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Thursday, January 24, 2019

NYC DEP Seeks Public Comments on Mold Notification Requirement

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) is requesting public comments on a Notice of Mold Remediation Work.  A public hearing is being held on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at 11:00 AM in the NYCDEP's 8th-floor conference room at 59-17 Junction Boulevard, Flushing, New York 11373.  The public comment period closes Wednesday, February 6, 2019.

Mold Growth in Corridor
Local Law Number 61 of 2018 (also known as Intro 978-D) amended the Administrative Code by adding a new Section 24-154, which provides that, before the performance of mold remediation work in certain buildings, the New York State-licensed mold remediation contractor must file a notice of mold remediation with NYCDEP no later than two business days before the project start date.  Section 24-154(c)(3)(b) further provides that notice may be filed within 24 hours after the project starts, instead of at least two days before, if the mold condition to be remediated poses an immediate risk of harm to any person or damage to property.  The purpose of the above public comment period is to establish a rule when such risk of harm exists.  In other words what the exception for two-day notification would be.  NYCDEP is proposing that projects that have at least 30 square feet or more of visible mold within one room or excessive water accumulation or flooding exists could notify NYCDEP 24 hours after the project starts with appropriate documentation that the condition exists.
Mold Abatement/Remediation/Assessment Course for Article 32 Licensing
Local Law 61 of 2018 went into effect on January 1, 2019.  The law requires licensing pursuant with New York State Department of Labor's Article 32 "Licensing of Mold Inspection, Assessment, and Remediations Specialists and Minimum Work Standards Law" to assess, remediate, and abate for mold incidents larger than 10 square feet.  The bill applies to residential buildings containing 10 or more units or commercial buildings larger than 25,000 square feet.  This law prohibits the owners or their direct employees from performing mold remediation or assessment work, which Article 32 allows.  Under this law, the person holding a mold assessment license must file with the NYCDEP a mold remediation form and work plan as well as a mold post assessment form and a mold certification form.  These forms are located at NYCDEP's Air Pollution website under Mold Remediation and Assessment.  It appears it will be an electronic submission and consists of a 6-page form for the mold remediation plan and a 4-page form for the mold post-assessment. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards in Fiscal Year 2018

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) annually publishes the top ten most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in the previous fiscal year.  OSHA has published the stats for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 (which runs from October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018).  Here is the list of most frequently cited OSHA standards:

  1. Fall Protection, construction (1926.501)
  2. Hazard Communication Standard, general industry (1910.1200)
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (1926.451)
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
  5. Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (1910.147)
  6. Ladders, construction (1926.1053)
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks, general industry (1910.178)
  8. Fall Protection - training requirements, construction (1926.503)
  9. Machinery & Machine Guarding, general requirements, general industry (1910.212)
  10. Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)
OSHA performed a total of 32,020 inspections in FY 2018.  In 2017, there were 971 fatalities in the construction industry which were 20.7% of total private industry fatalities.  The fatal four (falls, struck by, electrocution, & caught-in/between) were responsible for 59.9% of construction worker deaths in 2017.

The top 10 violations in the Remediation Servies Industry (which includes asbestos abatement, lead abatement, crime scene cleanups, oil spill cleanup, mold remediation, and hazardous materials remediation companies) were:
  1. Asbestos (1926.1101)
  2. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
  3. Lead (1926.62)
  4. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
  5. Permit-required Confined Spaces (1910.146)
  6. Inorganic arsenic (1910.1018)
  7. Duty to have Fall Protection (1926.501)
  8. Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA (1904.41)
  9. Scaffolding, general requirements (1926.451)
  10. Ladders (1926.1053)
Interesting how the top four violations in the remediation industry should be the industry's specialty.

Since the silica standard has been in effect since September 23, 2017, we looked to see how many citations were issued in FY 2018.  OSHA performed 202 inspections in reference to the silica standard (1926.1153) and issued 556 citations for total penalties of $815,426.  The top 10 industries cited were:
  1. Masonry Contractors
  2. Poured Concrete Foundation and Structure Contractors
  3. Commercial & Institutional Building Construction
  4. Water & Sewer Line & Related Structures Construction
  5. Highway, Street, & Bridge Construction
  6. Site Preparation Contractors
  7. Residential Building Contractors
  8. Flooring Contractors
  9. All Other Specialty Trade Contractors
  10. Siding Contractors

As you can see OSHA is still performing inspections and still issuing citations.  Though silica standard is fairly new OSHA conducted almost triple the inspections than it did regarding asbestos.  However, OSHA's focus is definitely on falls, struck by, electrocutions, and caught-in/between. 

Chrysotile Asbestos Banned? More Like Certain Conditions of Use Will Be Eventually Banned!

Many of you, as did I, read about the " Ban of Chrysotile Asbestos " and rejoiced over something long overdue.  However, after rea...