OSHA / DOT / Homeland Security Onsite Training
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
On January 30, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSH Act) into law. Foremost among the reasons for passage of the Act was the preponderance of evidence that the workplace in U.S. industry was not only hazardous but also costly in lost time from work because of illness and injury. Housed within the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates and enforces workplace safety and health laws, officially referred to as “standards.”
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard now mandates Industry’s conformance with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS).
In conforming to GHS, Industry must fulfill OSHA’s ‘Hazard Classification Mandate’ (or Chemical Hazard Evaluation) to train all employees on their exposure to chemical hazards in the workplace, including carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens. This is the essence of HazCom.
Industry is mandated by OSHA to follow the new GHS system for labeling containers, featuring pictograms and signal words for packaging and shipping; and
The terminology, ‘Material Safety Data Sheet’ has been changed to just ‘Safety Data Sheet (SDSs)’, which requires the new 16-point format for uniformity of chemical classification & labeling worldwide. All MSDSs were to be modified to the new SDS system by June 1, 2015. The ultimate deadline for 100% SDS compliance with GHS was June 1, 2016.
Below are some important deadlines for Industry to note. Employees must be trained to the new standards and label their containers with GHS-compliant labels. Industry must comply with these deadlines by upgrading their OSHA compliance programs to meet the bar raised by OSHA’s adoption of GHS. OSHA inspectors generally expect that workplace compliance programs, including employee training, are no more than one year old. Thus, annual compliance with all standards is the safest policy for employers to follow.
December 1, 2013 was the deadline for training employees on new label elements and the 16-point SDS format. June 1, 2015 was the deadline for compliance with all modified provisions of OSHA’s final rule, including conformance with the Globally Harmonized System. Past December 1, 2015, distributors are not allowed to ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it has a GHS-compliant label. June 1, 2016 was assigned as the deadline for updating alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication programs, as necessary and any additional employee training for newly-identified physical or health hazards.
It is important to note that the United Nations revises the GHS every two years, meaning OSHA will expect Industry to continually update and upgrade their safety and health compliance programs in the workplace in order to keep pace with regulatory compliance mandates nationwide and worldwide.
On August 14, 2017, the United Nations has formally published Revision 7 of its Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS). Revision 7 features several important updates, including:
Revised criteria for categorization of flammable gases within Category 1
Amendments intended to clarify the definitions of some health hazard classes
Additional guidance to extend the coverage of section 14 of safety data sheets to all bulk cargoes transported under instruments of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), regardless of their physical state
Revised and further rationalized precautionary statements in Annex 3
A new example in Annex 7 addressing labelling of small packages with fold-out labels This revision is of particular significance as OSHA has recently communicated its intent to update the HazCom 2012 standard to align with the GHS Revision 7. In particular, OSHA indicated it was considering modifications to Appendix A (Health Hazard Criteria), Appendix C (Label Elements), and Appendix D (SDS Requirements). OSHA expressed interest in moving forward as quickly as the administrative regulatory processes would allow.
Link to GHS Revision 7 (United Nations Economic Commision for Europe)
OSHA’s Blockbuster on Training in the Workplace. A link is provided here for OSHA’s 270-page guide on the Agency’s “Training Requirements in OSHA Standards.”
Hazard Communication Training (aka Employee Right-to-Understand)
OSHA's HazCom Standard is driven by one overriding philosophy: it is the responsibility of the employer to communicate chemical hazards in the workplace to all employees. "HazCom" must have two essential, interlinking elements for good standing on OSHA’s HazCom Standard:(Click here for a video on OSHA’s Hazard Communication Training regulation)
It must fulfill what OSHA describes as the Hazard Classification Mandate in order to evaluate all chemical hazards within the workplace for qualitative data, which provides employees with an understanding of adverse exposures on the job; A site-specific Hazard Communication (HazCom) employee training program in the workplace is mandated by law.
The only way to make a HazCom Program site-specific is to conduct the hazard classification/evaluation on a regular basis. All chemical hazards must be determined relative to the physical and health hazards associated with employee exposure in the workplace. OSHA's compliance requirements for an effective 365-day-a-year Hazard Communication Program are founded in the five major components listed below.
OSHA-mandated “Hazard Classification/Evaluation” for all chemical hazards, including carcinogens; Written HazCom Program, with conformance to GHS; Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), adapted to 16-point GHS system; Container Labeling, especially compliant to new GHS regulations; Employee Information & Training (Onsite & Site-Specific).
An effective and compliance HazCom program will encompass the OSHA-mandated “Hazard Classification/Evaluation” for all chemical hazards, including carcinogens; Written HazCom Program, with Conformance to GHS directives; Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), adapted to 16-point GHS system; GHS-Compliant Container Labeling; Employee Information & Training (Onsite & Site-Specific); and Administrative Records to track all participants being trained, plus the dates trained.
OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment whose unexpected energization, start up, or release of stored energy could cause injury or death to employees. OSHA requires employers to establish a written program, site-specific procedures, minimum performance standards for affixing appropriate lockout and/or tagout attachments to energy isolating devices and to otherwise disable machines or equipment from unexpected release of hazardous energy in order to prevent accidents in the workplace. Here, OSHA focuses on the machine-specific "Control of Hazardous Energy" through the implementation of Lockout/Tagout procedures with subsequent emphasis on employee instruction. In other words, the concentration is on machinery lock and tag procedures which then must be followed by relevant training of appropriate employees in terms of “authorized” employees (those that actually perform maintenance and repair on machinery), “affected” employees (those who actually operate that machinery in the workplace) and “other” employees. Employee instruction shall include Administrative Records to track all participants being trained, plus the dates they are trained.
Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled. This page contains general information on the various hazards of mechanical motion and techniques for protecting workers.
Machine guarding hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for agriculture, general industry, maritime, and construction.
Provides references that may aid in recognizing hazards from ineffective machine guarding.
Click on link to OSHA standards regarding machine-guarding, as well as aids to recognizing machine-guarding hazards.(OSHA standards regarding machine-guarding)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response
- o Mandatory Cleanups at Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites; and
- o Voluntary Cleanups at Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites. A “hazardous waste site” is commonly understood to be a facility in which hazardous waste is generated as a part of its operations. The other three groups are associated with RCRA "Treatment, Storage, Disposal Facilities,” typically known as TSDFs.
The EPA and OSHA employee protection standards for HAZWOPER apply to five groups of workers, two of which fit mainstream industry in the manufacturing sector. These two are called:
Unlike HazCom Training, where all employees are to be trained about hazardous chemicals in the workplace, HAZWOPER applies only to employees who have the potential to be exposed to the release of hazardous substances. HAZWOPER contains general and specific requirements for health and safety programs, site characterization and analysis, site control, emergency response team training, medical surveillance, engineering controls and work practices, personal protective equipment, heat stress and cold exposure monitoring, informational programs, handling drums and chemical containers, hazardous waste/material handling, decontamination and emergency procedures for catastrophic events.
To further highlight the challenges, spills of hazardous waste always pose a significant threat to employees and adverse impact to the environment. Hazardous waste is a serious safety and health problem that continues to endanger people, animal life and environmental quality. Hazardous waste – discarded chemicals that are toxic, flammable, or corrosive – can cause injury, illness, fires, explosions and environmental pollution. Unless hazardous waste is properly treated, stored, or disposed of, it will continue to do great harm to all living things that come into contact with it now or in the future. It is because of the seriousness of safety and health hazards related to hazardous waste operations that OSHA issued its HAZWOPER Standard, specifically developed to protect employees in the workplace and to help them handle hazardous wastes safely and effectively.
Specifically, HAZWOPER Training for industrial settings require a 24-hour inaugural training function, to be followed by an 8-hour “refresher” training annually thereafter. When turnover of personnel assigned to an organization’s HAZWOPER Team occurs, consideration must be given to reinstating the 24-hour training event before continuing the “refresher” phase of HAZWOPER Training.
Industrial Hygiene (IH)
IH mandates include Noise Monitoring, Hearing Conservation, Indoor Air Monitoring/Quality, Respiratory Protection, Confined Space, Personal Protective Equipment, Accident/Incident Investigation & Recordkeeping, Bloodborne Pathogens, Pandemics, Infectious Agents, Heat Stress, Fire Prevention/Emergency Action Plan, Exposure Compliance Programs for the 40 Chemicals having their own OSHA Standards, Laboratory Safety/Chemical Hygiene, Fall Protection, Ergonomics, Sick Building Syndrome, RCRA Hazwaste-related issues and more. Here are some evaluative questions to review for potential need of IH compliance services:
Noise / Hearing Protection>
- Has the company performed noise level monitoring to ensure all operations are not exceeding the 85 decibel action level?
- Does the company have high noise level areas or operations?
- Does the company have a Hearing Conservation Program, written program and annual audiometric testing provided for its employees?
Respirators and Air Monitoring
- Has air monitoring been done by a qualified IH to determine whether respirators are needed?
- If respirators are required, has air monitoring been done to ensure the correct respirators are being used for the contaminant concentrations?
- Does the company use respirators, including dust masks?
- Are respirators required or provided as optional by the company?
- Is there a written respiratory protection program?
- Are medical evaluations and approval given before respirators are assigned to employees?
- If air supplied respirators are used, is the supplied air tested for Grade D Quality?
- Have new chemicals, products, operations, or processes been added since the testing?
- Is all testing documented and on file for inspection by an OSHA IH inspector?
- Are products containing any of the chemicals having their own OSHA Standards being used at the facility (crystalline silica, methylene chloride, lead, cadmium, inorganic arsenic, etc.)?
Confined Space Permit and Rescue
- Has an evaluation for permit-required confined spaces been completed and documented?
- If confined spaces have been identified for employee entry, is there a written confined space entry program?
- Is training being done and documented?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Has a PPE hazard assessment been conducted at the facility?
- Is written documentation providing date, person conducting evaluation and results on file?
- Has PPE training been conducted and documented?
Process Safety Management (PSM)
Effective May 26, 1992, OSHA mandated its Process Safety Management (PSM) standard aimed at protecting millions of employees in the workplace at nearly 100,000 facilities against toxic, flammable and reactive chemical hazards "used, stored, manufactured, or transported onsite" in conjunction with processes, machinery, equipment, or activities.
Affected facilities were to conduct Process Hazard Analyses (PHA’s) of at least 25% of their affected processes by May 26, 1994. At least an additional 25% of the analyses were to be completed each successive year by the annual deadline so that employers would have evaluated every affected process and implemented safety measures within five years of the original effective date in 1992. The ultimate deadline, therefore, was May 26, 1997.
Basically, the standard mandates employee participation in PSM programs and sets requirements stemming from 14 elements, including:
- written operating procedures
- employee training
- pre-startup reviews
- equipment maintenance
- written procedures for managing process change
- "hot work" permit
- emergency action plans
- compliance audits
- incident investigation involving releases or near releases of covered chemicals
OSHA chose the list of 130 Highly Hazardous Substances in which coverage is triggered if any specified Threshold Quantities (TQ’s) are being used in a single process at one point in time (not aggregated over a period of time as in Sec. 313 of SARA Title III); or coverage is also triggered by any other toxic or flammable substance in excess of 10,000 lbs. when connected to a process. A "process" is defined to mean any activity involving a highly hazardous substance inclusive of any use, storage, manufacturing, or onsite movement. Also, included as a single process, is any group of vessels which are interconnected and separate vessels which are located such that the chemical could be released.
Important Note: For optimum and accurate results, PSM should be performed in conjunction with EPA's Risk Management Program for Chemical Accidental Release Prevention, as both programs were planned by Federal OSHA and EPA authorities to be meshed or intertwined for implementation.
Mechanical Integrity Relative to Process Safety Management
Pursuant to OSHA's PSM, it is highly probable that a facility may need to engage in a program of Mechanical Integrity (MI) in order to support the efficacy of its ongoing PSM program and related compliance directives from the Federal Government. MI is a companion program to its PSM service, but yet separate in its own scope, objectives and work structure. MI can be defined as the ongoing study, maintenance, management and anticipated replacement of plant equipment – as well as adequacy and fitness for service – (including pressure vessels, tanks, pumps, relief devices, heat exchangers, piping, etc.), as it is used to process, store, or handle a chemical substance at any point in time connected to the process. Understandably, a facility may have one or more processes under the definition above, for which PSM and MI are concurrently required. While the above MI definition aligns with PSM regulations, this does not preclude the possibility that the client may wish to engage in some form of MI to increase reliability of systems or piping, even though some of the factors relative to the above regulatory compliance definition may not actually exist. MI changes the maintenance and reliability theme from reactive to proactive. Downtime is decreased and becomes a scheduled event. Scope of repairs is based on condition/risk criteria, not a fix/crisis event of chaos.
OSHA “44” Stand-Alone Chemical Hazards
OSHA has determined that 44 specific chemical hazards are so adverse to employees in the workplace, that stand-alone standards (the term for OSHA laws) have been enacted to protect employees through preventative exposure strategies, including analyses, written programs and employee training. Through its Compliance Gap Analysis, Vanguard screens for these specific hazards, along with virtually all other workplace hazards. OSHA “44” chemical hazards are also screened within a facility’s Indoor Air Quality testing and monitoring to follow.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
An air contaminant is any substance which is accidentally or unwillingly introduced into the air, having the effect of rendering the indoor atmosphere toxic or harmful to some degree. The greatest concern when dealing with hazardous materials, including their byproducts, fumes, residues, etc., is with air contamination.
Through inhalation, airborne dust, fumes, vapors, mists, smoke and gases (many of which can be invisible) may all be taken into the body. These particles can then irritate the skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs, or they may also be absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to affect other organs.
Airborne contaminants can present a significant threat to worker health and safety. Thus, identification and quantification of these contaminants through air monitoring is an essential component of every company's health and safety program. Reliable measurements of airborne contaminants are useful for:
- Selecting personal protective equipment;
- Delineating areas where protection is needed;
- Assessing the potential health effects of exposure;
- Determining the need for specific medical monitoring;
- Develop written programs and standards for Employee Training;
- Redesign processes for improved elimination of air contaminants to the workplace.
Note: The issue of indoor air quality is a matter relative to Employee Health and Safety as regulated under laws pursuant to OSHA and should not be mistaken for issues related to environmental air emissions regarding air permitting and reporting under the U.S. EPA and state departments of environmental quality.
What are PELs and TLVs?
Based on current, accurate scientific information at the time, air contaminant values were established in 1968. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) developed exposure limits called Threshold Limit Values (TLVs). TLVs are unique to ACGIH. TLVs represent the levels of chemicals in the air that are believed most workers can be exposed to day after day without harm. Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) are those TLV employee exposure limits of toxic chemicals published by OSHA as legal standards.
Two different types of measurement are used by PELs. Concentrations of gases and liquids in the air is measured in parts per million (ppm). Solids or liquids, in the form of mists, dusts, or fumes, are measured in milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3). The very first health standards were the 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) values of air contaminants from the 1968 research. They now have the force of law. Today there are a total of 547 regulated air contaminants under the Indoor Air Quality Standard.
OSHA requires employers to measure contaminants, maintain records and notify employees of overexposures and the corrective action planned to be taken for all future health standards. Moreover, it is important that the employer understands the importance of the action level concept. OSHA defines the action level as typically one-half the PEL. Where exposures reach or exceed the action level, additional requirements apply, including medical surveillance and a full air-monitoring program. Exposures to an airborne concentration, above the PEL trigger even further requirements, including reduction of exposures to (or below) the PEL by means of engineering controls supplemented by work practice controls, use of specified respirators, and use of other appropriate protective clothing and equipment.
Employee Protection from Air Contaminants
OSHA decided as a policy matter that the action level, which triggers the measurement requirements, be set below the PEL to better protect employees from overexposure. OSHA reasoned that this method was the most reasonable approach to a recurring problem, that is, how to provide the maximum employee protection necessary with the minimum burden to the employer. It has been determined, therefore, that three key duties should be triggered when an action level is reached: 1. exposure measurement; 2. medical surveillance; 3. employee training. All three actions are considered necessary by OSHA before employee exposure reaches the PEL. It is important to initiate measurement procedures periodically (generally assumed to be annual updating) to monitor whether levels are approaching the PEL. One must do so to ensure that employee exposure does not exceed it. Similarly, employees should be screened for preexisting medical conditions and trained in suitable precautions against dangerous properties of the substance when there is some chance that their exposure will become significant.
Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts)
OSHA requires very specific operator training with regard to Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) for the safety and welfare of drivers, as well as employees whose work orientation requires they be in the presence of forklift operations. OSHA requires that "only trained and authorized operators shall be permitted to operate a powered industrial truck."
Training shall include topics on:
trucks / railroad cars
gases / fumes
driver knowledge & skills
This regulation and mandated training has proven to save lives, prevent property damage and prevent accidents and injury involving drivers and other employees in the workplace. Many states require that drivers undergo rigorous driver testing and be issued a license upon successful completion of the course and driver exam.
Materials for instruction should include the written program, class roster, quizzes, instructional manual and actual driving scenarios which provide defensible documentation for compliance in the event of an enforcement inspection.
Crane Safety Training
Inspections: Day-to-Day; Frequent; Periodic
Inspecting the Crane Inspections are one of the tools that are used to help prevent machine breakdowns and accidents.
There are three types of inspections:
- Day-To-Day (Daily) Inspections
- Frequent Inspections
- Periodic Inspections
Day-to-Day inspections should be small inspections that occur before the beginning of a shift or before using the crane for the first time each workday. Day-to-Day inspections should include:
- Inspect the wire rope for abnormalities and/or damage.
- Inspect the drum for proper rope alignment.
- Inspect the area around the machine for any indication of leaking or dripping fluids.
- Inspect the block and hook for any cracks or damage.
- Visually inspect any bumpers for damage or abnormalities.
- Visually inspect Limit Switches for abnormalities and test for proper functionality
Frequent Inspections are visual examinations by the operator or other designated personnel with written records not required. Frequent Inspections should include:
- Operating mechanisms for proper operation, proper adjustment, and unusual sounds.
- Upper-Limit device(s) in accordance with ASME standards.
- Tanks, Valves, pumps, lines and other parts of air or hydraulic systems for leakage.
- Hooks and hook latches (if used) in accordance with ASME standards.
- Hoist ropes and end connections in accordance with ASME standards.
- Rope and proper spooling on the drum(s) and sheave(s).
Periodic Inspections are visual inspections of the equipment in place by a designated person making records of apparent external conditions to provide the basis for a continuing evaluation. Periodic Inspections should include:
- Loose or missing bolts, nuts, pins or rivets.
- Cracked or worn sheaves and drums.
- Worn, cracked, or distorted parts.
- Excessive wear of brake system parts.
- Excessive wear of drive chain sprockets and excessive drive chain stretch.
- Deterioration of controllers, master switches, contacts, limit switches, and pushbutton stations.
- Gasoline, diesel, electric, or other power plants for proper operation. -Motion-limit devices that interrupt power or cause a warning to be activated.
- Rope reeving for compliance with crane manufacturers design.
- All function, instruction, caution, and warning labels or plates for legibility and replacement.
Cranes Not in Regular Use. Service Cranes that have been sitting idle for a period of 1 month or more, but less than 1 year, should have a frequent inspection before entering service. Cranes that have been sitting idle for a period of 1 year or more, should have a periodic inspection before entering service.
- Wire Rope Inspections. Properly inspecting the rope – keeping an eye out for changes its integrity – is important to maintaining a safe work environment.
- Waviness is a deformation in which the longitudinal axis of the wire rope takes the shape of a helix under either a loaded or unloaded condition.
- A basket, or lantern, deformation, also known as a birdcage, develops when the outer layer of strands in the wire rope becomes longer than the inner layer(s).
- A core protrusion is a special type of basket or lantern deformation. In this case the rope imbalance is indicated by a protrusion of the core of the wire rope.
- A strand protrusion, or distortion, is when one of the outer strands of the wire rope protrudes out.
- A Wire Protrusion occurs when certain wires, or groups of wires, rise up on the side of the rope opposite to the sheave groove in the form of loops.
- A local increase in rope diameter can occur and might affect a relatively long length of the rope.
- A flattened portion of a rope is a section of the rope that has lost its circular form.
- A kink is a deformation created by a loop in the rope which has been tightened without allowing for rotation about its axis.
Preventive Maintenance is maintenance that is conducted before an issue is identified. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Fluid Replacement
- Frequently Worked Parts
- Warning Devices and Signs
Maintenance Procedures. The following precautions shall be taken before performing any maintenance on a crane:
- The crane shall be moved to a location where it will cause the least interference with other cranes and operations in the area.
- If a load is attached to the crane, it shall be landed.
- All controllers shall be placed in the off position.
- A lockout/tagout procedure shall be performed.
- Warning signs and barriers shall be utilized on the floor beneath the crane where overhead maintenance work creates a hazard.
- If the runway remains energized, stops or a signalperson, located full-time at a visual vantage point for observing the approach of an active crane, shall be provided to help the persons performing maintenance with the machine.
- A guard or barrier shall be installed between adjacent runways for the length of any established work area. Overhead Crane Safety and Prevention.
Adjustments and Repairs. The following list is an example of components that might need adjustment or repairs:
- operating mechanisms on the crane
- limit devices
- control systems
- damaged or worn hooks
- critical parts that are cracked, broken, bent, or excessively worn
- pitted or burned electrical contacts
- function, instruction, caution, and warning labels
Wire Rope Maintenance and Replacement. If left in service long enough, wire ropes will deteriorate and eventually break.
Basic Crane Safety.
- No one but a regularly authorized operator is allowed to use any crane.
- Do not carry a load over people on the floor. Sound warning devices to alert persons nearby.
- Do not allow anyone to ride on a load carried by the crane or on the crane hook.
- Never try to stop the load with your hands or body.
- Inspect equipment daily before use. Always keep an eye out for changes in the equipment and safety area.
- Never pull a hoist by the pendant cable.
- Never leave the controls unattended while a load is suspended. Lower the load to the floor if it is necessary to leave the controls.
- Before moving the trolley or bridge, be sure that the hook is high enough to clear all obstacles.
- Do not drag slings, chains, or lifting devices out from under loads that have been landed.
- If you are asked to do something that you do not feel comfortable or safe about, contact a foreman or supervisor for advice.
Crane Safety Tools. - The following section discusses some of the safety tools used around overhead cranes in the workplace.
Tagged Cranes and Hoists. A crane, and/or equipment, that is shut down for various reasons should be locked out and tagged out. Do not operate or use any equipment that is locked and/or tagged out. Speak with a supervisor or foreman regarding the operations of any equipment.
Warning Devices. A warning device is any device that helps bring attention to people in the area of the crane being in operation.
- Manually operated gong
- Power-operated bell, siren, or horn
- Rotating beacon
- Strobe light
Warning Signs and Markings. Warning signs and markings should be present in all workplaces operating a crane to communicate dangers and hazards with the machine.
Operational Tests. Operational testing are tests that examine the operation of all of the crane parts without a load.
- Lifting and lowering
- Trolley travel
- Bridge travel
- Hoist-limit devices
- Travel-limiting devices
- Locking and indicating devices
Load Tests. A load test examines the crane’s ability to lift and move a load.
- Hoist the test load a distance to assure that the load is supported.
- Transport the test load by means of the trolley for the full length of the bridge.
- Transport the test load by means of the bridge for the full length of the runway.
- Lower the test load, and stop and hold the test load with the brakes.
Operational Qualifications. Each type of crane and work setting have different qualifications for operating overhead cranes. Cranes shall be operated only by the following qualified persons:
- Designated persons
- Trainees under the direct supervision of a designated person
- Maintenance and test personnel
Floor and Remote Hoist Operators shall be required by the employer to pass a practical operating examination. The use of remote-control equipment involves such a wide variety of service requirement and conditions that each installation should be carefully analyzed.
Cab Operators must…
- Have vision of at least 20/30 in one eye and 20/50 in the other
- Be able to distinguish color
- Be able to hear adequately for a specific operation
- Have sufficient strength, endurance, agility, coordination and speed of reaction to meet the demands of the equipment operation
- Not have evidence of physical defects or emotional instability that could render hazard to the operator or others
- Not have any evidence of being subject to seizures or loss of physical control
Conduct of the Operators.
- The operators and employees shall not engage in any practice that will divert attention while actually engaged in operating the crane.
- When physically, or otherwise unfit, an operator shall not engage in the operation of the equipment.
- The operator shall be familiar with and follow all signals from appropriate people during a lift.
- Each operator shall be responsible for those operations under the operator’s control.
- Each operator shall activate the warning device before starting the bridge/trolley, and intermittently during travel of the crane.
- The operator shall not close the main switch until certain that no worker is on or adjacent to the crane.
- The operator shall be familiar with the equipment and its proper care.
- Contacts with runway stops or other cranes shall be made with extreme caution.
- Before the operator performs any maintenance work on the crane, the operator shall lock and tag the main switch in the de-energized position.
Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Employers must set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated workstations or into holes in the floor and walls.
What can be done to reduce falls?
Employers must set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated workstations or into holes in the floor and walls. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.
To prevent employees from being injured from falls, employers must:
- Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).
- Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway.
- Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt) employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
- Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and handrails.
OSHA requires employers to:
- Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
- Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.
- Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
- Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.
Personal Fall Protection – Prevention Checklist
Personal fall protection is used both to prevent workers from falling and to break falls.
Fall protection is in place:
- When workers could fall more than 6 feet placing or tying rebar.
- When workers could fall more than 7 1/2 feet from the edge of a structure or through an opening.
- When workers could fall more than 7 1/2 feet from a platform, catwalk, walkway, scaffold, or sloped or roof surface steeper than 7 ½ feet.
- When workers could fall more than 15 feet doing structural wood framing or working on a tower crane.
- When workers could fall more than 15 feet doing most iron work (bolting steel, welding, etc.).
- When workers could fall more than 20 feet doing roofing.
- When workers could fall more than 30 feet connecting structural steel beams.
- Guardrails are provided in the above locations where feasible. Otherwise, one or more of the following are used: personal fall arrest systems, personal fall restraint systems, positioning device systems, or safety nets.
- The fall protection measures above are required but not used on the site because they are impractical or create a greater hazard than they prevent. In this case, there is a written Fall Protection Plan describing alternative measures that will be used.
Personal Fall Restraint Systems
- Personal fall restraint systems are used to prevent falling. They consist of an anchorage, connectors, and a body harness or body belt. They may also include a lanyard, lifeline, and rope grab.
- The system is rigged to allow workers to move only as far as the sides of the work area.
- Anchorage points support four times the intended load.
Positioning Device Systems
- Positioning device systems are used so a worker on an elevated surface can have both hands free. They consist of a body belt or body harness.
- The system prevents workers from falling over 2 feet.
- The system is inspected before each use, and defective components are removed from service.
- Safety nets are used in place of other fall protection systems. (Allowed if the nets are installed properly
- Nets are an approved type and are used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
- The integrity of each net is checked on a regular basis.
- Nets extend horizontally from 8 to 13 feet out from the perimeter, depending on the vertical distance from the work area to the net.
- Nets are never more than 30 feet below the work area.
- There are no obstructions between the work area and the net.
Fall Protection Plan
- Conventional fall protection measures are required but not used on this site because they are impractical or create a greater hazard than they prevent. In this case, a written Fall Protection Plan has been implemented under the supervision of a "competent person." The Fall Protection Plan identifies locations where conventional fall protection measures are infeasible or create a greater hazard. It explains why and discusses what alternative measures have been taken.
- A copy of the plan is present at the jobsite.
- Where a Fall Protection Plan is used, it establishes a controlled access zone for each location where conventional fall protection cannot be used. Only certain trained workers are allowed in the zone.
- There is a control line (ropes, wires, or tape) to restrict access to the zone, and signs are posted.
- Where required, there is a designated safety monitor for the zone, and this person is in communication with anyone working in the zone at all times.
Arc Flash Safety (NFPA 70E)
The National Fire Protection Association Guidelines (NFPA 70E) require facility owners to perform an arc flash risk assessment prior to allowing a worker or contractor to perform a task on energized equipment. Servicing includes:
- arc flash risk assessment study identifying the presence and location of potential hazards
- recommendations for PPE,
- boundaries for limited and restricted approaches,
- recommendations for flash protection, and
- safe work practices.
Arc-flash hazards are also addressed by OSHA in §1910.335(a)(1)(v), Safeguards for personnel protection, which requires that personal protective Equipment (PPE) for the eyes and face be worn whenever there is danger of injury to the eyes or face from electric arcs or flashes or from flying objects resulting from an electrical explosion.
Confined Space Permit & Rescue Team Training
Confined Space Permitting & Rescue Team became effective April 15, 1993. Here is an outline of elements pertinent to this Standard.
A. Evaluation of permit-required confined spaces in the workplace
B. Permit-required Confined Space Program (Written Program)
- Specified equipment
- Attendant station procedures
- Rescue team and methods
- Permitting system / supervisor authorization methods
- Danger signs
- Hazardous atmosphere evaluation and sampling (actual and potential)
- Continuous forced air ventilation
- Monitoring and inspection data
- Entrance covers
- Internal atmosphere tests
C. 14 step permitting process
- Identification of a confined space
- Purpose of entry
- Date/duration of permit
- Authorized entrants document
- Current attendants and Entry Supervisor
- Hazards Determination
- Space isolation and elimination or control of hazards
- Acceptable entry conditions
- Test results and performance
- Rescue and emergency summoning
- Attendant / entrant communication
- Required equipment
- Written comments on danger
- Related Permits (i.e., Hot Work, etc.)
D. Training and employee records
- Authorized entrants
- Entry supervisors
- Rescue teams
Respirator Training for Oxygen-Deficient Atmospheres
OSHA requires very specific training in the proper use of respirators in the workplace, as changing conditions and chemically-oriented atmospheres may have an adverse effect on the safety and health of employees. Therefore, Respirator Training becomes an integral part of a company's overall OSHA compliance program.
The Respirator Training program satisfies OSHA's requirements in the use of respirator equipment for personal protection against breathing contaminated air. Such equipment is typically used as a part of accident cleanup, internal emergency response, confined spaces and other situations in which hazardous environments may exist. OSHA requires the training to include:
- instruction on awareness of OSHA compliance regulations related to the proper use of respirators;
- recognition of conditions which would require breathing protection;
- the four types of respirator equipment to be used for specific environmental conditions;
- proper fitting of respirators specific to each individual;
- activities to be performed while using respirator equipment; and
- written policy and procedures site-specific to the use of respirators in the company's facility.
Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Program & Training
On December 6, 1991, the OSHA published the "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens" Standard. The purpose of this regulation is to "eliminate or minimize occupational exposure to Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV – i.e., AIDS Virus) and other Bloodborne Pathogens." The regulation went into effect on March 6, 1992.
The BBP Standard applies to facilities or operations where exposure to human blood or other potentially infectious materials is possible. The original thrust of the regulation was aimed at healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, medical laboratories and bloodbank / Plasma Centers. However, the Standard has also affected virtually ALL INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES since 1992, since employees are often exposed to blood or blood-contaminated materials in a number of situations, including:
- Internal “First Responders” on HazMat teams, fire brigades, first aid teams, etc;
- Cleaning up first aid and rescue equipment after use;
- Company medical offices and first aid stations;
- Trash containing contaminated band-aids, bandages and feminine hygiene products;
- Cleanup of industrial accidents where employees are injured.
Like most OSHA regulations, the BBP Standard is "performance oriented," meaning the accomplishment of certain prescribed outcomes must occur. A 3-pronged outline of components essential to BBP is provided as follows:
The written "EXPOSURE CONTROL PLAN.” All vitally important data regarding the facility and employee participants must be gathered so as to develop the written Plan site-specific to the client's facility. The Plan is comprehensive in scope, encompassing:
- Establishing program management and performance criteria;
- Exposure determination;
- Methods of accomplishing compliance;
- HIV and HBV bloodborne pathogens;
- Hepatitis B vaccination, post-exposure evaluation and follow-up;
- Labels and signs;
- Information and training.
- EDUCATION AND TRAINING. Training shall consist of the following:
- Bloodborne Pathogens Standard;
- Overview of epidemiology and symptoms of bloodborne diseases;
- Understanding how bloodborne pathogens are transmitted;
- Instruction on the facility's Exposure Control Plan;
- Recognizing how tasks and activities may involve exposure to blood and other infectious materials;
- Review of the methods that will prevent or reduce exposure to bloodborne pathogens, such as work practices and the use of personal protective equipment;
- Review of proper labels, signs and container "color coding."
- Contingency plans and emergency response to emergencies involving blood or other potentially infectious materials, including procedures for and "exposure incidents."
- RECORDKEEPING, DOCUMENTATION AND QUIZZES. A part of the overall compliance mandate is to substantiate through documentation those very objectives accomplished as a part of the program. Appropriate records, documents and employee participation logs should be filed and readily accessible in the event of an enforcement inspection.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
What can be done to ensure proper use of personal protective equipment?
All personal protective equipment should be safely designed and constructed, and should be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. It should fit comfortably, encouraging worker use. If the personal protective equipment does not fit properly, it can make the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed. When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment to their workers and ensure its proper use. Employers are also required to train each worker required to use personal protective equipment to know:
- When it is necessary
- What kind is necessary
- How to properly put it on, adjust, wear and take it off
- The limitations of the equipment
- Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the equipment
If PPE is to be used, a PPE program should be implemented. This program should address the hazards present; the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE; the training of employees; and monitoring of the program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness.
Personal protective equipment is addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry, maritime, and construction. OSHA requires that many categories of personal protective equipment meet or be equivalent to standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Hazards and Solutions
Provides references that may aid in recognizing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and provides information about proper PPE selection and usage.(Click here for a link to OSHA standards regarding PPE, as well aids for recognizing the need for PPE)
Noise Monitoring & Hearing Conservation
Noise, or unwanted sound, is one of America's most wide-spread workplace health problems. It is a by-product of many industrial processes. Sound consists of pressure changes in a medium (usually air), caused by vibration or turbulence. These pressure changes produce sound waves emanating away from the turbulent or vibrating source. Exposure to high levels of noise causes hearing loss and may cause other harmful health effects as well. The extent of damage depends primarily on the intensity of the noise (measured in decibels) and the duration (based on an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA)) of the exposure. Noise-induced hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. Temporary hearing loss results from short-term exposures to noise, with normal hearing returning after a period of rest. Generally, prolonged exposure to high noise levels over a period of time gradually causes permanent damage.
OSHA's Hearing Conservation Standard is designed to protect workers with significant occupational noise exposures from suffering hearing impairment even if they are subjected to such noise exposures over their entire working lifetimes. By the authority of the U.S. Congress and the Department of Labor, OSHA mandated "Hearing Conservation for Occupational Noise Exposure," effective April 7, 1983. The law requires Hearing Conservation programs for all employees whose exposure to workplace noise "equals or exceeds an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) of 85 decibels." The following summarizes the required components of OSHA's Hearing Conservation Program.
- Noise Level Monitoring. It is the employer's responsibility to monitor noise exposure levels in a manner that will accurately identify employees who are exposed to noise at or above 85 dB over an 8-hour TWA. The exposure measurement must include all continuous, intermittent and impulsive noise within 80 to 130 dB range and must be taken during a typical work situation. It is wise to select the monitoring method (or combination of methods) best suited to the employer’s workplace in order to achieve compliance with this performance-oriented standard. Monitoring must be repeated when changes in production, process, or controls increase noise exposure. Such changes may mean that an existing hearing conservation program no longer complies with OSHA's intended objective of hearing protection. The employer is required to notify employees about the results of noise exposure monitoring, albeit the method for notification is left to the discretion of the employer.
- Audiometric Testing. Audiometric testing not only monitors the sharpness or acuity of an employee's hearing over time, but allows employers to educate employees about their hearing and the need to protect it. The employer must establish and maintain an audiometric testing program. The important elements of an audiometric testing program include baseline audiograms, annual audiograms, training and follow up procedures. OSHA requires that audiometric testing must be made available at no cost to all employees who are exposed to an actual level of 85 dB or above, on an 8-hour TWA. The follow-up procedure indicates whether hearing loss is being prevented by the employer's hearing conservation program. Audiometric testing must be supervised by a certified audiologist; however, the professional does not have to be present when a qualified technician is conducting testing. Audiometric tests must be conducted in a room meeting specific background levels and with calibrated audiometers that meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval.
There are two types of audiograms required in hearing conservation: Baseline and Annual audiograms. The Baseline audiogram is that with which future audiograms are compared. Baseline audiograms must be provided within 6 months of an employee's first exposure at or above an 8-hour TWA of 85 dB. Employees should not be exposed to workplace noise for 14 hours preceding the baseline test; however, appropriate hearing protectors can serve as a substitute for this requirement and can be worn during this time period. Annual audiograms must be conducted within 1 year of the baseline. It is important to test hearing on an annual basis to identify deterioration in hearing so that protective follow-up measures can be initiated before hearing loss progresses, or in other words, a Standard Threshold Shift (STS) has occurred. STS is an average shift in either ear of 10 dB or more at 2000, 3000, or 4000 hertz. This averaging method avoids false readings of hearing ability.
- Audiogram Evaluation. If an STS is identified, employees must be fitted or refitted with adequate hearing protectors, shown how to use them and required to wear them. Employees must be notified within 21 days from the time the determination is made that their test results showed an STS. Some employees with an STS may be referred for further testing if it is thought that their test results are questionable or if they have a medical problem related to the wearing of hearing protection.
- Hearing protection. Hearing protection must be available to all workers exposed to 8-hour TWA noise levels of 85 dB or above. This requirement will ensure that employees have access to protection before they experience a loss in hearing. Hearing protectors must be worn by: (1) employees for any period exceeding 6 months from the time they are first exposed to 8-hour TWA noise levels of 85 dB or above until they receive their baseline audiograms; (2) employees who have incurred STS’s since they have demonstrated that they are susceptible to hearing loss through workplace noise; (3) employees exposed to the permissible exposure limit of 85 dB over an 8-hour TWA. Employees must be shown how to use/care for their protectors and supervised on the job to ensure they continue to wear them correctly.
- Training & Recordkeeping. Employee training is very important. When workers understand the reasons for the hearing conservation program's requirements and the need to protect their hearing, they will be better motivated to participate actively in the program and to cooperate by wearing their protectors and taking audiometric tests. Employees exposed to TWA’s of 85 dB and above must be trained, at least annually, in the effects of noise; the purpose, advantages and disadvantages of various types of hearing protectors; the selection, fit and care of protectors; and the purpose and procedures of audiometric testing.
Workplace noise exposure records must be kept for 2 years. Audiometric test records must be maintained for the duration of employment for each affected employee. Audiometric test records must include the name of the employee, job classification, date of the last acoustic or exhaustive calibration, measurements of the background sound pressure levels in audiometric test rooms and the employee's most recent noise exposure measurement.
OSHA 300, 300A and 301
OSHA 300 Log, 300A, & 301
Maintaining and Posting Records
Electronic Submission of Records
Severe Injury Reporting
New-Hire Orientation to Safety & Health Training
Whenever a new employee, contractor, or temp comes on board, there must also be a period of OSHA-required training and assimilation in which the new employee learns about the company’s safety and health programs, emergency action plans (evacuation) and site maps, fire protection policy, chemical hazards, personal protective equipment, bloodborne pathogens, how to operate a fire extinguisher, and any other safety-related issues (physical and health hazard information) that the employee must know. Moreover, this is an opportunity to have a positive influence on the new employee as it regards the safety culture of the company. According to OSHA, all this training is required to occur within the first 10 days of a new employee’s start date.
The new-hire orientation should be started during the employee’s first day on the job. The entire orientation program can be broken up over a period of a few days, but when it is complete, new employees should fully understand the safety and health information to follow.
Basics on requirements of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in combination with the UN’s Globally Harmonized System (GHS);
- The facility’s use of GHS warning signs (pictograms), labels, and tags;
- General principles of OSHA’s Hazard Communication (HazCom) requirements;
- How to read a Safety Data Sheet (SDS);
- The organization’s safety goals and objectives;
- The functions of the corporate safety committee.
- What employees should do if injured on the job;
- What to do in case of an emergency at the facility;
- General principles of powered equipment & power sources (Primer to Lockout/Tagout and problems associated with “hazardous energy”);
- Prevention of accidents and illnesses;
- Procedures for reporting accidents, near-miss incidents, hazards, injuries, and illnesses;
- Safety rules and safety procedures applicable to a new employee’s job (especially for tasks with OSHA-required training).
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) was established to ensure safe and healthful working conditions by enforcing standards and by providing training, education, and assistance. Nothing can be a better substitute for OSHA’s intentions by stressing safety to a new employee on the very first day of his/her assignment.
New-Hire Safety Training, Including Rehires and Transfers
Safety starts with an attitude that must be conveyed to new hires, rehires, and departmental transfers. While newly hired employees often receive safety orientation training, rehires and departmental transfers are often overlooked because they may not be considered new in terms of “brand new” to the company. However, over time, policies and procedures change, work processes change, chemicals used in processes change, and the hazards and exposures may vary from one department to another. For this reason, rehires and transferred employees need to be included in the new-hire orientation program. Call it re-orientation if you wish.
Introduction and Rationale to Vanguard’s CAN-Hire!
Vanguard is pleased to provide this OSHA-mandated necessity to its clientele, the “Computer-Assisted New-Hire Orientation” Program (CAN-Hire). The purpose of this program is to provide a convenient and flexible, ongoing method for clients to host their OSHA-required “New-Hire Orientation” through the advent of the digital technologies and computer-assisted learning with the most simplistic access possible: registration number, username and password.
Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) i.e., Conversion of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) to SDSs
In accordance with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS), OSHA requires that all organizations in the United States must convert its Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) to the new 16-point GHS format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). The ultimate deadline for 100% conversion, thus compliance, was June 1 2016.
CalOSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
CalOSHA’s Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP)
Effective July 1, 1991, Cal-OSHA regulations require every employer to establish, implement and maintain an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program. The purpose of an Injury & Illness Prevention Program is to establish a management framework for reducing the risks associated with workplace injuries and illnesses, identifying what is required to promote safety and health in the workplace and create an outline of policies and procedures to achieve safety and health goals. The program must be in writing and include the following elements:
- Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities
- Safety communications system with employees
- System for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices
- Scheduled inspections/evaluation system
- Accident Investigation
- Procedures for correcting unsafe/unhealthy conditions
- Safety and health training and instruction; and
- Recordkeeping and documentation
California’s Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP)
Employers in the State of California must develop and implement effective written procedures for complying with the requirements of California’s T8 CCR 3395, Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP). CalOSHA’s amended HIPP regulations became effective May 1, 2015. HIPP includes the following:
- Procedures for providing sufficient water
- Procedures for providing sufficient water
- Procedures for providing access to shade
- High-heat procedures
- Emergency response procedures
- Acclimatization methods and procedures
- Development and implementation of written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.
The Heat Illness Prevention Plan must be written both in English and in the language understood by the majority of employees. The written plan must be available to employees at the worksite at all times, as well as to representatives of Cal/OSHA upon request.
U.S. DOT "Hazmat Employee" Training
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Its Laws
- Hazardous Materials Analysis. It is essential that all hazardous materials associated with shipping and receiving depts. within the workplace be identified relative to thresholds, labeling and placarding from the 9 U.S. Coast Guard Classifications as specified by the DOT.
- HazMat Transportation Act (HMTA - 181). DOT has strict guidelines in requiring that all chemically-oriented products be properly labeled and placarded prior to and during shipment.
- HazMat Employee Training (HM - 126f). All employees associated with shipping, receiving, packaging, loading/unloading and driving are to be trained on the site-specific hazardous materials to which they are exposed in the workplace, specifically transportation departments.
- HazMat Registration. All shippers of chemically-oriented products, including those companies causing such products to be shipped, are required to register these products on an annual basis.
U.S. DOT "Hazmat Employee" Training
As of October 1, 1993, the DOT required that detailed training be given to all "Hazmat Employees" associated with transporting hazardous materials – by air, roadway, rail, or water.
DOT defines a "Hazmat Employee" as..." a person, who in the course of employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety.” The definition mandates Hazmat Training of the following employees to include anyone who:
- is involved with packaging
- marks or labels packages
- prepares shipping papers
- manages or supervises shipping
- loads a vehicle
- operates a vehicle
- manages records
- any other employees involved in transporting hazardous materials.
DOT requires that, "it is the responsibility of the Hazmat Employer to assure that every Hazmat employee receives certification training, as mandated."
1. DOT's Hazardous Materials Analysis must be conducted to determine the inherent hazards of each product which, in turn, will make the HazMat Training "site-specific" as required to satisfy compliance.
2. All Hazmat Employees must receive GENERAL TRAINING on:
- Requirements of DOT regulations
- Recognition and identification of hazardous materials consistent with DOT hazardous materials communication rules.
3. All Hazmat Employees who handle or transport hazmat packages and anyone else who might be exposed to the materials as a result of an accident must receive SAFETY TRAINING on:
- DOT emergency response communications
- How to protect themselves and others from the hazards of hazardous materials to which they may be exposed
- Methods and procedures for avoiding accidents involving hazardous materials.
4. Each type of Hazmat Employee must receive specific training, such as:
- Classification and naming of Hazardous Materials
- Packaging (Including new "Performance Packaging")
- Marking and Labeling
- Shipping Papers and Emergency Response Information Provision
- Loading and unloading of transport vehicles
- Other Hazmat transportation information applicable to their job.
Homeland Security: Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism
On October 4, 2006, President George W. Bush signed Public Law 109295, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard, effective June 8, 2007, directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to identify, assess and ensure effective security at high risk facilities that use, store, manufacture, or ship a listed regulated chemical under this law.
On November 20, 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the final version of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard’s “Appendix A” list of chemicals and their associated Screening Threshold Quantities (STQ). Every company whose chemical inventory consists of one or more chemicals exceeding specified STQs had a deadline of JANUARY 22, 2008 to comply with the so-called “Top Screen Registration” requirement.
“Appendix A” further sub-divides chemicals into specific threat categories, namely Release Threat, Theft/Diversion Threat and Sabotage/Contamination Threat. Thus, the list of 323 “Chemicals of Interest” (COIs) are arranged to be screened against specific security issues associated with each chemical, including:
- Release: Minimum Concentration (%); STQs in lbs.;
- Theft: Minimum Concentration (%); STQs in lbs. unless otherwise noted;
- Sabotage: Minimum Concentration (%); STQs in lbs. unless otherwise noted;
- Release: Toxics
- Release: Flammables
- Release: Explosives
- Theft: Chemical Weapons/Chemical Weapon Precursors
- Theft: Weapons of Mass Effect
- Theft: Explosives/Improvised Explosive Device Precursors
Selected Chemicals Common to Industry
Acetylene, Anhydrous Ammonia, Ammonia (conc. 20% of greater), Ammonium Nitrate, Butane, Carbon Disulfide, Chlorine, Difluoroethane, Ethane, Ethylene Oxide, Hydrogen, Methane, Nitric Acid, Nitric Oxide, Various forms of Phosphorus, Prophylene Oxide, Various forms of Sulfur, Various forms of Toluene and many more.
Depending upon which sub-category and security issue each chemical falls into will depend upon how a facility will count its chemicals of interest toward the Screening Threshold Quantities listed. There are many chemicals listed in which “Any Amount” whatsoever is the specified threshold. Selected facts regarding the final version of “Appendix A” are as follows:
- Anti-Terrorism: Prevention & Protection
- Container Security Initiative Ports
- There are currently 48 foreign ports participating in CSI.
- National Infrastructure Protection Plan
- Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT). Note: CSAT is Homeland Security's system for collecting and analyzing key data from chemical facilities. CSAT is comprised of three secure, web-based tools:
- Consequence screening questionnaire (Top-Screen);
- Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) tool
- Site Security Plan (SSP) template.
Any facility that manufactured, used, stored or distributed chemicals listed in “Appendix A: Chemicals of Interest” at or above the Screening Threshold Quantity (STQ), must complete and submit a CSAT Top-Screen. The Department may also notify facilities – either directly or through a Federal Register notice – that they need to complete and submit a CSAT Top-Screen. Initial CSAT Top-Screens were due within 60 calendar days of the effective date of the final "Appendix A: DHS Chemicals of Interest," or within 60 calendar days of coming into possession of any such Chemical of Interest at or above the STQ.
Failure to complete a CSAT Top-Screen within the timeframe provided may result in civil penalties of $25,000 per day, a Department of Homeland Security audit and inspection, or an order to cease operations. DHS reports that it is committed to meeting the letter and spirit of CFATs to enhance and ensure the security of the Nation’s Industry where listed chemicals are used as a part of any given company’s operations, as the Nation’s companies represent the infrastructure for productivity and economic strength.
323 Chemicals of Interest (COIs)
Chemicals of Interest (COI) now have “Minimum Concentrations” associated with each entry, listed in either a percent (%) form or with the acronym “ACG”, which stands for “A Commercial Grade”. Quoting from DHS, “ACG refers to any quality or concentration of a COI offered for commercial sale that a facility uses, stores, manufactures or ships.”
One note regarding the dissemination/use of any information regarded by DHS as Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI): Anyone who completes a Top-Screen registration or who has access to information used in completing a Top-Screen registration, persons with a "Need To Know", must complete on-line training and receive a unique Authorized User number from DHS before being allowed to access this information. Some examples of CVI are:
- Information developed pursuant to the Top-Screen process;
- Site Vulnerability Assessments;
- Site Security Plans;
- Documents related to inspections and audits;
- Records of training, exercises and drills;
- Incidents and security breaches;
- Maintenance, calibration and testing of security equipment; or
- Other information designated as CVI by the Secretary of DHS.
Chemical Facility Employee Training & Recordkeeping
Per the Department of Homeland Security, here are selected training procedures applicable to facilities required to execute the Site Security Plan (SSP).
- Ensure proper security training, exercises and drills of facility personnel;
- Perform appropriate background checks on and ensure appropriate credentials for facility personnel and as appropriate, for unescorted visitors with access to restricted areas or critical assets, including,
- Measures designed to verify and validate identity;
- Measures designed to check criminal history;
- Measures designed to verify and validate legal authorization to work; and
- Measures designed to identify people with terrorist ties;
The covered facility must keep records of the activities as set out below for at least three years and make them available to the Department upon request. Recordkeeping must include:
- For training, the date and location of each session, time of day and duration of session, a description of the training, the name and qualifications of the instructor, a clear, legible list of attendees to include the attendee signature, at least one other unique identifier of each attendee receiving the training and the results of any evaluation or testing.
- For incidents and breaches of security, date and time of occurrence, location within the facility, a description of the incident or breach, the identity of the individual to whom it was reported and a description of the response;
- Date and time of security threats, how the threat was communicated, who received or identified the threat, a description of the threat, to whom it was reported and a description of the response;
- For audits, each audit of a covered facility's Site Security Plan or Security Vulnerability Assessment, a record of the audit, including the date of the audit, results of the audit, name(s) of the person(s) who conducted the audit, and certification stating the date the audit was conducted are required.
- A covered facility must retain records of submitted Top-Screens, Security Vulnerability Assessments, Site Security Plans and all related correspondence with the Department for at least six years and make them available to the Department upon request.
- For security purposes, the Department may request that a covered facility make available records kept pursuant to other Federal programs or regulations.
- Records required by this section may be kept in electronic format. If kept in an electronic format, they must be protected against unauthorized access, deletion, destruction, amendment and disclosure.