Five Lockout/Tagout Issues that Challenge the Best Facilities

Five Lockout/Tagout Issues that Challenge the Best Facilities

Given Lockout/Tagout’s established place on OSHA’s annual Top Ten Most Cited Violations list, it is not surprising that I spend a lot of time as an EHS consultant responding to clients’ questions regarding the control of hazardous energy.  Regardless of industry or perceived corporate success, the majority of facilities nationwide struggle to effectively address the hazards associated with servicing, maintenance and other activities that require employees to bypass safety devices and reach their hands into machines.  

Earth Day to SEC Climate Rule: 50 years in the Making

Earth Day to SEC Climate Rule: 50 years in the Making

The year was 1971. It was second ever Earth Day and it was spring, which meant baseball season. Fighting for the starting catcher job on my high school team, I was scheduled to start later on that afternoon. A couple of friends and I figured to celebrate Earth Day, we’d walk to school. Stopping at a friend’s house along the way, we reached the school campus an hour or two late. Of course, we had to sign in at the front office and receive a late pass, which required each teacher’s signature indicating we were in class; so, there was a record.

Why Do I Care About My Neighbors? The Impact of Adjoining Properties

Why Do I Care About My Neighbors? The Impact of Adjoining Properties

When considering environmental due diligence, one must consider the environmental conditions of the property in question (herein the subject property) and adjoining and nearby properties that might impact the subject property. This includes impacts to soils, surface waters, and groundwater from hazardous substances and/or petroleum products. When performing environmental due diligence (mostly likely a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment [Phase I]) one must look at potential sources of contamination from not only the subject property, but also from adjoining and nearby properties. So the actions of your neighbors might affect the value of your property, the perceived value of your property, the ability for you (the owner) to sell the property, the ability of a bank to foreclose on a property, plans for redevelopment of the subject property, and restrictions on the use of the subject property.

This Week Marks National Occupational Health Nurses (OHN) Week: April 3 – April 9

This Week Marks National Occupational Health Nurses (OHN) Week: April 3 – April 9

This week, April 3rd through the 9th, marks the annual Occupational Health Nurses Week (OHN) Week. This national observance serves to recognize and celebrate members of the occupational and environmental health nursing profession. Soon I will be coming up on my fourth decade as a medical professional. Throughout my career, I have worn many hats, but no hat  have I enjoyed donning more than that of  an “Occupational Health Nurse.” This profession has been enriching, rewarding and fun…and continues to be so.

Why Do I Need a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment When I Have a Phase II?

Why Do I Need a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment When I Have a Phase II?

Have you ever come across a situation where the property owner provides a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (Phase II), which indicates the property is “clean.” You contact your bank and your loan officer indicates you still need a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I). You are confused and after you hang up the phone, you are still unclear why you need to have the added cost of a Phase I.

Global Recycling Day – Do Your Part and Celebrate the Seventh Resource

Global Recycling Day – Do Your Part and Celebrate the Seventh Resource

Happy Global Recycling Day! Today marks the 4th official recognized “Global Recycling Day.” Originally started in 2018; this day was chosen by Ranjit Baxi, President of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), to bring awareness to sustainability through recycling on a global scale. With a rise in the focus on climate change and the effects we all have on our environment; Mr. Baxi designated this day to encourage individuals and nations alike to view recyclable materials differently and promote immediate action.

March is National Ladder Safety Month

March is National Ladder Safety Month

March is National Ladder Safety Month, which began in 2017.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 500,000 people are treated (over 1,300 per day) and about 300 people die from ladder-related injuries every year in the United States.

Learn First-Aid/CPR and Grow Your Confidence to Care

Learn First-Aid/CPR and Grow Your Confidence to Care

Statistics show you’re more likely to give first-aid to someone you know than a stranger. When minutes count, you’ll be the person to give the necessary aid to a family member or co-workers before Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrive. Having the knowledge and skills to act can save or restore someone’s life and prevent you from wondering – what if?

What is a Regulatory File Review and Why Might I Need One?

What is a Regulatory File Review and Why Might I Need One?

A Regulatory File Review is required under ASTM Standard Practice (E 1527-13 [effective 11-13-13]) when the subject property or an adjoining property is noted in the Standard Environmental Records Sources during the course of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA).  Conducting a Regulatory File Review involves the procurement of regulatory files from Federal, state, and/or local governing agencies for review by an Environmental Professional (EP). 

Why Do I Need a GPR Survey When I Have Documentation that USTs Have Been Removed?

Why Do I Need a GPR Survey When I Have Documentation that USTs Have Been Removed?

When you have a Closure Assessment Report (CAR) stating underground storage tanks (USTs) have been removed and that removal has been granted a No Further Action status from the state or other governing regulatory body, it might seem that nothing else is needed. While this is often the case, many times it is unknown if additional tanks remain on site; including tanks that pre-date the requirement for registration at the Federal and state levels in the 1980s.

January is all about Radon Awareness and Action

January is all about Radon Awareness and Action

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Radon Awareness Week is this week (January 24-28, 2022). Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless, tasteless and radioactive gas, which when trapped in homes and buildings can build up causing occupant exposure. Prolonged exposure to elevated radon concentrations causes an increased risk of lung cancer.

Preparing Your Occupational COVID Testing Program. Are You Ready?

Preparing Your Occupational COVID Testing Program. Are You Ready?

Wherever business managers lean politically, most concur that routine workplace testing of employees to identify COVID carriers is an effective measure to minimize occupational COVID transmission. The virulent nature of the Omicron variant (akin to measles in virulence) makes rapid antigen testing of the workforce a common sense choice to prevent them from spreading COVID to coworkers. What better concept to identify those employees who are infected with COVID and isolate them from their fellow workers to “Nip occupational COVID transmission in the bud!?” 

Sustainability and ISO Management Systems: Are ISO Standards a Bunch of Hooey or a Helpful Sustainability Tool?

Sustainability and ISO Management Systems: Are ISO Standards a Bunch of Hooey or a Helpful Sustainability Tool?

In recent years market drivers have played a more pivotal role in convincing management to embrace a corporate sustainable culture. In fact, even without new regulations or legal requirements, 90% of major US companies published a sustainability report in 2019, up from 20% in 2011. Sustainability has become a means of gaining market visibility and differentiation. This shift in business is about drivers in the marketplace and not regulation. Sustainability efforts at your facility may be driven by the requirements of multi-national companies with headquarters in Europe or possibly the requirements of customers within your global supply chain.

Selling Corporate Sustainability to Management

Selling Corporate Sustainability to Management

Convincing employees and management to embrace corporate cultural change is certainly nothing new. One needs to look no farther than the successful business models which promote occupational safety, aimed at lowering workplace accidents! A successful occupational safety program requires a cultural change and encourages participation among the entire workforce. Just like safety, promoting a sustainable culture at work is simply good business and yields a significant, long-term ROI.

The Fundamentals of Confined Spaces

The Fundamentals of Confined Spaces

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has implemented stringent regulations when identifying confined spaces in the workplace.  Such standards are due to the number of fatalities associated with occupying these spaces.  

The End of Leaded Gasoline

The End of Leaded Gasoline

The era of leaded gasoline has finally come to an end. Yes, you read that correctly. Leaded gasoline is finally no longer being used anywhere on the planet. Environmental activists, government regulators, and people with common sense are happy to see the poisonous additive is no longer used.

What Does Swiss Cheese Have to Do with Preventing COVID-19?

What Does Swiss Cheese Have to Do with Preventing COVID-19?

We recently discussed how to minimize the spread of the highly contagious Delta Variant in the workplace with Rapid Antigen Testing. As more businesses return employees to the workplace, whether it be to manufacturing facilities or commercial office spaces, it remains critical to keep everyone safe and healthy.  Absenteeism driven by the need to quarantine both COVID positive employees, as well as the general workforce with whom they closely interacted significantly impacts productivity.

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses on the Jobsite this Summer

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses on the Jobsite this Summer

As record heat waves continue to scorch throughout the U.S this summer, it is important to know the dangers and warning signs of heat stress. While temperatures climb during the summer months, the increase risks of heat- related illnesses or HRIs, increase as well. According to a study by the CDC, approximately 90% of heat related deaths occur during the months of May, June, July and August.

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EPCRA Reporting Requirements: Is Your Company Subject to Annual Tier II and Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Basics?
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RCRA Requirements: Does Your Facility Generate Hazardous Waste?
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Deep Breath: Respiratory Protection in the Growing COVID-19 Epidemic
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Part II: Business Contingency Planning For the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic – Is Your Corporation Prepared?
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Part I: Business Contingency Planning For the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic – Is Your Corporation Prepared?
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