Health and Safety Plan Templates Are Not Always a Good Idea

If you own a business that has employees, you are subject to the requirements of OSHA (both state and federal) and other regulatory agencies. Sometimes, the red tape can get so thick that businesses are fined for violating regulations they weren’t even aware of. Such was the case with a business owner cited for violations… Read more »

Workplace Temperature Regulations: Cal/OSHA Takes the Lead

Workplace temperature regulations are difficult to find — but that doesn’t stop workers from dying of heat-related illness, and it doesn’t stop your company from being found negligent in the duty you have to protect your people. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimate puts the annual death rate from heat-related conditions in… Read more »

Turning Liability into Opportunity

We have all seen the headlines: bacterial outbreaks, chemical contamination, mold lurking behind walls. They are attention-getters that play upon our fear of the unknown and how it may harm us. This is the realm of environmental health, the study, and management of human health impacts arising from physical, chemical, and biological agents in our… Read more »

Healthy Building Fundamentals: An Overview of the Process

The healthy building movement is not a new idea (it is decades old), but voices in support of a closer look at building health were amplified sharply by the COVID pandemic. Property owners who gave the healthy building concept little thought pre-pandemic are now taking a closer look — and for good reason: Building health… Read more »

How to Prevent Mold Growth on Rental Properties

Mold Growth Prevention on Rental Properties Mold growth prevention and mold removal methods are two of the most frequent tenant-related issues faced by rental property owners and managers — both residential and commercial. While proactive building maintenance and incident response procedures certainly play a critical role in keeping mold and mold-based problems from occurring, getting… Read more »

Fit Testing Respirators

Not only is fit testing required by OSHA, but — when done well — it provides assurance to workers that the employer is properly protecting their health in a potentially hazardous environment. For example, the COVID pandemic created an unprecedented need for healthcare staff to wear respirators during patient care. Entering a room where you… Read more »

Mold in Classrooms and Other IEQ Problems in Schools

Schools are ground zero for indoor environmental quality (IEQ) concerns. Asbestos, lead, mold, PCBs, and many other issues become especially sensitive when classrooms or other student-occupied spaces are involved. FACS experts are often asked to do more than develop a plan for the abatement of hazardous materials. The schools we serve depend on our IEQ… Read more »

Oregon Adopts New Heat and Wildfire Smoke Rules

Oregon OSHA recently published two new rules to protect workers from the effects of excessive exposure to heat and wildfire smoke. Both will require certain preparatory actions from employers. In this article, we’ll summarize the new Oregon OSHA requirements and alert Oregon businesses of the importance of developing a strategy for compliance with the regulations…. Read more »

Are CO2 Sensors Now Required in All California Classrooms?

In January of 2021, the California Division of the State Architect issued Bulletin IR N-2 stating that “As of January 1, 2021, all existing classrooms must be equipped with a carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring device meeting all of Section 1625.”  The Section 1625 reference is to the California Public Utilities Code (PUC) Article 3, Chapter… Read more »

Construction Site Safety Blind Spots

Projects need to be completed within the budget and on time. That pressure can contribute to overlooking risks and a failure to recognize or correct unsafe conditions. The consequences of succumbing to that pressure are real and can sometimes be catastrophic to the lives of workers and their families. Fatalities in construction occupations rose six… Read more »

Managing Waterborne Pathogen Risks During Hospital Construction

All demolition, construction, and renovation activities in healthcare facilities — whether planned or unplanned — require a pre-construction risk assessment (PCRA). Some guidance documents refer to this procedure as an “Infection Control Risk Assessment” (ICRA). The Joint Commission’s Environment of Care Standard establishes the framework.  Certain concerns tend to get the most attention during renovation… Read more »

Have Schools Forgotten About AHERA?

Here’s an amazing fact: Many people — even those who occupy decision-making positions in school districts — have no idea what AHERA is, what is required of the school district to comply, the current status of their schools’ reports, or how to comply with AHERA in a cost-effective manner.  Chances are high that you’re either… Read more »

Cannabis Worker Safety: Equipment and Methods

Why be concerned about cannabis worker safety? There are approximately 428,000 workers legally employed by cannabis operations in the USA, and 2021 sales of cannabis products reached nearly $25 billion according to the most recent Cannabis Jobs Report by Leafly. A BDS Analytics study says 2027 worldwide sales will reach $57 billion — with the… Read more »

Protecting the Health of Cannabis Workers

*Updated November 2022 to reflect more recent figures and information. According to the cannabis jobs report (2022), there are more people now working in legal cannabis operations than there are dental hygienists, insurance salespeople, or textile workers. Jobs within the cannabis industry grew by 33 percent in 2021 over the prior year, pushing the current… Read more »

7 Steps to a Mold and Moisture Plan for Property Management

Property managers are paid to keep occupants happy and facilities on track. Throw in a recurrent “black mold” problem, water damage from a leaking pipe, or a full-blown flood and mold growth emergency … and the property manager’s job can seem overwhelming. That’s why strategic planning is crucial. With a properly thought-out plan in place,… Read more »

How to Avoid a Cal/OSHA IIPP Violation

California employees enjoy rights and protections not available to workers in other states. A U.S. News and World Report study placed California in the lead for the title of “Best State for Worker Rights.” That’s the good news. California employers know that great achievements do not come cheaply, however. They are subject to some of… Read more »