Hexavalent Chromium Exposure Factors from Welding Operations

By Jerome E. Spear, CSP, CIH Chromium has been used commercially in the U.S. for more than 100 years. Chromium occurs mainly in three forms, described by its valence state. Metallic chromium (Cr[0]) is a steel-gray solid with a high melting point that is used to make steel and other alloys. Chromium metal does not…

Keeping Safe in Hazardous Cold Weather

By Jerome E. Spear, CIH, CSP, FAIHA When the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs organizes a team to travel to the Antarctica to drill ice cores, preparations are extreme.  Drillers wear tight cuff wet gear over extremely cold weather gear as well as gloves, hoods, cold weather face masks and chemical vapor respirators.…

CARBON MONOXIDE EXPOSURE FROM LIFT TRUCKS

By Jerome E. Spear, CIH, CSP, FAIHA The use of lift trucks powered by internal combustion engines inside buildings and enclosed spaces creates the potential buildup of carbon monoxide (CO).  Propane-powered (LPG) lift trucks represent 60% of all material handling vehicles and 80% of all internal combustion lift trucks.  Although LPG lift trucks emit considerably…

PREPARING FOR A DOT AUDIT

By Alexander Ritchie and Georg Marcum Whether a company utilizes a fleet of trucks or has just one commercial vehicle, the anticipation of a Department of Transportation (DOT) safety compliance audit can be a nerve-wracking experience – if you are not prepared.  The best way to pass a DOT audit is to be certain that…

PREVENTING DAMAGE TO UNDERGROUND UTILITIES

By Jerome E. Spear, CIH, CSP, FAIHA and Alexander Ritchie The possibilities of damaging underground utilities exist at every drilling site.  Inadvertently severing an underground power line, rupturing a natural gas line, or damaging other underground utilities can result in significant consequences in terms of disrupting essential services, costly repairs, downtime, and potentially serious injuries…

HAZARD COMMUNICATION

OSHA’s Adoption of the Globally System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) By Jerome E. Spear, CIH, CSP, FAIHA Laws and regulations throughout the world are different enough to require multiple labels and safety data sheets for the same product both within the U.S. and international trade. It is estimated that about 42 to…

Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety

Compressed gases pose a unique hazard. Depending on the particular  and mechanical hazards associated with high pressure as well as chemical hazards associated with the gas itself. As a result, gas cylinders require special storage and handling precautions. Compressed gas and equipment is addressed in specific OSHA standards for both general industry and the construction…

HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM: Feasible Engineering Controls for Welding Operations

OSHA requires exposures to hexavalent chromium (Cr[VI]) above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 5 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m³) to be reduced using feasible engineering controls, which is consistent with other substance-specific standards and good industrial hygiene practice. If feasible engineering controls do not sufficiently reduce exposures to below the PEL, exposures must be…

Measuring Safety and Health Performance

A Review of Commonly-UsedPerformance IndicatorsBy Jerome E. Spear, CSP, CIH, FAIHA How an organization measures performance undoubtedly influences organizational behavior. However, measuring safety is difficult because it is difficult to predict the impact that new safety metrics will have on individual behavior, attitudes, and the overall safety climate. Regardless of how difficult it is to…

Controlling Noise Exposure

After determining worker exposure to noise, intervention may be needed to reduce noise exposures to allowable levels. There are three general ways to reduce to noise exposure, which are as follows (in order of preference): • Engineering Controls • Administrative Controls • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) When engineering controls are not feasible to reduce exposures,…