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.

To “Air” is Human Reply

In our continuing series about auditing and how it can be similar to an annual physical, we will discuss an often overlooked area; a deep dive into air permitting. Just as an annual physical may gloss over some of the more specific parts of the body, air permits can also sometimes be overlooked but doing so can lead to a potential problem in the long run.

Every year, the Doctor asks a list of questions, such as, “Has anything changed in your immediate family’s health (diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, ADHD)? Who lives at your home? Do you have any pets? Do you have any concerns at the moment?  In a similar fashion, prior to an air audit, the auditor will send you a list of questions. Do you have an air plan approval?  Do you have air emissions tracking sheets?  Do you have a control device? All of these questions help the Doctor/Auditor get an overview of your health/facility and any specific areas that may be of concern.

Your responses become the roadmap for the auditor. If you stated you do not have an air plan approval, the auditor may request a listing of how much solvents are used onsite to determine if the facility needs to further evaluate/justify whether a plan approval is needed or if there is an exemption that excludes a facility from obtaining an air plan approval.  The auditor will check if you are maintaining documentation that states how you are complying with the regulation or why your facility meets the listed criteria exemption.

As with your annual checkup, the more symptoms/details you can provide to the Doctor increases their ability to provide you with advice on what you need to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Are there warning signs that you may not have noticed with your air permits?

  • Your volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from a small process is approaching permitting level
  • The state updated their Regulated Toxic Air Pollutant (RTAP) list and you missed the notice
  • EPA has finalized a regulation that applies to you
  • An emergency generator was installed at your facility and was not self-certified
  • Emission statements were not submitted

These are some of the most common findings found during an air audit. What happens if you don’t see the warning signs or you ignore them for too long?  The small warning signs can compound each other to create one larger issue. Just like your health, it is good to go through the annual checkup to help catch the small warnings before it becomes a larger issue and is too late to be fixed.

Just like there are apps to track your health on your phone, computer, or other electronic device, CAPACCIO’s EHS DashboardTM can help you track your facility’s data making an audit by the state or federal inspectors that much easier. Learn more about the dashboard at www.ehsdashboard.com.

For more information on air permits or other air compliance related questions, please contact Lynn Sheridan, EIT, at 508-970-0033 ext. 122 or by cell at 774-249-2565 or email lsheridan@capaccio.com.

Toxic Use Reduction Annual Fees Due September 1, 2017 Reply

By July 1, 2017, each Large Quantity Toxics User of chemicals in the state of Massachusetts was required to file an annual toxics use report that included a Massachusetts Form S for each TURA listed chemical they manufactured, processed or otherwise used above applicable thresholds during 2016.

Companies subject to this reporting are required to pay annual toxics use fees. A fee worksheet/invoice was generated as part of your eDEP TURA report. This worksheet/invoice serves as your first notice of payment due. The fee must be paid in full by September 1, 2017.

In order to avoid late fees, don’t forget to print your worksheet/invoice, and send a copy with your check to:

MassDEP
PO Box 4062
Boston, MA 02211

Please note that if payment is not received by September 1st, a second invoice including a $1,000 late fee, will be sent.

If you have any questions about these programs and updates, please contact Alexis Dallaportas at 508-970-0033 x142 or by cell at 508-380-6716.

 

August 7, 2017 – UST Deadline Reply

The August 7, 2017 deadline for closure of single-walled steel underground storage tanks (USTs) is rapidly approaching per the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) UST Systems regulation 310 CMR 80.15. This regulation applies to all in-service and temporarily out-of-service USTs, with the exception of consumptive use tanks and tanks that were relined prior to August 8, 2007 in accordance with API 1631, 1983 Edition providing that the owner has a permit and approval from the Fire Department and a current, legally valid warranty for the relining.

At this juncture, if you are the owner of an UST that is not exempt from this regulation, the UST should have been or should be scheduled to be properly closed in accordance with MassDEP requirements. If not, you still have time to avoid MassDEP enforcement activity.  The MassDEP is granting extensions of the August 2017 deadline until July 1, 2018 to those who:

  • Take the UST out of service by August 7, 2017
  • File a Single-Walled Steel Tank Out-of-Service Notification to MassDEP within 30 days of the out-of-service date
  • Submit to MassDEP no later than August 7, 2017 a fully executed and signed contract for removing or closing the UST(s) on or before July 1, 2018

Remember that as part of the UST closure regulations, an assessment for contamination is required to be conducted upon in-place closure or, for removed USTs, within 24 hours after the UST is removed and prior to excavation backfill. The results of this assessment need to be reported in an UST Closure Report. Although the assessment is not required to be completed by a Licensed Site Professional (LSP), the UST removal contractor must be knowledgeable in the MassDEP release reporting criteria under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). In all cases, if a reportable release condition is identified, an LSP must be involved in conducting remedial actions.

CAPACCIO’s EHS-Dashboard™ software solution can help you track regulatory deadlines associated with UST compliance as well as record monthly inspection data so that you can be ready to demonstrate compliance in real time. Please visit http://www.ehsdashboard.com to schedule a demo of our dashboard or contact Chris or Dawn whose contact information is listed below.

CAPACCIO is available to assist you in determining whether this regulation applies to you, assist you in meeting the August 7, 2017 deadline, and/or providing LSP services and assistance in the UST closure assessment process. Please contact Chris Walton, PE, PCEE at 508-970-0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com or Dawn Horter, PG, LSP at 508-970-0033 ext. 118 or dhorter@capaccio.com for additional information.