I read an interesting article yesterday about OSHA, safety and politics. Although I don’t agree with everything in the article I do feel it makes some interesting points.
What do you think about the article?
Please comment about it on our blog.
Now remember this conversation could get political so be nice!
Here is this month’s safety tip presentation to learn more about the vast presence of illicit and abused drugs that could potentially take place in your workplace. As with most safety-related issues, implementing ways for your staff to be safe and stay healthy has to start with awareness. Watch now:
To learn more about a workplace drug-free program, visit us at http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/consulting/drug-free-workplace.
The 2012 NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, has been out for a while now. During the last revision cycle, the NFPA 70E committee received 548 proposals mostly (540 of them) from the public.
As a result, there were a number of new changes that occurred in the 2012 NFPA 70E version. Here is a brief description of some of the major changes:
Arc-Rated (New): The 2012 edition of NFPA 70E will use the term “arc-rated” or “AR” before any reference to “flame-resistant” or “FR.” The term “arc-rated” refers to a material property or attribute in terms of a material’s performance when exposed to an electric arc. Arc-rated material is flame-resistant, but flame-resistant material may not be arc-rated.
Incident Energy Analysis (New Definition): The 2012 edition features a new informational note added to the existing arc flash hazard analysis definition. It defines the term “incident energy analysis” as “a method used to predict the incident energy of an arc flash for a specified set of conditions.”
Arc Flash Boundary (Revision): Previous editions referred to the arc flash protection boundary. The 2012 edition uses the term “arc flash boundary” (AFB). The word “protection” has been deleted.
Section 110.5(C) (New): This section is new to the code and requires a documented meeting between the host employer and contract employer for multiemployer relationships.
Section 110.6(C) Emergency Procedures (Revision): The 2012 edition requires the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) in addition to the existing requirement of training and employer certification of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This is a great idea!
Section 110.6(D)(1)(f) (New): The language for this new section reads: “The employer shall determine through regular supervision and through inspections conducted on at least an annual basis that each employee is complying with the safety-related work practices required by this standard.” This mirrors similar language to the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269(a)(2)(iii) standard.
Section 110.6(D)(3)(c) (Retraining) (New): The 2012 edition requires all employees to be retrained at intervals not to exceed three years.
Section 110.7(E) Electrical Safety Program Procedures (Revision): The 2012 edition incorporates language to include working within the AFB in addition to the existing requirement for working within the limited approach boundary (LAB). It is possible that the AFB could be greater than the LAB and vice versa.
Section 120.2(C)(2) (Form of Control) (Revision): The 2012 edition removes individual employee control as one of three forms of control of hazardous electrical energy, leaving the two methods: simple and complex lockout/tag out.
Section 130.1(A) General (Revision): The 2009 edition requires that energized conductors or circuit parts are placed into an electrically safe working condition before an employee works within the LAB. New language expands this requirement to apply if any of the following conditions exist:
- The employee is within the LAB (same as before)
- The employee is within the AFB
- The employee interacts with equipment where conductors or circuit parts are not exposed, but an increased risk of arc flash hazard exists
Table 130.2(C) Approach Boundaries to Energized Electrical Conductors or Circuit Parts for Shock Protection (Revision): The 2012 edition features a renumbered version of this table as Table 130.2(C)(1), and it will specifically apply to alternating current (AC) power systems. A new table, 130.2(C)(2) applies to direct current (DC) power systems.
Section 130.3 Exception No. 1 (Revision): This exception is based on language found in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Std. 1584—Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations. Exception 1 stated that an arc flash hazard analysis shall not be required on circuits rated 240 volts (V) or less and supplied by one transformer if the transformer is less than 125 kilovolt-amperes. This exception has been deleted. In its place, an informational note will state that an arc flash hazard analysis may not be necessary for some three-phase systems rated less than 240V. It will then reference the IEEE standard for more information.
Section 130.3(A) Arc Flash Boundary (Revision): The 2012 edition will not feature the “four foot rule” in this section, and there will no longer be separate sections for the AFB at voltage levels between 50V and 600V and voltage levels above 600V. The revised language will state that the AFB for systems 50V and greater shall be the distance at which the incident energy is 1.2 calories per square centimeter. Instead of the “four foot rule,” AFB will be located in Table 130.7(C)(9). This is an important one!
Section 130.3(C) Equipment Labeling (Revision): This section provides more guidance on what equipment needs labeling based on language similar to the 2011 NEC. Electrical equipment—such as switchboards, panel boards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures and motor control centers—and that are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance while energized, shall be field-marked with a label containing all of the following information:
(1) Only one of the following:
a. Available incident energy
b. Minimum arc rating of clothing
(2) Date of arc flash hazard analysis
(3) Nominal system voltage
(4) Equipment identification
(5) Arc flash boundary
Section 130.7(C)(X) (Hearing Protection) (New): Employees shall wear hearing protection whenever working within the AFB. Previous editions only listed hearing protection in Table 130.7(C)(10) Protective Clothing and Personal Protective Equipment and did not address it specifically. The new language clarifies when hearing protection is required as well as the appropriate requirements for that protection.
Category 2* Deleted (Revision): Category 2 will require a balaclava sock or an arc flash suit hood. There was an inconsistency with Section 130.7(C)(1), which required all parts of the body inside the AFB to be protected. This is an important one!
Section 130.7(C)(13)(a) (Arc Flash Suits) (Revision): Additional language state: “When the incident energy exposure is greater than 12 cal/cm2, a suitably rated arc flash suit hood shall be used.”
Section 130.7(C)(13)(b) (Face Protection) (Revision): The 2012 edition features new language in this section, requiring face shields with a wraparound guarding to protect the face, chin, forehead, ears and neck to be used.
The 2012 edition of NFPA 70E established many positive changes and I only covered some of the major ones. To learn about the new standard and how to become a qualified worker take our NFPA 70E class. http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-courses-for-all-industries/arc-flash.
In 2009, more than 150 construction workers died due to being struck by vehicles. One of the most deadly hazards is being struck by cranes or crane parts. The following video shows how a worker standing on an area out of the driver’s rear view can lead to the crane’s unloading positioning swings to hit…
With competition increasing, companies must be concerned about cutting costs and trimming expenses. These costs must be reduced not only to save money, but also to compete with other organizations who offer similar services.
Although the importance of safety is obvious, it is often very difficult to balance the reality of costs with the necessity for safety programs. But does safety actually cost money? In the short run implementing safety will likely have some costs. After all, production time must be taken for training, and safe equipment must be purchased.
In the long run however safety does not cost a penny. In fact effective safety programs have been known to actually save companies 4 dollars for every dollar spent. Not only will you reduce compensation and insurance costs, but you will keep trained workers, which makes you more efficient and profitable. In addition your customers will continue to use your services ultimately keeping you, your employees, and your subcontractors employed!
Working in the outdoor heat?
Every year, more than 30 workers have died of heat a heat stroke. Due to the rising number of deaths and concern, OSHA has launched a national awareness initiative to educate employers and workers of the dangers of hot outdoor work environments. Heat illness educational materials in both English and Spanish are now available for anyone’s workplace training. The page can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html. Other symptoms to look out for when working in hot temperatures are heat rashes and heat cramps, which can occur prior to a stroke.
“It is essential for workers and employers to take proactive steps to stay safe in extreme heat, and become aware of symptoms of heat exhaustion before they get worse,” says Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Agriculture workers; building, road and other construction workers; utility workers; baggage handlers; roofers; landscapers; and others who work outside are all at risk. Drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas are incredibly important in the hot summer months.”
Even more convenient, you can use your smart phone to your advantage when working outdoors. A mobile app for Androids and iPhones is now available for workers and supervisors to monitor heat index at a work site. Risk levels and reminders on protective safety measures are available in it and it is available in Spanish and English. To download it, visit http://s.dol.gov/RI.
If you haven’t already, you can view Safety Links e-learning safety module on Heat Stress at http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/blog/entry/safety-tip-heat-stress-in-work-environments.
As Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health says, “OSHA’s 1983 Hazard Communication Standard gave workers the right to now.”
Now more than ever, this statement applies to the newly aligned United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System with OSHA’s HazCom standard. Its merging will help facilitate American workers’ safety and make it easier for employers to compete in a globally.
This change includes establishing consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals made in the U.S. and imported. They will also classify chemicals according to their health and physical hazards.
By September of this year, all states with OSHA-approved safety and health regulatory programs must add the GHS amendments to their HazCom programs. “This update will give them the right to understand as well”, says Michaels.
To inquire about consulting of OSHA’s HazCom and GHS, visit http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-courses-for-all-industries/hazcom.
Ever wonder what companies get cited for the most? Here are OSHA’S top 10 most frequently cited standards violated of 2011 and their link to its page: Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501) Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200) Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) Control…
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is set to unveil improvements in emergency training and rescue technology.
MSHA chief Joe Main plans to discuss the latest advances on Tuesday at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, WV.
MSHA will display its new emergency command vehicle, as well as a mobile gas laboratory, seismic location vehicle and mine gas monitoring vehicle.
Several training exercises will take place concurrently, including an outdoor firefighting competition, smoke training in a mine simulation laboratory, and about 50 rescue teams testing their skills in a staged emergency.
For more information on Miner Training, visit http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/osha-msha-courses.
With over 10,000 construction workers injured and 255 killed in 2010 due to falling, OSHA in partnership with NIOSH, has developed and initiated a new fall prevention campaign. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis rightfully announced its kick off last week emphasizing its goal to raise awareness by providing workers with information and educational materials specialized in their industry to diminish this problem.
Some of the types of organizations OSHA and NIOSH have stated they plan to work with are trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations, and consulates.
“When working at heights, everyone needs to plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide the right equipment and train workers to use the equipment safely,” says Dr. David Michaels, assistant to secretary of labor for occupational safety and health “now is the time to ensure that workers and employers understand what is required to prevent falls.”
OSHA’s new fall prevention website with both English and Spanish versions is available at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls. NIOSH and NORA have also collaborated to provide a fall prevention website at http://www.stopconstructionfalls.com.
To view OSHA’s press release, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=22260
For information on Fall Protection training, visit http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/construction-safety-courses
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