October 29th, 2015

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA refuses release of climate change data.  The analysis of that data, published in Science in June1, analyzed NOAA’s temperature records and found that global warming has continued apace in the early twenty-first century. The study contradicts previous findings — often cited by global-warming sceptics — suggesting that warming has slowed since the 1990s.

warming_gwaThe NOAA study, led by Thomas Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina, corrected biases in the agency’s global temperature record.

Karl and his colleagues adjusted for known biases in ocean temperature readings from ships and buoys, while also adding measurements from other land-based monitoring stations — expanding the range of those stations into the Arctic. The revised record showed temperatures rising consistently.

Read more here.

October 29th, 2015

The top 10 safety violations for 2015  were announced by Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the “Top 10” on the Expo floor.  safety_prop_shaft

“In injury prevention, we go where the data tell us to go,” said National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The OSHA ‘Top 10’ list is a roadmap that identifies the hazards you want to avoid on the journey to safety excellence.”

The “Top 10” for FY 2015 are:

  • Fall Protection (1926.501) – 6,721
  • Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,192
  • Scaffolding (1926.451) – 4,295
  • Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,305
  • Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,002
  • Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,760
  • Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,489
  • Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,404
  • Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,295
  • Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 1,973

The resolution of these safety issues should be priority at every workplace in the U.S.  These are the items that cause the majority of the deaths and injuries and these same topics are those which OSHA Compliance Officers look for and find most often.

For additional information on safety procedures, safety manuals, and training contact us here.

September 29th, 2015

Maintaining diesel fuel quality, preventing diesel fuel contamination and assuring cleanliness has never been easy. To give you an idea of how long the industry has been dealing with this issue, a Caterpillar Operators Manual published 90 years ago stated “dirt and water causes 90 percent of all the problems with diesel fuel systems.”

Diesel contam.In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandated the shift from low sulfur to ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD), reducing sulfur in the fuel from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 15 ppm.  After the transition to ULSD people started complaining about higher than normal corrosion in diesel fuel storage tanks, fuel dispensing pumps and related piping configurations.

One of the concerns with ULSD fuel was lack of lubricity. The cheapest way to remove sulfur during refining involves hydrotreating, a process that removes sulfur and cetane by treating it with hydrogen. Unfortunately, hydrogen is highly reactive and also reduces the lubricity, or lubrication properties, of the end-product.

Sulfur serves as a lubricating medium and the reduction of that sulfur (from 500 ppm to 15 ppm) causes a reduction in lubricity.  After numerous complaints, refiners started adding lubricity additives to the process to compensate. Many people who service equipment still complain of evidence of poor lubricity, especially in older engines

Diesel is a perishable commodity

Even if everything else is managed correctly, when you store diesel over time, chemical reactions can compromise the fuel’s quality and cleanliness. There are two main types of chemical reactions. One is oxidation, which occurs when the fuel is exposed to oxygen or oxygen-bearing matter. The second reaction is hydrolysis, which occurs when the fuel is exposed to water.

Both reactions produce chain reactions within the fuel, resulting in a fuel that appears darker in color and more translucent. Contaminates produced under these conditions include varnishes, gums and sludge that separate out of the fuel and settle.

Most all diesel fuel, including ULSD, has a shelf life from three to six months. This can be extended by adding stabilizers, restricting water intake through proper storage, filtration and restricting heat.  But diesel is far more susceptible to water solubility issues than gasoline.

Water + diesel = microbes and sludge

The presence of water in diesel fuel also adds to the problem of microbial growth.  Fungus, mold and other types of bacteria can flourish and use diesel fuel as a food source. The residue and resulting bonding from this bacteria damages fuel quality, clogs filters and can lead to equipment failure.

Diesel sludgeDiesel fuel will always contain a certain level of water content. The objective is to keep this water content within suitable limits, which is well below the saturation point. Since some water is inevitable, one solution is a routine treatment of fuel storage tanks with a biocide treatment program to kill tank bacteria microbes.

Filter to ISO fuel cleanliness specs

Note, however that this fuel may pass through three or more storage tanks where contamination can occur before it reaches your equipment. Because of this scenario, it is absolutely critical that the equipment owner address fuel filtration at the inlet and outlet of any storage tank within their operation. The goal for fuel cleanliness entering and exiting a bulk fuel tank (stationary or mobile) should meet ISO Code 4406 for contamination.

With proper filtration, this spec can be achieved. The recommended ISO values for Code 4406 are 18/16/13. For example: An ISO cleanliness code of 18/16/13 refers to the following: 18 = 4 micron particles, 16 = 6 micron particles, and 13 = 14 micron particles. Adding filtration at the inlet and outlet points just makes sense. It directly impacts fleet reliability and repair costs.

New rules will make fuel quality even more important.

On July 13, 2015, federal regulators formally published their Phase 2 GHG (Green House Gas) Emissions Reduction Proposal that will tighten greenhouse-gas emissions for trucks, improve their fuel economy and regulate trailer efficiency for the first time.

The tougher standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks would not be phased in until 2021 through 2027, but unless there is a drastic re-design of the diesel engine and its fuel injection system, clean fuel will become even more important in trucks than it is today.

Via Equipment World

Learn More about OCCU-TEC Fuel Cababilities


September 24th, 2015

EPA Proposes Rules to Improve Hazardous Waste Management and Better Protect our Waterways
New Rules Also Reduce Regulatory Burden on Businesses

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing two new hazardous waste rules to strengthen environmental protection while reducing regulatory burden on businesses. One of the proposed rules will protect waterways, including drinking and surface water, by preventing the flushing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and simplify the requirements for healthcare workers. The other rule will provide greater flexibility to industry while requiring new safeguards to protect the public from mismanagement of hazardous waste.

“These rules provide businesses with certainty and the flexibility they need to successfully operate in today’s marketplace,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The proposals will improve the safety and health of our communities by providing clear, flexible, and protective hazardous waste management standards.”

The proposed hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule will make our drinking and surface water safer and healthier by reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals entering our waterways. EPA’s proposal is projected to prevent the flushing of more than 6,400 tons of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals annually by banning healthcare facilities from flushing hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the sink and toilet.

The proposed rule will reduce the burden on healthcare workers and pharmacists working in healthcare facilities by creating a specific set of regulations for these facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and retail stores with pharmacies and reverse distributors that generate hazardous waste.

EPA’s proposed generator rule will enhance the safety of facilities, employees, and the general public by improving labeling of hazardous waste and emergency planning and preparedness. The proposal will also reduce burden by providing greater flexibility in how facilities and employees manage their hazardous waste and make the regulations easier to understand.

EPA solicited public comment on improving hazardous waste management from states, healthcare facilities, retailers, facilities generating hazardous waste, and other key stakeholders. Both proposals directly address the challenges raised by these stakeholders in implementing and complying with hazardous waste regulations.

The Agency will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

Read Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus’ blog “Making Hazardous Waste Regulations Work for Today’s Marketplace” here:

For additional information on these proposed rules, including how to submit comments, visit:

August 10th, 2015


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

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:

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

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:


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 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.

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/ sites, such as FAQ and sample research reports, for more information.