Respondent owns and operates a container molding facility where it manufactures and recycles high density polyethylene containers ranging in size from fifty-five to 330 gallons ("containers"). The larger containers are encased in a steel cage for extra support. As part of its recycling operations, the Facility accepts used containers which routinely contain small amounts of residual chemicals, including formaldehyde, a listed or other extremely hazardous substance. These used containers are processed at the return processing area. The return processing area includes a conveyor system and a cut-and-scrape area. At the return processing area, Respondent classifies return containers by chemical type and groups certain containers together to prevent the possibility of a chemical reaction. The return containers are placed on the assembly line, the inner plastic tank is removed and drained of any residue. The plastic is destroyed and the steel cage is washed and used for future containers. On October 7, 2015, Respondent's employees reported that an unknown chemical reaction had started in the return processing area. The reaction was described as a smoke emitting foaming liquid. Employees attempted to stop the reaction with a fire extinguisher, but were unable to do so. Employees evacuated the area when flames appeared. The fire quickly engulfed the return process area. The fire was eventually extinguished with the help of the local fire department. Two firefighters were hospitalized and later released. Respondent suffered property damage as a result of the fire, including damage to inventory as well as the conveyor system and cut-and-scrape area.
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...
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
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.
For years now OSHA and EPA have taken similar approaches to how they view DOT containers (Tank Trucks and Railcars) when they are connected to a process. Both agencies have stated that as long as the motive power (e.g. tractor or locomotive) remains in place then the unloading falls under DOT and thus the content in the DOT container does NOT have to be counted towards our Threshold Determination. However, "drop the trailer/railcar" then we have to view the DOT container as a process vessel/storage vessel and consider its contents towards our Threshold Determination. Keep in mind that a single 55/90 Ton Railcar of Chlorine sitting on our property is in and of itself a "covered process" regardless of where it sits; however, co-locating it in near proximity may make the RCar part of the existing covered process. But recently some OSHA state plans have posed new views on this DOT application towards PSM/RMP...
OSHA has issued two (2) citations to a construction contractor for $14,000 after an employee died within a permit-required confined space on 12/7/2015. The company is contesting the citations. The citations involved:
HAZMAT Safety Advisory: Immediate re-inspection and retesting of certain cargo tank motor vehicles required (FMCSA 2016)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing this safety advisory to provide notice to owners and operators of certain cargo tanks that they have been improperly inspected and tested, and must be re-inspected and retested before being used in Hazardous Materials specification tank service. The tanks in question were tested by H&W Tank Testing, CT#8083, Ohatchee, Alabama, and Christopher Humphries, CT#13131, Jacksonville, Alabama. Cargo tanks that have been inspected and/or tested by either company from April 2011 through March 2016, must be re-inspected and/or retested in accordance with 49 CFR § 180.407 immediately by a cargo tank facility registered with FMCSA.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing this safety advisory concerning pressure relief devices (PRD) that were not manufactured or intended for use on cargo tank motor vehicles. PRDs are an integral part of the safety mechanisms for U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) specification cargo tank motor vehicles and are vital to ensuring the safety of hazardous materials transportation by highway.