OSHA Heat Stress Standard: May 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Q: Does OSHA currently have a heat stress standard?

A: Not at this time, but they will use the General Duty Clause to issue citations.

On October 27, 2021, OSHA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings in the Federal Register. With this publication, OSHA is beginning the rulemaking process to consider a heat-specific workplace standard. A standard specific to heat-related injury and illness prevention would more clearly set forth employer obligations and the measures necessary to more effectively protect employees from hazardous heat. The ultimate goal is to prevent and reduce the number of occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities caused by exposure to hazardous heat.

The publication of the ANPRM initiated a public comment period allowing OSHA to gather information, diverse perspectives and technical expertise on issues that might be considered in developing a heat standard. These issues include the scope of a standard, heat stress thresholds for workers across various industries, heat acclimatization planning, and heat exposure monitoring, as well as the nature, types, and effectiveness of controls that may be required as part of a standard.

The publication of this ANPRM has no impact on OSHA’s current enforcement policies.

*Brought to you by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

NFPA 70B: April 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner

What is NFPA 70B?

We’ve all heard of OSHA. Everyone knows who they and you’ve probably heard about NFPA 70E.  But what about NFPA 70B?  OSHA is the WHAT, and NFPA is the HOW.  NFPA 7OE is the comprehensive standard that establishes best electrical safety practices on how to protect workers from electric arc flash and arc blast exposure and resulting potential injury and death.

NFPA 70B is the much-forgotten Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance.  NFPA 70B details preventive maintenance for electrical, electronic, and communication systems and equipment — such as those used in industrial plants, institutional and commercial buildings, and large multi-family residential complexes — to prevent equipment failures and worker injuries.  Proper maintenance is absolutely essential to the safety of your facility and your employees.

If this is all new to you, or you need to brush up on your facility’s electrical maintenance.  The BWC has an upcoming Course:

Date: May 23-25, 2022

Electrical Safety Maintenance (NFPA 70B) – Practices for Electrical

Description: This course provides students an overview into electrical safety audit procedures. Instruction will focus on  analyzing work practices following applicable codes and standards.

*Brought to you by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Ototoxicity: March 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Q: What is chemical ototoxicity, and should I be worried?

A: Ototoxic chemicals may cause hearing loss or balance problems to employees who are exposed. Ototoxic chemicals can be found in certain pesticides, solvents, and pharmaceuticals. The chemicals can negatively affect how the ear functions, causing hearing loss, and/or affect balance. The risk of hearing loss is increased when workers are exposed to these chemicals while working around elevated noise levels. What are some common ototoxic chemicals? Toluene, n-hexane, p-xylene, ethylbenzene, trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke, and lead. How do I know if these chemicals are present in my workplace? Review the Safety data sheets for solvents and degreasers. Pay attention to Section 3 that lists the product’s components. What should you do if you use a product containing an ototoxic chemical? Contact a BWC Industrial Hygienist. The Industrial Hygienist can assist you in determining the noise levels at your facility, help you review Safety Data Sheets for ototoxic chemicals and ensure your employees are using proper personal protective equipment.

For more information, see Preventing Hearing Loss Caused by Chemical (Ototoxicity) and Noise Exposure | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)

*Brought to you by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

April 13, 2022 – Safety Council Mega Meeting

Free webinar designed for safety and human resource professionals alike

Join safety council members across the state to learn how leaders can more effectively handle the unprecedented levels of stress and pressures in today’s workplaces. 

In her keynote presentation Now What? How to Lead by Bringing Your Human to Work, bestselling author and workplace strategist Erica Keswin will explore five ways to help your company thrive.

Prepare to bring your human to work, be confident you can manage the chaos and be ready to rock the hybrid revolution!

Additional details for this webinar, which is open to the public, are found in the attached flyer. No registration required.
Erica Keswin

Wednesday, April 13
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST

At the scheduled date and time, click here to join this live event.

With special appearance by BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud.

Anchored Machinery: December 2021 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: Should my fixed machinery be anchored/secured? What if it’s portable and not fixed?

Answer: In short, yes, your fixed machinery needs to be anchored/secured and your portable machinery should be secured as well to prevent unwanted movement and potential tipping. First off, according to OSHA’s General Requirements for all Machines 29 CFR 1910.212(b):

Machines designed for a fixed location shall be securely anchored to prevent walking or moving.

However, the OSHA standard does not touch on portable machinery. Even though OSHA does not have an associated standard for securing portable machinery, the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) does. According to OAC Rule 4123:1-5-05 (E) Anchoring and mounting of machinery:

Portable machinery mounted upon trucks or bases shall be securely fastened thereto, and such truck or base shall be so locked or blocked as to prevent movement or shift while such machine is in operation.

Therefore, as an employer in Ohio, not only do your fixed machines need to be securely anchored, but all portable machinery mounted upon trucks or bases need to be securely fastened as well.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.