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HazCom 2012 Monumental or Manageable? We've Got a Plan!

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Apr 23, 2012 4:31:00 AM

By Paula Kaufmann, CIH

I have seen no less than 20 emails inviting me to webinars that will help me get my house in order for all the changes coming with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard this year.  From the tone of these emails, it would seem like the sky is falling! You know what?  The sky is not falling … although there is work to be done to implement the changes.

OSHA has a reasonable timeline for compliance and with planning, we can get through this with ease!  Here’s our take on the issue …

On first glance, the changes seem monumental …

    • 90,000 workplaces = the number of sites that produce hazardous chemicals in the US.  HazCom 2012 requires these manufacturers to.

-       Modify the hazard classification for chemicals they produce

-       Create new labels to highlight these hazards

-       Draft and distribute revised Material Safety Data Sheets (now referred to as Safety Data Sheets)

    • 43 million US workers = the number of workers in the 5 million facilities that will be notified of the new physical and health hazard classifications for the chemicals in their workplaces by new labels and Safety Data Sheets communicating these hazards.

    • $201 million a year = the cost OSHA estimates to roll out HazCom 2012 for the entire United States. OSHA lists yearly program element costs as follows:

-       $22.5 million for chemical hazards classification based on the GHS criteria and revising safety data sheets and labels to meet new format and content requirements

    • $24.1 million for printing packaging and labels for hazardous chemicals in color

-       $95.4 million for employee training about the new warning symbols and the revised safety data sheet format under GHS

-       $59 million a year for management to become familiar with the new GHS system and to engage in other management-related activities as may be necessary for industry's adoption of GHS

Let’s look at the actual tasks each organization has to accomplish for compliance:

With a plan … these tasks are quite doable!

    • Chemical Users: Continue to update safety data sheets when new ones become available, provide training on the new label elements and SDS format and update hazard communication programs if new hazards are identified.

    • Chemical Producers: Review hazard information for all chemicals produced or imported, classify chemicals according to the new classification criteria, and update labels and safety data sheets.

OSHA’s HazCom 2012 Compliance Timeline …


Completion Date

    • Training

December 1, 2013

    • Classify of Chemicals

    • Modify Labels

    • Update Safety Data Sheets

June 1, 2015

    • Update alternative workplace labeling system

    • Revise Hazard Communication Program

June 1, 2016

On April 25, Emilcott will be presenting a HazCom 2012 Webinar for anyone interested. Our approach—let’s not try to alarm everyone, but let’s provide a basic understanding of the changes made to the standard and a simple plan of action for employers to meet the regulatory requirements within the specified time frames.  Would you like to join us?

Register here: OSHA HazCom 2012: A Simple Plan for Compliance
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Topics: Emilcott, OSHA, health and safety, OSHA Compliance, Hazardous Waste Management, HazCom, Hazardous Materials, Compliance, OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

Emilcott TSCA Resource Center Expands with More Info and Options

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Oct 26, 2011 3:56:01 PM

Paula Kaufmann, CIH

TSCA questions are pouring in and we are responding.  To ensure that the information is available in a reasonable (and non-overwhelming) way, Emilcott has created a TSCA resource section of our web site for centralizing all kinds of intelligence, notifications, links, and summaries about Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR).

All these pages (just click on the headers) are available from the Emilcott Home page but we suggest you bookmark the pages that are most relevant and don’t forget to register for our December 6th Free Webinar!

Emilcott TSCA Resource Center

The TSCA Resource Center has moved from the Emilcott home page to a new page – lots of information including all our TSCA-related EHSwire blogs (CDR and IUR) and EPA Chemical Data Reporting Links, EPA New Chemicals Links, and EPA Import/Export Links. This page will stay updated so that you have a one-stop location for all TSCA information. If you have specific issues you’d like to see addressed here, please let us know.

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Topics: Compliance, TSCA & R.E.A.C.H., TSCA, CDR, Toxic Substance Control Act, IUR, violation, regulations, questions, filing, reporting, Chemical Data Reporting, Form U

EPA TSCA Regulatory Update: A Preview of the CDR Form U Submission Tool

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Oct 18, 2011 11:02:45 PM

aula Kaufman, CIH
If you are a foreign or domestic business in the US who is either a chemical importer (resells for use in blending, repackaging) or chemical manufacturer (make new chemicals out of chemicals purchased from others with the exception for pharmaceutical companies), this update is about mandatory compliance with the EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), specifically filing the 2012 TSCA Form U “Chemical Data Report”.

Emilcott recently participated in an industry preview (the unveiling!) of the e-CDRweb tool.  Based on this peek, we are optimistic that the tool will be functional and surmountable IF all the required information is gathered together prior to preparing the submission.  As a test run, we entered simulated data and found the online tool to be logical and the built-in validation system should assist submitters with identifying inconsistent or incomplete entries.

Our conclusion: The difficulty will most likely not be the use of the e-CDRweb tool, the greater challenge will be the effort and time required to gather the right data needed for the submission.


Start with the following 2010 and 2011 inventory and volume data:

  • Review the Form U data needed, consider the time you will need to obtain these data, and then allow additional time for getting follow-up, incomplete or missing information.

  • Determine Co-Submitters for chemicals that are toll manufactured.

  • Get the CAS number for all chemicals at or above the 25,000 lb threshold. Prescient warning:  the need to submit a CAS number or accession number for each chemical may require significant effort and time for submitters with suppliers that list “confidential” for the component.

    • Define which suppliers will need to be joint submitters.

    • Discuss and agree upon this with the supplier.

Get the CDX registration and authorizations completed… a multi-step, multi-party and possibly lengthy process.

  • CDX registration for e-CDRweb will be available on November 1, 2011.

  • Primary Authorized Official must be registered first as this activates the account.

    • Designate the Primary Support

  • Establish the Secondary Authorized Officials (joint submitters) by chemical substance

In summary, if you were to compare filing the EPA’s TSCA submission to the IRS’s income tax form, the e-CDRweb tool is definitely going to be easier. However, understanding what to get and where to get it and then digging up the required information for the TSCA submission is going to be challenge.

If you need guidance with what data you should for the EPA TSCA 2012 CDR Submission, please contact Emilcott!

You can also subscribe to our free TSCA e-newsletter which delivers information right to your mailbox. Want more info? Enroll for our free Dec webinar by sending an email to

Feel free to post any questions below in the comments section and we will respond quickly.
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Topics: EPA, Compliance, TSCA & R.E.A.C.H., TSCA, Toxic Substance Control Act, submission, IUR, cdx, chemical manufacturer, Secondary Authorized Official, chemical data report, regulation, Primary Authorized Official, eCDRweb

What You Need to Know: TSCA 2012 CDR Form U Submission

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Oct 11, 2011 11:39:31 PM

Paula Kaufmann, CIH
If you are a foreign or domestic business in the US who is either a chemical importer (resells for use in blending, repackaging) or chemical manufacturer (make new chemicals out of chemicals purchased from others with the exception for pharmaceutical companies), this update is about mandatory compliance with the EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), specifically filing the 2012 TSCA Form U “Chemical Data Report”.

Information about the new TSCA CDR Form U reporting tool is rolling in from the EPA.  On September 23 rd the Agency hosted an hour-long webinar in which the 2012 CDR reporting requirements were reviewed and the use of the electronic Form U reporting tool (“e-CDRweb”) was demonstrated. If you missed the webinar or need a rewind, both the presentation materials and recorded webinar have been posted by the EPA at IUR/CDR – About Submissions.

Webinar Take Aways

  • The Agency is emphasizing two new reporting requirements:

    • The standard of “known to or reasonably ascertainable by” for processing and use information (formerly “readily obtainable”)

    • The upfront Confidential Business Information (CBI) substantiation

  • Both the company that contracts for the manufacture AND the toll manufacturer are now considered to be the co-manufacturers of that chemical substance

  • The e-CDRweb tool is designed for joint reporting and has very specific requirements for supplier-EPA communication. Joint reporting is specifically for those instances where a supplier will not disclose the specific chemical name (or TSCA accession number) of a chemical substance or a reactant used to manufacture the TSCA chemical substance because the name is claimed confidential.

  • Registration with the EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) is required prior to accessing e-CDRweb.

    • CDX registration requires the completion of an electronic signature agreement (ESA) form that foreign suppliers must submit by mail.

    • CDX registration for e-CDRweb will be available on November 1, 2011.

    • CDX registration is a multi-part process.

  • The EPA will be providing support for use of the new e-CDRweb tool.

    • A training webinar is tentatively scheduled for November 2011.

    • Comprehensive instructions for the 2012 TSCA Chemical Data Reporting are now online.

To summarize, the e-CDRweb tool looks like it is a much friendlier submittal tool than its predecessor, e-IURweb. The gotcha will be in the preparation of the materials so that the submittal process is easy. Like many other federal filings, understanding what to submit and why may be much more complicated than the actual filing process. The requirements that changed from the 2006 to 2012 range wildly from subtle and minor to extensive and complex.

Did you participate in the EPA’s e-CDRweb webinar? What did you think? Are there any particular “gotchas” that caught your eye?

If you need guidance with what data you should for the EPA TSCA 2012 CDR Submission, please contact Emilcott for help

  • You can also subscribe to our free TSCA e-newsletter which delivers TSCA-related information right to your mailbox.

  • Want more info? Enroll for our free Dec webinar by sending an email to

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section and we will respond quickly.
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Topics: EPA, Compliance, TSCA & R.E.A.C.H., TSCA, Toxic Substance Control Act, submission, IUR, reporting, Form U, cdx, regulation, eCDRweb, central data exchange

Who Pays for PPE? A Guide for Employers and Employees

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Oct 9, 2011 11:09:05 PM

by Paula Kaufmann

When providing guidance on the selection and use of PPE, it is critical for occupational safety and health experts to understand not only the technical issues surrounding the use of PPE as an exposure control method, but also the regulatory compliance burden placed on the employer.  I recognize that “just” complying with OSHA standards is not equivalent to meeting industry best practices, but is important to understand the what might be considered the ‘back-bone’ of PPE programs in the US.

In February, OSHA announced the publication of an update of “ Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in General Industry”.  This update establishes OSHA’s general enforcement and guidance policy for its Standards addressing PPE.  The PPE Standards had been revised by OSHA in 2007 and 2009.  These changes had not been reflected in the former enforcement Instruction.

The updated information provided to the OSHA Compliance Officers is helpful for all of us to review.  The revised OSHA Enforcement Guidance spotlights the following:

  • Employer-provided (purchased) PPE requirements (Who, What, Which)

  • Clarification of payment requirements for PPE worn off the jobsite, for PPE that must remain at the jobsite, and for employee-owned PPE.

Who: Employers must provide PPE to all affected employees with an established employer-employee relationship. These employees include short-term employees which may be referred to as temporary employees, piece workers, seasonal employees, hiring hall employees, labor pool employees, or transient employees.

What: Employers must pay for PPE that is required to comply with OSHA Standards, except in the limited cases specified in the Standards. Employers must provide, at no cost to employees,  the PPE that is necessary to protect against the hazards that the employer is aware of as a result of any hazard assessments required and specified in the OSHA standards.  An employer must provide, at no cost to employees, upgraded PPE that the employer chooses to use to meet OSHA PPE requirements.

Which: OSHA is updating the references in its regulations to recognize more recent editions of the applicable national consensus standards, and is deleting editions of the national consensus standards that PPE must meet if purchased before a specified date. In addition, OSHA is amending its provision that requires safety shoes to comply with a specific American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard.

So – what PPE must employers provide with no cost to their employees? And what PPE are employers not obligated by OSHA to purchase for use by the employees? It can be confusing!  The following is a list of examples and exceptions:

  • those highlighted in GREEN are “must purchase” items

  • those highlighted in red are “not required” to be purchased by the employer.

In most cases, the determining factor for “who pays for the PPE” is whether the PPE is required to comply with a specific standard.  The outcome of site-specific PPE hazard assessments will determine what PPE is required. (Some of the exceptions seemed counter-intuitive to me ... what do you think?)

PPE that an Employer Must Purchase (when required to comply with a standard)

  • Metatarsal foot protection

  • Chemical resistant boots with steel toes

  • Shoe covers – toe caps and metatarsal guards

  • Non-prescription eye protection (safety glasses)

  • Prescription eyewear inserts/lenses for full-facepiece respirators

  • Prescription eyewear inserts/lenses for welding and diving helmets

  • Goggles

  • Face shields

  • Laser safety goggles

  • Firefighting PPE (helmet, gloves, boots, proximity suits, full gear)

  • Hard hats

  • Hearing protection

  • Welding PPE

  • Items used in medical/laboratory settings to protect from exposure to infectious agents (aprons, lab coats, goggles, disposable gloves, shoe covers)

  • Non-specialty gloves for protection from dermatitis, severe cuts/abrasions.

    • Payment is not required if they are only for keeping clean or for cold weather (with no safety or health considerations)

  • Chemical-resistant gloves/aprons/sleeves/clothing

  • Encapsulating chemical protective suits

  • Aluminized gloves

  • Rubber insulating gloves

  • Mesh cut-proof gloves, mesh or leather aprons

  • Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, atmosphere-supplying respirators

  • Air-purifying respirators

  • Personal fall protection

  • Ladder safety device belts

  • Climbing ensembles used by linemen (for example, belts and climbing hooks)

  • Window cleaners’ safety straps

  • Personal Flotation Devices (life jackets)

  • Reflective work vests or clothing

  • Electric arc and flame-resistant garments

Some exceptions to the employer purchase requirement:

Non-specialty PPE - if the employer allows the employee to wear it off the job site


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Topics: OSHA, Personal Protective Equipment, General Industry H&S, General EHS, Construction H&S, H&S Training, Compliance, General Industry, employer, purchase, employee, requirements

Start collecting data for your 2012 TSCA Chemical Data Reporting submission now!

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Sep 19, 2011 1:29:14 AM

by Paula Kaufmann

We just had our first cold weather snap in the northeast reminding me that 2012 is just around the corner.  A change in the seasons is our cue to ask Emilcott clients that manufacture or import chemicals:   Have you gathered the 2010 chemical volume data AND are you collecting the 2011 data needed for the 2012 TSCA Chemical Data Report?

In a previous blog we summarized the basic requirements of the inventory, production volume and use i nformation that needs to be collected for the EPA’s TSCA 2012 Chemical Data Report (CDR). You can find this “bare bones chart” by clicking here.  The EPA recently presented the following key requirements  in this document  “ Instructions for the 2012 TSCA Chemical Data Reporting


  • The determination of the need to report is based on production volume during calendar year 2011.

  • Information on the reportable chemical substance must be reported during the 2012 CDR submission period, February 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012 (40 CFR 711.20).

  • All reporting companies must report CDR data electronically, using e-CDRweb, the CDR web-based reporting tool, and EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) system. Prior to submitting data, submitters must register with CDX.

  • Reporting is required for all chemical substances listed on the TSCA Inventory, both organic and inorganic, other than polymers, microorganisms, naturally occurring chemical substances, certain forms of natural gas, and water (40 CFR 711.5 and 711.6) when manufacture (including import) of those chemical substances meets the other reporting requirements. Chemical substances that are the subject of any of certain listed TSCA actions may not be eligible for partial or full exemptions (40 CFR 711.6).

  • Manufacturers (including importers) are required to report full manufacturing data, for calendar year 2011, and production volume only, for calendar year 2010, for all reportable chemical substances, when 2011 site-specific production volume equals or exceeds 25,000 lb (40 CFR 711.15(b)).

  • Manufacturers (including importers) are required to report processing and use data, for calendar year 2011, for all reportable chemical substances, when 2011 site-specific production volume equals or exceeds 100,000 lb (40 CFR 711.15(b)). Inorganic chemical substances are no longer exempt from the reporting of processing and use information.

  • Small manufacturers are exempt from CDR requirements unless they manufacture (including import) 25,000 lb or more of a chemical substance that is the subject of a rule proposed or promulgated under sections 4, 5(b)(4), or 6 of TSCA, or is the subject of an order in effect under section 5(e) of TSCA, or is the subject of relief that has been granted under a civil action under sections 5 or 7 of TSCA (40 CFR 711.9) and (TSCA §8(a)(3)(A)(ii)). See Appendix B for further information.

  • Information submitted under CDR may be claimed as confidential; however, such claims must be made at the time of submission and substantiated in accordance with the CDR rule. Submitters must provide upfront substantiation of confidentiality claims for processing and use information as well as for confidentiality claims for site or chemical identity. A blank response or a response that is designated as “not known or reasonably ascertainable” may not be claimed as confidential (40 CFR 711.30).

The EPA is frequently adding information to their Inventory Update Reporting and Chemical Data Reporting Resource page.  And Emilcott will continue to update our TSCA Resource Center with helpful information -- check in often!

If you need guidance with the information that you should be gathering (starting now!) for the EPA TSCA 2012 CDR Submission, please contact Emilcott!.You can also subscribe to our TSCA newsletter to be kept up to date and enroll for our free webinar (date to be announced soon) by sending an email to  Feel free to post any questions below in the comments section and we will respond quickly.
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Topics: Emilcott, General EHS, EPA, Compliance, TSCA & R.E.A.C.H., TSCA, CDR, Toxic Substance Control Act, submission, IUR, Form U, chemical manufacturer, importer

August 2011 Update on the TSCA IUR-now-CDR Rule

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Aug 12, 2011 9:00:19 AM

by Paula Kaufmann

Upcoming TSCA Reporting Period:  February 1 - June 30, 2012.

As of August 6, the EPA has finalized the TSCA IUR -- now named the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) – Rule. There are many changes with the TSCA IUR to CDR  … some of these will be in place for the 2012 reporting submission and many more for the 2016 submission.

The final rule adopted many of the requirements included in the proposed rule (see What are the Changes?) -- and, thankfully, the majority are not retroactive. At Emilcott, we are asking our clients to define what needs to be collected for the 2012 submission period with 2011 as the Principal Reporting Year. If your facility uses chemicals or is an importer who falls under TSCA’s CDR guidelines (remember, they’ve changed!), your company will need to collect more data and information than that originally planned for the 2011 IUR submission. The chart below is a bare bones list of the inventory, production volume and use information that needs to be collected for the 2012 Chemical Data Report (CDR). And, as stated earlier, your 2016 submission will have even more requirements.

Submit Your Form U Electronically

For the 2012 CDF, all submissions will be required to use the EPA’s free, web-based reporting tool, e-CDRweb, for completion of Form U. In preparation, the EPA will schedule another informational webinar on the electronic submission tool in late September with beta trials completed by early October. Please ask Emilcott if you will need help with the Form U filing.

Additional TSCA Information

Emilcott has set up an online “ TSCA Resource Center” and over the next few weeks will be creating a dedicated TSCA landing page to contain all the information related to both the CDR Final Rule and other TSCA New and Existing Chemicals topics. Links to all EHSWire TSCA blogs will also be located there for quick reference. If you have any questions or would like to consider Emilcott as a TSCA consultant, please give us a call at 973-538-1110 or send an email to

Did you miss the TSCA 2006 Form U submission?

You must notify the EPA that you missed reporting for the 2006 IUR within 21 days of your discovery.  The EPA has an Audit Policy for Self-Disclosure in which drastic fine reduction is possible if the requirements outlined by the Agency are met.  This policy is presented on the EPA Compliance Incentive and Auditing web site ( If you would like help, Emilcott has been brought in to work with multiple US and International clients with US facilities that inadvertently missed the Form U deadline due to either misunderstanding or ignorance of the regulations. Our advice is to not wait!
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Topics: Emilcott, General EHS, EPA, Compliance, TSCA & R.E.A.C.H., TSCA, CDR, Toxic Substance Control Act, submission, IUR, Form U, chemical manufacturer, importer

9/11 Tenth Anniversary Focuses on American Chemical Security

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Aug 7, 2011 10:21:05 PM

Dian Cucchisi, PhD, CHMM

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) is increasing their focus on utilities and chemical facilities which may become targets for terrorist activities.  In a recent ABC news release DHS Press Secretary Matt Chandler is quoted as saying “While DHS has no specific, credible intelligence of an imminent threat posed to the private sector utilities, several recent incidents highlight the on-going threat to infrastructure in the utility sectors from insiders and outsiders seeking facility-specific information that might be exploited in an attack.” Click here to view the complete Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis note regarding: Insider Threat to Utilities.

With many Emilcott public and private sector clients involved in the manufacture and/or processing of chemicals, we are often called in to assist with regulatory submissions detailing chemical usage, storage, import and export.  Since 9/11, this reporting has grown to include not just environmental and human health hazards but also those that could present a potential risk to our national security. In October 2010, we addressed this new chemical reporting requirement in  EHSWire post “Homeland Security and Chemicals of Interest”.  Starting in the latter half of 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reviewed various databases maintained by regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, to help them identify facilities that may need to comply with the DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS).  Compliance with CFATS requires completing and submitting a Top Screen analysis to the DHS.  If a facility is listed in another database for storing using “chemicals of interest” and had not submitted a Top Screen analysis, the DHS sent the facility a letter with the option to complete the Top Screen within 90 days or to write a letter to DHS certifying that the CFATS requirements do not apply to the facility.

The Top Screen analysis is used by the DHS to assign a “threat level Tier” to your facility.  If your facility was assigned to Tier 4, DHS feels that there is a low level of risk that chemicals at your facility would be stolen or used for malicious purposes.  Being assigned to Tier 1 means that the DHS feels that there is a high level of risk that the chemicals at your facility would be stolen or used for malicious purposes.  “Only facilities that submitted Security Vulnerability Assessments and were subsequently notified in writing by the Department they have been finally determined to be high-risk have access via CSAT to complete and submit the CSAT Site Security Plan (SSP)

Have you completed your Top Screen?  Did you make any changes to your facility or operations to reduce your Tier level if you were assigned to Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3? Do you have any concerns about the tenth anniversary and your facility?
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Topics: CFATS, Emergency Response, Homeland Security, Compliance, top-screen, chemicals of interest, DHS, threat level tier

Fall Protection for Residential Workers – New Standards and New Tools to Help with Understanding Compliance Requirements

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Jul 23, 2011 11:51:15 PM

Lee Scott Bishop, CIH, MPH

Have you ever driven by a crew constructing a new house or installing a new roof?  Have you noticed a guardrail system in place to keep workers from falling when working on the upper levels?  Or have you seen a personal fall arrest systemsthat will lock and hold a falling worker like a seatbelt in your car?  Most likely you have not seen either of these fall protection systems in place for residential projects!

Nearly one residential construction worker dies each workday as a result of falls.  OSHA believes that no job is worth a life.  Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA has said “ Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction.”  “ We cannot tolerate workers getting killed in residential construction when effective means are readily available to prevent those deaths

For workers employed by a mid-sized contracting group or a small crew engaged in house painting or outside repairs, OSHA has published a new directive which mandates the use of fall protection for all residential construction workers at heights of 6 feet off of the ground. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Fall Protection Policy for Residential Construction went into effect on June 16, 2011. Employers engaged in residential construction are required to follow the provisions of 29CFR1926.501(b)(13) which states:
"Residential construction." Each employee engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected by guardrail systems, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system unless another provision in paragraph (b) of this section provides for an alternative fall protection measure. Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer shall develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of paragraph (k) of 1926.502.

Note: There is a presumption that it is feasible and will not create a greater hazard to implement at least one of the above-listed fall protection systems. Accordingly, the employer has the burden of establishing that it is appropriate to implement a fall protection plan which complies with 1926.502(k) for a particular workplace situation, in lieu of implementing any of those systems.

This is not a new Standard.  Previous to 6/16/11, the existing policy directive (which was never intended to be a permanent solution) allowed residential construction employers to follow alternative fall protection methods instead of using conventional fall protection, like safety nets, personal fall arrest or guardrail systems.  OSHA INSTRUCTION DIRECTIVE NUMBER STD 03-11-002, Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction has replaced that policy.  The Agency is also reviewing all letters of interpretation that referenced the cancelled directive.  This new directive neither creates new legal obligations nor alters existing obligations created by OSHA standards or the Occupational Safety and Health Act.  The new policy directive merely implements the Standard as originally intended.

While sharing the procedures and equipment available to employers and in use in the industry, OSHA itemizes other forms of protection against falls such as

  • 1926.501(b)(2)(ii) - Controlled access zones and control lines - leading edge applications.

  • 1926.501(b)(4)(i) and (ii) - Covers - falling through holes.

  • 1926.501(b)(5) - Positioning devices - face of formwork or reinforcing steel.

  • 1926.501(b)(7)(i) and (ii) - Barricades, fences and covers - falling into excavations.

  • 1926.501(b)(8)(i) - Equipment guards - falling into dangerous equipment.

  • 1926.501(b)(10) - Warning line system and safety monitoring system - roofing work on low-slope (4:12 or less) roofs.  Or, on roofs 50-feet (15.25 m) or less in width, the use of a safety monitoring system without a warning line system is permitted.

The Directive/Standard requires training of workers, by the employer, so they can recognize potential hazard areas and are familiar to the resources they can implement to protect themselves from those hazards.  Trained workers receive certification which must be updated when the tools used change.  There is an option for the employer to find this Standard “not feasible”.  However, this avenue requires a written Fall Prevention Plan which is site specific, approved by a “qualified person”, kept up-to-date, and kept on the premises where the work is being conducted, and addresses all of the requirements found in section K of the standard.

OSHA further allows fall protection elements not covered in the “501” Standard such as Scaffolds, Ladders, and Aerial lifts which can be found covered in 29 CFR 1926.453.

Information for this blog was obtained from  This presentation is an excellent resource for identifying acceptable fall protection options.  Pictures portray each type of protection as well as Bakers and Perry scaffolds; wall bracket, or top plate, scaffold system; Pump-jack Scaffold; and other options such as Extensible Boom Aerial Lifts.

So, if you are a residential contractor who needs fall protection, what’s the next step for you?  First, be aware that if you ignore the OSHA compliance laws, you are still accountable (ignorance is no excuse!).    OSHA has developed a dedicated and easy-to-understandOSHA Construction webpage with  a variety of comprehensive residential fall protection compliance assistance and guidance materials at  For more information and research

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Directorate of Construction – Room N-3468
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20210

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Topics: OSHA, OSHA Compliance, General EHS, Construction H&S, H&S Training, Compliance, construction, safety, residential, fall, fall protection, workers

Hazard Communication: Do You Know What You Have the Right-to-Know?

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Jul 3, 2011 11:51:26 PM

By John Defillippo, CHMP

Do you have hazardous chemicals in your workplace? If you think the answer is no, are you sure?

OSHA defines a hazardous chemical as one that presents either a physical or a health hazard. Many common and readily available products such as paints, cleaners, and other materials found in the workplace meet this definition. In fact, last year OSHA issued over 6,300 violations to companies that failed to comply with this standard. As we noted in a previous blog, non-compliance with the Hazard Communication standard was the third-largest source of OSHA violations in 2009 and 2010!

If you are an employer, you have a legal obligation to provide a workplace that is free of recognized hazards and to communicate any hazards present to those in the workplace.  In 1985, OSHA established the Hazard Communication Standard ( 1910.1200) to ensure, in part, that all workers have the "right-to-know" about the hazardous chemicals in their workplace.

Essentially, employees have a Right-to-Know about any hazardous substances that they may come into contact with at work and how to protect themselves from adverse affects. Employees, for their part, have a responsibility to follow directions and work safely by using products for their intended purpose and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to reduce risk and chance of exposure. This is where the Hazard Communication Standard “kicks in”, as all workplace information about hazardous substances needs to be in a Written Hazard Communication Program.  This "HazCom" program must contain

  • A list of all hazardous chemicals in the workplace and a Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each chemical (or product) on that list

  • All employees must have access to that list and the MSDS’s during their work shift

  • Methods to communicate hazards of these chemicals to employees, on-site contractors and visitors such as signs and labels

  • Records showing that all employees have been properly trained to understand the hazards, read the MSDSs and understand labeling and signs.

In addition to the federal OSHA requirements for labeling, the State of New Jersey has specific labeling requirements for all vessels, piping and containers that contain hazardous chemicals.

So, do you have hazardous chemicals in your workplace? Are you rethinking your answer?

If you have products that arrive with an MSDS, and you have not implemented a written HazCom Program, you’ll need to get a program in place to be OSHA compliant. If you have been following the standard, consider the following:

  • Are you keeping up with its requirements?

  • When was the last time your HazCom Program was reviewed?

  • Is your hazardous chemical list and MSDS collection up-to-date?

  • Do you know what OSHA considers “Hazardous”?

  • Is every hazardous chemical container labeled properly – even the transfer containers?

  • Are ALL your employees trained about the workings of your HazCom program and the hazards of each chemical in their workplace?

Now do you know the answer? Or, do you have more questions?

If you are confused or intimidated, don’t worry.  A great resource is the Institute of Hazardous Materials Managers which certifies individuals as Hazardous Materials Managers (CHMM) and Hazardous Materials Practitioners (CHMP). These trained professionals must demonstrate various levels of knowledge, expertise, and excellence in the management of hazardous materials. And, there are EHS (Environmental, Health and Safety) experts like Emilcott everywhere – their job is to help companies stay in compliance with state and federal regulations while protecting employees. No matter what resource you find, just ask if they are experienced in developing Hazardous Communication programs. Not only will workers stay health and safety, you’ll see added benefits like prevention of property damage, reduced insurance claims and costs, and, of course, your company will not be cited for OSHA’s third most-common violation!

Have you found any chemicals in your workplace that you didn’t know are hazardous? Does your “right-to-know” increase your job comfort level or concern you? And, have you carefully reviewed the company HazCom plan so that you understand “what to do if…”?
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Topics: OSHA, health and safety, General Industry H&S, OSHA Compliance, General EHS, H&S Training, Hazardous Waste Management, HazCom, Compliance, regulation, General Industry, emergency response training, Exposure, hazardous chemicals, chemicals, MSDS, Hazard Communication Standard

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