Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

Clean Drinking Water and Proposition 65

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Mar 15, 2016

California is a persistent exception to states’ limited abilities to create long-lasting effects on national environmental health and safety (EH&S) programs. One example, well-known here in California but relatively invisible to EH&S professionals outside the state, is Proposition 65.

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Tags: OSHA, California Legislation, EHS, Hazcom, MSDS

California Proposes Workplace Violence Prevention Requirements For Healthcare Facilities

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Feb 09, 2016

Employees in the health care and social service sectors suffer workplace violence at much higher rates than in most other sectors, largely because of the higher risk from their patients and clients. In response to these risks, worker protection agencies and professional organizations have developed guidelines for workplace violence prevention in these sectors. Increasingly, worker protection laws and regulations are being revised to require these activities. Most recently, in December 2015 California has proposed to expand state requirements for security plans to include explicit workplace violence prevention programs.

Existing Requirements For Security Plans

California adopted hospital security plan requirements in 1993. Since 2010, these require state-licensed hospitals to implement security plans, including all of the following actions: Read More

Tags: Employer Best Practices, Health & Safety, OSHA, Employee Rights, California Legislation, EHS, Workplace violence

Are You Ready For Flu Season?

Posted by Jon Elliott on Wed, Dec 16, 2015

Every winter, employee and public health officials around the world prepare for influenza (“flu”) seasons, which vary from mild to the occasional pandemic. Here in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issue annual forecasts of the strain(s) expected to be dominant, the severity of resulting health impacts, and of the availability and efficacy of vaccinations.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, Health & Safety, OSHA, Employee Rights, California Legislation

Hazardous Materials Commentary as Textbook for Professionals

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Nov 17, 2015

For more than 25 years, I’ve taught one of the core required courses in the Hazardous Materials Management Certificate program offered by University of California Santa Cruz Extension (UCSC-Ex). The program is intended to provide professionals with a solid foundation in the principles, regulations, and technologies required to manage hazardous materials and hazardous waste. In my course–the Regulatory Framework for Toxic and Hazardous Materials–I provide overviews of:

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Tags: Audit Standards, Health & Safety, California Legislation, Training, Environmental risks, Environmental, EHS, Greenhouse Gas, ghg, Hazcom, mact

Cal/OSHA Updates Safety Rules for Storage Batteries

Posted by Deb Hunsicker on Tue, Oct 06, 2015

Cal/OSHA has adopted final rules, effective October 1, 2015, that update the state’s regulations relating to storage battery systems and to changing and charging storage batteries. The purpose of this action is to update standards for storage batteries to address modern types of batteries in addition to clarifying regulations applicable to traditional lead–acid batteries.

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, California Legislation, Environmental risks, Environmental, Hazcom

Safety Programs Are Essential For The Automotive Workplace

Posted by STP Editorial Team on Tue, Sep 29, 2015

“No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built on the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people.”
– Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, Health & Safety, OSHA, Employee Rights, California Legislation, Environmental risks, Environmental, Transportation

Valley Fever Endemic in Central California

Posted by STP Editorial Team on Thu, Jul 23, 2015

Valley fever is an illness that usually affects the lungs and is caused by the microscopic fungus known as Coccidiodes immitis, which lives in the top two to twelve inches of soil. While the fungal spores may be present in soils throughout California, they are endemic in the Central Valley counties of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Luis Obispo, and Tulare.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, Health & Safety, Employee Rights, California Legislation, Environmental risks, Environmental, EHS

Drive Green! Save Green!

Posted by STP Editorial Team on Thu, Jul 02, 2015

Did you know that “what you drive, how you drive, and what fuel you use can impact both the environment and your pocketbook?” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put together a Green Vehicle Guide website that provides useful information and answers to all your questions about how you can go green on the road and save money too.

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Tags: Health & Safety, California Legislation, Training, Environmental risks, Environmental, EPA, Hazcom, Transportation

July 1 Deadline For California’s Revised Industrial Storm Water Requirements

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Jun 30, 2015

The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and state water quality laws (including California’s Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act) govern activities that may affect “waters of the United States.” Routine discharges from industrial and public sources make up most potentially polluting discharges, and are subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and California Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs), but additional requirements also apply to potential “storm water” runoff from rainwater and snow, which can entrain oils and other pollutants and wash them down storm drains into water bodies. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the first broad-based national program in 1990, and has revised and expanded requirements over the past quarter century (often in response to court decisions finding its efforts inadequate). States have followed suit. For example, in 2014 California updated its industrial storm water requirements, replacing a general permit adopted in 1997 with a new one that becomes effective on July 1, 2015. The new permit revises and expands requirements, including narrowing exemptions for “light industry” facilities to become conditional exemptions subject to certification requirements, and addition of detailed requirements for “preproduction plastic” materials. The remainder of this note summarizes the new California requirements, which generally are comparable to EPA’s national general permit (last updated in 2008)–so readers outside California should remember that your facilities face analogous responsibilities.

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Tags: Health & Safety, California Legislation, Environmental risks, Environmental, EPA, Hazcom

Environmental Compliance: Are You Using Water Efficiently?

Posted by Jon Elliott on Wed, Mar 11, 2015

Although day-to-day environmental regulations tend to focus on water quality, water quantity is also an issue … and can be a critical one. Here in California, we’re experiencing the third year of a drought of historic proportions; our Sierra Nevada snowpack is at 18% of average as winter ends. As the drought continues, state and local agencies are taking stronger and stronger measures to limit water use. The State Water Resources Control Board SWRCB) has just proposed to expand emergency regulations adopted in July 2014.

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Tags: Corporate Governance, California Legislation, Environmental risks, Environmental, EHS, EPA