Water Tank Safety Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety Workplace Safety and Health Program Nancy Pearce CIH Program Supervisor
The Big Question • Who covers the health and safety of public sector workers in Massachusetts???
Private versus Public Sector Workplaces • All private sector workplaces in the US are covered by OSHA Standards. • Public sector workplaces are only covered by OSHA Standards in certain states (Currently 26 states). Known as “State-plan States”. • There are additional States that have adopted some form of OSHA standards at the State level.
Massachusetts Public Sector Safety • Massachusetts has not passed a law requiring public sector workers to comply with OSHA standards • Mass General Law Chapter 149- DOS and AGs shall determine reasonable means and requirements to prevent injury and illness to municipal workers. (Note-does NOT cover State workers)
Mass General Law Chapter 149 for Municipal/County Workplaces • Interpretation by (DOS) – in order to meet the intent of Chapter 149 section 6 OSHA standards or applicable consensus standards should be followed as a minimum for county and municipal workplaces. If you follow OSHA standards or equivalent, you will be in compliance with Chapter 149.
What About State Workers? • State employee health and safety is under the jurisdiction of the Personnel Administrator (HRD). • DOS is providing assistance to HRD for state employee health and safety through an agency partnership agreement, including: • Trainings focused on high hazard issues • On-Site Assessments • Outreach and informational materials on important health and safety topics • Executive Order 511 requires joint labor/mgt health andsafety committees to assess hazards, report findings etc
What does this all mean to me?? Bottom line-Municipalities, counties and State facilities are expected to follow OSHA standards DOS can provide assistance
Key Tank Safety Hazards and applicable OSHA standards • Falls from climbing ladder • Falls from top of tank • Confined space Entry
Falls from • Should be protected from falls the ENTIRE time you are climbing tank. Should be able to move from attached ladder climbing device to top of tank without risk of falls. If no guardrails, never work unattached. OSHA Website Fall Protection http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html
Ladder Climbing • Fixed ladders -requires cages as minimum over 20 feet. Platforms every 30 feet. • Studies have shown cages not effective for falls • Should have ladder climbing devices !!
OSHA requires fall protection at elevations over 4 feet (6 feet in construction) Three choices- Best-Guardrails If not- Fall restraint/prevention Fall protection Walking on top of Tank
Guardrail Requirements • Railing should be 42 inches • Midrail between • Toeboard 4 inches high • Must withstand 200 pounds presssure
Fall Prevention/Fall Protection(Fall Restraint)/(Fall Arrest) • Need to be sure worker cannot fall more than 6 feet. Shock absorbing lanyards, etc. Better because CANNOT fall-keeps you away from edge.
Anchorage Points • Fall Restraint-keeps worker from edge of tank so cannot fall over edge- requires 1000 lb anchorage point • Fall Protection-keeps from falling more than 6 feet below if go over tank edge-Requires 5000 lb anchorage point (recommended) (Note if limiting fall to 2 feet need 3000 lb anchorage point (self retracting lifeline/ropegrab)
Is Fall protection necessary when looking into tank? More than 50 rescue workers from Jackson County, Jefferson, Hall County and Gwinnett County responded to the Jefferson water tower Thursday after Jim Lurch, 37, of New Haven, Fla., fell 30 feet into the empty water tank.
Best to Design in Safety Features Up Front Conceptual Design $1 Construction Documents $10 Field Modification $100 Commissioning $1000 Renovation $10,000 Courtesy of Thomas E. Kramer P.E. Certified Safety Professional LJB Inc
Maybe the old way was the better way? Stairs instead of ladders, railings around the top!!
Confined Space Entry • Rusting is oxidation-uses up oxygen and can create an oxygen deficient environment. Breakdown of organic matter can create toxic environment. • Opening hatch and putting head inside tank to inspect is considered a confined space entry • Minimum requirement is to air monitor prior to placing head inside tank • Must also be attached so cannot fall into the tank. May involve davit arm. Two persons, attendant and entrant.
Contact Information • Call DOS at 617-969-7177. Ask for Workplace Safety and Health Program • www.mass.gov/dos/wshp • firstname.lastname@example.org • OSHA Website www/osha.gov