COMPLIANCE ALERT: OSHA Reporting Rules Have Changed This Year

In a recently finalized rule making, OSHA has made a few minor but important changes for employers the 2015 calendar year. On January 1, the new injury reporting requirements took effect. Now, any work-related fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must now be reported to OSHA. Previously, only fatalities and inpatient hospitalizations of 3 or more employees were considered reportable. In a new letter of interpretation (LOI), OSHA offers clarification on its definitions of amputation and eye loss incidents.

What does the rule require?

First, the rule expands the list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers must report to OSHA. The revised rule retains the current requirement to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and adds the requirement to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours to OSHA.  For OSHA’s summary, please click here.  The agency has also just published a Letter of Interpretation this month clarifying the applicability of the new requirements.

Second, the rule updates the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records, due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. The previous list of industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 1996, 1997, and 1998. The new list of industries that are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2007, 2008, and 2009. Note: The new rule retains the exemption for any employer with ten or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records.

Establishments located in States under Federal OSHA jurisdiction must begin to comply with the new requirements on January 1, 2015. Establishments located in states that operate their own safety and health programs (State Plan States) should check with their state plan for the implementation date of the new requirements. OSHA encourages the states to implement the new coverage provisions on 1/1/2015, but some may not be able to meet this tight deadline.

According to OSHA, the final rule will allow the agency to: (1) focus its efforts more effectively to prevent fatalities and serious work-related injuries and illnesses; and (2) improve access by employers, employees, researchers and the public to information about workplace safety and health and increase their ability to identify and abate serious hazards.

 

Changes to reporting requirements: What needs to be reported to OSHA?

OSHA’s updated recordkeeping rule expands the list of severe injuries that employers must report to OSHA.

As of January 1, 2015, all employers must report

  1. All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  2. All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.

You can report to OSHA by

  1. Calling OSHA’s free and confidential number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
  2. Calling your closest Area Office during normal business hours.
  3. Using the new online form that will soon be available.

Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. Further, for an in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, these incidents must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.

More information on new reporting requirements.

 

Changes to recordkeeping requirements: Who is required to keep records? Who is exempt from keeping records?

OSHA regulations require certain employers to routinely keep records of serious employee injuries and illnesses. However, there are two classes of employers that are partially exempt from routinely keeping records. First, employers with ten or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records. OSHA’s revised recordkeeping regulation maintains this exemption.

Second, establishments in certain low-hazard industries are also exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records. Since 1982, this list has been comprised of establishments in the divisions of retail trade; finance, insurance and real estate; and the service industry if the three year average lost workday case rate for their major industry group was 75 percent or less of the overall three year average of the lost workday case rate for private industry. OSHA’s revised recordkeeping regulation provides an updated list of low-hazard industries that are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records. The new list of exempt industries is now classified by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. The injury and illness rate threshold is based on more recent BLS data.

More information on updated recordkeeping requirements.

 

How are establishments located in State Plan States affected by the new requirements?

There are 27 states and U.S. territories that have their own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health programs called State Plans. State Plans are required to have standards that are at least as effective as OSHA’s.

All State Plans have recordkeeping and reporting requirements in place right now. These requirements are at least equivalent to OSHA’s previous reporting requirements for fatalities and catastrophes. In addition, several states have different or additional requirements that may already be in line with OSHA’s revision.

All State Plans have begun reviewing their current reporting and recordkeeping requirements to determine how they compare to OSHA’s new reporting requirements. Over the next six months, each State Plan will work to adopt OSHA’s new requirements, and may retain or adopt more stringent requirements. To contact your State Plan about current recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and when and how those requirements will change, please visit: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/index.html.

Posted in Law & Regulation

EPA Proposes Significant New Use Restrictions for Perfluorinated Chemical Compounds

EPA has just proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for certain perfluorinated compounds or PFCs – specifically long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemical substances. 80 Fed. Reg. 2885 (January 21, 2015). Click here for a copy of the rule. Specifically, EPA would impose new use (including manufacturing, importing and processing) notification requirements for the LCPFAC chemical substances listed in Table 1 below for any use that will not be ongoing after December 31, 2015.

Table 1: LCPFAC Chemical Substances Subject to Reporting After December 31, 2015

CASRN Accession CASRN Chemical Name
507–63–1 None Octane, 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8-heptadecafluoro-8-iodo-
678–39–7 None 1-Decanol, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,10-heptadecafluoro-
865–86–1 None 1-Dodecanol, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,11,11,12,12,12-heneicosafluoro-
2043–53–0 None Decane, 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8-heptadecafluoro-10-iodo-
2043–54–1 None Dodecane, 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10-heneicosafluoro-12-iodo-
17741–60–5 None 2-Propenoic acid, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,11,11, 12,12,12-heneicosafluorododecyl ester
27905–45–9 None 2-Propenoic acid, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,10-heptadecafluorodecyl ester
30046–31–2 None Tetradecane, 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,11,11,12,12-pentacosafluoro-14-iodo-
39239–77–5 None 1-Tetradecanol, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,11,11,12,12,13,13,14,14,14-pentacosafluoro-
60699–51–6 None 1-Hexadecanol, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,11,11,12,12,13,13,14,14,15,15,16,16,16-nonacosafluoro-
65510–55–6 None Hexadecane, 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,11,11,12,12,13,13,14,14-nonacosafluoro-16-iodo-
68187–47–3 None 1-Propanesulfonic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-[[1-oxo-3-[(.gamma.-.omega.-perfluoro- C4-16-alkyl)thio]propyl]amino] derivs., sodium salts
68391–08–2 None Alcohols, C8-14, .gamma.-.omega.-perfluoro
70969–47–0 None Thiols, C8-20, .gamma.-.omega.-perfluoro, telomers with acrylamide
125476–71-3 None Silicic acid (H4SiO4), sodium salt (1:2), reaction products with chlorotrimethylsilane and 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,10-heptadecafluoro-1-decanol
1078712–88–5 None Thiols, C4-20, .gamma.-.omega.-perfluoro, telomers with acrylamide and acrylic acid, sodium salts
1078715–61–3 None 1-Propanaminium, 3-amino-N-(carboxymethyl)-N,N-dimethyl-, N-[2-[(.gamma.-.omega.-perfluoro-C4-20-a lkyl)thio]acetyl] derivs., inner salts
CBI 71217 Polyfluoroalkyl betaine
CBI 89419 Modified fluoroalkyl urethane
CBI 274147 Perfluorinated polyamine

This action is consistent with EPA’s “Long-Chain Perfluorinated Chemicals Action Plan” published on December 30, 2009 and the PFOA Stewardship Program launched in January 2006. The PFOA Stewardship Program is a voluntary partnership between EPA and eight global manufacturers of these chemicals: DuPont, Solvay Solexis, Asahi Glass Company, Daikin America, Inc., Clariant International Ltd., 3M/Dyneon, Arkema Inc., and BASF (formerly Ciba Specialty Chemical Corporation). These companies all agreed to phase out the use of these chemicals by December 31, 2015. Any subsequent manufacture, import, or processing of these chemicals after that date would be subject to the proposed new use notification requirements under TSCA.

In addition, EPA also proposed SNUR restrictions on LCPFAC chemical substances listed in Table 2 below that were identified as having no current ongoing uses.

Table 2: PFOA and Examples of Its Salts

CASRN Chemical Name
335–66–0 Octanoyl fluoride, pentadecafluoro-
335–67–1 Octanoic acid, pentadecafluoro- (PFOA)
335–93–3 Octanoic acid, pentadecafluoro-, silver salt
335–95–5 Octanoic acid, pentadecafluoro-, sodium salt
2395–00–8 Octanoic acid, pentadecafluoro-, potassium salt
3825–26–1 Octanoic acid, pentadecafluoro-, ammonium salt (APFO)

Finally, EPA has also proposed to void the SNUR exemption for persons who import LCPFAC chemical substances as part of articles and for persons who import perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFAS) chemical substances as part of carpets.

These proposed measures are intended to phase out the use of LCPFAC chemical substances in the U.S. and to keep them from re-entering the U.S. marketplace without substantial safeguards in place. The proposed action is also consistent with EPA’s ban on the use of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) based fume suppressants by September 2015 as part of the chromium electroplating NESHAP rule.

EPA has requested comments on 1) whether any of the current uses of the LCPFAC chemical substances listed in Table 1 will be ongoing after December 31, 2015, 2) whether there are any ongoing uses of those LCPFAC chemical substances listed in table 2, and 3) whether there are any ongoing uses, including use as part of articles, of any of the LCPFAC chemical substances. Comments must be submitted to EPA by March 23, 2015. Please send any comments or information that you have on the use of these chemicals to Jeff Hannapel at jhannapel@thepolicygroup.com.

Posted in Law & Regulation

Chicago Midwest Chapter Holds First Meeting, Elects Board

The Chicago Midwest Chapter of NASF celebrated its inaugural meeting on Thursday evening marking the first time the Chicago Metal Finishers Institute (CMFI) and Chicago Chapter of AESF met as a united group. Joining the celebration, attendees also included NASF President Rick Delawder; NASF Past President, Tony Revier; and NASF Executive Vice President Christian Richter. In a brief address to the group, Richter highlighted the chapter’s “incredible legacy, much change, and promising future” by relating their challenge to that which NASF faced when the association consolidated nearly a decade ago saying, “When we joined together the AESF Educational Fund had dropped to its lowest point of only $700,000, but over several years of hard work and restructuring, together we built the fund to almost $1.6 million today.” He noted the commitments from Chicago industry leaders in recent years to “strong events, strong industry education and knowledge-building, and strong advocacy.”

Adding to the celebratory atmosphere and new networking opportunities, the new Chapter also took the opportunity to thank outgoing CMFI President Kevin Pludeman for his service and to elect their first Board of Directors as a united group.

To close out the evening, attendees were treated to a presentation by NASF Education Director Frank Altmayer on “An Incomplete History of Surface Finishing.” The presentation covered advancements from 6000 B.C. through modern times, with a focus on the rich history of surface finishing in Chicago, on which the The Chicago Midwest Chapter of NASF will certainly build in the years to come.

Chicago Midwest Chapter of NASF 2015 Board of Directors

Chicago Midwest Chapter of NASF 2015 Board of Directors

President:
Rob Sickles, Nobert Plating

Vice President:
Joan Sosinski, Morgan O’Hare

Treasurer/Secretary:
Amanda Beach, Columbia Chemical

Past President:
Kevin Pludeman, Cornerstone Systems, Inc.

Directors:
Rick Delawder, SWD, Inc.
Robert Swanson, Gatto Industrial Platers
Stacey Bales, Bales Mold
Sean Bustard, Mibus, Inc.
Brian Kane, S&C Electric
Rebecca Bennett, Precision Plating
Doug Mangino, Accent Metal Finishing

Posted in Events, NASF Chapters

Can Congress Make Changes to the U.S. Chemicals Laws this Year? NASF Joins over 100 Industry Associations to Support Federal TSCA Reform

Discussion in the last Congress showed there is a growing consensus in Washington that the major federal chemicals law in the U.S. need to overhauled and modernized. The challenge, however, is figuring out exactly how to do it, and how to do it to ensure that organic chemicals as well as metals are treated appropriately under any new chemicals management system.

Republican control of both chambers on Capitol Hill this session means that the odds are increasing that legislation will advance to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The law, first enacted in 1976, is the current U.S. federal legal framework governing the introduction and use of chemicals in commerce.

To help move the reform debate along as early this year as possible, the chemical industry and an expanding universe of downstream industrial users last month wrote to Congress in support of meaningful changes to the TSCA law. NASF was one of over 120 trade associations that signed onto the letter sent to Congress under the umbrella of the American Alliance for Innovation (see text of letter below). The Alliance is a coalition that includes a range of chemical manufacturers, processors and distributors, as well as downstream users in the value chain.

Polls show that U.S. public confidence in the chemicals sector is declining, and the assertive requirements of the European Union’s REACH framework have jumped ahead of U.S. chemicals rules in shaping global and domestic corporate decisions on materials choices.

Recently, individual states such as California, Maine, Washington State and others have been adopting their own chemicals management regimes. Faced with a patchwork of laws with conflicting requirements along with growing pressures to voluntarily deselect materials affecting the value chain, NASF members and companies across the U.S. manufacturing sector want to regain federal uniformity and re-instill consumer confidence in product safety.

NASF will be coordinating with AAI through 2015 and will brief attendees on the status and prospects for reform at the Washington Forum on April 14-16. Join us for this important event.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Letter from AAI to Congress:

From:   American Alliance for Innovation
To:       United States Senate and House of Representatives:
Date:   January 2015
Re:       Reform of U.S. Chemicals Laws

We are writing on behalf of the American Alliance for Innovation (AAI) to urge members of the 114th Congress to support introduction and passage of bipartisan legislation to update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The AAI is an alliance of trade associations representing a broad spectrum of the economy, businesses large and small.

AAI represents many major industry sectors, all along the chemicals value chain, including aerospace, agriculture, apparel, automotive, building and construction materials, chemical and raw material production, consumer and industrial goods, distribution, electronics, energy, equipment manufacturers, food and grocery, footwear, healthcare products and medical technology, information technology, mining and metals, paper products, plastics, retail, and travel goods

Updating TSCA so the law ensures the safe use of chemicals, encourages the development of new products, and protects American jobs continues to be a top priority for our associations.

Thanks to growing bipartisan support and the significant progress to date, we believe the new Congress presents a strong opportunity to finally make meaningful changes to TSCA.

The members of AAI are committed to doing our part to finding a federal approach that will benefit all consumers and industry, and we strongly urge members on both sides of the aisle to lend their support to make bipartisan TSCA reform a reality in the 114th Congress.

Sincerely,

American Alliance for Innovation

Posted in Government Relations, Law & Regulation | Tagged

EPA Releases More Stringent Revised Definition of Solid Waste Regulation

On December 10, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator signed the final revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste rule. The primary purpose of the revisions was to close perceived regulatory gaps in the 2008 definition of solid waste rule that allowed the recycling of hazardous secondary materials without sufficient regulatory controls. The 2008 rule allowed that if secondary materials were recycled they were not wastes. The new revisions provide that the recycling of secondary materials can occur only if specific regulatory requirements are met.

The biggest change in the 2014 revisions is that EPA has withdrawn the “transfer-based” exclusion and replaced it with a “verified recycler” exclusion. Now, off site, third-party facilities that receive secondary materials for recycling must have a RCRA permit. In addition, both generators must 1) notify EPA or authorized state officials, 2) ensure that materials are contained, 3) maintain records of shipments of materials off site, and 4) meet emergency response and preparedness requirements.

Recyclers may also apply for a variance from the permit, provided that they are able to demonstrate that

  • the recycling is legitimate (based on the recycling criteria set forth in the regulation),
  • they have financial assurance plans to ensure that funds are available to address and potential environmental problems that may arise at the facility,
  • they do not have any formal RCRA enforcement actions against them,
  • they have the proper equipment, trained personnel and meet emergency response and preparedness requirements to safely reclaim the material,
  • they manage the reclamation residuals properly, and
  • they address risk to nearby communities from potential releases of hazardous secondary materials.

The new rule does, however, retain some of the existing exclusions for scrap metal recycling, in-process recycling, commodity-grade recycled products, and the materials that remain under the generator’s control such as on-site recycling, recycling within the same company and toll manufacturing agreements. In addition, the final rule includes a targeted manufacturing exclusion that allows certain spent solvents to be remanufactured into commercial-grade products.

In sum, while the new revisions provide additional safeguards for the recycling of secondary materials, it will be more difficult and more expensive to recycle many secondary materials. Given the history of the definition of solid waste regulations over the past thirty years, it is very likely that legal challenges to the final rule will be filed. The rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register in January 2015.

If you have any questions or would like additional information on the new revisions, please contact Jeff Hannapel at jhannaple@thepolicygroup.com.

Posted in Government Relations, Law & Regulation | Tagged