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HazMat Update & RRP News

Today’s installment features a quick look at the current understanding of hazardous waste operations (aka hazwoper) an update on recent developments in RRP and, of course, a pitch for upcoming EEA training.

Hazmat got you confused? It should!

EPA, OSHA, DOT and the rest of our friends at the Fed and State agencies that oversee employee safety and environmental health should be commended for creating a series of regulations and standards that have lead to creation of a new occupation; “the environmental consultant.”
Thank you, Richard Nixon!

Here’s a quick summary of the HAZWOPER standard, with emphasis on training expectations (what else?)

Who is covered by OSHA’s HAZWOPER standard?

The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) applies to five distinct groups of employers and their employees. This includes any employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances — including hazardous waste — and who are engaged in one of the following operations as specified by 1910.120(a)(1)(i-v)
and 1926.65(a)(1)(i-v) :

* clean-up operations — required by a governmental body, whether federal, state, local, or other involving hazardous substances — that are conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites;
* corrective actions involving clean-up operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.);
* voluntary clean-up operations at sites recognized by federal, state, local, or other governmental body as uncontrolled hazardous waste sites;
* operations involving hazardous wastes that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities regulated by Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to RCRA, or by agencies under agreement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement RCRA regulations; and
* emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances regardless of the location of the hazard.

Is computer-based training acceptable for refresher training?

Computer-based training may meet some refresher training requirements, provided that it covers topics relevant to workers’ assigned duties. It must be supplemented by the opportunity to ask questions of a qualified trainer and by an assessment of hands-on performance of work tasks.

Can refresher training be given in segments?

Refresher training may be given in segments so long as the required 8 hours have been completed by the employee’s anniversary date.

What if refresher training isn’t received in 12 months?

If the date for refresher training has lapsed, the need to repeat initial training must be determined based on the employee’s familiarity with safety and health procedures used on site. The employee should take the next available refresher training course. “There should be a record in the employee’s file indicating why the training has been delayed and when the training will be completed.”

For more information visit OSHA’s dedicated webpage (http://www.osha.gov/html/faq-hazwoper.html)

Here’s a couple interesting tidbits on RRP. Looks like it’s got some life yet.
Shawn McCadden offered these insights on his informative website shawnmccadden.com

“Double Trouble for RRP Renovators: OSHA and EPA to Work Together

I just became aware of a recent Memorandum of Understanding between OSHA and EPA that outlines how the two separate government agencies will work together in Region One (the northeast). The memorandum clearly explains that the purpose of working together will be to “improve and optimize the combined efforts of the parties to achieve protection of workers, the public, and/or the environment at facilities subject to EPA and/or OSHA jurisdiction”. The memorandum was not dated, and although it had place holders for the date in the signature area, The memorandum further explains the process and framework for notification, training, consultation, and coordination between them to more effectively support the two agencies’ enforcement programs. It specifically lists two special enforcement initiatives:

§ OSHA’s Lead in Construction standard
§ EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

I found out about this memorandum at the Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog titled “Region 1 EPA and OSHA to work together on RRP/OSHA enforcement”. In the blog Mark Paskell highlights from the memorandum some of the ways OSHA and EPA will work together. Here is one highlight renovators will be sure to find sobering:
“EPA and OSHA may conduct joint inspections as appropriate to carry out the purposes of their respective statutory authorities. Such inspections may be coordinated in advance but may also be scheduled on an ad-hoc basis.”

With spring only a short time away, contractors will soon be working outdoors again in the northeast. This will make the work they do and the work practices they use much more visible to OSHA and EPA. Consider yourself warned and get ready. In additional to the work practices required under RRP rules, there are plenty of OSHA regulations and requirements as well. If you don’t have written safety plans for the work your business performs, or if you have not provided the required safety training and equipment for your workers, you might become an easy target.

Whether guilty or not, know your rights as a business if you are visited. As a business, if written up by a government agency, you will be considered guilty until you prove your innocence, at your own expense. How you handle the visit can make a big difference. See this previous RRPedia post for guidance on how to handle a request for information should either OSHA or EPA drop by to collect information or send a request your way.”

And, this week’s winner of our hazard control supplies giveaway is:

Aaron Lange, congratulations Aaron!

Don’t forget to sign up for your chance to win.

Be Well!

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that the law is catching up with trainers that fail to follow EPA training standards. Buyer beware!

“Kansas City environmental consulting firm reaches settlement with EPA

A Kansas City-based environmental consulting, testing and training firm has settled with the Environmental Protection Agency’s local office over violations related to courses the company taught.

Titan Environmental Services Inc. agreed to pay a $10,878 civil penalty and offer free training to those who had been enrolled in classes where the EPA found violations. It also will do a supplemental environmental project, spending at least $97,902 on lead-abatement work at five residential properties in St. Joseph, Mo., and offering detailed updates to the EPA.

A spokesman for the company said it was working with the EPA and was in full compliance. “They did hit us pretty hard,” Senior Operations Manager Kyle Gunion said. “We’re just trying to work with them and get everything behind us. We’re in good standing with the EPA.” Gunion said the company has trained more than 10,000 people through its programs.

The EPA found Titan in violation of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, including failing to offer required hands-on training to those in its training courses.
Three separate EPA inspections in May 2010 and October 2010 led to the violations. The EPA inspected the company’s record-keeping and a lead-based paint training course.

The EPA found that Titan Environmental Services did not:
• notify the EPA a week in advance of offering the training on at least six occasions in 2010;
• notify the EPA within 10 days that training was complete on at least 35 occasions in 2010;
• maintain proper records for an instructor in an April 2010 course;
• teach all required portions of courses; and
• keep records of student assessment forms for certain courses.”

EEA has a full schedule of training sessions next week. Check out these specials:

Lead Renovator Initial
Buffalo and Jamestown

Asbestos Supervisor Initial

Asbestos Air Sampling Technician Initial

Mold Awareness