California’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is planning to list TRIM® VX as known to the state to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. This action is being proposed under the Proposition 65 authoritative bodies listing mechanism.
TRIM® VX is a metalworking fluid used as a lubricant and coolant liquid for cleaning tools and parts during cutting, drilling, milling, and grinding.
TRIM® VX meets the criteria for listing as known to the state to cause cancer under Proposition 65, based on a study performed by the US National Toxicology Program NTP. In 2016, NTP published a report on TRIM® VX, entitled Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of TRIM® VX in Wistar Han Rats and B6C3F1/N Mice (Inhalation Studies), that concluded that the chemical causes cancer. This report satisfies the formal identification and sufficiency of evidence criteria in the Proposition 65 regulations.
OEHHA relied on the NTP’s discussion of data and conclusions in the report that TRIM® VX causes cancer. NTP stated in the Conclusion section of the report’s Summary, “we conclude that exposure to aerosols of TRIM VX caused tumors of the lung in male and female mice…” The NTP report stated in the Conclusion section of the report’s Abstract and main body of the report (pages 9 and 71, respectively), “under the conditions of these 2-year inhalation studies… There was clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of TRIM VX in male B6C3F1/N mice based on the increased combined incidences of alveolar/bronchiolar adenoma or carcinoma of the lung.” “There was clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of TRIM VX in female B6C3F1/N mice based on the increased combined incidences of alveolar/bronchiolar adenoma or carcinoma (primarily carcinoma) of the lung.”
NTP found that TRIM® VX causes increased incidences of malignant and benign alveolar/bronchiolar tumors in male and female mice.
OEHHA has requested comments as to whether TRIM® VX meets the criteria set forth in the Proposition 65 regulations for authoritative bodies listings. In order to be considered, OEHHA must receive comments by 5:00 p.m. on February 26, 2018. Comments may be submitted electronically through OEHHA’s website at https://oehha.ca.gov/comments. Comments submitted in paper form can be mailed, faxed, or delivered in person to the address below.
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
P.O. Box 4010, MS-12B
Sacramento, California 95812-4010
1001 I Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Comments received during the public comment period will be posted on the OEHHA website after the close of the comment period. By sending your comments, you are waiving any right to privacy you may have in the information you provide. Commenters should advise OEHHA when submitting documents to request redaction of home address or personal telephone numbers. Electronic files submitted should not have any form of encryption.
For questions, contact Ms. Ramirez at Michelle.Ramirez@oehha.ca.gov or at 916-445‑6900.
TSCA Reset Webcast
If your company manufactured or imported chemicals between June 21, 2006 and June 21, 2016, the EPA’s TSCA Inventory reset rule requires you to identify those substances as active on EPA central data exchange (CDX) by February 8, 2018.
If you process or use chemicals, you may identify them as active on the TSCA Inventory October 6, 2018. After October 6, 2018, chemicals which have not been identified as active on the TSCA Inventory may not, unless exempted, be imported, manufactured, processed, or used in commerce, in the United States.
In this webcast, you will learn:
- How the TSCA Inventory applies to the chemicals you use, manufacture, or import
- How the TSCA Reset rule applies to your operations
- Which chemicals are regulated, and which are exempt
- How to check the status of your chemicals
- How to use EPA’s CDX to report your chemical as active
- How to report your chemicals if you miss the deadline
- Impact on Safety Data Sheets
Two sessions of this interactive, instructor-led webcast will be offered on January 30, 2018 and February 1, 2018 from 1:00-4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
Tampa Hazardous Waste and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Tampa, FL, on February 5-8 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Nashville Hazardous Waste and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Nashville, TN, on February 20-22 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Kansas City Hazardous Waste and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Kansas City, MO, on February 20-22 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Struck-By Incidents Led Work Related Deaths
Struck-by incidents followed by falls caused the largest number of work-related deaths in North Carolina last year based on preliminary information released by the state Department of Labor. Struck-by incidents accounted for 14 work-related deaths while falls accounted for 13. There were 40 total work-related fatalities that fell under the jurisdiction of NCDOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Division in 2017, 10 fewer than there were in 2016.
“These are not just statistics on a page,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. “We never lose sight of the fact that these are human lives lost at work, and we will continue to do everything that we possibly can to prevent such work-related deaths in the future, but we cannot do it alone. A national safety stand-down to prevent falls in construction will take place in May, and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all construction companies, both commercial and residential, to dedicate time during the week of May 7-11 to focus on fall prevention efforts and training so that together we can prevent them from happening on construction sites statewide.”
Part of the OSH Division strategy to reduce work-related fatalities includes encouraging employer and employee participation in various outreach activities planned throughout the year that promote occupational safety and health. The OSH Division also collaborates with businesses and organizations that represent some of the most hazardous industries through partnerships and alliances to heighten industry awareness and assist with education and training.
“The OSH Division is cautiously optimistic about the decline in workplace fatalities for 2017,” said Kevin Beauregard, director of the OSH Division. “However, to ensure continued progress towards our goal of fatality reductions, we will focus our efforts in the coming year on those areas that are still in much need of improvement. With struck-by incidents and falls accounting for 68% of the fatalities the OSH Division investigated last year, we are in the process of reassessing our division strategies to address those hazards.”
The construction industry continues to be the most hazardous industry in the state with 16 work-related deaths in 2017, three fewer than in 2016. The North Carolina Department of Labor places special emphasis on hazardous industries like construction to maximize its resources and pinpoint problem areas.
“The OSH Division will increase compliance activity in some of the construction special emphasis counties in the spring, especially those identified as having high activity or multiple fatalities,” Beauregard said.
The manufacturing industry had the second highest number of work-related deaths with 11, an increase from 9 in 2016. The services industry had zero work-related deaths, a decrease from seven the previous year.
In addition, agriculture, forestry and fishing increased by one from four fatalities to five in 2017. There were also two fatalities in the transportation and public utility industry, a decrease from four in 2016. Government increased from two to five fatalities in 2017. The wholesale trade industry decreased from four fatalities in 2016 to one in 2017. There were also no work-related fatalities in the retail trade industry or the finance, insurance and real estate industry.
While fatalities continue to fluctuate, North Carolina’s injury and illness rate has steadily declined since 2001 and remains at an all-time low of 2.5 per 100 full-time workers for 2016. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles the injury and illness rate data.
“While one fatality is too many, we are encouraged by the injury and illness data released by the feds that show the Tar Heel state remains one of the safest states in which to work with a rate below the national average of 2.9 per 100 full-time workers,” Commissioner Berry said.
Safety Rules for Hotel Workers Approved by Cal/OSHA
Cal/OSHA has approved new measures to keep industry workers safe from workplace injuries. The state’s workplace health and safety watchdog voted 6–0 to enact Section 3345, Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.
The approval is part of Cal/OSHA’s wave of efforts to protect housekeepers from workplace dangers including injuries, heavy workloads, sexual harassment, and assault.
Hospitality workers often lift 100 lb. mattresses dozens of times each day, push heavy carts and vacuum across miles of carpet. This workload can lead to strain, sprain and tears, which can require physical therapy or even lead to permanent disability, according to Cal/OSHA.
Under the new standard, hotels will be required to identify and reduce injury risks for workers, including providing proper tools such as long-handled mops or devices to help make beds. In addition, housekeepers will receive training on injury risks and have the right to suggest solutions to those risks, according to the new rules.
Winter Driving Tire Safety Check-Up
Did you know that there are 11,000 tire-related crashes each year? Whether you’re getting ready for a winter weekend road trip or just performing routine maintenance on your vehicle, don’t forget that your tires are important for safety and savings.
- Only 19% of consumers properly check and inflate their tires.
- 1 in 4 cars have at least one tire that is significantly underinflated.
- Tires lose about 1 psi (pound per square inch) of pressure each month. So be sure to check your tires monthly.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers everything you’ll need to know about tires and safety on nhtsa.gov. It covers: buying tires, maintaining them, how age can affect their safety, and the important information contained on their labels. Want to be Tire Wise? Check out NHTSA’s tips and look to the site for even more information.
When there are problems with tires, you can rely on NHTSA to keep you informed. But they also need your help by letting them know when you believe there might be safety issues with your tires.
- Contact NHTSA if you believe there is a problem with your tire(s).
- Look up tire recalls and complaints.
CONN-OSHA Lockout/Tagout Workshop Explores Ways to Prevent Release of Hazardous Energy
Practices and procedures to prevent the release of hazardous energy will be detailed during a February 6 workshop being held 10 a.m. to noon at the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Wethersfield Office, 200 Folly Brook Boulevard.
The Lockout/Tagout workshop, offered by the agency’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA), will look at ways to properly disable or shut down dangerous equipment safely in order to perform servicing and maintenance. These practices can make the difference between a potentially serious injury or even death, with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration reporting that compliance with the Lockout/Tagout procedure prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries every year.
According to Catherine Zinsser, CONN-OSHA training specialist, who is facilitating the workshop “Employees servicing or maintaining machines and equipment can be exposed to serious physical harm or death if hazardous energy is not properly controlled. During the workshop, we’ll take a close-up look at federal OSHA standards that protect employees working with machinery containing hazardous energy – anything using electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources of potentially hazardous energy.”
There is no admission fee for the workshop, but pre-registration is required. Contact Zinsser at Catherine.firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for additional information.
Seattle Hotel Owner Fined for Exposing Workers to Asbestos
State regulators say a Seattle hotel owner who knew his building contained asbestos cut corners to save money by using untrained workers to remove it. As a result, the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), which runs the Washington state OSHA program, cited the business for multiple egregious safety and health violations and issued $355,000 in fines for exposing the workers to asbestos hazards. The most severe of the dozen willful violations was for knowingly exposing workers to asbestos during remodeling of the property.
Said Anne Soiza, assistant director of L&I, “It’s unconscionable that anyone would knowingly expose untrained and unprotected works to asbestos. It’s an extremely hazardous material that’s notorious for causing cancer and other serious health issues.” The department began its investigation last July and immediately issued a stop-work order when it was discovered that the asbestos work was being performed by workers who were not trained or certified, as required.
During the lobby renovation, an asbestos-abatement contractor had discovered that much of the ceiling was originally constructed with cement-asbestos board. L&I’s investigation found that the hotel owner had received an estimate from the certified contractor who discovered the issue, but did not hire that firm. Instead, the owner used untrained employees of a roofing contractor and failed to let them know about the presence of asbestos in the ceiling. Ten of the 12 violations carried a penalty of $35,000 each, the maximum allowed for an employer of its size.
In the state of Washington, penalties resulting from citations are placed in the workers’ compensation supplemental pension fund. The money assists injured workers and the families of those who have died on the job.
Koch Foods Fined over $200,000 for Amputations and Other Serious Hazards
OSHA has cited Koch Foods of Gainesville, LLC, for multiple safety and health violations at its poultry processing plant. The company faces proposed penalties of $208,977.
OSHA cited Koch with a repeat violation for exposing employees to amputation hazards by failing to provide machine guarding. Fourteen serious citations were issued for failing to provide fall protection, not identifying which employees were using hazardous energy control locks, and failing to train employees exposed to noise hazards. OSHA also issued two other-than-serious citations to the employer. The inspection was part of the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities.
“This company failed to protect its employees from serious hazards by disregarding important workplace safety requirements,” said OSHA Area Office Director William Fulcher, in Atlanta. “Employers must identify and correct hazards to ensure the safety and health of their employees.”
Supplyside USA Fined $90,000 After Machine Injures Employee
OSHA cited Supplyside USA, a New Lenox-based pallet manufacturer, for machine safety violations after an employee was injured while conducting maintenance on equipment. The company faces $91,832 in proposed penalties for two repeated, six serious, and three other-than-serious violations.
OSHA inspectors found Supplyside USA, which operates as Prime Woodcraft, Inc., failed to install adequate machine guards, implement energy control procedures to prevent equipment from unintentional operation, and train workers about noise hazards; and allowed combustible dust to accumulate on surfaces.
“Too often, employees are injured because companies lack adequate machine safety procedures and safeguards,” said OSHA Chicago South Area Office Director Kathy Webb. “Employers have a responsibility to evaluate their workplaces for hazards, and ensure safe operations.”
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Penalized for Employee Endangerment
OSHA issued seven serious citations against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for exposing its employees to burn, hazardous energy, amputation, and caught-in safety hazards. The company faces proposed penalties of $69,058.
OSHA investigators inspected Goodyear’s Social Circle facility in August 2017, and found that the company failed to provide effective personal protective equipment to employees exposed to burn hazards; did not provide procedures for controlling hazardous energy during equipment maintenance operations; and exposed employees to burns from heated tire treads, and caught-in hazards from unguarded machines.
"Our inspection found multiple safety deficiencies that put employees at risk of serious injury or death," said OSHA Area Office Director William Fulcher, in Atlanta. "Potential workplace hazards must be assessed and eliminated to ensure employees are afforded a safe work environment."
Action Concrete Construction, Inc. Cited for Failing to Protect Employees
OSHA has cited Action Concrete Construction, Inc., for exposing its employees to fall hazards and eye injuries. The company faces proposed penalties of $59,864.
During its investigation of the company’s Panama City Beach worksite, OSHA inspectors identified one willful violation for failing to install guardrails or use personal fall arrest systems while employees worked at a height of 11 feet. OSHA also cited the company for allowing employees to use a pneumatic air gun without proper eye protection. The inspection was part of OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction.
“Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries in the construction industry,” said OSHA Area Office Director Brian Sturtecky, in Jacksonville. “Employers must provide adequate training and appropriate equipment to ensure the workers are protected.”
Jasper Engine Plant Awarded STAR Title for Workplace Safety and Health Excellence
Jasper Engines and Transmissions Power Drive of Jasper, Indiana, has achieved STAR status in the Indiana Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The ‘STAR’ title recognizes the hard work and commitment demonstrated by the facility’s management and employees in keeping the worksite a safe and healthy place to work.
Jasper Engines and Transmissions is the largest remanufacturer of gas and diesel engines, transmission, marine engines, electric motors, and much more. Originally founded in 1942, the company has 45 branch and distributor locations throughout the United States.
With nearly 400 employees, the Power Drive facility is one of five of the company’s production sites nationwide. The Power Drive location joins two other Indiana locations in VPP STAR-level certification: Jasper and Leavenworth.
“The ‘STAR’ title isn’t awarded lightly. Organizations, businesses, and worksites work hard to demonstrate the excellence in occupational safety and health the program requires,” said Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick J. Ruble. “The management and staff at the Power Drive facility should be very proud of this accomplishment.”
The Power Drive facility has maintained incident and lost-day rates lower than the respective national industry averages. For the period of 2014 to 2016, the facility’s Total Case Incidence Rate (TCIR) is 3.3 per 100 workers, 20% below the 2015 national industry average of 4.1. Additionally, the Days Away from Work, Restricted Activity, or Job Transfer (DART) case incidence rate is 1 per 100 workers, 86% below the 2015 national average of 2.4.
Arconic Whitehall Operations Awareded Fifth Consecutive MIOSHA Award for Workplace Safety
Arconic Whitehall Operations recently received a fifth recertification of its MVPP Star Award, the state's highest workplace safety and health designation from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). MIOSHA is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
"It’s a significant achievement for a company to receive a fifth consecutive Star award in recognition of its exemplary commitment to workplace safety and health," said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. "Congratulations Arconic Whitehall for continued excellence in demonstrating that a safe workplace is a productive workplace, which is an outstanding example for all employers in Michigan to follow."
MIOSHA’s Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) recognizes employers actively working toward achieving excellence in workplace safety and health. The agency awards the Star status to companies that both implement protections beyond MIOSHA requirements, and have injury and illness rates below the industry average for the last three years. The Whitehall Operations site received its first MVPP Star award in May 2004, and was recertified in 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2017. The site is exempt from programmed inspections for three years.
Arconic Whitehall Operations is the largest manufacturing employer in Muskegon County with more than 2,000 employees at nine operations. The company has manufactured aircraft engine components since 1951, and is Arconic’s second largest manufacturing hub in North America. One of the facility’s best practices is the development and implementation of a new Safety Glass Fit Check Policy to ensure that employees have properly fitting safety glasses. Allowable measurement tolerances of safety glasses at various points are now identified to ensure a customized proper fit for every employee.
“On behalf of the Arconic Whitehall Operations leadership team, I congratulate our employees on their outstanding efforts resulting in our fifth MVPP Star Award, the state’s highest workplace safety and health designation,” said Amy Heisser, director of Human Resources, Arconic Whitehall Operations. “This award is a significant source of pride to our employees and a proof point of our ongoing commitment to excellence in our environmental, health and safety performance.”
Second Hand Plastic Toys Could Pose a Risk to Children’s Health
The plastic used in many second hand toys could pose a risk to children’s health because it may not meet the most up to date international safety guidelines, according to new research published in Environmental Science and Technology.
Scientists from the University of Plymouth analyzed 200 used plastic toys which they found in homes, nurseries and charity shops across the South West of England. These included cars, trains, construction products, figures and puzzles, with all of them being of a size that could be chewed by young children.
They discovered high concentrations of hazardous elements including antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium – which are chronically toxic to children at low levels over an extended period of time – in many building blocks, figures and items of jewelry that were typically either yellow, red or black.
Further tests showed that under simulated stomach conditions (involving extraction in dilute hydrochloric acid) several toys released quantities of bromine, cadmium or lead that exceeded limits set by the European Council’s Toy Safety Directive, with the release of cadmium exceeding its limit value by an order of magnitude in some cases.
The research was led by Dr Andrew Turner, Reader in Environmental Science, who used x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry to analyze the presence of elements within individual toys.
He has previously conducted research which showed that decorated drinking glasses can contain harmful levels of lead and cadmium, and that playground paints should be more closely monitored to reduce potential danger to public health.
Dr Turner said, “this is the first systematic investigation of hazardous elements in second-hand plastic toys in the UK. Second hand toys are an attractive option to families because they can be inherited directly from friends or relatives or obtained cheaply and readily from charity stores, flea markets and the internet. But while the Toy Safety Directive applies to new products there is no regulation covering the recycling or re-sale of older toys. With the introduction and refinement of the Toy Safety Directive, the plastics industry has had to take steps to eliminate hazardous elements from new toys. However, consumers should be made more aware of the potential risks associated with small, mouthable and brightly colored old plastic toys or components. Without that, the attractive cost, convenience and recyclability of previously used toys has the potential to create a legacy of chemical contamination for younger children.”
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