EPA RMP Citations @ Pharmaceutical Facility (Aqueous NH3 & Methylamine Gas; $190K and lowering inventories)
Respondent is the owner and/or operator of a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility which uses ammonia (conc. 20% or greater) ("aqueous ammonia") and methylamine gas in two (2) processes for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. EPA conducted an inspection of the Facility on or about January 31 , 2014 to assess compliance with 40 C.F.R. Part 68. Respondent subsequently sent a letter dated October 19, 2015 to EPA which provided updated information about the quantities of aqueous ammonia and methylamine at the facility from 2012-2015. Respondent did not submit an RMP to EPA.
As part of an ongoing effort to revise provisions in its standards that may be confusing, outdated or unnecessary, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing 18 changes to the agency's recordkeeping, general industry, maritime and construction standards. The proposed revisions would save employers an estimated $3.2 million per year. They are based on responses to a public Request for Information issued in 2012 as well as recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, OSHA staff, and the Office of Management and Budget. Individuals may submit comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Comments also may be submitted by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for details. Comments must be submitted by Dec. 5, 2016.
Recently OSHA issued citations to a business that has its own LPG storage tank and fills its own forklift LPG cylinders. We have seen far too many of these types of set-ups that are FAR OUTSIDE any resemblance of OSHA/NFPA/Fire Code compliance. These two (2) citations drive home the point about PROTECTING our storage tanks from mobile equipment hazards (e.g. contact with the tank). In this case, OSHA issued a REPEAT as the business had been cited at a nearby location for the same hazard. Here are the two (2) citations:
Another great OSHA State Plan resource; this time from Hawaii. This is an excellent self-evaluation worksheet that covers pretty much all facets of a traditional occupational safety and health program/process. If a business uses this tool to its full advantage, this assessment can paint a pretty accurate picture of the state of their S&H program efforts. But like all self-assessments this one can be manipulated to some extent; but, the management questions are really good. What I would do is provide this assessment and have each manager complete it independently and then have them do it as a group. This could be very telling as to the mindset management has of themselves and collectively. CLICK HERE for the assessment form.
The state of North Carolina's OSHA has updated many of their powerpoint presentations this year, with more coming soon. Here is the list of ppt's currently available:
This week Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling on the agency to strengthen the proposed revisions to the Risk Management Plan rule. Specifically, she wants the following prevention requirements added to the rule before it is finalized (apparently she thinks it will be finalized in 2016):
It seems many of you are hungry for OSHA inspection/enforcement data, so here is my next installment. In this XCEL Spread sheet I have taken the industries I spent the most time in during 2015 and listed all the OSHA citations for these industries. I have taken the liberty to break out the Top 10 (By # of citations issued) and included the # of inspections and the $'s in citations for each standard cited. The industries I have done are (in no particular order): 325 Chemical Manufacturing, 311 Food Manufacturing, 322 Paper Manufacturing, 326 Plastics and Rubber, 333 Machinery Manufacturing, 334 Computer and Electronic, and 336 Transportation Equipment. Have fun playing with the data and I hope it helps you drive safety improvements in your organization, but remember... we DO SAFETY FOR THE WORKERS - NOT for OSHA! OSHA compliance is a mere starting point in our journey to safety excellence! OSHA 2015 Citations by NAICS Industry Sectors (.xlsx)
This week OSHA posted their citations (20 serious and 1 "other-than") for a fatality involving Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3) at a seafood processing business in Boston, MA. None of the citations were for 1910.119 (PSM) indicating that the process contained less than 10,000 pounds of NH3. However, OSHA did issue two (2) General Duty Clause citations ($19,241) regarding the NH3 process on matters such as: 1) lack of NH3 pipe labeling, 2) not calibrating NH3 sensors per manufacturer's schedule, 3) lack of proper engine room ventilation, 4) lack of adequate illumination in engine room, 5) improper separation of engine room from other rooms, and 6) improper pressure vessel inspections. At the time of the incident, the BFD stated in their public communications that the fatal release involved around 5,000 pounds of NH3. For unknown reasons, the refrigeration supervisor was overcome by the NH3 and found deceased at the top of some stairs in a stairwell. Here are the OSHA citations:
EXCELLENT Presentation from the CSB on
the West Fertilizer Exploison
Friday morning (9/23/16) the United States Court of Appeals, For the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT announced that OSHA could not redefine "retail" using a Letter of Interpretation (LOI) or Memorandum, OSHA would have to go through the Notice of Public Rule Making (NPRM) in order to redefine the term. Ironically, it was a 1995 LOI that actually defined "retail" and yet no lawsuit was brought forth on that LOI and it stood for 20+ years. The court even acknowledges that the "retail" exemption was to be applied to "small containers" and true retail businesses; but in the end, the court sided with the complainants (AGRICULTURAL RETAILERS ASSOCIATION and the FERTILIZER INSTITUTE) and said the Memorandum was essentially a standard. Here is the cleaned up version of the decision, the actual decision can be downloaded...