What’s Firestopping and why do we need it?

Firestopping? – Oh, that’s easy! Goop some red caulk at a joint or around that pipe and you are good to go! Right? Well, not anymore. Building code and fire inspection officials recently began strict enforcement of code requirements for firestopping inspections. The International Building Code (IBC) 2012, Section 1705.16 states that firestop inspections shall be included as part of the mandatory special inspections for high-risk facilities. Enforcement began in earnest when the local building code was adopted as 2012 IBC or newer, and now building owners, contractors, and designers are bumping into this requirement on more and more projects. So, what is fire stopping and why is it so special? Firestopping is a passive containment approach to resist the spread of smoke and fire in a building, it is defined by the International Firestop Council (IFC) as “a process where certain materials are used to resist or stop the
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Industrial Hygiene Assessment for Safety Tools Manufacturer

Industrial Hygiene (IH) assessments recognize, evaluate and help eliminate or control conditions where employee exposure to contaminants may create adverse health effects. In order to determine worker exposure to the compounds copper, beryllium and aluminum – W&M collected personal air samples from workers’ breathing zones for up to 8 hours of the workers shift. During their shift, workers are at risk if they are exposed to contaminants above permissible exposure limits (PELs).



Permit Required Confined Space Program Misconceptions

 Last month, we discussed common misconceptions about the Lockout/Tagout program. Many similar misconceptions exist about Permit-required Confined Space Programs and affect their implementation. The most common misconceptions are: My employees do not enter permit-required confined spaces; we use contractors, so I do not need a program. For permit-required confined spaces, the host employer performs the following items: Inform the contractor that the workplace contains permit spaces and that permit space entry is allowed only through compliance with a permit space program meeting the requirements of 1910.146. Apprise the contractor of the elements, identified hazards and any experience which makes the space a permit space. Apprise the contractor of any precautions or procedures that have been implemented for the protection of employees in or near permit spaces where contractor personnel will be working. Coordinate entry operations with the contractor. Debrief the contractor at the conclusion of the entry operations regarding
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Lockout/Tagout Program Misconceptions

As an EHS Consultant, I enjoy assisting companies with implementing lockout/tagout and confined space programs. Our clients understand the importance of a strong safety culture and the safety of their employees. They implement safety programs and training, and seek employee buy-in, to achieve the goal of a strong safety culture. They consider the risks employees may be exposed to and identify ways of mitigating those risks and develop their programs accordingly. I often perform audits and gap assessments of our clients’ current company programs and often find that I am addressing many of the same issues across multiple employers. Some of these issues are attributed to confusion on the applicability of the standard. Some common misconceptions are: I don’t need a program because we use contractors to complete maintenance activities and our employees do not perform lockout/tagout. In many cases, you may choose to eliminate lockout/tagout associated risks to your
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Heavy Equipment Operator Training

W&M has been providing compliance services for Caterpillar, Inc. since 2009. For this particular project, Caterpillar requested W&M develop and deliver classroom and hands-on hoist and rigging training for its authorized employees that operate of overhead and gantry cranes. Safety should be the first and most fundamental priority when performing lifting operations.



Safety for Temporary Workers

Temporary workers are sometimes necessary to get projects completed on time.  But what happens when they get injured on the job?  There is often confusion among Human Resource Managers, EHS Managers, and Staffing Agencies regarding temporary worker safety and injury reporting responsibilities.  A few key points to remember:  It is the responsibility of the “Host” (i.e., worksite employer) to:   Report injuries incurred by temporary workers on their OSHA 300 logs.  These injuries are factored into their injury rate.   Ensure the temporary worker is adequately trained regarding the hazards of the job site and work responsibilities (e.g. Hazard communication, emergency action, fire extinguisher and bloodborne pathogen training; hazards and use of site specific equipment).    Ensure they have the proper certifications (e.g. crane worker certification, electrician license) to do the work they are performing.     Ensure they have adequate PPE that is in good working order and they have been trained in proper
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W&M’s Lori Siegelman to Present “How to Write a World Class Safety Program for Oil and Gas Industry

Lori Siegelman has been asked to give her presentation “How to Write a World Class Safety Program for the Oil and Gas Industry” to the North Texas Exploration and Production Safety Network. When:             March 27, 2014 Time:               8:30- 10:00 Where:           University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute 7300 Jack Newell Blvd Ft. Worth, TX  76118   Topics will include: Responsibilities of Management and Staff Work Rules, Alcohol/Drug Policy, Medical Evaluations, Training and Communications Incident Reporting, Emergency Response (including Emergency Action Plan) Safe Operating Procedures and Work Practices, Hazard Identification, Fall Protection and Confined Space Entry Lori Siegelman, CIH, CSP, CHMM Ms. Siegelman has more than 20 years experience on a wide range of environmental and safety projects in consulting and in private industry.  Her expertise includes industrial hygiene, health physics and management systems.  Ms. Siegelman served as Environmental, Safety and Health (ESH) Manager for oil and gas, aerospace/defense and pharmaceutical/chemical companies for
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How to Write a World Class Safety Program for the Oil and Gas Industry

W&M will be hosting a How to Write a World Class Safety Program for the Oil and Gas Industry luncheon at the Plaza Club in San Antonio, TX on September 24, 2013. When:          September 24, 2013 Time:           11:30 – 1:00 Where:         Plaza Club                     100 W. Houston                      Frost Bank Tower, 21st Floor                      San Antonio, TX 78205 Pricing:         Free – RSVP required Topics will include: Responsibilities of Management and Staff Work Rules, Alcohol/Drug Policy, Medical Evaluations, Training and Communications Incident Reporting, Emergency Response (including Emergency Action Plan) Safe Operating Procedures and Work Practices, Hazard Identification, Fall Protection and Confined Space Entry Frank Engallina Mr. Engallina has twelve years of experience in environmental consulting operations. His project experience includes investigation and remediation of impacted soil and groundwater, environmental compliance, storm water permitting, asbestos consulting, real estate due diligence, and emergency response. He has managed environmental programs and projects for Tier I oil
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W&M Awarded Homeland Security Project

W&M was awarded a contract to provide exposure monitoring at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina.  W&M industrial hygienists will be evaluating the noise and chemical exposure to Homeland Security personnel.  Personnel will be monitored during a variety of training scenarios both on land and sea.  For more information, contact Gene Murray with W&M.