Always Make Safety Your Top Priority Reply

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

The Assault on Health and Safety Begins!

Deregulation policies a threat to worker safety!

OSHA Delays Electronic Record-Keeping Rule!

Talk of scrapping two regulations for each new one adopted!

OSHA Further Delays Silica Rule Enforcement!

Proposed $2.5B Cut to Dept. of Labor’s Budget, Elimination of Chemical Safety Board

During the past six months, there has been lots of talk (and action) in Washington about reducing and eliminating regulations, repealing OSHA rules, and imposing major staff reductions and budget cuts in agencies dedicated to increasing worker health and safety (OSHA, MSHA, NIOSH, and The Chemical Safety Board). Despite all the headlines, businesses throughout the country must continue to operate and, unfortunately, workers continue to be injured or killed on the job on a daily basis.

Although safety regulations and enforcement actions can have a positive effect on reducing worker injuries, they do not prevent them. It still remains everyone’s responsibility within the workplace to promote, create, and maintain a safe and healthy work environment despite whether or not a formal regulation is in place.  From top management down through all levels of the business hierarchy to the employees on the shop floor, safety should be everyone’s top priority.

Regulations or the threat of enforcement penalties and fines should not be the sole driving force in providing safe and healthy work environments. Many highly successful businesses foster safe working conditions and decide on their own to implement safety programs that exceed the basic requirements spelled out in safety regulations.

Bottomline –Safety should remain at the top of your priority list every day for yourself, your fellow employees, and your family and friends while you are away from the workplace.

For more information or of you require assistance with your health and safety programs, please contact Bob King, CIH, CSP, at 508-970-0033 ext. 113 or bking@capaccio.com.

Neglecting Your Health and Your EHS Program’s Health Can Be Hazardous Reply

Our series about auditing and how it resembles an annual physical comes to an end
with this article that discusses risk management and process safety management
(RMP and PSM) assessments. In the same way that an annual physical may alert
you of weight gain or poor nutrition, an annual assessment of your chemical
processes provides a grasp of the current state of the management of your
facility’s hazards.

An annual physical typically begins with a weigh-in. Your weight is tracked and observed by your doctor, and when unhealthy dietary choices and lack of exercise
have led you to pack on some pounds, your doctor will suggest that you modify
your food choices and increase your activity level.

Likewise, mismanaging your RMP and PSM program could lead your processes
down a slippery slope of poor condition. Does your maintenance group maintain
each part of your process in a way that prevents known hazards? Have your
operating procedures been reviewed and certified as current and accurate each
year? Is your frequency of training your employees on RMP and PSM often enough
so that employees are refreshed on the hazards of the process and can perform
their jobs in a safe manner? Answers to these questions are asked during a required
and enforceable 3-year Compliance Audit; however, wouldn’t it be a good idea to
catch these issues ahead of time by performing an annual program assessment?

These pieces to the healthy PSM and RMP puzzle need constant attention, review,
and care. Just as easily as you can get out of the exercise groove, you can also fall
off the wagon with your awareness and upkeep of your PSM and RMP processes.
An annual program assessment is non-enforceable, kept internal, and ensures
that you regularly evaluate your PSM and RMP targets for compliance, the plan
to reach those targets, program milestones achieved, the resources available
to get to the next step, and program areas in need of work.

Just like there are apps to track your food and exercise plan on your phone,
computer, or other electronic device, CAPACCIO’s EHS Dashboard can help you
track your PSM and RMP action items from an annual assessment to help you
reach your goals for a safe and healthy process.

Don’t wait for an inspection to uncover your program’s health issues; call or
email Christine Silverman 508-970-0033 x 127 or csilverman@capaccio.com
for assistance.

New OHS Standard ISO 45001: Progress Towards Finalization Reply

Each year, nearly 2.2 million workers die as a result of an occupational injury or illness. This statistic is burdensome to organizations and society as a whole. To encourage a strong occupational health and safety program, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been working on the development of a new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Standard; ISO 45001. This standard aims to provide organizations with the framework to manage the prevention of work related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

ISO 45001 has been drafted to include many of the same concepts set forth in OHSAS 18001. The main differences between the two standards is that ISO 45001 has a much stronger focus on the context of an organization and requires top management to provide leadership in the development, management, and tracking of their company’s OHS Management System. It is expected that OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn once the new ISO 45001 standard is published. Organizations certified to OHSAS 18001 will need to transition to ISO 45001 within three years of its publication.

Currently the new OHS Standard is in its second draft. A preview of this version is currently available for review.  For the next four months, the OHS Standard will be undergoing the translation and ballot phase of the review process. If a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) is not required, the new ISO 45001 standard could be published as early as November 2017. If a FDIS is required, publication could be pushed back to the second quarter of 2018.

For more information please contact Bob King at 508-970-0033 ext. 113 or bking@capaccio.com or Katie Grasso at 508-970-0033 ext. 134 or kgrasso@capaccio.com.

Maintaining a Safe Environment of Care – conformance to Joint Commission Standards and avoiding accreditation citations Reply

Joint Commission accreditation is intended to ensure that hospitals provide the highest level of performance and service to their patients. The Joint Commission’s accreditation process seeks to help organizations identify and resolve problems and to inspire them to improve the safety and quality of care and services provided. The process focuses on systems critical to the safety and the quality of care, treatment, and services.

Joint Commission publishes a list of the top deficiency citations about every 6 months. The top ten citations for the first half of 2014 were recently highlighted in the December 2014 issue of the New England Healthcare Engineers’ Society (NEHES) newsletter. One of the top ten citations is specifically related to management of hazardous materials and waste. The Joint Commission Standards include Environment of Care Standard EC.02.02.01, the management of hazardous materials and waste. This standard includes several elements of performance to ensure that hospitals are maintaining a safe environment for their patients, health care professionals, and support staff. Hospitals must be able to demonstrate that they do the following:

– Maintain a written, current inventory of hazardous materials and waste that it uses, stores, or
generates
– Have written procedures, including the use of precautions and personal protective equipment, to
follow in response to hazardous material and waste spills or exposures
– Implement its procedures in response to hazardous material and waste spills or exposures
– Minimize risks associated with selecting, handling, storing, transporting, using, and disposing
of hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials (radiation, x-rays), hazardous energy sources
(lasers, MRIs), and hazardous gases and vapors
– Minimize risk associated with disposing of hazardous medications
– Monitor levels of hazardous gases and vapors to determine that they are in safe range
– Have the permits, licenses, manifests, and MSDSs required for managing hazardous materials and
waste
– Label hazardous materials and waste, identifying the contents and hazard warnings

Demonstrating conformance to this standard includes compliance with several regulations, covering a diverse range of hazardous materials and hazardous waste sources, or “streams.” In addition, there is overlap among the many applicable regulations: OSHA, EPA, DOT, NRC, DOE, state regulations, and local bylaws.

In order to reduce risk, hospitals should consider getting a third party inspection, or audit, to assist on both compliance with applicable hazardous materials and hazardous waste regulations, and conformance to the Joint Commission Environment of Care standard. If you would like to find out more, please contact CAPACCIO’s William Potochniak, PE, at wpotochniak@capaccio.com or Jill Vernes, CHMM, TURP, at jvernes@capaccio.com.