OSHA Focuses on Isocyanates Via National Emphasis Program

OSHA has announced a new National Emphasis Program for occupational exposure to isocyanates that will focus outreach and inspections on specific hazards in the manufacturing, maritime and construction industries.

On Dec. 3, 1984, over 40 tons of methyl isocyanate and other lethal gases including hydrogen cyanide, leaked into the northern end of Bhopal, killing over 3,000 people in its immediate aftermath and causing ongoing health issues for thousands more. More recently, a large explosion and fire that took the lives of two workers and injured several more at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute, W. Va., in August 2008 was caused by a thermal runaway reaction during the production of an insecticide containing methyl isocyanate.

OSHA’s new National Emphasis Program for isocyanates will target the serious health effects from occupational exposure to isocyanates. OSHA develops national emphasis programs to focus outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards in an industry for a 3-year period. Through this NEP, OSHA will focus on workplaces in manufacturing, construction and maritime industries that use isocyanate compounds in an effort to reduce occupational illnesses and deaths.

To view the original article, visit HERE.

Don’t forget, Safety Links provides industrial hygiene work with a highly experienced Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) on staff. For more information about our services or to schedule a meeting, call us at 407-760-6170 or email at info@safetylinks.net

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ANSI and ASSE seeking U.S. stakeholders to support the standard’s development

NEW YORK, July 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –Following the tragic deaths of thousands of garment factory workers around the world in the past year, including over 1,100 people in a factory collapse in Bangladesh, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has announced that it will develop a new standard for global occupational health and safety (OH&S) with the goal of providing governmental agencies, industry, and other affected stakeholders with effective, usable guidance for improving worker safety in countries around the world. The work will be overseen by ISO Project Committee (PC) 283, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements.

“This proposed occupational health and safety standard represents one of the most significant consensus standards activities in the last 50 years,” said S. Joe Bhatia, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) president and CEO. “It has the potential to significantly and positively impact occupational health and safety management on a global level.”

To support this effort, ANSI and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) are seeking participants for a U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO PC 283. All U.S. experts and interested stakeholders in OH&S management are strongly encouraged to get involved and help influence the development of this important standard.

The U.S. TAG to ISO PC 283 will advise ANSI on voting positions relevant to the proposed OH&S management standard, and will carry out detailed discussions on issues related to its development. As the U.S. member body to ISO, ANSI accredits U.S. TAGs to develop and transmit U.S. positions on ISO technical activities. Following the TAG’s accreditation by ANSI, ASSE will head up the U.S. work effort by serving as the U.S. TAG administrator to ISO PC 283.

“Time and time again we’ve seen how investment in OH&S management can help to make work environments safer, while also serving to improve overall organizational performance and boosting the bottom line,” said Kathy Seabrook, CSP, CMIOSH, EurOSH, president of ASSE.

“ISO PC 283 will be doing critically important work, and the U.S. needs to have a strong, active and engaged role in this activity,” added Mr. Bhatia. “ANSI and ASSE encourage all interested U.S. stakeholders to get involved in this significant new global standards initiative.”

For more information about the U.S. TAG to ISO PC 283 and the opportunity to take part in this critically important work, click here. To access the TAG membership application form, click here.

About ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is made up of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

About ASSE

Founded in 1911, the Chicago-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 35,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information please go to http://www.asse.org/.

SOURCE American National Standards Institute

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To view the original article, visit http://m.prnewswire.com/news-releases/iso-to-develop-new-global-occupational-health-and-safety-standard-216807451.html.

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Safety Links’ Trevor Reschny, CSP featured in new book, Accidents Waiting To Happen by Rick Dalrymple

Accident Waiting To Happen Book

Trevor Reschny, CSP, president of Safety Links Inc. has recently been featured in the new book “Accident Waiting To Happen: Best Practices In Workers’ Comp Administration and Protecting Corporate Profitability” by Rick Dalrymple, CPIA, CMIP.

Be sure to turn to page 191 for “Behavior Based Safety Systems (Modern Safety Management)” by Reschny, covering topics: The Safety Evolution, Traditional Safety Programs Yields Marginal Success, Modern Safety Management Model, and Behavior based Safety.

To purchase a copy, visit your local bookstore or online at http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Dalrymple/e/B00D4NJ9VG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1.

Accident Waiting To Happen Book

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OSHA announces new National Emphasis Program for occupational exposure to isocyanates

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a new National Emphasis Program to protect workers from the serious health effects from occupational exposure to isocyanates. OSHA develops national emphasis programs to focus outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards in an industry for a three-year period. Through this NEP, OSHA will focus on workplaces in general, construction and maritime industries that use isocyanate compounds in an effort to reduce occupational illnesses and deaths.

“Workers exposed to isocyanates can suffer debilitating health problems for months or even years after exposure,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Through this program, OSHA will strengthen protections for workers exposed to isocyanates.”

Isocyanates are chemicals that can cause occupational asthma, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat, and cancer. Deaths have occurred due to both asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis from isocyanates exposure. Respiratory illnesses also can be caused by isocyanates exposure to the skin. Isocyanates are used in materials including paints, varnishes, auto body repair, and building insulation. Jobs that involve exposure to isocyanates include the spray-on polyurethane manufacturing of products such as mattresses and car seats, and protective coatings for truck beds, boats, and decks.

OSHA’s Web page on Isocyanates provides additional information on recognizing potential hazards, as well as OSHA standards that address isocyanates in the general, construction and maritime industries.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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To read the original press release, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=24273.

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Senator Calls Out White House for Logjam in Workplace Safety Rulemaking

As workplace safety and health advocates figure out how to fix workplace safety regulations in the wake of the West, Texas explosion, they agree that one focus should be speeding the passage of new rules. Though the notoriously slow rulemaking process wasn’t a factor in the West, Texas explosion, it has been the cause of numerous other workplace fatalities, and could delay efforts to prevent another tragedy like West.

For instance, four years before a tragic explosion in West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine as a result of coal dust build-up, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board issued a report recommending that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) write a rule to prevent the accumulation of combustible dust. But it was not until 2009 that OSHA began the process of gathering information to write a rule. Then in 2010, OSHA downgraded the rule to a “long term action,” delaying the draft rule’s required approval by a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel (SBARP). On April 5, 2010, the coal dust at Upper Big Branch sparked, and the resulting explosion killed 29 miners.

Yet the combustible-dust rule is still awaiting SBARP pre-approval.

Keith Wrightson, worker safety and health advocate for the watchdog group Public Citizen, says, “Based on previous experience with OSHA, it is likely that it will take 8 to 12 years to issue a final rule for combustible dust.”

To read the full article, visit http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/15003/senator_calls_out_white_house_for_logjam_in_workplace_safety_rules/.

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Breaking News: Fertilizer Plant explodes near Waco, TX

Between five and 15 people are thought to have been killed by a huge explosion at a fertiliser plant near Waco in the US state of Texas.

More than 160 people were injured as dozens of homes and buildings were destroyed in the evening blast.

Emergency services are still going from home to home, in the darkness, trying to rescue any survivors.

A number of firefighters were tackling a blaze at the scene when the explosion happened, and are still missing.

Read the full story on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22195495.

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U.S. EPA Orders NASA to Clean Up Soils Threatening Sensitive Habitat

Release Date: 03/15/2013

Contact Information: David Yogi, 415-972-3350, yogi.david@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today ordered the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to take immediate and long-term actions to address soil contamination at its Ames Research Center at the Moffett Field Naval Air Station in Mountain View, Calif. This order is part of an effort to enter into a long-term cleanup agreement with NASA for the Ames site.

Soils at the site–contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, chromium, zinc, cadmium, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)–pose a threat to local wildlife, including the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse, and have the potential to re-contaminate an adjacent stormwater retention pond that the U.S. Navy spent $9.7 million cleaning up in 2012.

In the coming months, EPA and the California State Regional Water Quality Control Board will continue to negotiate a facility-wide cleanup agreement with NASA for its remaining environmental cleanup responsibilities at the Moffett Field Superfund Site. Once the agreement is signed, EPA will monitor NASA’s work to ensure proper and timely implementation of the cleanup.

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To view the press release, visit http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/22BA8FDEC5E75A7E85257B2F00745735

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OSHA reminds employers to protect workers from dangers of carbon monoxide exposure

WASHINGTON –– With the arrival of cold weather, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding employers to take necessary precautions to protect workers from the serious, and sometimes fatal, effects of carbon monoxide exposure.

Recently, a worker in a New England warehouse was found unconscious and seizing, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Several other workers at the site also became sick. All of the windows and doors were closed to conserve heat, there was no exhaust ventilation in the facility, and very high levels of carbon monoxide were measured at the site.

Every year, workers die from carbon monoxide poisoning, usually while using fuel-burning equipment and tools in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation. This can be especially true during the winter months when employees use this type of equipment in indoor spaces that have been sealed tightly to block out cold temperatures and wind. Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure can include everything from headaches, dizziness and drowsiness to nausea, vomiting or tightness across the chest. Severe carbon monoxide poisoning can cause neurological damage, coma and death.

Sources of carbon monoxide can include anything that uses combustion to operate, such as gas generators, power tools, compressors, pumps, welding equipment, space heaters and furnaces.

To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace, employers should install an effective ventilation system, avoid the use of fuel-burning equipment in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces, use carbon monoxide detectors in areas where the hazard is a concern and take other precautions outlined in OSHA’s Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet. For additional information on carbon monoxide poisoning and preventing exposure in the workplace, see OSHA’s Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Quick Cards (in English and Spanish).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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OSHA reminds employers to post injury and illness summaries

Feb. 11, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding employers to post OSHA Form 300A, which lists a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2012. The form must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2013.

The summary must include the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2012 and were logged on OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. To assist in calculating incidence rates, information about the annual average number of employees and total hours worked during the calendar year is also required. If a company recorded no injuries or illnesses in 2012, the employer must enter “zero” on the total line. The form must be signed and certified by a company executive. Form 300A should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.

Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. A complete list of exempt industries in the retail, services, finance, insurance and real estate sectors can be found at http://s.dol.gov/YP.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics may still select exempted employers to participate in an annual statistical survey. All employers covered by OSHA need to comply with safety and health standards. All accidents that result in one or more fatalities or in the hospitalization of three or more employees must be reported verbally within eight hours to the nearest OSHA office.

Copies of OSHA Forms 300 and 300A are available at http://s.dol.gov/YQ in either Adobe PDF or Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet format. For more information on recordkeeping requirements, visit the OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements Web page.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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Legislature will consider mandating regulations over Minnesota’s day-care deaths rise

In Minnesota, state regulators are planning to propose a new set of safety measures in response to the rise of day-care deaths. This would include increased training of day-care staff, stiffer penalties and online access to more licensed records.

“If parents are able to have access to information about child care, we know they are going to take advantage of it,” said Jerry Kerber, inspector general for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). “We recognize the need.”

Among the recommendations are:

• Stiffer penalties for day-care providers who violate state safety standards.

• Training in safe-sleep practices for infants will be required annually; it is currently required every five years.

• Providers would have to complete more training before getting licensed and more ongoing training, including courses on health and safe supervision.

• Providers would be required to check on sleeping infants every 30 minutes and use a baby monitor when they are not in the same room. Checks would be required every 15 minutes when an infant is new to a day care, which can be the riskiest period for sleep deaths.

“We’re all about safety, health and professional development,” says Kate Chase, executive director of The Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association, who has not taken a formal position on the proposal.

To view the article, visit http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/188774541.html.

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