Did you know? Approximately TWO MILLION construction workers are affected and exposed to respirable crystalline silica. This includes 600,000 workplaces that may not be compliant. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that at least 840,000 of these construction workers are exposed to silica dust levels greater than the new permissible exposure limit standard. This whooping figure lead to the enactment of OSHA’s final rule on respirable crystalline silica on September 23rd, 2017. California was one of the first states to enact and enforce the regulation set in forth by Fed OSHA.

Silica is comprised of quartz, found naturally in rocks, sand, soil brick and other concrete products. Silica is predominantly found in building materials including concrete, masonry, mortar, rock, sand and some varieties of paints. If your firm performs:

  • Abrasion or Sand Blasting
  • Cutting or Sawing
  • Crushing or Demolishing
  • Drilling
  • Grinding
  • Jackhammering

on any building materials, it is highly likely that respirable silica dust can be in the air.

The OSHA standard 29 CFR 1926.1153 on respirable crystalline silica now outlines a new permissible exposure limit, also known as PEL, for silica dust exposure. This standard makes employers and workplaces now liable for safety of their employees when silica dust exposure risk is high. The OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926.1153 applies to all occupational silica dust exposures in construction work that have are greater than 25 micrograms per cubic meter as an 8-hour time-weighted average. This standard is regulated under any foreseeable conditions.

Not only does the standard require for employers and workplaces to be under the permissible exposure limit for silica dust hazards, but they must also have a written exposure control plan, overseen by a competent person. The written exposure control plan identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers. The competent person shall be trained and understand the many duties of implementing the written exposure control plan. Furthermore, the competent person must be accountable for the record-keeping of medical exams, objective data and exposure measurements. The employer must also offer medical exams – including chest x-rays and lung function tests – every three years for workers exposed at or above the action level for 30 or more days per year.

Some standard key elements of the new OSHA regulation includes: using housekeeping methods that minimize or eliminate airborne dust when feasible,  limiting worker access to areas above the permissible exposure limit, using dust controls, and providing respirators when necessary. Included with this regulation, employers must provide and properly fit test their employees, who will be exposed to silica dust greater than the permissible exposure limit, with respirators annually. Medical records and exams should be wholly provided by the employer as well.

Silica dust can lead to serious chronic illnesses including but not limited to silicosis, lung cancer, COPD and tuberculosis. Many of these illnesses have no cure and could have been prevented with the correct measures when dealing with respirable crystalline silica. Silicosis, also known as grinder’s asthma, is a form of lung disease caused by inhaling respirable crystalline silica. Early stages include inflammation of the lungs and silicosis ultimately leads to lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs. There are two forms of silicosis: acute and chronic. Acute silicosis occurs within a few weeks or years from exposure to inhaled silica. Acute silicosis attributes to coughing, fatigue and drastic weight loss. Chronic silicosis is more dormant, and does not affect the body until 10 to 30 years after exposure. Chronic silicosis affects the upper lobes of the lungs and causes lesions and extensive scarring. Silicosis is typically diagnosed by a computed tomography (CT) scan or a chest x-ray. A physician may also obtain a lung sample if imaging results are not verifiable to clearly diagnose silicosis. There is currently no cure for silicosis.

Using water during drilling, sanding, grinding, or etc. can drastically keep silica dust out of the air. Some tools may come with water attachments to control dust directly at the source. Water is strongly recommended and can also keep dust out during sweeps and demolitions. When water isn’t available, use a HEPA-certified vacuum. Tools with vacuum attachments also capture dust right at the source. Silica dust can be drawn into hoods or covers right into the tool and is typically cleared by a HEPA-filter. HEPA-specified vacuums come included with a HEPA-filter to ensure silica dust is out of the air.

When the area of exposure could be too great for a tool or water to be used, ensuring that your firm uses HEPA Ventilation and Filtration Air Systems can drastically keep dust out of your airways. When these controls cannot maintain or keep permissible exposure limits below the OSHA standard, a respirator must be used. Employers are required to have full and written respiratory programs. Respirators are necessary when all other devices including vacuums and water do not sufficiently protect from silica exposure. Employers must also train their employees on how to properly use respirators, the types of respirators for different workplace scenarios, as well as fit testing to ensure respirators are fitted and functioning properly.

With California leading the way to enforcing these new regulations set in place, regular audits and surprise audits could lead to many firms having compliance issues to this standard. Furthermore, it could lead to citations and perhaps heavy fines imposed. These fines can levy a huge financial burden and could potentially put firms out of business. Ensuring your employee and firm’s safety could also mean the financial survival of your business.

Here at Global Environmental Network, Inc., we can help your firm become compliant to OSHA’s Final Rule on Crystalline Silica Dust Exposure. We offer many services in accordance with this new standard including but not limited to: Silica Hazard Awareness Training (for worker and supervisor), Silica Dust Air Sample Monitoring, Silica Exposure Control Plan Writing as well as Respirator Training and Fit Testing. Our main priorities are to keep you and your employees safe as well as being compliant with OSHA’s many regulations. We offer two-hour silica hazard awareness training for workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica and a four-hour silica hazard awareness training for supervisors.

 

Click the links below to view our training schedule or register for your next class!

Among all of the states, California is notorious for having the highest level of seismic activity.  Just alone in the past 24 hours, California has had 16 earthquakes, all of which are of magnitude 1.5 or higher. Although we may not feel these earthquakes, we should always prepare for the next big one to strike. It’s been 23 years since the last great earthquake struck California, a 6.7 magnitude in Northridge devastated many homes and lives. Everyone knows about the most catastrophic earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco where hundreds of thousands of lives were affected. We’re due for the “Big One” and we need to make sure we’re prepared. Seismologists and geologists estimate that based on the recent seismic activity in California, an earthquake of at least 7.0 magnitude can occur at any moment. With constant tectonic shifts and one of the largest inhabited faults in the world, California is a powder keg, ready to spark with the next earthquake.

Although California’s vast abundance of beautiful beaches, lush forestry and endless sight-seeing opportunities may make it very tantalizing to live, the fear of the next big earthquake lingers in the back of every Californian’s mind. Even if it’s a lingering thought, we should always make it a fact to be prepared. Having the right supplies readily available could mean weathering the storm for rescue, or prolonged survival until the infrastructure is back online. In the event of a catastrophic earthquake, we as Californian’s should already have plans and frequent drills to practice and implement these plans. The greatest fear is the fear of the unknown. We won’t know when the next “Big One” can happen, but we can prepare to ensure the safety and survival of our loved ones. Some key items that you should keep in hand include: flashlights, portable battery-operated radios, water supply and something to start a fire with. Most of the injuries and deaths do not occur during the earthquake or because of the earthquake but rather the repercussions of the earthquake. As California is lush in its forestry, wildfires could be imminent in a post-earthquake scenario. Avoiding structures that have a high potential of toppling over and street fixtures including streetlights or lamps could reduce the potential for danger for you or your loved ones.

It is estimated that an earthquake of 8.0 magnitude can lead to destruction in catastrophic proportions. Researchers estimate that there could be almost $200 billion dollars in damage, 50,000 injuries and the potential for 2,000 deaths. However, it must be understood that the death toll could be attributed by many factors including: fire, famine, dehydration and other natural causes. Having the right preparation and supplies can make this estimate much less drastic. Don’t be another statistic: expect for the best, prepare for the worst.

Global Environmental Network, Inc. prides ourselves in keeping our clients well-informed of the latest changes in environmental changes, federal and state regulations. Our state-of-the-art training and engineering facility is one of the largest in California. We have offices strategically placed in California to offer optimal coverage for all of your environmental, health and safety needs. With almost 3 decades of experience in environmental, health and safety training and engineering, we want to ensure that your firm is safe, up-to-date and certified. We also provide courses that could potentially help in the event of an emergency. We offer on-site First Aid, CPR and AED training in accordance with the American Heart Association’s standards.

A measure (OSHA 29CFR1910.38) passed in 2002 by the United States Department of Labor‘s OSHA requires all firms to write, develop and implement an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). The Emergency Action Plan requires for written and oral plans to be developed in the event of an emergency. Firms with 10 or fewer employees may be able to communicate an oral emergency action plan in lieu of a written one. Some items that must be included within an Emergency Action Plan include: procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency, and procedures for emergency evacuations including types of evacuation and exit route assignments. Other procedures include designation of the employees to remain that operate critical plant operations prior to evacuation, accounting for all employees post-evacuation and medical duties in the event of an emergency. Each name or job title of every employee who are responsible for the Emergency Action Plan must be laid out and their duties within the EAP.

Not only will employees and employers must be accountable during an emergency situation, an alarm system must be in place to comply with 29 CFR 1910.165. Employees must be trained and proficient within the EAP to ensure safe and orderly evacuations in the event of an emergency. This should be reviewed yearly with every employee and should be refreshed yearly.

IF YOUR FIRM DOES NOT HAVE AN EAP, SERIOUS FINES CAN BE IMPOSED. A press release from OSHA on April 8th, 2013 stated that CVS Pharmacy Inc.’s Albany store was non-compliant of the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38. Based on the citation, a proposed $40,000 in fines were imposed on CVS Pharmacy Inc. CVS’s Red Hook retail store was fined for repeated violations for the lack of an EAP. They were previously cited in 2010 and 2011 for similar hazards at other stores. The greatest takeaway from this press release is that each store MUST HAVESPECIFIC Emergency Action Plan and CANNOT USE a boilerplate EAP across multiple stores. Every evacuation plan as well as the potential hazards can vary from location to location. These serious fines can lead to great financial distress within a company or even bankruptcy.

GENI CAN HELP YOUR FIRM. Keep your firm up-to-date with OSHA’s regulations. Call us today to see if we can help write, develop or revise your firm’s Emergency Action Plan.

(800) 230-6944

KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES OSHA CERTIFIED! GENI also offers courses such as the OSHA 10-Hour Training and OSHA 30-Hour Training to keep your employees compliant with the most up-to-date OSHA regulations. Check out www.safetygeni.com for all of our other offerings including SWPPP plans, QSP/QSD training, HAZWOPER Training, Lead and Asbestos Training, Heavy Equipment Training, as well as many safety courses such as: fall protection, trenching and shoring, etc.

 earthquake

Download our FREE Emergency Supplies Kit Checklist Here! Ensure that your firm is safe and has the enough supplies to weather any disaster.

thanks-blog

 

We would like to take a moment to say that we appreciate our customers. For your continued trust, loyalty and reliance on us, we would like to thank you for your business. We strive to become the benchmark leader in EH&S and without your support as the customer, we would not be able to reach our goals.

As a token of our appreciation, please enjoy 10% off any class held in June. Contact your sales representative or call us today to book a seat: (800) 230-6944

Thank you from our family, to yours.

In a recent article provided by OSHA as of January 18th, 2017, a recent railroad parts manufacturer was fined $235,000 for exposing their employees in machine and fall hazards. In their inspection, OSHA found that the company:

  • Failed to have procedures for adequate lockout/tagout or inspections of these said procedures
  • Fall hazards were prominent because guardrails did not have a top rail and floor holes were not properly covered

Sample California Fall Protection Checklist
These violations can happen to any company and can impose serious fines. In order to properly implement procedures for fall protection safety within your firm, you must first understand the regulations that OSHA imposes. See below for a sample of an inspection checklist that can be used within your firm.

If you would like a complete inspection checklist, sign up for our newsletter here:

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE INSPECTION CHECKLIST

To enroll your employees in a Fall Protection Course, check out our schedule today.

Need a class on-site? Mention this blog and receive 10% off all on-site classes!

 

 

holiday

Use Promo Code: DEC2015

It May Be Cold Outside But This Holiday Promotion Should Warm You Up: When you enroll in any of our publicly held classes online you will receive a 10% discount when you enter the promo code “DEC2015.”

This promotion will only available from through the end of this year, December 31, 2015. To enter the code your class(es) must be in the shopping cart. Click to view the shopping cart at the top and enter the promo code there. The discount will automatically be added and calculated on your order.

This discount only applies to 2015 courses and is available until the end of the year. Ask us about volume discounts on our 2016 courses!

Happy Holidays from

Global Environmental Network, Inc

Global Environmental Network, Inc. has trained professionals on staff who provide Safety Training to meet your needs. Call today to schedule your training!!

high_heat_advisory

Cal/OSHA Issues High Heat Advisory for California

The National Weather Service has issued high heat advisories for Northern and Southern California Areas. The temperatures have reached over 100 degrees during the past few weeks. Cal/OSHA encourages all employers to take preventative action, and protect their workers from heat illness.

Special “high heat” procedures are required when temperatures reach 95 degrees. These procedures are:

·     Observing employees for signs and symptoms of heat illness.

·     Having accessible and effective communication systems in place to be able to call for emergency support if necessary.

·     Supervising workers in their first 14 days of employment to ensure adaptation to climate changes.

California employers must protect outdoor workers per the state’s heat regulation, by taking these simple steps:

·     Develop and apply written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

·     Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.

·     Supply enough water so each employee can drink at least 1 quart/four 8-ounce glasses, of water every hour, and encourage them to do so.

·     Provide shade for employees, and encourage them to take a break in the shade for at least 5 minutes. Workers should not wait until they feel sick or have heat illness symptoms to cool down.

Cal-OSHA will be conducting inspections on outdoor working environments in multiple industries. Cal-OSHA will also provide consultation about heat illness prevention.

Global Environmental Network, Inc. provides Heat Illness Prevention classes and can write your Heat Illness Prevention Program in compliance with Cal/OSHA. We have fast turn-around and excellent service.

Call our office today to schedule your HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION CLASS or to develop your HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION PLAN!

Global Environmental Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 8068 Fountain Valley, CA 92728 1-800-230-6944

California Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) is a combination of State and local agencies to fight illegally working companies. LETF pays close attention to high-risk industries that are known to abuse the rights of low wage workers such as car wash, restaurant, manufacturing, roofing, construction, farming and auto repair businesses.

In August this year LETF found four safety violations while conducting inspections. While inspecting a roofing company in San Diego, at least four employees were found working near the edge of a four-story building’s roof without any fall protection gear. They were at a height of at least 50 feet above ground level, and if a fall would have occurred, death would have been imminent. This same company was fined $800 in 2008 after an accident where a roofer cut his hand with a high-pressure spray gun.

For more information about California Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) and on the underground working class please visit the LETF home page. The LETF website also has links to educational materials to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities

respirator_picOSHA and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a new toolkit on May 15th 2015. It intends to help protect health care workers from contagious diseases and other respiratory hazards.


The Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit addresses respirator use, public health guidance on using respirators during exposure to infectious diseases, and hazardous duties. It also provides links to additional resources, including templates and educational materials.

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard mandates that employers implement and sustain a respiratory protection program in environments where workers might be exposed to airborne hazards.

Global Environmental Network offers Respiratory Training and Fit Testing for the Construction/General Industry/ Medical fields including:

  • Fit Testing (Qualitative & Quantitative)
  • Respiratory Fit Test Training
  • Respiratory Protection Program Development

Global Environmental Network, Inc. is pleased to offer a
July Special: 10% off
of our Fit Testing, Training or Program Development*! Need all 3, call for our specials!
Offer cannot be used with any additional discounts, promotions or competitive bids.
Buy now, so you don’t miss this great opportunity!
*Pricing is discounted off of our list price.

OSHA and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a new toolkit on May 15th this year.  It intends to help protect health care workers from contagious diseases and other respiratory hazards.

The Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit, addresses respirator use, public health guidance on using respirators during exposure to infectious diseases, and hazardous duties. It also provides links to additional resources, including templates and educational materials.

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard mandates that employers implement and sustain a respiratory protection program in environments where workers might be exposed to airborne hazards.

Global Environmental Network offers Respiratory Training and Fit Testing for the Construction/General Industry/ Medical fields including:

  • Fit Testing (Qualitative & Quantitative)
  • Respiratory Fit Test Training
  • Respiratory Protection Program Development

June Special: 10% off of our Fit Testing, Training or Program Development*!  Need all 3, call for our specials!

*Pricing is discounted off of our list price.

Cal-OSHA has amended the regulations for the Heat Illness Prevention Program. These changes go into effect on May 1, 2015. By this date you must revise and update your Heat Illness Prevention program, train your employees, and implement these changes.

Below is the link to the Cal OSHA guidance document on what employers need to do be in compliance with the new regulations. The document gives a breakdown of the following: the existing regulations, an amended language column, and guidance for implementing the new requirements.

Call GENI to Update/Develop your Heat Illness Prevention Program!


GENI has a host of program development specialists available at your fingertips to support in your program’s updates and changes, as well as new programs. We have fast-turn around and excellent service.

Please refer to the Cal/OSHA guidance on the new requirements, as well as Cal OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Enforcement Q&A https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/heatIllnessQA.html

Heat Illness Prevention Training
Global Environmental Network, Inc. offers Heat Illness Prevention classes to meet your needs. Call our office today to schedule your training.