Ask Enhesa Vol. 17

by Tjeerd Hendel-Blackford, Taotao Yue and Catarina Olagnier Hästesko 11 Mar. 2019

You asked and we answered!

Enhesa’s team of multilingual regulatory analysts are committed to providing quality insight and analysis around the latest EHS news and developments via our newsletters, webinar series and blog posts. In response, our team often receives a variety of questions regarding the broad realm of EHS topics we cover. To meet this demand, we launched “Ask Enhesa,” a reoccurring blog series where our in-house regulatory experts take the lead in answering all of your topical EHS policy and regulatory questions.

What are the current legal requirements on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in China?

At the National level, under the Regulation on Personal Protective Equipment Management, facilities must comply with the following requirements, among others:

  • Choose the right PPE in accordance with procedures prescribed in Appendix 1 of the Regulation (identification, assessment and selection) and features of the specific operation, working environment, labor intensity and workers.
  • Establish internal provision and distribution standards in accordance with the Appendix 3 of the Regulation, given the hazards, hazardous agents and extents, working environment and validity period of PPE.
  • Inspect and keep the original and copies of quality testing reports and other quality certification documents.
  • Provide emergency PPE in hazardous and harmful working environments where acute occupational injury is likely to occur; ensure that the emergency PPE is in proximity of the operation site and has a noticeable label and frequently inspect, maintain and repair emergency PPE.
  • Maintain records of distributed PPE in accordance with Appendix 4 of the Regulation—provide training on how to wear, use and maintain the protective equipment.
  • Ensure that workers check the condition and function of PPE before use.
  • Ensure interns, contractors and visitors wear and use PPE according to the standards applied to employees.
  • Routinely check workers’ use of PPE, test the performance and effectiveness of PPE and ensure PPE is appropriately kept and changed within the appropriate validity period.

The Code of Practice for Selection of Personal Protective Equipment GB/T 11651-2008 provides PPE selection rules for different operation categories. Specific standards have been issued for different types of PPE, covering protective clothing, respiratory protection and more.

There is a separate category of Special Personal Protective Equipment. Examples of special PPE include: non-powered air-purifying respirators, safety hats, penetration resistant safety shoes and protective clothing against liquid acids. In accordance with the PPE Provision Standards (Trial), facilities must procure, distribute and use special PPE that has safe production certificate, quality certificate and safety identification certificate.

Is there a requirement to carry out risk assessments in the U.S., like there is in EU countries?

There is no specific requirement to carry out risk assessments in the U.S. However, the PPE Standard (29 CFR 1910.132) requires that employers perform hazard assessments to determine if hazards are present in the workplace or are likely to be present. The standard contains a non-mandatory appendix containing procedures that comply with the requirement for a hazard assessment.

Separately, the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard (29 CFR 1910.119) requires facilities that store or use certain highly hazardous chemicals perform a process hazard analysis for all processes using the chemicals. The process hazard analysis must address the hazards of the process; identification of any previous incident which had potential for catastrophic consequences in the workplace; engineering and administrative controls applicable to the hazards and their interrelationships; consequences of failure of engineering and administrative controls; facility siting; human factors and a qualitative evaluation of the range of possible safety and health effects on employees.

If a facility conducts hazardous waste operations, 29 CFR 1910.120 requires that the facility conducts a site characterization and analysis to identify specific site hazards and determine the appropriate safety and health control procedures needed to protect employees.

Facilities covered by the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard (29 CFR 1910.119) must develop and implement written operating procedures that provide clear instructions for safely conducting activities involved in each covered process—and provide training in those operating procedures.

There is no requirement to report the results of risk assessments or action plans to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, facilities must keep written records onsite and make them available to OSHA upon request.

There are also state-level requirements. For example, in New York, the Workplace Safety and Loss Prevention Program is codified at 12 NYCRR Part 59. The Program requires that New York employers undergo a comprehensive safety and loss prevention consultation if they have generated an experience modification rating over more than 1.20 and have a payroll of over $800,000. An experience rating is a rating methodology developed by insurers based on formulas established by the Worker's Compensation Rating Board which considers the age, sex, health status, occupation or other criteria. The purpose of the consultation is to help employers establish a comprehensive safety and health program that seeks to lower the experience modification rating.

Facilities subject to this program must undergo an onsite consultation by a certified consultant. The consultant prepares an evaluation. From the evaluation, the employer must prepare and submit a report to the Department of Labor specifying how it will remedy any deficiencies. The employer then has six months to implement the remedial actions. Failure to comply with the program results in a five percent surcharge on workers' compensation insurance premiums until compliance is achieved.

Does Enhesa provide a service to keep on top of policy and regulatory developments impacting Products?

Yes! Enhesa’s Product Regulatory Forecaster service allows our clients to anticipate emerging environmental, health and safety regulatory issues and assure their products are compliant worldwide. Specifically, the service is focused on Chemicals and/or Electronics.

Enhesa tracks chemical thresholds and restrictions on the majority of products in the Chemicals Products Regulatory Forecaster. Our EHS Regulatory Analysts report on all chemical management requirements necessary for placing chemicals and other products on the market globally.

Enhesa covers all EHS developments applicable to the electronics industry around the world in the Electronics Products Regulatory Forecaster. This includes all consumer electronics including components, batteries and packaging.

As part of this service you receive:

  • Tailored regulatory reports
  • Detailed analysis of relevant product developments as they emerge
  • EHS laws applicable to your products
  • Links to legal texts in the original language

For more information on this service, or to get a quote, please contact info@enhesa.com

What are the waste management record-keeping and reporting requirements in Mexico?

The Federal General Law for the Prevention and Comprehensive Waste Management and several compulsory Mexican official standards provide the general framework for hazardous, solid and special waste. However, states and municipalities are also allowed to issue regulations and circulars to regulate solid waste and waste of special management.

Hazardous waste is only regulated at the Federal level; specifically, with regards to requirements around waste record keeping and reporting for hazardous waste. Large (> 10 tons/year) and small (> 400 kg/year to 10 tons/year) generators of hazardous waste are obliged to keep logbooks. The logbooks must contain:

  • Waste identification and amount
  • Waste hazardous characteristics
  • Area or process generating such waste
  • Dates (in/out) temporary storage room
  • Indication on the waste management steps after leaving the temporary storage room
  • Information and authorization of the company providing hazardous waste management services
  • Name of the person responsible of the logbook

Hazardous waste generators are permitted to store waste for a period no longer than six months. Co-processing and reuse of hazardous waste is allowed on the site without prior authorization. There are no specific forms to keep the logbooks. Logbooks must be kept for five years.

There are no specific requirements at the Federal level for solid and special waste record keeping. However, states usually require solid and special waste generators to register with the corresponding Municipality and provide semiannual reports. Solid and special waste generators are obliged to keep evidence of the contracts with authorized companies collecting, transporting or carrying out final disposal of solid and special waste. For example, the Law of Prevention and Integral Management of urban solid wastes and special wastes for the state of Veracruz requires generators of special wastes to submit biannual reports to the authority and maintain a logbook, where the volume, type and disposal method must be registered.