State of CA ups the Refinery Contractor Safety Training requirements via state Hazardous Materials Management Code
All workers for building trade contractors at REFINERY FACILITIES must complete a MINIMUM of 20 hours of approved advanced safety training by January 1, 2018, AND are required to do so every two (2) years thereafter. This requirement was added to the California Health and Safety Code in Section 25536.7. To confirm that a worker is a registered apprentice, has completed a California registered apprenticeship program, or has completed the approved safety training please use:
Who does this apply to?
Lack of emergency planning for ammonia leaks put workers at a beverage plant in harm’s way three (3) times in the past year. As a result, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has fined the business $154,000 for multiple willful, serious and general workplace safety violations. In each of the incidents, when the leaks occurred, employees were unsure what to do, which way to run to escape the corrosive vapors and how to call for emergency help. In one situation last August, panicked employees ran downwind of the leak into the vapor cloud. Eight employees were exposed; one was sickened and taken to the hospital. L&I has cited the company for two (2) willful violations, each with the maximum legal penalty of $70,000. The beverage business has also been cited for two serious violations with a $7,000 penalty, also the maximum.
The first willful violation is for not developing a comprehensive written emergency response plan on what to do in the event of an ammonia leak. The plan should include information on communication, pre-emergency planning and drills. After the disorganized response to the first leak in December 2015, the local fire department advised the company to call 9-1-1 sooner and to prepare a detailed employee emergency evacuation plan. However, months later there were two (2) more ammonia leaks, also with disorganized evacuations, poor communication and miscommunication with the fire department.
The second willful violation was cited for not providing employees with emergency response training that specifically addressed what to do during an ammonia leak. That citation was also for not designating and training specific employees to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation.
One of the serious violations was for NOT providing an ammonia alarm system to alert employees when they need to evacuate the work area. The second serious violation was for NOT ensuring that voluntary use of respirators was done safely.
Here is a breakdown of the citations:
As the ballons were filled and the cake was cut, several industries got what they worked so hard to achieve... OSHA can not revise the PSM "retail" definition without going through the Public Rule Making process. But those who take process safety and risk management seriously may be surprised to know that OSHA had already explained why they included the "retail exemption" and why they included it. Simply put, OSHA said...
It amazes me how society, specifically lawyers and politicians, can be so collectively ignorant. With all the change in the political winds some industries are breathing a sigh of relief regarding OSHA's efforts to redefine "retail" when it comes to the "retail exemption" found in their Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard. For the record, I did NOT support the means in which OSHA went about changing the definition - but I fully support the change and think it is badly needed. What amazes me is that all of these "trade groups" paid huge amounts of money to battle one of OSHA's Letter of Interpretation (LOI) that redefined "retail" as it would be applied to processes/businesses that handle highly hazardous chemicals (HHC). Never did OSHA intend the "retail exemption" to be applied to bulk storage vessels holding tens of thousands of pounds of Highly Hazardous Chemicals, but early on in the PSM era we had courts intervening and redefining the intent of the standard (Meer Decision for flammable liquids). And in 1995 OSHA issued their first "Letter to Regional Administrators" regarding the "retail exemption". I do not recall any lawsuits surrounding this "interpretation" or "letter", but I may be wrong about this - I just do not remember any type of uprising about this in 1995. But in June 2015 when OSHA decided they needed to clarify the retail definition and eliminate processes that handle tens of thousands of pounds of an HHC at any given moment from this exemption, then the uprising began because OSHA once AGAIN used the LOI process to define the exemption - JUST LIKE THEY DID IN 1995! It seems some industry trade groups are just fine with some LOI's and not with others and the game they are playing is NOT about safety but about $$$$.
EPA received a petition dated February 28, 2017, from the RMP Coalition, representing several trade associations. The petition requests a reconsideration and request for stay for the RMP rule amendments, published January 13, 2017.
738 lbs of Cl2 released from T-103, the Nash compressor seals, and leaking gasket on the suction piping at the Nash compressor.
Event Time line:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Pruitt took action today to reconsider the “Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: 'Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air'” (“RMP Rule”) and signed an administrative stay to DELAY the effective date of the rule regarding chemical accident preparedness and prevention, until June 19, 2017. The 90-day extension will allow time for EPA to consider whether to further extend the effective date of the rule through a rulemaking action while the Agency reconsiders the rule in response to a petition the agency received in February 2017 from the RMP Coalition. For more information: https://www.epa.gov/rmp/final-amendments-risk-management-program-rmp-rule
CONFINED SPACE RESCUE PG&E Worker Injured at Folsom Gas Leak (Fire Department conducted a dramatic rescue of an injured worker who lost consciousness while working on an underground gas line - worker was rushed to the hospital after losing consciousness while working on a natural gas line in an underground open vault - Fire Department shut down Riley Street durning the rescue and determined there was a gas leak coming from the same line the crew was working on - the employee was working with others inside the hole, which was about 6 feet deep - the employee is in stable condition, recovering at a local hospital)
DOUBLE AMPUTATION Worker Crushed by 4,000-Pound Pile of Steel After Accident at New Jersey Bed Company (worker is expected to lose both his legs after the accident - worker was crushed from the waist down when 4,000 pounds of steel fell on him shortly before 9:30 a.m. - preliminary investigation indicates a machine moving the equipment somehow lost its load and it fell on the worker, trapping him)
ELECTRICAL DME worker airlifted to Dallas hospital following accident at Denton substation (electrical worker was airlifted to a Hospital after the employee was injured after coming in contact with live equipment at a substation around 9:00 a.m.)
How to Use the 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (Video)
Just an FYI, the RTK.net database is back up with a NEW look and a couple new features. Instead of having to sort the data using the table functions, they have sorted some of the data for us. The site is now run/supported by the Houston Chronicle and can be found at its original address: www.rtk.net
CLICK HERE (.pptx) for my ppt from this year's conference