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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is pricing handled for EHS services?
A: At Baron Environmental, we differentiate ourselves by providing all projects on a fixed fee basis rather than "time and expenses". We believe this approach offers several significant advantages for our clients, including cost predictability, enhanced budget control, and streamlined project management. By eliminating hourly labor rates, we focus on delivering results, and ensuring the highest value for the investment.
Our fixed fee model is designed to simplify and streamline the project process. It allows us to allocate our resources efficiently, leveraging our expertise to deliver solutions without burdensome intricacies of tracking labor rates and hours. From our experience and client feedback, we are confident that our solutions will exceed expectations.
Q: How is a Scope of Work developed if specific EHS needs are not clearly known?
A: Our team members are proficient in brainstorming scenarios and finding solutions. Here's an example:
Imagine you have concerns about your hazardous waste program, but you're unsure of the exact deficiencies and where to begin. For this scenario, we may offer two potential solutions:
Option 1: Create a Hazardous Waste Management & Contingency Plan: This comprehensive plan ensures compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements associated with the proper management of hazardous and other regulated wastes. It addresses waste handling, storage, transportation, disposal, and emergency response.
Option 2: Conduct an initial EHS Audit followed by corrective actions: An EHS Audit examines not only the waste management program but also other potential EHS deficiencies that may warrant high priority resolution. By conducting a comprehensive audit, we can identify and prioritize areas of improvement based on the risk of agency penalties, potential injuries, or other critical factors.
At no initial cost, we will work with you to gain clarity of the circumstances, and then develop a Scope of Work and the fixed fees for our professional services that correlate to clearly defined deliverables. Efficient EHS compliance is our specialty. We will always provide our recommended course of action if more than one option exists.
Q: Does Baron have any Licensed Professional Engineers (PE)?
A: Yes, Baron's staff has P.E. licenses in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. We also provide EHS consulting work in many other states since a certifying P.E. is only required for specialized projects such as SPCC planning.
Q: How can I best determine regulatory applicability?
A: Set up a 30-minute free consultation directly from our website here.
Q: How does Baron Environmental ensure confidentiality and data security during consulting engagements?
A: Baron's General Terms and Conditions include a non-disclosure/confidentiality clause. This protects all proprietary information, business practices, and any non-compliance findings. We also utilize secure cloud-based systems with data encryption.
Q: Does Baron have liability insurance?
A: Baron maintains policies for Commercial General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance (Errors and Omissions), Contractors Pollution Liability Insurance, and Workers Compensation and Employers Liability.
Q: Why do the Baron Environmental teams do what they do? In other words, what is your company's "Why" or purpose?
A: We believe an EHS Culture built on adaptability, continuous improvement, and cross-team collaboration is a necessity for today’s most successful companies.
Q: What differentiates Baron Environmental from other EHS consulting firms?
A: Unlike any other EHS consulting firm, Baron Environmental utilizes a Scrum process framework that delivers Twice the Work in Half the Time. Everyone at Baron exhibits a passion for this framework, which brings together teamwork, agility, and our company culture. Our Scrum process framework inherently transfers efficiency and scalability to our clients. Accordingly, We Use Scrum For Your Benefit. ® See our Scrum page for more details on how we operate.
Q: What else sets Baron Environmental apart?
A: We build EHS Cultures and develop long-term EHS Partnerships that result in a significant return on investment (ROI).
Q: "What quotes define Baron Environmental's philosophy?"
A: Quote #1: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin
This quote emphasizes the importance of active participation, aligning with Baron Environmental's approach of involving clients and stakeholders to ensure sustainable results.
A: Quote #2: "People aren't happy because they're successful. They're successful because they're happy." - Dr. Jeff Sutherland
This quote highlights the significance of well-being and happiness as a foundation for success. It reflects Baron Environmental's belief in fostering a positive work environment and satisfaction of both team members and clients.
These quotes align with our company's Scrum process framework, that values collaboration and continuous learning.
Q: What are the Top 5 EHS concerns that a COO or VP of Operations at a manufacturing site may have?
1) Occupational Safety: First and foremost -- a top priority for manufacturing sites. Worker safety is essential.
2) Environmental Compliance: Operations may have hazardous substances, air emissions, or generate waste. Proper handling, permitting, storage, and disposal are essential for EHS compliance.
3) Industrial Hygiene: Exposure to dust, fumes, or chemicals can cause health issues. IH programs with monitoring, control of exposure levels, engineering controls, and PPE are key.
4) Emergency Preparedness: Manufacturing sites should have an emergency preparedness plan with drills and training that address evacuation, fire safety, and more.
5) Ergonomics: The nature of manufacturing work often involves repetitive tasks, lifting, and awkward postures that can impact worker health and productivity.
New Jersey DEP Air Programs
How do I get a Facility ID in the NJDEP air program?
To register a facility with the Air Permitting Program the following form should be filled out and sent to the Division of Air Quality either through email or post. http://www.nj.gov/dep/aqpp/downloads/parta2015.pdf
Do I need an air permit?
Any equipment or source operation that may emit one or more air contaminants, except carbon dioxide (CO2), directly or indirectly into the outdoor air and belongs to one of the categories listed below, is a significant source, unless it is exempted from being a significant source ...Read on
What is a general permit?
NJDEP has established a list of specific equipment for which expedited permitting is available. If the piece of equipment matches the requirements, permits are available as soon as the fee is paid (which can be done online via credit card). General permits (or GPs) are available for the following equipment types: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/aqpp/gp1list.htm.
How do I renew an air permit?
All permits issued by NJDEP have a 5-year lifespan. Within a few months of the expiration of your permit, the DEP will mail to your facility a renewal invoice. Once this invoice is paid, a permit is considered “renewed”.
How do I cancel an air permit?
If the permitted source is removed or sufficiently dismantled (i.e., "rendered inoperable") prior to its renewal period, then a permit termination form, signed by the facility's Responsible Official, should be sent to the appropriate regional enforcement office, stating the reason for cancellation along with the permit activity number and the Facility ID. A Copy of the Form can be found here.
What is 'RADIUS'?
RADIUS is a software program utilized by the NJDEP for the submission of air permit applications, modifications/ammendments, as well as emission statements.
What is a 'HAP'?
A HAP, or Hazardous Air Pollutant, is a toxic chemical that has lasting detrimental effects on humans and/or the environment. Emissions of any HAP above the reporting threshold requires the facility to report that HAP on the relevant air permit. Here is a list of the New Jersey reporting thresholds for all HAPs.
Do I need to complete an Emission Statement?
The New Jersey DEP requires emission data from all facilities that emit or have the potential to emit greater than or equal to the following thresholds:
5 tons per year (TPY) of Lead
10 TPY of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
25 TPY of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
100 TPY of any of the following - CO, NH3, PM2.5, PM10, SO2, or TSP
Would applying for a new air permit trigger a "red flag" or place my facility under more scrutiny from the DEP enforcement group?
No. The permitting group and the enforcement group are independent of each other and applications submitted to the permitting group are not specifically put in front of enforcement. Ongoing issues, ongoing enforcement actions, or other unique circumstances at a site may affect this general policy; however, if an air permit issue exists, it is clearly advisable to proactively address it.
What needs to be done to complete a 'combustion adjustment'?
For a comprehensive guide to completing, recording, and reporting a combustion adjustment, click here.
What is a netting analysis?
A netting analysis is a calculation conducted in order to determine if the maximum allowable emissions stated in a permit application would result in a net emission increase or significant net emission increase of certain air contaminants (please see Baron’s Blog Article on Netting Analysis: Baron Netting Blog).
How do I know if my facility needs to complete a netting analysis?
If your facility is a Title V facility as defined by N.J.A.C. 7:27- 22 and has an operating permit modification that will require an emission increase or if your facility is applying for a general operating permit.
Is there a standardized method to complete a netting analysis?
Yes, the DEP has just released an electronic Netting Analysis Tool (eNAT), which is a Microsoft Excel based spreadsheet with instructions and easy to follow layout in order to perform the calculation. The spreadsheet is available here: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/aqpp/enat.html. For more information, please see Baron’s Blog Article on Netting Analysis: Baron Netting Blog.
Does Baron have experience with Title V air permits and the subsequent requirements?
Yes, we have multiple clients who rely on our services to navigate the requirements of their Title V permits.
SPCC and DPCC Programs
Do I need a U.S. EPA SPCC Plan?
If your facility has greater than 1,320 gallons of combined aboveground storage capacity (in containers or tanks of 55 gallons or more) or greater than 42,000 gallons of underground storage capacity then it requires an Spill, Preventon, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan.
What is the New Jersey 'DPCC' program?
Unlike the Federal U.S. EPA SPCC program that focuses on oil and petroleum products, the New Jersey DPCC program (Discharge Prevention, Containment, and Countermeasure) focuses on all "hazardous substances" and not just oils. New Jersey DEP provides the listing of DPCC regulated substances within Appendix A of N.J.A.C. 7:1E, which can be found here: http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/dp/downloads/appendices_2014.pdf.
Does the DPCC program apply to my facility?
This program applies to a facility that has either: a storage capacity of 20,000 gallons or more of hazardous substances other than pertroleum or petroleum products; or a storage capacity of 200,000 gallons or more for hazardous substances including petroleum and non-petroleum products. For a list of hazardous substances listed in the DPCC program see link above.
Are synthetic oils included in SPCC?
Yes. As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR 112), the SPCC definition of oil means "oil of any kind or in any form, including but not limited to fats, oils, or greases of animal, fish, or marine mammal origin; vegetable oils, including oils from seeds, nuts, fruits, or kernels; and, other oils and greases, including petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, synthetic oils, mineral oils, oil refuse, or oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil." [Excerpt of the SPCC rule.]
Do I need to complete a monthly inspection for the month I complete the annual inspection?
Yes. The regulations for both programs require that there be 12 monthly inspections and one, supplemental annual inspection.
STI SP001 vs API 653?
The Steel Tank Institute (STI) SP001 and the American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 are two industry standards for performing tank integrity tests as required for both the SPCC and DPCC programs. Of the two, API is typically more intensive and the requirements include increased level of internal inspections.
What do I need to know for a DPCC Inspection?
The first thing to note, is that the DPCC program now does just one DPCC inspection in a three year cycle and that it is done in conjunction with the technical review during the renewal process. For a first hand account of an inspection from Baron, click here.
EPCRA & Right to Know Programs
What is a CRTK (Community Right to Know) or Tier II report?
Community Right to Know is the collection, process, and dissemination of chemical inventories for the public, emergency planners, and first responders to determine the chemical hazards in a community. In NJ, this report is known as the Community Right to Know or cRTK. In most other states, it is called a Tier II report.
Do I need to complete a U.S. EPA TRI report?
Yes, if all three of the following criteria are met:
1.The type of TRI industry sector
2. Having ten or more full time equivalent employees (equivalent of 20,000 hours)
3. Manufacturing or processing more than 25,000 lbs. of a TRI-listed chemical, or otherwise using 10,000 lbs. of a listed chemical in a given year.
Do I need to complete a NJDEP RPPR report?
In New Jersey, if a facility is required to complete a TRI report for any one chemical, then it must also complete an RPPR report for any TRI-listed chemical that is manufactured, imported, processed or otherwise used (or some combination thereof) in excess of 10,000 lbs.
What is a Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan Summary?
The P2 plan summary is a 5 year outline of goals, set by a facility, to reduce the use and releases of those substances reported under the TRI requirements. It defines each process at the facility with which a TRI reportable substance is associated, and identifies hazardous substance usage, pollution prevention options, technical and economic feasibility, and five-year numerical goals for pollution prevention for each of them. There is no penalty for failing to reach any set goals, and there is no minimum reduction required.
If I submit a TRI Form A, am I still required to submit an RPPR report and P2 plan summary?
A facility that submits a Form A is still required to submit an RPPR report and P2 Plan summary for all hazardous substances manufactured/processed/otherwise used over the reporting threshold. The only exception applies to the submittal of P2 Plans: If the sum of the amount of hazardous substance generated as NPO and shipped in product is 500 lbs or lower. Those substances are required to be reported in Section B of the RPPR but are exempt from P2 Planning.
What are PFAS?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFAS can be found in food packaging, firefighting foams, stain/grease repellent products, and a wide range of industrial processes.
What do we know about PFAS?
Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans.
When did PFAS become reportable within the EPA's TRI program?
Section 7321(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA) added 172 PFAS to the TRI List of Reportable Chemicals, with a 100-pound "manufacturing, processing, and otherwise used" reporting threshold that became effective on January 1, 2020.
What activities will affect future PFAS additions to the TRI List?
Section 7321(c) indicates that certain EPA activities involving PFAS will trigger automatic additions to the TRI list in the future
– For example, EPA finalizing a “toxicity value” for a PFAS will add it to the TRI list.
– Effective date will be January 1 of the year following the activity w/ a 100-pound reporting threshold.
What has changed for the 2017 Community Right to Know (cRTK) report due on March 1, 2018?
On past reports, chemicals were characterized as having one or more of six hazard classes (acute health effects, chronic health effects, fire, corrosive, reactive and none per MSDS). Beginning with the 2017 survey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has updated the hazard classes to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). There are now two categories (physical hazards and health hazards) with twenty separate subcategories.
What are the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) physical hazards for the 2017 Community Right to Know (cRTK) report?
The revised physical hazards are: gas under pressure, explosive, self-heating, pyrophoric (liquid or solid), pyrophoric (gas), oxidizer (solid/liquid/gas), organic peroxide, self-reactive, combustible dust, and flammable (gas/aerosol/liquid/solid). A chemical may have one or more of these physical hazards.
What are the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) health hazard categories for the 2017 Community Right to Know (cRTK) report?
The revised health hazards categories are: acute toxicity (any exposure), reproductive toxicity, skin corrosion/skin irritation, respiratory or skin sensitization, serious eye damage/eye irritation, specific target organ toxicity, aspiration hazard, germ cell mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and hazard not otherwise classified (HNOC). A chemical may have one or more of these health hazards.
Do Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) contain all the information required to complete the 2017 Community Right to Know (cRTK) report?
Facilities will required GHS compliant Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to complete their 2017 cRTK as some required hazard categories (e.g. combustible dust, aspiration hazard, etc.) were not specifically required to be indicated on a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA)
What is ISRA?
The Industrial Site Recovery Act or ISRA is a program that requires owners of facilities with certain industrial classifications to investigate and remediate any potential environmental contamination prior to property transfers when the business ceases operations or is sold. The NAICS codes that are subject to this program can be found in N.J.A.C. 7:26B, Appendix C, here.
What events trigger a facility into being regulated under the ISRA program?
The short and simple answer is any time a facility/business with a regulated NAICS code undergoes a cease of operations or is sold to an outside entity a facility must submit a General Information Notice (GIN) to the NJDEP identifying that they are entering into the ISRA Program. The ISRA regulations list 15 triggers that require a GIN to be submitted within 5 days of the triggering occurrence. The full list of these triggers can be found here.
What is a General Information Notice (GIN)?
The General information notice, or GIN is the form that must be submitted to the NJDEP within 5 days of an ISRA triggering event. The GIN form begins the ISRA process for a facility or business and contains information such as site location,, NAICS code, date and type of trigger, date of eventual transaction or closure and other pertinent information.
If my site is closing what are the potential steps of a full ISRA process?
The first item to be completed as part of the ISRA process is the submittal of the GIN form to the NJDEP. Following this submittal, a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Retention form must be submitted detailing who the LSRP is that will be completing the subsequent ISRA work. Following this, a Preliminary Assessment Report (PAR) must be completed by the LSRP, identifying all Areas of Concern at the facility and assessing their potential for negatively impacting the environment. All remaining work depends upon the findings of this report and each subsequent report. If it deemed necessary by the LSRP, a Site Investigation Report will be completed next which would include sampling of one or more of the Areas of Concern from the PAR. If any of these samples are found to be above the permissible limits, Site Remediation would follow.
Waste Management Programs
Is my facility a large quantity generator (haz waste)?
If your facility generates 1,000 kilograms or more of hazardous waste (HW) per month, more than 1 kilogram of acutely hazardous waste per month, or more than 100 kilograms of acute spill residue or soil per month , it is considered a Large Quantity Generator (LQG).
How do I qualify to be a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG)?
If your facility generates no more than 220 lbs of hazardous waste and/or less than 2.2 lbs of acute hazardous waste in one month, it is considered to be a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG). There are three requirements that must be met for a facility to remain a CESQG:
Identify all generated hazardous waste
Store no more than 2,200 lbs of hazardous waste on site.
Ensure delivery of hazardous waste to an off-site treatment or disposal facility that is state or federally regulated to manage, treat, store, dispose, use or reuse hazardous waste.
Do I need to file a hazardous waste report?
LQG facilities must file a biennial hazardous waste report by March 1st of even numbered years for the previous calendar year. Thus no reports were due in 2015, but they will be due in 2016.
What is universal waste?
Universal Waste includes batteries, pesticides, mercury containing equipment, used oil, computer related equipment, and bulbs (unbroken).
Is my facility a large quantity handler of universal waste?
If your facility accumulates 5,000 kg or more of universal waste onsite, then it is considered a Large Quantity Handler of universal waste.
How do I label and store universal waste?
Universal waste needs to be placed in an appropriate container and labeled as is shown below:
Fluorescent light bulbs should be placed into a box at least as long as the bulbs that closes and be labeled “Used light bulbs” along with the date the first light bulb was placed into the box. The box must be sent for recycling within one year of the date.
Used oil must be placed into a container that is capable of containing it and be kept closed at all times when oil is not being added. The container should be labeled “Used oil” and dated with the first day that oil was placed in the container. The container must be sent for recycling within one year of the date.
Batteries must be placed into a leak proof container and labeled “Used batteries” along with the date the first battery was placed in the box. The batteries must be sent for recycling within one year of the date. Alkaline batteries are no longer considered universal waste and may be disposed of in the general facility trash. Please note that there are specific rules related to the transportation of certain types of batteries that must be considered prior to sending them off-site.
Does my facility qualify for the NJ 5G2 General Stormwater Permit?
This general permit is available to regulated industrial facilities that have eliminated or can eliminate within 6 months of authorization, all exposure of industrial materials or activities to stormwater discharges (rainfall and snowmelt waters). Exposure may be eliminated by covering the materials or activities or by moving materials or activities indoors.
What is an Individual Stormwater Permit?
If your facility is not capable of eliminating exposure of materials and/or activities to stormwater discharges then an Individual Stormwater Permit should be obtained. Individual Permits can be obtained according to industry type and require a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SPPP) as well as a drainage control plan. These plans can also require stormwater sampling at strategic locations to ensure that no contamination is occuring.
When do I need to submit an Annual Certification for Stormwater?
The Annual Certification, which includes confirmation that the facility has completed its annual inspection and annual training is due in the quarter that is assigned via the NJDEP on the Authorization to Discharge. It is due no later than the final day of the quarter given and it is recommended, although not required, that the submission be sent to both Trenton and the facility's regional enforcement office to confirm that all parties receive the document.
Do I need to complete a monthly inspection the same month I complete the annual inspection?
Yes. The regulations require that there be 12 monthly inspections completed as well as a supplemental annual inspection.
Does my facility qualify for a No Exposure Certification?
If one or more of the following requirements can be met and is verified by the DEP then a facility is eligible for a No Exposure Certification:
If the entire facility is paved and all stormwater from the site is discharged to a combined sewer (carrying sanitary and storm waterwater to a municipal treatment plant.
If the facility has an existing NJPDES permit authorizing discharge of all of its stormwater to groundwater and or surface waters.
All industrial materials are stored and/or all industrial activites are performed (with limited exceptions) inside a permanent building or permanent structure that is anchored to a permanent foundation and that is completely roofed and walled.
All industrial activity has ceased and no "Significant Material" remains exposed to stormwater.
The business is in category viii (SIC Code 40-45 (except 4221-4225) and 5171) and is not involved in vehicle maintenance, equipment cleaning operations, or airport deicing operations
Other (circumstances not listed above but that, upon request, receive departmental approval).
The current 5G2 Basic Industrial Stormwater Permit expires on January 31, 2018. When can I expect a new permit?
The DEP will release a draft permit around November 15, 2017 and for about 30 days they will be receiving comments to the draft. Then the final permit version will be released either in January 2018 or on February 1, 2018.
Is there anything a facility needs to do in order to receive the new 2018, 5G2 Basic Industrial Stormwater Permit?
No, every facility that currently has a 5G2 Basic Industrial Stormwater Permit will automatically get renewed when the new permit comes out.
Are there extra fees for the 5G2 Basic Industrial Stormwater Permit renewal?
No, there are not any extra fees with the renewal; the facility will just have to pay the annual fee.
Environmental, Health & Safety Training Programs
Is annual Hazard Communication training required by OSHA?
Per the training component of the Hazard Communication standard found at 29CFR1910.1200(h)(1), training is required upon employment and any time chemicals are changed or added to the workplace. However OSHA routinely interprets this rule to require annual training for all employees who are present in the workplace. It is Baron’s recommendation that all employers train on an annual basis to ensure the facility does not receive a violation during any OSHA inspection that occurs.
What training is needed for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SPPP)?
The SWPPP team members will receive training about their permit requirements, possible source materials at the workplace, what best management practices (BMPs) are covered in the plan, and what type of inspections are required. There will also be general training about what stormwater pollution is and how to minimize exposure.
If my facility has DPCC, SPCC, and SPPP plans, does my facility need training for each program?
Each program does require its own specific, annual refresher training. However, Baron is able to combine the trainings for each program into one training session to make it more convenient for the facility.
What are the most frequent OSHA violations?
Over the last two years (2021 and 2022), the most common OSHA violations have been Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.501) followed by Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200) and Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134). This list is published by OSHA to allow for employers to identify and fix hazards before they result in injuries.
What are the maximum civil penalties that can be imposed by OSHA?
OSHA penalties are based on the severity of the violation including if the violation has resulted in an injury or if it is a repeat violation. Below summarizes the maximum civil penalties OSHA may impose.
Penalty Maximum for OSHA category of "Serious": $15,625 per violation
Penalty Maximum for OSHA category of "Other-Than-Serious": $15,625 per violation
Penalty Maximum for OSHA category of "Failure to Abate": $15,625 per day beyond the abatement date
Penalty Maximum for OSHA category of "Willful or Repeat": $156,259 per violation
It should be noted that in 2023 OSHA initiated an Instance-by-Instance Citation policy that allows citations for each employee exposed to the violation. As an example, if you have a Serious Violation for respiratory protection and there are 20 employees participating in the program, a citation for 20 (employees) x $15,625 (citation/violation) = $312,500 may be issued.
What is meant by a “Willful” violation?
OSHA defines a Willful Violation as a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with the regulatory requirement or acted with plain indifference to employee safety. An example would be an employer who is notified of a serious safety risk but does nothing about it (i.e. not notifying the affected workers).
How often do I have to train my employees?
The simple, general answer is annually. Under the Hazard Communication Standard, all new employees should receive training on the workplace hazards prior to the start of their assignment. It must be noted that when an OSHA standard requires training be “conducted at least annually”, it has been interpreted to mean employees must be retrained every 12 months. In addition, if any changes impact workplace hazards, affected employees must be trained prior to implementing the changes.
Baron has senior professionals experienced in developing and presenting effective training programs on the full range of OSHA topics and creating a training matrix that documents required employee training and schedules.
An OSHA inspector comes to my facility, what should I do?
OSHA normally conducts inspections without advance notice. If an OSHA Compliance Officer comes to your facility, ask for their credentials and the reason for their visit. Determine whether the officer has a subpoena or warrant for their visit. Employers have the right to require compliance officers to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite. Employers must consent to the inspection.
Baron has senior EHS professionals that are experienced with interacting with regulatory personnel during inspections, walk-throughs, and hearings. As part of Baron’s Long-Term Support Services, Baron would provide onsite support in the event of a regulatory inspection.
How do I determine if an injury or illness is work related?
In accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1904, work-related classification considers whether the injury or illness was “either caused by or contributed to the resulting condition, or significantly aggravated a pre-existing” condition. The difficult aspect of the classification is determining if the employee’s work activities caused or contributed to the injury. Documenting an employee’s work activities and exposures to workplace hazards is essential to properly classify an injury or illness.
How often should our H&S Program be reviewed/updated?
H&S Programs should be evaluated on an annual basis at a minimum, but also whenever a change in process, equipment, or materials is implemented. In addition, if a serious injury or incident occurs, the program should be evaluated and improvements should be identified to prevent a recurrence.
What are the changes to Hazard Communication that took effect on June 1, 2016 as part of the GHS regulation Update?
Employers are required to update labeling on hazardous chemical containers, improve their Hazard Communication programs, and administer employee training for any new physical or health hazards. Shipped containers will be properly labeled with a signal word, hazard statement, pictogram, and precautionary statement. (Check out our blog article for more details)
What is a hazard assessment?
A hazard assessment is a way to determine what hazards, if any, are present in a workplace. If hazards are present or likely to be present, a personal protective equipment (PPE) program specific to the types of hazards found must be developed. Possible hazards in a workplace may include, but are not limited to: excessive noise, extreme heat/cold, chemicals, and/or possible impacts such as falling objects, operating tools or machinery. A list of PPE that may be appropriate for certain situations can be found in 29 CFR Part 1910.132.
When is a hazard assessment necessary?
A hazard assessment is necessary for facilities covered by the General Industry standards as detailed in 29 CFR Part 1910.132. The hazard assessment will determine what PPE is necessary to protect employees from possible workplace accidents and exposure to hazards. Employers will document that the hazardous assessment took place and record the date, the workplace, and the person certifying the assessment including their signature.
When should OSHA be notified of an accident or illness to an employee?
An employer is required to contact OSHA within 8 hours of being notified of an employee death that may be work related. If an employee suffers an inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye in a work related incident, the employer must contact OSHA within 24 hours. OSHA may be contacted by calling the local office, the OSHA central toll-free phone number at (800) 321-6742 or by filling out an electronic form located on OSHA’s web site www.osha.gov. These reports must be made within the allotted time or the facility will receive a violation. Reporting is required on weekends and holidays.
No report is required if the death, inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye is the result of an automobile accident outside of a construction zone or as a result of the use of any mode of public transportation (plane, train, subway, or bus).
Employers should be aware that OSHA will conduct an investigation (or require the facility to do so) in these cases. In the majority of amputations and loss of an eye cases, the report results in a visit from an OSHA compliance officer.
What are Lockout/Tagout Procedures?
Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures are outlined at 29CFR1910.147 for Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout). The purpose is to prevent unanticipated equipment startup through the control of hazardous energy (energy sources in machines or equipment such as electrical or mechanical that can be hazardous to operators) and protect employees from possible serious accidents from machinery or equipment. Authorized employees are required to lockout or tagout machines or equipment when they are being serviced or not in use due to defective parts.
A lockout requires a lockout device (lock or tag) to be placed on an energy-isolated device (physical way to prevent equipment from being turned on) to ensure that the equipment is not operated on until the authorized person can remove the device. A tag out involves placing a tag on an energy-isolating device to indicate that this equipment should not be operated until the authorized person removes the tag.
Requirements from the OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout) include lockout for all machines when possible or the use of tagout devices for machines and equipment not capable of being locked out. Training must be provided so that the lockout/tagout procedures are performed correctly. More information can be found here https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/.
Industrial Hygiene (IH)
What is Industrial Hygiene and what does Baron Environmental provide?
The Industrial Hygiene profession focuses on anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, preventing, and controlling a wide variety of hazards to human health and safety in the workplace.
Our Baron Industrial Hygiene Professionals develop hazard exposure assessments for workplace environments, and deliver practical solutions to address identified hazards, protecting the safety and well-being of employees. Among the Industrial Hygiene services we provide are:
Exposure risk assessments
Industrial Hygiene program development for construction and general industry
Personal and area noise monitoring, development of Hearing Conservation Programs, PPE selection, and training
Personal and area air monitoring
Indoor Air Quality Assessments
Respirator hazard analyses, program development, respirator selection, fit testing, and training
Personal Protective Equipment certified evaluations, program development, PPE selection, and training
Safety Data Sheet Authoring for intermediates and finished products
X-ray compliance with registration, radiation program development, and training
Chemical-Specific OSHA Standards (e.g., Formaldehyde) compliance assistance and program development
What do I do if I suspect there is exposure to respiratory or airborne hazards at my company?
Complete an industrial hygiene (IH) survey or have short- and long- term air sampling completed. The results will then tell you if there is no respiratory risk or if air-purifying respirators or self-contained breathing is needed. If respiratory protection is required, each employee will then need a health assessment to determine if they are medically fit to wear a respirator.
When is respiratory protection necessary?
If a facility is experiencing contaminated or oxygen deficient air and engineering controls cannot combat these issues, then respiratory protection is required. Additionally, a respiratory protection written program is required when respirators are used in the workplace. For further information, please see our Respiratory Protection blog article.
When is a hearing conversation program necessary?
When employees are exposed to noise at or above the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit of 85 dB. Employees covered by a hearing conservation program must receive annual training and be provided with a baseline and annual audiogram. They are also required to wear hearing protection in the work area when a Time Weighted Average (TWA) of 90dB or above is recorded.
What is the difference between the OSHA PEL and ACGIH TLV data?
OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) and ACGIH’s Threshold Limit Values are both 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) limits for employee exposure to certain chemical compounds within the workplace. OSHA’s PELs which are published at 29CFR1910.1000 Table Z1 (see them here) are based on recommendations that were made by ACGIH in 1968 although a few have been updated more recently. ACGIH’s TLVs are an estimate of the known toxicity in humans or animals and are reviewed on a frequent basis. With one notable exception (methylene chloride), TLVs are all equal to or lower than PELs. OSHA PELs have regulatory status as they are published and enforced by OSHA. Most industrial hygiene professionals recommend that facilities utilize the most protective value for a given chemical (e.g. the lower value).
Miscellaneous NJDEP Questions
How do I create a DEP-Online account?
Visit the website below and follow the instructions for creating an account. http://www.njdeponline.com
What is a 'SEP'?
A SEP, or Supplemental Environmental Project, is an option that allows, as part of a settlement, an alleged violator to undertake an environmentally beneficial project related to the violation in exchange for mitigation of the penalty to be paid. U.S. EPA frequently enters into these agreements.
How often do inspections occur?
This can vary from discipline to discipline or even on a case by case basis. However, typically air inspections occur on a once every 2 years for major facilities (BOP) or once every 3 years for minor facilities (PCP permits). DPCC inspections occur once every 3 years in conjuction with the technical review. Stormwater is approximately once every 3 years. Haz waste is about once every 3 years for large quantity generators.
What are the most frequently cited violations from the NJDEP?
The most frequently cited violation from NJDEP over the past five years has been failure of Stage II vapor recovery systems on dispensing systems at fuel stations. The most frequently cited violations at industrial facilities are as follows (in order from most cited to least):
Exceeding the allowable limit on a facility’s Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) in the NJPDES permit;
Exceeding a specific air emission limit (typically during a stack test);
Various issues around stack testing for air emissions;
Violation of a facility specific operating condition found in an air permit;
Failing to label or date hazardous waste containers appropriately;
Violations of requirements associated with the operation of a control device such as a scrubber, baghouse, oxidizer etc.;
Failing to conduct required DPCC inspections;
Violations of conducting required air monitoring as specified by an air permit(s);
Failing to submit (or not submitting in a timely manner) annual reports in the air program such as Emission Statements or Annual Batch or Pilot Plant reports.
Failing to follow labeling and storage requirements for universal waste.
What is the NJDEP Stewardship initiative?
This is a recognition program established by the Compliance & Enforcement group that is designed to encourage facilities to improve environmental performance. Enforcement officers will review a questionnaire at each compliance evaluation to determine if a facility is eligible. There is no penalty for a facility that is not participating or ineligible.