OSHA Launches National Dialogue on Hazardous Chemical Exposures in the Workplace

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a national dialogue with stakeholders on preventing work-related illness caused by exposure to hazardous chemicals and substances. This dialogue is intended to review the management of hazardous chemical exposures in the workplace and explore strategies for updating permissible exposure limits, or PELs.

PELs are regulatory limits on the amount or concentration of a substance in the air. They are in place to help protect workers from too much exposure of hazardous substances. According to OSHA, 95 percent of the PELs, which cover less than 500 chemicals total, have not been updated since they were created in 1971.

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Are You Prepared for a HazMat Situation?

If the recent cases of Ebola in the United States have taught us anything, it’s that it is important to always be prepared for a hazardous situation. You can never predict when situations like this will arise, and the only way to be prepared for them is to have the proper equipment on hand to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

Below is a checklist of items you should always keep on hand if you think you might be at risk to be in a HazMat situation:

PPE Suits – Personal Protective Suits are the most essential thing to have on hand in the event of a HazMat situation. These suits are perfect for emergency responders and can protect the individual from airborne chemicals and toxins, as well as any chemicals that may be spilled in the area. Available in Level A or Level B options for fully-encapsulated suits, or Tychem or Tyvek coveralls, there is a suit that will protect you for any situation you might find yourself in. For more information on these PPE suits, click here.

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New Line of Flexible Containment Berms Provides Even More Containment Options

Spill 911 recently added a new line of flexible containment berms from Justrite Manufacturing that will provide it’s customers with even more options for flexible spill containment.

Below are a list of the new berm options and descriptions on how they can help you in the field:

Decon QuickBerms

The Decon QuickBerm is a portable, multi-zone decontamination station that you can deploy quickly and easily while in the field to prevent environmental contamination. Their interior walls create wash-down zones that will safely capture and contain contaminated solutions. They are available 2, 3 or 4 zones. Their PVC-coated fabric provides a wide range of chemical resistance and the 8-inch walls allow for easy entry and exit. Each zone is equipped with a 3/4-inch drain. For more information on these berms, click here.

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New Approval Defines Acceptable Interior Storage of Chemicals & Processes

Beginning on October 1, 2014, the FM Approvals standard (FM 6049) has been updated with some changes regarding the storage of chemicals inside of facilities.

The new standard now states that all flammable chemical storage buildings placed inside of facilities must provide 1-hour fire-rated construction, be connected with the facilities sprinkler system (no independent dry chem systems) and provide a 25% containment sump which drains to a separate holding pond/sump. Previously approved non-combustible, 2 and 4-hour fire-rated buildings are now FM Approved only for placement outside of the facility.

This new standard only impacts FM customers. It is important to note that much of this new approval can be viewed as in conflict with what is acceptable under NFPA 30, and that non-FM facilities should still defer to NFPA 30 standards. FM and non-FM facilities should always check with their local authorities before purchasing any modular storage building to ensure they are in compliance with all local regulations.

FM Approvals come from a third-party entity that provides certifications for products to meet certain industry standards and protects properties from experiencing loss. For more information on FM Approvals, click here.

Spill 911 carries a number of chemical storage buildings from some of the industries’ leading manufacturers, including Denios, Inc. and Securall/A&A Sheet Metal Products, which you can access by clicking here to view them on our website. If you have questions on these buildings or any of our other products, please contact one of our customer service representatives at 800-474-5911.