Monday, February 10, 2020

March 2, 2020 Is This Year's Deadline for Electronically Reporting Your 2019 OSHA 300A Data to OSHA.

Every year at this time the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers with 10 or more employees to post the OSHA 300A form from February 1 to April 30th, 2020.  In addition, this year certain employers must electronically submit the OSHA 300A information directly to OSHA by March 2, 2020.  In 2018, we did a webinar together with Keevily Spero & Whitelaw on completing the OSHA 300 & 300A form.  You can find the webinar here or watch it below.  

If you remember, the 300A form summarizes the injury and illness information that was kept on the OSHA 300 log form.  Covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses that occur at a workplace on the OSHA 300 log form.  At the end of the year, covered employers are required to tally the totals on each column and enter the totals on the OSHA 300A form.  The information should be used by employers to evaluate safety in the workplace and determine ways to eliminate or reduce hazards in the workplace.  OSHA's 300A form is required to be posted until April 30, 2020, and must be retained for 5 years.  During the retention period, you are required to update the log to add new information regarding the occupational injuries and illnesses recorded on it.  OSHA has a brief tutorial to help you complete the forms.  
OSHA 300 Log Form
A final rule was issued and went into effect on January 1, 2017, requiring certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA.  OSHA has provided an online secure website (click here for the website) for submitting this information. You must submit this information by March 2, 2020, OSHA started collecting the information on January 2, 2020.  If you meet the following criteria you DO NOT have to electronically submit your 300A information to OSHA: 

OSHA 300A Form - Posting/Reporting Form

  • The establishment's peak employment during the previous calendar year was 19 or fewer, regardless of the establishment's industry.
  • The establishment's industry is on this list, regardless of the size of the establishment.
  • The establishment had peak employment between 20 and 249 employees during the previous calendar year and the establishment's industry is not on this list.   Construction and remediation and other waste management services are both on this list, so if you are in those industries and meet the size requirements you must electronically report your OSHA 300A information.

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Saturday, February 01, 2020

Nassau County's Environmental Hazard Remediation Contractors License Added to Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance

In our mold refresher courses, we've been discussing the 2016 edition of the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance.  This Ordinance now requires businesses that provide board-up services and restoration services must be licensed with the Nassau County Fire Marshall.  The Fire Prevention Ordinance defines restoration services as the act of cleaning or restoring a residential or commercial building damaged by fire, flood, hurricane, storm or other emergency events.  The Nassau County Fire Marshall charges a fee to be licensed, however, if a business has a home improvement or environmental hazard remediation contractors license issued by Nassau County Department of Consumer Affairs are still required to have the Fire Marshall License but are exempt from paying the fee.
Fire Restoration Companies Must Be Licensed with the Nassau County Fire Marshall
If you are wondering what is an Environmental Hazard Remediation Contractor license?  This is a license created by Nassau County Local Law No. 13-2014 that requires "Licensing of Environmental Hazard Remediation Providers" or in other words environmental contractors.  However, environmental contractors are defined as "any person who or legal entity that, contracts with an owner or an owner's agent to inspect a suspected environmental hazard or to implement any measure or measures that result in the remediation of an environmental hazard in a building."  This definition means both consultants and contractors have to be licensed.  Even more amazing is the definition of Environmental hazard.  "Environmental hazard(s) means any condition that constitutes an indoor air quality violation as defined by any United States statute or regulation, any New York State Law or regulation, any local law or any regulation promulgated by the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, and which hazard was caused by fire, flood, storm, chemical spills, dust, sewage, mold, pathogens or other biological contaminants and not caused by the presence of asbestos or lead."  Not totally sure what isn't covered, under this definition.  

Flood Damage & Mold are Environmental Hazards under Local Law 13-2014
The Local Law 13-2014 requires two licenses, environmental contractors have to get the Environmental Hazard Remediation Provider (EHRP) License ($1,300 for a two-year license, renewal fee is $500 every two years) and the Environmental Hazard Remediation Technician (EHRT) License ($110 for two-year license, every two years).  The EHRT shall be issued to an EHRP or their principal(s) and any person employed by, seeking employment by or under contract to a EHRP for the purpose of environmental hazard assessment and environmental hazard remediation.  It does allow an EHRT to supervise up to 10 unlicensed employees or contractors performing remediation or remediations.  To get the EHRT license the applicant must show proof that they have taken the following courses:
  • OSHA Safety Standards for Construction or General Industry - a minimum of 10 hours
  • NYS Asbestos Handler - a minimum of 32 hours
  • EPA Lead Worker - a minimum of 16 hours.  Lead RRP is NOT sufficient
  • Hazardous Waste Operations (HAZWOPER) - a minimum of 40 hours
  • Microbial Remediation - a minimum of 24 hours
  • Water damage restoration - minimum 20 hours or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC) WRT Certification
  • Fire damage restoration - a minimum of 16 hours or IICRC FSRT Certification
  • PCB Awareness - a minimum of 4 hours
  • Bloodborne pathogens - a minimum of 4 hours
  • Infection control risk assessment - a minimum of 4 hours
  • Proof of a valid lead and asbestos abatement licenses.
170 hours of training, is a lot of training!
The above list consists of 170 hours of training.  It is interesting to note to get an asbestos abatement license you need to take an NYS asbestos supervisor - a minimum of 40 hours and to get the EPA Lead Remediation License you must be an EPA lead supervisor - a minimum of 32 hours.  Nowhere in this list of topics is a supervisor course, considering that the EHRT will be allowed to supervise up to 10 unlicensed employees/contractors that seem very lacking.  In addition, there is no assessment class in this list.  Most of us in the industry would agree that this list should be the minimum training for the remediation workers in the restoration/remediation industry.  This list should not be the training requirements for the principals/supervising employees of an EHRP.  In our opinion, EHRP principals/supervising employees should have a minimum certification from American Council for Accredited Certifications, American Board of Industrial Hygiene, Board of Certified Safety Professionals, or another national, non-profit certifying body which:  
In addition, the Local Law does not address the conflict of interest issues that arise from these types of projects.  In our opinion, the local law should have this language to address conflicts of interest:
  • Individuals or legal entities shall not conduct environmental assessments for a period of one year on projects for which they have conducted environmental remediation services.
  • Individuals or legal entities shall not conduct environmental remediations for a period of one year on projects for which they have conducted environmental assessments.

We have written to our representative on the Nassau County Legislature (click on the link to see our letter) and have not gotten very far.  We suspect that is because we are only one voice and we need the industry to write to the legislature to get some traction on this.  We plan on sending another version of this letter in the next week or two.  We may not all agree on what changes need to be made, but we all agree that it needs to change.  Under the current version, very few contractors and no consultants would become license under this local law.

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