the following storage capacity is not considered in determining applicability of SPCC requirements:
- Completely buried tanks subject to all the technical requirements of 40 CFR part 280 or a state program approved under 40 CFR part 281.
- Equipment subject to the authority of the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of the Interior, or Minerals Management Service, as defined in Memoranda of Understanding dated November 24, 1971, and November 8, 1993.
- Any facility or part thereof used exclusively for wastewater treatment (production, recovery or recycling of oil is not considered wastewater treatment).
- Containers smaller than 55-gallons.
- Permanently closed containers (landfills)
The Top 5 violations pertaining to SPCC Plans (per the Clean Water Act 311J) are:
- Failure to develop, implement, and update an SPCC Plan, as necessary
- Failure to provide secondary containment in storage areas containing oil-containing units
- Failure to conduct complete inventory of oil-containing equipment and oil storage tanks
- Failure to conduct and document monthly and/or daily inspections as required by the SPCC Plan
- Failure to conduct necessary training and maintain training records for first responders and other personnel
Has your facility developed a need for an SPCC Plan by its growth in oil storage capacilty?
The Paper Trail to Success
Guest Article by Neil S. Sarkar, Esq.
Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., LPA
Whether it is a ton of documentation that is required for HR-related compliance or that which is needed for OSHA, EPA, and Hazardous Goods Transport compliance, the best practices needed to navigate the "paper trail to success" are virtually the same. The "trip" may be long and complex but the bottom-line advice is simple: Employers, take heed - Good documentation practices pay off!
But you've heard this before, haven't you? And perhaps the following thoughts have crossed your mind: "The lawyers tell me to document my policies, practices, employees and every darn thing. Easy for them to say! They don't know how hard that is when I have one thousand other things to do for my business. I will do it later. Why should I do it at all?"
Read more at
Neil Sarkar is an employment & labor attorney at MR&R, where he spends much of his time advising business clients how to try and proactively prevent personnel problems whenever possible, with an eye towards protecting their business from costly litigation.
CTI can also assist with your company's OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping & Reporting Requirements, including how to complete forms, types of operations that come under these rules, and types of injuries and illnesses that must be recorded. Please contact us with any questions or for further details.
Compliance Technologies, Inc.
HazCom Deadlines for 2015 - 2016
December 1, 2015
Distributors may not ship products without new GHS labels.
June 1, 2016
Employers must update alternative workplace labeling and HazCom programs, including re-training.
HazCom Effective Dates
General Deadlines for RCRA, TRI and additional Reporting for
March 1, 2016
SARA 311/312 SERC Reporting (for CY2015)
July 1, 2016
2014 - 2015 Biannual RCRA Report
July 1, 2016
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Report (for CY2015)
Top 10 RCRA Violations
(listed in order of frequency)
Failure to properly manage universal wastes
Failure to provide adequate training or document that personnel received training
Failure to properly identify and maintain Satellite Accumulation Area(s) with signage and secondary containment
Failure to properly label hazardous waste
Failure to make formal waste determinations
Failure to maintain all required manifest, exception reports and LDR records
Failure to conduct and document inspections
Failure to properly handle, manage and dispose of hazardous wastes (within 90 days for large quantity generators or 180 days for small quantity generators)
Failure to provide secondary
containment for the 90-day (or 180-day) storage of hazardous wastes
Failure to provide emergency response information at waste generation and storage areas
The best of the rest:
- Failure to keep containers closed
- Failure to apply for EPA generator ID number and/or clarify generator status
- Failure to segregate incompatible waste by hazard class
- Failure to keep waste containers in good condition and provide adequate spacing for inspection
- Failure to develop, implement and update Hazardous Waste Minimization Plan
CTI has been serving Ohio companies since its inception in May,1990. The CTI staff is excited and proud of this great accomplishment and looks forward to serving our clients for many years to come.
Manufacturing News From Wire-Net
recently published a profile article on Compliance Technologies entitled "Twenty-Five Hazardous Years in business". CTI is proud to have reached this landmark of service to our clients and wish to share the article with you.
Read the entire article
We Have a New Website!
Although CTI may have been resolving many of the same regulatory issues for the past 25 years, CTI now has a newly updated website to keep its clients current on developing regulations, what approaches have worked (and the consequences of those that have not), available services, and other topics of importance to you and your business.
Be sure to check out our blog and
ENewsletter sections for the latest news and up-to-the minute regulation changes that will keep your company compliant!
IS OUR GOAL!"
CTI would like to thank Neil S. Sarkar, Esq
of Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., LPA for providing the guest article on The Paper Trail to Success in our quarterly newsletter.
Questions for Neil?
Neil can be reached at
Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co.,LPA
at 440-287-8292 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org