Final Rule: Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements
The EPA Administrator signed the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule on October 28, 2016 and it was published in the Federal Register (FR) on November 28, 2016. This rule finalizes a much-needed update to the hazardous waste generator regulations to make the rules easier to understand, facilitate better compliance, provide greater flexibility in how hazardous waste is managed, and close important gaps in the regulations ... [ more ]
OSHA's Heat Stress Prevention Website
HEAT ILLNESS CAN BE DEADLY.
The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if you don't drink enough water and rest in the shade. You can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
In 2014 alone, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. [ more ]
IATA Dangerous Goods Documentation Page
Looking for the latest updates to IATA's Dangerous Goods regulations? This is thier update website.
Clarification of the Employer's Continuing Obligation to Record Injuries
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has passed, and the President has signed, Public Law 115-21, a resolution of disapproval of OSHA's final rule titled, "Clarification of Employer'sContinuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of eachRecordable Injury and Illness." OSHA published the rule, which contained v arious amendments to OSHA's recordkeeping regulations, on December 19, 2016. The amendments became effective on January 18, 2017. Because Public Law 115-21 invalidates the amendments to OSHA'srecordkeeping regulations contained in the rule promulgated on December 19, 2016, OSHA is hereby removing those amendments from the Code of Federal Regulations.
OSHA and NIOSH's Updated Heat Safety Tool App
The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool is a useful resource for planning outdoor work activities based on how hot it feels throughout the day. Featuring real-time heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH. [ more ]
OSHA investigation finds safety failures led to the death of 3 workers who entered a manhole containing lethal gases
KEY LARGO, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a South Florida utility company and related contracting company after the agency's investigation into the deaths of three workers who succumbed to toxic gases in a manhole on Jan. 16, 2017.
A 34-year-old pipe layer entered the manhole – a confined space – and quickly became unresponsive. A 49-year-old laborer entered the hole and attempted to rescue the first employee. After the second employee also became unresponsive, a 24-year-old equipment operator followed to help his fallen coworkers. All three men died. Post-incident atmospheric testing in the manhole revealed lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide. Two other employees and a volunteer firefighter were also exposed to the toxic gases in the manhole during rescue attempts but survived. [ more ]
OSHA Investigation Finds Psychiatric Hospital Workers Remain Exposed to Serious Workplace Hazards
A Massachusetts behavioral health facility faces $207,690 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations found while conducting a follow-up inspection.
On June 29, 2017, OSHA issued UHS of Westwood Pembroke, Inc. – doing business as Lowell Treatment Center – a notification for failure to abate violation involving workplace violence. This follows a serious violation related to the same hazards that federal safety and health inspectors found on May 19, 2015. As a result of the 2015 inspection, the employer and OSHA entered into a Formal Settlement Agreement on April 12, 2016, which outlined specific provisions of a workplace violence prevention program. [ more ]
EPA's Preparedness Resouce Center
Each September, National Preparedness Month encourages and reminds Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.
Use this opportunity to find ways or help others understand more about preparing for disasters that reduce risks to health and the environment from contamination, leaks, spills, hazardous materials, and other dangers. This page doesn't include all possible ways of preparing but provides many ideas and links to more information. [ more ]
CT Adopts the Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Rule
DEEP has passed a new regulation adopting the EPA's 2013 Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Rule. This rule provides an exemption from hazardous waste requirements for certain solvent-contaminated wipes that meet specified management requirements. In particular, qualifying wipes may be: (1) laundered at certain laundry facilities; or (2) disposed of at certain in-state combustion facilities or at out-of-state combustion or landfill facilities meeting the requirements of the receiving state. [ more ]
$43,458 in Fines for Spill Response and Hazard Communication
GIBSONTON, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Tampa Electric Co. and Critical Intervention Services, a security services provider, for $43,458 in total proposed penalties, following a release of anhydrous ammonia – a chemical refrigerant – at its Gibsonton facility.
On May 23, 2017, OSHA responded to the incident and determined that the ammonia release occurred when a relief valve activated after a pipeline became over pressurized. As a result, four workers were taken to the hospital for observation and released.
OSHA issued Tampa Electric two serious citations for failing to include all the minimum requirements in their emergency response plan and not ensuring employees exposed to hazardous substances wore appropriate respiratory protection. The Agency also issued the power company a Hazard Alert Letter with recommendations to mitigate asphyxiation hazards. [ more ]
$333,756 Proposed Penalty for Confined Space and Fall Protection
DOWNINGTOWN, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited US Environmental Inc. for 12 safety violations, including willfully exposing workers to confined space and fall hazards at its Downingtown location. The company faces proposed penalties of $333,756.
Investigators inspected the facility on May 31, 2017, and found that the company failed to implement rescue procedures for employees in confined spaces; provide protective equipment when working in confined spaces; and provide employees with fall protection training and equipment. OSHA cited the company for one other-than-serious, four willful, and seven serious violations. [ more ]
OSHA's Winter Weather Website
Winter weather presents hazards including slippery roads/surfaces, strong winds and environmental cold. Employers must prevent illnesses, injuries, or fatalities, by controlling these hazards in workplaces impacted by winter weather.
OSHA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working together on a public education effort aimed at improving the way people prepare for and respond to severe weather. This page is designed to help businesses and their workers prepare for winter weather, and to provide information about hazards that workers may face during and after winter storms. [ more ]
Preventing the Spread of Flu in the Workplace
This page includes information for workers and employers about reducing the spread of seasonal flu in workplaces. It provides information on the basic precautions to be used in all workplaces and the additional precautions that should be used in healthcare settings. Healthcare workers in contact with flu exposed patients are at higher risk for exposure to the flu virus and additional precautions are needed. [ more ]
$175,000 in Penalties for Confined Space, LOTO and HAZWOPER Violations
NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc., have a reached a settlement agreement to improve efforts to prevent safety and health hazards in their Carthage, New York, facility. The company will pay $175,000 in penalties.
OSHA cited the Carthage-based paper milling company for 62 safety and health violations in June 2017. The agreement requires the company to enhance efforts to prevent hazards associated with machine guarding; lack of fall protection; hazardous energy control; confined space entry; emergency response; and electrical and structural safety issues.
The company will also train employees to recognize hazards; make safety and health evaluations a part of management performance appraisals; hire two full-time safety and health staff; perform weekly safety audits; submit periodic abatement progress reports to OSHA; and consent to monitoring inspections for two years. [ more ]
Employee Exposure to Fall, Machinery and Electrical Hazards Results in $261,000 in Proposed Penalties
BELLEVUE, OH ‒ The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Bellevue-based plastics company Wilbert Inc. for multiple safety violations after an inspection found employees exposed to fall, machine, and electrical hazards. OSHA proposed penalties of $261,454.
OSHA investigators determined that Wilbert Inc., which operates as Wilbert Plastic Services, exposed its employees to crush injuries, burns, and fall hazards while they conducted maintenance on plastic injection molding presses. Inspectors cited the employer for failing to ensure employees had adequate personal protective equipment and clothing, and for permitting the use of damaged electrical devices. [ more ]
$281,220 in Proposed Fines Following Fatal Fire
ALBANY, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited New Windsor-based Verla International LTD, and proposed fines of $281,220 for failing to protect its employees from dangerous chemicals, and other hazards.
In November 2017, OSHA investigated the cosmetics manufacturer after an employee was fatally injured in a fire. The company was cited for 11 violations for fall, and compressed air hazards, and for failing to ensure proper electrical grounding and bonding to prevent flammable vapors from igniting; properly dispose of flammable materials; develop and implement an emergency response plan; provide employees with first responder awareness level training; and record a workplace fatality in its OSHA 300 illness and injury log. [ more ]
$191,000 in proposed fines for Kansas roofer
WICHITA, KS ‒ The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Wichita roofing contractor Jose Barrientos for exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards. Barrientos faces proposed penalties totaling $191,071 for two willful and six serious violations.
OSHA inspectors observed roofers at a Derby, Kansas, residential site working without appropriate fall protection. OSHA cited the employer for failing to provide adequate fall, eye, and face protection; train workers on fall hazards, ladder usage, and hazardous materials; and clear debris from the work area. OSHA has cited the employer for fall hazards five times in the past decade. [ more ]
$182,000 in Prposed Penalties for Forklift, Lock-Out and Hazard Communication Violations
SYRACUSE, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Timberline Hardwood Floors LLC for willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards. The Fulton, New York, custom hardwood-flooring manufacturer faces proposed penalties totaling $182,917.
OSHA cited the company for failing to implement lockout-tagout procedures to prevent machines from unintentionally starting; adequately train forklift operators; repair exposed electrical circuits; and develop hearing conservation and chemical hazard communication programs. OSHA also cited the company for allowing locked emergency exits, unguarded machines, and unlabeled hazardous materials and chemicals. [ more ]
$160,500 Proposed Fine for Improper Lithium Battery Shipment
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $160,500 civil penalty against Woodioso Technology Limited of Hong Kong for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
The FAA alleges that on January 3, 2017, Woodioso knowingly offered a shipment of 30 lithium ion batteries to United Parcel Service for shipment by air from Hong Kong to the company's service facility in Louisville, Kentucky. [ more ]
Over $175,000 in proposed penalties for confined space and fall hazards
MILLPORT, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Thorpe Specialty Services Corp. - operating as Thorpe Plant Services Inc. - and Steel Dust Recycling LLC for fall and confined space hazards after an employee was hospitalized following a 30-foot fall at Steel Dust's Millport, Alabama, facility. Thorpe Plant Services faces $175,528 in proposed penalties; Steel Dust's penalties total $28,270. [ more ]
OSHA Cites Five Contractors Following Miami Pedestrian Bridge Collapse
MIAMI, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Friday, September 14, cited multiple contractors for safety violations after one employee suffered fatal injuries and five other employees sustained serious injuries when a pedestrian bridge at the Florida International University campus in Miami collapsed. The five companies collectively received seven violations, totaling $86,658 in proposed penalties.
OSHA cited Figg Bridge Engineers Inc., a civil and structural engineering company; Network Engineering Services Inc. (doing business as Bolton Perez & Assoc.), a construction engineering and inspection firm; Structural Technologies LLC (doing business as Structural Technologies/VSL), specializing in post-tensioning in bridges and buildings; Munilla Construction Management LLC, a bridge and building construction company; and The Structural Group of South Florida Inc., a contractor specializing in concrete formwork. [ more ]
OSHA Updates the National Emphasis Program on Excavation
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated the National Emphasis Program (NEP) on preventing trenching and excavation collapses in response to a recent spike in trenching fatalities.
OSHA's NEP will increase education and enforcement efforts while its inspectors will record trenching and excavation inspections in a national reporting system, and each area OSHA office will develop outreach programs. [ more ]
OSHA Clarifies Position on Incentive Programs and Post-Incident Drug Testing
On May 12, 2016, OSHA published a final rule that, among other things, amended 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35 to add a provision prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. See 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv). In the preamble to the final rule and post-promulgation interpretive documents, OSHA discussed how the final rule could apply to action taken under workplace safety incentive programs and post-incident drug testing policies.
The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify the Department's position that 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) does not prohibit workplace safety incentive programs or post-incident drug testing. The Department believes that many employers who implement safety incentive programs and/or conduct post-incident drug testing do so to promote workplace safety and health. In addition, evidence that the employer consistently enforces legitimate work rules (whether or not an injury or illness is reported) would demonstrate that the employer is serious about creating a culture of safety, not just the appearance of reducing rates. Action taken under a safety incentive program or post-incident drug testing policy would only violate 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) if the employer took the action to penalize an employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness rather than for the legitimate purpose of promoting workplace safety and health. [ more ]
U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule to Protect Privacy of Workers
WASHINGTON, DC – To protect worker privacy, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule that eliminates the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA each year. These establishments are still required to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). [ more ]
$89,032 in Proposed Fines Following Fatality
NORTH PLATTE, NE – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Western Engineering Company Inc. after an employee suffered fatal injuries after being pulled into an unguarded slat/drag conveyor at the company's North Platte, Nebraska, asphalt plant. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $89,032.
OSHA cited the company for seven serious violations of machine guarding, lockout/tagout and permit-required confined space standards, including failing to develop a confined space entry program; issue safety permits; test atmospheric conditions; and provide air testing and monitoring equipment. [ more ]
$157,000 in Proposed Fines Following Two Fatalities
ORLANDO, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited two contractors – PCL Construction Services Inc. and Universal Engineering Sciences – for safety violations after two employees suffered fatal injuries at a work site for the new JW Marriott Hotel in Orlando.
The workers were pouring concrete on the seventh floor when the support structure collapsed. OSHA found the contractors failed to inspect formwork, shoring, working decks, and scaffolds properly prior to construction to ensure that the equipment met the required specified formwork drawings. OSHA also issued PCL Construction Services Inc. a willful citation - for the maximum allowed by law - for failing to design, fabricate, erect, support, and brace the formwork so that it was capable of supporting vertical and lateral loads. The contractors collectively received three violations totaling $157,792 in proposed penalties. [ more ]
EPA's Final Rule: Management Standard for Pharmaceuticals
The EPA Acting Administrator signed the final rule, titled, "Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine" on December 11, 2018 and it was published in the Federal Register (FR) on February 22, 2019.
This final rule establishes cost- saving, streamlined standards for handling hazardous waste pharmaceuticals to better fit the operations of the healthcare sector while maintaining protection of human health and the environment. [ more ]
$159,118 in Proposed Fines for an Amputation
PICAYUNE, MS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Heritage Plastics Inc. for exposing employees to amputations at the company's facility in Picayune, Mississippi. The plastics manufacturer faces $159,118 in penalties, including a willful violation that carries the maximum penalty allowed.
An employee suffered the amputation of four fingers when the mixing machine from which the employee was removing material unexpectedly started. OSHA inspectors determined that Heritage Plastics failed to require the use of a lockout device and train employees on procedures to control the release of hazardous energy. OSHA also cited the employer for failing to install machine guarding. The inspection is part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Amputations." [ more ]
EPA Proposes Changes to the Definition of "Ignitablity"
n April 2, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule intended to modernize the regulations governing ignitable liquids hazardous waste determinations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). See Modernizing Ignitable Liquids Determinations, 84 Fed. Reg. 12539 (proposed Apr. 2, 2019) (to be codified at 40 CFR pts. 260, 261 and 266). Although it has been packaged as a codification of existing guidance that will not create new requirements or change existing requirements, the rule does propose to narrow one of the ignitability characteristic exclusions, which would thereby expand the definition of ignitable hazardous wastes. Therefore, the proposed rule could have a significant impact on mining companies, wastewater treatment systems, laboratories, and any generators that manage chemicals used for solvent properties. According to EPA, the proposed rule contemplates amendments to "clarify" certain issues related to the ignitability characteristic, including the exclusion for certain ignitable liquids containing alcohol, as well as how to sample wastes containing multiple phases when determining whether a waste exhibits the ignitability characteristic. [ more ]
Over $500,000 in Proposed Penalties for Alleged Lock Out/Tag Out Violations
MACON, GA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a combined 22 citations to Kumho Tire Georgia Inc., Sae Joong Mold Inc., and J-Brothers Inc. after a follow-up inspection found safety and health hazards at the tire manufacturing facility in Macon, Georgia. The three companies collectively face $523,895 in proposed penalties.
OSHA cited Kumho Tire Georgia Inc. for exposing employees to fall, struck-by, and burn hazards; failing to follow hazardous energy control procedures when employees performed service and maintenance on machinery; failing to train employees on energy control procedures; and failing to provide machine guarding on various pieces of equipment throughout the facility. Proposed penalties total $507,299. OSHA initiated the follow-up inspection of the tire manufacturer after the Agency did not receive abatement documents regarding a June 2017 inspection and citations. The Agency has now placed Kumho Tire Georgia Inc. in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. [ more ]
OSHA's Fireworks Safety Page
Pyrotechnics include many devices to launch, detonate, or initiate an explosive material. This site discusses common hazards and controls for workers involved in the outdoor display of fireworks. [ more ]
$11,000,000 Settlement for Improper Disposal of Hazardous and Regulated Wastes
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin, along with the California Attorney General and several other district attorneys, announced an $11 million settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against AutoZone, Inc. after the company was accused of violating numerous hazardous waste and confidential consumer information laws.
The Riverside County DA's Office will receive $425,000 in penalties and $25,000 in investigative
According to a news release by the Riverside County DA's office, Autozone was charged with "illegally disposing of millions of hazardous waste items, including used motor oil and automotive fluids, at landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste." [ more ]
Over $750,000 in Prposed Penalties for Lock Out, Machine Guarding and Forklift Violations
EAU CLAIRE, WI ‒ The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Choice Products USA LLC for continually exposing employees to machine safety hazards at the cookie dough manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The company faces $782,526 in penalties, and has been placed in the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
OSHA cited Choice Products for five egregious willful violations for failing to implement and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional contact with machine operating parts during service and maintenance. Inspectors also determined that the company failed to install machine guarding, and comply with forklift regulations.
OSHA cited Choice Products for exposing employees to similar machine hazards following an October 2016 inspection. [ more ]
$154,199 in Proposed Penalities for Inadequate Sanitation and Respiratory Protection
CONCORD, NH – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Ocean State Job Lot for repeat and serious violations at a Stratham, New Hampshire, store. The retailer – based in North Kingstown, Rhode Island – faces a total of $154,199 in penalties for ineffective sanitation and respirator protections for store employees.
OSHA cited Ocean State Job Lot for failing to keep employee work areas free of vermin feces and urine, and institute a continuing and effective extermination program. OSHA cited the company for the same hazards in March 2019. OSHA also cited Ocean State for failing to provide respirator training, fit testing, and medical evaluations for employees required to use respirators while cleaning up vermin waste. [ more ]
OSHA's Seasonal Workers Website
With the increase in merchandise sales during the holiday shopping season comes an increase in potential hazards for workers in the wholesale, transportation, and retail industries. Employers should take appropriate actions to protect workers fulfilling customer orders, delivering packages, and managing crowds of shoppers. OSHA has resources to help keep workers safe at every step along the way in getting gifts from the warehouse to your home.
OSHA Interpretation Letter: Is an Injury During a Lunch Break Recordable?
You state that because the employee was on his lunch break at the time of the injury, you believe the employee was present in the work environment as a member of the general public rather than as an employee. You also believe that the injury is solely the result of the employee doing personal tasks at the establishment outside of his assigned working hours.
$75,000 Settlement Reached for Failure to File TRI Reports
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with a Connecticut electric cable manufacturing company, Marmon Utility LLC, that failed to report information about certain chemical compounds at its manufacturing facility in Seymour, Connecticut.
Under the settlement, Marmon Utility has agreed to pay $75,000 to settle EPA allegations that the company failed to comply with federal right-to-know laws in 2018 when it failed to file and certify required reports describing certain chemical and chemical compounds processed at the facility. The reports, Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) forms, are required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
In April 2019, Marmon filed and certified its missing TRI reports for lead, copper and zinc compounds after an inquiry from EPA's New England office. Marmon was cooperative during the inspection process and case settlement negotiations. [ more ]
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