The Monitor

OSHA provides guide to comply with new silica rule

OSHA has published a small entity compliance guide to assist small businesses within the construction industry with the new Crystalline Silica Rule.  The Rule went into effect on June 23, 2016 and the Construction Industry compliance date is June 23, 2017.

Key provisions of the new rule are:

  • Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (50µg/m3), averaged over an 8-hour shift.
  • Requires employers to:
    • Use engineering controls to limit worker exposure to the PEL
    • Provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure;
    • Limit worker access to high exposure areas
    • Develop a written exposure control plan
    • Offer medical exams to highly exposed workers
    • Train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures
  • Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
  • Provides flexibility to help employers – especially small businesses – protect workers from silica exposures.

A link to OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide is https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3902.pdf

If you have questions about complying with the new standard, are interested in training your workforce or need exposure monitoring or lab analysis, please complete the form on the “Contact” tab on top right side of our website.

MDE 3rd Party Exam Plans and 2017 Schedule

Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is currently in the process of procuring an independent organization to administer the Asbestos 3rd Party Exams.  If a qualified vendor is selected, it is possible that examinations will begin to be administered independently in July, 2017.

Until then, MDE’s current schedule for Asbestos Examinations is available here.

AMA has attempted to synchronize our asbestos training course dates so that training courses precede the MDE test dates by only a few days.

DC Mold Assessment and Remediation Update

In a recent conversation with DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), the following was disclosed:

  • DOEE prefers online license applications for the Indoor Mold Assessment or Remediation Professional. They prefer all required documents be one single submission.
  • Three years of documented relevant field experience can be confirmed by submitting one of the following for each year:
    • Job report, or
    • Invoice with description of work performed
  • Enforcement with monetary penalties is still scheduled for August, 2017.

For additional information, please visit, http://doee.dc.gov/moldlicensureregs

AMA is an approved training provider for DC DOEE Mold Assessment and Remediation courses.  Please reference our training schedule for upcoming courses.

 

Confined Spaces in Construction

On May 4, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published 20140205-5062 CS Picturea final rule and new standard for construction work in confined spaces. 29 CFR 1926.1200 Subpart AA (Confined Spaces in Construction) is now aligned with those protections found in the General Industry standard. All construction employers, whose workers may be exposed to confined space hazards, are affected by the rule. Additionally, all employers must have a written confined space program if workers will enter permit spaces. The rule goes into effect August 5, 2015.

The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, indicated in a statement that “[the rule] will prevent about 780 serious injuries every year”.

There are 5 key differences to the Construction Confined Space regulation:

  1. More detailed provisions requiring coordinated activities when there are multiple employers at the worksite. This will ensure hazards are not introduced into a confined space by workers performing tasks outside of the space.
  2. Requiring a competent person to evaluate the work site and identify confined spaces, including permit spaces.
  3. Requiring continuous atmospheric monitoring whenever possible.
  4. Requiring continuous monitoring of engulfment hazards (e.g. when workers are performing work in a storm sewer).
  5. Allowing for the suspension of a permit, instead of cancellation, in the event of changes from the entry conditions list on the permit or an unexpected event requiring evacuation of the space. The space must be returned to the entry conditions listed on the permit before re-entry.

OSHA has also added provisions to the Confined Spaces in Construction rule that clarify existing requirements in the General Industry Standard, including:

  • Requiring that employers who direct workers to enter a space without using a complete permit system, prevent workers’ exposure to physical hazards through elimination of the hazard or isolation methods such as lockout/tagout.
  • Requiring that employers who are relying on local emergency services for emergency services arrange for the responders to give the employer advanced notice if they will be unable to respond for a period of time.
  • Requiring employers to provide training in a language and vocabulary that the worker understands.

OSHA will also treat compliance with this new rule as compliance with the general industry confined spaces rule when one or more employers are engaged in both general industry work and construction work at the same time in the same space.

OSHA can assess a maximum penalty of $7,000 for each serious violation/failure to comply with the new rule and $70,000 for a willful or repeated violation.

AMA’s 8-Hour OSHA Confined Space Course is compliant with Confined Spaces in Construction AND General Industry Confined Space.

MDE New Asbestos 3rd Party Exam Dates

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has released the Asbestos 3rd Party licensing exam schedule dates for July – December 2015. To view the 3rd party exam schedule click hereExam.

MDE is now utilizing a new photo ID card system. Participants no longer need to provide a passport-sized photo for the license (MDE takes photographs on-site). Additionally, after completing an examination, participants can wait to receive their score and license.

OSHA’s Revised Recordkeeping Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration implemented its revised recordkeeping rules on January 1, 2015. The revised rules include:

  • OSHA’s revised list of low-hazard industries that are exempt from routinely keeping injury and illness records (click here to view the list)
  • OSHA’s list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers must report to OSHA
  • The exemption for any employer with ten (10) or fewer employees from the requirement to routinely keep records
  • The current requirement to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours
  • Fatalities occurring within 30-days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA
  • The requirement that all employers must report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours to OSHA.

You can report to OSHA by calling 1-800-321-6742, calling the local area office, or use an online form.

For more information on OSHA’s revised recordkeeping rule, click the following link: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/

Establishments located in States under Federal OSHA jurisdiction must begin to comply on January 1st, 2015.

Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) is instructing employers to comply with OSHA’s revised rules. Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) has indicated that a statute needs to be passed before the record keeping rules become law in Virginia.

Summary of 2014 MDE AHERA Inspection Results

According to Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Asbestos 101 newsletter, various Local Education Agencies (LEAs) were visited by MDE during federal fiscal year 2014. Only three (3) were found to be in compliance with AHERA. The following table summarizes the results MDE reported to US EPA:

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Do you need assistance with AHERA compliance? AMA can help. We routinely perform AHERA inspections, re-inspections and develop management plans.

Maryland’s Lead Paint Exterior Winter Waiver

Paint-related work on the exterior of homes is not practical during the colder months and therefore, Maryland offers an exterior winter waiver option for affected pre-1978 rental properties. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) defines the exterior winter waiver as an inspection option used to temporarily delay a property owner’s obligation to perform exterior paint stabilization necessary to meet the Lead Paint Risk Reduction Standards. The exterior winter waiver option period typically lasts between November 1st and April 1st.

Owners can obtain an exterior winter waiver by contacting the local code official in the county or municipality where the property is located (MDE is not authorized to issue exterior winter waivers). If no local code official exists, the property owner must contact the Department of Housing and Community Development. Baltimore City has implemented an automatic waiver period beginning November 1st and ending April 1st.

After obtaining the exterior winter waiver, an inspector can skip the visual inspection portion of the exterior for full risk reduction compliance. The inspector must ensure that the inspection certificate they issue has the exterior waiver option checked. Please note: The exterior winter waiver must be obtained prior to completing an inspection.

At the conclusion of the waiver period, all defective paint must be repaired/stabilized and/or removed by an accredited lead paint contractor (under the supervision of an accredited lead paint supervisor). The property must pass the re-inspection within 30 days after the end of the waiver period (usually April 30th).

Keep in mind:

The exterior winter waiver cannot be used when issuing a limited lead free certificate. To qualify for a limited lead free certificate, the exterior of the property must not have any chipping, peeling or flaking paint regardless of when the inspection occurs.

D.C. Mold Legislation Enacted

On September 9th, 2014, Congress passed D.C. Act 20-365 (Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014), part of which amended the Rental Housing Act of 1985. This “mold” amendment directly impacts property owners/managers, mold inspectors, and mold remediators.

The Rental Housing Act of 1985 was amended to:

  • Require a residential property owner to disclose indoor mold contamination to a tenant;
  • Provide definitions for indoor mold, Professional indoor mold assessment, and Professional indoor mold remediation;
  • Require the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to set a threshold of indoor mold beyond which professional remediation is required;
  • Require DDOE to issue standards and certifications for indoor mold assessment and remediation;
  • Require a residential property owner to remediate indoor mold.

What it means:

  • DC will require certifications/licenses for individuals that perform mold assessments or mold remediation.
  • A threshold level of indoor mold contamination will be established that requires remediation at residential properties.
  • Indoor mold assessment methods and standards will be established.
  • Performance standards and work practices for conducting mold remediation will be established.
  • Submission of a mold remediation report to DDOE and the residential tenant upon completion of remediation activities may be required.

What is next? Standards and certification will be developed and issued for a public comment period. The following is a link to the Act: http://bit.ly/1v3lm1g

AMA will continue to provide updates on the D.C. Mold Regulations.

REMINDER: Maryland Lead Law Compliance

On January 1, 2015, all Maryland residential rental dwelling units built prior to 1978 must be in compliance with Title 6, Subtitle 8 of the Environmental Article, Annotated Code of Maryland (Maryland’s “Lead Law”). Currently, compliance is required for residential rental dwelling units built prior to 1950. Affected properties that “opted out” of the previous requirement can no longer do so. According to the EPA, 24% of homes built between 1960 and 1978 are likely to contain lead-based paint.

In order to be in compliance, Owners of affected properties must:

  • Register with MDE;
  • Distribute Notice of Tenant Rights and Protect your Family for Lead in Your Home brochures and a copy of the current inspection certificate upon start of tenancy and every two years;
  • Meet MDE’s Lead Risk Reduction Standard;
  • Utilize MDE trained and accredited workers, supervisors and contractors to perform work.

Properties exempt from the Act:

  • Hotel, motel or similar seasonal/transient facility;
  • Properties that have been tested and issued a Lead Free or Limited Lead Free certificate.