Nickel Users: How to Address the Next Regulatory Challenges?

NASF and the Nickel Institute regularly receive questions from nickel users on regulatory developments impacting nickel and nickel chemicals. To assist nickel using companies, the Nickel Institute is planning a workshop on September 11, 2013 from 9 am to 5:30 pm, in Toronto, Canada, to educate players in the nickel value chain in North America.

Key nickel users have expressed interest in this type of workshop and the program is being finalized. If you would like to participate, please block the date and feel free to register by clicking on the following link:

Moreover, if you know of any stakeholders’, affiliates of your company, downstream users, suppliers, etc. in the region (either Canada or North America) who could be interested in attending this meeting, we would be grateful if you could share the invitation and/or if you could send us contact details as soon as possible, so that we can send them an invitation.

The meeting is free of charge. We will confirm the location and further details for the workshop as soon as possible.

The Workshop will be Divided into Four Sessions:

Session One will focus on UN GHS (global harmonized system for classification & labeling of chemicals including ores, metals and alloys) implementation and how the Nickel Institute is assisting its member companies and downstream use sectors to track and manage the implementation in 29 countries globally. A new online database created by the Nickel Institute will be used to illustrate this approach.

Session Two will focus on the importance of nickel to APEC economies and the challenges associated with the recent 2009 EU nickel chemical classifications. This will be illustrated using the outcomes of a recent APEC study on the socio-economic impact of the EU nickel compounds classifications for APEC economies.

Session Three will be focused on regulatory implications of the classification of nickel and nickel containing chemicals in different key regions for the nickel industry from mining to end users and how the Nickel Institute addresses these challenges.

Session Four will be focused on the outcome of the Nickel Institute’s Life Cycle Analysis for nickel and suggested next steps.

Draft Program of the Day:

9:00AM – 9:15AM Welcome and introduction
9:15AM – 9:45AM Status of the GHS implementation and related NI projects
9:45AM – 10:00AM Presentation of the NI online GHS database
10:00AM – 10:30AM Q&A Session
11:00AM – 11:30AM Socio-economic impact assessment of EU nickel compound classifications on APEC Economies: background and methodology (TBC)
11:30AM – 12:00PM APEC related activities and involvement of the metals industry in the Chemicals Dialogue
12:00PM – 12:15PM Q&A Session
1:00PM – 1:30PM Chemicals management: regulatory developments and metal specific issues
1:30PM – 2:00PM Learning lessons from EU REACH for Chemicals Management systems in other regions
2:00PM – 2:15PM Q&A Session
2:15PM – 2:45PM Overview of the different Chemicals Management regulations in North America
2:45PM – 3:00PM Conclusions and follow-up activities
3:15PM – 4:00PM Outcome of the LCI update
4:00PM – 4:45PM Outcome of the LCA
4:45PM – 5:00PM Q&A Session
5:00PM – 5:30PM Conclusions and closure of the workshop

If you desire to attend this seminar, please block the date and feel free to register by clicking on the following link:

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information.

Best regards

Isaline de Baré | France Capon
Nickel Institute
E-mail :

Posted in Events, Law & Regulation | Tagged , ,

Is Your Facility Ready? Preparing for a New Type of OSHA Inspection

OSHA recently issued a letter of interpretation that allows union representatives and other non-employee third parties to accompany OSHA inspectors on walk-around inspections of non-union workplaces. The applicable OSHA regulations provide that workers may designate an employee of the facility to participate in the walk-around inspection, unless there is good cause shown that a third party is “reasonably necessary” to conduct a thorough and effective physical inspection.

OSHA has broadly interpreted this language such that a third-party representative is “reasonably necessary” when they will make a positive contribution to a thorough and effective inspection.

The NASF has joined the Coalition of Workplace Safety (CWS) in opposing OSHA’s interpretation. On June 12, 2013 the 56 organizations in the CWS sent a letter to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of OSHA, stating the rationale of why this interpretation is inconsistent with OSHA’s statutory and regulatory requirements and represents bad public policy.

Practical Steps Employers Can Take

In issuing this new interpretation, OSHA has raised more questions than it has answered. As these issues are being addressed, there are several practical steps that employers can consider when a third party arrives with an OSHA inspector for a walk-around inspection at the workplace. The practical steps are presented merely as general guidance, employers should consult with their legal counsel for the specific application to each individual situation.

  1. First, ask for the credentials for every person that is with the OSHA inspector to determine each individual’s affiliation.
  2. Second, you may consent to the OSHA officials accessing the facility for a walk-around inspection, but deny access to third parties that are not government officials or contractors.
  3. If the OSHA inspector has a warrant for the inspection, check to see if the warrant covers the third parties present. If not, then you may deny access to the third parties.
  4. If the warrant does include third parties, you may want to consider challenging the warrant’s application to those third parties before a magistrate before allowing access to third parties.
  5. If you allow third parties access for the walk-around inspections, you may want to limit the third parties’ participation as summarized below.
    • Limit the third parties’ access to only the walk-around inspection – no participation in pre- and post-inspection conferences and no interviews with employees
    • Require third parties to sign Confidentiality Agreements and a Waiver of Liability (consistent with what applies to OSHA officials)
    • Require third parties to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during the walk-around inspection
    • Require third parties to undergo applicable safety training prior to walk-around inspection
    • Do not allow third parties to take photographs or videos or take samples during the walk-around inspection

Emerging Outlook

Because OSHA’s new interpretation appears to open novel legal issues, it is not clear how OSHA will choose to implement this new approach. The NASF will continue to work as part of the CWS to oppose the inappropriate application of this new interpretation. In the meantime, employers can take reasonable and appropriate measures to minimize unnecessary and intrusive walk-around inspections pursuant to OSHA’s letter of interpretation.

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding OSHA’s letter of interpretation on inspections, please contact Jeff Hannapel with NASF at

Posted in Law & Regulation | Tagged ,