April 06, 2020
In support of the critical need to move hazardous materials during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a temporary relief notice
for companies shipping hand sanitizers used for sanitation purposes.
The temporary relief is to help facilitate the increased availability of sanitation products during this public health emergency. The temporary relief applies to hand sanitizer products meeting certain specifications that are only shipped by highway. Shipments by other modes of transportation must meet all requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations unless relief has been provided elsewhere. According to the DOT, PHMSA will not take enforcement action for violations of the HMR when the following procedures are followed:
- The relief is limited to hand sanitizer containing either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol at a concentration < 80%
- Packagings must be leak tight and securely closed, secured against shifting, and protected against damage.
- The amount of material in a packaging cannot exceed 8 gallons, unless the requirements for larger packages are met (see below).
- For inner packagings not exceeding 1 gallon:
- Packages must consist of a combination package and the inner receptacle containing the liquid must be placed inside an outer packaging where the inner packagings are secured and cushioned within the outer
- The material must be packaged to prevent breakage, leakage, and movement and inner packagings must be packed with package closures in an upright orientation
- The net contents of all inner packagings in any single outer packaging may not exceed 8 gallons (e.g., 8 x 1 gallon packages).
- The company name and the words ''Sanitizer - Contains Ethyl Alcohol'' or ''Sanitizer - Contains Isopropyl Alcohol'' are marked on the outer package and, if applicable, the overpack.
- For packages exceeding a capacity of 1 gallon:
- Must be overpacked in crates, cages, carts, boxes, or similar overpacks.
- Packages must be secured in the transport vehicle in such a way as to prevent breakage, leakage, and movement. Packages must be packed with package closures in an upright orientation.
- The company name and the words ''Sanitizer - Contains Ethyl Alcohol'' or ''Sanitizer - Contains Isopropyl Alcohol'' is marked on the outside of the single package and the overpack.
- For larger packages (containing over 8, but not more than 119 gallons, the following requirements apply:
- The packaging contains hand sanitizer containing either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol at a concentration < 80%
- Packagings must be leak tight and securely closed, secured against shifting, and protected against damage.
- The material must be contained in a packaging having a capacity not over 119 gallons.
- The packaging must be DOT or United Nations (UN) specification packaging (drums, jerricans, etc.) described in 49 CFR 173.202 meeting the Packing Group (PG) II performance standard.
- The packages must be secured to prevent breakage, leakage, and movement during the course of transportation.
- The registration requirements found in Subpart G of Part 107 will not apply.
- Offerers and transporters of this material must provide their employees handling this material with the applicable training materials prepared by PHMSA, in lieu of the training required by 49 CFR 172, Subpart H.
- Each package must be labeled with a flammable liquid label (see 49 CFR 172.419).
- The bill of lading or shipping paper includes the following basic description ''UN l987, Alcohols, n.o.s., Class 3, PG II'' and indicate the number, type, and capacity of packages offered (for example, 25 drums - 119 gallons ea.).
- A copy of the Emergency Response Guidebook Guide number 127 accompanies the shipment.
- If the aggregate gross quantity in a transport vehicle or freight container exceeds 1,001 pounds, the vehicle must placarded as required by the 49 CFR 172 Subpart F requirements for placarding.
- The motor carrier must comply with 49 CFR 177.804.
The temporary relief described above will expire on the earlier of either July 2, 2020 or when the public health emergency is over.
Environmental Resource Center Update
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have combined our Safety and Environmental Tips of the week. This issue includes some of the latest recommendations for you to keep safe at work and at home in this evolving event.
The health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and our communities is what matters most to all of us. To continue to serve you, our seminars have been converted to live online webcasts. You can find a list of upcoming live webcasts at this link
If you have enrolled in a seminar in April or May, in many cases the seminar will be held on approximately the same dates and at the same times via online webcast. We will contact you by phone or email regarding the details on how to attend the class. On-site training and consulting services are proceeding as usual. If you wish to convert these to remote services, please call your Environmental Resource Center representative or customer service at 800-537-2372.
Because many of our live and on-site training sessions have been postponed or canceled, we have staff available to assist you in coping with COVID-19 as well as your routine EHS requirements. If you have EHS staff that have been quarantined, we can provide remote assistance to help you meet your ongoing environmental and safety compliance requirements. For details, call 800-537-2372.
States Offer Guidance on Environmental Compliance During COVID-19 Pandemic
Earlier tips of the week covered EPA’s and several states temporary non-enforcement policy of environmental regulations. These policies received quite a bit of negative feedback
from environmental groups. Recently, four additional states issued their own policies addressing compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Washington Department of Ecology will continue to respond to spills, provide technical assistance, ensure permit coverage for regulated activities, and enforce the laws that protect the environment throughout the current crisis. However, the Department recognizes the public health crisis and economic disruptions related to the COVID-19 outbreak may temporarily affect some of the regulated entities’ ability to comply with all state requirements.
All applicable state requirements remain in effect, but Ecology will exercise reasonable discretion within our authority when deciding whether to pursue potential violations that may be linked to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality issued a statement indicating that while the DEQ continues to protect air quality, water quality and human health under all state environmental rules and regulations, the agency, under its authority will work with regulated entities to ensure they remain in compliance and in instances of non-compliance, pursue enforcement actions on a case-by-case basis.
- Deadlines to report periodic monitoring or to submit other reports required by permits, regulations, other authorizations, enforcement actions, or settlement agreements, except for monitoring required by air permits issued under Title IV or V of the Clean Air Act, under the PSD program, or any other federal Clean Air Act requirement, only insofar as a facility does not have appropriate personnel available due to COVID-19
- Deadlines to conduct periodic inspection(s) and/or monitoring required by permits, regulations, other authorizations, enforcement actions, or settlement agreements, except for monitoring required by air permits issued under Title IV or V of the Clean Air Act, under the PSD program, or any other federal Clean Air Act requirement, only insofar as a facility does not have appropriate personnel available due to COVID-19. Documentation must be maintained and made available to the Department upon request
- Deadlines to file an application for renewal of an existing permit, except for air permits issued under Title V of the Clean Air Act. All renewal applications shall be submitted no later than the expiration date of the existing permit.This order does not suspend emergency reporting requirements under the regulations or permit requirements
- Title V Semiannual Monitoring and Deviation reports and Annual Compliance Certifications, which are ordinarily required to be submitted on March 31st of the calendar year, must be submitted no later than May 1, 2020. To the extent that such reports can be submitted to the Department by the March 31st deadline, the Department maintains the capability to physically receive the reports.
Under the authority of the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) and each individual UDEQ Director, the following guidance is issued in coordination with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Memo dated March 26, 2020, on the subject of COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program. This guidance balances the UDEQ's obligation to safeguard Utah’s people and its land, air and water resources and enforce environmental laws with the disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19. In this national emergency, the UDEQ wants to clearly communicate its priorities to regulated sources and the public and support the efforts to contain the virus. All elements of the EPA’s March 26, 2020 guidance memo as applicable to Utah’s environmental regulatory programs will be implemented on a case- by-case basis in response to a demonstrated need for administrative regulatory relief connected to mitigation efforts in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The UDEQ and its divisions recognize that the pandemic may impact some facilities' ability to comply with environmental laws, permits, and other requirements. Staff shortages, service provider interruptions, and other restrictions may change regular operations. We want to remind all regulated facilities that all applicable requirements are effective during this time and none are suspended. This guidance document is not an authorization to violate any applicable environmental laws and does not constitute a variance from compliance obligations. This guidance does not create any enforceable legal right. However, Directors intend to act reasonably in exercising the agency's enforcement discretion concerning potential violations during the COVID-19 pandemic where a good faith effort to comply is demonstrated and documented, on a case-by-case basis.
This guidance does not exempt entities regulated by UDEQ divisions from city and county orders requiring the closing of non-essential businesses.
For radioactive active materials, uranium mills and low level radioactive wastes, this guidance is in concert with current actions undertaken by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to address the national health crisis.
Requests for administrative relief: A person subject to WMRC regulation who seeks compliance deadline extensions should make a request in writing by email to the assigned WMRC permit writer or staff member as detailed in this memorandum.
Documentation: A person subject to WMRC regulation must document any disruptions or instances of non-compliance caused by the pandemic. The person must document and support the reasons why non- compliance happened due to COVID-19 and all efforts the person has made to comply or return to compliance. This will help WMRC determine where enforcement discretion should be exercised.
- Waste Management and Radiation Control: 801-536-0200
- Air Quality: 801-536-4000
- Water Quality: 801-536-4300
- Drinking Water: 801-536-4200
- Division of Environmental Response and Remediation: 801-536-4100
Required reports, applications and general correspondence will be accepted by email or electronic submissions for programs detailed below. Digital signatures will be accepted on required submissions as long as the submission can be tied to the individual signing the document through an email or cover letter or through a digital signature authentication service.
WMRC requested all regulated facilities to do everything possible to continue safe and environmentally responsible operations by:
- Fully operating all pollution control equipment and applying other measures to reduce pollution;
- Implementing best management practices;
- Monitoring, testing, and reporting to show compliance with permit limits and other requirements.
Fee Payments: WMRC encourages the regulated community to pay all applicable fees through an online payment portal
WMRC expects all solid waste, hazardous waste, and used oil facilities that are operating normally to complete all periodic monitoring, testing and reporting requirements as specified in their permit.
Deadlines to conduct periodic monitoring, testing or reporting or to submit other reports required by permits, regulations or other authorizations were extended to 30 days after the Governor declares an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. This applies only insofar as a facility does not have appropriate personnel available to conduct monitoring and/or submit the reports on time. Documentation must be maintained and made available to WMRC upon request demonstrating reasons why the facility was not able to comply with the applicable requirements. Contact the Solid Waste or Hazardous Waste / Used Oil Recycling sections at 801-536-0200 with any questions.
Safely Get Your EHS Training at Home or In Your Office
To help you get the training you need, Environmental Resource Center has added a number of dates to our already popular live webcast training. Stay in compliance and learn the latest regulations from the comfort of your office or home. Webcast attendees receive the same benefits as our seminar attendees including expert instruction, comprehensive course materials, one year of access to our AnswerlineTM
service, course certificate, and a personalized user portal on Environmental Resource Center’s website.
Upcoming hazardous waste and DOT hazardous materials webcasts:
Suffering from Skin Damage from Face Masks?
Doctors and nurses on the COVID-19 frontline are spending many hours a day wearing face masks, and many members of the general public are doing the same. But although the devices offer invaluable protection, they can be the cause of significant skin damage through sweating and the rubbing of the masks against the nose.
Skincare experts at the University of Huddersfield are warning about the risks and are suggesting remedies.
Professor Karen Ousey is the University's Director of the Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention and was part of a team that conducted detailed research into the pressure damage caused by a wide range of medical devices, including face masks. The findings and recommendations were published in February.
Now, the current emergency emphasises the problems that can arise with face masks, being worn for long periods by healthcare professionals.
"The wearers are sweating underneath the masks and this causes friction, leading to pressure damage on the nose and cheeks," said Professor Ousey. "There can be tears to the skin as a result and these can lead to potential infection," she added.
"The masks the healthcare professionals are wearing have to be fitted to the face - so if healthcare professionals add dressings to the skin under the mask after being fitted there is a chance the mask will no longer fit correctly," continued Professor Ousey.
She suggests that people wearing masks keep their skin clean, well-hydrated and moisturised and that barrier creams should be applied at least half an hour before masks are put on.
"And we are suggesting that pressure from the mask is relieved every two hours. So you come away from the patient, relieve the pressure in a safe place and clean the skin again."
Professor Ousey advises members of the general public - such as shop workers - who are wearing masks to keep their skin clean, dry and free of sweat.
"And if they do feel their masks rubbing, take them off as soon as they safely can."
OSHA Guidance for Respirators Certified Under Other Countries’ Standards During Covid-19 Pandemic
OSHA has issued interim enforcement guidance
regarding disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators (N95 FFRs) that are either certified under certain standards of other countries or jurisdictions or certified under other countries’ or jurisdictions’ standards but are expired.
During periods of shortages of N95 FFRs, the federal government advised that employers may consider using respirators and filters certified under the following standards of other countries or jurisdictions:
- Australia: AS/NZS 1716:2012
- Brazil: ABNT/NBR 13694:1996; ABNT/NBR 13697:1996; and ABNT/NBR 13698:2011
- People’s Republic of China: GB 2626-2006; and GB 2626-2019
- European Union: EN 140-1999; EN 143-2000; and EN 149-2001
- Japan: JMHLW-2000
- Republic of Korea: KMOEL-2014-46; and KMOEL-2017-64
- Mexico: NOM-116-2009
Due to the impact on workplace conditions caused by increased demand for N95 FFRs, all employers should reassess their engineering controls, work practices, and administrative controls to identify any changes they can make to decrease the need for N95 respirators.
If respiratory protection must be used, and either acceptable National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified alternatives or alternatives that were NIOSH-certified except for having exceeded their manufacturer’s shelf life are not available for use in accordance with OSHA’s April 3, 2020 memorandum, employers may consider using respirators and filters certified under standards of other countries or jurisdictions, as specified in the enforcement guidance.
This interim guidance marks the latest effort by OSHA to make respirators more accessible for America’s workers. OSHA previously issued interim enforcement guidance aimed at combating supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators (N95 FFRs) and protecting America’s healthcare workers.
This new interim guidance is in effect now and will remain in effect until OSHA provides a further notice on this issue. This guidance is intended to be time-limited to the current public health crisis. See OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage
regularly for updates on coronavirus.
Guidance for Respiratory Protection During N95 Shortage Due to Covid-19 Pandemic
Due to the impact on workplace conditions caused by limited supplies of N95 FFRs, employers should reassess their engineering controls, work practices and administrative controls to identify any changes they can make to decrease the need for N95 respirators.
If respiratory protection must be used, employers may consider use of alternative classes of respirators that provide equal or greater protection compared to an N95 FFR, such as National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved, non-disposable, elastomeric respirators or powered, air-purifying respirators.
When these alternatives are not available, or where their use creates additional safety or health hazards, employers may consider the extended use or reuse of N95 FFRs, or use of N95 FFRs that were approved but have since passed the manufacturer’s recommended shelf life, under specified conditions.
This interim guidance will take effect immediately and remain in effect until further notice. This guidance is intended to be time-limited to the current public health crisis. Visit OSHA’s Coronavirus webpage
regularly for updates.
Even though you might not be able to get to the office or attend meetings, you can still keep up with the latest EHS requirements
and learn something new. Environmental Resource Center is introducing the EHS Hour
as live, online sessions to help keep you informed and productive.
With your subscription, you can attend all of the sessions for just $250 per month, or you can attend any single session for $49 per person. Each session will be held from 11:00 am to noon Eastern Time on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning on March 31.
Upcoming sessions include:
New sessions and topics will be added frequently. Send your suggestions for new topics to email@example.com
Connecticut Single Use Plastic Bag Fee Temporarily Suspended
In light of recent concerns raised by retail employees over potential exposure to the novel coronavirus by handling reusable shopping bags, Gov. Ned Lamont is temporarily suspending the state’s ten-cent fee on plastic bags, and allowing retail employees the opportunity to decline to bag for customers who bring in reusable bags.
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is notifying Connecticut retailers that effective immediately retailers are not required to collect the fee through May 15, 2020.
Over the last nine months, Connecticut shoppers have overwhelmingly embraced the use of reusable shopping bags, which helps reduce plastic waste that harms the environment. Because of circumstances regarding COVID-19, questions have been raised about potential risks to retail employees from handling reusable bags. According to guidance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), given the most current scientific information available, reusable plastic bags will not serve as a significant source of infection for COVID-19. The primary route of spread of the virus is from person-to-person contact and airborne droplets, but it is important to clean and disinfect all surfaces commonly touched by people.
In these stressful times, the Lamont Administration is responding to the concerns of our retail employees who are enabling continued operation of critical services, by taking steps to provide flexibility that are grounded in expert assessment of public health risk. Accordingly, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 7N Thursday evening temporarily suspending the ten-cent plastic bag fee. The Executive Order does not mandate the use of single-use bags. In line with public health guidance, the Executive Order does not prohibit customers from using reusable bags, but enables personal choice by allowing retail employees the opportunity to decline to bag them.
Connecticut state residents who use reusable bags are strongly encouraged to use their own bags. Most reusable bags can be easily cleaned between uses if residents desire, through laundering, hand washing, or wiping with a disinfecting wipe.
Prior to this suspension, any Connecticut retailer that provided plastic bags to its customers in connection with a sale of goods was required to collect the plastic bag fee. The plastic bag fee, which applied statewide at the rate of $0.10 for each single-use plastic bag, was collected by retailers and remitted to DRS.
Acting Revenue Services Commissioner John Biello said DRS is preparing formal guidance regarding the suspension of the plastic bag fee and is committed to working with the business community to answer any questions that may arise.
Keeping retail employees safe is a primary concern during this public health emergency. As a general matter, DPH encourages following the basic public health precautions that are currently advised by CDC and DPH, including frequent hand-washing (for 20 seconds or more using soap and water) or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding touching of the face (especially the eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands, and routine cleaning of public spaces and frequently handled items, as effective ways to protect workers from infection with COVID-19 coronavirus from surfaces or objects.
Drum Reconditioner Cited for Improper Incinerator
On February 4, 2020, Anthony Gray pleaded guilty to conspiracy for improperly operating an incinerator (18 U.S.C. § 371). Sentencing is scheduled for May 19, 2020.
Gray co-owned Lomack Drum Company (LDC), also known as L. Gray Barrel & Drum Company, and Gray Container LLC. The company reconditioned metal drums. Gray worked as the operations manager and sales manager, while another person, (referred to as Owner 2, now deceased) acted as the environmental manager and maintenance manager.
As part of the reconditioning process, some drums passed through an incinerator to a particular temperature. In July 2009, officials issued a temporary restraining order for LDC to cease operating the incinerator, for violating a number of its permit requirements, including visible emissions.
As a result, Gray and Owner 2 agreed to comply with a number of new permit conditions, including testing the incinerator with an inspector present to prove it could maintain and operate above the required temperature. The incinerator, however, failed to maintain this operating temperature. In 2013 and 2014, the defendants operated the incinerator at night, and, upon questioning, lied to authorities.
The EPA Criminal Investigation Division, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Cleveland Division of Police, the Cleveland Fire Department, and the Cleveland Division of Air Pollution Control.
Amanda Edens Appointed OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary
The U.S. Department of Labor has selected Amanda Edens as its new OSHA deputy assistant secretary. Edens formerly served as the director of OSHA’s Directorate of Technical Support & Emergency Management (DTSEM) since 2012.
Edens joined OSHA in 1985 as an industrial hygienist. In 2002, she served as the director for the Office of Chemical Hazards-Metals in OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance, and in 2007 became deputy director of the Directorate of Standards and Guidance. Edens has also served on details as acting director for the agency’s Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis and Directorate of Enforcement Programs.
Edens holds a Master of Science in Public Health and Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has contributed to the development of significant health standards, including asbestos, bloodborne pathogens and hexavalent chromium; led emergency management efforts for protecting the safety and health of response and clean-up workers following Superstorm Sandy and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria; and led emergency technical support efforts during the Ebola events and Zika epidemic.
“Amanda Edens is a dedicated public servant focused on the agency’s mission of improving the safety and health of workers,” said Loren Sweatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. “I am confident that in her new role she will continue the mission of assuring safe and healthful workplaces for America’s workers.”
Vast Amounts of Rad Waste Slated for Disposal by Unlicensed Operators
As the nation is focused on the coronavirus pandemic, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is moving to permanently deregulate massive amounts of radioactive waste. NRC wants to abrogate longstanding requirements that, with very limited exceptions, such waste must be disposed of in licensed radioactive waste sites meeting detailed safety standards and subject to NRC inspection and enforcement, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
Released in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the NRC proposal
would, in effect, allow every reactor in the country to dump virtually all its radioactive waste except spent fuel in local regular garbage dumps which are designed for household trash not for plutonium.
Although the proposal declares NRC’s intent to limit this deregulation to very low level radioactive wastes, the actual proposal allows doses to the public equivalent to more than 900 chest X-rays over a lifetime, with a cancer risk twenty times higher than the upper end of Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptable risk range
and thousands of times the risk goal for Superfund sites. In addition –
- Unlicensed radioactive waste dumps under the proposal would be allowed to expose the public to 2.5 times higher levels of radiation than allowed for licensed low-level radioactive waste sites under NRC’s current regulations, thus allowing unlicensed dumps to take all the radioactive waste now required to go to licensed disposal facilities;
- Both the National Academy of Sciences and EPA calculate that the risk of such doses would be every 500th person exposed getting a cancer from the radiation; and
- Unlicensed radioactive waste dumps would be established without public notice or opportunity for hearing and free of any subsequent NRC oversight.
“NRC’s action could transform most municipal dumps into radioactive repositories, with essentially no safeguards for workers, nearby residents, or adjoining water tables,” stated PEER Pacific Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that plan eliminates the incentive to pay for the additional safety measures, radiation monitoring, health physics personnel, design standards, and NRC inspections required of licensed operators. “This stealth action would functionally deregulate the bulk of the nation’s nuclear waste-stream.”
Despite the magnitude of this change, the NRC claims it is merely an “interpretative rulemaking
” that does not trigger review under the National Environmental Policy Act or formal rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. Thus, it could go into effect this month.
“Under this plan, the public would never even know that radioactive waste is being dumped near them, because current requirements of public notice and opportunity for a hearing and independent review by an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board would no longer apply,” added Ruch, noting that the NRC is open for public comment only through April 20th. “Eliminating public health protections during a pandemic is beyond perverse,” he added.
New Jersey Manufacturer Cited After Employee Amputation
OSHA has cited BWay Corp. – doing business as Mauser Packaging Solutions – for workplace safety and health hazards after an employee suffered an amputation on Sept. 26, 2019, at the Lawrence Township, New Jersey, facility. The company faces $151,329 in penalties.
OSHA initiated the inspection after being notified that an employee was cleaning a machine when the amputation occurred. The agency cited BWay Corp. for two repeated and two serious violations for failing to use lockout/tagout procedures to protect employees from hazardous energy. OSHA cited the company for similar violations at multiple facilities between 2016 and 2019.
"Workers servicing or maintaining machines are at risk of serious injury, including amputations, if hazardous energy is not properly controlled," said OSHA Marlton Area Office Director Paula Dixon-Roderick. "This company must correct the hazards identified to protect workers' safety."
OSHA offers guidance on lockout/tagout requirements to control hazardous energy
Florida Manufacturer Cited for Amputation, Noise and Other Safety and Health Hazards
OSHA has cited Assura Windows and Doors LLC for exposing employees to amputation, noise, struck-by and other safety and health hazards at the Pompano Beach, Florida, manufacturing facility. The window and door manufacturer faces $162,688 in penalties.
the company for a lack of machine guarding, failing to develop and implement a hazardous energy control program, improperly storing and handling flammable materials, and electric shock hazards. Other violations include failing to provide an effective hearing conservation program and adequate personal protective equipment, not anchoring machinery, and exposing employees to slip and trip hazards. OSHA conducted the inspection as part of the National Emphasis Program on Amputations
"Employers are required by law to protect the safety and health of their workers," said OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office Director Condell Eastmond. "OSHA offers compliance assistance resources and specialists that can help employers identify and correct hazards in their workplaces."
Triangle Oil Cited for SPCC Violations
The EPA has settled with Triangle Oil, Inc., for violations of EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC)
requirements at its bulk fuel storage facility near John Day, Oregon. SPCC rules help protect our waters from discharges from facilities storing and handling petroleum fuels and other oils.
The Triangle Oil facility, with storage capacity of just over 75,000 gallons, is located within 400 feet of Canyon Creek and one mile from the John Day River, a Columbia River tributary. By signing the Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO), Triangle Oil, Inc., agrees to pay a $27,000 penalty.
SPCC rules help prevent oil discharges into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. Preventing uncontrolled releases at bulk petroleum storage facilities reduces safety risks to workers, the community and the environment.
The CAFO resolves alleged violations that were documented during the 2015 inspection, including:
- Uncontrolled and unmonitored site drainage.
- Lack of adequate secondary containment for piping, transfer areas, bulk storage and other containers.
- Inadequate tank integrity program.
- Limited availability of required facility records covering inspection and personnel training records and documentation of buried piping inspection.
EPA’s SPCC program and rules are central to the Agency’s oil spill prevention operations.
Hard Rock Hotel Contractors Cited After New Orleans Construction Collapse
OSHA cited Heaslip Engineering LLC, Citadel Builders LLC, Suncoast Projects LLC – doing business as Hub Steel – and eight subcontractors for safety and health violations at the construction site of a planned Hard Rock hotel in downtown New Orleans. Three workers suffered fatal injuries and 18 other workers suffered serious injuries in a partial building collapse.
OSHA’s investigation determined that Heaslip Engineering LLC failed to adequately design, review or approve steel bolt connections affecting the structural integrity of the building, and issued one willful violation for the failure. OSHA cited Citadel Builders LLC, the site’s general contractor, for three serious violations related to inadequate egress from the structure. OSHA cited steel erector contractor Suncoast Projects LLC, for failing to maintain structural stability of building and cited other subcontractors onsite for serious violations related to emergency egress training, inadequate egress, fall hazard training and safety hazards. Collectively, the companies face $315,536 in penalties.
“Employers must adhere to safety and health requirements to protect all workers on the jobsite,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “Failing to recognize hazards and implement necessary safety measures resulted in a preventable tragedy.”
OSHA issued citations to Heaslip Engineering LLC
, Citadel Builders LLC
, Suncoast Projects LLC
, HUTCO Inc
, King Company LLC
, Regional Mechanical Services LLC
, Rush Masonary Inc
, REYCO Inc
, SS Construction and Consulting LLC
, Southern Services and Equipment Inc
, and F Mata Masonry LLC
Three Employers Cited After Worker Injured at Northwestern University
OSHA has cited three employers – Northwestern University, Hill Mechanical Corp. and National Heat & Power Corp. – for exposing workers to permit-required confined space hazards associated with underground steam vaults. Proposed penalties for the three companies total $235,962.
OSHA received an employer-reported referral from Hill Mechanical Corp. after an employee suffered burns from a release of steam while working in a steam vault at Northwestern’s Evanston Campus.
OSHA determined that Northwestern University contracted Hill Mechanical Corp. to make needed steam repairs and that neither company implemented adequate permit-required confined space safety measures. OSHA cited
Northwestern University for failing to provide required information to contractors and coordinate activities, identify and evaluate high-pressure steam as a hazard, isolate steam energy, perform air monitoring, provide required signage, complete entry permits, evaluate their confined space hazard program and ensure the ability to rescue employees from a confined space. The university faces penalties of $105,835 for nine serious violations.
OSHA also cited
Hill Mechanical Corp. for failing to obtain information from the host employer and coordinate activities, identify and evaluate hazards of the space, isolate steam energy, perform air monitoring, complete entry permits, provide required confined space training and ensure the ability to rescue employees from a confined space. The company faces penalties of $105,835 for nine serious violations.
National Heat & Power Corp. – the contractor brought in to complete the repairs – faces penalties of $24,292 for four serious violations
involving failing to obtain information from the host employer, adequately isolate steam energy, provide required confined space training and complete entry permits.
“Employers on multi-employer job sites must coordinate tasks and train workers on jobsite hazards to prevent injuries,” said OSHA Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus. “Workers in confined spaces face increased risk of exposure to serious physical injury from confinement and limited access, making this coordination even more important.”
OSHA’s website includes information on what employers must do to limit worker exposures to confined space hazards
Don’t Be Fooled by Scams Involving Job Safety Inspections Related to COVID-19
As Oregon OSHA evaluates and inspects complaints about potential workplace hazards related to the coronavirus outbreak, the division wants employers and workers to keep an important message in mind: Do not be fooled by scammers.
The division has received multiple reports of fraudulent activity. The activity includes people showing up at job sites and pretending to be division compliance officers. The fraudsters attempt to issue thousands of dollars in fines and demand immediate cash payments.
That is not how Oregon OSHA operates. “It is deeply troubling and unfortunate that scammers see such challenging times as opportunities to take advantage, and hurt people and businesses,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “We strongly urge employers and workers to take all precautions. When something seems off, it likely is.”
Here are some things to keep in mind about how Oregon OSHA operates:
- At the beginning of an inspection – when compliance officers introduce themselves to owner representatives, operators, or agents in charge at workplaces – they present their credentials.
- If the division conducts an inspection and identifies violations, its normal citation processing takes at least two weeks following the closing of an inspection. The actual penalties for any particular violation involves a number of factors. There is never a demand for immediate cash payment of a proposed fine.
If you are unsure if someone showing up at your job site is an Oregon OSHA employee, call 503-378-3272 or 800-922-2689 (inside Oregon only).
Connecticut Urges Residents to Think Before You Flush
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) urged state residents not to flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash. Flushing only human waste and toilet paper helps ensure that the toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage our state’s wastewater.
While DEEP encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the agency instructed residents to never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items. Following this guidance will keep surfaces disinfected and wastewater management systems working. The US EPA
, Ohio EPA
, and Louisiana DEQ issued similar guidance
Preventable toilet and sewer backups can pose a threat to human health and present an extra challenge to our wastewater utilities and their workforce. Flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper, including disinfecting wipes and wipes labeled flushable, can damage internal plumbing, local sewer systems and septic systems. Fixing these backups is costly, puts our wastewater operators and staff at increased risk, and takes time and resources away from ensuring that wastewater management systems are otherwise working properly.
DEEP thanked wastewater utilities and their workforce for their efforts at a time when resources may be stretched thin. Having fully operational wastewater services is critical to our efforts to respond to COVID-19 and to protecting Connecticut residents from other public health risks.
Free Amazon HD 10 Tablet with RCRA and DOT Training
Annual training is required by 40 CFR 262.17(a)(7). Learn how to complete EPA’s new electronic hazardous waste manifest, and the more than 60 changes in EPA’s new Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. Environmental Resource Center’s Hazardous Waste Training
is available at nationwide locations, and via live webcasts. If you plan to also attend DOT hazardous materials training
, call 800-537-2372 to find out how can get your course materials on an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet at no extra charge.
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