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OSHA Adds ‘Instance-By-Instance’ Citation Policy

On January 26, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new enforcement guidance, allowing “instance-by-instance” citations for “high-gravity” serious violations of several agency standards. Regional administrators and area office directors will have the authority to issue instance-by-instance citations for violations of fall protection, lockout/tagout, machine guarding, permit-required confined space, respiratory protection, and trenching standards, […]

EHSDA Song of the Week: Finest Worksong

For our second Song of the Week, we stay in the ’80s but go in a different direction than last week’s entry. “Finest Worksong” is an anthemic blast from R.E.M. that is more of a salute to workers than anything else. The lead track off the band’s 1987 album Document immediately rings out with loud […]

Investigating Workplace Safety Incidents

It is important that all work-related near misses in a workplace be investigated along with those that involve injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Near misses are those that could have caused harm if there were different circumstances surrounding the incident. Defining the causes of those incidents and how to prevent them were explored in a recent […]

A Deep Dive Into the ‘Final’ WOTUS rule

On January 18, 2023, the long-awaited final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States (WOTUS)’” rule was published in the Federal Register. It is set to go into effect March 20, 2023.  The definition of WOTUS is the key to determining the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This final rule repeals […]

EPA Approves Drone-Based Landfill Methane Emissions Monitoring

The EPA has approved the use of the SnifferDRONE, an environmental technology product produced by Sniffer Robotics LLC, as an alternative for monitoring methane emissions from landfills. Certain landfills are required to perform surface emissions monitoring (SEM) procedures on a quarterly basis to demonstrate compliance with the 500 parts per million (ppm) above background concentration […]

OSHA Resumes Enforcement in 18 Florida Counties

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has resumed regular enforcement in 18 Florida counties affected by Hurricane Ian, the agency announced January 24. In the hurricane’s aftermath, the agency suspended most programmed enforcement actions in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, and Volusia […]

The EPA’s New PFAS Analytic Tools

The EPA unveiled new website tools, the PFAS Analytic Tools, this month.  Designed to help the “public, researchers, and other stakeholders better understand potential PFAS sources in their communities,” the tools provide “multiple sources of information in one spot with mapping, charting, and filtering functions,” which allows the public to see where testing has been […]

Faces of EHS: Rod Courtney on Making Safety Part of a Company’s DNA

Rod Courtney began his career in the US military. He served as an Army Combat Medic from 1990-1998. He has been a Certified Safety Technician for 25 years and became a Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP) in 2019. In 2007, he went to work in the renewable energy sector building thousands of megawatts of wind turbines and […]

Plastics Maker Pleads Guilty in Worker’s Death

An Alabama plastics manufacturing company has pleaded guilty in federal court to violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety requirements that led to a worker’s death, the agency announced January 24. ABC Polymer Industries LLC agreed to pay $242,928 in restitution, plus funeral expenses, to the worker’s estate. The company also must pay […]

Dollar General Faces $395,717 in New OSHA Fines

Discount retailer Dollar General is facing $395,717 in new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines for five repeat workplace safety violations, the agency announced January 23. In an inspection of a West Lafayette, Ohio, location, federal investigators found workers exposed to blocked emergency exits and electrical panels and boxes of merchandise stacked at unsafe […]