News


On November 25, 2018, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) issued an updated version of NFPA 45 – Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals. NFPA 45 includes information regarding fire protection requirements for laboratories, laboratory design, vent hood use, and safe quantities of flammable materials allowed to be stored and used in the laboratories. The 2019 edition of the standard includes minor changes from the previous 2015 version. Inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire-extinguishing systems in ductwork and chemical fume hoods has been revised from a specific time interval to a schedule that is deemed suitable for the type of system. Also, a minimum inspection frequency of 1 year has been added for chemical storage. The revision of the standard includes references to NFPA 30 – Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code for quantities of flammable and combustible liquids within liquid storage areas that are indoors.

Continue reading “Is Your Laboratory Compliant with OSHA and NFPA Requirements?”

Superfund Amendment and Re-authorization Act (SARA) Title III reports and notifications are required to be prepared and submitted by applicable facilities every year.

A facility that stores over 10,000 pounds of any chemical (e.g. over 1,387 gallons of diesel fuel), or over 500 pounds of an Extremely Hazardous Substance (e.g. sulfuric acid in electric forklift lead-acid batteries), must prepare a SARA Tier II Report and submit it to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and Local Fire Department by March 1st each year.

Continue reading “Superfund Amendment and Re-Authorization Act (SARA) Deadlines”

Does your facility have an air quality permit? If so, when was the last time it was updated? If your facility is not a major source of emissions, you may have an air permit with no expiration date. This can lead to situations where the air permit is 10 years, 15 years, or even older. Have facility operations not changed at all during that time? Has new equipment been installed? Are you sure that new boiler/oven/paint booth/etc. that was installed was truly exempt from an air quality permit? When was the last time the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or your State’s environmental agency inspected your facility? If you are a major source of emissions, you probably see your inspector annually, but if you are not a major emitter, the inspections can be much more random and infrequent.

Continue reading “Staying in Compliance with Air Quality Regulations”

It is the beginning of a new year, and with it brings changes to various health and safety regulations and requirements. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) begins 2019 without a confirmed leader, the agency is continuing to update and modify several of its regulations and policies, as well as increase focus on compliance inspections for emphasized hazards.

Continue reading “What to Expect from OSHA in 2019”

It’s a beautiful morning in Phoenix, AZ, where we will soon begin the second draft meeting for NFPA 61, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities. I will be working with the other members of the Technical Committee to address topics such as Dust Hazard Analysis, spray dryer safety, and the ultimate organization of the standard that is set to come out towards the end of this year.

On December 12, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began to enforce compliance with the updated Beryllium Rule that went into effect on May 20, 2017. The purpose of this updated Rule is to limit employee exposure to beryllium, which is known to cause lung cancer and other chronic beryllium disease. Continue reading “Updates to the OSHA Beryllium Standard”

Industrial Stormwater Permitting requirements have been in place for over 20 years. Facilities that fall under one of eleven industry categories identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and have material handling and storage, equipment maintenance and cleaning, and other activities exposed to stormwater are required to have a permit to discharge their stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters. Most often, industrial facilities are covered under General Permits issued by the State, but some facilities have individual permits. Continue reading “Industrial Stormwater Compliance – Increased Focus from Regulators”

Robots have been a part of the industrial landscape for decades. As the world of industrial automation progresses, the number of employees and robots working in close quarters with each other continues to grow. With the increase in automation and the use of mobile and industrial robots, regulations are being updated to address the potential hazards posed by the changes in equipment and routine and non-routine tasks around robots in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is training their inspectors to be aware of these regulatory changes and become familiar with industrial robot use. Not being aware of your facility’s requirements or of the changes in robot regulations could cost you. Continue reading “Are You at Risk of OSHA Citations for Robot Safety?”