The Formaldehyde Threat: Enhancing Safety in University Laboratories

Often times preservation solutions used to keep the integrity of specimens utilized for educational purposes in upper education anatomy laboratory courses are overlooked as a source of exposure to harmful agents, one of which is formaldehyde. Faculty and staff who work with specimens in an educational setting may be exposed to harmful levels of agents,… Read more »

The Smart Way to Manage Hazardous Building Materials in Schools

Imagine the following situation, then ask yourself one question: “Could this happen in my school?” The school’s new Athletic Department administration has received a donation to improve the weight room used by the school’s student-athletes, starting with removal of the tile flooring. The Athletic Department hires a flooring contractor to remove the existing tile flooring… Read more »

Asbestos in Construction Materials Testing: Critical Information

Here’s something many people who should know … don’t know: Agencies that approve building and demolition permits require property owners to either presume asbestos is present in the construction materials or to conduct construction materials testing for asbestos to prove it is not. Despite the seriousness of the matter — potential fines, loss of time,… Read more »

How Recent Changes to RRP Rules Affect Property Management

Renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) rules were created by the EPA to protect building occupants and workers from the hazard of “lead poisoning.” Other federal and local bodies are also concerned about the dangers of lead in construction, making it all more important to be aware of the pertinent regulations before beginning a project in… Read more »

Lead Water Testing for Schools: What’s Coming Down the Pipe?

School lead water testing…we did that already, didn’t we? Yes, but there are signs indicating there is more to come. The voluntary program launched by the State Water Resources Control Board in 2017 formally ended in July of 2019. However, recent legislation requires testing lead in water for all licensed Child Care Centers (CCCs) in… 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 »

Lead in School Drinking Water: Are Students at Risk?

You’re attending an event at a public school, and you’re thirsty. Your choices are to buy a soft drink from the machine or refill your empty water container at the drinking fountain in the hallway. You’d prefer a cold bottle of spring water, but that selection is sold out. Question: Would you have any fear… Read more »

Maintaining Asbestos & Lead Certifications during COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place” Restrictions

Although the shelter-in-place order is still in effect in the state of California, Cal-OSHA & CDPH will not be extending lead and asbestos certification deadlines. Refresher trainings and renewal applications will still need to be completed before your certifications expire in order to maintain your status. The challenge: how do you complete training with shelter-in-place restrictions? The… Read more »

PCB Screening Surprises: Don’t Get Caught Unaware

Are you concerned about the new PCB screening requirement affecting building demolitions in the San Francisco Bay area? If you’re a commercial building owner or building construction contractor, you should be — even if you don’t operate in California. In an effort to reduce the amount of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollutants entering San Francisco Bay,… Read more »

California Lead in Construction Rules Are Changing Soon

These Changes Will Affect Every General Contractor, Trade Contractor, Maintenance Team, and Custodial Crew in California Cal/OSHA has been working for over eight years to revise its Lead in Construction (8 CCR 1532.1) and Lead in General Industry standards (8 CCR 5198).  The current laws were essentially copied from federal regulations and have been in… Read more »

New EPA Lead Hazard Standards Will Soon Apply

Owners and managers of child-occupied buildings constructed prior to 1978 will soon face more stringent lead hazard reduction requirements from the EPA. The move is meant to help lower the risk of childhood lead exposure and curb the various physical disorders lead can cause. In this article, we’ll provide an FAQ overview of the final… Read more »

PCB Assessments Required for Building Demolitions: Important Changes to Note

Beginning July 1, 2019, property owners, demolition contractors, real estate developers, and anyone planning to demolish a structure built or remodeled between January 1, 1950 and December 31, 1980 in the San Francisco Bay Area will face stringent new permit requirements aimed at reducing the amount of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) entering San Francisco Bay. These… Read more »

When Is an Asbestos Survey Required?

You could save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars by getting this right. True or False: The U.S. completely banned the use of asbestos in building materials in 1989. That means any commercial building constructed in 1990 or later poses no asbestos risk. Consequently, you don’t need to worry about getting an asbestos survey prior… Read more »