Asbestos, The Final Countdown?

Asbestos, The Final Countdown?

On March 18, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a comprehensive ban on the use of white (chrysotile) asbestos, the only remaining type of asbestos still processed in, distributed within and imported into the United States.  This ban marks a decades-in-the-making milestone.  The EPA has tried for 35 years to ban asbestos in the U.S., while asbestos has been banned for years in 50 other countries, including in the United Kingdom since 1999 and in Australia since 2003.

Safety on Wheels: Are Your Golf Carts Covered Under OSHA Regulations?

Safety on Wheels: Are Your Golf Carts Covered Under OSHA Regulations?

Imagine you’re a safety professional at a sprawling outdoor industrial facility. The site is so vast that instead of walking, you use a traditional golf cart to get around. One day, there’s an incident—a worker is caught between the golf cart and a piece of equipment, or the golf cart rolls over someone, resulting in serious injuries. As you address the immediate concerns and ensure the injured worker receives proper medical care, you start asking yourself: Is the golf cart covered under OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.178 powered industrial truck regulation? Was the operator properly trained? Was the golf cart properly maintained? Was the load capacity exceeded? What could happen next as the result of an accident?

Did You Know May is National Home Remodeling Month?

Did You Know May is National Home Remodeling Month?

Spring has sprung and there’s no better time than now to celebrate the power of rebuilding efforts to uplift individuals and communities in need.  Organizations like Rebuilding Together (who The EI Group supports) are revitalizing low-income housing and making a tangible difference in quality of life across the country.

Navigating Laboratory Safety: Understanding OSHA and EPA Regulations While Protecting Your Employees

Navigating Laboratory Safety: Understanding OSHA and EPA Regulations While Protecting Your Employees

One of the earliest known examples of a laboratory supposedly belonged to the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, who analyzed the sonority of various instruments and researched acoustic concepts such as frequencies.  Fast-forward 2,500 years and you’ll find laboratories in a variety of settings such as schools, research institutions, government facilities, hospitals, manufacturing sites and more. 

MSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule is Now in Place

MSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule is Now in Place

On April 16, 2024, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) implemented a new regulation concerning Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) (30 CFR Parts 56, 57, 60, 70, 71, 72, 75, and 90 Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica and Improving Respiratory Protection), updating its Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) and Action Level (AL) to match the standards set by OSHA in 2016.  In 2016, EI published a blog article addressing OSHA’s then-proposed rule on respirable crystalline silica (RCS), posing the question: “Will it See the Light of Day?” Interested readers are encouraged to revisit this post for a comprehensive discussion on the hazards associated with silica and an overview of the rule’s historical context.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing: A Key Component to a Drug Free Workplace

Reasonable Suspicion Testing: A Key Component to a Drug Free Workplace

Maintaining a “drug free” workplace has been a long-standing challenge for employers everywhere, even with robust drug and alcohol abuse programs in place. While these programs are a great starting point for maintaining an alcohol and drug free environment, employers should also have a program and training for Reasonable Suspicion Testing to complement it.  Reasonable Suspicion Testing is a tool used by supervisors, human resources and other leadership positions to identify whether an employee is exhibiting signs or symptoms of drug and/or alcohol abuse on the job. 

Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials Standard Part B: Facilitated Emissions

Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials Standard Part B: Facilitated Emissions

Welcome back to our blog series on Banks, Borrowers, and Climate Change. Today we will be returning to the PCAF Global Accounting and Reporting Standard by taking a closer look at Part B: Facilitated Emissions and what it means for financial institutions and reporting requirements. Part B of the PCAF standard focuses on “facilitated emissions,” which are emissions associated with services provided by financial institutions in capital market transactions. These emissions are distinct from financed emissions, which are based on on-balance sheet exposure (e.g., loans and investments). The temporary nature of facilitated emissions means that financial institutions do not usually take on financial (credit) risk in facilitated transactions.

Additional HAP Reporting Requirements Anticipated from Proposed Revisions to AERR for Industry

Additional HAP Reporting Requirements Anticipated from Proposed Revisions to AERR for Industry

The Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR) rule (40 CFR Parts 2 and 51) is a Federal regulation that requires states, local agencies, and some tribes (collectively known as State, Local and Tribal Authorities or SLTs) to report annual emission data to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The current version requires the SLTs (typically the delegated local air permitting authority) to collect and submit emission data for criteria pollutants (e.g., particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and lead) and precursors (e.g., volatile organic compounds), but does not require Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) reporting. 

The Role of a Radiation Safety Officer: Preventing the Decay of Your Radiation Safety Program

The Role of a Radiation Safety Officer: Preventing the Decay of Your Radiation Safety Program

The Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) is a professional responsible for prevention and management of exposures to ionizing radiation (electromagnetic waves and/or particulate radiation capable of producing ions by interaction with matter) in the workplace. These sources of exposure may include radioactive materials, by-product material, X-Ray equipment, accelerators and some naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM). The role of an RSO is to promote a culture of safety and responsibility when working with radiation sources.

Benzene: A Sweet Smelling Hazard

Benzene: A Sweet Smelling Hazard

Evaporating quickly and heavier than air, benzene is a colorless sweet-smelling liquid found naturally and in a variety of manufactured products. From volcanoes to cigarette smoke, this aromatic hydrocarbon is ranked in the top 20 chemicals for production volume in the United States. Everyday exposures to benzene can occur in the workplace, the environment and in the home. Products like detergent, lubricants and synthetic fibers can be manufactured using benzene and its derivatives.

Unseen Threats: Understanding Combustible Dust Hazards in Industrial Settings

Unseen Threats: Understanding Combustible Dust Hazards in Industrial Settings

In the realm of industrial safety, some hazards are less apparent than others, but can be just as deadly. One such silent threat is combustible dust. Combustible dust poses a significant risk in various industries, ranging from food processing and woodworking to chemical manufacturing and metalworking. Despite its subtlety, the potential for catastrophic explosions or fires due to combustible dust cannot be underestimated. Let’s delve into the nature of combustible dust hazards, their causes and strategies for mitigation to ensure safer working environments.

Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change: The SEC Releases its Rule on Climate Disclosure: Potential Impacts to Your Business

Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change: The SEC Releases its Rule on Climate Disclosure: Potential Impacts to Your Business

Back in March of 2022, the New York Times reported the SEC proposed a rule that would require public companies to share information about how they affect climate change with both their shareholders and the federal government. The intent of the rule was to allow investors to gain a better idea of how climate change might create risks to companies, leading to the investors being able to make informed decisions regarding stock purchases or sales.

Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change: An Overview of the PCAF Global Accounting and Reporting Standard

Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change: An Overview of the PCAF Global Accounting and Reporting Standard

In the pursuit of a sustainable future, the financial industry plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change by aligning its practices with environmentally conscious standards. The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) has emerged as a key player in this space, introducing the Global GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard specifically tailored for the financial sector. This groundbreaking standard is designed to measure and disclose the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to business sectors associated with financial activities, providing transparency and accountability in the fight against climate change. While the SEC’s proposed Climate Disclosure Rule awaits its verdict, that doesn’t mean financial institutions are off the hook.

Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative: Inspiration for the PCAF Global Accounting and Reporting

Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative: Inspiration for the PCAF Global Accounting and Reporting

Welcome back to our Banks, Borrowers, and Climate Change series! In case you missed our introduction to the series, you can read it here. Our first blog in the series, “Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change: How Disclosure of GHG Emissions Will Impact the Lending Process for Publicly Traded Corporations” is also available. The bottom line: The SEC will require public companies, including banks, to disclose annual carbon emissions from their operations in their annual report.

NFL Green Touchdown: Sustainability Highlights at the 2024 Super Bowl

NFL Green Touchdown: Sustainability Highlights at the 2024 Super Bowl

In the highly anticipated 2024 Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, the National Football League (NFL) is not only showcasing top-tier athletic talent but is also making a significant impact through its sustainable initiative, “NFL Green.” As the world turns its attention to the game, let’s delve into the specific efforts and innovations that mark this year’s Super Bowl as a milestone in environmentally conscious sporting events.

Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change: How Disclosure of GHG Emissions Will Impact the Lending Process for Publicly Traded Corporations

Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change: How Disclosure of GHG Emissions Will Impact the Lending Process for Publicly Traded Corporations

The EI Group, in collaboration with Environmental Risk Innovations (ERI), recently launched a joint blog series which outlines the impact of the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rule, which will require all publicly traded corporations, including banks, to disclose their direct and indirect GHG emissions. For manufacturers, carbon emissions are generally those resulting from the products they produce (direct), from the production of energy used in their production process (indirect) and their supply chain (indirect). For publicly traded banks, this concept is slightly more abstract.

The SEC Targets Financed Emissions: Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change

The SEC Targets Financed Emissions: Banks, Borrowers and Climate Change

As climate change becomes an increasing risk to financial stability—whether by natural disasters such as hurricanes, rising sea levels and wildfires, or to corporations from increased costs associated with transition to a lower-carbon economy—financial institutions are exploring ways to integrate this segment of risk management into their operations. This initiative is being driven by a standardized climate disclosure rule anticipated for release by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in early 2024.

The Newly Regulated NFPA 70B: What Does It Mean and What Does It Cover?

The Newly Regulated NFPA 70B: What Does It Mean and What Does It Cover?

Unplanned downtime, equipment failures and safety hazards brought on by the electrical infrastructure that was installed as a “run to fail” system can have severe consequences. To address these concerns, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed the NFPA 70B. This set of guidelines provides a framework for establishing and maintaining an effective electrical preventive maintenance (EPM) program. The NFPA 70B transitioned from a recommended practice to a standard as of January 2023. Understanding that a standard has language such as “shall” means that the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) can use the 70B as an enforceable code.

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Asbestos, The Final Countdown?

by Kerri BoddySenior Environmental Scientist On March 18, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a comprehensive ban on the use of white (chrysotile) asbestos, the only remaining type of asbestos still processed in, distributed within and...

read more

Did You Know May is National Home Remodeling Month?

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Benzene: A Sweet Smelling Hazard

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