California has more than its share of natural disasters: earthquakes, wildfires, and mudslides, to name several. The 2017 California wildfire season had a record 9,133 fires that burned more than 1.3 million acres, and in January 2018, severe mudslides shut down about 30 miles of Highway 101 between Northern and Southern California. Although California workplaces […]
Nearly 8 years after the Association of American Railroads (AAR) challenged provisions of OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks in Construction rule (August 9, 2010, Federal Register (FR)), the Agency has issued a formal proposal to address the AAR’s concerns. (The AAR’s petition remains with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but the two […]
In its revisions to the Worker Protection Standard ((WPS), November 2, 2015, Federal Register (FR)), the EPA introduced a new term—application exclusion zone (AEZ). AEZ replaced entry restricted area, a phrase included in the Agency’s proposal under which people other than approved pesticide handlers were prohibited from entering both outdoor areas treated with pesticides and […]
In November 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that injury and illness rates among workers at meat and poultry slaughter and processing plants declined from 2004 through 2015 but that in 2015, the industry still had the 8th-highest number of severe injury reports of all industries. The GAO reported on several areas where […]
On July 9, 2018, his first day as Acting EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler denied a petition to reconsider the Agency’s residual risk and technology review (RTR) of its 2001 National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Chemical Recovery Combustion Sources at Kraft, Soda, Sulfite, and Stand-Alone Semi-Chemical Pulp Mills (October 11, 2107, Federal […]
Carbon monoxide (CO) in quantities that exceed OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 parts per million (ppm) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1) can occur in indoor work areas where fuel with a carbon content (e.g., natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, wood, or plastic) is incompletely combusted. One […]
Industry struck out swinging on all five parts of its petitions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to invalidate requirements in the EPA’s National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Brick and Structural Clay Products Manufacturing; and the NESHAP for Clay Ceramics Manufacturing (October 26, 2015, Federal Register (FR)). […]
Worker safety advocates, scientists, and some state OSHA authorities have been contending for years that OSHA’s permissible exposure levels (PELs) for lead in the workplace are inadequate to protect workers from the multiple adverse health effects associated with the metal.
Our second environmental enforcement roundup for July 2018 includes air, discharge, lead, and permit violations, plus an enormous fine for a single company—and the $850,000 fine was only the beginning.
Explosions and fires at oil refineries and chemical facilities are far more likely to occur during equipment start-ups and shutdowns, notes the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) in a recent Safety Digest. Workers are typically the first line of victims when such incidents occur. In the Digest, the CSB describes three start-up/shutdown […]