Insights and updates from Safety Partners

Thanksgiving Safety Tips!

Thanksgiving is here and it’s time to reflect on all of the great things that happened throughout the year.  We are thankful for all of the wonderful people that we get to work with day-in and day-out!

We are also thankful for these National Fire Protection Association personal safety tips that will help make sure your Thanksgiving is worry free!

Top 10 safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee […]
November 26th, 2019|Categories: Insights|

Changes to OSHA Injury and Illness Electronic Reporting Requirements

Are you prepared for complying with OSHA’s revised injury and illness reporting requirements?  OSHA issued a final rule in 2019 to amend its injury and illness record keeping regulation (29 CFR 1904).   The changes eliminate the requirement for covered establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report).

Establishments are still required to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). In addition, the requirement to electronically submit Form 300A for all covered employers with 20 or more employees remains in place. The requirement to keep and maintain OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 for five years has also not changed.

The electronic reporting changes went into effect with the goal of protecting worker privacy. By preventing routine government collection of information that may be sensitive, including descriptions of workers’ injuries, […]

November 20th, 2019|Categories: Insights|

Cambridge Biosafety Permitting Has Gone Online!

The Cambridge Public Health Department has unveiled their new permitting platform for new Cambridge Biosafety permits and renewals. The transition to the online system requires that each currently permitted company enter all the required information in a new record for that company on the Cambridge Public Health Department’s online ViewPoint platform, under Laboratory Biosafety.

For companies that already have a Cambridge Biosafety Permit, information should be entered for an “existing permit”.  The first time permit holders use the system they will be required to enter the same information as for a new permit.  The contact name for the account doesn’t have to be the Biosafety Officer.  During the account set-up process there will be a separate field to enter the BSO’s contact information. Note that the BSO serves the role of point-of-contact for the permit, so consideration should be given as to who should be listed.  Companies must list someone who is on staff, rather than […]

November 13th, 2019|Categories: News|

October Safety Tip Recap

October came and went.  Now that we are safe from Halloween spooks and all the candy is either passed out or eaten (yum!) we can look back at some of our Safety Tips from last month!
Still recovering from the candy coma?  Check out the summaries of our October Safety Tip blogs below and click on the titles to read our October blogs!



October 6th – 12th is Fire Prevention Week! 

October 9th:  This year’s NFPA Fire Prevention Week campaign is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”

EHS professionals and others with safety responsibilities spend a good deal of time focusing on emergency evacuation plans for the workplace. However, the importance of evacuation or escape planning in the event of a home fire is often overlooked. According to an NFPA survey, only one out of every three households have developed and practiced a home escape plan.



Is Online Safety Training Compliant?

October 16th:  […]

November 1st, 2019|Categories: Insights|

Do you need to generate an SDS?

Are you required to generate a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for your newly synthesized chemical, investigational new drug, or drug intermediate?  If you will be shipping any of these materials, or otherwise distributing them to another workplace, the answer is yes. Even if only small quantities are being shipped, an SDS is required if the material meets OSHA’s definition of hazardous. Activities that might require this include shipments to CMOs for scale-up or CROs for sample testing, analysis, or other services. There is no exemption based on sample size!

OSHA has also clarified that there is no exemption from SDS requirements for newly synthesized and uncharacterized chemicals, drugs products, and intermediates. That said, OSHA does not specifically require the testing of new materials to determine physical and health effects. However, any relevant information which is known about the chemical or the mixture must be conveyed on the SDS. While much of the specific information for […]

October 30th, 2019|Categories: Insights|

National Protect Your Hearing Month

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, an annual event sponsored by the CDC to raise awareness about hearing protection.  Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the United States? The CDC estimates that 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Hazardous noise levels in the workplace are a serious concern that not only can result in hearing loss if not protected against, but can also contribute to other causes of physical stress as well as mental stress and lower work productivity.

How do you determine if your workplace may require a hearing conservation program?  According to NIOSH, if you have to raise your voice to speak to someone an arm’s length away in any area of your facility, the noise levels may be loud enough to cause hearing loss.

OSHA specifically requires employers to implement a hearing conservation program whenever employee […]

October 23rd, 2019|Categories: Events|

Is Online Safety Training Compliant?

OSHA acknowledges that computer-based training can be a useful component of an overall safety training program. However, OSHA does not consider the use of online training alone to be sufficient to satisfy safety training requirements unless that training contains interactive components. Their position is that to be effective, training must result in a certain level of  mastery of the training material and that online training without an interactive component would not meet this goal.

In a recent July 2019 interpretation letter on this topic, OSHA stated that an opportunity for employees to be able to ask questions of, and receive responses from, a qualified trainer in a timely manner is critical for effective training. Online training that does not provide this opportunity would not comply with OSHA’s training requirements. Their position is that training with no interaction, or delayed or limited interaction, between the trainer and trainee may halt or negatively affect a trainee’s ability […]

October 16th, 2019|Categories: Insights|

October 6th – 12th is Fire Prevention Week!

This year’s NFPA Fire Prevention Week campaign is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” The goal is to educate people about the small but important steps they can take to keep themselves, their family, and those around them safe. The campaign highlights the importance of making a fire escape plan for your home.

EHS professionals and others with safety responsibilities spend a good deal of time focusing on emergency evacuation plans for the workplace. However, the importance of evacuation or escape planning in the event of a home fire is often overlooked.  According to an NFPA survey, only one out of every three households have developed and practiced a home escape plan.

Did you know that in a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds? Escape planning and practice can help you make the most […]

October 9th, 2019|Categories: Events|

September Blog Recap

Woah!  Can you believe how fast September came and went?  October is here and it’s brought some beautiful fall weather, spooky haunted houses and exciting Halloween tricks and treats!
If your September went too fast, and you didn’t have a chance to read our safety tips; check out the summaries below and click on the titles to read our September blogs!



HAZWOPER Training 

September 10th:  Do you participate in emergency response at your lab?  Join our OSHA HAZWOPER training course to learn about hazard and risk assessment and spill response procedure!

OSHA’s hazardous waste operations and emergency response regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120, stipulates requirements for emergency response operations involving releases of hazardous substances.  Employees participating in emergency response are required to be HAZWOPER trained based on the duties and function they would serve in an emergency response situation.



The Revised MWRA Regulations Are Now Effective!

September 18th:  In May, I had written about the proposed changes to the Massachusetts […]

October 1st, 2019|Categories: Insights|

Are your fume hoods equipped with proper airflow monitoring devices?

Laboratories of all types use fume hoods as a means of protecting their employees from chemical exposure and the processes and experiments that are performed. A fume hood is generally considered the most important engineering control in any laboratory environment to provide protection from the inhalation of harmful chemicals as well as from fires and explosions.

However, based on a recent ANSI/ASHRAE evaluation of fume hood effectiveness, a significant portion of the hoods tested (28% to 38%) do not meet required performance standards. So how can you be sure that your employees are being protected?


Industry standards and regulations that address proper fume hood performance include:

  • ANSI Z9.5-2012 (Laboratory Ventilation Standard), Section 8.10: “All hoods and exposure control devices shall be equipped with a flow indicator, flow alarm, or face velocity alarm indicator as applicable to alert users to improper exhaust flow.”


  • ANSI Z9.2 -2018 (Fundamentals Governing the Design and Operation of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems): […]
September 25th, 2019|Categories: Insights|