US EPA estimates that about 5,000 facilities will be impacted by the Agency's final rule, which among other things establishes four mandatory legitimacy crtieria. The goal of this final rule is to allow eligible spent materials to qualify for exemptions under hazardous waste regulations. Adoption of the legitimacy criteria grants US EPA a greater, up front role in verifiying the legitimacy of third party recyclers. Companies and recyclers will need to demonstrate the following mandatory critieria:
- makes a useful contribution to the recycling process
- produces a valuable product
- is managed as a valuable commodity
- is comparable to a legitmate product
As this final rule is considered a deregulatory action, states will be required to adopt their own rules and regulations to take advantage of this final rule. SGIA will keep the industry updated as this rule moves forward.
A new Letter of Interpretation (LOI) dated 12/16/14 has been issued by OSHA. This LOI is timely because it clarifies the two new "reportable injuries": amputation and loss of an eye. An amputation, for OSHA reporting purposes, is defined under section 1904.39(b)(11); however, "loss of an eye" had a lot of us wondering what that means. OSHA says "Loss of an eye" is the physical removal of the eye, including enucleation and evisceration. Loss of sight without the removal of the eye is NOT (emphasis added) reportable under the requirements of section 1904.39. A case involving loss of sight that results in the in-patient hospitalization of the worker within 24 hours of the work-related incident is reportable.
Amputation is defined as the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth. REMEMBER: Reportable amputations do NOT need to include bone loss.
On December 10, 2014, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) signed a final rule revising the definition of “solid waste” for purposes of the federal hazardous waste regulatory program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). This definition is a key element of the RCRA regulations, inasmuch as only solid wastes can be subjected to regulation as hazardous wastes.
EPA originally proposed this latest round of changes in 2011, in response to a court challenge that alleged that the last major set of changes, in 2008, inappropriately excluded certain recyclable materials from RCRA regulation, thereby posing risks to the environment and human health, with disproportionate impacts on minority and low-income populations. The new final rule (“2014 DSW Rule”) significantly cuts back on the 2008 DSW Rule, and also imposes new requirements on recyclable materials that were excluded or exempted from regulation under the pre-2008 RCRA rules. The 2014 DSW Rule also amends the Agency’s “legitimacy criteria” for determining when recycling is legitimate, rather than a sham, and establishes one new regulatory exclusion for certain solvent recycling operations, referred to as “remanufacturing.”
The formal effective date for the rule is 180 days after publication in the Federal Register (expected in early January 2015), however, in virtually all States, the rule will not be effective unless and until adopted by the State. SGIA will keep the industry updated on developments.
The Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration has indicated that it will not delay the Hazard Communication Standard's June 2015 deadline for mixtures as it relates to the new warning label and Safety Data Sheet requirements. A coaltion of nine industry groups had sent a letter to OSHA requesting that the Agency push back the deadline by two years arguing that the deadline is unworkable since companies shipping chemicals may not get the information they need from their raw material suppliers in time to upate their labels and safety data sheets.
OSHA informed the groups that those shipping materials don't need to be in compliance with the new requirements by June 2015 if companies can demonstrate that they tried to get the necessary information. The Agency is in the process of developing a written enforcement policy that provides specific guidance on this issue. The directive, under development, is chiefly for inspectors and other enforcement officials, however, it will also provide guidance for employers on what constitutes compliance with the new standard.
A province wide safety blitz on potential hazards of industrial machinery will take place November 3 to December 14th in Ontario, Canada. Inspectors will focus on machinery that isn't properly guarded, locked out or blocked and will also ensure that workplaces have strong internal responsibility systems for compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. They will be looking to make sure that employers are acting to prevent awkward postures and repetitive motions that could lead to musculoskeletal disorders and protected from exposure to chemicals. The blitz will target 10 industrial sectors, including printing.