Articles

Changing Marcellus Shale Gas Well Regulations in Pennsylvania – Part 2

posted May 14, 2013, 1:09 PM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 17, 2013, 3:26 PM ]

    In Part 1 of this four-part series about the changing regulatory environment for unconventional Marcellus Shale gas wells in Pennsylvania due to the passage of Act 13, we covered many of the changes to permitting, reporting, bonding and notifications.

    Now its time to focus on changes made to the environmental protections, setback provisions, liabilities and penalties. These changes became effective as of April 16, 2012.

Disclosure

    Part 1 already mentioned the new disclosure requirements for hydraulic fracking chemicals. Previously, only a partial subset had to be disclosed and there were was virtually no public reporting required, which has been changed in Act 13 to include full disclosure (except for trade secret proprietary information, although even that must be disclosed in emergency situations or when spills have purportedly affected people) and public reporting through FracFocus.org website.

    Trade secret assertions may also be challenged through the state’s Right-to-Know law. There’s also the matter of medical professionals having access to the information in spite of trade secret claims in order to conduct diagnoses and treatments for their patients. Doctors can compel companies to turn over this information if they need it.

Setback Provisions

Here are the new setback distances for unconventional gas wells required in different situations:

  • 200-500 feet from existing buildings or water wells, unless consented to by the owner of the building or water well.
  • 1,000 feet from a water supply extraction point used by a water purveyor, unless written consent is obtained from the water purveyor.
  • 100-300 feet from any solid blue lined stream, body of water or wetland greater than one acre in size as identified in the most recent 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle map of the US Geological Survey.
  • Unconventional well site pads must also maintain a setback of 100 feet between the edge of disturbance and any stream, spring, body of water or wetland greater than one acre in size.
    The department can grant a variance from these distance restriction if the company submits a plan that details additional measure, facilities or practices to prevent problems and that is approve by the DEP. The permit will contain any additional terms or conditions to ensure the safety of surrounding people and property and water resources.

Liabilities and Penalties

    If a company’s fracking activities damage a water supply by pollution or depletion, it bears the responsibility of replacing that water supply to meet the water quality standards present before the effects of fracking or to the standards of the PA Safe Drinking Water Act (whichever results in a higher quality). Act 13 increased the liability of fracking companies for water contamination, to include any affected water supply within 2,500 feet of an unconventional well and that occurs within 12 months of a well’s use.

    The company must provide a temporary supply of potable water until the previous supply is restored or replaced. Landowners and water purveyors must allow the company to have access in order to conduct pre-drilling or pre-alteration surveys. If they don’t, the liability of the company may be rebutted. Companies must inform landowners and water purveyors in advance of this condition.

    Note that if it so chooses, the DEP can send its own specialist respondents to a well control emergency that it hires or contracts with, and the company operating the well will be responsible for all costs incurred by the DEP. Act 13 also ups the penalties for criminal violations of the laws and regulations from $300 to $1,000 per offense. Civil penalties have been increased to $75,000 plus $5,000 per day (up from from $25,000 and $1,000 per day).

    This second part in our four-part series related to fracking regulations in Pennsylvania has been focused on the environmental protections, setback provisions, liabilities and penalties that apply to unconventional gas wells. Stay tuned for Part 3, which will focus on new rules and regulations related to well containment and corrosion controls.


Learn more about how we can help you with all your Marcellus Shale safety training needs.

PA Passes Act 13 to Deal With Marcellus Shale Hydraulic “Fracking”

posted May 14, 2013, 12:44 PM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 8:21 AM ]

   After years of stalemate, Pennsylvania’s legislature finally passed Act 13, a series of amendments to the 1984 Oil and Gas Act to deal with the boom of hydraulic “fracking,” unconventional natural gas wells that release the precious energy resource trapped in the Marcellus Shale formation.
    What’s happening with this legislation and the new rules and regulations that will come from it is very much a moving target, and there’s a lot to cover when it comes to fracking, so this is the first of a four-part series. See part 2.

    Note that the law’s constitutionality was challenged and that in July, the Commonwealth Court found some parts of the law unconstitutional;  The part that limited local governments’ ability to write ordinances to restrict drilling in certain areas as well as the part that expanded waiver allowances to the siting standards involved in permitting an unconventional gas well.

    The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court of PA, which heard testimony and arguments in October 2012, bu there’s been no indication of when a ruling will be forthcoming. In this first part, the focus will be on Act 13’s changes to permitting, notifications, bonding and reporting.

Reporting:

    A well in the beginning stages (a so-called “spud”) requires new reporting. All operators must provide 24 hours’ notice of the date that drilling will commence to the department electronically via the department’s online oil and gas reporting application, which may be found at the DEP Oil and Gas Reporting – Electronic page. A full well record must now be filed with the DEP within 30 days of drilling. All information previously required is still required in the report. 

    What Act 13 added in that’s new is identifying true vertical depths at which methane was encountered, other than in the target formation, and the country of origin and manufacturer of the tubular steel products used in well construction. When the well is completed, another report must be filed within 30 days of that completion (when the well is ready to produce).


That report must include the operator’s stimulation record, which consists of the following:
  • A descriptive list of the chemical additives used.
  • The trade name, vendor, and intended use of each chemical additive
  • A list of chemicals used
  • The percent by mass of each chemical used
  • The total volume
  • List of water sources
  • Pump rates, pressures, total volume used to stimulate a well
  • Total volume of recycled water used

    
Companies may designate parts of the stimulation record as trade secrets or proprietary information, but PA’s Right to Know Law will still apply. Operators must also be prepared to divulge even proprietary information immediately and verbally to emergency responders who need in treating affected people. Proprietary information must also be divulged if any person or entity requests it in writing because they feel they have been affected by a spill. In addition, unconventional well operators must complete a chemical disclosure registry form for publication on FracFocus.org in addition to the above reporting to the DEP. This must be accomplished within 60 days of the completion of fracking.


    Permitting. The drilling permit application forms have been changed so that there are separate forms for conventional, unconventional and wells to be drilled in coal areas. There is an new form to describe ownership and control of companies seeking oil and gas well permits, as well as new bonding forms. All those may be found on the DEP’s Individual Forms page. The response rate of DEP to a permit application has been extended to as much as 75 days if the applicant is seeking a variance or waiver request on well siting restrictions. The DEP’s grounds for denying permits was expanded to include situations where the applicant, parent or subsidiary is in continuing violation of applicable state laws and regulations, or the applicant has failed to pay the required impact fee or file a report. Also note that a water management plan must be submitted and approved if any water will be withdrawn for drilling or fracking stimulation of an unconventional gas well. Approval must be sought through the appropriate River Basin Commission (Susquehanna, Delaware River or Great Lakes). This is a condition for any permit to be issued by the DEP.

Bonding.

    Act 13 increases bonding requirements based on wellbore length and number of wells operated as follows (and these figures could change as frequently as every two years):

For wells with total well bore lengths less than 6,000 feet:
  • For up to 50 wells – $4,000/well not to exceed $35,000
  • For 51-150 wells – $35,000 plus $4,000/well not to exceed $60,000
  • For 151-250 wells – $60,000 plus $4,000/well not to exceed $100,000
  • For more than 250 wells – $100,000 plus $4,000/well not to exceed $250,000

For wells with total well bore lengths 6,000 feet or greater:

  • For up to 25 wells – $10,000/well not to exceed $140,000

  • For 26-50 wells – $140,000 plus $10,000/well not to exceed $290,000

  • For 51-150 wells – $290,000 plus $10,000/well not to exceed $430,000

  • For more than 150 wells – $430,000 plus $10,000/well not to exceed $600,000


Notifications.

    Certain parties must be notified as part of the well permit application process. In addition to the previous notification requirements, Act 13 adds in the following entities that must receive the plat (map of land divisions):
  • The municipality in which the tract of land upon which the well to be drilled is located.
  • Each municipality within 3,000 feet of the proposed unconventional vertical well bore.
  • The municipalities adjacent to the well.
  • Surface landowners and water purveyors with water supplies within 3,000 feet of a proposed unconventional well bore.
  • Gas storage operators within 3,000 feet of the proposed unconventional vertical well bore.

    Note that “Adjacent municipalities” are all those that share a common border with the municipality in which the tract of land upon which the well to be drilled is located. Additionally, municipalities located within 3,000 feet of the proposed unconventional well bore must also receive notice of the plat by certified mail, whether or not they share a common border with the municipality where the well to be drilled is located.

    As you can see, Act 13 is far-reaching in its effects on unconventional gas wells in the state of Pennsylvania. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, which will look into the environmental protection and setback provisions of Act 13 that have changed.

Click here to learn more about our Marcellus Shale safety training program.

Organizational Safety Training Should Include Creating or Reviewing Your EAP

posted May 14, 2013, 12:38 PM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 8:25 AM ]

    Navigating the rules and regulations of your company’s EAP (emergency action plan) to which your workplace is subject can feel like a daunting task. That’s why many turn to companies that provide safety training consultation and courses.

    They help clarify the standards you should be paying attention to, which puts your organization on a solid path to full compliance, avoiding the bad press from receiving citations and the costly fines that can accompany them. As an example, here’s some information about emergency action plans.

    OSHA standards require just about every workplace to have an emergency action plan (EAP). Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably misinformed. When the fire alarms sound, if anyone is going to evacuate the building, you need to have an EAP. In fact, the only way your organization can be exempt from having an EAP is if every single employee is both trained and equipped to fight fires, which means no one would be evacuating at all but instead would fight the fire. You might also have an organization where some of the people are ready and able to fight the fire to allow others the time to escape, which would once again mean you must have an EAP because at least some people would be evacuating.

    If it’s time for your company to get serious about safety issues, look for safety training courses that go above and beyond minimum requirements. Whether your company decides to go the extra mile or not, you'll at least have the information needed to do so. For example, the OSHA standards on emergency action plans require that they include the following (the list is verbatim from the OSHA website):
  • Means of reporting fires and other emergencies.
  • Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments.
  • Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate.
  • Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed.
  • Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them.
  • Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.

    If you have an EAP, it needs to meet at least those minimum requirements. However, an organization that is serious about protecting its employees in the face of a wide variety of potential emergencies would also include the following in its EAP (again, these are recommendations as they appear on the OSHA website):


  • A description of the alarm system to be used to notify employees (including disabled employees) to evacuate and/or take other actions. The alarms used for different actions should be distinctive and might include horn blasts, sirens, or even public address systems.
  • The site of an alternative communications center to be used in the event of a fire or explosion.
  • A secure on site / off site location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees’ emergency contact lists, and other essential records.
    When was the last time you reviewed your EAP, if you have one? Have there been significant changes to your facilities? If you can't remember the last time you reviewed your EAP, chances are it needs some updating. You should make an annual review part of your standard operating procedures.

    There are many options for health and safety training courses that will help your business make sure it is in compliance with all relevant standards, rules and regulations. By understanding them and complying with them, you’ll rest easy knowing that you are protecting not only your employees, but the bottom line of your business as well.

What is HAZWOPER Training and Does Your Company Need it?

posted May 14, 2013, 11:56 AM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 8:30 AM ]

    Love Canal and the lesser-known Valley of the Drums were two major toxic waste disasters in the 1970s that resulted in passage of the Superfund Act of 1980.

    After passage, four government agencies including OSHA  USCG, NIOSH and the EPA collaborated on writing the rules and regulations to deal with safety and training issues for companies and workers dealing with hazardous substances or who might potentially be exposed to them. The results of their work came to be known as Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, or HAZWOPER.

    The standards are extensive and complex, and its extremely important to know if your company or any of its employees need HAZWOPER training.

    OSHA’s website provides the following guidelines for determining if your company or its employees fall within one of the five distinct groups that might encounter hazardous substances or toxic waste:

  • Clean-up operations — required by a governmental body, whether federal, state, local, or other involving hazardous substances — that are conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
  • Corrective actions involving clean-up operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).
  • Voluntary cleanup operations at sites recognized by federal, state, local, or other governmental body as uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
  • Operations involving hazardous wastes that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities regulated by Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to RCRA, or by agencies under agreement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement RCRA regulations.
  • Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances regardless of the location of the hazard.
    From that list, you should be able to figure out if your company or any employees need to take a HAZWOPER training course. But the next step is just as important, which is to figure out how much training is needed. This can get complicated, but in general, the OSHA website outlines the following groups that need either 40 hours of training and three days of field experience or 24 hours of training and 1 day of field experience:

  • General site workers (such as equipment operators, general laborers and supervisory personnel) engaged in hazardous substance removal or other activities which expose or potentially expose workers to hazardous substances and health hazards shall receive a minimum of 40 hours of instruction off the site, and a minimum of three days actual field experience under the direct supervision of a trained experienced supervisor.

  • Workers on site only occasionally for a specific limited task (such as, but not limited to, ground water monitoring, land surveying, or geophysical surveying) and who are unlikely to be exposed over permissible exposure limits and published exposure limits shall receive a minimum of 24 hours of instruction off the site, and the minimum of one day actual field experience under the direct supervision of a trained, experienced supervisor.

  • Workers regularly on site who work in areas which have been monitored and fully characterized indicating that exposures are under permissible exposure limits and published exposure limits where respirators are not necessary, and the characterization indicates that there are no health hazards or the possibility of an emergency developing, shall receive a minimum of 24 hours of instruction off the site, and the minimum of one day actual field experience under the direct supervision of a trained, experienced supervisor.

  • Workers with 24 hours of training who become general site workers or who are required to wear respirators, shall have the additional 16 hours and two days of training necessary to total the training specified in paragraph 1.

  • On-site management and supervisors directly responsible for, or who supervise employees engaged in, hazardous waste operations shall receive 40 hours initial training, and three days of supervised field experience (the training may be reduced to 24 hours and one day if the only area of their responsibility includes employees covered by paragraphs 2 and 3 and at least eight additional hours of specialized training at the time of job assignment on such topics as, but not limited to, the employer’s safety and health program and the associated employee training program, personal protective equipment program, spill containment program, and health hazard monitoring procedure and techniques.

    Is your head spinning yet? Some of the above workers are also required to receive 8 hours of refresher training each year. If all of this looks like one big headache to you, do yourself a favor and find an experienced company that delivers a full suite of HAZWOPER training courses. That way you'll know you're getting the training you need.

Safety in the Workplace is Something You Can't Afford to Ignore

posted May 14, 2013, 11:23 AM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 8:53 AM ]

    With the rapid pace of change in the world today and an economy that continues to struggle to recover from the last recession, it is all too common for workplace safety to take a backseat to other pressing concerns. Unfortunately, letting workplace safety fall lower and lower on your company’s priority list is something you just can’t afford to allow to happen.

    If you read our series of postings in November and December about about implementing an effective safety program, you'll recall that in the same way that speed limit signs aren't what keeps you from speeding (it’s the potential of seeing those flashing lights and a police officer holding you accountable), it’s not the safety regulations that drive your safety program, it’s the potential for being held accountable by agencies like OSHA. If you're still not feeling inspired, pay close attention to what follows:

OSHA Fines Total $1.2 Million Dollars In Just 2 Weeks

    The OSHA website has a newsroom page where they post all of their press releases. From January 1 through January 17, just a little over two weeks, the site showed 23 different press releases. Of those, 8 were about miscellaneous news items or early reports of violations, but the other 15 were about specific citations of particular companies for violations and the proposed fines to be levied.

    Fines for the citations reported in these 15 press releases add up to nearly $1.2 million dollars – that’s an average of about $80,000 per company. If an $80,000 hit directly to the bottom line of your company sounds like something you’d rather avoid, then you’d better start bumping safety back up closer to the top of your priority list!

Additional Consequences of Ignoring OSHA’s Workplace Safety Guidelines

    However, it’s also important to say that although the negative impact that ignoring safety can have on your bottom line is important, there’s more at stake than just money and profits. We are, after all, talking about people’s lives here! As Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis put it in her Workers Memorial Day speech on April 26, 2012:

“Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy. American workers are not looking for a handout or a free lunch. They are looking for a good day’s pay for a hard day’s work. They just want to go to work, provide for their families, and get home in one piece.”

    Yes, 13 deaths per day in workplaces across the nation is a lot less than the 38 deaths per day that were happening when OSHA was created in 1970, but that’s still 13 too many! Focusing on workplace safety is important for your company’s long-term financial health and it’s just the right thing to do.

    If your company decides that it should make safety a real priority in 2013, please explore the CSEM website to find out how our safety compliance and consulting programs can help you understand and comply with all the relevant regulations that apply to your business. You, your company’s bottom line and your workers will be glad you did!

An Investment Into Safety In The Workplace – Part 3

posted May 14, 2013, 10:46 AM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 8:44 AM ]

First, Invest In Activators

    Failure is not an option when talking safety. The activators within your safety management team will not wait for an accident or tragedy; this individual will take action; a great quality for an EH&S professional. This is more to my point of not hiring a deliberator who creates consensus building exercises; instead you need a decision making team that knows safety with a swagger.

Safety is common sense; but written as an equation, 

Common Sense = Life Experience + Formal Education + Effective Communication.

    I don't want a safety professional who has a tap root sealing them to their office chairs, an e-mail box full of where the next safety gaggle will be, get out there, “IN THE FIELD”, roll in it and come back smelling like cash with zero liabilities.Believe me, in the current work environment there are plenty of EH&S professionals who favor the bureaucracy and hunger for it themselves. Show me a safety and health professional that can see a future problem, provide reasonable safety options while keeping the project going and I’ll show you a profitable company.

Fully Invest in The Program

    Survey the Scene: Pre-Determine and maintain RAC evaluations to verify the potential safety hazards and look at the failures of others in similar projects, case study the good, bad and out right ugly of each failure. Understand that many people have died in vain if you choose not to do your own research and realize their sacrifice.

    Bring meaning to their misfortunes through the implementation of safety programs that satisfy not only the regulators and the regulated but satisfy your own people’s benefit of safety and security and profit. Be a safety sage by observing the work environment, by knowing how employees will engage their co-workers in the development of a constructive (Risk Assessment Code) that blueprints levels of response effort needed for safe jobs. Eliminate hazards by design, by approach or by protections; clearly compare probability vs. severity. Stop costly project delays caused by debate and infighting to yield uncomfortable consensus.

    Training is formal education that provides an open format for life experience to be well communicated to all who attend the training. The standards have no bearing here; it is the input and dedication of the crew that builds effective safety programs. Having an effective safety agenda establishes responsibilities for ALL employees. A corporate EH&S officer’s ability to hold all accountable, ratchet’s up and down the dynamic tension based upon the RAC, making a formula for eliminating accidents and holding them to near zero if not zero.

    Effective safety programming builds an extraordinarily positive company reputation and most importantly the elimination of liabilities that threaten both acute and chronic company cash flow and profit. Learn more about Implementing an Effective Safety Program- Part 2


How To Implement An Effective Safety Program – Part 2

posted May 14, 2013, 10:26 AM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 8:50 AM ]

    So, what considerations must be made when developing an effective safety program? The following are some key pointers and advice that may be helpful in determining what to do and how to start. Remember, the best start may be to simply start over. While we can't manage people, we can certainly manage results! I'm not saying that you necessarily need to fire your corporate safety director, but you should rename the position — immediately.

Here are some tips and please don't hesitate to call me to discuss this further; safety verbal messages are free over the phone.

Fully Invest in Safety Personnel

Invest In a Business Professional:

    Internally, your safety and health professionals should be business savvy individuals who understand profit and loss of a business. They should temper their enthusiasm for shutting down a project with that of getting the job done safely and effectively and on time.

    The main agenda of EH&S professionals should be the same as the company they work for. We get into business to make money, our reputation and our safety record shows our admiration for our employee’s. When the company is profitable, promotions, raises and let’s be frank again, the ability to compete and profit again is improved.

    I wouldn't want my safety officer shutting down all the roads to success; instead, I would want the safety officer making the roads safer and more effective to get to the destination, the very temporary destination of profit. I am much more in favor of safety timeouts than job shutdowns  I have seen several EH&S chest thumpers in my day that have fallen flat when the time came to present their case and the only thing accomplished was to destroy project profitability.

    This is why a company should not have titles like Corporate EH&S Director. Tell me, who does your corporate safety director currently direct? That’s what I thought; no-one really, perhaps they direct their e-mails to all the people they can't really hold accountable.

    Sorry, rather a company should have a Corporate EH&S Officer. An officer has authority to hold accountable the most senior level managers with EH&S responsibilities down to the working hands in the field. Infusion of safety responsibilities and accountabilities make safety training more essential and effective to achieve both zero accidents and profitability for the company; one simply can not exist without the other.

Invest in a Maximizer: 

    This means that the person in charge of safety is driven by industry excellence, not mediocrity or standards.

    Why risk safety and profits? The Maximizer will ensure quality control and be a driver within the program. This individual will exceed all expectations by governing bodies. A maximizer will seek to generate the highest quality and strive to be the next cover story on industry best practice forums and at the same time, meet the mutually beneficial goals of the company and the regulatory agency.

    I like VPP programs and we’ll talk about them soon. However, if you are cutting edge, you have already prioritized that within the scope of your company size, market and goals.

How To Manifest An Effective Safety Program?

    A curriculum that includes training, training and yes, more training. Keep in mind that one person can have a direct influence on the effectiveness of the entire program directly influencing others.

    A safety curriculum that is executed by all who are well trained in the goal and purpose of the company quest for profitability — is the key to an effective safety program. Read part 1 of our Guidelines and Tips For Effective Safety Programs

Guidelines and Tips for Effective Safety Programs - Part 1

posted May 14, 2013, 9:49 AM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 8:56 AM ]

Profit isn't everything, it’s the only thing.

    Show me a company that does not have an effective safety program driven by a specific set of goals and I can easily show you a company that does not have a program to sustain their financial success or profit into the future.

Safety programs keep the D’s aka Death, Disabilities, Disaster’s, Dilemmas, Disgust, Despair, Disputes, etc. at bay.

    The D’s are always finding liability for the lazy company to destroy the works that you will ultimately be judged by – for the next opportunity. Not establishing an effective safety program means you are inviting financial deficits. Many say safety regulations drive safety programs. RIGHT…did you catch my sarcasm there…let me try again…RIGHT… Ahhh that’s better… That is like saying speed limit signs keep you from speeding. It’s not the responsibility that keeps you from speeding it’s the flashing lights of an officer holding you to some accountability.

    It’s not hard to see success as failures tied end to end. Business failures are studied and exploited every day by successful and profitable businesses. There are plenty of business scenarios happening in real time all around us to use as case study examples. Let me ask you a rhetorical question, When do you think bigger jobs happen for safety consultants; before the accident or after? MMhmm it’s after…

    Company owners look at maximizing word of mouth business, bidding solicitations effectively, production techniques, marketing savvy and logistics to make business altering decisions that positively affect profit.

    Yet when it comes to effective programs for health and safety in the workplace, the same great minds toss their financial security and business acumen to a template stamping safety department with little or no experience within the “business of business”. Sure they had spelled the industry of their prospective employer correctly on their resume and know the buzzwords, but where is the day to day grit to "Git-R-Done"MAKE A DECISION …and GO in the name of safety!

    Want to know the truth? Real-time decision making is subject to a RAC that means a Risk Assessment Code. This is a system which enables prioritizations of safety concerns; a rare quality in any safety director. RAC training needs to be a function of the field manager who hires and fires workers. The RAC training is carefully crafted by management instituted by the Corporate Safety Officer and lived by in the field every day.

    Simply put it is the 80/20 rule. 80% of your safety concerns can be illuminated by carefully identifying the 20% of project hazards that out rank in probability and severity all the other hazards to be considered on a job. If I were to write 80/20 on a bean counters tablet, they would quickly re-write it as 4. If I was a president of a company, I would say that was a 400% improvement in the effectiveness of my safety program.


HEY…That’s a good start right? Continue Reading.

Top 10 Workplace Hazards for 2012

posted May 14, 2013, 9:42 AM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 9:07 AM ]

    According to a news article posted by the Engineering News-Record, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released information listing the top ten workplace hazards and violations for 2012. They are as follows:

 Hazard Number
 
    Fall Protection

 7,250
 
    Hazard Communication

 4,696
 
    Scaffolding

 3,814
 
    Respiratory Protection

 2,371
 
    Ladders

 2,310
 
    Machine Guarding

 2,097
 
    Power Industrial Trucks

 1,993
 
    Electrical, Wiring Methods

 1,744
 
    Lockout/Tagout

 1,572
 
    Electrical, General Reqs.

 1,332


    CSEM knows that workplace hazards and injury results like mentioned above, can be prevented and totally eliminated. By having well trained employees and management that have the primary assignment of their own safety, which includes their co-workers, the safety culture begins to eradicate the potential for these events to occur.

    For example, by ensuring all employees are aware of their work environment, are instructed about standard procedures, and are equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to handle machines, the many injuries from machine guarding can be mitigated. The goal of all involved within an organization should be to control, and ultimately eliminate, the potential hazards when using machines.
    Or, consider fall protection. Among other things, employers are expected to ensure that workers are unable to fall from elevated platforms, like scaffolding or through holes or weak spots in the walls or floors of the work area. Here are 10 basic best practices when preparing to ascend to an elevated work space:
  1. Review the structure / workspace prior to ascending.
  2. If there are any safety breaches, do not climb - Inform a supervisor.
  3. Wear the proper attire — including footwear and headwear.
  4. Ascend to the work area with extreme caution — using railings or other safety features.
  5. Do not load or carry extra, unnecessary supplies when ascending to the work area.
  6. Ensure all workers and supervisors are aware of your position.
  7. Utilize the provided toe boards and guard rails when elevated.
  8. Use additional equipment, like safety harnesses, when necessary.
  9. Inform co-workers and supervisors when the job is complete.
  10. Inform others of the situation and descend with total caution.

While seemingly simple, performing these 10 practices can help greatly reduce the number of injuries due to fall protection.


    You must recognize, though, that the above steps assume that employers go to the necessary lengths to meet, and even exceed, compliance regulations. If for whatever reason, you are questioning workplace safety or you feel unsafe about an elevated work environment, you should immediately inform the supervisor.

    Only 2 examples of the 10 were discussed. However, CSEM provides safety training and consulting in all of the aforementioned hazard areas. So, please contact us to learn how we can help you to decrease the number of job related injuries, or even deaths, within your organization.


Read more from the Engineering News-Record article.

Risk Management Safety

posted May 14, 2013, 9:18 AM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated May 20, 2013, 11:13 AM ]

    It is a sensible idea for every company to have regular evaluations for risk management and safety, and a qualified safety officer either outsourced or employed on site can have this done for you. If you have been looking online to find the best training courses for your company for safety and risk management, CSEM is a group of professionals that offers you a wide choice of training for this plus every type suitable for all industry. Proper employee training helps prevent accidents in the workplace, increases productivity, and brings your business up to world class industry standards. Risk management and safety is not something any company should ever overlook, as the loss to life, damage to property, and harm to the environment can be avoided through employees having the correct knowledge.

    Companies that transport, manufacture, or store dangerous chemicals and other hazardous goods should regularly have an evaluation of risk management and safety to see whether proper practices are adhered to. Employees and managers should know what to do when accidents or incidents happen, and proper training is a way to go through the courses offered today by CSEM. You will see we offer risk management and safety courses, first aid, handling of hazardous materials training (Hazwoper), and hundreds of other training courses which you can choose. With the convenience of internet technology it is even possible to complete the courses through a webinar or online presentations and you can learn more about what we offer on our website provided for our clients’ convenience.

    Center for Occupational Safety and Environmental Management has a team of experts that can come and do risk management and safety training onsite for your managers, safety officers, and employees if you prefer, according to your own schedules. You can browse through the different courses we have available on risk management and safety on this website to learn more about the services and capabilities we offer. If you already have the right training it is always sensible to have a look at the refresher courses to stay abreast of new regulations that are imposed, which are now done to protect the environment, and against loss of life, plus for the prevention of accidents in the workplace.

    Your company can be fined if you do not meet the minimum requirements in training, and regular checks are done by qualified personnel to see how your firm rates in risk management and safety. With training of this nature, and the many other courses for occupational health and safety being so low cost, there is no reason not to allow personnel to do them as soon as possible. We have provided an easy system where you can shop online for courses you wish to do, and use a convenient payment option for access to them the way you prefer. You can also contact our expert team to find out more about the courses we have available, and regarding onsite training for risk management and safety, to receive top level client services from them.

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