After a difficult year amidst a global pandemic in 2020, we can finally look ahead to a hopefully brighter 2021. A new year always brings changes to health and safety regulations and requirements. On January 19, 2021, James Frederick was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, and will be the acting administrator for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) until a new Director is determined.
One of OSHA’s primary concerns at the start of 2021 has been employee safety relating to COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, OSHA has issued citations with penalties totaling $3,930,381. Common violations found from these inspections include failures to perform the following: Continue reading “What to Expect From OSHA in 2021”→
There are many ways that people are helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19. With cities and businesses beginning to re-open, below are some ways, in order based on the Occupational Health and Safety administration’s (OSHA) Hierarchy of Controls, to help prevent the spread within your office or workplace. Continue reading “Best Practices to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19”→
Indoor air quality is important for employee health and comfort. Poor air quality can lead to several negative health effects, including irritation, coughing, and fatigue. More serious health hazards such as occupational asthma, specific organ toxicity, or cancer can also occur, depending on the chemicals being handled on site. Because of this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed permissible exposure limits (PELs) for several dusts, fumes, and vapors from various chemicals. These PELs, found in 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1, identify the maximum concentrations of different chemicals and materials an employee can be exposed over the course of an 8-hour work shift. Employees exposed to airborne concentrations of a material above a PEL may be at risk for serious health hazards.Continue reading “When Should You Retest Your Indoor Air Quality?”→
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was very busy in 2019. OSHA performed 33,401 workplace inspections in 2019, which is more than the previous 3 years, and there are no signs indicating that OSHA will reduce the number of inspections in 2020. OSHA has also adjusted fines in 2020 to account for inflation.
OSHA is working with the Robotics Industries Association and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on developing a training program for inspection officers to better understand how robots in general industry operate, what the requirements are for employers, and how to better identify the potential hazard. By 2020, it is expected that OSHA will have the knowledge necessary to better respond to an incident caused by an issue with robotic safety.
If your facility utilizes industrial robots, including Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) or collaborative robots, contact CTI to determine if your robotic equipment meets safety standards and if you are compliant with OSHA regulations.
In April 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that welding fume is considered to be a known carcinogen that can lead to lung cancer in humans. This decision may affect all facilities who employ welders or other personnel conducting hot work, as these personnel may be exposed to welding fumes. Employers of welders should ensure engineering and administrative controls are implemented to reduce employee exposure to welding fumes in the workplace.Continue reading “Welding Fumes Have Been Classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen”→
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)
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.