Sunday, December 31, 2017

2016 OSHA Silica Rule Upheld By Federal Court

On December 22 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the OSHA crystalline silica rule, rejecting all objections raised by industry groups. In 2016, OSHA published a final rule regulating workplace exposure to silica, Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (29 CFR 1910, 1915 and 1926).

The industry groups had petitioned for review of several issues:
  • Whether substantial evidence supports OSHA’s finding that limiting workers’ silica exposure to the level set by the rule reduces a significant risk of material health impairment.
  • Whether substantial evidence supports OSHA’s finding that the rule is technologically and economically feasible
  • Whether OSHA had complied with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in promulgating the rule, and
  • Whether substantial evidence supports two provisions of the rule, which allow workers who undergo medical examinations to keep the results confidential from their employers and prohibiting employers from using dry cleaning methods unless doing so is infeasible.
Unions had requested review of parts of the rule requiring that medical surveillance for construction workers be provided only if the employee has to wear a respirator for 30 days for one employer in a one-year period and the absence of medical removal protections (MRP).

The Court rejected the unions’ challenge to the construction standard’s 30-day trigger for medical surveillance, however the Court did find that OSHA was arbitrary and capricious in declining to require MRP for some period when a medical professional recommends permanent removal, when a medical professional recommends temporary removal to alleviate COPD symptoms, and when a medical professional recommends temporary removal pending a specialist’s determination. The Court concluded that OSHA failed to adequately explain its decision to omit medical removal protections from the rule and remanded that portion of the rule back to OSHA for further consideration.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Benefits of Social Media Presence For Environmental & Safety Professionals

Presentation to Alliance of Hazardous Material Managers on value of social media presence for both EH&S professionals and for professional organizations.

Rules On Disposal Of Aerosols, Antifreeze, Paint Wastes In Ohio

The Ohio EPA adopted Ohio-specific universal waste rules allowing hazardous non-empty aerosol containers, hazardous antifreeze, hazardous paint and hazardous paint-related wastes to be classified and managed as a universal waste in Ohio. The rules will be effective on December 21, 2017. These rules will eventually be moved to Ohio Administrative Code chapter 3745-273.

This action designating waste that would otherwise be classified as hazardous waste as a universal waste promotes proper handling, recycling or disposal of the waste by streamlining the applicable regulations. The new Ohio-specific universal wastes will be subject to specific requirements detailed in the rule to address the risks the wastes may pose. The requirements include:
  • labeling,
  • tank and container standards,
  • limited treatment provisions,
  • accumulation time limits,
  • employee training requirements,
  • emergency response requirements and
  • transportation according to U.S. Department of Transportation rules.
Universal wastes do not count towards a generator’s monthly hazardous waste accumulation rate and they are not required to manifested as a hazardous waste in Ohio EPA or reported on the generator’s hazardous waste biennial report.

Click here to review other regulatory updates for Ohio

Sunday, December 10, 2017

EHS Auditors To Supplement Audit Teams Or Fill Subject Matter Expert Roles

Caltha LLP has environmental and safety compliance and management system auditors available for short-term assignments to supplement audit teams or to provide Subject Matter Experts for auditing projects. Click here to review recent audit project examples.

Caltha staff have experience conducting EH&S audits in most US States and Canada. Caltha also has performed media or regulatory specific audits, including:
  • Product stewardship audits
  • Product responsibility audits
  • Waste - hazardous waste audits
  • TSCA audits
  • Air permit compliance audits
  • Wastewater compliance audits
  • Tank compliance audits
  • Risk Management Plan audits
For more information on the availability of short-term auditors to supplement audit teams or to full specific SME roles, contact Caltha at