Maximum Allowable Dose Level Proposed for Sulfur Dioxide
California’s Proposition 65 prohibits businesses from knowingly and intentionally exposing any person to a chemical that has been listed as known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, without first giving clear and reasonable warning to such individual. The Act also prohibits a business from knowingly discharging a listed chemical into water or onto or into land where such chemical passes or probably will pass into any source of drinking water. Warnings are not required and the discharge prohibition does not apply when exposures are insignificant. The Maximum Allowable Dose Levels (MADLs) provide safe harbors provide guidance for determining when this is the case.
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is proposing to amend Section 25805(b) of Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations by establishing a MADL for sulfur dioxide (SO2) of 220 µg/day.
OSHA Fines Four Concrete Contractors More Than $460,000 for Exposing Workers to Falls
OSHA has cited four New Jersey contractors working on a 20-story building in Jersey City, New Jersey, for exposing workers to fall hazards following a December 2011 inspection during which inspectors observed employees working on the fourth floor without personal fall protection or fall protection systems. Altura Concrete Inc., and Nathil Corp., both of Hasbrouck Heights, and White Diamonds Properties LLC, and Blade Contracting, Inc., both of Jersey City, face total proposed fines of $463,350.
Altura Concrete, Inc., and Nathil Corp., the concrete contractors for the foundation and superstructure of the building, directed 75 employees on-site. The two companies have been cited for five willful violations—including four instance-by-instance (that is, egregious) violations—for failing to protect workers from fall hazards created by open sides and edges on the fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, 10th, and 13th floors, as well as protect workers from fall hazards created by the misuse of self-supporting stepladders. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The citations carry $315,000 in penalties.
The companies also have received citations for nine serious violations, including failing to provide personal protective equipment, provide a cap for an acetylene tank in storage, store cylinders in an upright position, separate oxygen and acetylene tanks, provide fall protection for workers installing ribs, provide protection from protruding rebar, maintain shoring/reshoring plans on-site, provide railings on stairs, protect workers from fall hazards created by open holes, secure the cover over a floor hole, and mark the floor hole cover. The citations carry $40,500 in penalties. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
One other-than-serious violation has been cited for failing to record an injury on the OSHA 300 log. The citation carries a $900 penalty. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
General contractor White Diamonds Properties, with seven employees on-site, has been issued citations for two willful violations involving failing to protect workers from fall hazards, as well as citations for five serious violations related to improper storage of compressed gas cylinders, unprotected rebar, and failing to have drawings for shoring/reshoring on-site. The citations carry $95,400 in penalties.
Masonry contractor Blade Contracting, with 21 employees on-site, has been cited with three serious violations for failing to protect workers from fall hazards, properly use a scaffold, and inspect scaffold components for defects. The citations carry $11,550 in penalties.
How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS)
OSHA has issued a final rule revising its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nations’ globally harmonized system (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. This means that virtually every product label, MSDS (called “safety data sheet” or SDS under the new standard), and written hazard communication plan must be revised to meet the new standard. Worker training must be updated so that workers can recognize and understand the symbols and pictograms on the new labels as well as the new hazard statements and precautions on SDSs.
Environmental Resource Center is offering webcast training for you to learn how the new rule differs from current requirements, how to implement the changes, and when the changes must be implemented. Register for an upcoming webcast on How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS) offered on the following dates:
- July 18
- August 15
- October 2
How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets
OSHA has adopted the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. A cornerstone of GHS is the adoption of a completely revised Safety Data Sheet (SDS). In Environmental Resource Center’s new, How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcast, you will learn the differences between the MSDS and SDS, how to author SDSs that meet the latest OSHA standards, how to classify your products according to the 28 GHS hazard classes and 88 categories, what must be entered in each section of the SDS, essential references you can use to locate data for each section of the SDS, and how to handle trade secrets.
To learn what you must do to meet the new SDS requirements, register for an upcoming How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcast offered on October 3, 2012.
How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard
Workplace and supplier hazard communication labels are being reinvented with OSHA’s adoption of the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for labeling hazardous chemicals. In a new, interactive Environmental Resource Center webcast, How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard, you will learn the difference between workplace and supplier labels; what signal words, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and pictograms must be on your labels; essential references you can use to locate required label information; and how to label products with existing HMIS, NFPA, DOT, and CPSC labels.
The How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard webcast will be offered on the following October 4, 2012.
Dayton RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Dayton, Ohio, from July 10–12 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Raleigh RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Raleigh, North Carolina, from July 16–18 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Macon RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Macon, Georgia, from July 24–26 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Spruill Products Cited for Repeat, Serious Safety and Health Violations
OSHA has cited Spruill Products Inc., for 26 safety and health violations at the company’s Atlanta, Georgia, manufacturing facility. OSHA opened an inspection in January under the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with higher-than-average rates of injuries and illnesses. Proposed penalties total $86,200.
Five repeat violations involve failing to ensure that employees wear eye and face protection; create and implement specific lockout/tagout procedures for the energy sources of equipment before performing service and maintenance activities; provide training on lockout/tagout procedures to ensure that they are understood and can be safely applied by employees; and provide equipment guarding on band saws, presses, and press brakes. Additionally, the company allowed the floor in the paint area to be covered with a slippery powder coating and liquid. The citations carry $38,680 in penalties. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule, or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in August 2008.
Sixteen safety and health violations involve failing to administer an effective hearing conservation program, provide medical evaluations for workers required to wear tight-fitting respirators, ensure that employees use appropriate hand protection while handling powder paints, and phosphoric acid, provide an emergency eye wash station, properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders, and provide training on chemical hazards in the workplace. Additional violations involve improperly using relocatable power taps to power industrial equipment, exposing workers to trip and fall hazards, and failing to adequately guard machinery. The citations carry penalties of $47,520.
Five other-than-serious violations include failing to create a fire extinguisher training program, require proper training on the operation of powered industrial trucks, create and implement a program to ensure that all mechanical power presses are kept in a safe operating condition, and label electrical disconnects to identify what they control. The citations do not carry monetary penalties.
Spruill Products Inc., specializes in the design and manufacture of storage racking systems.
OSHA Settles Whistleblower Case Against Pilgrim’s Pride
The Department of Labor (DOL) has entered into a settlement agreement with Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., in Mount Pleasant, Texas, to resolve an investigation by OSHA into the company’s termination of an employee who raised environmental complaints, in violation of the whistleblower provision of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA).
OSHA initiated an investigation upon receiving a complaint from a manager for water reclamation at the company’s chicken processing plant who had alerted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) when process and storm water containing excessive amounts of chromium, lead, and mercury were discharged into the environment. According to the complainant, Pilgrim’s Pride stated that the TCEQ did not need to be notified and that sharing the information was not in the company’s best interest, and consequently terminated the complainant’s employment.
Prior to OSHA issuing its investigative findings, the parties reached an agreement in which the employer will pay the complainant $50,000. Pilgrim’s Pride also has agreed to post a notice to employees advising them of their whistleblower rights, purge any derogatory information in the employee’s personnel file directly related to the incident, and provide a neutral job reference. In exchange, the employee will not seek reinstatement.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the FWPCA and 20 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws. Under the various whistleblower provisions enacted by Congress, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or the government.
Any employee who believes he or she has been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor for an investigation by OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program.
Iron Foundry Faces $49,000 in Fines for Workplace Safety Hazards
OSHA has cited Domestic Casting Co., LLC, with three repeat and one serious safety violation at the company’s Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, iron foundry. OSHA proposed penalties total $49,000 after conducting a follow up to a previous inspection.
The repeat violations involve unguarded machinery and live electrical parts, and the citations carry $44,100 in penalties. The company was cited for the same violations in 2011.
The serious violation is due to the company’s failure to ensure that an open-sided walkway on a mixer dump belt was guarded with a standard railing to prevent employees from falling into the wet bucket elevator. The citations carry a $4,900 penalty.
Domestic Casting Co., employs 95 workers at its Shippensburg facility.
Southwest Feed Mills Cited for Hazards at Grain Handling Facility
OSHA has cited Southwest Feed Mills Inc., with 12 serious safety violations for exposing workers to combustible dust, falls, unguarded machines, and other hazards at the company’s Dallas, Texas, facility. A December 2011 inspection was initiated as part of OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program on Grain Handling Facilities. Proposed penalties total $45,000.
The violations include failing to provide fall protection equipment, train workers on the use of powered industrial trucks, ensure that moving machinery parts are guarded, ensure receiving-pit feed openings are covered by grates to prevent workers from falling into the pit, ensure that the bucket elevator is not jogged to prevent igniting combustible materials, ensure that electrical equipment is approved for locations containing combustible dust, implement a housekeeping program to control combustible dust, and develop confined space procedures.
OSHA’s regional emphasis programs are intended to address hazards or industries that pose a risk to workers in a particular jurisdiction. The grain handling industry is a high-hazard industry in which workers can be exposed to many serious and life-threatening hazards. These include fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins, falls from heights, and crushing injuries and amputations from equipment.
Southwest Feed Mills employs about nine workers who handle and manufacture a wide variety of animal feed.
Beat the Heat—and the High Cost of Cooling
The heat is on, and the humidity is steaming. You’d like to stay cool, but that means using more gas in your car and more power in your home—and leaving less money in your pocket. To tip that balance in your favor, the Delaware Department of Environmental Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Energy and Climate offers the following tips to help you use less energy and save more money this summer.
- For fuel economy, use your air conditioner only when absolutely necessary—and set the temperature higher and the blower lower for comfort.
- Park in the shade when possible and leave windows open slightly to reduce the “oven” effect.
- To help overall air quality, fuel up when outdoor temperatures are coolest, usually early morning or evening after sunset.
- To save gas (and time), plan those Saturday errands in a circular route starting and ending at home instead of traveling in random directions or making several trips.
- To save energy, set thermostat/air conditioner temperatures higher during the day when no one is home.
- Adding a programmable thermostat to your home’s HVAC system will allow you to set day and night temperatures automatically.
- If you have windows open instead of air conditioning, close them to a crack and pull shades or curtains during the day to help keep the heat out.
- Open windows at night and use fans to help circulate cooler night air.
- Ceiling fans are a great addition to circulate air and keep cool, with or without AC.
- Replace that wheezing old window air conditioner with a more efficient energy-saving unit.
- To reduce heat sources as well as energy usage inside your home, turn off or unplug any appliances or electronic devices (such as computers) when they are not in use.
- Plan meals around minimal use of your stove, especially the oven. (Think cool salads, cooking on an outdoor grill, etc.)
- If you have a clothesline, hang out at least some of your laundry to minimize heat from clothes dryer use. (A clothesline also saves energy costs any time of year!)
- If purchasing new or replacing older appliances, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, etc., look for the Energy Star rating!
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