Training Your Forklift Drivers Posted on March 04, 2014 by James Griffin
OSHA estimates that “powered industrial trucks,” commonly known as forklifts or lift trucks, account for about 85 fatal workplace accidents every year. About 1 out of every 10 forklifts in operation each year is involved in some form of accident, whether it is tipping, crushing, or striking a pedestrian. Due to the hazards associated with operating forklifts, a focus on workplace safety is critical to prevent accidents, injury, and property damage at facilities where forklifts are used.
Forklift Training Standard
OSHA’s forklift training standard, found at 29 CFR 1910.178(l), states that training must cover operation, movement, loading, and maintenance, as well as workplace-specific information. OSHA’s forklift safety standards were established in 1971 and based on the then-existing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety standards (ANSI B56.1-1969). In 1998, after years of consulting with employers and worker organizations, OSHA expanded the training requirement to include more specific directions on what must be covered [63 FR 66270, December 1, 1998].
Forklift employee training must consist of formal instruction (i.e., lecture, written, or computer-based material), practical training (i.e., demonstrations and supervised operation of a forklift), and evaluation (i.e., testing). When an employer trains an employee to operate forklifts and other powered industrial trucks (PIT), they must certify (i.e., sign) a written record that shows the employee has been trained. The certification must include the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the training and/or evaluation. Employers must certify that forklift operators are trained before assigning them to operate a PIT.
There is no specified period for providing refresher training to qualified PIT operators. However, the employer must evaluate each trained operator at least once every three years. [29 CFR 1910.178(l)4)(iii)] If the employer determines that the employee is not operating the PIT safely, then refresher training is required.
PIT operators must also receive refresher training whenever they:
- Have been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner,
- Have been involved in an accident or near-miss incident,
- Are assigned to drive a new or different type of PIT, or
- Could affect safe operation of the truck because of changed conditions in the workplace.
Safely Operating a Forklift
While much of OSHA’s forklift standard has to do with the design, construction, and maintenance of forklifts and selecting the appropriate design for different workplaces, the bulk of operator training focuses on safely operating the vehicles.
There are many different designs of forklift. Before operating a particular forklift, an employee must become familiar with the controls, instrumentation, cargo capacity, and other operating limits of that make and model of forklift and with any after-market modifications to a particular vehicle. While some elements of forklift training are generic (the lifting triangle, the differences between powered industrial trucks and automobiles), an employee’s training MUST address the specific type(s) and special features of the PITs he or she will operate.
Forklifts are used in many different industries and workplaces. Before operating a forklift in a particular workplace, employees must become familiar with the areas in which they will operate and the loads the forklift will carry. Pedestrian cross-traffic, narrow aisles, ramps, or other sloped surfaces can all affect safe forklift operation. If there are any areas with insufficient ventilation, a gasoline-powered forklift could create a buildup of carbon monoxide or other exhaust fumes and create a hazard.
Avoiding Dangerous Driving
Many dangerous activities are explicitly prohibited by the forklift standard, and many common-sense guidelines are explicitly required, including the following:
- Stunt driving and horseplay are prohibited.
- The truck may not carry loads that weigh more than its maximum capacity.
- Trucks in need of repair must be taken out of service and may not be operated until repaired.
- Drivers must slow down when turning, in wet conditions, or on slopes.
- Drivers must look in the direction of and keep a clear view of travel.
OSHA commonly lists forklift accidents as one of the top ten workplace health and safety concerns in the US each year. By providing effective forklift safety training, employers can protect forklift operators and other employees from injury on the job. Employees with proper training are prepared to safely operate and maintain these lifts and avoid accidents.
To help forklift drivers meet OSHA’s formal instruction requirement at 29 CFR 1910.178(I), Lion Technology provides the Forklift Safety Online Course. Available 24/7, this online course teaches the principles for operating forklifts; using safety equipment; loading, balancing, and lifting loads; inspecting and maintaining lifts; parking; and refueling/recharging safely.
New Online Hazmat Training Courses for Operations Personnel Posted on February 26, 2014 by Roger Marks
With hazmat shipments coming under more and more scrutiny and fines for shipping mistakes as high as $75,000 per day, per violation, it’s critical that every employee at your facility is prepared to meet his or her compliance responsibilities.
For convenient, effective online training options to satisfy your team’s 49 CFR ground, IATA air, and IMDG vessel shipper training requirements, visit Lion.com now. Easy to use and available 24/7, Lion’s online courses help fit mandatory training into your team’s day-to-day operations.
The US DOT and International Maritime Organization (IMO) require all “hazmat employees” to complete training once every 3 years.* IATA requires hazmat air shipping personnel to complete training once every 24 months. **
Designed for operations personnel who package, mark, label, placard, load, and unload hazmat ground shipments, this online course covers the latest 49 CFR hazmat shipping regulations. The course is designed to satisfy the DOT’s “general awareness,” “security awareness,” and “function-specific” training requirements for hazmat employees at 172.704(c).
As of January 1, personnel who prepare hazmat for air transport must comply with the 55th edition of IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations. This online course covers the IATA hazmat air shipping rules that US shippers must follow in addition to 49 CFR.
Avoid costly port delays! Hazmat vessel shipments must be packaged, marked, labeled, and documented in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s IMDG Code, Amendment 36-12. Designed for shore-side shipping personnel, this online course covers the IMO rules that US shippers must follow in addition to 49 CFR.
Comprehensive Training Options
Employees who oversee hazmat shipping operations or sign shipping papers should complete a more in depth, comprehensive hazmat training program.
*[49 CFR 172.704(c)] and [IMDG Code 1.3.1.]
Management Strategies for Using RCRA Exclusions Posted on February 25, 2014 by Scott C. Dunsmore
At first glance, managing hazardous waste in a way that relieves the generator from some RCRA regulations may seem very appealing. In some cases though, these management strategies may not provide as much relief as initially believed and may make subsequent management decisions even more difficult. One scenario that raises this challenge is the EPA’s exclusion for certain de-characterized hazardous wastes.
On May 16, 2001 the EPA revised its definition of hazardous waste to address the status of hazardous wastes that are listed by the Agency solely due to the fact that they exhibit a characteristic. [66 FR 27266] This rule stated that if a waste is listed solely for the characteristic of ignitability, corrosivity, or reactivity (I,C, R) and no longer exhibits any hazardous waste characteristics, it is no longer a hazardous waste. [40 CFR 261.3(g)(1)] Prior to the 2001 rule, the EPA had stated that only characteristic wastes may be excluded from the definition of hazardous waste when they no longer exhibited any characteristics. [40 CFR 261.3(d)(1)] At that time, you had to go through a formal de-listing petition in order to get your listed hazardous waste excluded from regulation. [40 CFR 260.20 and 260.22]
LDRs Still Apply to De-characterized Wastes
The May 2001 rule came with an important caveat: the de-characterized listed wastes are still subject to the land disposal restriction (LDR) requirements at 40 CFR 268. [40 CFR 261.3(g)(3)] The wastes may still require treatment to meet the applicable treatment standards that applied to the waste at its initial point of generation. While losing the characteristic may eliminate the need to address the storage limits and manifesting requirements at 40 CFR 262, the waste may still need treatment in order to comply with Part 268.
The EPA reiterated this point in a recent letter of interpretation: March 1, 2013 – RO 14836. The Agency was asked about the ability to mix an F003 spent solvent with water in order to remove the characteristic of ignitability (F003 is listed at 40 CFR 261.31 solely due to the ignitability characteristic). In the letter, the EPA does acknowledge the effect of 40 CFR 261.3(g) on I, C, or R characteristic-only listed wastes in removing them from the definition of hazardous waste. However, the Agency reaffirmed that diluting the F003 with water to remove the ignitability characteristic may have dire effects on the facility’s ability to meet LDR treatment standards.
In 40 CFR 268.40, the EPA identifies constituent-based treatment standards for F003 (e.g., treat the concentration of acetone in a non-wastewater F003 waste to < 0.28 mg/L). While diluting the F003 to remove the characteristic may in fact reduce the concentration of the regulated constituents and de-characterize the waste, the LDRs at 40 CFR 268.3 prohibit diluting a waste in order to meet LDR treatment standards. This point was clearly restated in the March 1, 2013 letter:
|“…wastes that express a characteristic at the point of generation but are subsequently decharacterized are excluded under 40 CFR Section 261.3(g)(1 ), but are still subject to the Part 268 Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) requirements per 40 CFR Section 261.3(g)(3). However, water or any other nonhazardous diluent that removes the characteristic of ignitability from F003 wastes allowing the generator to claim the 40 CFR Section 261.3(g)(3) exclusion cannot be used in a manner that constitutes impermissible dilution under CFR Section 268.3. That is, F003 wastes may not be simply diluted as a substitute for adequate treatment.”|
In fact, diluting these wastes may now make meeting the LDR treatment standards more difficult and expensive for the generator. So while losing the characteristic may have made the generator’s storage requirements easier (less restrictive), it also made meeting the LDR treatment standards that applied to the waste at the point of generation more difficult.
When evaluating possible regulatory relief scenarios, it is important for the generator to evaluate the full impact of a waste’s management obligations for every possible scenario. A short-term benefit may not always translate into long-term savings.
Start capitalizing on the best waste management practices that can help you save time and money at the Advanced Hazardous Waste Management Workshop. Designed for experienced RCRA managers and personnel, this two-day workshop helps you streamline your waste management operations and satisfies the EPA’s annual training requirement at 40 CFR 262.34(a)(4) and 265.16.
Package and Container Communication: DOT vs. GHS Posted on February 18, 2014 by Joel Gregier
When dealing with hazardous constituents, hazard communication is a must to protect workers, property, and the general public. Both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have standards for how to communicate the dangers of goods and products they consider “hazardous.”
The DOT requires markings and labels, or in some cases placards, for packages holding “hazardous materials” before and during transportation. OSHA requires hazard labels for containers holding “hazardous chemicals” in the workplace. While both agencies have harmonized their regulations with international standards, there are some cases in which the two systems don’t match.
Often, a given material may meet the definition of both a DOT hazardous material and an OSHA hazardous chemical. In the instances where the standards intersect, a shipped chemical may need both DOT and OSHA hazard communication. This often leads to confusion about how these communications should be displayed on the shipment.
Below are three examples of the differences and similarities between DOT labels and OSHA pictograms.
DOT “Packages” vs. OSHA “Containers”
When dealing with DOT or OSHA regulations, hazard communication comes down to some key definitions.
Under the DOT Hazardous Material Regulations, hazard markings and labels are required on all “packages” being shipped. The DOT defines a package as the minimum assembly that meets DOT requirements for shipping the hazardous material. [49 CFR 171.8] In the case of combination packagings, there may be additional enclosures inside the package to further protect the hazardous material (e.g., bottles separated within a box).
Under OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), hazard labels are required on all shipped “containers.” Containers are defined as “any bag, barrel, bottle, box, can, cylinder, drum, reaction vessel, storage tank, or the like that contains a hazardous chemical.” [29 CFR 1910.1200(c)] Since OSHA is concerned with employees in the workplace, the Agency is concerned with the containers that an employee would encounter in a normal workday.
OSHA “Containers” Inside a DOT “Package”
Now that we have defined what DOT deems a package and what OSHA deems a container, we can discuss situations where the DOT and OSHA hazard communication requirements may overlap.
As a first example, let us examine a hazardous material/chemical contained in glass bottles that are then packed in a fiberboard box. Where would the DOT and OSHA communications go?
For DOT, the markings and labels would go onto the fiberboard box, because that is the final form that would be safe for shipment and would meet all DOT requirements. The glass bottles are too weak to be shipped without a protective barrier, so they are not DOT packages and would not get the DOT communication.
Under OSHA, the GHS labels would go onto the glass bottles rather than the box, because that is the container that an employee would work with. The employee needs the information immediately in case of an accident, and the bottle may be the most readily available container.
What If the “Container” and “Package” Are the Same?
Next, let’s use a 55-gallon steel drum to hold our hazardous material/chemical. In this example, where does the hazard communication appear?
For DOT, the package is the steel drum, since that is considered a safe form in which it can be shipped. Thus, markings and labels would go onto the drum.
Under OSHA, the container is also the steel drum since that is the form in which an employee would foreseeably come in contact with the chemical. Thus, in this instance, the GHS labels would also go onto the drum.
While DOT and OSHA hazard communication requirements do overlap, recognizing the intent of each standard will help employees differentiate between the two sets of rules and better protect themselves from hazardous chemicals. Preparing your team to understand these diverse hazard communication rules is critical to avoid confusion and delays as US shippers transition to the revised OSHA HazCom Standard in 2014 and ’15.
Keep your hazmat shipments moving as you update your facility procedures to comply with OSHA’s revised GHS Hazard Communication Standard. The live, instructor-led GHS Compliance for Hazmat Shippers Webinar is designed to provide a clear view of how new GHS hazard labels and classification criteria will impact your domestic and international hazmat shipments.
GHG Reporting in 2014 Posted on February 11, 2014 by Anthony R. Cardno
This week, LionNews continues to examine the ongoing cycle of Federal and State reporting requirements under major US EPA regulatory programs. Last month, we addressed the March 1 deadline for submitting Tier I and II chemical inventory reports under EPCRA. In this article, we discuss the next major approaching deadline, which applies to annual greenhouse gas reporting (GHG) under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
By March 31, certain facilities that emit greenhouse gases must submit a mandatory annual report, required under the CAA. Whether or not your site must report can depend on a number of factors, including your industry and the amount of greenhouse gases your site emits. The thresholds for reporting, and details on how to report, are covered below.
Due to recent changes to the program, some previously unregulated facilities are now subject to the reporting rule. Also, some previously regulated facilities may no longer be required to report on their greenhouse gas emissions.
Identifying Greenhouse Gases
The Environmental Protection Agency defines greenhouse gases as “carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and other fluorinated greenhouse gases.” [40 CFR 98.6] These are the gases that are internationally recognized to have a measurable impact on climate change/global warming. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 authorized EPA “to require mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions above appropriate thresholds in all sectors of the economy of the United States.” [P.L. 110-161, 121 Stat 1844, 2128]
The “appropriate thresholds” are assigned based on the industry you are in and are delineated in 40 CFR 98. Certain facilities must report every year, regardless of the amount of GHG emissions (for instance, electricity generation [40 CFR 98, Subpart D], petrochemical production [Subpart X], and municipal landfills [Subpart HH]). Facilities in other sectors must report only if their annual CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) GHG emissions are equal to or greater than 25,000 metric tons (for instance, electronics manufacturing [Subpart I], fluorinated gas production [Subpart L], and industrial wastewater treatment [Subpart II]). Sites with stationary fuel combustion sources and greenhouse gas suppliers must also report annually.
Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Emissions
Each regulated greenhouse gas has a different potential to impact climate change. To accommodate this, the EPA uses “carbon dioxide equivalent” (CO2e) to standardize the measurement of all greenhouse gas emissions relative to the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions. The rule contains a table (40 CFR 98, Table A-1) that assigns a specific “global warming potential” (GWP) to each regulated GHG as it compares to an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. To calculate the CO2e for a given GHG, EPA requires facilities to use this formula:
CO2 = Σ GHG x GWP
Where GHG = amount of greenhouse gas emitted and GWP = global warming potential for that GHG
New Reporting Thresholds for 2014
Due to changes in GWP’s for a handful of greenhouse gases, some facilities may be required to report for the first time in 2014. EPA’s Table A-1 to Subpart A of 40 CFR 98 is based on the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change’s (IPCC) assessment reports. In a final rule promulgated on November 29, 2013, EPA amended Table A-1 to bring it into agreement with the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (or “IPCC AR4″) issued in 2007. For certain greenhouse gases, the GWP has changed, and reports submitted in 2014 will need to reflect these changes. For instance, methane’s GWP increased from 21 to 25, while nitrous oxide’s dropped from 310 to 298.
Electronic Reporting is Now Mandatory
On December 19, 2013, EPA announced that the Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool (e-GGRT) is now accepting best available monitoring methods (BAMM) requests from facilities and suppliers who are newly subject to 40 CFR Part 98 as a result of the changes to the global warming potential. Guidance can be found on EPA’s website.
The deadline for reporting is March 31. All reports must be submitted electronically through the e-GGRT. Paper submissions are not accepted. For security and confidentiality, facilities must register with the e-GGRT before filing reports. This process can be lengthy. EPA provides support via phone (877-444-1188) and e-mail GHGMRR@epa.gov.
Learn what you must report, collect, and keep on file to meet your legal responsibilities under the EPA’s major programs. From permitting under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to chemical management and reporting under TSCA, FIFRA, EPCRA, and more, Lion Technology’s Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop will prepare you to comply with the EPA regulations that affect your facility.
The Next Phase of GHS Hazard Communication Posted on February 04, 2014 by Joel Gregier
The first GHS deadline has passed. By December 1, 2013, all affected employers were required to train their employees on GHS labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). If you have employees subject to GHS who have not been trained on these new elements, you need to get them trained as soon as possible.
Assuming your employees have been properly trained, what should you be looking out for now?
Upcoming Deadlines and Transition Period
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a systematic approach to:
- Defining and classifying hazards of chemicals in the workplace and elsewhere, and
- Communicating health and safety information on labels and SDSs.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) incorporated GHS requirements to its Hazard Communication (HazCom) Standard on March 26, 2012. However, OSHA instituted a transition period, so that employers could have the appropriate amount of time to be in compliance with the new rules.
OSHA set the training deadline mentioned above first to prepare employees for what to expect in the upcoming months. With the exception of distributers, all facilities must implement new classification criteria, labels, and Safety Data Sheets by June 1, 2015. Distributors can ship products using the pre-GHS HazCom Standard until December 1, 2015.
Employers should not wait until the last minute to get into full conformance with GHS requirements. It will take some time to update all the hazard labels and SDSs in the workplace. Affected facilities should start as soon as possible, or they may find themselves out of compliance when the standard becomes mandatory.
What Can I Do During the Transition Period?
Until June 1, 2015, employers have a few options:
Employers can follow the old HazCom Standard, meaning that they are not required to have any GHS elements in the workplace yet. It is still legal to have old Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and labels. However, this is probably not the most prudent option.
Employers can completely transition over to the new rules, which include all new GHS elements. In a perfect world, everything is already transitioned, so employees do not have to deal with more changes and have only one standard to follow in the workplace. However, most companies are not this far along yet.
Finally, employers can follow a mixture of old HazCom and new GHS Standards. At this stage, this is the most likely scenario for most companies, and most workplaces probably utilize a mix of hazard communication. However, facilities need be very careful if they are in this phase, since employees can become confused by the different types of communication. This could require extra training to protect these employees.
Lion will present the last scheduled Preparing for OSHA’s New GHS Rule Webinar on March 4, from 1-3 p.m. ET. This live, instructor-led webinar is designed to help you prepare for a seamless transition to the revised HazCom Standard (HCS). Discover how new hazard classification, labeling, and SDS elements will affect your operations and what you must do to comply with the latest rules before the looming deadlines. For GHS training that’s available 24/7, EHS managers and supervisors can take the Managing Hazard Communication Online Course. For employees who need update training on new labeling and SDS elements, Lion offers the Hazard Communication Online Course, designed to satisfy OSHA’s HazCom training requirements (29 CFR 1910.1200(h)).
Simplify Your Approach to Waste ID Posted on January 28, 2014 by James Griffin
Identifying hazardous waste and assigning waste codes is one of the most complex responsibilities in waste management. Many factors need to be considered when making this determination, including the waste’s properties, the hazards it poses, and even the industry in which it was generated.
The EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations provide a complex system of lists that personnel must use to identify their hazardous waste. Understanding what kinds of waste are on each of these lists, and knowing which lists’s codes apply in a given situation, makes the waste ID process much less daunting than it seems at first glance.
The EPA’s definition of a hazardous waste has two parts that are important for performing waste ID. The EPA defines hazardous waste as a solid waste that exhibits a hazardous characteristic and/or is specifically listed by the EPA as hazardous. [40 CFR 261.3]
First, wastes that “exhibit a hazardous characteristic” are hazardous waste. There are four “hazardous characteristics” to consider: ignitibility, corrosivity, reactivity (including explosive unstable materials and water-reactive materials), and toxicity (a list of 40 chemical substances). [40 CFR 261, Subpart C]
Other wastes are “specifically listed by the EPA as hazardous.” There are four lists of hazardous waste in the RCRA regulations: wastes from non-specific sources (the F list), wastes from specific sources (the K list), acutely hazardous chemical products (the P list), and toxic/other chemical products (the U list). [40 CFR 261, Subpart D]
Understanding these lists and how, when, and where they apply is critical for performing waste ID. Here is a summary of what hazardous wastes might be found on each list.
Hazardous Waste from Non-specific Sources
The F list at 40 CFR 261.31 includes hazardous wastes from non-specific sources. That means the wastes listed here are not specifically associated with particular industrial sectors. The list includes 28 waste streams in the following categories: five kinds of spent solvents, eight secondary materials from metal finishing, nine types of waste from the manufacture of dioxins and chlorinated organics, two types of oil/water separation sludge, and multi-source leachate (e.g., garbage juice from a landfill).
F-listed hazardous wastes are generally toxic, but they may also be ignitable or exhibit other characteristics.
Hazardous Waste from Specific Sources
The K list at 40 CFR 261.32 includes hazardous wastes from specific sources. That means the wastes listed here are associated with particular industrial sectors. The list includes over 150 wastewater treatment sludges, still bottoms, by-products, and other secondary materials generated from the production of pigments, inks, pesticides, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and other organic and inorganic chemicals; secondary materials from petroleum refining sludge and other by-products of smelting iron, steel, aluminum, lead, and coke; and certain residues used in wood preserving. K-listed hazardous wastes are generally toxic, though they may exhibit reactivity or other characteristics.
Acute and Toxic Hazardous Wastes
The P list at 40 CFR 261.33(e) is for commercial chemical products that are acutely hazardous. Acutely hazardous wastes are those that have acute toxic effects on organisms, meaning they have the potential to cause immediate death upon exposure.
The U list at 40 CFR 261.33(f) is primarily for commercial chemical products with toxic hazards. “Toxic” in this context means wastes that have the potential to cause cancer or other chronic health defects upon exposure. The list also includes a few named chemicals with ignitable, corrosive, or reactive properties.
Understanding the EPA’s various hazardous waste lists is the first step to a practical, streamlined approach to performing waste ID. At the Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Workshop, you can satisfy the EPA’s annual training requirement for hazardous waste personnel and learn best practices for managing waste from “cradle to grave.” Presented nationwide by expert Lion instructors, this engaging two-day workshop is designed for EHS and hazardous waste personnel of any experience level.
Protecting Your Packages from Incidents in Transit Posted on January 21, 2014 by Roseanne Bottone
The bottles, cans, jars, and test tubes inside of your combination packaging must remain closed when they are subject to shocks, vibrations, and changes in temperature and pressure during transportation. A box rattling along a bumpy road in the back of a truck, climbing to 35,000 feet in a matter of minutes inside of an airplane’s cargo hold, heating up on a train stopped on the tracks in the desert, or rolling with the waves on a ship may experience extreme conditions that could compromise your inner packagings. The DOT’s general packaging regulations require you to ensure your packages get from point A to point B without a failure.
Follow Packaging Instructions
When using UN specified packaging, you must follow the manufacturer’s written instructions for closing the package and inner packagings. Closures must be leakproof and secured against loosening.
Up in the Air
Packages shipped by air are regulated even more stringently than those shipped by ground (49 CFR 173.27(d)). When shipping by air, “inner packaging or receptacle closures of combination packages containing liquids must be held securely, tightly and effectively in place by secondary [i.e., positive] means.” How should you secure stoppers, corks, snap-on devices (i.e., paint can lids), or other friction closures? The Department of Transportation (DOT) provides examples of what you may use, which include adhesive tape, friction sleeves, welding or soldering, locking wires, locking rings, induction heat seals, and child-resistant closures.
Don’t Make Assumptions
The concept of positive closure is not always intuitive. In a letter of interpretation dated October 18, 2011 (PHMSA #11-0165), the DOT addressed whether it considers tamper-evident caps with break-away rings (such as the cap on a 20-ounce bottle of soda or on a gallon of milk) as acceptable. The Agency stated, “…it is the opinion of this Office that the tamper-evident cap you reference does not meet the HMR positive means of closure requirement.” In another letter of interpretation dated May 12, 2004 (PHMSA #04-0011), the DOT addressed placing weight on snap lids to keep them in place and concluded, “downward pressure alone exerted upon a friction-type closure does not satisfy this requirement.”
Stay Compliant and Safe
The bottom line is, “when in doubt, don’t ship it out.” Make sure your inner packagings will still be closed when they get to their final destination because, in addition to subjecting your company to substantial fines for non-compliance, if a package fails, a release of hazardous materials can harm people, property, and the environment—and hurt your company’s reputation.
Be confident your hazmat packages comply with the ground, air, and ocean shipping regulations. At Lion Technology’s Multimodal Hazmat Shipper Certification Workshops, you’ll benefit from engaging, effective training that covers the latest 49 CFR, IATA, and IMDG regulations you must follow to prevent incidents in transit, costly delays, and civil penalties.
EPCRA Inventory Reports Due March 1 Posted on January 14, 2014 by Anthony R. Cardno
Each new calendar year begins a new cycle of EPA Federal and State reporting requirements. EH&S personnel at companies that manufacture, process, use, or dispose of hazardous chemicals must be aware of the reporting deadlines and requirements that apply to their facilities. The first report many facilities must compile and submit is the Tier I or Tier II Annual Inventory Report, required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and due by March 1.
Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reporting
Under EPCRA, companies that have hazardous chemicals on site in amounts greater than the published trigger quantities must report certain information to local emergency authorities. These inventory reports may be submitted using either the Tier I or Tier II form, under the regulatory requirements codified at 40 CFR Part 370.
What Hazardous Chemicals Must Be Reported
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), found at 29 CFR 1200.1900, requires employers to keep a Safety Data Sheet on file for any hazardous chemical to which their employees are, or may be, exposed in the workplace. The EPA refers to this Standard in its inventory reporting rules. EPA states that if a facility has more than a certain amount of any chemical for which OSHA requires a Safety Data Sheet, then the facility must report this to its community.
The quantities that trigger 40 CFR 370 reporting are for:
- Any hazardous chemical [see 29 CFR 1910.1200 for OSHA's definition], an amount greater than 10,000 pounds present at any one time during the reporting year;
- Extremely hazardous substances [listed in 40 CFR 355, Appendix A], an amount greater than 500 pounds or the substance’s “threshold planning quantity,” whichever is lower, present at any one time during the reporting year.
Submitting Annual Inventory Reports
Facilities that hit the applicable trigger quantities must submit either the Tier I or the Tier II report to their Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), and local fire department. Federal regulations allow for either form to be used; however, IF the LEPC, SERC, or fire department requests a Tier II for a specific chemical, the facility must submit the Tier II report.
Most states now require the Tier II report to be submitted electronically. EPA has created the “Tier 2 eSubmit” software package to aid facilities in completing and tracking the form.
Note: The version of Tier2 eSubmit now on EPA’s website has been updated to reflect the new Tier II form that is required beginning with Reporting Year 2013, i.e., for reports being submitted in 2014.
Regardless of which form you are using, reports for the 2013 calendar year are due March 1, 2014.
Reporting under EPCRA is essential for businesses that handle hazardous chemicals. In the event of a release or an incident, it is crucial that first responders have the information needed to properly respond without putting themselves in undue danger. Failure to report under EPCRA can result in civil penalties ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 per day, per violation and criminal penalties, including up to a 5-year prison sentence.
In addition to these EPA penalties, EPCRA Section 326 allows for citizens to initiate civil action against owners or operators of a facility that fails to report. In other words, if you put the community in danger by not disclosing the chemicals at your facility, the community can seek damages.
All EHS professionals who work with environmentally hazardous chemicals are expected to know which rules apply to their operations. Discover what you must report, monitor, and keep on file to comply with EPA’s major programs, including EPCRA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, TSCA, FIFRA, and more, at Lion’s nationwide Complete Environmental Regulations Workshops.
Moving Forward with GHS Hazard Communication Posted on January 13, 2014 by Roger Marks
Dec. 1 GHS Deadline Has Passed – What Now?
The December 1, 2013 deadline for employers to train workers on changes to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) has come and gone. Still, reports show many companies have not yet trained employees on the updated “HazCom” rules, which were revised when OSHA adopted international standards from the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, “GHS” for short. The adoption of new hazard classification criteria, hazard labels, and Safety Data Sheets is changing the way employees nationwide protect themselves from hazardous chemicals encountered on-the-job.
While OSHA has always required hazard communication training for new workers under its General Industry standards, update training is now required to ensure all workers can recognize and use new hazard labels and Safety Data Sheets. Because some facilities may have already updated their procedures, new hazard labels and Safety Data Sheets have likely entered chemical manufacturers’ and shippers’ supply chains already, making update training critical to employee understanding and safety.
Managers’ Responsibilities for the Transition
Managers of employees who handle or may be exposed to hazardous chemicals must prepare their operations for the changing Hazard Communication Standard. Hazard communication plans must be updated, as well as facility procedures.
Managers are also responsible for updating their employees training so that workers have an understanding of the new label elements, how to read the new Safety Data Sheets, and what risks are posed by hazardous chemicals in their workplace.
Looking Ahead: Upcoming Deadlines
OSHA will phase in the new, GHS-aligned requirements over the next 3 years.
December 1, 2013: Employers were required to provide update training for employees covering new hazard labels and Safety Data Sheets to help them protect themselves under the revised HCS.
June 1, 2015: Employers must comply with all provisions of OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication Standard, with a labeling exception for distributors.
December 1, 2015: Distributors may no longer ship products under the old labeling system.
June 1, 2016: Employers must be in full compliance with all provisions of the updated HazCom Standard. Additional employee training must be provided as needed for any new hazards identified between December 1, 2013 and June 1, 2016. During the transition period, meaning until June 1, 2016, employers may comply with either the current or the revised HCS.
Simplifying the Transition to the New Requirements
Lion Technology offers three web-based training options to help EHS managers prepare their organizations for compliance with the revised HazCom Standard. The live, instructor-led Preparing for OSHA’s New GHS Rule Webinar covers the new requirements under the GHS adoption. The Managing Hazard Communication Online Course is designed to help employers create a HazCom plan that includes newly adopted rules. The Hazard Communication Online Course covers OSHA’s HazCom Standard, including update training on the new GHS rules. As of December 1, 2013, employers should have provided GHS update training to their employees