The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all employees who are exposed to noise levels with a time-weighted average of 85-decibels or more to be included in a hearing conservation program. These employees must receive audiograms on an annual basis to determine if they experience a certain level of hearing loss known as a “Standard Threshold Shift”. In addition, the facility must also evaluate feasible administrative or engineering controls to reduce employee noise exposure for all employees who are exposed to noise levels at or above OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 90-decibels. If no additional controls are employed, then those employees exposed to noise levels above the OSHA PEL must wear hearing protectors. It is important to remember that, according to OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls, the use of PPE is the last step to reducing an employee’s exposure to high levels of noise, after engineering and administrative controls. Continue reading “Are Your Noise Monitoring Results Still Valid?”

In order to keep employees safe while handling hazardous waste, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has developed the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER), written in 29 CFR 1910.120. These regulations identify information and training requirements that facilities must comply with to keep employees safe during emergency response involving hazardous chemicals. Continue reading “HAZWOPER Requirements for Small Quantity Generators”

Come say hello to Adam Haroz, one of CTI’s Engineering Managers, as he will be speaking at this year’s Region IV VPPPA Conference in Chattanooga, TN on June 19th.

Adam Haroz will be discussing how the regulations governing industrial machinery have shifted the need for conducting risk assessments on robotic systems from a good practice to now a mandatory requirement. The discussion will emphasize the benefits of conducting an on-site risk assessment. It will also highlight the need to identify the hazards and assess the potential risks associated with robot operations when selecting and designing safeguarding measures. He will review the methodology for conducting a risk assessment for different robotic systems, as well as other industrial equipment, how to assess the adequacy of current safeguards, and methods for determining the risk reduction measures required.

The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) is designed to encourage cooperative efforts between employees, management and OSHA for the purpose of improving workplace safety and health. The VPP concept recognizes that workplace safety and health can be enforced in a compliance atmosphere and can be enhanced in a cooperative atmosphere. OSHA recognizes and partners with worksites that demonstrate excellence in Safety and Health.

Region IV VPPPA is the region that serves the eight Southeast states. (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)

For more information on the VPPA or to register for the Region IV VPPA Conference click the following link: http://www.regionivvppconference.com/


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?”

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”

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”

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?”

On January 17, 2017, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated their Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection standards. While most of the changes to the rule have already been put into effect, several provisions have delayed effective dates, many of which are coming up soon. Is your facility ready to comply with these new rule changes? Continue reading “Is Your Facility Ready For The Updated OSHA Ladder Rules?”

While some facilities, typically with a corporate hierarchy, regularly conduct internal audits or answer internal questionnaires about their environmental and safety practice, it is not very common for a facility to have a review of all permits, programs, procedures, and equipment to make sure that they follow all federal, state, and local regulations and requirements. We recommend for all facilities to conduct periodical Environmental and Safety Compliance Reviews (ESCR) either with an internal team or by a third party. 

The ESCR should include a review of permit and recordkeeping requirements, procedures and SOPs, and employee training. The review should also include a physical walkthrough of the facility and process lines to identify any gaps in safety and environmental compliance. The ESCR can also be conducted in conjunction with global and corporate standards, management systems, as well as specified internal auditing procedures. The ESCR will not only identify gaps in compliance but will allow for the team to prioritize the abatement of the gaps based on capital investment required, time allocations, and employee and environmental safety. It is recommended the ESCR be conducted twice a year, or, at a minimum, once a year.

Some of the benefits of conducting regular ESCRs are as follows: Continue reading “Periodical Environmental and Safety Compliance Reviews are a Good Business Practice”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new rule for respirable crystalline silica went into effect on June 23, 2018. Prior regulations for silica were deemed to be outdated as new research regarding the negative health effects of respirable silica has been conducted. Exposure to high concentrations of silica dust can occur in the construction industry, precast construction and fabrication, concrete product manufacturing, and more. Workers who inhale small crystalline silica particles are at risk of developing severe illnesses, including silicosis (an incurable lung disease that could lead to disability or death), lung cancer, and kidney disease.


Continue reading “Are You In Compliance with OSHA’s New Silica Rule?”