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It is become more common to find this type of set up on our audits. We don't see this cited often but OSHA will cite this very set up using:
1910.141(g)(2) Eating and drinking areas. No employee shall be allowed to consume food or beverages in a toilet room nor in any area exposed to a toxic material.
and when they make the argument that no one is eating while in the bathroom, we use...
1910.141(g)(4) Sanitary storage. No food or beverages shall be stored in toilet rooms or in an area exposed to a toxic material.
OSHA cited Phoenix Industrial Cleaning for 28 serious safety violations following the death of a worker who fell from a ladder inside of a storage tank, apparently after being overcome by methylene chloride vapors at a chemical manufacturing facility in Wheeling, WV on Nov. 29, 2012. The company performs industrial cleaning of cooking exhaust ventilation, tanks, silos and similar equipment at industrial and commercial work sites. OSHA has conducted four previous inspections, two of which resulted in citations for violating standards on confined spaces. The last OSHA inspection was in 2001.
Eighteen of the serious violations involve confined space entry requirements, such as failing to develop and implement a confined space entry program for workers cleaning chemical storage tanks; train workers on acceptable entry conditions; provide testing and monitoring equipment for atmospheric hazards; provide a means of communication between workers entering a confined space and the attendant; provide rescue emergency equipment and a retrieval system to facilitate a no-entry rescue; have proper entry-control permits; and determine the proficiency of rescue service available to perform emergency rescue for exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Five of the serious violations that involve OSHA's respiratory protection standards include failing to evaluate the respiratory hazards present and select appropriate respiratory protection based on such hazards, provide a written respiratory protection program and train workers on such a program and conduct medical evaluations for workers required to use respiratory protection and proper fit-testing respiratory protection.
Additional serious violations involve OSHA's methylene chloride standard, such as failing to provide workers with information and training on the hazards associated with methylene chloride, assess exposure and provide effective protective garments. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. Confined space hazards are addressed in specific standards. For more information see, http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/confinedspaces/index.html.
OSHA has proposed fines of $77,200. CLICK HERE for more from OSHA.
Appropriations Bill Blocks OSHA's efforts to revise the "retail exemption" as it applies to Anhydrous Ammonia @ Fertilizer Distributors
The House Appropriations Committee has approved language blocking OSHA's efforts to cover Anhydrous Ammonia bulk processes located at "fertilizer businesses". The legislation now awaits consideration on the House floor. The bill prevents OSHA from revising a previous enforcement position relating to the "retail exemption" (1910.119(a)(2)(i) that would pull around 4,800 anhydrous ammonia fertilizer facilities into PSM.
CLICK HERE (pdf) to see the Letter sent to the committee by 41 Congressmen seeking to block OSHA. A couple of notes about this political wrangling:
The final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. The final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation; clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer' s procedure for reporting workrelated injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. These provisions under§ 1904.35 become effective August 10, 2016.
In order to provide the opportunity to conduct additional outreach to the regulated community, we have decided to delay enforcement of these provisions until November 1, 2016. We are currently developing educational materials for employers and enforcement guidance for your staff that will be made available shortly. Please instruct your staff to provide these materials to employers that are subject to the requirements under § 1904.35 and to provide guidance on what steps the employers can take to ensure that they are in compliance with the new provisions when enforcement begins on November 1, 2016.
CLICK HERE for the official memo
So does every single energy isolation REQUIRE a written procedure/plan that identifies the types of energy, their magnitude, the means used to isolate them, and the means used to verify zero energy state (ZES)? YES... there is ONLY ONE (1) special exemption that excuses us from having a task specific isolation procedure/ plan and that exemption can be found in 1910/147(c)(4)(i). But before we get too excited about OSHA giving us a loophole to having a WRITTEN ISOLATION PLAN for every LOTO, we need to see the eight (8) criteria that OSHA has set forth for the "exception" to apply and I do think many will be sorely disappointed...
As safety professionals we need to use terms from our profession CORRECTLY. For example, "risk" is NOT the same as "hazard". I think we can all agree that flying in an airplane at 30,000 feet at 500 mph, with 50,000 pounds of jet fuel is hazardous! But these days on a commercial airliner it is the lowest "risk" means of travel available. So just because something is hazardous does not mean it is automatically risky. That is where we, safety professionals, come in - it is our role to make a hazardous task/activity LESS RISKY by using the hierarchy of controls, in the same spirit of how we have made commercial air travel SAFE.
Since our presentation at ASSE 2016 a couple of weeks ago I have been swamped with comments (all positive so THANK YOU) , questions and suggestions. One member thought the SAFTENG community could learn from one of the best chemical companies, Dow, on how they manage line break. We even had one attendee at ASSE 2016 mention some of Dow's practices related to Line Break/Equipment Opening. Here is a ppt Dow did recently for the World Chlorine Council.
This is a pdf file
Have you ever wondered just how busy is OSHA? How many inspections does OSHA do in a single month? What are they working on? Who are they visiting? Why are they visiting certain workplaces and not others? Are they "picking on anyone"? etc. Well, have a look into a month of inspection history from 6/20/16 to 7/20/16. In this month, OSHA has:
CSB Board Members Adds Preventive Maintenance and Emergency Planning and Response to Most Wanted Safety Improvement Programs
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has formally announced that “Emergency Planning and Response” and “Preventive Maintenance” are the Board’s newest “Most Wanted Safety Improvements”. The CSB has concluded that inadequate or poor emergency planning or response is a recurring finding in the CSB’s investigations. And that inadequate mechanical integrity programs, delayed or deferred preventive maintenance, and the aging infrastructure of equipment at chemical facilities have been a recurring root cause of incidents investigated by the CSB.