EPA Warns Risks of Recharging Air Conditioners with Wrong Refrigerant

With the summer season around the corner, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a statement last week that warns homeowners, manufacturers of propane-based refrigerants, home improvement contractors and air conditioning technicians of the safety hazards related to the use of propane in existing motor vehicle and home air conditioning systems.

The EPA cautions that using a propane-based refrigerant in an air conditioner that is not designed to use propane or flammable refrigerants poses a threat to homeowners as well as service technicians, because systems that are recharged with an unapproved alternative called “22a” can catch fire or explode, resulting in injury and property damage.

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OSHA Announces Availability of Health and Safety Training Grants

The US Labor Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) announced today the availability of a total of $4.6 million in funds from the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program.

These grants will fund the creation of in-person, hands-on training and educational programs, as well as the development of materials for workers and employers in small businesses, industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates and vulnerable workers who are underserved, have limited English proficiency or are temporary workers.

The program intends to help workers and employers identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. Non-profit organizations, including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes and colleges and universities are eligible and encouraged to apply for the grants.

The program is named for the late Susan Harwood, former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment, whose tenure led to the development of worker protection standards for exposure to bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead.

For more information on the available grants, click here. Funding opportunity announcements are available by clicking here. Webinars for the application process can be found by clicking here. And to read the full news release from OSHA, click here.

Infographic: The Benefit of Using Digital Signage for Safety Communication

Does your company have a solid safety program in place? Workplace safety can sometimes be overlooked by some business leaders and shouldn’t, since 12 occupational fatalities happen every day. Take time to review your safety policy with your workers. Check out these stunning facts, courtesy of RMG Networks.

OSHA Updates Eye and Face Protection Standards in Final Rule

Late last month, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) published a final rule that updates the requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in general industry, shipyards, longshoring, marine terminals and construction.

The final rule reflects current national consensus standards and ensures that workers can use up-to-date eye and face protection. It also updates references in OSHA’s Eye and Face Protection Standards to recognize the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, while deleting the outdated 1986 edition of that same national consensus standard.

In addition, the final rule updates the construction standard by deleting the 1968 version of the ANSI standard that was referenced and now includes the same three ANSI standards referenced above to ensure consistency among the agency’s standards.

OSHA’s final rule goes into effect on April 25, 2016. For more information on this final rule, click here.

Spill 911 offers a full line of Head, Eye & Ear PPE products to help keep your employees safe. You can view our product line by clicking here. If you have any questions on these items or any of our other products, contact one of our customer service representatives at 800-474-5911.

 

Most Commonly Asked Workers Compensation Questions

If you have been injured at work, workers compensation insurance will cover most of your injuries. But there are some exceptions to the rule.

Federal law requires all employers in all states to provide workers compensation benefits to employees who have been injured while on the job. The laws and procedures may differ from one state to another. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding workers compensation.

Are You Eligible for Workers Compensation Benefits?

You have to be an employee in order to qualify for workers compensation benefits. But if you are an interstate railroad worker or a crewmember on a vessel, you are not entitled to workers compensation. The federal law requires you to file a personal injury claim against your employer instead of receiving workers compensation.

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