News & Events
 From the Executive Director’s Office……….

Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health = Sustainable Economic Development = A Better Future

When any of us attend professional conferences, such as the recent 27th Alabama Governor's Safety and Health Conference, or the inaugural Alabama Environmental Conference held October 20-21, or attend environmental and safety and health training, it's important to remember that we are not only improving our professional skills and knowledge base but also we are participating in economic development and developing a sustainable future for our families and communities.

A healthy, safe workplace leads to improved job satisfaction and productivity. A company that reduces or eliminates its waste and improves energy and process efficiency improves its bottom line, makes possible new job creation, and helps create a better, healthier community. Keeping people and our environment healthy in turns leads to real sustainable businesses and communities.

I bring this up because here at UA SafeState we often find ourselves so busy with the daily nuts and bolts of EOSH training, conferences, and consultation that we sometimes forget just how important our jobs are – and by extension, your jobs as well – in the "big picture" of life and building a better future.

So here's to all that you do, and thank you!

 Hurry! EMS ISO 14001 - November 18 - 20, 2014...

If you attended the Alabama Environmental Conference, you might be motivated to visit and work on your environmental compliance program. The Environmental Management System/ ISO 14001 Internal Auditor Class will serve as a beneficial next step in the process. Join us November 18-20, 2014, for this informative course. If you are responsible for the environmental aspects of your company, whether it is permits, waste disposal, or just daily operations, this 3-day course will provide you with the tools to manage your company's environmental issues more effectively. This course:

  • Includes up-to-date review sections on environmental regulations that impact Alabama and surrounding states.
  • Revolves around the EMS approach to typical environmental issues; and, how an effective internal auditing process impacts your facilities' compliance success.
  • The backbone is the internal auditor training for an ISO14001-2004 Standard for Environmental Management Systems.

Day One is an introduction to regulations and an update on current issues – great for someone new to the field or someone looking for insights on how to keep up with regulations. If you have a system in place, this course provides a regulatory overview and update to information needed for addressing the Legal Requirements Section 4.3.2.

Days Two and Three cover the ISO-14001 standards and the requirements for internal auditing. The completion of this course satisfies some requirements for Section 4.4.2v competency and training, as well as Sections 4.5.2 and 4.5.5.
Obviously this section benefits organizations with existing programs, but the program provides insight to ISO-14001 and general environmental management systems that can benefit any company.

To register:  training.ccs.ua.edu

 

OSHA News...

Just recently, OSHA announced new “severe injury and illness reporting requirements” that will go into effect on January 1, 2015.  This revision of the OSHA Recordkeeping rule states that employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours and all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA's regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.  These revised requirements apply to all employers covered by the OSH Act, including those who are exempt from routinely maintaining injury and illness records.  To assist employers in fulfilling these requirements, OSHA is developing a Web portal for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to the phone reporting options.

In addition to the new reporting requirements, OSHA has also updated the list of industries that, due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates, are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep injury and illness records. The previous list of exempt industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and the new rule uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).   The new list is based on updated injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The new rule maintains the exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses.

If you have got questions about OSHA recordkeeping requirements, UA SafeState is here to help.  Contact us at (800) 452-5928 and ask to talk to one of our consultants.  Need some help with a workplace safety or health challenge?  We’ve got what you’re looking for.  Ask about our free and confidential onsite consultation service for Alabama small employers.

 

  Metalworking and Stainless Steel -- Are You Properly Evaluating Exposure Risks?

We all know there are potentially significant health risks associated with welding operations. Depending on the material in use, metal fume exposures can be well above established permissible limits and can present some control challenges and/or require higher level respiratory protection for welders and people in near proximity to welding work. Stainless steel, for example, contains varying amounts of chromium, nickel and molybdenum. Each of these substances has a relatively low OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit, hexavalent chromium being the lowest at 5 micrograms per cubic meter (with a 2.5 microgram per cubic meter Action Level). The specific composition of the stainless will vary depending on the needed characteristics of the metal. When high corrosion resistance is required, stainless with higher chromium content is often used. The content of chromium in the various grades of stainless steel can range from about 10.5% up to a maximum of 30%. From a health exposure standpoint, please consider this – all other factors being more or less equal, the potential risk of overexposure to hexavalent chromium when performing hot work on 12% chromium steel will not be the same as when working on 27% chromium steel. If the fume is well controlled, that may not make much of a difference. If not, additional assessments are probably needed – especially if you've made control and personal protective equipment decisions that would likely change should your exposure findings increase.

Need some testing or further evaluation of potential health exposures in your work environment? UA SafeState is here to help. Small businesses operating in Alabama can receive free, confidential safety and health assistance by contacting our onsite consultation program at 1-800-452-5928. Employers may also submit a consultation request through our website.


  The University of Alabama Goes Global to Improve Workplace Safety
 
Although they have intelligent, hardworking and motivated employees, many countries around the world still lack resources needed to create safer work environments. According to the World Health Organization's Disease Control Priorities Project, developing countries bear more than 80 percent of the global burden of occupational disease and injury.

To help lower the hazards of workplace safety all over the world, UA SafeState, a division of The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies, offers online safety training (e-learning) in areas such as Electrical Safety and Health and Safety Management. These courses are now beginning to impact workplace safety in underserved areas around the world.

Yusuf Jin, electrical engineer and Kenya native, says there has recently been a high need for electrical safety training in Kenya.

"Electrical safety is a real issue here," said Jin, "Unlike in the developed world where you have regulations that are enforced, in developing countries like Kenya we still do not have this as part of a regulation or legal statute."

There have recently been quite a number of incidents reported to the media, the most notable being the main international airport for Kenya burning down in August 2013 due to an electrical fire. Nairobi Airport is the largest serving East Africa and was severely impacted for months.

As a way to help prevent these types of problems, Jin recently enrolled in UA SafeState's e-learning certificate program for qualified electrical workers.

"I personally wanted to be part of a solution that will help bring knowledge into the country and assist in reducing these incidences," Jin said, "I found that from all the institutions that offered electrical safety course(s), The University of Alabama was the only one that provided an e-learning option that was quite affordable."

Jin has completed the electrical safety certificate program "Qualified Electrical Worker" and has returned to complete the "Electrical Safety Auditor" and "Train the Trainer for Unqualified Electrical workers": Machine Operator certificate programs.

"E-learning is a great way for people like me to continue learning with flexible timing," said Jin, "I am now a certified electrical safety auditor and a trainer on electrical safety, all in just 5 months."

These electrical safety certificate programs meet Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Energy (DOE) and National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) training requirements.


UA OSHA Training Institute - Education Center Announces 2015 Schedule

The University of Alabama OTI Education Center course schedule for 2015 is now available.  Join us for up-to-date OSHA standards information, becoming an OSHA Authorized Outreach 10-30 hour trainer, or updating your trainer status, as well as courses specific to your needs.

On the horizon….

  • OSHA 500 Occupational Safety & Health Trainer Course for Construction  will be held November 3-6, 2014.
  • OSHA 503 Update for General Industry Outreach Trainer will be held November 12-14, 2014.
  • OSHA 501 Occupational Safety and Health Trainer Course for General Industry will be held November 17-20, 2014.
  • OSHA 510 Occupational Safety & Health Standards for Construction will be held December 15-18, 2014.

Are you working on your certificates?  If so, we offer several courses in December.

  • OSHA 3115 Fall Protection will be held December 8-10, 2014.
  • OSHA 7115 Lockout/Tagout will be held December 11, 2014.

All these courses will be held at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

To register online http://training.ccs.ua.edu

For more information http://uaosha.ccs.ua.edu

Sign up today!  


Save The Date

28th Annual Alabama Governor's Safety & Health Conference
August 31 - September 2, 2015
Perdido Beach Resort located in Orange Beach, Alabama
Website:  algovshc.ccs.ua.edu

  Training Schedules

4th Quarter Environmental Training Schedule

UA SafeState’s Environmental Training Section will be offering the following courses, required by EPA and the State of Alabama to engage in these types of work, this upcoming quarter. If you already have these credentials and need to keep them updated, required update classes in these disciplines are being offered as well. The environmental training schedule is available on our website at http://alabamasafestate.ua.edu.

All classes are taught by exceptional instructors who have a wealth of real-world experience. Most classes include hands-on sections, where needed skill sets, as well as safe work practices, are taught. Classes are all offered at the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus in Tuscaloosa. To register, please call our registration office at 205-348-3000, or register online at training.ccs.ua.edu.

For more information, please contact Peter Hodgson at 205-348-4603 or email him at phodgson@ccs.ua.edu. Any of these classes can also be held at your location. Contact Peter for details.

4th Quarter OTI-EC Class Schedule

The OTI-EC will be hosting several of its most popular classes this quarter. In addition to the "core" Standards and Trainer courses, which are held on a revolving basis, several specialty courses will also be held including recordkeeping rule seminar, guide to industry hygiene, hazardous materials, introduction to safety and health management, machinery and machine guarding standards, and introduction to accident investigation.To see the complete listing for 2014, please click on http://uaosha.ccs.ua.edu.

For more information on these classes, please go online to http://alabamasafestate.ua.edu/education-training/_files/Catalog.pdf or contact Joe Pilleteri, CSP at (205) 348-2765.