Sustainability Hurdles to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Sustainability Hurdles to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

In EI’s blog series on sustainability in business, the latest article, “Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Involvement is the Key to Sustainability Success,” discussed the significant contribution of SMEs to carbon emissions via their supply chain for large corporations. When compared to the larger FORTUNE 1000 clients they support, one would logically assume that reducing carbon emissions for SMEs would be much simpler and more straightforward given their limited geographic footprint, shorter supply chains, reduced work-related travel and smaller office/workspaces to heat/cool and light.

5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for Recycling

5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for Recycling

We all want to do our part in protecting the planet from unnecessary waste, but sometimes that good intent can lead us to putting things we shouldn’t in our recycling bins. According to Republic Services, here are 5 things that don’t belong in your standard curbside bins: plastic bags, toys, clothing, disposable diapers, and yard debris.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) (October 23-29, 2022)

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) (October 23-29, 2022)

The focus of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) is to increase awareness on ways to reduce childhood exposure and prevent lead poisoning by highlighting ways parents can reduce lead exposure in their child’s environment.  Even very low levels of lead in children’s blood are linked to adverse effects on intellect, concentration, and academic achievement.  While the United States has made substantial progress reducing lead exposure over the last 40 years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other Federal partners are committed to addressing on-going lead exposure and its health impacts on communities across the United States. 

The TOP 10 OSHA Violations of 2022

The TOP 10 OSHA Violations of 2022

OSHA recently announced its Top 10 Violations for 2022, and the most popular violations from 2021 remain on the list. For the 12th year in a row, Fall Protection was #1 with HazCom, Ladders, Scaffolding, LOTO, PITs, PPE and Machine Guarding also representing safety standards that American industry continues to struggle to get right.  Respiratory protection violations, no doubt due to COVID-19, remained popular, landing at #3 on the list this year.  What does the consistency of the list suggest?  We know how to improve safety in America and too many companies refuse to commit the time and resources to making effective changes.

Save Money, Cut Pollution, Create Jobs: Today is Energy Efficiency Day

Save Money, Cut Pollution, Create Jobs: Today is Energy Efficiency Day

It sure seems like every cause has its day. Just in October alone, there is National Get Funky Day, National Do Something Nice Day, National Taco Day, National Vodka Day, National Manufacturing Day…and the list goes on and on.

Well today, October 5th, 2022 is Energy Efficiency Day and it is a good reminder of the value of saving energy.  The Energy Efficiency Day website’s tagline is “Save Money. Cut Pollution. Create Jobs.”

Eliminating or Minimizing Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens in the Workplace

Eliminating or Minimizing Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens in the Workplace

It is estimated that 5.6 million or more workers are at risk for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens.  OSHA requires employers provide training to any employee that has the potential to be exposed to bloodborne pathogens or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030 (the standard) applies to all workers in the private sector, as well as civilian employees of Federal entities.

2022 Respiratory Protection Week is September 6th – 9th

2022 Respiratory Protection Week is September 6th – 9th

Ensuring that employees are protected from inhaling harmful contaminants requires annual medical clearance and testing to meet OSHA standards. The EI Group’s Occupational Health team is here to help you as a one-stop option to fulfill your annual respirator protection commitments regarding respirator medical clearances and fit testing.

So You Received Your Air Permit – Now What?

So You Received Your Air Permit – Now What?

Most project design/build teams planning new construction or modifications to existing facilities involving sources of air emission understand that these actions require an air permit prior to starting construction.  It is also well known that the emissions, air quality evaluations, and application process should start early, as air permitting is typically on a critical path which can impact scheduling.  If you find yourself as the lucky delegate responsible for air permitting and arrive at the point of receiving the glorious prize of the long-awaited air permit, finally releasing your team to begin construction, CONGRATULATIONS!  You have been victorious, but now what?

Hurricane Season is Upon Us: Are You Prepared?

Hurricane Season is Upon Us: Are You Prepared?

The official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, extends from the first of June to the end of November; however, tropical cyclone activity can occur before and after these months.  According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is September 10, with most activity occurring between mid-August and mid-October.

Why Asbestos is Still an Issue in 2022

Why Asbestos is Still an Issue in 2022

While asbestos has been regulated since 1971 by OSHA and since 1976 by the EPA under 1) the Toxic Substances Control Act and since 1973 under 2) NESHAPs (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants), asbestos remains a concern today.  Why?  I’ll explain, but first let’s define what is asbestos.  Many think asbestos is man-made.  However, it is actually a name given to a group of six naturally-occurring minerals that are mined from the Earth. 

Recent Rise in US COVID Infections Leads to the Rapid Emergence of New Variants

Recent Rise in US COVID Infections Leads to the Rapid Emergence of New Variants

Since the emergence of the initial Omicron variant late last year, COVID has increasingly become more infectious. Since then, multiple Omicron subvariants have emerged, with each new strain being much more transmissible than its predecessor. Omicron BA.5 and its sister, BA.4, currently account for more than 93% of all US covid cases, with BA.5 making up the vast majority of the two variants.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Involvement is Key to Sustainability Success

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Involvement is Key to Sustainability Success

The headlines surrounding zero carbon emissions have been dominated by some of our largest brands, with the majority of recent progress coming from global corporations looking to reduce CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency. Much of the initial emission reduction progress by large businesses is due to pressure they are facing from their shareholders and the general public. As a result, the majority of the support, guidelines and incentives available for the development of sustainable programs and for reporting emissions reduction, have been developed for large companies and do not cater to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Laboratory Safety Starts with Developing a Chemical Hygiene Plan

Laboratory Safety Starts with Developing a Chemical Hygiene Plan

Chemicals, whether natural or synthetic, play an important role in our daily lives and are largely unavoidable for personal use and in the workplace. With all the information and protections we have in place to mitigate chemical exposure, you might be shocked to learn that most of the 80,000+ chemicals currently used in the United States have not been adequately tested for their human health effects. Laboratory employees are particularly vulnerable to hazardous chemical exposure through their daily operations. Exposure to hazardous chemical substances in laboratories and the lack of appropriate control measures can lead to catastrophic events, precipitating serious injuries and even fatalities, thereby underscoring the importance of chemical safety on the employer and user end.

July is Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Awareness Month

July is Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Awareness Month

Beginning in 2008, The American Academy of Ophthalmology named July as UV Awareness Month. It makes perfect sense for the hottest month of the year to be designated UV Safety Awareness Month. People are outdoors more, it is very warm, and the potential to damage to one’s exposed skin is at its peak from radiation in the form of ultraviolet light. UV rays are invisible radiation that comes from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. These rays can penetrate and change skin cells.

As Summer Heats Up Protect Your Workers From Heat Stress

As Summer Heats Up Protect Your Workers From Heat Stress

Across the country this week, temperatures are forecasted to reach record highs in many areas. Heat stress may be thought of as a summertime safety issue; however, it is present indoors year-round due to environmental ambient conditions caused by heat sources from process equipment in certain industries.

What is the Difference Between a Phase I ESA and a Desktop Review and Which Should You Order?

What is the Difference Between a Phase I ESA and a Desktop Review and Which Should You Order?

Phase Is are conducted per ASTM E 1527-13 and include several major components: a site reconnaissance, completion of a User Questionnaire, a regulatory database search, interviews with persons knowledgeable of the property, and a review of reasonably ascertainable and readily available historical sources to identify the use of the property back to 1940 or its first developed use, whichever is earlier.  As such, the ASTM E 1527-13 Standard Practice provides specific guidance as to what must be addressed.  However, there is no ASTM standard for Desktop Reviews (more commonly called Risk Search with Risk Assessments-RSRAs).  Therefore, RSRAs differ from consultant to consultant and also do not provide protection on CERCLA. 

What the EPA’s Newly Released Clean Air in Buildings Challenge Means for Indoor Air Quality

What the EPA’s Newly Released Clean Air in Buildings Challenge Means for Indoor Air Quality

With the onset of pollen season, what better time to discuss indoor air quality? As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality, specifically as it relates to the health and comfort of occupants, within and around buildings and structures. COVID-19 has increased the population’s general awareness and importance of IAQ as well as the transmission of infectious diseases. The EPA recently released a Clean Air in Buildings Challenge as part of the Federal government’s new IAQ initiative, which happens to also be a facet of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Workplace Falls

National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Workplace Falls

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for workers, with over 600 workers dying annually and almost 50,000 injured each year due to falls from elevation.  All these deaths and injuries are preventable.

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