Case Studies

OSHA Inspections and Compliance

Safety Training

Industrial Hygiene

Environmental Compliance

Occupational Safety and Compliance

Ergonomics

Safety Grants

 

OSHA Inspections and Compliance

CASE STUDY
(OSHA compliance, industrial hygiene, safety program, noise monitoring)

A small manufacturing company was cited by OSHA for not determining if its employees’ noise exposure exceeded an eight hour average of 85 dBA. The abatement date was only three weeks after the citation was issued. Within two weeks, and before the abatement date, CHESS:

  • Completed representative noise monitoring
  • Determined that a hearing conservation program was needed
  • Explained the results and requirements to the company’s general manager
  • Provided the company with a report of the results
  • Drafted a hearing conservation program customized for the client and reviewed it with the person responsible for implementing it
  • Provided resources (including contact people and approximate prices) for audiometric testing

CASE STUDY
(OSHA compliance, industrial hygiene, exposure monitoring)

A small manufacturing company was visited by an OSHA health compliance officer. The company uses both a volatile solvent and small amounts of methylene chloride in one operation. The OSHA industrial hygienist told the company that air monitoring was needed, as the manufacturer of the product containing the volatile solvent had a recommended exposure limit just a little bit above the concentration found in previous monitoring. While the OSHA industrial hygienist offered to do the monitoring, the company was not comfortable with that. Within two weeks, CHESS was able to complete the monitoring and offer concrete recommendations, at minimal cost, that would reduce employee exposure.

CASE STUDY
(OSHA compliance, lockout/tagout, forklift, safety program, training)

A very small family-run metalworking firm, never before inspected by OSHA, received eleven OSHA citations for nearly $4,000. For less than $1,500, CHESS was able to help them abate the citations. CHESS provided training, developed lockout/tagout procedures for their equipment, and worked with them to develop and implement required written safety programs. While providing follow-up lockout/tagout and Right to Know training to the company in a subsequent year, CHESS learned that they were in need of forklift training and evaluations. CHESS did the training and taught them how to perform their own forklift evaluations.

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Safety Training

CASE STUDY
(Respirators, training, industrial hygiene)

The staff and physicians of an occupational health clinic wanted additional training on a number of hazardous substances to which their patients were exposed – asbestos, silica, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead….  CHESS’s Certified Industrial Hygienist held lunch and learn seminars for them, discussing how their clientele could be exposed, what the hazards were, and what requirements OSHA had for medical monitoring. She has also done training for these and other occupational physicians on respirators – what types exist, how they are used, what respirators can and cannot do, and how to correctly conduct respirator fit testing.

CASE STUDY
(Industrial hygiene, training, respirators, fit testing)

A state agency charged with investigating chemical releases (after the initial site assessment has been done) hired CHESS to provide training on the use of personal protective equipment, including respirators. Because the agency employees could be in a range of situations, the training included guidelines on how to choose the right level of protection. The training included scenarios based on the most common situations the employees encounter, where the employees could use the resources provided during the class to determine the protective measures needed for those situations.

CASE STUDY
(Respirators, fit testing, training)

A general contractor was hired to do cleanup after a massive fire at a chemical company. The contractor knew what chemical hazards were present and a site safety plan had been developed, but his employees needed to wear respirators for the job – and they had about one day to learn how to use the respirators, get medical approvals, and be fit tested for use of full face respirators. And it was two days before Thanksgiving. CHESS provided them with resources from which to obtain the respirators by the next day, provided them with clinics who could provide the medical okay for respirator use, and did the fit testing – all by the next day.

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Industrial Hygiene

CASE STUDY
(Industrial hygiene, chemical safety)

A client wanted its product approved for use for government construction work in Manitoba, California, and Michigan. CHESS determined what submittals were required and prepared those submittals or provided guidance to the client on how to submit. We also arranged for laboratory testing of the material as needed, to show compliance with the specifications. The products received approval.

CASE STUDY
(Industrial hygiene, exposure monitoring, respirators, fit testing, safety programs)

A small pyrotechnics company was developing its safety and health programs, and called CHESS for assistance with baseline monitoring. CHESS reviewed the substances used and developed a monitoring plan. When we did the monitoring, we discovered that employees were wearing the wrong type of respirators for the work done. While onsite, CHESS's Certified Industrial Hygienist trained the employees on correct respirator use, did fit-testing, and showed them how to perform their own qualitative fit testing. Once we received the monitoring results, we advised them on the need for respirators and suggested some control measures to reduce that need. Based on our time on-site we were also able to provide them with guidance on what needed to be included in their safety and health programs.

CASE STUDY
(Respirators, personal protective equipment, exposure assessment)

A company that did aircraft maintenance needed to determine if its spray booth was adequate, and if employees needed to wear respirators during specific tasks. After an onsite evaluation, CHESS:

  • Advised them on how to operate the spray booth so it worked correctly. 
  • Provided guidance on when the paint booth filters needed to be changed. 
  • Provided guidance on when respirators were and were not required. 
  • Provided guidance on appropriate glove selection.

CASE STUDY
(Exposure monitoring, industrial hygiene)

An equipment manufacturer wanted to change to a polyurethane paint. A trial run with the paint, though, caused the employees throughout the shop to complain about the odor. The company wanted to do a test run, comparing the old and the new paints, on a day when the plant was normally closed (that way, if the odor was again a serious problem, the number of employees affected would be low). CHESS's Certified Industrial Hygienist did the monitoring on a Saturday. We found the newer paint resulted in lower solvent levels than the old paint. We recommended some changes to their use of personal protective equipment, and the addition of some control measures such as routine servicing of their paint booth.

CASE STUDY
(Noise monitoring, industrial hygiene)

A food processor needed to determine which employees had to be included in a hearing conservation program and receive annual audiograms. Reducing the number of employees in the hearing conservation program could result in significant cost savings. After monitoring the noise exposure of representative employees throughout the facility, CHESS was able to advise the company that some employees could be excluded from the annual audiograms. As part of our report, we provided letters the company could give to each employee monitored, summarizing the employee’s exposure and what the results meant.

CASE STUDY
A major client of a packaging company required the company to have a business continuity plan. As the company did not know where to begin, it turned to CHESS. CHESS wrote their plan for them – after providing them with the questions they needed to answer. We worked with them to determine what the critical functions were at what time after an emergency. We helped them decide who would be responsible for carrying out those functions and what resources were needed. We also set up a system to keep the plan current.

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Environmental Compliance

CASE STUDY
When CHESS did a safety and health audit of a new client, a collision repair facility, we discovered that they had been over-reporting the amount of hazardous waste they generated and the gallons of VOCs they consumed – by as much as 4,000 pounds and 1,000 gallons respectively. As we worked to straighten out their records, we learned that a change of ownership had not been recorded by the agency responsible for hazardous waste licensing. Problems at the agency (lost paperwork and lost paperwork again) caused the agency to take nearly two years to issue a new license. We worked with the company, following up with the agency, to sort out the matter.

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Occupational Safety and Compliance

CASE STUDY
A body shop with more than 25 employees was struggling with their workers’ compensation mod rate. CHESS trained the supervisors, developed safety programs, implemented a safety committee, provided training and assisted with identifying return to work opportunities. They were able to reduce their workers' compensation mod rate of 1.5 down to .86.

CASE STUDY
(OSHA inspection, OSHA compliance, mod rate, ergonomics, safety)

A plastics manufacturer had been working with another safety firm that was not providing the services they needed. CHESS conducted a compliance audit, assisted with OSHA inspections (they seem to be in an industry that warrants a visit every three years), reinstated their safety committee and developed safety programs customized for their facility. CHESS assisted with ergonomic assessments of several work areas and worked with their very creative, industrious staff to develop solutions. During the time working with CHESS, their mod rate dropped from above 1.0 to .85.

CASE STUDY
(OSHA inspections, safety compliance, safety audit, OSHA compliance, safety training, safety grant)

A public works facility was concerned about potential OSHA inspections. They requested assistance from CHESS. After conducting a safety compliance audit to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, CHESS worked with them to update their existing safety programs and develop needed new ones. CHESS continues to work with them. We assist with their safety committee, with accident investigations, and with job hazard analyses. We provide safety training, including specialized training for seasonal employees. And we have prepared four safety grant applications for them.

CASE STUDY
(OSHA compliance, job hazard analysis)

After attempting to complete Job Hazard Analyses on their own, a municipality asked CHESS for assistance. CHESS conducted over 80 job analyses, compiling them into a format that everyone agreed was user friendly and provided relevant information for supervisors and employees.

CASE STUDY
(Safety program, OSHA compliance, training, OSHA grant)

After a bad experience with OSHA, a manufacturer asked CHESS for assistance. The VP of Engineering was in charge of product design, manufacturing, and safety. After conducting the initial audit, CHESS worked with the company to develop their safety programs, organize safety and environmental records, provide safety training (including Right to Know and forklift training and evaluations), wrote a safety grant, and helped them put into place systems to assist the VP with keeping up with safety. He was able to reduce the amount of time spent worrying about OSHA compliance to a minimum and focus his efforts on growing the company.

CASE STUDY
(Lockout, safety program, training)

A medical center with several buildings required lock out tag out procedures. Over a five month period CHESS developed over 200 procedures. Working with maintenance staff, CHESS compiled the procedures into an easy-to-find guide that allows staff to know immediately how many locks they need and on what energy sources they will be working. CHESS also trained their maintenance staff on when and how to lock out equipment, and provided guidance to them so they could do the required annual audit of lockout procedures.

CASE STUDY
(Training, OSHA compliance)

The children of a long-established company’s owner took over management of the company, and knew they needed help with every aspect of their safety program. CHESS did an initial audit, to become familiar with the company’s operations and to identify what needed to be fixed right away. We worked with them to begin a safety committee, which they now handle on their own. We’ve helped them develop required safety programs, and have provided the safety training their employees need.

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Ergonomics

CASE STUDY
(OSHA compliance, ergonomics)

After providing general workstation ergonomics training to city hall staff, CHESS completed individual ergonomics assessments for all of the employees. The city had purchased nice work stations and good chairs but only one person knew how to adjust his chair. Most of the modifications that CHESS recommended had no cost attached –many involved rearranging desk set ups and properly adjusting the chairs.

CASE STUDY
Ergonomics isn’t just about how a computer is set up. CHESS was able to make recommendations for public works employees to make their jobs easier. This included using assistive devices for lifting manhole covers and purchasing, under a safety grant, lighter weight signage for street work. This helped reduce injuries.

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Safety Grants

CASE STUDY
A medical manufacturer with several facilities applied for eight grants over a ten year period. CHESS completed the hazard assessments and wrote the grant applications. Projects included scissors lift, dock locks, forklift and forklift battery filling station, ergonomic chairs, AEDs, machine guarding and a security system. Six projects were funded, with the company receiving about $50,000 towards the $125,000 total cost of the projects. CHESS also conducted extensive machine guarding assessments for this company. Because of the complexity of the equipment and the frequent change in machine set up, CHESS provided training for the maintenance staff and engineers on machine guarding. CHESS also arranged for arc flash training for their staff.

CASE STUDY
A small collision and mechanical automotive repair shop had a homemade paint booth. It worked well enough for their needs, but was not up to code (OSHA, electrical and fire codes). Through the safety grant program, the shop received three grants, which provided a significant part of the funding for a paint booth, vehicle hoists, an eyewash station, emergency lighting and electrical upgrades. CHESS assisted them with all of the grants, helping them receive over $18,000 to offset the $79,000 spent on their projects.  

CASE STUDY
After realizing that the ceiling tiles in their newly purchased building could contain asbestos, a religious congregation faced the cost of needing to determine the hazard and replace the tiles. CHESS conducted an assessment, determining that the tiles did contain asbestos and require special care for removal. CHESS wrote the safety grant application, helping the congregation receive $10,000 towards the cost of removal.

CASE STUDY
A small body shop, in existence for over fifty years, had a spray booth that was probably some thirty years old. It lacked the fire prevention measures that spray booths now must have. The new shop owner hired CHESS to help with his overall safety and health program. As part of that, CHESS wrote a grant application to OSHA, securing $10,000 in funding toward a new paint booth. Through CHESS’s efforts, this very small company has received about $22,000 in grants from OSHA – easily covering the cost of our services.

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