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OSHA has extended the compliance deadline to July 22, 2016 for those affected facilities previously considered exempted retail facilities under the PSM regulation. In July 2015, OSHA revised the PSM retail exemption interpretation to only exempt those facilities under NAICS codes 44 and 45. As part of this change, those affected facilities are will also required to update their EPA RMP programs from level 2 to level 3.

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Now that 2015 has come to a close and 2016 is upon us, we will explore the ever evolving world of occupational health and safety and go through some of the upcoming regulation changes and emphasis priorities from OSHA in 2016.
2016 will bring some updated regulations, updated emphasis programs, and new methods for inspections and citations that are designed to allow for high value inspections of complex facilities and processes.

Continue reading “What to Expect From OSHA in 2016”

On January 18, 2016, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published the 2nd draft report for NFPA 499: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas. It is now open for a Notice of Intent to Make a Motion (NITMAM) until February 19, 2016 for those on a Committee Comment, Second Revision, or Second Correlating Revision. The purpose of NFPA 499 is to provide information on classifying combustible dusts and locations and provide recommended practices on proper selection of electrical equipment in hazardous (classified) locations per NFPA 70, National Electrical Code. NFPA 499 is a compendium document to Chapter 5 (Article 500) of NFPA 70 and does not supersede any requirements of other NFPA standards (e.g. NFPA 61, 68, 69, 654, 664, etc.).

The significant changes for the 2016 revision includes classifications and definitions for the following: Continue reading “NFPA 499 Revision Update”

Many people feel that if they see an exposed pinch point or a piece of equipment that poses a potential amputation hazard, they say to themselves “Oh I will just put a guard over that piece of machinery.” As many of facilities already know, it is not always as easy as that. It is a common practice for a facility to outsource the manufacturing of machine guards. This is done for multiple reasons, the most prevalent being an incomplete understanding, or lack confidence in one’s understanding, of OSHA guarding requirements, cost of proper guarding, and the time required to ensure proper guarding. Continue reading “Custom Machine Guards VS. Store Bought Guards”

By Chris Frendahl

Your facility’s Lockout/Tagout program is essential in ensuring employee safety while performing maintenance on energized equipment. Countless workplace fatalities and severe injuries have resulted from improper Lockout/Tagout procedures. OSHA regulations listed in 29 CFR 1910.147 requires all industrial facilities to develop and maintain a written Lockout/Tagout program that lists procedures for safely isolating equipment from all energy sources prior to servicing the equipment.  Here are 3 tips for ensuring that your Lockout/Tagout program is effective and compliant with OSHA regulations. Continue reading “Is Your Lockout/Tagout Program Effective? Three Tips to Developing a Compliant Program”

Adam Haroz, EIT

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is getting more stringent, both with regulations and enforcement, on machine guarding violations. They are targeting industries with higher risks of potential injuries from machinery. Despite this move by OSHA towards greater expectations from industry, there is still a large cultural gap between employers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) regarding who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the machinery is guarded in compliance with OSHA regulations. Continue reading ““But It Came That Way”: The Roles, Responsibilities, and Accountability of Machine Guarding”

Earlier this week, NFPA published the Second Draft Meeting Minutes for the next edition of NFPA 664 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Wood Working Facilities.  This meeting was held in Atlanta on July 14-15, and I was in attendance both days. For those of you in the wood products industry in North America, this is the go-to guide to fire protection.  This meeting was to discuss the 2017 Edition of 664, which, contrary to its name, is scheduled to be released in Fall of 2016. Continue reading “NFPA 664 (Wood Products) Revision Update”

As of January 1st, 2015, the updated standards for injury & illness reporting officially came into effect. There are some slight changes to the standard that affect a large number of employers.

Under the old rule, employers were required to notify OSHA only of workplace fatalities or if three or more employees had to go to the hospital due to workplace injury or illness. According to the updated standard, employers must notify OSHA of the following: Continue reading “OSHA’s New Incident Reporting Requirements”