Moran Environmental Recovery

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December Safety Brief

Monday, December 2, 2013

Featured in the December Safety Brief...

  • A Note from Leanne
  • MER HAZMAT Specialist Team
  • Workplace Awareness
  • OSHA's Top 10 - FY 2013
  • Beating Holiday Stress
  • Teamwork is "Power"-ful
  • Passive vs. Active Learning
  • Presentation Skills

For a complete copy of our December Safety Brief, please click here.

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November Safety Brief

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Featured in the November Safety Brief:

  • Note from Leanne
  • Material Hazard Assessment
  • What is a Confined Space?
  • Holiday Fitness and Wellness Tips
  • MER Safety Perks
  • Q4 Driver Awards
  • MER Training Updates

Click here to view a full copy of the November 2013 Safety Brief.


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Material Hazard Assessment

Friday, November 8, 2013

OSHA requires a hazard assessment to be conducted for each task to determine the hazards that are present, or are likely to be present, so proper control measures can be established. MER currently uses the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) to fill this role since each site involves varying tasks and hazards. In continuation of driving the importance and value of hazard assessment, MER is implementing another resource to help our teams: MER’s Material Hazard Assessment (MHA), which is a form that outlines the critical points of information needed to properly assess the hazards associated specifically with chemicals. Formal training on the completion of these forms will be held in December; additionally, teams should expect to see a module dedicated to this resource in their next HAZWOPER training. Also, like our HASPs, JHAs and MSDSs, these MHAs will be cataloged and stored in digital format. Below is a list of key information these forms will help identify: 

  • Exposure Limits
  • Respiratory Protection Limits
  • PPE Selection
  • Physical Properties
  •  Symptoms of Exposure
  • First Aid Measures
  • Handling/Storage

 Other hazards to evaluate during a hazard assessment include:

  • Impact (falling objects, struck-by hazards, impact tools)
  • Puncture and cuts (tools, knives, slag, nails, wire rope, sheet metal)
  • Compression/Crushing (gears, struck-by hazards, shifting loads)
  • Heat/Cold (welding, burning, environmental temperatures)
  • Burns (thermal, chemical)
  • Vibration (pneumatic tools)
  • Dust (heavy metals, silica)
  • Light (optical) radiation (arc welding, lasers)
  • Excessive noise (abrasive blasting, needle gunning, scaling, grinding, metal straightening)
  • Falling (from elevations, into water)


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What is a Confined Space?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Employees throughout MER perform work involving confined spaces on a regular basis. A vast majority of MER and Jacksonville Pollution Control (JPC) clients have facilities that contain confined spaces requiring entry to perform repairs, inspection, and maintenance; MER assists in cleaning these spaces before that work can take place. Additionally, Water Recovery (WRI) has several above-ground storage tanks at their facility that must be inspected and maintained. So what exactly is a confined space?

A space must meet all of the following criteria to be considered a confined space:

  • A space that is large enough to bodily enter
  • A space that has limited means of entry or exit
  • A space not designed for continuous employee occupancy

Examples include manholes, storage tanks, boilers, vaults and pipelines.


There are additional concerns and OSHA requirements for work performed in Permit Required Confined Spaces, which are confined spaces that have any of the four conditions:

Atmospheric Hazards, such as: Oxygen ≤ 19.5% or 23.5% (22% for Maritime); Flammable gas > 10% of the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL); Toxic atmospheres exceeding the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL); Airborne combustible dust that obscures vision at 5ft. or less.

Configuration Hazards – Inwardly converging walls or floors that taper to a smaller cross-section (e.g. hoppers, bins).

Engulfment Hazards – Potential drowning, capturing or asphyxiating hazard (e.g. include water, grains and soils).

Other Serious Hazards – Electrical, mechanical, chemical, steam, extreme temperatures, slippery floors, and noise.

For more information see the November Safety Brief.

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Confined Space Rescue Module

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Many workers are killed each year while working in confined spaces. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, approximately 60% of the fatalities have been would-be rescuers who are not fully trained and adequately equipped. Needless to say, appropriate training, equipment, and planning is extremely important for workers with confined space rescue (CSR) responsibilities. MER recognizes this importance and strives to, not only provide specialized training to CSR personnel, but to ensure that a high level of proficiency is maintained. To help accomplish this, MER has introduced the CSR Modular to our training program. The CSR Modular is a structure designed by the Health and Safety Team to address MER’s specific CSE/CSR training needs, as well as ensure OSHA regulatory compliance by simulating actual space dimensions and configurations employees may work in. The structure contains multiple portals in various sizes and shapes, allowing for horizontal and vertical entries. Inside the modular, the structure is divided into two sections. One side contains two levels with low ceiling heights and removable wall inserts to simulate tanks with baffles, while the other side provides for the use of high-angle rope rescue systems. Additionally, the structure can be sealed for simulation of a hazardous atmosphere to utilize supplied air or Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA). As an added bonus, the CSR Modular is transportable, which means MER employees across the organization will be able to utilize it to practice various rescue scenarios. Keep an eye out for this exciting new addition!

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