Macondo disaster minimal compliance culture still exists
April 14, 2016
Offshore regulatory changes made thus far do not do enough to place the onus on industry to reduce risk, nor do they sufficiently empower the regulator to proactively oversee industry’s efforts to prevent another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, an independent investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) warns.
When I learned about the dangers of silica dust in medical school in the 1970s, at the beginning of my career in occupational medicine, I thought silica dust was only of historical interest, or a hazard for just a few especially vulnerable workers with unscrupulous employers.
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs) to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products.
Reactions to the final silica rule issued last week by OSHA have been sharply – and predictably – divided. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that millions of workers “can literally breathe easier knowing that they will not have to sacrifice their lungs and their lives by working in deadly silica dust. The new OSHA silica rules—nearly 20 years in the making—will save hundreds of workers’ lives a year.”
After issuing a historic final rule on silica exposure limits last week, OSHA continues its burst of regulatory activity this week by publishing a final rule that updates requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in general industry, shipyards, longshoring, marine terminals and construction.
The Proposition 65 warning requirement for exposures to BPA, listed as a reproductive toxicant, is effective on May 11, 2016. California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has issued two proposed regulations -- an emergency regulation for exposure to BPA through ingestion, which permits temporary point of sale warning signage for canned and bottled food and beverages, and a proposed regulation which sets a safe harbor level of 3 mcg/day for dermal absorption of BPA from solid materials.
When he was a kid, Tom Ward thought his dad was Superman, especially because he worked with his hands. When I sat down with Tom a few weeks ago, he talked about how heroic and invincible his father seemed, about his athleticism and his work ethic. But years of working as a sandblaster had taken their toll. They turned out to be this Superman’s kryptonite.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a final rule to improve protections for workers exposed to respirable silica dust. The rule will curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.