OSHA Publishes Final Rules on Beryllium, Respirator Fit Testing

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published two final rules regarding the beryllium standard and respirator fit testing.

Published on September 26, 2019, two new quantitative fit testing protocols were added to the respiratory protection standard (1910.134). According to an OSHA news release, the new testing methods are:

  • modified ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit testing protocol for full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators
  • modified ambient aerosol CNC quantitative fit testing protocol for filtering facepiece respirators

These two new methods go along with the four other testing methods found in Appendix A of the respiratory standard. Employers must use one of these methods to protect employees from “hazardous airborne contaminants.” OSHA states that the rule does not require businesses update or replace their current fit testing methods. The new protocols also have fewer test exercises, shorter exercise durations, and a “more streamlined sampling sequence” than the original testing protocol.

On September 30, 2019, OSHA also finalized changes to the beryllium standard in construction and shipyards that was first introduced in June 2017.

According to Safety and Health Magazine, the original proposed rule would have eliminated so-called “ancillary provisions” of the rule covering medical surveillance, written exposure control plans, and PPE because they were covered by other OSHA rules.

The permissible exposure limit of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air and the short-term exposure limit of 2 micrograms per cubic meter of air will still be enforced.

Beryllium is a strong, lightweight metal used in electronics and the defense industry, among others. Overexposure can cause serious health risks, including incurable chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer. According to OSHA’s estimates, about 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium each year.

The compliance date for the ancillary provisions is set for September 2020.

The Workplace Safety Experts can ensure your safety plans are up to date and we can conduct your respirator fit tests! Call at 1-800-204-1729 or fill out the contact form below to find out how we can help your business and protect your employees








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Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2019 Released

The annual Top 10 list of most cited OSHA violations for 2019 has been revealed at the annual National Safety Council Congress and Expo, and not much has changed since last year.

For the ninth year in a row, Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) comes in at the top of the list with 6,010 citations. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) moved up one place to fourth with 2,606 violations and Respiratory Protection (1910.134) dropped to fifth with 2,450 citations.

Eye and Face Protection (1926.102), which was new to 2018’s list, remained in the 10th spot on the 2019 list with 1,411 violations.

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) 6,010
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) 3,671
3. Scaffolding (1926.451) 2,813
4. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) 2,606
5. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) 2,450
6. Ladders (1926.1053) 2,345
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) 2,093
8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) 1,773
9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) 1,743
10. Eye and Face Protection (1926.102) 1,411

“Far too many preventable injuries and deaths occur on the job,” Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO, said in a news release. “The OSHA Top 10 list is a helpful guide for understanding just how adept America’s businesses are in complying with the basic rules of workplace safety. This list should serve as a challenge for us to do better as a nation and expect more from employers. It should also serve as a catalyst for individual employees to re-commit to safety.”

This list is based off of preliminary figures as of August 15, 2019.

NIOSH Celebrates 100 Years of Respiratory Protection

To recognize 100 years of respiratory protection in the U.S.,  the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has designated Sept. 3-6, 2019 as the first annual Respiratory Protection Week.

Back in 1919, the U.S. Bureau of Mines started the first respirator certification program to protect miners from harmful atmospheres, with the first respirator becoming certified a few months later. Today, an estimated 5 million U.S. workers are required to wear respirators on the job.

“Respiratory Protection Week honors both the history and the future of the efforts by researchers and practitioners to protect workers from airborne toxins,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., in a news release. “NIOSH’s own ongoing work in respiratory protection represents both a century’s worth of experience in preventing disease for millions of working men and women who have relied on respirators to protect their lungs, and a new century’s research in developing improvements in respiratory protection.”

NIOSH has a number of resources and events available for you to get the most out of this Respiratory Protection Week.

A detailed timeline tracks the history of respiratory protection all the way back to Pliny the Elder, a Roman philosopher who lived from 23-79 AD. He used loose animal bladder skins to filter dust while crushing cinnabar, which is a “toxic, mercuric sulfide mineral used at the time for pigmentation in decorations.”

NIOSH will also host an online webinar on September 5, 2019, at 1 P.M. EST to discuss the state of using Powered Air Purifying Respirators in the healthcare industry.

Plus, NIOSH has created a set of handy infographics covering respiratory topics including Atmosphere-Supplying Respirators, Air-Purifying Respirators, and understanding the difference between different types of common respirators.

To keep updated on this year’s Respiratory Protection Week, you can follow@NIOSH_NPPTL on Twitter and search the hashtag #100yrsRespirators.

At SCT, our Occupational Health experts can provide both qualitative and quantitative respiratory fit tests to ensure your employees are properly fitted with respirators that will protect them and comply with all OSHA standards.

Fill out the contact form below or call us at 1-800-204-1729.








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OSHA Considering Changes to Silica Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting public feedback on the silica standard in the construction industry.

OSHA is seeking more information about multiple aspects of the rule, including:

  • additional engineering and work practice control methods to effectively limit exposure to silica for tasks in Table 1
  • construction equipment and tasks that generate silica that it should consider adding to Table 1
  • engineering and work practice control methods associated with those tasks
  • whether or not to revise paragraph (a)(3) of the General Industry Silica Standard to increase the ways in which general industry and maritime workplaces could use the construction standard’s Table 1

OSHA stated that expanding the options for companies to comply with the silica standard will give business more flexibility while still maintaining employee safety. The agency also said that submitted information will allow OSHA to “consider new developments and enhanced control methods for equipment that generates exposure to silica” and provide more data on potential silica exposure from more tasks.

Respirable crystalline silica is dangerous to workers and can potentially cause lifelong health issues. It is created when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling or crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, block and mortar. Other exposures include abrasive blasting or manufacturing of brick or ceramic products. About 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to silica at work.

Silica can cause numerous diseases including silicosis (an incurable lung disease), lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease.

According to OSHA’s news release, public comments must be submitted by October 14, 2019 online at www.regulations.gov, or by fax/mail.

At SCT, our Workplace Safety Experts, who have dozens of years of experience working for and alongside OSHA, can train your employees to properly abate any potential silica hazards in compliance with all OSHA regulations. Call us at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the form below to contact one of our experts.








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10 Ways to Start Your Safety Program

Safe and Sound Week 2019 is the perfect time to jump start your company’s workplace safety program.

According to OSHA, employers pay almost $1 billion per week in direct workers’ compensation costs. While this figure includes things like medical expenses and legal services, it does not consider indirect costs including training of replacement employees, lost productivity, accident investigation, and lower employee morale.

For Safe and Sound Week, OSHA has released a helpful Top 10 list of simple ways to get your comprehensive workplace safety program up and running with a solid base.

  • Establish safety and health as a core value
  • Lead by example
  • Implement a reporting system
  • Provide training
  • Conduct inspections
  • Collect hazard control ideas
  • Implement hazard controls
  • Address emergencies
  • Seek input on workplace changes
  • Make improvements to the program

And if you’re still unsure of how to create your workplace safety program or want to take it to the next level, it might be time to contact the OSHA Workplace Safety Experts at SCT.

Call us at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.








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Overall OSHA Inspections Down, Fatality Inspections Up in 2018

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) performed fewer total inspections in Fiscal Year 2018 compared to 2017, but fatality/catastrophe inspections did increase, according to OSHA’s latest enforcement summary. 

In FY 2018, which covers Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018, OSHA conducted 32,023 inspections, a 1.2% decrease compared to the 32,408 inspections in FY 2017.

About 56 percent of the inspections were “unprogrammed inspections,” which include employee complaints, injuries, fatalities and referrals. “Programmed inspections” focus on industries where known hazards exist, such as combustible dusts and falls in construction.

While overall inspections were down slightly, OSHA conducted more fatality/catastrophe inspections in 2018 (941) than it did in 2017 (837), which marks a 12% increase. It was the most fatality/catastrophe inspections since FY 2007, according to Safety and Health Magazine. 

Safety and Health also noted that the number of OSHA inspectors reached a record low of 875 as of January 1, 2019. The Department of Labor has vowed to add 26 new full-time equivalent inspectors next fiscal year after hiring 76 in FY 2018.

 

Contact the workplace safety experts at SCT today!








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OSHA Budget Could See Big Increase

The U.S. House of Representatives passed on June 19, 2019, a so-called “minibus” budget appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020 that would increase the budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The bill passed by a 226-203 vote.

The new bill sets OSHA’s budget at $660,908,000, which is about $103 million more than the Trump administration’s proposed budget released in March. OSHA’s budget was $557.2 million in FY2019, according to Safety and Health Magazine. 

The bill specifies a few ways in which this budget can be spent:

  • $12.69 million is available for Susan Harwood training grants
  • A maximum of $3.5 million for Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)
  • A maximum of $123.23 million available for grants to states

The bill also outlines funding for NIOSH ($346.3 million) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration ($417.3 million), which would both be increases compared to their respective FY 2019 budgets.

The magazine also reports that while the bill passed the House, it is unlikely to pass the U.S. Senate.

“The Senate may craft its own funding bill or try to resolve any differences with the House bill in a conference committee,” according to the publication.


Want to take your workplace’s safety program to the next level? Contact the experts at SCT. Put our decades of OSHA and workplace safety experience to work. Contact us today!








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SCT adds Director of East Coast Operations

SCT is proud to announce the addition of Dave Walker as the company’s new Director of East Coast Operations.

Mr. Walker has 25 years of safety and environmental experience in the textile manufacturing industry. He has just about done it all in the world of occupational safety and health, but Mr. Walker owns a high level of expertise in Lockout/Tagout, Machine Guarding, OSHA Compliance, and design of Safety and Health Management Systems.

Beginning in September 2013, Mr. Walker was the Corporate Director of Environmental, Occupational Health & Safety and Facilities Management at Formed Fiber Technologies/Conform Gissing International in Auburn, Maine. Among many achievements, Mr. Walker developed and oversaw the implementation of a Safety and Health Management System for sites in Maine, Ohio and South Carolina that resulted in significantly decreased injury trends.

Prior to that, Mr. Walker was the Director of Facilities Engineering at Interface Fabrics/True Textiles in Elkin, NC; Corporate Facilities Engineer at Guilford of Maine/Interface Fabrics in Guilford, Maine; and Vice President of TedWalker, Inc.

At SCT, Mr. Walker will be working closely with Senior VP Rob Medlock and Senior Research and Field Analyst Kelly Baker.

To contact Dave or any of our other world-class Workplace Safety Experts, call us at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.








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SCT Names New Vice President of Health Services

Safety Controls Technology (SCT) is proud to announce Jonathan Corrigan, DHSc, PA-C as the company’s new Vice President of Health Services.

Dr. Corrigan joined SCT in April 2018 as the Director of Health Services, and this promotion to Vice President is the culmination of a year of hard work overseeing the expansion of SCT’s Occupational Health Division. The division now operates at three locations in the Cleveland area, plus a fully functional mobile unit. Reaching hundreds of clients each day, SCT delivers a wealth of services including TSA Pre Check; background checks; vaccinations; DOT and non-DOT physicals; OSHA Medical Surveillance Clearance; American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED training; employee drug and alcohol testing; Drug Free Workplace Program development and administration; pulmonary function testing; and respirator fit testing.

SCT President Gail Grueser said that Dr. Corrigan has been instrumental to the rapid growth of SCT’s Health Services.

“His skill and expertise is invaluable to the Occupational Health Division,” Ms. Grueser said. “I couldn’t be more excited about Jonathan becoming SCT’s Vice President of Health Services.”

Dr. Corrigan holds multiple advanced degrees, including a Doctorate in Health Science from Nova Southeastern University (2017) and a Master of Physician Assistant with a Specialization Certificate in Emergency Medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (2008). Dr. Corrigan has worked as a Physician Assistant across the globe in Sacramento, CA; Honolulu, HI; and the Northern Mariana Islands, which are located just south of Japan. While he spent much of his time as a physician assistant in emergency medicine, he also has experience in acute care, urgent care, and psychiatry.

Recently, Dr. Corrigan became a member of the Ohio-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT). The team’s mission is to provide medical care to victims of disasters, both natural and man-made.

Dr. Corrigan was born and raised in the greater Cleveland area, and graduated in 2007 from the University of Findlay with a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

To learn more about the full range of our Occupational Health Solutions, explore our website, call us at 1-800-204-1729, or complete the contact form below.








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SCT Adds Occupational Safety and Health Intern

SCT is excited to announce the addition of an Occupational Safety and Health Intern. Mike Milyo, 20, from Mayfield, OH wanted to apply what he has learned in college so far and found SCT. Mike, who just completed his sophomore year at Slippery Rock University, heard that SCT was great company that had experience in every aspect of safety.

He is fascinated by both the construction and general industry sides of safety and health. Mike recalls safety always being the direction he wanted to go in his career. “I was always interested in construction, but I wanted to do something different than be a laborer.”

Mike is grateful to be working alongside some of the best minds in the safety industry at SCT. “The staff has been friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to help,” he said. He’s been able to take part in multiple safety audits and write safety reports.

Even though he is receiving his education across enemy lines in Pennsylvania, Mike is still a devout Cleveland Browns fan. In his free time, he loves to spend time with family and friends and go fishing.

Mike hopes his time with SCT helps him jump start his career. “I plan on obtaining as much knowledge and skills as I can to become a successful safety professional.”

We at SCT are excited to have Mike join us this summer and to help him learn all he can about the occupational safety and health industry.