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Dan OMalley

asbestos

Disturbing Asbestos Containing Materials on Bridge Structures

Introduction Because of its properties, asbestos was a widely used raw material, primarily in the commercial building and automotive industries.  In the commercial building industry, asbestos could be found in vinyl floor tile and the associated mastic, thermal system insulation, roofing materials, ceiling and wall plasters, and fireproofing.  In the automotive industry, asbestos was commonly …

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Making a Case for Environmental, Health & Safety Special Provisions

Many facility owners, particularly public agencies, have a standard specification for lead paint removal projects that has stood the test of time, and that likely went through a rigorous review process to get to the final version of the published document.  Whether it’s for a bridge or a water tank, the owner has likely used …

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lead presence

Determining the Presence of Lead and Who’s Responsible?

Today it’s fairly common knowledge that lead can be found in older industrial, marine, and even some commercial coating systems on existing structures.  But just because the coating system is old doesn’t guarantee that lead is present.  And the opposite holds true as well – just because the coating system is new doesn’t necessarily mean …

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health and safety

Determining the Presence of Asbestos in Commercial Buildings

When planning and designing building renovations and additions, facility upgrades and demolitions, consideration needs to be given to determining whether asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are present in the areas of proposed work.  Lack of pre-planning for the assessment of the spaces for ACM can lead to significant scheduling delays as well as cost overruns or change …

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Lead Specifications

Preparing Lead Paint Removal Specifications — What Can Go Wrong?

Specifications for the removal of paint that contains lead or other toxic metals should establish an owner’s expectation for worker protection, environmental compliance, protection of adjacent workers and/or the public, and waste management. A well-written specification will provide clear and concise language for the method(s) of coating removal and corresponding containment and ventilation requirements, establish …

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Liberty Bridge

Specifying Flame Retardant Containment Materials

On September 2, 2016, workers were cutting steel with a torch on the Liberty Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The steel cutting operations were being performed within a containment enclosure system previously erected for an associated paint removal project on the bridge.  During the steel cutting process, sparks reportedly ignited ventilation piping inside the containment, then …

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OSHA confined spaces

Confined Spaces in Construction- Highlights of the New Rule

OSHA issued its final rule for Confined Spaces in Construction on May 5, 2015.  The rule is intended to provide construction workers with protection similar to that which manufacturing and general industry workers have had for years, with some differences tailored to the construction industry. The rule takes effect on August 3, 2015 but full …

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Polycharbonates

Polychlorinated Biphenyls PCBs In Paint, Adhesives, and Caulks

Background of PCB While exposure to lead is often regarded as the most prevalent health and environmental hazard in the coatings industry, it is important to be aware that there are other hazards that can be of serious concern.  One of these hazards is exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls, commonly referred to as PCBs.   PCBs are …

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Effect of OSHA’s Proposed Crystalline Silica Rule On Hydraulic Fracturing, Industrial Painting, Construction, and Manufacturing Operations

OSHA recently published a proposed regulation… to limit worker exposure to crystalline silica.  According to OSHA, the proposed rule would save nearly 700 lives per year and prevent 1,600 new cases of deadly silicosis annually.  The proposed standard includes the following provisions: Establishes an Action Level of  25 μg/m3 (micrograms of silica per cubic meter …

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