The Good, the Bad and the Non-Compliant

by  Citation News Editor 20. February 2013

The Good

Rewarding EH&S innovators

The Campbell Institute has announced their plans to reward inventive EH&S thinkers in the 2013 Campbell Institute/Stewardship Action Council Innovation Challenge.

The Campbell Institute partnered with the Stewardship Action Council in an effort to honor organizations for achievements in planning and implementing innovative programs that address specific EHS topics.

According to the Campbell Institute’s website, the Challenge topics will be “Off-the-Job Public/Private Partnerships” and “Zero Waste.” Awards will be given for existing and/or new programs in multiple categories, including "best implementation plan," "best path forward," "best results" and "best overall proposal."

The Innovation Challenge is open to all organizations.  Winners will be recognized and invited to speak at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo.  For more information on the Challenge and entry, visit the Campbell Institute website.

 

The Bad

Fatalities slip through cracks in OSH reporting

EHS Today reported that gaps in Occupation Safety and Health (OSH) reporting have allowed companies who report high fatalities to still end up on a “Most Sustainable” List.

A study released by the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability revealed the worrisome gaps as well as a general lack of transparency in OSH sustainability reporting among organizations rated highly for sustainability performance.

According to the article in EHS Today, five organizations on the Corporate Knights’ 2011 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World reported more than 10 work-related fatalities in a year. One organization alone reported 49 deaths in a year.

Researchers blame the oversights on the difficulty of interpreting corporate OSH performance and a lack of uniformity in data collection and clarity over reporting methods and metrics. 

 

The Non-Compliant

EPA fines Arizona school districts for Asbestos

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined six Arizona school districts a combined total of $94,575 for Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) violations.

The inspections were conducted in 2011, and found 25 schools in a state of non-compliance. Inspectors discovered numerous violations, including failing to inspect facilities for asbestos containing materials, failing to re-inspect campuses with known asbestos containing materials and failing to have an Asbestos Management Plan.

More than 15,000 children attend the 25 schools not in compliance with the federal AHERA in these districts.

All of the school districts have since taken steps to comply with the law, with the cost of compliance reducing the penalties in most cases to zero, the EPA said.

The six school districts being fined:

·         St. John's Unified School District in Apache County—fined $14,195, penalty reduced to $824 by the school district's cost  of achieving compliance

·         Florence Unified School District in Pinal County—fined $31,705, no cash payment was due because the documented costs of compliance exceeded the penalty

·         Vernon Elementary School District in Apache County—fined $2,700, no cash payment was due because the documented costs of compliance exceeded the penalty

·         McNary Elementary School District on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation—fined $14,200, no cash payment was due because the documented costs of compliance exceeded the penalty

·         Round Valley Unified School District in Apache County—fined $10,100, no cash payment was due because the documented costs of compliance exceeded the penalty

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