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OSHA Issues New National Emphasis
Program for Chemical Facilities
OSHA issued a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for chemical facilities to
protect workers from catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals.
The new NEP replaces OSHA's 2009 pilot Chemical Emphasis Program which
covered several OSHA regions around the country. The program* establishes
policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that are covered by OSHA's
process safety management (PSM) standard. The program's inspection process
includes detailed questions designed to gather facts related to PSM
requirements and verification that employers' written and implemented PSM
programs are consistent. The intent of the NEP is to conduct quick
inspections at a large number of facilities that will be randomly selected
from a list of worksites likely to have highly hazardous chemicals in
quantities covered by the standard.
For more information.
Download the National Emphasis Program for Chemical Facilities
New OSHA Educational Videos for Construction Safety
OSHA has released 12 educational videos about potential hazards in the
construction industry. The educational videos are brief, easy to understand,
and geared to the needs of employers and workers. One in every five workers
killed on the job nationwide is in construction-totaling nearly 800
construction worker deaths every year. The videos are based on real-life
incidents and include detailed depictions of hazards and the safety measures
that would have prevented these injuries and fatalities. OSHA's videos cover
falls in construction, workers who are struck by vehicles and heavy
equipment, sprains and strains, trenching and excavation hazards, and carbon
monoxide poisoning. Most of the videos are two-to-four minutes in length,
and all but one are animated. Each video is available in English and Spanish
for Web viewing.
To view the videos.
OSHA Advisory Committee Meetings This Month - Open to the Public
OSHA has scheduled a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on
Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) Dec. 14-15, in Washington, D.C.
NACOSH is a continuing advisory committee established under the OSH Act of
1970 that has advised the Secretaries of Labor, and Health and Human
Services for nearly 40 years on worker safety and health issues. The
tentative agenda includes remarks from the Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health and the Director for the National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health; Work Group reports; and discussions on
electronic health records and prevention through design. A final agenda will
be made available on the NACOSH website. Work Groups will meet on the
morning of December 14 and report back to the full committee on the December
OSHA will also hold a meeting of the Advisory Committee
on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) Dec. 13-16 in Washington, D.C.
ACCSH, established under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act
and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, advises the Secretary of
Labor and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on
construction standards and policy matters. The agenda includes an update on
OSHA's construction enforcement and outreach efforts, rulemaking projects, a
presentation from the Seattle Tunnel and Rail Team (START); ACCSH's
consideration of, and recommendations on a direct final rule/proposed rule
to update personal protective equipment standards on head protection for
construction work and a proposed rule on Standards Improvement Project (SIP)
IV; and a presentation from the Office Engineering Services on sewage
treatment plant failure. The full committee will meet December 15-16. Work
Groups will meet December 13-14.
responsible for providing the quick drenching and flushing facilities where
there is exposure to corrosive materials? Are small businesses (e.g., retail
stores) subject to 29 CFR 1910.151(c), if they handle corrosive
Every employer with employees exposed to the corrosive chemicals is
responsible for the safety and health of their employees. Paragraph (c) of
29 CFR 1910.151 requires that suitable facilities for quick drenching or
flushing be provided within the work area for immediate use if an employee's
eyes or body may be exposed to corrosive materials. The OSHA standard does
not set specifications for emergency eyewash and shower equipment, but we
agree that equipment that complies with ANSI (ANSI Z358.1-2004, American
National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment.) requirements
would usually meet the intent of the OSHA standard. It should also be noted
that, in addition to the requirement for emergency flushing and drenching
facilities, there are also requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE)
when employees are exposed to the hazards which corrosive chemicals present.
PPE requirements are found in Subpart I, Personal Protective Equipment, of
29 CFR §1910 and may include, but are not limited to, protection for the
eyes, face, and hands, as well as protective clothing. The purpose of PPE is
to prevent injury, whereas the purpose of the eye wash or shower is to
minimize injury, should that first line of defense fail. And yes. All
employers, regardless of size, that have employees whose eyes or body may be
exposed to injurious corrosive materials must provide quick drenching and
Confined Spaces in General Industry
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News You Can Use
Hygiene Association Addresses Common
Misconceptions on Ergonomics
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) first adopted its
position statement on ergonomics in 1997 and subsequently amended its
position several times since then. AIHA is aware of the controversy
regarding whether ergonomics is a science, whether ergonomic injuries can be
adequately diagnosed, and whether ergonomic regulations or controls increase
the cost of doing business. The new position paper addresses several
- Misconception #1:
Ergonomics is not a science.
- Misconception #2:
Ergonomics is costly.
- Misconception #3: The
injuries are not real because there is no way to diagnose them.
- Misperception #4: There is
no way to show what is causing ergonomic injuries because they have no
- Misperception #5: Fixing
ergonomic problems will slow production. It will require employers to slow
down the work process or hire more workers to do the same work (e.g., two
people to lift or carry something).
- Misperception #6: Many of
these problems are due to outside activities like bowling, knitting,
gardening, home repair or sports.
- Misperception #7:
Ergonomic assessments are complicated. Employers, particularly small
employers, do not have the knowledge or expertise to do ergonomic
assessments, and hiring an ergonomist to do them is cost prohibitive.
the complete position paper.
Source: American Industrial
In Unfit Men, Heavy Work May
Increase Fatal Heart Disease Risk
High physical work demands are linked to an increased risk of death from
ischemic heart disease (IHD) - but only for men who aren’t physically fit,
reports a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental
Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational
and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). The increase in risk is not explained by
the higher rates of heavy work and health risk factors among men at lower
socioeconomic levels, concludes the new research, led by Andreas Holtermann,
PhD, of Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen.
A previous study of 5,250 Danish men found an increased
risk of death from IHD (such as heart attack) in men with high physical work
demands and low physical fitness. However, social class was a potential
confounding factor: men at lower socioeconomic levels are more likely to
have jobs involving heavy work. They also have higher rates of lifestyle
risk factors, such as smoking and obesity.
Among men who did heavy work, risk was about 40 percent
lower for those with high physical fitness. This difference was not
statistically significant, however.
the complete report.
Source: Journal of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Expert Offers Suggestions for Reducing Re-Injury and Returning Injured
Employees to Work
Every employer has experienced a workers’ compensation claim that at first
glance, seemed to be for a minor injury. As months and even years go past,
the claim snowballs into full-fledged disability and the employer is left
wondering what happened and if anything could have been done to prevent the
high workers’ comp costs and the loss of quality of life for that employee.
Some employees experienced childhood incidents – such as abuse, alcoholism
or drug abuse – which make it more difficult, physically and emotionally, to
recover from a work-related injury. There also are other factors, such as
pain tolerance and general attitude, which can impact recovery time. The
employee’s attitude about the workplace, the employer and coworkers and
supervisors also can impact his or her ability to recover from an injury.
the full report.
Source: EHS Today Magazine.
ASSE Offers Critical Tips for Preventing Campus-Related Fires
Each year several college students are injured and killed in preventable
campus-related fires. In an effort to prevent injuries and fatalities caused
by fires that occur in college residence halls, off-campus housing,
fraternity/sorority houses, and to raise awareness about life-saving fire
prevention knowledge as students head back to school, the American Society
of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Fire Protection Practice Specialty (PS) group is
providing free fire prevention and safety information and tip sheets. These
tips and tools for fire prevention and awareness provide students, parents
and school administrators with valuable information for identifying hazards,
planning an escape route in the event of a fire, fire prevention and more.
the full report.
links to the fact sheets and tips.
Source: American Society of
Sports Lesson for EHS
Professionals: Organization-Wide Effort Drives Results
The downside of sports analogies for
occupational safety and health (OHS) programs is that they sometimes miss
the big picture. If we focus exclusively on coaching theories, our annual
“Health and Wellness MVP” award or how our department can win the “Super
Bowl of Safety,” we may forget that health and safety performance ultimately
depends on and benefits the entire organization, not just a few spotlighted
individuals. The same is true in professional sports. Plenty of smart
coaches and star players never win a championship, while great organizations
achieve excellence year after year regardless of personnel and other
challenges. So let’s take the sports-OHS analogy to the next level and
explore how the organizational components that drive great sports franchises
parallel key areas separating OHS champions from the rest of the pack.
the full report.
Source: EHS Today Magazine
Learn About Electricity Dangers
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From Canada - Three Ergonomic Risk
Factors of Office Work
Office work may seem harmless enough, sitting all day at a desk using a
computer. However all that prolonged sitting, typing on a keyboard and using
a mouse for hours at a stretch every day can set the stage for
musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs). Symptoms of an MSI can include pain, joint
stiffness, weak or aching muscles, redness and swelling, numbness and
tingling, a burning sensation, and a general feeling of tiredness.
The three factors that present the greatest risk for
- fixed and constrained
postures that are often awkward,
- uncomfortable and
maintained for too long a time; repetitious and forceful hand
- and a fast pace of
For more information including posters, e-learning, and podcasts.
Did You Know?
Saf-T-Gard Supplies Spill Control
Sorbents are available in a
variety of configurations for cleaning-up oil, chemicals, and general
maintenance spills, drips, etc. A few popular products are shown
online, but more are available - call your safety specialist at Saf-T-Gard
To See Some Popular Spill Control Sorbent Products
As I see it ...
It is December 2011. And before I climb
on my soapbox this month, the first order of business is to express our
appreciation to all whom we have touched, in one way or another, during 2011.
The fact that you're reading this now means you receive our Saf-T-Gardian, and
we thank you for the time you invest reading our newsletter. Thanks for
your business. As 2011 draws to a close, perhaps it is time for a year-end
assessment. An honest assessment means asking the hard questions.
Who is responsible for the safety of your workers on the job? Is there
executive leadership and guidance, or benign, hands-off delegation of
responsibility? Who is involved in the consideration, evaluation, and
selection of safety products?
Is plant safety part of risk management? The cliché "Safety is No
Accident" is only part of the issue, because a lack of accidents does not mean
that the industrial safety program is the best it can be. To be the best,
strive for the best, and partner with the best. We never forget that the first P in PPE is personal. We're
Saf-T-Gard - passionate about industrial safety for 4 generations.
Here is how
to get started.
Richard Rivkin, President
- HANDS THAT DO WORK -
Need protection from chemical, physical and electrical hazards.
HANDS THAT DO WORK -
Need barriers to protect products and
processes from contamination.
HANDS THAT DO WORK -
Should have hand protection that is comfortable and fits properly.
HANDS THAT DO WORK
Can be cleaned and sanitized
with safe yet industrial strength hand cleaners and lotions.
HANDS THAT DO WORK
- Are also the
hands that hug our loved ones.
Want more information on
any of this month's Saf-T-Tips?
for a prompt reply.
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Question and Answer
- Does OSHA mandate that all volunteer members of a HAZMAT team be
required to participate in medical surveillance, or may an employee opt out of
- Medical surveillance requirements for personnel involved in emergency
response to the release of hazardous substances, i.e., HAZMAT team members, are
set forth in 1910.120(q)(9). Paragraph 1910.120(q)(9)(i) provides: "Members of
an organized and designated HAZMAT team and hazardous materials specialists
shall receive a baseline physical examination and be provided with medical
surveillance as required in paragraph 1910.120(f) of this section." Therefore,
HAZMAT team members involved in emergency response operations covered by
1910.120(q)(9)(i) must receive a baseline physical exam. Any employee subject to
1910.120(q)(9) who elects not to have a baseline examination may not perform
emergency response duties as part of a HAZMAT team or as a hazardous materials
specialist. An employee who is a "volunteer" member of a HAZMAT team or
hazardous materials specialist must still receive the baseline examination under
paragraph 1910.120(q)(9)(i). That paragraph applies to all members of any
organized and designated HAZMAT team. Any employee who is expected to respond to
hazardous substance releases as a HAZMAT team member with the knowledge of the
employer is covered under the requirements.
If you have an industrial safety question you'd like answered, email
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George Beck has
been a member of the Saf-T-Gard Sales Team for nearly 2 years.
What George likes about
Saf-T-Gard: "The freedom to get the job done for the customer,"
"Helping to satisfy the customer's requirements and helping keep
outside interests: "Family, Scouts, Church. And as my brother-in-law
says, 'If you own a house you don't need a hobby.' Something always needs
to be done."
Anything else? "I like the
people at Saf-T-Gard and the team approach. Everyone seems to be
pulling in the same direction."
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Copyright 2011 Saf-T-Gard International, Inc.