Friday, April 26, 2013

OSHA Trade News Release

April 24, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999
OSHA schedules meeting of the Advisory Committee
on Construction Safety and Health
WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health May 23-24, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
ACCSH, established under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, advises the secretary of labor and assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on construction standards and policy matters.
The full committee agenda includes remarks from Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health and updates from the Directorate of Construction. In addition, the committee will consider six items from the proposed Standards Improvement Project IV and discuss occupational exposure to beryllium, two possible technical amendments and corrections to the Cranes and Derricks standards, the Federal Agency Procurement Construction, Health and Safety Checklist, and the two-hour introduction to the OSHA 10- and 30-hour training courses.
The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, May 23 and 24 in Room C-5521, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20210. Some committee members will participate by teleconference. The meeting is open to the public.
Comments and requests to speak may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Comments may also be submitted via mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for details. Comments and requests to speak must be submitted by May 16, 2013.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

Friday, April 19, 2013

December 1, 2013 Training Requirements for the Revised Hazard Communication Standard

✓Hazard statement(s): describe the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard. For example: “Causes damage to kidneys through prolonged or repeated exposure when absorbed through the skin.” All of the applicable hazard statements must appear on the label. Hazard statements may be combined where appropriate to reduce redundancies and improve readability. The hazard statements are specific to the hazard classification categories, and chemical users should always see the same statement for the same hazards, no matter what the chemical is or who produces it.
✓ Precautionary statement(s): means a phrase that describes recommended measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous chemical or improper storage or handling.
✓ Name, address and phone number of the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer.
How an employee might use the labels in the workplace. For example,
✓ Explain how information on the label can be used to ensure proper storage of hazardous chemicals.
✓ Explain how the information on the label might be used to quickly locate information on first aid when needed by employees or emergency personnel.
• General understanding of how the elements work together on a label. For example,
✓ Explain that where a chemical has multiple hazards, different pictograms are used to identify the various hazards. The employee should expect to see the appropriate pictogram for the corresponding hazard class.
✓ Explain that when there are similar precautionary statements, the one providing the most protective information will be included on the label.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

December 1, 2013 Training Requirements for the Revised Hazard Communication Standard

OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations’ Globally  Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and published it in the Federal Register in March 2012 (77 FR 17574). Two significant changes contained in the revised standard require the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly known as, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). The new label elements and SDS requirements will improve worker understanding of the hazards associated with the chemicals in their workplace. To help companies comply with the revised standard, OSHA is phasing in the specific requirements over several years (December 1, 2013 to June 1, 2016)
The first compliance date of the revised HCS is December 1, 2013. By that time employers must have trained their workers on the new label elements and the SDS format. This training is needed early in the transition process since workers are already beginning to see the new labels and SDSs on the chemicals in their workplace.
To ensure employees have the information they need to better protect themselves from chemical hazards in the workplace during the transition period, it is critical that employees understand the new label and SDS formats.
The list below contains the minimum required topics for the training that must be completed by December 1, 2013.

Training on label elements must include information on:

• Type of information the employee would expect to see on the new labels, including the
✓Product identifier: how the hazardous chemical is identified. This can be (but is not limited to) the chemical name, code number or batch number. The manufacturer, importer or distributor can decide the appropriate product identifier. The same product identifier must be both on the label and in Section 1 of the SDS (Identification).
✓Signal word: used to indicate the relative level of severity of hazard and alert the reader to a potential hazard on the label. There are only two signal words, “Danger” and “Warning.” Within a specific hazard class, “Danger” is used for the more severe hazards and “Warning” is used for the less severe hazards. There will only be one signal word on the label no matter how many hazards a chemical may have. If one of the hazards warrants a “Danger” signal word and another warrants the signal word “Warning,” then only “Danger” should appear on the label.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Combustible Dust Fires and Explosions Booklet

Trade News Release Banner Image


April 1, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999
OSHA issues new resource to protect emergency workers at
combustible dust fires
WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today published Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust*, a new, informative booklet that outlines safe procedures for emergency responders who may face fires and explosions caused by combustible dust.

"This booklet will keep both emergency response and facility workers safe by giving them a framework to prepare for potential emergencies involving combustible dust," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Stakeholders that have reviewed the booklet, including fire chiefs and union health and safety representatives, describe it as 'an excellent resource for explaining the hazards associated with combustible dust and outlining the best practices for pre-incident operational preparation by emergency responders.'"

Since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions. The publication describes how combustible dust explosions occur and uses previous incidents to illustrate how firefighting operations can prevent combustible dust explosions. The booklet explains the preparations emergency responders can make before a response and how these preparations will affect the operational plan during a response.

Combustible dusts include fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that, under certain conditions, can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air. Types of dusts include metal (for example, aluminum and magnesium), wood, plastic, rubber, coal, flour, sugar and paper, among others. OSHA's Combustible Dust Web page provides employers and workers with additional information and resources for preventing and minimizing the effects of combustible dust fires and explosions.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.