Subject: EHS Quarterly Bulletin: September 2019

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3rd Quarter, September 2019
Printing Industries of America’s Environmental, Health, and Safety Affairs recently launched EHS Verify, a comprehensive audit process. The process includes pre-audit activities, an on-site visit, a corrective action plan to address areas for improvement, remote follow-up on corrective action plan progress in three to six months, and a follow-up on-site evaluation in one to three years (depending on the magnitude of the items identified for improvement).

Benefits of EHS Verify:
  • Provides a comprehensive evaluation of the plant's compliance with environmental, health, and safety regulations at both the federal and state levels.
  • Identifies weaknesses in the plant's EHS programs and assists with corrective action to strengthen programs and help prevent workplace injuries and incidents.
  • Reduces the risk of an EPA or OSHA inspector finding non-compliances and issuing fines and penalties.
  • For those plants that are ISO 14001 or ISO 45001 certified or are pursuing certification, EHS Verify serves as an independent internal review of a plant's environmental and/or health and safety management systems.
  • Shows plant management's commitment to a strong EHS culture, respect for employee safety and health, and protection of the environment.
For pricing information or to schedule an EHS Verify audit, contact Jamie Mackay, Director of EHS Affairs at or 412-259-1794. 

September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency is a good reminder that natural and man-made disasters can strike at any time. 

The National Safety Council offers safety tips specific to each of the following emergencies:
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
For more information on general precautions that apply to many disaster situations, please visit the National Safety Council website.
Lockout/Tagout Request for Information
Printing Industries of America and its affiliates, through the Graphic Arts Coalition (GAC) led by Gary Jones of SGIA, provided comments to OSHA on lockout/tagout (LOTO) in response to a Request for Information on what changes should be made to requirements for turning off machinery while it’s being repaired or serviced. GAC strongly supports modernization of the LOTO Standard in ways that promote worker safety and the cost-effective use of control circuit systems in lieu of energy isolation without placing additional burdens on employers.

GAC’s comments discuss applications of alternative control measures that rely on safety control circuits, including those designed, constructed, installed, and maintained in compliance with the various editions of the ANSI B65 series of machinery safety standards for printing presses, binding equipment, and other equipment that is used in conjunction with the inch-safe-service method. In any revision to the standard, OSHA needs to preserve the efficiencies provided by alternative control measures and the current energy control practices associated with them.

The full text of GAC’s comments can be found on the website.

EPA FY 2020-2023 Enforcement Priorities
In June 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced seven enforcement and compliance assurance priority areas for fiscal years 2020-2023. The NCIs selected advance the agency’s strategic plan objectives to improve air quality, provide for clean and safe water, ensure chemical safety, and improve compliance with our nation’s environmental laws while enhancing shared accountability between the EPA and states and tribes with authorized environmental programs. 

The seven newly announced National Compliance Initiatives are:
  • Creating Cleaner Air for Communities by Reducing Excess Emissions of Harmful Pollutants from Stationary Sources
  • Reducing Hazardous Air Emissions from Hazardous Waste Facilities
  • Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines
  • Reducing Significant Noncompliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits
  • Reducing Noncompliance with Drinking Water Standards at Community Water Systems (CWSs)
  • Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities
  • Lead Action Plan
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
The EPA has pledged to publish a proposed rulemaking by the end of 2019 that would list PFAS compounds as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in an effort to facilitate their cleanup, particularly at military bases. 

PFAS substances are a family of thousands of chemicals used to make water-, grease- and stain-repellent coatings (such as Teflon, Scotchgard, Stainmaster, or Gore-Tex) for a vast array of consumer goods (including food wrappers, non-stick cookware, and stain-resistant fabrics), firefighting foam, and industrial applications. 

According to the EPA, PFAS may cause adverse health effects, including developmental harm to fetuses, testicular and kidney cancer, liver tissue damage, immune system or thyroid effects, and changes in cholesterol. In addition, PFAS are extremely resistant to biodegrading, which has earned them the nickname “forever chemicals.” The EPA also indicated it will decide in December 2019 whether or not to propose limits for PFAS in drinking water. 

To learn more about PFAS go to:
Emerging Technology – Plastics Recycling
Plastic recycling is evolving. At least 60 chemical companies are racing to develop technology that can return plastic waste to its original hydrocarbon ingredients. 

Several companies are developing ways to take old plastic, break it down into its chemical components, and then use those components to regenerate raw materials. Under consideration are technologies that break down polymers using everything from microwaves to enzymes to using an essential oil to dissolve polystyrene, the plastic used in yogurt cups and packaging foam, creating purified plastic pellets. Chemical recycling could quadruple global plastic recycling rates to 50% by 2030, up from 12% now, according to a December 2018 report from consultant McKinsey & Co. 

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