Nickel Compounds Found to Cause Reproductive Toxicity

November 05, 2018
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has added Nickel (soluble compounds) to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). The listing went into effect on October 26.
At a public meeting on October 11, 2018, the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC) in its official capacity as the state’s qualified experts determined that soluble nickel compounds were shown to cause reproductive toxicity based on the developmental and male reproductive endpoints. Regulations for the listing of chemicals by the DARTIC are set out in Title 27, California Code of Regulations, section 25305(b)(1).
A complete, updated chemical list is available on the OEHHA website.
Job Openings at Environmental Resource Center
We’re looking for new team members with hands-on environmental and safety experience. The successful candidate would have at least 4 years EHS experience at a manufacturing, consulting, or government facility in a position implementing safety and environmental regulations or at a government agency that enforces the regulations.  Job functions will include providing consulting services and audits, as well as training program development and presentation.  Excellent writing and public speaking skills are required.  Frequent air travel. Profit sharing, 401K, and other great benefits. 
We also have an opening for an EHS associate.  This position requires at least two years experience in the implementation of EHS regulations together with excellent writing and editing skills.
If you’d like to join a growing company that’s known for its quality, ethics, and expertise, send your resume to
Hazardous Energy Control Resource Guide
The NORA Manufacturing Sector Council published a new website about hazardous energy control. It features a resource guide with customizable materials and templates to help with implementation of effective strategies for the administrative control of unsafe release of hazardous energy. Members of the council compiled, reviewed, and adapted resources to help companies and businesses start or improve and maintain their existing Lockout Tagout Program.
Cal/OSHA Notice on Emergency Regulation for Electronic Submission of Form 300A on Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
Cal/OSHA on October 18 issued a notice of emergency regulation that would require certain employers to electronically submit their summary of recordable work- related injuries and illnesses covering calendar year 2017 to federal OSHA by December 31, 2018.
Businesses operating in California that would be required to submit the Cal/OSHA Form 300A online include all employers with 250 or more employees, unless specifically exempted by section 14300.2 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, and employers with 20 to 249 employees in the specific industries listed on page 8 of the emergency regulation’s proposed text.
Cal/OSHA submitted the emergency regulation amending recordkeeping sections 14300.35 and 14300.41 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on October 25. Interested persons have until October 30 to submit comments on the proposed emergency regulation. OAL had until November 5 to review and adopt or deny the proposed regulation.
Manufacturers Invited to Add Fentanyl-Protective Products to PPE Database
NIOSH has invited manufacturers to take part in an expansion of the PPE-Info database by adding products that protect against fentanyl exposure. Materails related to the expansion and the NIOSH notice are available at at docket number CDC-2018-0085.
The agency wants electronic or written comments expressing willingness to participate to be submitted by Nov. 19. Other types of comments are not being requested; the product information is not required to be submitted in this timeframe.
The PPE-Info database is a collection of national PPE information. The database provides PPE standards-setting organizations, manufacturers, suppliers, purchasers, and end users with the ability to conduct searches of relevant standards, associated product types, target occupational groups, basic conformity assessment specifications, and additional pertinent information.
NIOSH is expanding the PPE-Info Database as a tool to connect existing protection standards with relevant PPE information for protection against fentanyl and its analogues. This new aspect of the NIOSH PPE-Info Database will allow end users to find products that are compliant (as confirmed by manufacturer) with the protection standards outlined by the CDC Fentanyl PPE Guidance; the objective is to include information about all PPE types associated with the CDC Fentanyl PPE Guidance as the information becomes available. NIOSH will develop individual Memoranda of Understanding with PPE manufacturers to facilitate the sharing of product information. The primary focus of the collaboration with an individual manufacturer will be to obtain manufacturer product information to be collected and displayed in the NIOSH PPE-Info Database and the verification, by the manufacturer, of product information displayed in the NIOSH PPE-Info Database.
Major BMDS Software Upgrade Released with NIOSH Contributions
EPA has released its premier risk assessment software, BMDS 3.0. This major upgrade of the Benchmark Dose Software (BMDS) is cobranded with NIOSH and incorporates Bayesian Model Averaging, a technique adapted by NIOSH researcher, Matt Wheeler, for quantitative risk assessment. Bayesian Model Averaging allows the statistical modeling to account for the uncertainty inherent in selecting a “best” model to describe exposure-response data. Quantitative risk assessment is used by NIOSH to characterize risks of workplace chemical exposures and set recommended exposure limits (RELs), and by EPA to assess environmental risks. BMDS is freely available and widely used in the risk assessment community.
Framing Contractor Cited for Willful Violations of Nail Gun Safety Regulations
Cal/OSHA has issued citations to Circle M Contractors, Inc. for willful violations of nail gun safety regulations after a carpenter was seriously injured at a residential construction site. An investigation found that the employer failed to train and instruct employees on the proper use of pressure-powered nailing tools.
On April 17, a carpenter was using an air pressure-powered nail gun to frame wood at a construction site in Lake Forest. The worker was carrying the nail gun in his right hand with his finger on the trigger when a nail was unintentionally discharged into his left arm. Cal/OSHA’s investigation found that Circle M Contractors employees did not receive hands-on training for operating nailing tools safely and that the Rancho Santa Margarita-based employer did not ensure workers carry nail guns only by the handle and not with their finger on the trigger.
Cal/OSHA issued two willful-serious accident-related citations with a total of $225,500 in proposed penalties for Circle M Contractors’ failure to train workers on nail guns and failure to ensure safe operation of these tools. Cal/OSHA’s review of the employer’s injury log showed 34 instances of nail gun injuries suffered by employees since 2016.
“Employers must effectively train workers to safely operate dangerous tools such as nail guns,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “The employer knew these tools are hazardous and did not take the necessary measures to protect their workers from injury.”
In 2015, Cal/OSHA investigated after a Circle M Contractors worker installing hanger brackets slipped and discharged a nail into his knee. Cal/OSHA cited the employer for failing to ensure workers carry nail guns only by the handle. It was one of three investigations of Circle M Contractors that year following accidents in San Diego and Irvine. One worker fell nine feet while setting roof trusses and another worker fell from the second floor while removing guardrails.
Cal/OSHA has conducted over 570 inspections of framing contractors since 2015. This industry has appeared on Cal/OSHA’s High Hazard Industry List each year from 2015 to the present. The list is compiled yearly based on injury rates so that Cal/OSHA may target employers in high hazardous industries with the highest incidence of preventable workplace injuries and illnesses.
A citation is classified as serious when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazard created by the violation. A willful violation is cited when the employer is aware of the law and violates it nevertheless, or when the employer is aware of the hazardous condition and takes no reasonable steps to address it. Citations are classified as accident-related when the injury, illness or fatality is caused by the violation.
Cal/OSHA offers a guide to developing an Injury and Illness Prevention Program and model programs for employers in both high hazard and non-high hazard industries. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their safety and health programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, is the division within the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) that helps protect California’s workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace.
Managers at Ohio Manufacturing Company Indicted Following Workplace Death
A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Ohio has indicted two managers at Extrudex Aluminum Inc. in Ohio for conspiracy to obstruct justice during a 2012 OSHA workplace fatality investigation. OSHA inspected the aluminum extrusion manufacturer after an employee suffered fatal injuries when a rack containing hot aluminum parts tipped over and pinned him. A second employee suffered severe burns. OSHA cited the company for exposing workers to struck-by, pinned-under, and burn hazards, and for failing to provide safe clearance for employees working in ovens where aluminum extrusions are treated.
The indictment alleges that Brian K. Carder, general manager, and Paul Love, safety coordinator and human resources director, devised a plan to provide false statements to the OSHA investigator. Carder and Love also failed to comply with OSHA's requests to produce all emails from specific employees to management regarding safety concerns with racks and rollers. Additionally, the men allegedly threatened employees' job security if they did not draft statements recanting previous emails about safety issues with the racks and rollers system.
The indictment charges Carder and Love with one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and obstruction of proceedings. Love also faces one count of making false statements to law enforcement.
"The grand jury's action makes clear that misleading federal investigators and intimidating employees will not be tolerated," said Acting Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt.
UST Systems Cited for Trench Hazards
OSHA has cited UST Systems Inc. for trench safety violations after the company allowed its employees to enter an excavation site in Austin without proper protections or training on the dangers of unsupported soils. UST Systems Inc. faces $35,844 in proposed penalties.
OSHA inspectors visited the company worksite and found employees preparing an excavation for a new underground storage tank. The excavation lacked sloping, benching, or shoring required to support the soil walls.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA recently updated its National Emphasis Program on preventing trenching and excavation collapses in response to a recent spike in trenching fatalities. The program continues agency efforts to identify and reduce hazards that are causing or likely to cause serious injuries and fatalities during trenching and excavation operations.
Alabama Tank Cleaning Company Cited for Confined Space, Fire, and Explosion Hazards
OSHA has cited American Remediation and Environmental Inc. for confined space, fire, and explosion hazards. The Chunchula, Alabama, tank cleaning company faces $171,281 in penalties.
OSHA inspectors determined that the company allowed employees to enter a tank without testing for atmospheric hazards. The company was cited for allowing employees to use a non-explosion proof vacuum in a tank that transported a highly hazardous chemical; failing to provide appropriate personal protective clothing; authorizing employees to enter a permit-required confined space without a retrieval system; and failing to ensure confined space testing and monitoring equipment was properly maintained.
Florida Framing Company Cited for Exposing Employees to Falls
OSHA has cited Panama City Framing LLC for exposing employees to fall hazards at a worksite in Panama City, Florida. The company faces $113,816 in proposed penalties.
OSHA initiated an inspection on June 28, 2018, as part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. The Agency cited the company for willfully failing to provide employees with fall protection while they performed roofing activities.
"The regional emphasis program places great importance on identifying and eliminating fall hazards," said Jacksonville Area Office Director Michelle Gonzalez. "Employers who fail to provide required fall protection equipment are unnecessarily putting workers at risk of serious or fatal injuries."
Texas Metal Recycling Company Cited After Employee Suffers Injury
OSHA has cited Venture Metals LLC – based in Dallas, Texas – for exposing employees to crushing hazards after a stack of pipes fell and crushed a worker, leading to his hospitalization. The company faces penalties of $311,580 for repeated and serious safety and health violations.
OSHA conducted an inspection, and determined that the company also failed to implement measures to control lead exposure, train workers in lockout/tagout procedures, and follow confined space entry permit procedures. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in 2016.
"This employer has continued to disregard requirements to assess workplace hazards and implement measures to protect workers' safety and health," said OSHA Dallas Area Office Director Basil Singh.
Alabama Company Cited for PPE Violations After Fatal Burns
OSHA has cited Globe Metallurgical Inc. – based in Beverly, Ohio – for personal protective equipment violations after an employee suffered fatal injuries at a facility in Selma, Alabama.
OSHA inspectors determined that the employee suffered fatal burns after an explosion from a molten silicon spill. OSHA cited the company for failing to inspect and maintain the safety of walking and working surfaces; assess work operations to determine the types of personal protective equipment needed; and ensure employees used personal protective equipment. The company faces $25,868 in penalties, the maximum allowed.
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