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The West Fertilizer Co. Factory Explosion – Lax Regulatory Oversight and Inadequate Disclosures ....

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

On April 17, 2013 an explosion ripped through the West Fertilizer Co. factory in West, Texas, killing 15 people and injuring 200 others. The US Senate has just announced a probe into why the explosion at the plant occurred. The incident has raised a number of questions regarding regulatory oversight, or lack thereof, governing the functioning of factories such as the West Fertilizer plant.

OSHA’s New Laboratory Safety Guidance – Overview and Summary of Requirements

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

On October 13, 2011, OSHA announced the release of a new and revised Laboratory Safety Guidance document aimed at protecting lab workers from exposure to chemical, biological and physical hazards.

This article gives an overview of this new guidance document and its requirements.

Whistleblower Provisions in the Occupational Safety and Health Act – Overview and Summary

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act provides protection against retaliation based on an employee's exercising a variety of rights guaranteed under the Act, such as filing a safety and health complaint with OSHA, participating in an inspection, and so on.

This article gives a brief overview and summary of the whistleblower provisions in the OSH Act.

Labor Department Cites Exxon Refinery for OSHA Violations, Safety Hazards

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

An Exxon Mobil Corp. refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was cited for OSHA violations by the Labor Department, specifically alleging that it exposed workers to fire hazards.

This article gives a brief overview of the alleged violations, proposed penalties and response to them.

OSHA Standards for Scissor Lifts – Summary of Requirements, Potential Hazards and Penalties for ....

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

The danger of scissor lifts being used by untrained employees was highlighted when a student died after falling from a lift at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Subsequently OSHA clarified its safety standard for scissor lifts.

This article summarizes the requirements, the potential hazards of scissor lift and penalties for violations.

OSHA Standards for Eye and Face Protection – Background and Summary of Requirements

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

OSHA standards for eye and face protection are essential requirements in workplaces where workers are in danger of suffering facial or optical injuries. These standards describe the kind of protective equipment employers must provide workers and the conditions under which they must be used.

This article gives the background to these standards and a summary of the requirements.

OHSAS 18001 – Background, Summary of Provisions and Recent Updates

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

Occupation Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001 is an internationally recognized assessment specification for occupational health and safety management systems. OHSAS 18001 was first issued in 1999 but was subject to review during 2006 and then issued as a revised standard on 1 July 2007. The standard aims to help organizations meet their health and safety obligations in an efficient manner. This article describes the background to this standard, summary of main provisions and recent updates.

Managing Workplace Stress - Best Practices

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, states that workplace stress/job stress, now more than ever, poses a threat to the health of workers and the health of organizations. NIOSH defines job stress as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. There are a variety of steps to reduce overall stress levels and the stress one finds on the job and in the workplace.

RoHS Regulation (Directive 2002/95/EC) - Overview of Regulatory Requirements

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

RoHS stands for "Restriction of Hazardous Substances". The RoHS Regulation (Directive 2002/95/EC) came into force in July 2006. This is a European Union (EU) directive that restricts the use of six hazardous substances in the manufacture of new electrical and electronic equipment. It is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) 2002/96/EC which defines collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods.

Toxic and Hazardous Substances Standards (29CFR1910) - Summary of Requirements

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

Title 29 of the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations is concerned with labor. Subtitle B deals with regulations relating to labor. Chapter XVII under Title 29 covers Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor. Part 1910 under the said chapter deals with Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

OHSAS 18001

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

The Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems or OHSAS 18000 is a list of specifications on international occupational health and safety management systems, which helps in substantially minimising the risks of employees, improving the existing OH&S management system and gaining assurance. It has two parts — OHSAS 18001 and OHSAS 18002 — and encompasses BS8800 and a number of other publications.


OHSAS 18001 was created as a response to the widespread demand for a recognized standard against which the organization has to be certified and assessed. This certification was intended to help an organization to control occupational health and safety risks. A main driver of creating this standard was the attempt to remove confusion in the workplace as a result of the proliferation of certifiable OH&S specifications.

A number of documents were used for framing the basics of this certification, which included BS8800, DNV Standard for Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems(OHSMS), Technical Report NPR 5001: 1997 Guide to an occupational health and safety management system and Draft NSAI SR 320 Recommendation for an Occupational Health and Safety (OH and S) Management System.

A concerted effort of a number of leading national certification and standards bodies and specialist consultation organizations were responsible for putting together the codes of OHSAS 18001. These are, among others:

  • National Standards Authority of Ireland
  • Standards Australia
  • South African Bureau of Standards
  • British Standards Institution
  • Bureau Veritas Quality International
  • Det Norske Veritas
  • Lloyds Register Quality Assurance
  • National Quality Assurance
  • SFS Certification
  • SGS Yarsley International Certification Services


The OHSAS 18001 specifications can be applied to any organization provided the organization wishes to undertake establish an OH&S management system to eliminate or minimise risk to employees and other parties who might be exposed to OH&S risks associated with its activities, assure itself that it conforms with its stated OH&S policy, demonstrate this conformance before others, implement, maintain and improve an OH&S management system, seek certification or registration of its OH&S management system by an external organisation.



OSHA Sends Message to Retailers: Protect Employees and Focus on Crowd Management

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urges 14 retailers to ensure safety measures during the holiday season’s primary sales events and Black Friday. The notification to the CEO’s is on a letter and fact sheet on ‘Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for Retailers’.

Cal/OSHA and federal OSHA Differences

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

When Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, it authorized a national standards and inspection program administered by OSHA, but provided for approved state OSHA plans, which potentially can be quite independent. There are 27 state programs (5 are limited to governmental employees), but only 1 – California – is dramatically different from federal OSHA. This article describes the major differences between the Federal and California OSHA requirements.

Asbury VFD to receive ISO rate reduction

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

ISO has reduced the rate of Asbury Volunteer Fire Department to Class 5, which will result into lower insurance premiums for the residents of the coverage area.

About ISO

ISO is a member of the Verisk Analytics Family of Companies. Since 1971, ISO has been serving as an independent organization for insurance companies, fire departments, insurance regulators and providing them with information about risk. ISO’s Public Protection Classification has been used by insurance companies in marketing, underwriting, and pricing homeowner and commercial property insurance.

ISO Rating System

In the U.S., more than 46,000 fire districts have been classified by ISO. ISO assigns a Public Protection Classification rating from 1 to 10. While Class 1 generally represents exemplary fire protection, and Class 10 indicates the area’s fire-suppression program has failed to meet ISO’s minimum criteria.

Through ISO’s rating, amount of premium that the insured has to pay to the insurance company for coverage gets decided. According to ISO rating system, low ISO rating signifies low rate of premiums and higher rating equals to higher rate of premium.

How Asbury Volunteer Fire Department Received ISO Rate Reduction

Since 2005, Asbury VFD has maintained a Class 6 rating. From May 1, that rating will be lowered to 5, as decided by the ISO.

Modern equipments like tanker-dump tanks, brush trucks and a first-responder truck equipped with a Hurst rescue tool, heart defibrillator and other medical supplies along with six pumpers, including its original 1962 Ford pumper and a new 2005 Sterling pumper-tanker purchased with a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, Asbury VFD has it all that needs to get a low ISO rating.

According to Asbury Fire Chief Albert Childress and Treasurer Ken Burns “This rating was accomplished by rigorous evaluation of all trucks and equipment owned by the department as well as available equipment and manpower provided by nearby departments.”

To withstand the scrutiny of an ISO evaluation, the department practiced hours to perfect the necessary procedures. Childress and Burns said the water supply of Asbury Water Systems and location of hydrants also factored into the rate reduction.

Burns said “The major test required a drop tank setup and fill, followed by a hookup to the pumper, and pumping at the prescribed pressure in less than five minutes…Practice didn’t stop until it could be done in less than half the time. When all practice and procedures were finalized, Chief Albert Childress called for the test and it was successful. With a smile he said, ‘Great. Maybe next time we can lower it to a 4.’”



Workplace Safety Compliance: The New Approach

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

Workplace Safety is emerging as one of the key risk management and regulatory compliance focus areas among many global companies. As a result of this trend, traditional workplace safety compliance systems, which were designed to be point solutions at a plant-level, are giving way to enterprise-wide safety management systems. Such systems need to comply with the OSHA 29CFR regulations and support the OSHAS 18001 framework, while providing enterprise-wide visibility into incidents and trends, corrective actions and process metrics. This paper highlights the requirements of next generation systems for workplace safety compliance.

OSHA Guide to Noise and Hearing Safety, Health and Conservation

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

Noise above 80 decibels is considered potentially dangerous. Noise is a problem both within and outside work areas. Constant exposure to noise can lead to hearing loss and also other effects such as sleep loss, irritability, stress and loss of concentration.

OSHA has set up guidelines for admissible noise levels and mitigation of excessive noise. The 29 CFR standards 1910.95 have put down admissible noise exposure levels for different duration of exposure. The hearing conservation program has five parts

  • Noise monitoring
  • Audiometric testing
  • Employee Training
  • Hearing Protectors and
  • Record Keeping

OSHA’s Role and its Requirements Issued for a Worker and an Employer

  • Industry: OSHA Compliance

Occupational Safety and Health Act was constituted to enforce employers to provide no risk work environment for its employees. It entails steps to take towards safety and health, training and guidance for all employers and employees in the working environment.

OSHA enforces the following:

  • Use of proper equipments
  • Safe work practices
  • Reporting any dangerous conditions not accounted
  • Provide first-aid at workplace
  • Ensure training, medical examination and maintain records for follow-up
  • Reduce chemical exposure
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