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Volunteer Fire Fighter Dies During Attempted Rescue of Utility Worker From a Confined Space (NIOSH FACE)
Safety Info Posts - Permit Required Confined Spaces
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Thursday, 24 July 2014 08:44

On September 6, 2010, a 51-year-old male volunteer fire fighter (victim) died after being overcome by low oxygen and sewer gases while climbing down into a sewer manhole in an attempt to rescue a village utility worker. The utility worker had entered the manhole to investigate a reported sewer problem and was overcome by low oxygen and sewer gases (see diagram 1). The incident occurred behind the fire station in an underground sewer line that ran under the fire station. The local utility company contacted the chief of the village's volunteer fire department and requested that a piece of fire apparatus be moved out of the station so they would not block it in while accessing a manhole. The fire chief responded to the station to move fire apparatus so it would not be blocked by the utility trucks. The victim and another fire fighter also arrived at the station to assist. A utility worker entered the manhole behind the station to clear a sewer backup and was overcome by a lack of oxygen and sewer gases and then fell unconscious inside the manhole. The victim then entered the manhole without any personal protective equipment to help the utility worker and was also overcome by the low oxygen level and sewer gases. The victim and the utility worker were later removed from the sewer manhole by fire department personnel and transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. The medical examiner reported the cause of death as asphyxia due to low oxygen and exposure to sewer gases.

Note: The death of the utility worker was investigated by the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Occupational Health, Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. A link to the New York FACE report will be included in this report when completed. The New York State Department of Labor, Division of Safety and Health also conducted an investigation of this incident.

CLICK HERE for the full FACE report

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 08:47
Thermal Stress and Chemicals - Knowledge Review and the Highest Risk Occupations
Safety Info Posts - General Safety Topics
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 15:33

The IRSST just published a report entitled Thermal Stress and Chemicals - Knowledge Review and the Highest Risk Occupations in Québec. Exposure to cold or heat triggers a series of compensatory physiological responses enabling the human body to maintain its internal temperature despite thermal stress. These thermoregulation mechanisms are well documented and the resulting physiological changes can modify organ functions related to the absorption and metabolism of chemical substances.  

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 15:36
U.S. DOT Announces Comprehensive Proposed Rulemaking for the Safe Transportation of Crude Oil, Flammable Materials (Releases new data on Bakken crude oil to support increased safety measures)
Safety Info Posts - Hazardous Materials
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 14:39

The NPRM proposes enhanced tank car standards, a classification and testing program for mined gases and liquids and new operational requirements for high-hazard flammable trains (HHFT) that include braking controls and speed restrictions. Specifically, within two years, it proposes the phase out of the use of older DOT 111 tank cars for the shipment of packing group I flammable liquids, including most Bakken crude oil, unless the tank cars are retrofitted to comply with new tank car design standards. The ANPRM seeks further information on expanding comprehensive oil spill response planning requirements for shipments of flammable materials. Both the NPRM and ANPRM are available for review on and will now be open for 60 days of public comment. Given the urgency of the safety issues addressed in these proposals, PHMSA does not intend to extend the comment period.  CLICK HERE for more

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 14:43
EPA's Risk Management Program (RMP) Request for Information (RFI)
Safety Info Posts - Chemical Process Safety (PSM/RMP)
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 14:21

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in response to Executive Order 13650, requests comment on potential revisions to its Risk Management Program regulations and related programs. In this Request for Information (RFI), the Agency asks for information and data on specific regulatory elements and process safety management approaches, the public and environmental health and safety risks they address, and the costs and burdens they may entail. The EPA will use the information received in response to this RFI to inform what action, if any, it may take.   During the 90-day comment period, EPA asks for information and data on specific regulatory elements and process safety management approaches to enhance public health and safety, and aid local fire, police, and emergency response personnel to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies. The information received will be used when reviewing chemical hazards covered by the RMP and to determine how this program should be expanded to improve chemical facility safety. The RFI does not commit the agency to rulemaking.  The RFI addresses potentially updating the list of RMP regulated substances, and adjusting threshold quantities and toxic endpoints based on Acute Exposure Guideline Level (AEGL) toxicity values. The RFI seeks comment on strengthening or clarifying several existing process safety elements under the RMP including compliance audits, maintenance of safety critical equipment, managing organizational changes, emergency response capabilities, and incident investigation. It also seeks comment on adding additional risk management program elements, such as consideration of using inherently safer technology, process safety metrics, automated monitoring of releases, emergency drills, stop work authority, and addressing facility location (siting) risks. Some of the items under consideration were discussed at the public listening sessions held on the EO or in comments received on the January 2014 EO Section 6(a) options for policy, regulations and standards modernization to improve chemical facility risk management.  The public will have 90 days to submit written comments online, (the portal for federal rulemaking), or by mail.  EPA requests information on the following questions:

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 17:16
Policy Background on the Temporary Worker Initiative
Safety Info Posts - OSHA Compliance Posts
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 20:14

On April 29, 2013, OSHA launched the Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI) in order to help prevent work-related injuries and illnesses among temporary workers.1 The purpose of this initiative is to increase OSHA's focus on temporary workers in order to highlight employers' responsibilities to ensure these workers are protected from workplace hazards.  As detailed in the documents posted on our website (, temporary workers are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness. In recent months, OSHA has received and investigated many reports of temporary workers suffering serious or fatal injuries, some in their first days on the job. Numerous studies have shown that new workers are at greatly increased risk for work-related injury, and most temporary workers will be "new" workers multiple times a year. Furthermore, as the American economy and workforce are changing, the use of temporary workers is increasing in many sectors of the economy.  OSHA compliance officers regularly encounter worksites with temporary workers. This memorandum is being sent to remind OSHA field staff of the Agency's long standing general enforcement policy regarding temporary workers. Additional enforcement and compliance guidance will be issued in the near future.  CLICK HERE for the entire OSHA Memo

EPA RMP Citations @ a facility that manufactures starch derivatives (propylene oxide & $46,178)
Safety Info Posts - PSM and RMP Citations/Analysis
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 17:59

The primary activity at Respondent's facility is the processing of com to manufacture starch derivatives. On or about March 5-7,2013, EPA conducted an inspection of Respondent's facility to determine compliance with Section 112(r) of the CAA and 40 C.F.R. Part 68.  Records collected during the inspection showed that Respondent has exceeded the threshold quantity for propylene oxide, storing a maximum of approximately 57,275 pounds. Propylene oxide is a regulated substance pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 68.3. The threshold quantity for propylene oxide, as listed in 40 C.F .R. § 68.130, Table 1, is 10,000 pounds.  Company failed to: 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 18:03
UPDATE: "Evidence suggests blast caused International Nutrition accident" as reported by Omaha Herald
Safety Info Posts - Combustible Dusts
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Monday, 21 July 2014 00:00

UPDATE on 7/21/14The Jan. 20 structural collapse was caused by overloading nine storage bins on the building's roof level, an OSHA investigation has found. The collapse at the livestock feed supplement manufacturer caused the death of two workers and injuries to nine others.  The investigation determined a structural failure of the east side truss, after bins that it supported were loaded with an excess of limestone. The extra weight caused the bins to collapse three floors into the center of the facility in about 30 seconds.  As a result of the tragic incident, OSHA has cited the company with one willful, one repeat and 11 additional safety violations for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with structural collapse.

CLICK HERE for the citations

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 15:37
2014 Photo of the Week #29 (Relief Valves)
Safety Info Posts - Photo of the Week
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Sunday, 20 July 2014 17:48

RV tampered

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 July 2014 17:54
2014 Video of the Week #29 (Compressed Gas Cylinder Handling)
Safety Info Posts - Video of the Week
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Sunday, 20 July 2014 00:00

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 July 2014 20:10
UNPREPARED Emergency Escape Breath Devices (EEBD)/Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA) (USCG)
Safety Info Posts - Emergency Response
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 21:10

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 10.07.39 PM

When purchased or returned from servicing Emergency Escape Breath Devices (EEBD)/Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA) will have a small removable label viewable through a window on the bag that states “QUICK-FIRE NOT PRIMED ANTI-TAMPER DEVICE AND FITTING INSTRUCTIONS INSIDE.” The unit is not ready. Once delivered a technician or competent employee should have opened the bottom left corner flap, attached the “Quick Fire” cord and removed the label. The device will operate correctly and begin to supply air to the hood when the flap is properly connected and later opened.  CLICK HERE for the full Safety Alert from the US Coast Guard.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 21:14

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