Friday, July 24, 2009

OSHA Issues Clarifications on PPE

Sorry for the long lead time on this issue. However, this issue seems like it should be common sense. On December 12, 2008, OSHA published a final rule clarifying emloyers' duty to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and train each employee. This rule revises the OSHA standards to clarify that, for employers to be in compliance, they must provide PPE and hazards training for each employee covered by the standards. Each employee not protected may be considered a separate violation and penalties assessed accordingly. The revison is consistent with language in other standards for which per-employee citatiuons have been upheld.

In addition, realize by May 15, 2008, OSHA also required all employers to provide PPE at no cost to their employees (the employer must pay for the PPE). These requirements addressed many kinds of PPE, such as: hard hats, gloves, goggles, safety shoes, safety glasses, welding helmets and goggles, faceshields, chemical protective equipment, fall protection equipment, and other types of safety equipment. Certain safety equipment were excluded from the provision of employer payment of PPE, these excluded items are certain safety-toe shoes and boots, prescription safety eyewear, and logging boots. OSHA considers these three items personal in nature, are used from jobsite to jobsite (employer to employer), and are typically used off the jobsite.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Proposed Settlement Regarding Asbestos in CSI Toy

A nationwide class action against CBS Broadcasting, Inc. and major toy retailers, if approved, would give cash refunds to consumers and effectively implement a nationwide recall of toy science kits, based on the popular "CSI" television drama series. Click on the title to see the press release. To request a claim form visit www.csitoyssettlement.com. The class action covered two toy kits "The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Fingerprint Examination Kit (CSI Exam Kit)" and "The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Forensic Lab Kit (CSI Lab Kit)." Both toys were made by now-bankrupt Planet Toys, Inc. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization conducted tests in 2007 on the white fingerprint powder in the toy kits and found tremolite asbestos. Consumers seeking refunds must submit claim form to a claims administrator by January 14, 2010.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Prevent Mold From Growing During Rainfalls


In the last few months we have seen significant rainfall in the northeast. This rainfall is causing some minor problems with our plants and grass (how many times are we going to have to cut the grass this year?). These problems are a nuisance; however they are easily resolved with very little expense. When this rainfall enters our homes or business establishments, these problems can lead to some significant costs for repairs and if we ignore the problems then mold can grow. We have seen previously several articles, when the rainfall was previously significant and it intruded into buildings, regarding tenants or occupants having to move or close their businesses because of the water damage to property or equipment. To prevent this from happening in this current period of significant rainfall, remember the following tips from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
  • Fix all leaks in the building envelope (i.e., roof leaks, foundation cracks)
  • Look for condensation and wet spots, fix the cause and dry these areas quickly
  • Prevent condensation by either reducing surface temperature (by insulating or increasing air circulation) or reducing moisture level in air. Reduce moisture levels by either increasing ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry) or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
  • Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
  • Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours
  • Do not let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
  • Any water damaged materials that remain wet for more than 48 hours should be disposed of or hire a water restoration expert to handle the situation.
  • If you have significant water damage, contact your insurance company immediately.
  • Many insurance companies exclude mold growth in their policies. The sooner you notify the insurance company of your claim, excluding your claim becomes less of likely.