These past two weeks we have seen some interesting developments on two OSHA actions: 1) anti-retaliation provisions in the new record-keeping rule and 2) Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) in General Industry (Subpart D and Subpart I) . It seems a judge has delayed OSHA's enforcement of its anti-retaliation provisions in the new record-keeping rule from November 1st to December 1st. On a brighter front, we learned late last week that OSHA's Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) in General Industry (Subpart D and Subpart I) cleared the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This effort started way back before my time (1990) and was recently attempted back in 2010; it now looks to get final passage.
In my HAZMAT classes, I always ask the question: A container of diesel fuel is at its flash point and a container of gasoline is at its flash point - an ignition source is present within the container - which container ignites first? Darn near 100% of the students will say the gasoline container and darn near 100% are WRONG! The reason: Diesel fuel has an LEL of around 0.5% and Gasoline has an LEL of around 1.5%, meaning that the LEL will be achieved in the diesel container MUCH FASTER. The ONLY thing diesel fuel has that makes it more safe is a HIGH flash point; however, when we expose diesel fuel to cutting torches and grinders we can spread the heat via conduction to the diesel fuel, raising the temp of the solution and thus we create a flammable atmosphere in short order! In fact, since most workers have some level of respect for gasoline and very little for diesel fuel we see more diesel fuel tank explosions than we do gasoline. Case in point...
In my upbringing in the chemical industry I had the opportunity to work with some outstanding engineers; too many to mention by name. These men and women took time out of their busy schedules to teach me process safety. One of these engineers was very strict about his process piping and every engineer in the units that were PSM (and then RMP later on) were expected to be intimately familiar with their process piping. So much, that the engineering manager would walk out to the unit, walk up to a run of pipe, touch it and the unit engineer would have to provide all the facts about that run of pipe. Could you answer these questions WITH DOCUMENTED PSI/MI data to support your answers?
MANY THANKS to Matt Bunner, Safety Professional Extraordinaire, for sharing this video with us. I always knew it could happen and here we see it happening. The bolt turns in one direction and the nut turns in the other. SAFETY PINS MATTER!
The ZorbitTM Energy Absorber is used with horizontal lifeline systems to limit fall arrest forces on the worker in the event of a fall. 3M Fall Protection (formerly Capital Safety) has identified a production issue with its Zorbit Energy Absorbers that creates a risk of serious injury or death for a user in the event of a fall from height. Although there have been no reported accidents or injuries associated with this issue, 3M Fall Protection is voluntarily recalling a limited lot range of this product and will replace affected energy absorbers free of charge. CLICK HERE for the notice
Between 2005 and 2015 there were 85 DEATHS due to fires or explosions, including 28 HW deaths. Causes of these fatalities include improper hot work practices and assuming that empty oilfield equipment does not present a fire or explosion hazard.
Enforcement Delay Notice Note: OSHA is NOT implementing the July 2015 memo on the retail exemption. The Department is considering its options in light of the D.C. Circuits decision in Agricultural Retailers Association et al. v. United States Department of Labor and OSHA (D.C. Cir. Case Nos. 15-1326 and 15-1340).
Metrics are measures that are used to evaluate and track the performance of a facility’s process safety management program. For facilities that handle highly hazardous chemicals, metrics can be used to quantify how a process has performed historically, how it might perform in the future, and where improvements can be made to keep workers safe.
This document provides employers with examples of metrics that are tracked by facilities that are enrolled in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Because VPP sites have achieved a high standard of safety excellence, tracking these metrics can make a positive contribution to the effectiveness of an employer’s process safety management program. Two types of metrics—lagging metrics and leading metrics—are often used to track safety performance in process safety management:
In September 2016 NIOSH published revised IDLH value for nine (9) hazardous materials.
OSHA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to add two (2) quantitative fit-testing protocols to the agency's Respiratory Protection Standard. The protocols would apply to employers in the general, shipyard and construction industries. This proposed rulemaking would allow employers greater flexibility in choosing fit-testing methods for employees. The proposed rule would NOT require an employer to update or replace current fit-testing methods, as long as the fit-testing method(s) currently in use meet existing standards. The proposal also would not impose additional costs on any private- or public-sector entity.