Pursuant to a court order, OSHA issued a final rule on February 28, 2006 that addresses occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr[VI]). OSHA determined that the Cr(VI) rule is necessary to reduce significant health risks due to Cr(VI) exposure. Ingestion of very high doses of Cr(VI) can cause kidney and liver damage, nausea, irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, stomach ulcers, convulsions, and death. Dermal exposures may cause skin ulcers or allergic reactions. However, welders represent nearly half of the workers covered by OSHA's hexavalent standard.
Since the beginning of time there have been playgrounds. These may not have been well designed or constructed like we see today, but wherever there was a tree to climb or a creek to play in there was an impromptu playground. Playgrounds in American got their start in 1821 and were influenced by the German fitness culture. Educators basically moved gymnastic equipment outdoors and made a playground. In 1816 educators in Boston followed a "sandgarten" movement and placed piles of sand in open areas.
How many of us have fallen at some point in our lives? How many have fallen twice or even more times? Do we write it off as just being clumsy or that we just weren't paying attention? How many of these falls have occurred at work? For many businesses, these falls are very costly loss drivers that could have been prevented.
What's Driving Your Insurance Costs for the Next Five Years With the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct) and the consequent establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1971 many corporations shifted their safety programs' emphasis to specifically address regulatory and compliance issues from traditional accident prevention efforts. Even prior to OSHA few corporate safety programs concerned themselves with worker's compensation and cost issues. Recently, however, safety, health and environmental programs have taken a more practical business focus to demonstrate the numerous ways they contribute to the bottom line and enhance the organization's success (Arnold K., Duchscherer D. &, NyBlom S., 2004). As risk management increasingly becomes a top board agenda item for companies in the current financial crisis, we must further position ourselves to capitalize on this momentum by understanding what is driving our current and future cost of risk. Unfortunately the safety management profession is frequently perceived by many finance executives as a necessary evil and a corporate overhead.
The majority of powders that are used in the processing industries are combustible (also referred to as flammable or explosible). An explosion will occur if the concentration of the combustible dust that is suspended in air is sufficient to propagate flame when ignited by a sufficiently energetic ignition source. A systematic approach to identifying dust cloud explosion hazards and taking measures to ensure safety against their consequences generally involves: - Understanding of the explosion characteristics of the dust(s), - Identification of locations where combustible dust cloud atmospheres could be present, - Identification of potential ignition sources that could be present under normal and abnormal conditions, - Proper plant design to eliminate and/or minimize the occurrence of dust explosions and protect people and facilities against their consequences. Six conditions must exist simultaneously and in one location for a dust explosion to occur: 1. The dust must be combustible (as far as dust clouds are concerned, the terms "combustible," "flammable," and "explosible" all have the same meaning and could be used interchangeably).
One of the most common challenges of safety and health professionals that deliver safety training is how to keep refresher training interesting year after year. A 2008 survey of over 600 safety trainers showed this to be one of the highest challenges for more than half of all respondents. In many cases, this training is only repeated because "OSHA says so" and the Trainer and the trainees end up showing equally poor interest. A summary of training that must be delivered annually according to OSHA can be found in Appendix B. The activities presented in this paper are intended to keep your refresher training fresh but in most cases they can also be used with classes that you are designing and delivering for the first time. All of these activities are based on the principles of accelerated learning.
Al Gore's book "An Inconvenient Truth" awakened us to how our life styles and our business practices are impacting our world; accelerating pace of melting polar ice caps, rising seas, toxic chemicals in our water & food supplies, climate changes (floods & droughts), limited access to resources. We are now requiring a personal and professional environmental accountability for our actions. The process of manufacturing, distribution, and disposal of or recycling of products is going green, but green jobs are not necessarily safe jobs. These changes provide opportunities for the safety professional in the areas of: the health and safety, product safety, and environmental protection. Sustainability is defined as: Economic development that takes full account of the environmental consequences of economic activity and is based on the use of resources that can be replaced or renewed and therefore are not depleted.
The following three slides from OSHA1 - Failure to identify PSM-covered equipment
Some facilities take the attitude that “anything in the fence line we consider a part of PSM.” The problem with this is that once such a policy is formally stated, regulatory inspectors must take the policy at face value. That means that non-process equipment, which has no potential to cause or contribute to an uncontrolled release of hazardous chemicals, must be treated the same as equipment that can cause such a release. This can lead to absurdities such as an inspector asking to see the Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) on systems with no process hazards.
To reduce the amount of paperwork required, most owners use a consistent philosophy in determining what equipment belongs in their PSM program and what doesn’t. One typical means of identifying PSM-covered equipment is the “two valve rule,” which states that any piping that is physically connected to the hazardous chemical process remains a part of the PSM-covered equipment until isolated by two manual block valves.
The PSM-covered equipment should be clearly identified and segregated from non-PSM-covered equipment. The usual way of designating this is to use a set of Piping and Instrument diagrams (P&IDs) with the PSM-covered equipment highlighted. Additionally, a written record of what method was used to identify the equipment (two-valve rule or other) should be a part of the site Process Safety Information (PSI).
- Failure to consider the carseal program as part of PSM
Safety-critical equipment such as pressure relief valves, rupture discs, vent headers, and flare headers will not function if isolated by manual block valves. To ensure safe operation, most such equipment’s manual block valves are either chained/locked and/or carsealed in their operational positions.
To be effective, a carseal program must be regularly verified, documented, and audited. Any carseal found broken, or any safety-critical manual valve found in an improper position should be treated as a PSM-Near-Miss. A full PSM investigation should be held to determine what happened, why it happened, and what should be done to prevent it from happening again.
Carseal programs that are not given this level of attention are usually not effective.
- Failure to perform mechanical integrity inspections on schedule
Audits usually reveal some overdue percentage of pressure vessel, tank, instrument, and rotating equipment inspections. When an inspection must be delayed, a Management of Change (MOC) procedure should be instigated to determine what, if any, additional safeguards are required in the interval between the original inspection due date and the time of the delayed inspection.illustrate results from the Refinery Special Emphasis Program inspections to date. Note that of the 215 Process Safety Management (PSM) citations listed in the first slide, 48 of them (22%) are either equipment deficiencies or other mechanical integrity issues. The second and third slides list examples of shortcomings identified in the mechanical integrity area.
(Figure in full paper)
The following Mechanical Integrity shortcomings are typical of those found in third-party PSM audits:
Tribute to the Fallen: "Why We Do What We Do" This paper is not intended to reflect the presentation put on at the San Antonio Safety 2009 ASSE PDC because the presentation was an audio visual experience with copyrighted photography. As a Practice Specialty Newsletter Editor, I'm often striking up conversations with folks that might result in a good article. So in 2007 when I first took on this obligation and was attending a CIH Review course with Emeritus Professor of Industrial Health at the University of Michigan, Steven Levine, PhD, CIH, I asked him for an article, knowing that he'd written many when he was President of AIHA. After he sent me seven articles to read and to choose from, I had a positive emotional reaction to the personal nature of many of his articles, which resulted in an insight. The basis of that insight was the power of telling stories in a way that jumps generations, social strata, educational levels, and hopefully would translate into the board room.
Joe says, to a fall protection equipment supplier: "My employees are exposed to falling off the edge of the roof, so I'm going to install some horizontal lifelines. And just to show them we're serious about keeping them safe," says Joe, "I want to buy the best horizontal lifeline stuff I can buy - stainless steel, hands-free pass-through's - the sky's the limit!" Joe's initial question is: "When can I get it all installed, because I need to get this fall protection program behind me and get on to my regular job!" A couple of months and a few hundred thousand dollars later, Joe has what he thinks is the answer to all his fall protection problems. But Joe, like too many of his peers, has fallen victim to the single biggest and commonly made mistake in the field of fall protection.