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OSHA Issues New Beryllium Rule

On January 6, 2017, OSHA issued a final rule to reduce workplace exposure to beryllium. Previous standards were based on out dated studies and data, and more recent data demonstrates that serious lung disease can result from low level exposures to beryllium.

2017 Update to Coordinated Framework

The 2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology was released by the EPA, FDA, and USDA on January 4, 2017. The so-called Coordinated Framework is accompanied by the National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products.

Check Ceiling Clearance Compliance

When walking around your facility, be sure to check for compliance with ceiling clearance requirements. Most people are aware that storage of materials within 24 inches of the ceiling and 18 inches of a sprinkler is not permitted. However, these requirements are very easy to forget when space is limited.

Consider Archiving Rather Than Pitching

Many of you are likely spending some time going through your EHS records for this year, and preparing recordkeeping systems for the new year. As you know, there are numerous regulatory requirements for how long you must maintain specific records.

OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirements Made Clear

January 18, 2017 will mark the effective date of OSHA’s final rule that clarifies making and maintaining work-related injury and illness documentation. The amendments in this rule do not stipulate any new compliance obligations, and the injury and illness reporting requirements remain the same.

Increased Resources for Nanotechnology Safety

As general awareness around nanotechnology and the use of nanoparticles continues to increase, so do the resources for nanoparticle safety.  The general definition of nanomaterials is materials that have a length scale between 1 and 100 nanometers.  The unique properties that materials of this size exhibit present unique safety concerns.

Maintain Compliant HepB Vaccination Records

If you have employees that fall under OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard working at your facility, be sure to maintain records of offering covered employees the Hepatitis B vaccine in accordance with the standard.

Take Your Time…Please!

Everyone knows that the holiday season is a busy time of year, with many people rushing to avoid being late for holiday events, finish their shopping, or hurry home to enjoy their families. Now is a good time to remind everyone to take time to follow the established EHS practices at your facility and not take any short cuts to finish early or simply on time.

Know Your Spill Response Limits

If a hazardous chemical was spilled in your lab right now, would the researchers know if they could clean it up themselves or not? Rather than wondering what the thresholds are for cleaning up a spill in house when there is a puddle on the floor, consider developing a spill response chart for the main hazardous chemicals present in your lab.

Have You Considered a Constant Waste Handling Reminder?

After you have spent time and energy revamping your waste handling procedures and retraining lab workers, consider establishing a constant reminder to preserve your hard work. A waste handling flow chart can be created with pictures to clearly demonstrate how particular waste streams should be disposed of.