Does Your Safety Training Work?

Here's how to put your workplace safety programs to the test
by SKULI GUDMUNDSSON, CEO of OCCU-TEC Inc.
This is part 1 of a 2-part series:

Imagine having a standard report card available to measure the effectiveness of your company's safety training, one that allowed you to plug in A's, B's or C's in a matter of seconds.

Occu-Tec Interview: The Proactive Building Renovation Process

I recently spoke with Jay Hurst, Director of Operations at Occu-Tec on the subject Occu-Tec calls the Proactive Building Renovation Process. Proactive Building Renovation is something that Occu-Tec’s clients have gravitated toward and found to be a valuable way for them to approach building renovation.

Clean Water Rule Finalized

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.

Asbestos Testing Kansas City

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.

Are U.S. Manufacturers Bringing Asbestos Back?

Are U.S. Manufacturers Bringing Asbestos Back?

Well it finally happened!  We got our first snow of the season and like clockwork the masses rushed to the grocery to stock up on milk, bread, and other assorted necessities.  Did the same phenomenon occur in 2011 with United States manufacturers who use cancer causing asbestos in their products?  Between 2010 and 2011 asbestos imports have risen 26% over 2009 levels with Canada accounting for approximately 90% of the imports.

EPCRA Tier II Reports born from Tragedy

In the early morning of December 3, 1984, a Union Carbide plant near Bhopal, India released approximately forty tons of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) into the air. The gas quickly diffused over the ground and, in the end, killed, by some estimates, upwards to 5,000 people and injured 50,000 more.

Who Needs Hazardous Materials Transportation Training?

If your employees are involved with hazardous materials, you must ensure that your employees receive appropriate training. This means ALL employees who meet DOT’s definition of “hazmat employees.” A hazmat employee is a person who is employed by a hazardous materials employer and “directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety. This is a broad definition, for example, an office assistant who types the required hazardous materials description on a shipping paper at the direction of another is a hazmat employee and must be trained, tested, and certified. Did you know that? If not, you may need to seek some advice from an experienced trainer who can help you with this complex regulatory issue. The regulations clearly intend that any individual who has any impact on the safety of hazmats in transportation is considered a hazmat employee who requires training and certification. HAZMAT EMPLOYER MUST train and test certify develop and retain records of current training (inclusive of preceding three years) for each hazmat employee (during the period of employment and 90 days thereafter) TRAINING MUST INCLUDE General awareness/familiarization Function-specific, training Safety Security awareness In-depth security training, if a security plan is required Driver training (for each hazmat employee who will operate a motor vehicle) RECURRING TRAINING Is required at least once every three years.  The three year period begins on the actual date of training. Relevant training received from a previous employer or other source may be used to satisfy the requirements, provided a current record of training is obtained from the previous employer or source (i.e., OSHA, EPA, and other Federal or international agencies.) Training must address components specified in 172.704(a) of the HMR to be considered applicable. Many training providers offer HAZMAT employee training online, however it is important to note that taking an online class may NOT satisfy the DOT’s training requrirements. That’s because many online training courses don’t offer function-specific training as required under the statute.  As an employer you may be unwittingly exposing yourself to potential regulatory fines and citations due to the easy access of cheap online training providers who are all too eager to collect fees without necessarily providing all the elements to regulatory compliance training program. As an employer you need to ask the tough questions of your training provider and don’t take their answer at face value if it seems ‘to good to be true’.   Review all of DOT’s training requirements , before you check this training off your “to do” list.  

EPA pulls Proposed Ozone Standard due to Economic Considerations

Citing the importance of “reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty,” President Obama took EPA’s proposed ozone standard off the table for the time being. In a statement touting the actions the current EPA has taken under the leadership of Lisa Jackson, the president said that he cannot support the burden the proposed standard would impose as the economy recovers and requested that Jackson withdraw the draft ozone standard that would have tightened the ozone standard from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 60 ppb.  The EPA will revisit the ozone standard in 2013 Ozone  (O 3 ) is a gas composed of three oxygen atoms. It is not usually emitted directly into the air, but at ground-level is created by a chemical reaction between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight. Ozone has the same chemical structure whether it occurs miles above the earth or at ground-level and can be “good” or “bad,” depending on its location in the atmosphere. According to many environmentalists this is a huge win for ‘corporate polluters’ and a huge loss for public health.  However business leaders such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others contend there’s no doubt that the standard would have thrown large swaths of the country into non-attainment, requiring businesses to obtain costly permits or technologies to comply.  The EPA’s proposal would have cost $19 billion to $90 billion, according to the White House. “Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered,” Obama said in a statement. For more information:   http://www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/