OSHA bumps fall protection enforcement period to March 2013

Attention home builders! If you were expecting to face more stringent fall protection measures next week, you’ve got a bit of a reprieve. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) announced yesterday it is extending its temporary enforcement measures on fall protection through to March 15, 2013.

Previously, OSHA had planned to enforce its new Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction next week. However, potentially influenced by call from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), OSHA decided to push the temporary enforcement measures by three months. These measures can be thought of as a means by which OSHA eases the home-building industry into compliance with the new residential construction rules, which calls for increased fall protection for workers engaged in operations six feet or more above lower levels.

The temporary enforcement measures offer employers:

  • Priority free on-site compliance assistance.
  • Penalty reductions.
  • Extended abatement dates.
  • Measures to ensure consistency.
  • Increased
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EPA enforcement interactive map

This isn’t particularly new news but I thought I’d blog about it because, well, it’s pretty cool! I spent time playing with the EPA’s compliance and enforcement interactive map earlier today and was amazed by how detailed the content is as you navigate through the tool to find the information you need. The tool currenlty reports on concluded cases from fiscal year 2011 and gives a great visual of where enforcement actions and cases take place across the US. It allows you to pick the types of cases you want to show on the map (Federal facility, criminal, cleanup, air, waste, water, chemical…) and your choice adds or eliminates pins that appear on the map.

When you have the pins visible that you are interested in you can click on them and get detailed additional information about the facilities in question who have had some sort of enforcement against them. … Read more...

OSHA’s changes to SVEP, ASSE’s partnership on fall prevention, EPA’s SCCP ruling and more on EHS This Week

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we take a look at the top stories in environment, health and safety news, including:

  • Significant changes to OSHA’s once-draconian SVEP program.
  • ASSE’s new partnership with OSHA and NIOSH to promote fall safety in construction.
  • EPA’s cessation of the importation of a chemical company’s SCCPs, and more!

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

[audio: old/mp3/EHS This Week Aug 24.mp3]… Read more...

EU looks to strengthen oil and gas regs

It seems as though the European Union, in spite of recent economic difficulties, might be headed for a bit of a shakeup in safety laws in the Oil and Gas sector. Back in October 2011, EU energy chief Günther Oettinger published a limited proposal to boost safety requirements in the industry that is often belaguered by comparatively lax safety laws. 

The proposal has been stalled somewhat, but only as Members of European Parliament (MEPs) push to give the bill more teeth, namely by expanding its scope to consider delicate Artic ecosystems, adding ‘polluter pays’ laws, and ensuring greater oversight of the regulation’s implementation process.

If the EU does indeed move ahead with strengthened safety laws in the oil and gas sector, that’s great news for EHS professionals

Whatever safety rules the EU does implement, perhaps it should take a cue from Petrobras’ experience and consider including protections from unindentified sea … Read more...