November Meeting Recap

Nov 15, 2018

November Meeting Recap

“The Safety Lawyer” National Capital Chapter member Adele Abrams presented on Marijuana and Opiates in the workplace for our November Meeting hosted by Davis Construction. Her presentation delved not only into the OSHA changes with regard to drug testing but also how EEOC, ADA, and Workers Compensation laws affect drug testing policy and use of drugs in the workplace. Her presentation is also linked below.

Adele shared that there are five key components that need to be included in any Substance Abuse Plan and she stated that this is a top down approach:

  1. A Written Policy
  2. Supervisor Training for detection, understanding, confidentiality, etc.
  3. Employee Education
  4. Employee Assistance
  5. Testing

Here are a few other key points from her talk:

  • Employees using medical marijuana and opiates need to be viewed as managing a medical condition, not as drug abusers.
  • Safety sensitive positions should be documented on job postings.
  • Do you want to push employees toward opiates because there is a zero tolerance for medical marijuana?
  • Employers need to work with their MRO to understand if medical marijuana is being reported to employers through their drug testing and how.
  • Think about keeping Narcan on jobsites in much the same way you keep AEDs and First Aid kits.
  • Working in a variety of states may necessitate a variety of plans.
  • The only federal requirement for testing is for CDL Drivers.
  • Drug addiction and alcoholism are covered disabilities.
  • There is case law pending about potentially paying for medical marijuana under workers compensation.


Here is the presentation:



Colonial Chapter Silica Webinar

Oct 26, 2018

This webinar will address engineering, administrative and PPE measures aimed at eliminating and reducing occupational airborne silica dust exposures and generation, in accordance with the most recent revision to the OSHA silica dust exposure standard.

The concepts discussed will provide starting points, ideas and refinements for contractors and others in the construction, building maintenance or manufacturing trades to comply with the revised OSHA/VOSH Standard.

The revised exposure level for Silica dust exposure is sub-microscopic, measuring at roughly the ‘trace amount’ level. In realistic terms, if you can see the dust, you’re probably over-exposed under the revised Standard.

Will discuss how to interpret and apply the provisions in OSHA’s Table 1, which describes the steps you should be taking for minimizing employee exposures on dust producing jobs.

A regulatory Inspection will ask for certain documentation and evidence of your effort at eliminating employee exposure to Silica dust. The webinar, will discuss the main elements of the revised standard and provide examples of compliance oriented documents, hardware, techniques and employee training course components

Instructor will be : John J. Meola, CSP, ARM is the Safety Director for Pillar, Inc. based in Richmond and Wytheville, VA. Meola is a safety consultant to private clients in the construction and industrial trades and a technical safety trainer and educator. He produces training programs for hard-to-manage applications, including Confined Space Entry, Lock Out Tag Out, Fall Protection and other disciplines under the occupational safety umbrella of protective measures.

Additional Information and Registration:

November 29, 2018

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

October Meeting Recap

Oct 10, 2018

The National Capital Chapter had the distinct privilege of hosting OSHA Deputy Director for Construction Scott Ketcham for an OSHA Update. Scott has a long and dynamic history at OSHA and his passion for safety and for the work the agency does is very apparent.

Scott provided an update on the top citations in construction (little has changed) and gave an overview into some of the current agency regulatory activities.

One of the current projects relates to standards improvement across all published standards. Some examples of these changes include removing SSN requirements in standards, clarifying PPE fit, clarifying recordkeeping for noise, and removing the requirement for load capacities on the floors of residential structures. These are not drastic rule changes rather smaller technical improvements.

Cranes are another topic currently in the regulatory stages. Comments from the Railroad Crane changes are currently undergoing review. OSHA is also reviewing all crane standard (Subpart CC) amendments and has the standard under staff development. Some of the considerations include proximity alarms and device protections. The final crane rule will be published on or before 11/10/2018. Also on the subject of cranes, a MOU was published in June 2017 regarding monorail hoists and what equipment is exempt from Subpart CC instead falling under Subpart O.

On the subject of Silica, new FAQs are available and have been published by OSHA. There are also new videos available. One question that was raised was whether any state plans are going above and beyond the Federal OSHA Requirements. To the knowledge of the Deputy Director on this date none were known. The top citations continue to be exposure assessments, specific exposure control measures, written exposure control plans, communication of RCS to employees, and employee training.

OSHA currently has a trenching initiative taking place. This means that an additional 10% of OSHA resources will be focused on trenching and excavation. This boils down to a simple fact that Compliance Officers will be stopping if they see a trench and initiate an inspection. Of particular note, the Deputy Director wanted employers to know that access and egress must be within the confines of any trench boxes or protection. Trenching and excavation has numerous resources available on the OSHA website including new tool box talk videos. If you would like to have a stand down, it was recommended to reach out to your local OSHA, NUCA, or NAXSA Representatives to see if they can assist you.

Thank you to AFLAC and David Matcha for sponsoring this event and to Smithsonian Institution SHEM for hosting.

The presentation used by Deputy Director Ketcham will be posted once it is received by the chapter.


ASSP Region VI Hurricane Relief Efforts

Sep 28, 2018

Please join ASSP Region VI in supporting Hurricane Florence Relief efforts throughout the Carolina’s.

Additional details and means to support can be given through this link:

MACSC 2019 Sponsorship, Exhibitor Booths, and Registration Opens October 15th

Sep 21, 2018

The Mid Atlantic Construction Safety Conference is a regionally coordinated educational and networking conference. Six Regional and National Chapters and Associations have combined their resources in an effort to address the needs of those with a vested interest in construction safety. As a seed organization for the conference, the National Capital Chapter encourages all members to attend the day-long conference and continue to grow and develop as professionals.

The 2019 Conference will be held April 23, 2019 at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, MD.

Registration for all levels of Sponsorship, Exhibitors, and Attendees will be available on October 15, 2018.

Additional details can be found on the conference website: