EPA Discusses Rag Rule Posted on July 22, 2014 by James Griffin

On July 31, 2013, the US EPA promulgated a new final rule to relax hazardous waste management requirements for solvent-contaminated wipes (i.e., shop towels). Under this rulemaking, solvent-contaminated wipes that are laundered are conditionally excluded from regulation as solid waste, and discarded solvent-contaminated wipes are conditionally excluded from regulation as hazardous waste.

The EPA recently held a webinar to discuss the relatively new Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Rule. The webinar was hosted by Amanda Kohler and Mary Beth Sheridan of the US EPA and attended by dozens of State regulators, industry groups, regulated businesses, and other stakeholders. During the webinar, the hosts discussed the background of the solvent-contaminated wipe waste stream and the history of this rulemaking, and then answered questions from stakeholders.


Background of Solvent-contaminated Wipes

Until the final rule was published, there was no official EPA system for managing solvent-contaminated wipes and rags. They aren’t quite covered by either the contained-in policy or the mixture rule (40 CFR 261.3(a)(2)(iv)).

In 1994 (RO11813), the US EPA made it its official policy to defer the identification of solvent-contaminated wipes as hazardous waste to EPA Regions and the states. In 2003, the US EPA proposed Federal regulations (68 FR 65586) to create a uniform national standard for managing these wipes as special wastes under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The 2013 final rule created this national standard, offering conditional exclusions from RCRA for certain solvent-contaminated wipes.

The rule is currently in effect in Alaska, Iowa, and in Indian Country and other territories where the US EPA directly implements RCRA. Some authorized states, namely Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, and Florida, have also adopted the rule. See this map from the US EPA.

The EPA intends to update its Frequently Asked Questions for solvent-contaminated wipe soon.

Key Takeaways from the EPA’s Webinar


  • The exclusion is conditional and includes explicit instructions for managing and disposing or recycling shop towels. If handlers violate one or more of the conditions of the exclusion, the wipes become subject to RCRA regulation from their point of generation.
  • The storage and containment rules are flexible and performance-based; they do not specify a type or material for storage containers. There is no quantity limit, only a 180-day time limit for accumulating solvent-contaminated wipes.
  • Reusable wipes can be laundered on site, provided the on-site laundry discharges under a Clean Water Act permit or agreement.
  • Mats, mops, uniforms, and other personal protective equipment cannot be managed under the solvent-contaminated wipe rule, because the EPA did not consider them under the scope of the rule.
  • Handlers may not add absorbents to containers accumulating solvent-contaminated wipes.
  • When wipes are co-contaminated with oil and solvents, they may be managed under the solvent-contaminated wipe rule as long as (1) the oil is not listed hazardous waste and (2) the wipes only exhibit the characteristic of ignitability (and thus do not exhibit the characteristic of corrosivity, toxicity, or reactivity).

For more information, click here for the solvent-contaminated wipes rule.

Projected Effect and Cost Savings

According to the US EPA, if this rule is implemented nationally, it will impact:


  • Over 90,000 facilities generating solvent-contaminated wipes, most of them small quantity generators;
  • Over 3,000 solid waste management landfills and combustors; and
  • Over 300 industrial laundries and dry cleaners.

The US EPA estimates about $18 million in net waste management savings and 4 to 10 million in peripheral benefits if this rule is adopted and implemented nationwide.

Be confident your site is in compliance with the latest RCRA hazardous waste regulations, including the new rules for shop towels and developing standards for electronic Manifests! For annual training on the EPA’s core requirements for managing and storing hazardous waste on site, Lion presents the Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Workshop in cities nationwide. An online course and Refresher online course are also available.

Seeking new management strategies or recycling options to minimize waste and cut costs? The Advanced Hazardous Waste Management Workshop also covers the RCRA rules that generators must know, with an emphasis on strategies to streamline your operations, to keep waste “out of the system” of RCRA, and to treat waste on site without a RCRA permit.

Hazmat in Healthcare: Division 6.2 and Medical Waste Posted on July 15, 2014 by Ross Kellogg

Hazardous materials shippers have many responsibilities under US DOT regulations. The first and arguably most important step of the hazmat shipping process is classifying the material.

If this first step is done incorrectly, the packaging selected for the shipment may not be compatible or strong enough; the marks, labels, and shipping papers will be inaccurate; etc. In the event of an incident in transit, emergency responders will not have the information required to make the best judgment about how to react and respond. The classification requirement is found at 49 CFR 173.22.

With many materials, classification is a relatively simple process. Some hazmat, though, can be rather complicated to classify and may even require special expertise in a specific related field. One example of this is the classification of Division 6.2 infectious substances.


What Is a DOT “Infectious Substance”?

The US DOT defines an infectious substance as “a material known or reasonably expected to contain a pathogen.” [49 CFR 173.134] Pathogen is further defined as a microorganism (e.g., bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi) or other agent, such as an infectious particle, that can cause disease in humans or animals. Examples are the Ebola virus and hoof-and-mouth disease and the cultures taken from them. Not all these pathogens are regulated the same way, if at all, and Division 6.2 is further divided into two categories:


  • Category A: An infectious substance in a form capable of causing permanent disability or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals when exposure to it occurs.
  • Category B: An infectious substance that is not in a form generally capable of causing permanent disability or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals when exposure to it occurs.

An exposure occurs when an infectious substance is released outside of its protective packaging, resulting in physical contact with humans or animals.

Exceptions to the Division 6.2 Shipping Rules

As with many hazmat shipping regulations, there are a number of exceptions that apply to specific materials. Here is a brief list:


  • A material that does not contain an infectious substance or that is unlikely to cause disease in humans or animals
  • A material containing micro-organisms that are non-pathogenic to humans or animals
  • Blood, blood plasma, and blood components for blood transfusion or of blood products and sent for testing, if believed not to contain a Category A or Category B infectious substance
  • Certain laundry and medical equipment and used healthcare products
  • Agricultural products and food as defined in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act

Having a medical background certainly could be helpful to make the distinction between a Category A and Category B substance. Following are some general guidelines and examples.

Category A vs. Category B Infectious Substances

A Category A infectious substance that is potentially fatal must be assigned to identification number UN 2814 or UN 2900, as appropriate. Assignment to UN 2814 or UN 2900 must be based on the known medical history, symptoms, or professional judgment concerning the source. UN 2814 is assigned to materials that can affect humans and UN 2900 to those that only affect animals. A blood sample from a patient know to have the Ebola virus, for example, would be assigned UN 2814, while one containing hoof-and-mouth disease would be UN 2900.

A Category B infectious substance must be described as “Biological substance, Category B” and assigned identification number UN 3373. This does not include regulated medical waste, which must be assigned identification number UN 3291. An example of a Category B substance is a tissue sample containing Hepatitis B.

Shipping Regulated Medical Waste

The rules for shipping regulated medical waste, UN 3291, differ from the infectious substance regulations. Sometimes known as clinical waste or (bio) medical waste, regulated medical waste is a waste or reusable material derived from the medical treatment of an animal or human or from biomedical research.

When packaged to the specific standards at 49 CFR 173.134(c)(2), some Category B infectious substances meet the definition of regulated medical waste. For example, Category B waste cultures transported as regulated medical waste conforming to certain packaging and transportation requirements can get relief from the majority of the regulations. Medical waste containing a Category A infectious substance, however, must be classed as an infectious substance and assigned to UN 2814 or UN 2900, as appropriate.

While medical-related hazmat makes up only a small portion of US hazmat shipments each year, the dangers posed by these materials are very real. By ensuring their materials are classified and named correctly, hazmat employees in the healthcare industry can be confident their shipments are safe in transit and that emergency response personnel have the best information possible to respond in the case of an emergency.

49 CFR Shipper Training for Medical Hazmat and Waste

For hazmat shippers in the medical industry, Lion offers online training for both Shipping Infectious Substances and Shipping Regulated Medical Waste. Learn the US DOT regulations for classifying, naming, packaging, marking, labeling, loading, unloading, and documenting these hazmat shipments. The US DOT requires training for all hazmat employees once every three years, and fines for hazmat shipping mistakes are now as high as $75,000 per day, per violation.

Updating Your EPA Risk Management Plan Posted on July 08, 2014 by Anthony R. Cardno

Under the Clean Air Act, owners or operators of facilities at which a process uses “…more than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance…” [40 CFR 68.10] must create a Risk Management Plan (RMP) to prevent the accidental release of these substances to the ambient air and to minimize the consequences of releases that do happen.

Because both EPA regulations and industry best practices change over time, EHS managers must ensure their facility’s RMP is maintained and updated when necessary. At 40 CFR Part 68, the EPA sets specific standards for revising and updating Risk Management Plans under specific circumstances.


Elements of a Risk Management Plan


  • The substances regulated under the RMP rules are listed at 40 CFR 68.130, Tables 1 through 4.
  • A process is defined as “any activity involving a regulated substance including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling or on-site movement of such substances, or combination of these activities … [including] any group of vessels that are interconnected, or separate vessels that are located such that a regulated substance could be involved in a potential release….” [40 CFR 68.3]

At a minimum, RMPs must be fully updated and resubmitted at least every five years. [40 CFR 68.190(b)(1)] These revised plans must be submitted via the same RMP*eSubmit software used for initial submission of RMPs. Visit the EPA’s website for more information on electronic Risk Management Plan submission.

Updating RMPs Due to Change in Quantity

Under certain circumstances, RMPs must be updated and resubmitted before the five-year anniversary:


  • If a new regulated substance, above the appropriate threshold, is added to an existing process.
  • If an existing regulated substance is increased to above the appropriate threshold for the first time.

In both of these cases, the facility must update and resubmit the RMP by the time the regulated substance is present in a process at a quantity that is greater than the regulatory threshold.

Updating RMPs Due to Revised Analysis

Facilities must also update RMPs within six months of any change that requires:


  • A revised process hazard analysis or hazard review [40 CFR 68.190(b)(5)],
  • A revised off-site consequence analysis [40 CFR 68.190(b)(6)], or
  • A change in applicable program level [40 CFR 68.190(b)(7)].

Updating RMPs Following Emergencies or Accidents

Facilities must also revise their RMPs in relation to releases and emergency preparedness.


  • Accidental releases that meet certain criteria must be:
    • Added to “five-year history” and “incident investigation” sections of the RMP
    • Within six months of the date of the accident.

  • Changes to facility emergency contact information must be:
    • Corrected in the RMP within one month of the change.
    • Revisions to other RMP sections not required.

Deregistration from the RMP Reporting Program

Facilities that make changes that drop them out of the RMP requirements (for instance, removing processes or limiting the amount of the hazardous substance to stay below the threshold quantity) must submit a de-registration to EPA within six months of the change. [40 CFR 68.190(c)] Maintaining an up-to-date and accurate Risk Management Plan not only ensures compliance with 40 CFR 68, it also helps facilities comply with the more broadly applicable General Duty Clause of the Clean Air Act [CAA Section 112(r)(1)] and emergency preparedness requirements under other major EPA programs.

Build EHS Expertise and Confidence

Build confidence that you’re up to date with the latest water, air, and chemical programs that affect your facility. Knowing your legal obligations under the EPA’s major regulations is critical—missing even one environmental mandate can lead to costly fines and penalties, releases, and future liability. The hands-on Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is designed for both new and experienced EHS professionals. Through expert instruction, collaboration with other EHS professionals, and real-world exercises, you will understand how these complex sets of laws and regulations apply to your facility—and how to make the right decisions for your business.

Preventing Heat Illness in the Summer Posted on June 30, 2014 by Joel Gregier

OSHA Administrator David Michaels recently renewed his Agency’s commitment to protecting employees from high-heat hazards—which can cause serious physical harm and even death. “This is a common-sense thing,” said Michaels, who urged employers to ensure they provide workers with sufficient water, rest, and shade. Last year, OSHA issued 11 citations for heat-related violations, including $33,000 in fines for a refuse removal company whose employee died working a 10-hour shift on a garbage truck in 99 degree heat.

Now that summer is underway and the heat index has broken 90 degrees in many places, it is more important than ever for employers to protect workers from the dangers of excess heat. While there is no specific OSHA standard regulating high temperatures, companies must protect their employees from heat illnesses. [OSHA Act Sec.5]

OSHA realizes the importance of heat protection during warm months. In fact, in 2011, OSHA created the “Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers” to specifically address the hazards posed by extreme or prolonged exposure to heat.


What Risks Are Involved With Working in the Heat?

When overheating, the human body naturally tries to cool itself through sweating. In extreme heat, however, the body can no longer regulate itself properly if no preventative measures are taken.

Common illnesses include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Heat stroke is particularly dangerous in that it can lead to death if not immediately treated.

How Can You Prevent Heat Illnesses?

Thousands of workers are affected by heat illnesses every year. The sad fact is that nearly all of these incidents are preventable.

Among other things, the following methods can help prevent heat illness:



  • Provide workers with water. OSHA has suggested that workers drink water every 15 minutes, even if they are not thirsty. It may be too late to hydrate once the body has used up all its water.
  • Provide rest and shade. Bodies need time to cool down throughout the day. Sitting down under a tree or, even better, getting time in an air-conditioned space can make all the difference.
  • Allow workers to acclimatize to the heat. Statistics have shown that new workers and those workers who have taken more than a week off are the most susceptible to heat illness. This is because the body needs time to build tolerance to the heat. To help with this, these workers should have a work schedule that allows them time to acclimatize.
  • Modify work schedules, if needed. Even the strongest workers can still be taken aback when a heat wave hits. In these cases, maybe a shorter workday or more frequent breaks are needed. In some cases, workers can maybe spend part of the day working indoors.
  • Plan for emergencies and train employees on symptoms and prevention. Workers should be able to notice when they or coworkers are having difficulties. Knowing common symptoms, such as flushed faces or light-headedness, can possibly catch a problem before it becomes serious.
  • Monitor workers for illnesses. Employers also need to take a proactive role and watch their workers’ actions. Even if an employee is in the midst of something like heat exhaustion, recognizing this hazard early is much better than letting it escalate to heat stroke.
  • Possibly provide personal protective equipment (PPE). Employers are not required to supply “ordinary clothing, skin creams, or other items, used solely for protection from weather, such as winter coats, jackets, gloves, parkas, rubber boots, hats, raincoats, ordinary sunglasses, and sunscreen.” [29 CFR 1910.132(h)] However, providing these or other types of PPE can help employees during warm weather.

More information about OSHA’s “Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers” can be found on OSHA’s website.

24/7 Online OSHA Training at Lion.com

For convenient training that covers many OSHA standards, Lion Technology offers 24/7 online courses at www.Lion.com/OSHA-Training. Lion.com online courses save workers’ progress throughout, so they can start and stop as needed to fit their work schedules. IT support for online training is available 7 days a week.

RCRA Workshop Helps Manufacturers With “Zero Landfill” Initiatives Posted on June 25, 2014 by Roger Marks

At manufacturing and industrial facilities nationwide, managing hazardous waste can be a burdensome and expensive responsibility. Compliance professionals must manage their waste to exacting standards and pay to have the waste hauled away, treated, and disposed of safely. In addition to these management, treatment, and disposal rules, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires annual training for facility personnel at hazardous waste generator sites.

The high cost of proper hazardous waste disposal and the threat of future liability for improper disposal and environmental contamination have driven many facilities to work toward minimizing the volume of hazardous waste generated on site. As more companies move toward these “zero landfill” initiatives, streamlining hazardous waste operations becomes critical to gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage.

To help experienced EHS managers discover new management strategies to minimize waste and lower waste treatment and disposal costs, Lion Technology will present the Advanced Hazardous Waste Management Workshop in area cities in July and August. In addition to meeting the US EPA’s annual training mandate under RCRA, this unique workshop emphasizes cost-cutting options such as:

  • Capitalizing on waste ID and counting exclusions
  • Keeping solid waste “out of the system” of RCRA
  • Treating waste without a RCRA permit
  • Best practices for waste minimization and pollution control
  • Managing used oil and universal waste, and more

The workshop will be presented in Kansas City on July 14-15, St. Louis on July 17-18, Chicago on July 21-22, Detroit on July 24-25, Cincinnati on August 4-5, and Pittsburgh on August 7-8. Enrollment includes annotated 40 CFR RCRA regulations, a searchable Reference CD, a how-to reference workbook, a pocket-sized quick reference guide, and 365 days of updates and compliance support. The cost for the two-day workshops is $895/student. Group pricing is available.

More information on the workshop, presented nationwide, is available at Lion.com/ZeroLandfill.

Crushing Mercury Lamps: When Is It Acceptable? Posted on June 24, 2014 by James Griffin

The fluorescent lamps in offices and facilities across the US use mercury vapor for illumination. Under the US EPA’s RCRA regulations, wastes that contain elevated levels of leachable mercury compounds are hazardous waste. [40 CFR 261.24] When you discard the bulb from a tube or compact fluorescent lamp, you are discarding hazardous waste. Because nearly every office and business in the country generates this kind of waste (i.e., the wastes are generated universally), the Federal and every State EPA allow generators to manage these lamps under the universal waste rules. [40 CFR 273.5]

Most of the volume of a fluorescent lamp is empty space, filled with a thin mercury vapor. Crushing the lamps during storage saves space and is the first step of recycling. As long as the glass is contained and the vapors are recovered, crushing the lamps protects the environment.


The universal waste regulations allow generators to manage broken lamps along with whole ones. However, the EPA considers purposefully crushing lamps to be treatment of hazardous waste. [40 CFR 260.10] Generally, treating hazardous waste (even by simply physically reducing volume) requires a RCRA permit from the US or State EPA. [40 CFR 270.1] While the US EPA has permitted-by-rule some common activities (diverting to wastewater treatment unit, elementary neutralization, adding absorbents, disassembling mercury thermostats, etc.), it has not done so for crushing lamps.
[60 FR 25519, May 11, 1995]

While the US EPA does not permit universal waste handlers to crush lamps, the Agency has authorized several State programs that do permit this form of treatment when those State RCRA programs include methods to contain mercury vapors.
[64 FR 36477, July 6, 1999]

Which States Permit Lamp Crushing?

The following states permit universal waste handlers who meet certain conditions to crush universal waste lamps:


  • Colorado [6 CCR 1007-3, Section 273.13(e), 6 CCR 1007-3 Section 273.33(e)]
  • Florida [FAC 62-737.400(6)(b)]
  • Illinois [35 IAC 733.113(d)(3) or 35 IAC 733.133(d)(3)]
  • Massachusetts [310 CMR 30.1034(5) and 310 CMR 30.1044(5)]
  • Maryland [COMAR 26.13.10.15(B)(3) and 26.13.10.20(D)]
  • Montana [ARM 17.53.1303]
  • New Mexico [NMAC 20.4.1.1001(C)]
  • Tennessee [Rule 0400-12-01-.12(2)(d)(4), 0400-12-01-.12(3)(d)(4), and 0400-12-01-.12(8)]
  • Texas [30 TAC 335.261(e)]
  • Virginia [9 VAC 20-60-273(B)(3)(b)]

How Does Crushing Work?

While there is variation between different states’ RCRA rules, the following conditions usually apply when a universal waste handler crushes lamps/bulbs:


  • The handler must use a specially designed mechanical device to crush the lamps, accumulate the glass, and contain the mercury vapor.
  • The handler must crush the lamps in a final accumulation container.
  • The handler must crush the lamps in a controlled manner that prevents the release of mercury vapor or other contaminants to the environment.
  • The handler may need to recycle the captured mercury vapor and crushed glass or else manage the separated components as hazardous waste, if applicable
  • The handler must have and follow a written plan for operating and maintaining the crushing device.
  • The handler must ensure that all employees operating the crushing device are trained on the operating and maintenance plan.
  • In some cases, the State EPA requires handlers to notify or register with the agency before they begin crushing lamps. Massachusetts requires lamp crushers to obtain a Class A recycling permit, which, while more burdensome than a permit-by-rule used in other states, is less burdensome than a RCRA treatment permit.

Be advised: Even when the state allows crushing, not every recycler is set up to receive pre-crushed glass and mercury vapors. And because only some states allow bulb-crushing, interstate shipments for recycling can be complicated.

Nationwide Annual RCRA Training for Managers and Personnel

Be confident your site is in compliance with the latest RCRA hazardous waste rules! For annual training on the EPA’s core requirements for managing and storing hazardous waste on site, Lion presents the Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Workshop in cities nationwide.

Seeking new management strategies or recycling options to minimize waste and cut costs? The Advanced Hazardous Waste Management Workshop also covers the RCRA rules that generators must know, with an emphasis on strategies to streamline your operations, keep waste “out of the system” of RCRA, and treat waste on site without a RCRA permit.

Shipping Cryogenic Liquids Safely Posted on June 17, 2014 by Marc Kleinman

Cryogenic liquids (i.e., cryogens) have unique properties that create a very different set of concerns and requirements when compared to materials like flammable liquids, corrosives, and poisons. The majority of the differences focus on packaging. In this article, we will limit the discussion to smaller packages such as cylinders and Dewar flasks and not worry about bulk shipments or tanks.

Definition and Hazards

The US DOT defines a cryogenic liquid as a refrigerated liquefied gas having a boiling point below –90°C (–130°F) at 101.3 kPa (14.7 psia) absolute. [49 CFR 173.115(g)] In other words, at normal temperatures and pressures, cryogens are gases. When cooled and pressurized, they turn to liquid. All cryogens have two properties in common: they are kept extremely cold, and small amounts of liquid can expand into very large volumes of gas.


Prolonged exposure to cryogens can cause frostbite and severe damage to the lungs. At room temperature, some cryogens expand to over 600 times their liquid volume and can easily displace the oxygen in the room, creating an asphyxiation hazard. Liquid carbon monoxide is especially dangerous, because it rapidly expands if not properly maintained and thus creates a toxic environment. Due to the unique hazards these materials pose, shipments of cryogens are subject to the Hazardous Materials Regulations regardless of whether they meet the regulatory definition of a non-flammable, non-poisonous compressed gas.

Identifying and Naming Cryogenic Liquids

Cryogenic liquids, like all other hazardous gases, are assigned a Proper Shipping Name (PSN), an identification number, and a hazard division, but not a packing group. Cryogenic gases are typically assigned to Hazard Division 2.2, but some gases are flammable or poisonous or have an oxidizing subsidiary hazard. PSNs for cryogenic liquids are typically in the form of “GAS NAME, Refrigerated Liquid, (cryogenic liquid).” In addition to three “generic” (G) shipping names for flammable, oxidizing, and other miscellaneous gases, there are PSN entries in the Hazmat Table for the following cryogenic gases: air, carbon monoxide (North America only), ethylene, methane, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and the noble gases argon, helium, krypton, neon, and xenon.

Possible Packagings: What Is a Dewar Flask?

A Dewar flask is a type of packaging often compared to a Thermos (vacuum) jug. Created by James Dewar and patented by Thermos L.L.C., this two-layer container consists of a glass or metal bottle that holds the liquid and is surrounded by a sealed vacuum layer that extends the insulating capacity of the flask.

Shipping Cryogenic Liquids in Cylinders

As with any hazardous material, a package containing cryogens must be strong enough to survive a normal trip, be compatible with its contents, and handle the pressures and temperatures incident to transport. When shipping using cylinders, though, these requirements are only the beginning.


Additional requirements for cryogens include keeping the temperatures of the materials within the “design service temperature” of the packaging. When shipping a flammable cryogen liquid in a cylinder, the jacket covering the insulation on the cylinder must be made of steel. A valve or fitting made of aluminum with internal rubbing or abrading aluminum parts that may come in contact with oxygen in the cryogenic liquid form may not be installed on any cylinder used to transport oxygen, cryogenic liquid unless the parts are properly anodized to increase corrosion resistance.

It is critical to keep in mind the high pressure of the material in the cylinder. Each cylinder must be provided with one or more pressure relief devices, which must be installed and maintained in compliance with 49 CFR. Each cylinder containing a cryogenic liquid must have a pressure control system designed and installed so that it will prevent the cylinder from becoming liquid full. A cryogen release, especially of a flammable cryogen like methane, could be catastrophic.

Venting

When certain criteria are met, the US DOT allows shippers to vent packages in order to reduce pressure during transit. Per 49 CFR 173.24:

“Venting of packagings, to reduce internal pressure which may develop by the evolution of gas from the contents, is permitted only when-
(1) Except for shipments of cryogenic liquids as specified in §173.320(c) and of [dry ice], transportation by aircraft is not involved.”

Also, the shipper must ensure that the outage and filling limits were not exceeded when preparing the package for shipping. For cylinders, these limits are found in 49 CFR 173.301 through 173.306.

Orientation Arrows for “Open Cryogenic Receptacles”

Unlike toxic, flammable, or compressed gases, orientation markings (i.e., up arrows) are required for “open cryogenic receptacle intended for the transport of refrigerated liquefied gases.” [49 CFR 172.312]

Special Provisions (49 CFR 172.102)

The requirements for shipping any cryogen include tank special provisions the shipper must check to ensure correct package selection. These special provisions cover standards like pressure relief devices and operating temperatures.

For liquid nitrogen shippers, two special provisions exist that may be very helpful in simplifying the shipping process.

Special Provision SP 345 states: “Nitrogen, refrigerated liquid (cryogenic liquid), UN1977 transported in open cryogenic receptacles with a maximum capacity of 1 L are not subject to the requirements of this subchapter. The receptacles must be constructed with glass double walls having the space between the walls vacuum insulated and each receptacle must be transported in an outer packaging with sufficient cushioning and absorbent materials to protect the receptacle from damage.”

Special Provision SP 346 states: “Nitrogen, refrigerated liquid (cryogenic liquid), UN1977 transported in accordance with the requirements for open cryogenic receptacles in §173.320 and this special provision are not subject to any other requirements of this subchapter. The receptacle must contain no hazardous materials other than the liquid nitrogen which must be fully absorbed in a porous material in the receptacle.”

Cryogenic Liquids Exceptions and Reliefs

When shipped by ground at relatively low pressure, some cryogens may qualify for exceptions from the US DOT’s hazardous materials shipping requirements. Specifically, 49 CFR 173.320 refers to atmospheric gases and helium, cryogenic liquids, shipped in Dewar flasks, insulated cylinders, insulated portable tanks, insulated cargo tanks, and insulated tank cars.

Because the hazards posed by cryogens are so great given their potential to expand rapidly, the high pressure involved, and the temperature controls needed for stability, attention to detail is critical for shippers when preparing these materials for transport. Mishandling or incorrectly packaging these shipments can lead not only to fines as high as $75,000 per day, per violation, but to catastrophic incidents in transit. By following the detailed, exacting standards for these materials, shippers can keep their supply chain moving smoothly and safely.

Expert Hazmat Shipper Training

Update your hazmat ground, air, and ocean shipping certifications with Lion Technology’s Complete Multimodal Training Workshops. The complete 4-day program covers everything shipping managers need to know to ensure shipments are classified, named, packaged, marked, labeled, loaded, unloaded, and documented in line with the latest 49 CFR, IATA, and IMO requirements. The US DOT’s requires hazmat shipping employees to be trained once every three years (49 CFR 172.704), and IATA requires air shipping employees to be trained once every 24 months (IATA 1.5).

IATA Issues Addendum II to 55th Edition DGR Posted on June 13, 2014 by James Griffin

On June 6, 2014, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) published the second addendum to its 55th Edition (2014) Dangerous Goods Regulations. Compliance with the 55th Edition DGR has been mandatory since January 1 of this year. Below is a summary of some of the revisions made in this Addendum, the full text of which is available here.

For US-based hazmat shippers, the following amendments to the DGR may be significant:


  • State Variation USG-04 for environmentally hazardous substances updated to match the terms and conditions of 49 CFR 172.101, Appendix A.
  • State Variation USG-05 for explosives updated to include the US Department of Transportation’s new policies for consumer fireworks.
  • State Variation USG-12 for emergency response telephone numbers updated to conform to the terms and conditions of 49 CFR 172.604.
  • The IATA DGR Emergency Response Guide (ERG) code for all lithium-ion battery shipments has been changed to “9F” from “9FZ.”

View the full second addendum to the 55th Edition Dangerous Goods Regulations.

IATA released its first addendum to the 55th Edition DGR back in December 2013. Information on Addendum I can be found here and the full
addendum can be found on IATA’s website.

Ensure compliance by keeping up to date on the latest hazmat air shipping rules—including Addenda I and II to the 55th edition IATA Dangerous Good Regulations—at the upcoming
Hazardous Materials Air Shipper Certification Workshops, presented in cities nationwide.

Annual PCB Documentation Deadline Posted on June 10, 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. In previous editions, we addressed Tier I and Tier II chemical inventory reports, annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting under the Clean Air Act, and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) disclosures required under EPCRA.


At facilities that use or store items that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the management standards at 40 CFR 761 require employers to document their previous year’s PCB-related storage, shipping, and disposal activities each year before July 1. While employers are not required to submit this documentation to any Federal or State agency, the records must be available for inspection by authorized EPA representatives during normal business hours. [40 CFR 761, Subpart J, "General Records and Reports"]

Facilities With PCBs and PCB Items in Service or Projected for Disposal

PCB items are defined as “any PCB Article, PCB Article Container, PCB Container, PCB Equipment, or anything that deliberately or unintentionally contains or has as a part of it any PCB or PCBs.” [40 CFR 761.3]

Documentation is required for any facility using or storing at any one time:


  • At least 45 kilograms in such PCB items;
  • One or more PCB transformers; or
  • Fifty or more PCB large high- or low-voltage capacitors.

These facilities must keep two types of documentation: the Annual Records and the Written Annual Document Log.


Annual Records

The Annual Record must include:


  • All signed manifests generated by the facility during the calendar year;
  • All Certificates of Disposal received by the facility during the calendar year; and
  • Records of inspections and cleanups performed in accordance with 40 CFR 761.65(c)(5).

Written Annual Document Log

The written annual document log must include:


  • The name, address, and EPA identification number of the facility;
  • The calendar year covered by the document log;
  • The unique manifest number of every manifest generated by the facility during the calendar year and certain details from each manifest, including data on identification, weight, and dates of removal from service, transport off site, and disposal (if known);
  • The total number by type of PCB articles/containers and total weight in kilograms of PCBs in articles/containers placed into storage for disposal or disposed of in the calendar year;
  • The total weight in kg of any PCBs and PCB items remaining in service at the end of the calendar year;
  • Total number of PCB transformers and capacitors, along with the total weight of PCBs therein, remaining in service at the end of the calendar year;
  • Record of all phone calls made to confirm receipt of PCB waste transported by independent transporter; and
  • If PCB items with concentrations of 50 ppm or greater are distributed in commerce for reuse, identification and contact information for the item and the person it was distributed to (along with date of transfer and serial numbers).

Others Who Must Document

In addition to the above, the following facilities that use, store, or dispose of PCBs must also complete the annual documentation requirements:


  • Disposers and commercial storers of PCB waste;
  • Incineration facilities;
  • Chemical waste landfill facilities; and
  • High-efficiency boiler facilities.

Lastly, PCB storage or disposal facilities must collect and maintain all documents, correspondence, and data provided by or to any State or local government agency that pertain to the storage or disposal of PCBs at the facility. This includes copies of any applications and related correspondence in regard to wastewater discharge permits, solid waste permits, building permits, or any other permits or authorizations.

The annual records and written document logs described above must be kept for at least three years after the facility ceases using or storing PCBs and PCB items.

Are you the go-to person for all things EHS at your facility? Understanding the air, water, and chemical regulations that apply to your facility will help you communicate clearly and confidently with your organization and better defend your business against costly fines, penalties, and future liability. Lion’s Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is presented nationwide and covers the critical elements of the major EPA programs that affect industrial facilities every day.

One Year Left to Update Safety Data Sheets Posted on June 03, 2014 by Joel Gregier

It’s been just over two years since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its Hazard Communication Standard with new GHS rules.

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) created new requirements for classifying, labeling, and creating Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for hazardous chemicals in the workplace. To give manufacturers a chance to update this information and train employees on the new Standard, OSHA instituted a transition period of about three years.

The first GHS-related deadline for employers passed on December 1, 2013, and concerned employee training. OSHA required all covered employers to train their employees on the new elements of the HazCom Standard before that date.

Another important part of GHS implementation is updating existing Material Safety Data Sheets to conform to a new format. OSHA now refers to this documentation as a Safety Data Sheet, or SDS. The deadline for updating SDSs is June 1, 2015. That means that those who have not updated their SDSs will have about one year to get in compliance with the GHS requirements. [29 CFR 1910.1200(j)(2)]


Onsite Group Training

New SDS Requirements

Despite the change in name, SDSs still require the same kind of information as they did before OSHA adopted the GHS standards. However, SDSs now have a mandatory 16-section format, and many of these sections may require more information than before. Twelve of these sixteen sections are mandatory, while four of the sections will not be enforced since they go beyond the scope of OSHA’s authority. [29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(2)]

The required elements for each of the SDS sections can be found in Appendix D to the Hazard Communication Standard.

Who Must Update the SDSs?

Typically, chemical manufacturers will be the ones who update SDSs. Importers may also have to update these documents if their imported chemicals’ SDSs do not conform to the new HazCom Standard. [29 CFR 1910.120(g)(6)]

Manufacturers and importers are required to provide SDSs to employers and distributors with the initial shipment of a chemical or with the first shipment after an SDS has been updated. Thus, once a manufacturer updates an SDS to meet GHS standards, future shipments to purchasers would need a copy of the updated SDS. Manufacturers can either provide these forms with the shipped containers themselves or send them prior to the shipment (e.g., fax or e-mail a form beforehand).

Manufacturers and importers are also required to provide SDSs upon request.

SDS Recordkeeping Requirements for Employers

Employers are required to maintain copies of SDSs on site for each hazardous chemical that their employees could come in contact with. [29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(8)]

Theoretically, employers should be receiving updated SDSs automatically as manufacturers send new shipments. However, if an SDS is not provided with a shipment labeled as hazardous, the employer should obtain one from the manufacturer or importer as soon as possible. [29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(6)(iii)]

If employers never receive a new shipment of a particular hazardous chemical they work with, they can keep the old MSDS on file for that chemical. However, it may be a good management practice to request an updated SDS anyway.

For employers who must train new employees on OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication Standard or provide update training to experienced workers, Lion offers the Hazard Communication Online Course. Now updated to cover new hazard criteria, GHS marks and labels, and the Safety Data Sheet format, the online course is available 24/7 so employees can fit training into their work schedules.

For hazardous materials shippers concerned with how new GHS hazard marks, labels, and classification will affect their legal responsibilities under 49 CFR, Lion will present the live, instructor-led GHS Compliance for Hazmat Shippers Webinar on June 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. ET.

New Clean Water Act Rulemaking Affects NPDES Permit Program Posted on May 28, 2014 by Anthony R. Cardno

On May 19, 2014, EPA signed a final rule establishing requirements for cooling water intake structures (CWIS) at certain existing facilities. The new rule also amends some requirements for facilities already subject to regulation for their cooling water intake structures. EPA has made available a pre-publication version of the rule until the rule is published in the Federal Register.

These new and amended requirements will be implemented under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. While NPDES permitting is focused on discharges to waters of the United States, Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act also “require[s] that the location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse environmental impact.”

Who Is Subject to the New Rule?

The new rule largely focuses on existing power-generating facilities and existing manufacturing and industrial facilities (including, but not limited to, petroleum refineries; chemical manufacturing plants; pulp and paper mills; iron, steel, and aluminum manufacturing; and food processing) with cooling water intake structures that are designed to:


  • Withdraw more than 2 million gallons of water per day (mgd) from waters of the United States, and
  • Use at least 25 percent of that water exclusively for cooling purposes.

Facilities with cooling water intake structures that do not meet the 2 mgd threshold may also be subject to permitting on a case-by-case basis as determined by the NPDES Permit Director using Best Professional Judgement (BPJ).

An existing facility is any facility that does not meet the definition of “new facility” in 40 CFR 125.83. That regulation defines a “new facility” as any facility that meets the definition of “new source” [40 CFR 122.2], which commenced construction after January 17, 2002 and which uses either a newly constructed CWIS or has increased the capacity of an existing CWIS to intake additional cooling water.

Cooling Water Intake Structures

The new rule defines a cooling water intake structure as “the total physical structure and any associated constructed waterways used to withdraw cooling water from waters of the United States. The cooling water intake structure extends from the point at which water is first withdrawn from waters of the United States source up to, and including, the intake pumps.”

The new rule also defines cooling water as “water used for contact or noncontact cooling, including water used for equipment cooling, evaporative cooling tower makeup, and dilution of effluent heat content” and clarifies that cooling water is water intended to absorb waste heat.

Purpose of the Rule

The focus of the new rule is on reducing the effects of impingement and entrainment on fish populations in particular and the water body’s ecosystem in general.


  • Impingement means the entrapment of all life stages of fish and shellfish on the outer part of an intake structure or against a screening device during periods of intake water withdrawal.
  • Entrainment means the incorporation of all life stages of fish and shellfish with intake water flow entering and passing through a cooling water intake structure and into a cooling water system.

Requirements

The new requirements apply to the location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures at covered facilities, including:


  • Best Technology Available (BTA) to address impingement, which includes a national performance standard along with six alternatives that are equivalent to or better than the performance standard;
  • Site-specific determinations of BTA to mitigate entrainment, and
  • BTA standards for new units at existing facilities similar to the rules for new facilities found in 40 CFR 125, Subpart I.

The new rule for NPDES permits for cooling water intake structures will be effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Training for Current and Future EHS Experts at Your Site

Feel confident that you’re up to date with the latest water, air, and chemical programs that affect your facility. Knowing your legal obligations under the EPA’s major regulations is critical—missing even one environmental mandate can lead to costly fines and penalties, releases, and future liability. The hands-on Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is designed for both new and experienced EHS professionals. Interaction with other EHS professionals from your area and real-world exercises help you understand how these complex sets of laws and regulations apply to your facility—and how to make the right decisions for your business.

EPA Moves Forward with e-Manifest Standards Posted on May 27, 2014 by Won Bae

On February 7, 2014, the US EPA established a new set of rules (79 FR 7518) for the e-manifest system. This system is meant to provide an alternative method of tracking hazardous waste shipments from generators to treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs). While the EPA has a long-term goal of tracking hazardous waste electronically, the e-manifest system will coexist with paper manifests for years to come. Today, the e-manifest rule is still in its infancy since there are parts of how this new rule would be implemented that remain unfinished.

Although the new rule is effective starting August 6, 2014, the use of the e-manifest will not be permissible until the EPA actually creates the IT system for it. The system is still under construction, and the date of finalization has not been determined. Once determined, there are just a few conditions that would have to be met in order for the system to work. However, having a working e-manifest system in place won’t mean that paper documents will go away.


Meeting DOT (49 CFR) Shipping Papers Requirements

In order to make use of the e-manifest, all waste handlers, that is, the generator, transporter, and TSDF, would need to participate in the e-manifest system. However, the generator would still need to provide a paper copy of the manifest to the initial transporter of the hazardous waste. In other words, the DOT will not recognize the electronic copy of the manifest to be the sole shipping paper.

e-Manifest’s Effect on Other RCRA Requirements

The e-Manifest rulemaking will not impact other reporting and recordkeeping requirements under RCRA. LDR notices and certifications, exception reports, export acknowledgements, discrepancy reports, and notifications of waste activity will continue to be recorded and submitted on paper documents for the foreseeable future.

Electronic Signatures on e-Manifests

Since the e-manifest IT system has yet to be created, another aspect of the e-manifest that remains uncertain is the requirement of an “electronic signature.” The February 7 rulemaking states that an electronic signature will be required to authorize the transfer of hazardous wastes from one handler to the next. The EPA stated in the proposed rule’s preamble that the signature validation method will be governed by the definition of “valid signature” under the Agency’s Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Regulation at 40 CFR 3.

Using the e-Manifest for State Hazardous Waste

When the generator’s state or the destination state of a hazardous waste shipment requires the use of the manifest, generators may use the e-manifest system as long as all the waste handlers are participating in the e-manifest system. Waste handlers have to keep in mind that users of the e-manifest system may opt out and return to the original paper system at any time.

Finally, the EPA plans to establish a fee system for persons using the e-manifest. The actual fee structure has yet to be established. Future rulemakings are on the horizon, but until then, some elements of the new system remain unclear.

Renew your RCRA certification for 2014 at the Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Workshop. The interactive two-day workshop covers the rules for managing and storing waste on site, manifesting, and more. Be confident that you and your team are prepared to meet your legal responsibilities to prevent accidental releases, fines as high as $37,500 per violation, and future liability under CERCLA. The US EPA requires training annually for hazardous waste personnel. [40 CFR 262.34(a) and 265.16]

Don’t Get Burned: Shipping Elevated-temperature Materials Posted on May 20, 2014 by Lion Staff

Don't Get Burned Shipping Elevated-temperature Materials

In the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), the US DOT sets specific requirements for elevated-temperature materials. Simply put, these are materials shipped at high temperatures. Common examples of elevated-temperature materials include asphalt and roofing tar.

While these materials are generally shipped the same way as other hazmat, a few additional requirements apply. Knowing the rules for these materials is critical to ensure your shipments comply with the HMR and will reach your customers safely and on time.

Classifying Elevated-temperature Materials

Defined by the US DOT at 49 CFR 171.8, an elevated-temperature material is a material "which, when offered for transportation or transported in a bulk packaging:

  1. Is in a liquid phase and at a temperature at or above 100°C (212°F);
  2. Is in a liquid phase with a flash point at or above 38°C (100°F) that is intentionally heated and offered for transportation or transported at or above its flash point; or
  3. Is in a solid phase at a temperature at or above 240°C (464°F)."

Unique Marking and Labeling Requirements

Additional communication requirements apply to elevated-temperature materials as well. Each bulk packaging containing material must be marked on two or four sides with the word "HOT." There are two options for displaying this marking:

  • Either display the word "HOT" in the center of an otherwise blank placard-sized marking; or
  • Display the word "HOT" in the upper third of a white square-on-point device that also displays the identification number of the hazmat. [49 CFR 172.325]



The markings must be displayed in association with the usual hazard placards.

Shipping Paper Requirements

In addition to communication requirements for bulk packages, the word "HOT" must also appear on shipping papers. It must immediately precede the Proper Shipping Name, unless the words "elevated temperature" are already included in the Proper Shipping Name. [49 CFR 172.203(n)]

Update your hazmat ground, air, and ocean shipping certifications with Lion Technology's Complete Multimodal Training Workshops. The complete four-day program covers everything shipping managers need to know to ensure shipments are classified, named, packaged, marked, labeled, loaded, unloaded, and documented in line with the latest 49 CFR, IATA, and IMO requirements.

EPA Guidelines for Pesticide Use Posted on May 13, 2014 by Anthony R. Cardno

At facilities where pesticides are used, personnel who use them must follow specific EPA regulations. Improper use of pesticides can lead to costly EPA fines, remediation, and cleanup. Facilities that employ contractors to do landscaping or exterminating on the property should ensure that all contractors have the applicable certifications and knowledge to use pesticides correctly.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates all forms of pesticides from the point of manufacture until disposal. This “cradle-to-grave” management system includes registration of individual active ingredients and “pesticide products.” The EPA defines a pesticide product as “a pesticide in the particular form (including composition, packaging and labeling) in which the pesticide is, or is intended to be, distributed or sold.” [40 CFR 152.3]

The EPA divides pesticides into four broad categories, each with different regulatory requirements that pesticide end users must follow.


Banned Pesticides

“Banned” pesticides are those for which all uses have been prohibited by EPA final government action or for which no requests for registrations have been granted. It is illegal to possess or use banned pesticides within the United States. While the EPA does not maintain a list of banned pesticides on its website, the Agency does have a page discussing the Prior Informed Consent international protocol on banned pesticides.

General-Use Pesticides

At the opposite end of the spectrum are general-use pesticides—those that can be purchased in any hardware store or supermarket. General-use pesticides are intended, and approved, for use by the general public. General-use pesticides must meet minimum packaging and labeling requirements, including:


  • Child-resistant packaging (defined in 40 CFR 157.21 as “designed and constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open . . . within a reasonable time, and that is not difficult for normal adults to use properly”)
  • Clearly legible, conspicuously placed English language labeling in 6-point type or larger that includes:
    • Names, brands, trademarks;
    • Net contents and ingredients statements;
    • Product and producing establishment registration numbers;
    • Appropriate warnings and precautionary statements;
    • Applicable use classifications; and
    • Directions for use (including prohibited uses).

FIFRA Section 112(a)(2)(G) makes it illegal to use any pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling, which means that even though end users do not need to be trained in the pesticide’s use, they must still pay attention to the directions on the packaging. Misuse of a general-use pesticide can still result in civil fines or jail time.


Restricted-Use and Severly Restricted-Use Pesticides

A restricted-use pesticide is defined as “a pesticide that is classified for restricted use under the provisions of Section 3(d)(1)(C)” of FIFRA. [40 CFR 171.2] Severely restricted-use pesticides are those for which virtually all registered uses have been prohibited by final government regulatory action, but for which certain specific registered uses remain authorized. In other words, a severely restricted-use pesticide is just a step or two away from being banned.

EPA has a list of restricted-use pesticides, by active ingredient, formulation, and use pattern.

Certifications for Pesticide Users

End users who wish to use restricted-use or severely restricted-use pesticides must be certified applicators or under the supervision of a certified applicator. Pesticide applicators are certified in given categories rather than in the use of specific pesticides. The current Federal categories of certification include:


  • Agricultural pest control;
  • Forest pest control;
  • Ornamental and turf pest control;
  • Plant seed treatment;
  • Aquatic pest control;
  • Right-of-way pest control;
  • Industrial, institutional, structural, and health-related pest control;
  • Public health pest control;
  • Regulatory pest control; and
  • Research and demonstration pest control.

The details of the certification process, including requirements for recertification, vary from state to state and category to category. At a minimum, all certification programs must include completing certification forms, a written exam of pesticide knowledge, and performance testing.

The EPA does not maintain a list of state-level certification programs on its website, but the Agency does direct interested parties to a list of certifying officials.

Build Your EHS Management Credentials

Are you the go-to person for all things EHS at your facility? Understanding the air, water, and chemical regulations that apply to your facility will help you communicate clearly and confidently with your organization and better defend your business against costly fines, penalties, and future liability. Lion’s Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is presented nationwide and covers the critical elements of the major EPA programs that affect industrial facilities every day.

Fighting Fire in the Workplace Posted on May 06, 2014 by James Griffin

OSHA’s fire extinguisher standard sets specific standards for the use, maintenance, and testing of these devices, as well as requirements for training employees who may be called on to use a fire extinguisher in an emergency. When deciding what role fire extinguishers will play in their facility’s safety plan, employers have four options:


  • Not provide them at all.
  • Provide extinguishers, but for use by outside emergency responders, not for use by employees.
  • Provide extinguishers, for use by certain designated employees only.
  • Provide extinguishers, for use by any employee.

         [29 CFR 1910.157]

When weighing these options, employers should consider the regulatory requirements involved with each choice.


Onsite Group Training

Fire Extinguishers Not Provided

When fire extinguishers aren’t present, the employer must have a written safety policy that requires a complete and total evacuation of the facility upon hearing a fire alarm. [29 CFR 1910.157(b)(1)] This written safety policy is in addition to an emergency action plan [29 CFR 1910.38] and a fire prevention plan [29 CFR 1910.39]. This first option isn’t always available, as several OSHA standards require the presence of fire extinguishers. [See 29 CFR 1910.109 for Explosives & Blasting Agents or 1910.125 for certain dipping and coating operations.] Local fire
and building safety codes also often require the presence of fire extinguishers.

Extinguishers for Outside Emergency Responders

When fire extinguishers are provided, but not for employee use, the employer must ensure that the provided extinguishers are regularly inspected, maintained, and tested. [29 CFR 1910.157(e)] This means a monthly visual inspection and annual maintenance that may require hydrostatic testing. [29 CFR 1910.157(f)] The employer is not required to train employees in the use of the fire extinguishers.

Extinguishers for Use by Some or All Employees

Whether the employer directs all employees to use fire extinguishers or only certain employees, they must provide education and training to those employees authorized to use fire extinguishers. [29 CFR 1910.157(g)] The education does not require formal classroom instruction, but the training portion must include hands-on time operating the fire extinguisher(s).

Fire extinguishers can be a vital tool to protect employee safety. Whether or not employers provide these devices in the workplace, businesses must be prepared to meet their responsibilities under OSHA’s fire extinguisher standard. Providing effective training for employees who will use a fire extinguisher is critical to ensure the device is used correctly to prevent injury and property damage.

For employees designated to use portable fire extinguishers in the workplace, Lion Technology offers the convenient, 24/7 Fire Extinguisher Safety Online Course. Designed to satisfy OSHA’s fire protection standard training requirement at 29 CFR 1910.157, the streamlined 45-minute course covers OSHA’s requirements for selecting the right extinguisher, inspecting and maintaining the device, testing it, and using it in an emergency.