How to Beat the Heat – (Not Just for SPURS Fans)

If you work outdoors or are exposed to extreme heat you could be at risk for heat stress. Everybody can handle a little stress, but too much stress, in regards to heated working environments, can quickly turn into much more serious conditions such as, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, rashes, and dehydration. Prevention of heat stress in workers is important. Recognition of potential elevated temperatures in the working environment is the responsibility of both employer and employee.

It doesn’t have to be really hot outside for heat stress to occur. Losing the opportunity to periodically cool down, rehydrate and rest allows the body’s temperature to keep rising. A person can get heat stress even when working in 70 degree weather. Air circulation, hydration, and frequent rest periods (or lack of all three) have the ability to amplify or diminish heat related symptoms. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.

Each year organizations like OSHA, and CDC publish warnings and potential health risks regarding the upcoming seasons. Below is the annual refresher on heat stress types and management provided by the CDC. Stay cool!


Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the Continue Reading…

Be Safe This Summer . . . and Somebody Wake Up Larry!

As summer approaches and you consider hiring extra hands, make sure those hands are trained. The kind of hands I am referring to are those that are weary from holding textbooks. Kids out of school are going to be looking for summer jobs. Ah, Summer. Summer means cutting the grass, lighting up the grill, the smell of a sunscreen and mosquito repellant cocktail, weeding the garden, and setting off fireworks. Whether they run a cash register, or clean hotel rooms, proper training is needed. People often think of training as learning to do something “right”, but doing it right also means doing it “safely”. Loss of life is supposed to come before loss of profit, isn’t it? Let’s make sure these kids come back next summer. Training is important, especially if those hands you hire will be operating machinery or certain tools. Often, this training could involve the use of certain tools such as copy machines, drills, shovels, saws, espresso machines or a deep fryer. Don’t expect someone to walk, right in, and assume they know what they are doing.  It’s not only a bad business decision, but it’s often dangerous.

Students are the backbone of the summer workforce. Restaurants, amusement parks, and so many other businesses depend on them lending a hand to their increased clientele, during the summer months. They are eager to make some extra cash, so they can eat, fill their Continue Reading…

PHMSA Withdraws NPRM

PHMSA has decided to not move forward to amend HMR 49 CFR 171-180 that would require CMTV loaders and unloaders to perform a risk assessment prior to activities and implement safety procedures based on the results.

On March 11, 2011 PHMSA published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) based on their regulatory assessment, public comments and the completion of a supplementary policy analysis to address risks associated with loading and unloading operations. Also included in this proposal was additional training and qualification requirements for loading personnel.

PHMSA’s regulatory assessment cited “human error” as the reason for most cargo-related accidents. This decision was based on a 10 year study of CMTV incidents between 2000 and 2009. The study claimed that the human factor was attributed to inattention to detail while loading or unloading, attendance requirements, leaving valves in the open or closed position, failure to segregate incompatible materials, and improper hose connections and filling practices that result in over-pressurized CMTV’s. Over 3,500 of these incidents during the study period resulted in a total of $68 million in damages.

Public comments to the proposed amendment regarding performing risk assessments expressed concern over redundancy by facilities and carriers, as well as the record-keeping efforts for such a task, declared as “burdensome”.

Comments on PHMSA’s recommendation that operators perform an annual refresher under direct observation of actual duties and drills was strongly opposed Continue Reading…

What is REACH?

REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and restriction of Chemicals. This United Nations (UN) law took effect June 1, 2007 and falls under the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency). REACH requires the registration of approximately 30,000 chemical substances produced in or imported into the European Union (EU). It places greater responsibility on industry to develop information on and manage the risks that chemicals may pose to human health and the environment.

The main goals of REACH are to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, the promotion of alternative test methods, and the free circulation of substances on the internal market and enhancing competitiveness and innovation. REACH places the burden of proof on companies. To comply with the regulation, companies must identify and manage the risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market in the EU. They have to demonstrate to ECHA how the substance can be safely used, and they must communicate the risk management measures to the users.

REACH impacts on a wide range of companies across many sectors, even those who may not think of themselves as being involved with chemicals, Including: Chemical Manufacturers, Importers, downstream users (customers) and companies outside the EU. The responsibility for fulfilling the requirements of REACH, such as pre-registration or registration lies with the importers established in Continue Reading…

IMDG Code Updates

Amendment 36-12 of IMDG code finalized
Just in time for the Holidays

The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee has adopted Resolution MSC.328(90) finalizing Amendment 36-12 which updates the Volumes 1 and 2 of the 2012 IMDG version. These changes become mandatory January 1, 2014. Implementations can be made in part or in whole on a voluntary basis from January 1, 2013 thru December 31, 2013. Amendment 36-12 includes revisions, and additions required for shipping specific substances. In particular, Part 7- Transport Operations has the most substantial changes.

Some of the key changes are as follows:

  • Stowage and segregation provisions including rules separating Cargo Transport Units (CTU) and Vessel Types (7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, and 7.7)
  • Foodstuffs segregation rules have eliminated the categories “away from” and “separated from” and now have specific storage distance requirements (3.0 meters) when Class 8 or Class 6.1 substances are being transported in the same CTU. (1.2.1)
  • Keep away from heat has now been changed to “Protected from sources of heat” (7.1.2). Specifically this indicates a distance of 2.4 meters away from heated ship structures.  Also there is mention of protecting CTU’s stored on deck, from direct sunlight requiring them to be shaded.

10 new UN Numbers have been added to the Dangerous Good List and include:

  • UN 3498 Iodine Monochloride Liquid (a red liquid that reacts violently with water)
  • UN 3499 Capacitor (articles intended to store electrical energy)
  • 6 new substances under UN Continue Reading…