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OSHA Pulling Back from Small Farm Inspections


The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is pulling back from inspecting small farms due in large part to Congressional pressure.  In response to criticism from several Congressional members that such inspections are not needed and costly to small farms, OSHA stated in a recent letter to Congress that it has no interest inspecting farms with less than 10 employees.

NIOSH Publishes Results of IBM-Endicott Cancer Study

NIOSH Results of IBM-Endicott Cancer Study

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is nearing the conclusion of its decades long study of the potential health impacts of chemical exposures on former workers of a now-closed IBM plant. Preliminary results were published recently, indicating inconclusive results.

NYC Buildings Department Announces Significant Decrease in Fatal Construction-Related Accidents

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On March 10th, New York City Buildings Acting Commissioner, Thomas Fariello, announced that 2013 saw a 62.5% decrease in fatal construction-related accidents when compared to 2012.  That is a significant decrease. There were 8 fatal construction-related accidents in 2012 and three in 2013.  However, all three fatal accidents were caused by worker falls due to lack of adequate fall prevention and protection at the job site. This too is very significant—and tragic, as every one of those deaths was preventable!  NYC could have had a 100% decrease if only proper safety measures had been taken.

Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Final Rule – It’s Happening!

Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Final Rule

As of January 31, 2014 it happened!  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) modified the hazardous waste management regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated wipes from hazardous waste regulations provided that businesses clean or dispose of them properly. The rule is based on EPA’s final risk analysis that concluded wipes contaminated with certain hazardous solvents do not pose significant risk to human health and the environment when managed properly.    

The Joint Commission Clarifies Gas Cylinder Storage Requirements for Healthcare Facilities

Gas Cylinder Storage Requirements

In an effort to improve storage of free standing medical gas cylinders, The Joint Commission published new clarifications to its Environment of Care (EC) standards in its January 29th Joint Commission Online newsletter.  It specifically addressed its requirements under EC.02.06.01, EP 1 and EC.02.03.01, EP 1, noting that, “Improper storage of medical gas cylinders poses a number of hazards to patients and staff. The Joint Commission requires compliance with National Fire Protection Association’s regulation NFPA 99-1999 section 4- which mandates requirements for storing nonflammable gas cylinders.”

Fall Protection for Trenching and Excavation

Fall Protection for Trenching

As a construction safety manager I have more than once run into the issue of a client representative informing me that fall protection would be needed around a trench and/or excavation. However, this is not necessarily true.

EPA Alternative Assessment Report for DecaBDE and BPA

EPA Alternative Assessment Report

Last month the EPA released two final Alternatives Assessment Reports for the flame retardants Decabromodiphenly Ether (DecaBDE) and Bisphenol-A (BPA) in thermal paper. These comprehensive assessments were developed with public participation under EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program and profile the environmental and human health hazards for DecaBDE, BPA, and their alternatives.

Occupational Health and Safety Tips for Winter Weather


Much of the United States has seen consistent record low temperatures this winter. For those who work outside, cold stress is a real hazard. Employers need to educate all employees who work outside of the risks of cold exposure to themselves and fellow workers.  Part of this awareness includes the understanding that cold stress presents itself in many different ways as symptoms vary depending on the person.

Reduction in Paperwork – Good News for Employers


On November 20, the US Department of Labor announced rules to update regulations and decrease burden on businesses. These regulation changes have been put into effect to eliminate rules that have been deemed by the department to be obsolete. A rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration updates and streamlines the standards for the use of mechanical power presses—the remaining 3 rules from the Employment and Training Administration repeal outdated Foreign Labor Certification regulations for the H-2A, F-1 and H-1A programs. The rules complement President Obama's executive order 13610 to modernize the regulatory system and reduce unjustified regulatory burdens.

Smartphone Applications for EHS Professionals


There are hundreds of smart phone applications available to the EHS Professional. Luckily, the website reviews a new application every week. Looking through their archives, they have given favorable reviews to many safety apps.  Below are the ones also recommended by our staff:

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