Author Archives: OH&S News

FMCSA Forms New Partnership under Safety Campaign

FMCSA Forms New Partnership under Safety CampaignThe American Bus Association, AAA, and the American Trucking Associations have joined FMCSA in the "Our Roads, Our Safety" campaign.Jun 27, 2017The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced it has formed a new partnership under its "Our Roads, Our Safety" campaign. The American Bus Association, AAA, and the American Trucking Associations have joined the administration in order to help educate pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers on how to share roadways and improve safety for all. "FMCSA is pleased to work with a group of partners that are dedicated to safety and share our agency's goal of reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses on the road," said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson. "This important partnership amplifies the message that all drivers on the roadway must work together to ensure that everyone arrives safely at their destinations."  The agency's news release also offered actions passenger vehicles can take when sharing the road with large trucks, such as: staying out of the "No Zones" or blind spots at the front, back, and sides of the vehicle, making sure they can see the other driver in the mirror before safely passing, and not cutting in close when merging in front."At ATA, we feel it is our duty to work alongside allies in the highway safety sector to ensure that all safety messages are shaped by the professional truck drivers dedicated to promoting highway safety in their day-to-day operations," said American Trucking Associations Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs and COO Elisabeth Barna. "We are proud to work with ABA, AAA, and FMCSA to spread a common message that whether you are a truck driver, bus driver, or general motorist, we are all responsible for safely sharing our nation's highways." Let's block ads! (Why?)

Washington Metro Retiring Oldest Railcars Early

Washington Metro Retiring Oldest Railcars EarlyThe 1000- and 4000-series railcars are being removed from service by July 1. They are being replaced by more reliable 7000-series railcars, which averaged more than 176,000 miles between delays in April, while the 4000-series cars traveled an average of only 27,259 miles between delays in 2016.Jun 27, 2017The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority, the agency that provides transit services in the Washington, D.C., region, has completed its SafeTrack accelerated rail maintenance program this month and also announced that all of its 1000- and 4000-series railcars, the oldest and least-reliable railcars in its fleet, will be permanently removed from passenger service by July 1, months ahead of Metro's original projections.SafeTrack involved 16 "safety surges" where sections of the rail system were shut down for around-the-clock repair work. The overall maintenance program significantly expanded maintenance time on weekends, weeknights, and midday hours.The agency reported that, with the support of state and local officials in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, it completed three years' worth of track work during the past 12 months and replaced more than 50,000 wooden crossties.The railcars are being replaced by more reliable 7000-series railcars, which WMATA says offer improved service and fewer and delays. The 7000-series cars averaged more than 176,000 miles between delays in April, while the 4000-series cars traveled an average of only 27,259 miles between delays in 2016. "By retiring the last of our oldest and least-reliable railcars, we will be in a much better position to deliver more reliable service for our customers," said Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld. "We have already seen the positive results of this effort in the form of fewer railcar-related delays and fewer offloads."Metro said replacing the 1000-series with safer 7000-series cars also responds to an open recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Bridge Contractor Fined for Fall Hazards

Bridge Contractor Fined for Fall HazardsAn employee was working on an upper deck, 37 feet above a lower platform, and fell through a ladder opening, landing on an employee who was working on the lower platform. Both employees survived the accident but suffered multiple injuries.Jun 26, 2017The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) announced June 19 that it has fined Jordan, Minn.-based Abhe & Svoboda Inc. $189,000 for nine safety violations that exposed employees to death or serious injury during a project to restore the Ross Island Bridge in Portland. Two of the violations are classified as willful, according to Oregon OSHA, which issued the citations after investigating a Feb. 8, 2017, incident on a scaffolding system.It was installed beneath the bridge. An employee was working on an upper deck, 37 feet above a lower platform, and fell through a ladder opening, landing on an employee who was working on the lower platform. Both employees survived the accident but suffered multiple injuries, according to the agency, which found that the employee who fell was not protected by a fall protection system and several other employees were exposed to such hazards when the incident occurred.Oregon OSHA said the contractor:Failed to provide proper access to work areas, forcing employees to climb up or down the scaffolding and bridge structure and to sidestep or step over holes ranging in size from 3 inches to 24 inchesFailed to construct and install the scaffolding system according to the minimum bracing requirements as outlined by professional specificationsDid not have scaffolds and related components set up, dismantled, and moved under the direction of a competent personDid not provide rest platforms for employees as they were climbing 37-foot laddersFailed to ensure that employees had a work platform that was at least 18 inches wideDid not ensure anchorages for fall protection equipment were installed or used under the supervision of a competent personDid not ensure scaffolds were inspected for visible defects before each work shift by a competent personAllowed a makeshift device – a wooden step stool – to be used on platforms to increase the working height of employees"Each and every year, falls are one of the major sources of serious injury and death in Oregon workplaces," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "There is never a good reason to ignore the need to protect workers from such hazards. Yet this employer brushed off time-tested fall protection rules that are designed to prevent injuries or deaths."The violations classified as willful were the alleged failure to provide proper access to work areas, which forced employees to climb structures and step over holes, and the failure to follow bracing requirements for the scaffolding. Each carries the legal maximum penalty of $70,000. Seven of the nine violations were cited as serious, each with the maximum penalty of $7,000. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Air Bag Manufacturer Takata Files for Bankruptcy

Air Bag Manufacturer Takata Files for BankruptcyThe move comes after a global recall of air bags that have a tendency to ruptureJun 26, 2017At least 16 deaths and 180 injuries have been linked to defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corp., and now the company is filing for bankruptcy in Japan and the U.S. The defect, which caused an ongoing global recall that started nine years ago, causes the air bags to explode with too much fore, spraying shrapnel into vehicle cabins. 42 million vehicles have been recalled in the U.S. due to this issue, the largest ever of its kind. The cause of the issue has been identified as the use of ammonium nitrate in air-bag inflater propellants. The chemical was found to be unstable, leading to ruptures after aging and prolonged exposure to heat and humidity.   Let's block ads! (Why?)

EPAs Chief Hails Chemical Safety Progress

EPAs Chief Hails Chemical Safety ProgressOn the first anniversary of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, he said EPA has met its first-year implementation milestones under the law, having issued three new rules, provided a guidance document for external parties, and released scoping documents for the first 10 risk evaluations that will be conducted.Jun 26, 2017EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on June 22, the one-year anniversary of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, announced that EPA has met its first-year implementation milestones under the law, having issued three new rules, provided a guidance document for external parties, and released scoping documents for the first 10 risk evaluations that will be conducted."The activities we are announcing today demonstrate this administration's commitment to providing regulatory certainty to American businesses while protecting human health and the environment," he said. "The new process for evaluating existing chemicals outlined in these rules will increase public confidence in chemical safety without stifling innovation."The law updated the Toxic Substances Control Act. EPA had completed these tasks as of the anniversary:Finalized a rule to establish EPA's process and criteria for identifying high-priority chemicals for risk evaluation and low-priority chemicals for which risk evaluation isn't needed. In response to public comments, the rule affirms EPA's commitment to following the best available science, engaging stakeholders in the prioritization process, and recognizing the value of designating chemicals as low priority when appropriate.Finalized a rule to establish EPA's process for evaluating high-priority chemicals to determine whether or not they present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment.Finalized a rule to require industry reporting of chemicals manufactured or processed in the United States during the past 10 years. The reporting will be used to identify which chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory are active in U.S. commerce and will help inform the chemicals EPA prioritizes for risk evaluation.Released scope documents for the initial 10 chemicals for risk evaluation under the amended law. The 10, published by the agency in December 2016, are asbestos, 1-Bromopropane, carbon tetrachloride, 1, 4 Dioxane, Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD), methylene chloride, N-Methylpyrolidone, perchloroethylene, Pigment Violet 29, and trichloroethylene. Let's block ads! (Why?)

OSHA Leaving Beryllium Exposure Limits Intact for Construction, Shipyards

OSHA Leaving Beryllium Exposure Limits Intact for Construction, ShipyardsBeryllium has been one of the issues watched closely by safety professionals who are trying to determine how OSHA and DOL will proceed on rules and enforcement under the Trump administration. OSHA issued its final rule on Jan. 6, two weeks before President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated.Jun 26, 2017OSHA announced June 23 that it is proposing a rule affecting its beryllium standards for construction and shipyards. But the rule, to be published June 27 in the Federal Register, won't change the current exposure limits for those sectors, it will instead revise provisions such as housekeeping and PPE that were in the final standards that OSHA issued in January 2017 for the construction and shipyard industries."Representatives of the shipyards and construction industries, as well as members of Congress, raised concerns that they had not had a meaningful opportunity to comment on the application of the rule to their industries when the rule was developed in 2015-16. This proposal provides a new opportunity to comment on the rule for those industries and the public. The new proposal would make changes to the rule only for the shipyard and construction sectors. The general industry standard is unaffected by the proposal," DOL's news release about the new rule stated."The proposal for shipyards and construction would maintain the requirements for exposure limits (permissible exposure limit of 0.2 μg/m3 and short-term exposure limit of 2.0 μg/m3), which will continue to protect workers from a serious beryllium-related lung disease known as chronic beryllium disease. The proposal instead revises the application of ancillary provisions such as housekeeping and personal protective equipment in the January 2017 final standards for the construction and shipyard industries. OSHA has evidence that exposure in these industries is limited to a few operations and has information suggesting that requiring the ancillary provisions broadly may not improve worker protection and be redundant with overlapping protections in other standards. Accordingly, OSHA is seeking comment on, among other things, whether existing standards covering abrasive blasting in construction, abrasive blasting in shipyards, and welding in shipyards provide adequate protection for workers engaged in these operations." Let's block ads! (Why?)

UK Environment Agency Taking Comments on Oxford Flood Remediation Plan

UK Environment Agency Taking Comments on Oxford Flood Remediation PlanThe Environment Agency is working with several local partners to reduce flood risks to all homes and businesses in Oxford and to major transport routes into the city.Jun 26, 2017The UK Environment Agency is asking communities to have their say on benefits and features to be included in a £120 million project to reduce flood risk to all homes and businesses in Oxford. Comments are being accepted from June 22 to July 20 so the public will have input about the design features, ranging from the seven bridges along the route to options for benches and bike racks. The plan is a major project that involves lowering parts of Oxford's floodplain to increase its capacity for floodwater and widening and deepening some of the rivers and streams that run through it."The Oxford flood alleviation scheme will be a major feat of engineering and is one of the biggest projects we are working on across the country," said Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency. "I am very proud of our partnership approach, which is so important to building the scheme and keeping this iconic city moving during times of flood, for businesses, commuters, and communities of Oxford.""This is a really important issue for people in Oxford and beyond. The plans for the flood alleviation scheme are now very advanced and we want to hear what our residents think," said Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for environment. "As the lead local flood authority, Oxfordshire County Council strongly supports the Oxford flood alleviation scheme, and we encourage local communities, residents, and businesses to take this opportunity to get involved in the consultation."Drop-in events took place in Oxford in May, and the project team will be available at three locations June 30, July 6, and July 11 to help members of the public who don't have Internet access complete the online consultation at libraries. The Environment Agency is working with several local partners: Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, Thames Water, the Oxford Flood Alliance, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, and the University of Oxford, on this plan to reduce flood risks to all homes and businesses in Oxford and to major transport routes into the city. Let's block ads! (Why?)

OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping Explained at ASSE 2017

OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping Explained at ASSE 2017Gary Lopez, CSP, held a session to help explain why OSHA made changes to its final rule regarding recordkeeping.Jun 23, 2017DENVER -- On the final day of the expo at ASSE's Safety 2017, Gary Lopez, CSP, from A.J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, presented a session that explored the new OSHA electronic recordkeeping final rule and why OSHA thinks the standard will improve workplace safety. Lopez, the company's director of Loss Control Services and a 2017 Fellow of ASSE, started his presentation with the history of recordkeeping rules, establishing the difference between standards (meant for remedial tasks) and regulations (meant for administrative tasks, such as the recordkeeping). The new standard explicitly says that a company or organization must keep a 300 log, a 301 report of the incident, and must post the 300A annual report. A big tenet of the new rule is transparency and openness. By requiring companies to turn in data with names attached, OSHA believes the publication of this information will lead to better results. Companies will now be held accountable for their reputation in a public forum, as well as benchmark performance when compared to similar organizations. Lopez ended his session by highlighting the three main components of the regulation: employers must inform employees of their right to report injuries free of retaliation, reporting must be reasonable, and employers may not retaliate for said reporting. Let's block ads! (Why?)

BSCP Presents Top 2017 Awards

BSCP Presents Top 2017 AwardsBrad Giles, principal of Bradley Giles and Associates, received the BCSP Lifetime Achievement Award in Denver and thanked many people who had supported him throughout his more than 40 years in EHS management roles.Jun 23, 2017The Board of Certified Safety Professionals announced the 2017 recipients of its most prestigious awards during ASSE's Safety 2017 conference and expo held this week in Denver.Rich Baldwin, CSP; Brad Giles, CSP; Ann-Marie Grusch, CHST; and James Lange, CSP, ASP, OHST, STSC, received their awards during the conference. BCSP reported it received many nominations from exceptional safety practitioners who have advanced the profession, and its Awards Committee and Board of Directors decided on what it called "these four exemplary certificants."Giles, principal of Bradley Giles and Associates, received the BCSP Lifetime Achievement Award, while Baldwin received the CSP Award of Excellence, Lange received the OHST Award of Excellence, and Grusch received the CHST Award of Excellence. Giles thanked many people who had supported him throughout his more than 40 years in EHS management roles."I accept this award for my team members. Any successes I have had is because of our team," he said. "Continue your professional development, for you and your team. Enjoy and take pride in your job. This is a great profession. If you are as lucky as I am, I loved to get up every morning for work. Don't forget: You impact not just your employees, but their extended families, sometimes affecting generations."Chris Patton, CSP, ASP, president of the BCSP Board of Directors, said, "I am honored to recognize our award recipients. These are leaders in our profession who have demonstrated dedication to excellence in safety." Let's block ads! (Why?)

BCSP Presents Top 2017 Awards

BCSP Presents Top 2017 AwardsBrad Giles, principal of Bradley Giles and Associates, received the BCSP Lifetime Achievement Award in Denver and thanked many people who had supported him throughout his more than 40 years in EHS management roles.Jun 23, 2017The Board of Certified Safety Professionals announced the 2017 recipients of its most prestigious awards during ASSE's Safety 2017 conference and expo held this week in Denver.Rich Baldwin, CSP; Brad Giles, CSP; Ann-Marie Grusch, CHST; and James Lange, CSP, ASP, OHST, STSC, received their awards during the conference. BCSP reported it received many nominations from exceptional safety practitioners who have advanced the profession, and its Awards Committee and Board of Directors decided on what it called "these four exemplary certificants."Giles, principal of Bradley Giles and Associates, received the BCSP Lifetime Achievement Award, while Baldwin received the CSP Award of Excellence, Lange received the OHST Award of Excellence, and Grusch received the CHST Award of Excellence. Giles thanked many people who had supported him throughout his more than 40 years in EHS management roles."I accept this award for my team members. Any successes I have had is because of our team," he said. "Continue your professional development, for you and your team. Enjoy and take pride in your job. This is a great profession. If you are as lucky as I am, I loved to get up every morning for work. Don't forget: You impact not just your employees, but their extended families, sometimes affecting generations."Chris Patton, CSP, ASP, president of the BCSP Board of Directors, said, "I am honored to recognize our award recipients. These are leaders in our profession who have demonstrated dedication to excellence in safety." Let's block ads! (Why?)