refinery1a

by Lee Vail

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a Request for Information (“RFI”) on July 31, 2014 relating to possible changes to the Risk Management Program (“RMP”) rules codified at 40 C.F.R. Part 68. See 79 Fed. Reg. 44604 (July 31, 2014). On June 19, 2015, OSHA, the EPA, and the Department of Homeland

OSH

by Lee Vail

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published a Request for Information (“RFI”) on December 9, 2013 concerning possible changes to the Process Safety Management (“PSM”) program codified at 29 C.F.R. 1910.119. See 78 Fed. Reg. 73756 (Dec. 9, 2013). Likewise, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published an RFI on July

hearing loss

The Louisiana Supreme Court rendered a landmark decision on May 5 holding that gradual hearing loss tort claims against employers are barred because those claims are compensable under the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act (“the Act”) as an “occupational disease” under the Act’s post-1975 definition of that term and as an “accident” under the Act’s pre-1990

refinery1a

By Lee Vail, J.D., P.E., Ph.D.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published a Request for Information (“RFI”)  on December 9, 2013 concerning possible changes to the Process Safety Management (“PSM”) program codified at 29 C.F.R. 1910.119.  See 78 Fed. Reg. 73756 (Dec. 9, 2013).  Likewise, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published

By Lee Vail

On December 9, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) requested comments concerning potential changes to its Process Safety Management (“PSM”) program that could have a significant impact on oil field operations. See 78 Fed. Reg. 73756 (Dec. 9, 2013). Among the many “modernizations” of the PSM standard, OSHA is seeking comment on the elimination of exemptions that directly affect oil field operations. Current exemptions of concern include:

  • atmospheric storage tanks;
  • oil-and-gas production facilities; and
  • oil-and-gas well drilling and servicing.

PSM applies to “a process which involves a Category 1 flammable gas (as defined in 1910.1200(c)) or a flammable liquid with a flashpoint below 100 °F (37.8 °C) on site in one location, in a quantity of 10,000 pounds (4535.9 kg).” 29 CFR 1910.119(a)(ii). The addition of atmospheric storage tanks is significant as a tank as small as 35 Barrels of crude oil will cause the “process” to exceed the 10,000 pound threshold. As a consequence, other process equipment that contains less than 10,000 pounds of flammable materials that is connected to the tank (via piping) may also become subject to PSM requirements.


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By Scott D. Huffstetler

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking public comments regarding a proposal for a new online whistleblower complaint form. The form, which would allow whistleblowers to electronically submit whistleblower complaints directly to OSHA, is part of OSHA’s proposal to revise the information collection requirements for handling retaliation complaints filed