EWN Blog

 
July 5, 2016

PIPES Act of 2016 & PHMSA Penalties Increased

PIPES Act of 2016 Signed into Law The PIPES Act of 2016 was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2016.┬á The PIPES Act, which is more formally known as the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016, reauthorizes the Pipeline Safety Act through the end of September 2020.┬á One of the top priorities of the Act is the requirement for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to fulfill the mandates from the 2011 re-authorization. The following is a recap of the main requirements of the PIPES Act of 2016: Provides funding for the operational expenses of PHMSA. Requires PHMSA to update Congress 120 days after the date of enactment of the Act and every 90 days thereafter on outstanding statutory directives, including the status of each mandate, reasons for its incompletion, and estimated completion date. Requires two reports on the effectiveness of integrity management programs for both natural gas pipelines and hazardous liquids pipelines. Requires a study on the new innovations in pipeline materials, corrosion prevention technology, and corresponding training. Requires vacancies to be filled on the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, the Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, and […]
June 20, 2016

OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Final Rule

EWN strives to set the safety & compliance industry standard by understanding regulatory changes and updating existing courses as needed. OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Final Rule takes effect on June 23rd, 2016.┬á┬áThe Final Rule includes separate standards for Construction (29 CFR 1926.1153) and General Industry and Maritime (29 CFR 1910.1053). Here are the changes: Respirable crystalline silica permissible exposure limit (PEL) reduced to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (8-hour average shift). Employers are required: Use engineering controls to limit worker exposure to┬áPEL Provide respirators when engineering controls cannot limit exposure Limit worker access to high exposure areas Develop a written exposure control plan Offer medical exams to highly exposed workers Train workers on silica risks and how to limit┬áexposure┬á EWN has you covered when it comes to training your workers on the hazards of silica exposure in the workplace. Our course┬á17335-EWN-CBT-Respirable Crystalline Silica (OSHA) has been updated to reflect the noted changes, and will be available on June 23, 2016, so that you can begin educating your employees. Although employees will require training on the new safety and compliance measures, there are also company specific requirements you must understand and be prepared to implement.┬áPlease note that employers should […]
February 9, 2016

The Silent Killer: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The Mayo Clinic defines carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as ΓÇ£an illness caused by exposure to too much carbon monoxide ΓÇö a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. Too much carbon monoxide in the air you breathe can greatly diminish your ability to absorb oxygen, leading to serious tissue damage.ΓÇ¥ Carbon monoxide is produced as a bi-product of appliances used when heating your home during the cold months or using alternative power sources, such as generators, during a┬ápower outage. Due to this need for added warmth, January has become the deadliest month for carbon monoxide poisoning and is largely due to unintentional or accidental carbon monoxide exposure. Unintentional carbon monoxide exposure becomes dangerous when carbon monoxide begins to accumulate in a contained or poorly ventilated space. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle but should be treated as a medical emergency. Seek treatment immediately, if someone has been exposed to carbon monoxide and is experiencing: headaches nausea dizziness confusion light-headedness Safety Tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning as recommended by Poison Control: Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliance inspected and serviced by a qualified technician every year. Install battery-operated CO detectors on every […]
August 20, 2015

PHMSAΓÇÖs Pipeline Damage Prevention Programs Final Rule

PHMSA issued the Pipeline Damage Prevention Programs Final Rule and thereby established the process for evaluating state excavation damage prevention programs. This final ruling also established a federal standard for enforcement in states where such requirements were inadequate or non-existent. In response to the passing of the rule, PHMSA Interim Executive Director Stacy Cummings reported, “Between 1988 and 2014, there were 1,815 pipeline incidents caused by excavation damage that resulted in 193 deaths, 757 injuries, and nearly $545 million in property damage. This rule represents a critical achievement in the DepartmentΓÇÖs continuing efforts to prevent excavation damage to pipelines.” Specifically, the Pipeline Damage Prevention Programs Final Rule establishes the following items copied directly from PHMSAΓÇÖs website: The criteria and procedures PHMSA will use to determine the adequacy of state pipeline excavation damage prevention law┬áenforcement programs; The administrative process for states to contest notices┬áof inadequacy from PHMSA should they elect to do so; The federal requirements PHMSA will enforce against┬áexcavators for violations in states with inadequate excavation damage┬áprevention law enforcement programs; and The adjudication process for administrative enforcement┬áproceedings against excavators where federal authority is exercised. In 2006, the PIPES Act gave PHMSA authority to develop criteria for evaluating state damage prevention […]
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