Blog

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.

 

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

 

 

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

 

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.

April 10th, 2014

By now, most of us have been impacted in one way or another by “distracted driving”. A commonly accepted definition of “distracted” is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” All distractions endanger not only the driver and passengers, but also bystanders.

Some of the typical distractions encountered are:

  • Using a cell phone
  • Texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top three distractions are:

  • Talking with other passengers
  • Changing radio stations or looking for CDs or tapes
  • Making an outgoing or taking an incoming cell phone call

The statistics are sobering. It is estimated that anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 crashes related to distracted driving occur daily in the United States. Here are some NHSTA data to consider:

  • The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, This was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.
  • 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes. (NHTSA)
  • Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times. (VTTI)
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. (2009, VTTI)
  • Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. (VTTI)
  • A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. (UMTRI)

Here a few simple tips from AAA to help keep yourself, your family members, and others on the road safe:

  • Plan ahead and make vehicle adjustments, including the radio, prior to putting the vehicle in gear.
  • Read maps or program your trip into your GPS or mobile device before you get on the road.
  • Avoid the temptation of using a cell phone while driving; pull over to a safe place to talk on the phone, text, or email.
  • Stop to eat or drink; do not be tempted to eat and drink while driving.
  • Pull over to take care of children.
  • Do not drive with pets unsecured in your vehicle; pets can be a major distraction to drivers in the vehicle.
  • And most of all, pay attention and stay focused on the task at hand … driving.

The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. Please visit the NHSTA/Distraction.gov sites, such as FAQ and sample research reports, for more information.

December 18th, 2013

OSHA’s updated Hazard Communication Standard provides a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. The first deadline in the implementation phase is Dec. 1, 2013, the date by which employers must train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheet. Find information and resources, including QuickCards, a training fact sheet (PDF*), a list of frequently asked questions and a brief (PDF*) on labels and pictograms on OSHA’s Hazard Communications page

June 26th, 2013


During a plenary session at the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Safety 2013 conference, OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels discussed his second term leading the agency and his hopes for the proposed I2P2 program.

In a June 25 plenary session at Safety 2013 in Las Vegas, OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels once again called the proposed Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) his “highest priority” but acknowledged that some consider the proposal controversial.

“I know there are people who don’t trust OSHA, who think we’re part of this regulatory state and that regulations are the reason for the [financial] crash in 2008,” Michaels said. “There are people who believe we regulate too much.”

But Michaels stressed that such a standard, which is designed to compel employers to find and fix hazards, could have wide-reaching ramifications in the occupational safety and health arena without creating economic woes for employers. During his presentation, he summed up the program by citing the following the sentence: “I2P2 would require employers to have an ongoing, investigative, preventative process in place instead of being reactive and addressing problems after an accident occurs.”
Michaels was quick to point out he did not write that sentence – in fact, the line was published in the Nation’s Restaurant News March 5 article, “Regulation Nation,” and was penned by an attorney opposing the I2P2 proposal.

“Would I want my son to work at a place with a preventative process or a reactive one?” Michaels asked. “If this is a burden we’re talking about, this is a burden we want to have. We’re saying to employers: We have to think about safety.”

When pressed for a timeline for I2P2’s possible progress, Michaels was unable to offer concrete dates and said he was “hesitant to predict anything.” He did, however, reiterate that I2P2 remained his priority, and he urged safety stakeholders to add their support to the proposal by talking to Congress, adding comments to OSHA’s docket and offering public support.
“I hope you’re with us,” he said.

Michaels also addressed the fact that he will continue to lead OSHA throughout President Obama’s second term, saying he was “very pleased to be able to stay.”

“It’s always difficult during a transition,” he said. “We’re able to continue to move in the same direction. As we learn more, we’re slightly refocusing, but essentially our direction will remain the same for the next three and a half years.”

During a question-and-answer session following his prepared marks, Michaels addressed the concern that small employers may have difficulty complying with OSHA requirements like I2P2. Michaels was steadfast that safety is nonnegotiable, no matter the employer’s size – comments that were met with a smattering of audience applause.

“If you have a small employer with high hazards, they’ll need a safety and health professional. That’s just the cost of doing business,” Michaels said. “Small employers will be able to get information from the Web, from trade associations [and elsewhere] … they shouldn’t be running an operation that isn’t safe. If they can’t afford to do that, they should think about whether they can afford to be doing this business.”