Informed is prepared.
OSHA just added and published  a new chapter addressing noise to the OSHA Technical Manual.
This new chapter provides technical information and guidance to help Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) evaluate Noise hazards in the workplace.
The content is based on currently available research publications, OSHA standards, and consensus standards.

Technical information
Technical information

The chapter is divided into six main sections.

  • Introduction and background information about noise and noise regulations and an overview of noise controls.
  • Worksite noise evaluations, including noise measurement equipment, noise evaluation procedures, and noise sampling.
  • Investigative guidelines (including methods for planning the investigation) and outlines a strategy for conducting noise evaluations.
  •  Noise hazard abatement and control, including engineering and administrative controls, hearing protection, noise conservation programs, cost comparisons between noise hazard abatement options, and case studies.
  • References used to produce this chapter and resources for obtaining additional information.
  • Appendices provide a glossary of terms, sample calculations, and expanded discussion of certain topics introduced in the chapter.

What your sound levels mean...
What your sound levels mean…

We made links available to the OSHA Field Technical Manual PDF in March of 2012  at our blog here.
You might also want to grab a copy of the OSHA Employers Rights And Responsibilities Handbook that we posted about here in October 2011.
New Noise Chapter PDF (updated broken link at 9:38 am Thursday 14 Nov 2013)
Web link to text and links
OSHA Inspection Fact Sheet
PMPA takes our responsibility to help our members intelligently manage the risks of regulation burden.
How do YOU stay on top of all of the new regulations emerging from Washington D.C. regulators these days?

PMPA Regulatory Assurance is how PMPA members gain confidence when dealing with the ever changing and growing area of regulatory compliance.

Here is an example of the kind of sensemaking that PMPA members count on to confidently assure regulatory compliance.

Do my parts comply with REACH Regulations?
Do my parts comply with REACH Regulations?

-Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), is a regulation on substances

-Unless exempted from scope or from registration in accordance with Annex IV or V, substances on their own or in preparations are always subject to registration when manufactured in, or imported into, the EU.

-Substances on their own and in preparations in the form of, or contained in, articles produced in or imported into the EU are subject to registration only if they are intended to be released under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use and if this use of the respective substance have not been registered before in the Community.

-In Article 3 (3) of the REACH regulation the definition of an article is given as “an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition.

So the question “Do my parts comply with EU REACH Regulations?” boils down to this question: “Do your parts meet the Article Exemption test?”

For an object to be considered an article, the following conditions should be fulfilled:

The shape, surface or design of the object must:

  1. be obtained during production and be special;
  2. be relevant for the function of the object;
  3. be more important for the function than the chemical composition of the object.

Precision machined products easily meet these conditions:

1. The shape, surface or design of the object must be obtained during production and be special

-The shape and many surfaces of precision machined parts are created by stock removal during production and are regarded as “special”

-Precision machined products are custom produced (special) at the order of the customer.

-They have different dimensions and technical characteristics, as specified by the customer at the time of the order.

-Their surfaces are  developed during production to meet the customer’s (special) dimensional and geometric requirements.

2. The shape, surface or design of the object must be relevant for the function of the object

-it is axiomatic that the custom design of the precision machined product is to create the needed form fit and function needed to assure desired performance and function.

3. The shape, surface or design of the object must be more important for the function than the chemical composition of the object

-Precision machined products are machined from a variety of metallic alloys, including steel,  stainless steel, aluminum, brass and many others of varied compositions.

-These compositions are varied and determine manufacturability as well as influence mechanical properties, though they are not sole determinants of those properties.

-Without final precision machining to special size, form and geometry, the raw material itself would not provide the needed function demanded by the customer.

Bottom line: Precision machined products are clearly “articles” as defined by Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and so exempt from regulation.

Caveat: If during foreseeable conditions of use of the part, it could cause an intentional and  forseeable release of a substance that has not been registered before in the Community, you might need to investigate further.

Where do YOU go to get this kind of regulatory assurance?

The U.S. Department of Labor finally recently published its 2013 Spring Regulatory Agenda. Despite the extra time, a number of dates are still shown as “00” or undetermined / to be determined.

But hey, at least they’re not handling our healthcare…

It's not like they should be held accountable to deadlines like they do us, right?
It’s not like they should be held accountable to deadlines like they do us, right?

But tucked in the 67 pages of Spring Regulatory Agenda we found good news regarding two items affecting our precision machining industry.

Item 1, Cooperative Agreements

According to the Regulatory Agenda, OSHA has “withdrawn”  RIN # 1218-AC32,  effective 07/00/2013, (whatever “00” means) which would have-

  • eliminated exemptions from inspections for companies regardless of  participation in Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) exemption status;
  • allow Compliance Safety and Health Officers to proceed with enforcement visits resulting from referrals at sites undergoing Consultation visits and at sites that have been awarded SHARP status;
  • limit the deletion period from OSHA’s programmed inspection schedule for those employers participating in the SHARP program.

I guess someone figured out that there would be no incentive at all for companies to participate in these programs if their was no employer benefit at all.

Item 2, Revising Record Requirements in the Mechanical Power Press Standard

The other good news item  in the Spring Agenda was the notice that OSHA is Revising Record Requirements in the Mechanical Power Press Standard, RIN:  1218-AC80. Notice of proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Direct Final Rule dated 07/00/2013:

“As part of the Department of Labor’s burden hour and cost reduction initiatives, OSHA will examine revoking requirements for employers to prepare and maintain periodic records certifying that the employer performed the required tests and inspections on machinery.  The purpose of revoking these records is to minimize paperwork burdens imposed on employers.  Recently, OSHA revoked requirements that employers develop and retain training records for a number of standards when the revocation did not adversely affect worker safety and health.”

The other 8 OSHA items have potential major impact on our shops. We’re analyzing them for reporting to our members.

We call our attention to regulatory issues “PMPA  Regulatory Assurance.”

Who is working on this for you? Where do you go for OSHA regulatory guidance? Are your HR people proactively working these issues?

Thanks to  EndUserSharePoint for the photo

PMPA Government Affairs Committee Chairman Brad Smith of Indianapolis based The Mitchel Group particpated in a round table discussion with members of Congress serving on the Small Business Working Group.

Brad Smith  at a recent Congressional Small Business Working Group Meeting
Brad Smith at a recent Congressional Small Business Working Group Meeting

Brad raised the impact of tax reform on small manufacturing businesses and detailed how existing tax deductions and credits are used by shops like ours to improve our global competitiveness.

The House Ways and Means Committee established eleven tax reform working groups to explore the impact of tax policy on various industries and individuals.

Brad Smith had a seat at the table representing our industry.

Findings from all of the eleven tax reform working groups must be submitted to the Joint Committee on Taxation by the end of April for inclusion in the May 6th public report.

PMPA is pleased to offer our members both sensemaking on regulatory developments and facilitate their sharing of issues with elected and appointed officials in Washington D.C..

PMPA delivers ‘Regulatory Assurance’ to help member shops understand and comply with regulations and avoid severe penalties.

We just posted our Dodd Frank Section 1502 Conflict Minerals Guidance on our website.

At the same time, we are an Amicus on a court case challenging the SEC Conflict Minerals Final Rule.

And we just hosted a Washington D.C. Fly-In event to meet with Congressmen and Senators to discuss current impacts on our manufacturing businesses.

In the area of regulatory and Washington D.C impacts on small manufacturing businesses – PMPA is the figurative ‘helping hand’ providing assistance so our members can remain compliant, competitive, and sustainable.

 How do you intelligently manage the risk of the onslaught of regulations, requirements, and potential new legislation on your shop?

PMPA members recognize “Regulatory Assurance” as just one of a number of deliverables to help them stay competitive.