EHS News & Alerts

New York State Preferences SGP Certified Facilities

New York State has become the first state to preference facilities certified by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) for procurement of printed products. Executive Order 4 (EO 4) established a State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability Program, directs state agencies, public authorities and public benefit corporations to green their procurements and to implement sustainability initiatives. Under the recently released EO 4, New York State entities are encouraged to issue contracts for printing in which contractors meet SGP criteria.

FTA Signs Wisconsin Charter; SGP Recognized by StateGreen Tier Sm

FTA is among other representatives from national and local printing industry associations that have signed an innovative Green Tier Charter with the Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) to help foster compliance and encourage superior environmental performance. The charter also recognizes the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP)’s certification program as entry into WIDNR’s Green Tier program. Read More

OSHA Reminds Employers to Post OSHA 300A

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding covered employers to post OSHA’s Form 300A, which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2014 and were documented on OSHA’s Form 300, the log of work-related injuries and illnesses. The summary must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2015, and should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in specific low-hazard industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. Due to changes in OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements that went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, certain previously exempt industries are now covered. Lists of both exempt and newly covered industries are available on OSHA’s website. Visit the Updates to OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule Web page for more information on recordkeeping requirements.

Virtual Flexo Plant Reopens

VFPLogo The Printers’ National Environmental Assistance Center (PNEAC) and FTA are pleased to report that the Virtual Flexo Plant (VFP) is back online and fully functioning. It contains environmental, health and safety information in all areas of a flexographic printing facility. The VFP was created as a joint effort of PNEAC and FTA staff. Visit VFP

July 13, 2015: Definition of Solid Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) released its final rule amending the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C “Definition of Solid Waste.” The final rule will go into effect July 13, 2015.

Under the final rule, U.S. EPA may bring a RCRA enforcement action against any recycler of hazardous secondary materials if the recycling activity does not meet all of the following four recycling legitimacy criteria:
  1. A hazardous secondary material must make a useful contribution to a final product or intermediate
  2. The recycling process must produce a valuable product or intermediate
  3. The hazardous secondary material must be managed as a valuable commodity
  4. The final product must be comparable to a legitimate product or intermediate with respect to hazardous characteristics and levels of hazardous constituents

June 1, 2015: Hazard Communications Standards DeadlineCorrosive

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) modified the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The purpose is to bring the United States into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). While HCS, first promulgated in 1983, gave the workers the ‘right to know,’ the Agency publicizes that the new Globally Harmonized System gives workers the ‘right to understand.’

The new HCS still requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the chemicals they produce or import, and provide hazard information to employers and workers by putting labels on containers and preparing Safety Data Sheets (SDS), previously called Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). However, the old standard allowed chemical manufacturers and importers to convey hazard information on labels and MSDSs in whatever format they chose. The modified standard provides a single set of harmonized criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and SDSs.

The following is a brief outline of the major changes to the HCS:

  • Hazard classification: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to determine the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import. Hazard classification under the new, updated standard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards, as well as classification of chemical mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category.
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDSs): The new format requires 16 specific sections, ensuring consistency in presentation of important protection information.
  • Information and training: To facilitate understanding of the system, the new standard requires that workers be trained by Dec. 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format, in addition to current training requirements.

Various provisions of the new standard have different effective dates. Compliance with modified provisions of the rule takes affect on June 1, 2015 for chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers. Employers should continue to update their safety data sheets as new ones become available, provide training on the new label elements, and update hazard communication programs if new hazards are identified.

Companies producing SDSs to review hazard information for all chemicals produced or imported, classify chemicals according to the new classification criteria, and update labels and SDSs according to the new specified format. Access OSHA’s Website

April 17, 2015: Wisconsin Environmental Performance Charter Public Comments Due

This state charter aims to improve environmental compliance within Wisconsin’s printing industry while also encouraging beyond-compliance actions through participation in the Green Tier program and the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) program.

Jan. 1, 2015: New OSHA Reporting Requirements

As of Jan. 1, 2015, there was a change to what covered employers are required to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers are now required to report all work-related fatalities within eight hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.

Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident. The updated reporting requirements have a life-saving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.

Employers have three options for reporting these severe incidents to OSHA. They can call their nearest area office during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 800-321-OSHA (800-321-6742), or they will be able to report online. For more information and resources, visit OSHA’s Web page on the updated reporting requirements.

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