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August 10th, 2015

moldyscreencap

What You Don’t See CAN Hurt You…

“Probably every doctor in the United States is treating mold illness, and they just don’t realize it.” – Dr. Scott McMahon, M.D.

Today, at least 45 million buildings in America harbor unhealthy levels of mold. And some of the most dangerous varieties routinely find their way into our food supply. That means you have about a one-in-three chance of exposure to toxic mold every time you move into a new home, apartment or office. And even greater odds of exposure with your next meal or snack.

Yet unlike other more obvious environmental threats, this growing mold epidemic is mostly invisible. Dramatic photos you may have seen showing full-scale infestations of black mold after floods and hurricanes are the exception, not the rule. Instead, most people only realize they’re living in a moldy home or working in a moldy building after going from doctor to doctor with symptoms they can’t explain… Poisoned by mold spores and toxins trapped invisibly behind paint and drywall, circulating unseen through air conditioning and heating ducts, or hiding in the food on their plates.

Worst of all… Unless you’re lucky enough to find the right doctor, you may end up believing the performance-robbing symptoms of toxic mold exposure are all in your head.

The good news is there IS a way out.

All too often, it takes mold victims years of needless suffering before finally discovering a someone – like Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Scott McMahon, Dr. Bill Rea – willing to tackle this threat head-on.

The mission behind Moldy is to bring all of these world-class experts together to give you and your family their best advice – all in one place. Along with inspiring stories behind the statistics from mold survivors willing to share how they overcame the effects of mold to emerge stronger and healthier than ever.

For more information, and to watch the free online screening of MOLDY, go to http://bit.ly/moldymovie

August 7th, 2015

The EPA has issued 2015 New Underground Storage Tank Regulations and the 2015 state program approval regulation. The revisions strengthen the 1988 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations by increasing emphasis on properly operating and maintaining UST equipment. The revisions will help prevent and detect UST releases, which are a leading source of groundwater contamination. The revisions will also help ensure all USTs in the United States, including those in Indian country, meet the same minimum standards. This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988.UST Diagram

The 2015 regulation changes certain portions of the 1988 underground storage tank technical regulation in 40 CFR part 280. The changes establish federal requirements that are similar to key portions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, EPA added new operation and maintenance requirements and addressed UST systems deferred in the 1988 UST regulation. The changes include:

  • Adding secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping
  • Adding operator training requirements
  • Adding periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems
  • Adding requirements to ensure UST system compatibility before storing certain biofuel blends
  • Removing past deferrals for emergency generator tanks, airport hydrant systems, and field-constructed tanks
  • Updating codes of practice
  • Making editorial and technical corrections

Additional information can be found here:  http://www.epa.gov/oust/fedlaws/revregs.html

Additionally, of importance,  the publication UST Systems: Inspecting And Maintaining Sumps And Spill Buckets – Practical Help And Checklist can be found here:

http://www.epa.gov/oust/pubs/sumpmanl.htm

This 16-page manual presents underground storage tank (UST) system owners and operators with recommended inspection guidelines and best management practices for their UST system sumps and spill buckets. The manual will: help owners identify and inspect the sumps and spill buckets associated with their UST systems; explain some simple steps owners can take to maintain their sumps and spill buckets and identify potential problems; and provide owners with tips for fixing common problems before they cause a release of petroleum products to the environment. The manual includes safety considerations; a general introduction to the kinds of sumps; basic maintenance procedures for sumps and spill buckets; and a sump and spill bucket inspection checklist.

 

 

 

 

July 8th, 2015

OSHA adds key hazards for investigators’ focus in healthcare inspections

Emphasis placed on musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens,
workplace violence, tuberculosis and slips, trips and falls

WASHINGTON — Targeting some of the most common causes of workplace injury and illness in the healthcare industry, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the agency is expanding its use of enforcement resources in hospitals and nursing homes to focus on: musculoskeletal disorders related to patient or resident handling; bloodborne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis and slips, trips and falls.
U.S. hospitals recorded nearly 58,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2013, amounting to 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees: almost twice as high as the overall rate for private industry.
“Workers who take care of us when we are sick or hurt should not be at such high risk for injuries — that simply is not right. Workers in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have work injury and illness rates that are among the highest in the country, and virtually all of these injuries and illnesses are preventable,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA has provided employers with education, training and resource materials, and it’s time for hospitals and the health care industry to make the changes necessary to protect their workers.”
OSHA has advised its staff through a memorandum that all inspections of hospitals and nursing home facilities, including those prompted by complaints, referrals or severe injury reports, should include the review of potential hazards involving MSD related to patient handling; bloodborne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis; and slips, trips and falls.
“The most recent statistics tell us that almost half of all reported injuries in the healthcare industry were attributed to overexertion and related tasks. Nurses and nursing assistants each accounted for a substantial share of this total,” added Dr. Michaels. “There are feasible solutions for preventing these hazards and now is the time for employers to implement them.”
For more information; to obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, losses of an eye, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public can call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

For more information, contact: info@occutec.com

 

June 8th, 2015

The largest telecommunication companies in the country, hospitals and data center operators select OCCU-TEC as their vendor of choice for Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG) Installation and Certification.  OCCU-TEC has:

  • Certified personnel
  • Nationwide coverage
  • ATG selection process assistancePneumercator-TMS-3000
  • Designated Operator compliance services
  • Safety and Environmental training for all technician

Leak Detection

Installing or upgrading the right automatic leak detection system is crucial for environmental risk reduction.  Selecting the appropriate equipment, utilizing certified installers, and selecting the right company to partner with are the components of success.

Automatic Tank Gauge Vendors

As the owner or operator of a tank system, make sure your vendor or installer is certified and provides you with the system information and the proper training necessary to guarantee your system works effectively to detect leaks.

If you don’t know how your system works, you may fail inspections and may find yourself with violations and penalty fees. Or even worse, you may find too late that you have had a leak and you may now have to pay for extensive cleanup of a contaminated site and for damages caused to others.

Automatic Tank Gauge Certification

Most states currently require UST system owners to perform periodic testing on their Automatic Tank Gauges (ATG’s). This testing is needed in order to verify that all tank probes and sensors are in proper working order. Additionally, ALL testing records must be readily available, if requested by a regulator or inspector.

Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG) Testing and Repairs

OCCU-TEC field technicians routinely inspect ATG systems and certify that its components are performing at the standards required by your state or local jurisdiction.  Our technicians can test your electronic leak detectors, leak detector sensors, and high level leak alarms assuring accurate configuration, functionality and system continuity.

Our ability troubleshoot and repair potential issues while on your site corrects problems such as failing leak detectors or malfunctioning sensors during our visits , thus eliminating the need for costly return visits or site down-time.

 

For more information, contact: info@occutec.com

 

May 27th, 2015

In Kansas City mold inspection, testing and remediation services are delivered by OCCU-TEC to Federal, State, Institutional and private clients.  We investigate, remediate, control and prevent the sources of mold growth and other building-related illnesses.  We offer a full range of mold services moldtestingkitranging from locating the causes of mold growth, mold sampling, or complete remediation and protocol design as well as project management.  Additionally, our pro-active services help prevent these liabilities from ever occurring.

Types of Mold

The most common types of  mold that are found indoors include: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra and sometimes referred to as “black mold”) is a greenish-black mold that can also be found indoors, although it is less common than the other types of mold found.  Stachybotrys grows on surfaces that have high cellulose content, such as wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint.

Toxic Black Mold and Allergies

Like other molds, toxic black mold is allergenic. The spores from toxic black mold cause allergic reactions such as breathing problems, sore eyes, runny nose, itchiness, sneezing and a sore throat.

Different Symptoms

Toxic black mold affects different people in different ways. Some people won’t experience symptoms as severe as what others experience. Children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are usually the worst affected by toxic black mold.

Mold and Cancer

Some experts suspect that toxic black mold can cause cancer, although there still needs to be more research. Some other toxic molds, like Aspergillus for example, definitely cause cancer though. The aflatoxin mycotoxins which Aspergillus produce are among the most powerful carcinogens.

OCCU-TEC Indoor Air Quality Services

Our comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) assessments bring full spectrum testing, consultation, identification, and remediation design solutions to our clients. OCCU-TEC offers proactive services designed to prevent an occurrence and the potential liability that accompanies mold.  Our affordable Pro-Active IAQ risk management services help to prevent negative health issues, bad publicity and costly law suits by addressing the causes of poor IAQ before it happens.  We perform these services in Kansas City and Nationwide.

Call us today to receive a professional estimate for your project.   816-994-3425

Or for more information, contact: info@occutec.com

 

 

May 27th, 2015

Via: EPA

Kansas City – The EPA Clean Water Rule Finalized  The rule ensures that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined and predictably determined, making permitting less costly, easier, and faster for businesses and industry.

Clean Water Kansas City

Kansas City Clean Waters

The rule is grounded in law and the latest science, and is shaped by public input. The rule does not create any new permitting requirements for agriculture and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions“For the water in the rivers and lakes in our communities that flow to our drinking water to be clean, the streams and wetlands that feed them need to be clean too,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Protecting our water sources is a critical component of adapting to climate change impacts like drought, sea level rise, stronger storms, and warmer temperatures – which is why EPA and the Army have finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect these important waters, so we can strengthen our economy and provide certainty to American businesses.”

“Today’s rule marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the Clean Water Act,” said Assistant Secretary for the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy. “This is a generational rule and completes another chapter in history of the Clean Water Act. This rule responds to the public’s demand for greater clarity, consistency, and predictability when making jurisdictional determinations. The result will be better public service nationwide.”

A Clean Water Act permit is only needed if a water is going to be polluted or destroyed. The Clean Water Rule only protects the types of waters that have historically been covered under the Clean Water Act. It does not regulate most ditches and does not regulate groundwater, shallow subsurface flows, or tile drains. It does not make changes to current policies on irrigation or water transfers or apply to erosion in a field. The Clean Water Rule addresses the pollution and destruction of waterways – not land use or private property rights.

OCCU-TEC provides Storm Water Polution Prevention Plans (SWPPP); National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and other compliance services in Kansas City and Nationwide

Learn about SWPPPs, NPDES, Clean Water Act, EPA compliance, and other related subjects by contacting us at 816-994-3425.

 

 

May 22nd, 2015

Since 1983, OCCU-TEC has been providing clients with asbestos testing in Kansas City; throughout the Midwest; and nationwide. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and exposure to Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM) is regulated by the EPA, OHSA and local and state agencies.    Federal, state and local regulations mandate how building owners and managers must handle asbestos materials in their facilities.

Asbestos services include:

  • Asbestos Testing
  • Asbestos Air Monitoring
  • Asbestos Inspections/Surveys

    Asbestos Containing Building Materials

    Asbestos Containing Building Materials – Click to Expand

  • Asbestos Data Management
  • Project Management
  • Management Plans
  • Contract Specifications
  • Contract Administration
  • Pre-qualification and Selection of Contractors
  • Abatement Project Design
  • EPA Certified Trainers

OCCU-TEC’s state-of-the-art data management tools provide building managers with an easy way to manage asbestos information, track abatement projects, prepare reports and notifications and ensure full regulatory compliance in one or hundreds of buildings…..all with the click of a mouse from any location at any time.

OCCU-TEC is known throughout the industry as one of the premier environmental and safety design and planning firms. From mold remediation protocol design and asbestos abatement planning to waste management and site assessment plans and much more, OCCU-TEC value engineers each project.

Call us today to receive a professional estimate for your project.   816-994-3425

Or for more information, contact: info@occutec.com

 

January 15th, 2015

OSHA is reminding covered employers to post OSHA’s Form 300A, which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2014 and were logged on OSHA’s Form 300, the log of work-related injuries and illnesses. The summary must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2015, and should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.

Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in specific low-hazard industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. Due to changes in OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements that went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, certain previously exempt industries are now covered. Lists of both exempt and newly covered industries are available on OSHA’s website. Visit the Updates to OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule Web page for more information

November 18th, 2014

Beginning January 1, 2015, there will be a change to what covered employers are required to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Employers will now be required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident.

Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.

The updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork but have a life-saving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.

Employers have three options for reporting these severe incidents to OSHA. They can call their nearest area office during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or they can report online at www.osha.gov/report_online. For more information and resources, including a new YouTube video, visit OSHA’s Web page on the updated reporting requirements.

Starting January 1, 2015:

All employers* must report:

  • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours

Within 24 hours, all work-related:

  • Inpatient hospitalizations
  • Amputations
  • Losses of an eye

How to Report Incident

*Employers under Federal OSHA’s jurisdiction must begin reporting by January 1. Establishments in a state with a State run OSHA program should contact their state plan for the implementation date.

May 14th, 2014

– Courtesy Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Assn

Over the past ten years, there has been a proliferation of documents emphasizing the importance of fuel storage system maintenance–especially keeping water out of your tanks.

Why it’s important

There are a number of reasons why keeping water out of storage tank systems is important. One of the key factors is simple: fuel degrades in the presence of water, and today’s newer fuels are more likely to absorb water than fuels in the past.

Water also increases the likelihood of corrosion of components, both those suspended in the fuel and those in the vapor space at the top of the tank, regardless of tank material.

Some of the changes in fuels today are a result of federal clean air laws. In an effort to reduce harmful emissions from vehicles, the US government now requires cleaner fuels and higher percentages of biofuels in vehicles. For example, reducing the amount of sulfur in diesel fuels makes them burn cleaner.

Another impetus for development of newer fuels results from changes made to vehicle engines to improve gas mileage, such as continually evolving fuel injection systems that clog more easily and
therefore require cleaner fuels.

Newer fuels demand new detection methods
Since STI/SPFA published Keeping Water Out of Your Storage Tank System ten years ago, new challenges to keeping fuel systems water-free have evolved. Because today’s biofuels hold more water in suspension, traditional detection methods, such as use of water pastes and electronic monitors, aren’t always effective.

To address the difficulties of detecting water in biofuels, the National Workgroup on Leak Detection Evaluation (NWGLDE) is currently working on new protocols for leak detection methods, to ensure that leak detection equipment functions as well with these new fuels as it does with gasoline and diesel. NWGLDE is an independent work group comprised of 11 members from both state and federal UST regulatory programs. NWGLDE’s mission is to review leak detection systems to verify that they meet EPA or other regulatory requirements.