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Editor: Norma J. Lupkes

Olympia Section

Thought for the Month

There are those who put their dreams in a little box and say "of course I have dreams". They put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yup they're still there!

Erma Bombeck

Puget Sound Chapter

June 2006

May Meeting

The meeting was held on May 17, 2006 at the L&I building in Tumwater with seven members attending. Due to a scheduling crane rule was not discussing topics for suggestions made: problem our speaker on the proposed in attendance The time was spent the coming year with the following


Treasury Balance $960.35

have any other suggestions please let us know. . . .

Electrical Safety ­ NFPA 70E; Fall Protection; Indicators & Managing Risk; Safety Incentives programs; possible follow-up for final Crane Rule. If any of you

Next Meeting

A reminder was given on the Professional Development Conference in 2006 in Seattle which will be held June 11-14. The Chapter is definitely looking for individuals interested in helping out with "greeting" and manning the chapter booth. The booth will be in a great location on the 4th level near the escalators going up to the exhibition hall. At last count the conference is on track to set an attendance record. Hope to see all of you there! The June meeting and tour will be held at the Weyerhaeuser Mima Seedling Nursery off the Littlerock Rd south of Olympia on June 28 at 11:30 ­ 1:30. The Nursery was established in March 1967 on 67 acres and has now expanded to 365 acres of high quality seedlings. It is the largest of Weyerhaeuser's five seedling production facilities in the Pacific NW producing half of the company's 50 million seedlings grown annually in the OR and WA growing over one-half billion seedlings since 1967. We will be car-pooling from the L&I parking lot at 11:00. If you will be driving alone take exit 85 off of I-5 thru Littlerock on 128th Ave ­ turn left on Mima Rd which turns into Gate Rd ­ nursery is on the right at 8844 Gate Rd SW, Olympia. RSVP required: Box lunches will be provided by the section so if you will be attending please let me know your choice of ham, turkey or roast beef sandwich by June 16.

The next meeting will be held June 28 at the Weyerhaeuser Mima Tree Seedling Nursery and will be a tour, lunch and final meeting before we break for the summer!

ASSE Olympia Section Executive Committee 2006-2007

President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Roy Berreth Scott Edwards Norma J. Lupkes Lynda Stoneberg City of Tacoma WA Dept L&I Weyerhaeuser WA Dept L&I (253) 591-5745 (360) 902-4732 (253) 924-4532 (360) 902-5554

[email protected] [email protected] [email protected]

[email protected]

Communications/Tips/Press Releases

(Items below are informational only and not a recommendation by the Olympia ASSE section)


Our Environmental Tip of the Month is courtesy of the EPA.

From seeing a stadium laser light show to receiving an X-ray, radiation is part of our lives. EPA announced on May 1 it launched RadTown USA, a new Web site that uses an animated town to provide basic information on radiation in the environment. RadTown USA is a virtual community showing the wide variety of radiation sources commonly encountered in everyday life. The RadTown site features houses, a school, stadium, construction site, flying plane, moving train and much more to highlight and explain the many common sources of radiation. The information is organized in a series of easy-to-understand fact sheets, with links to additional information resources. Every fact sheet includes the types of radiation sources at the location, the important roles that federal, state and local governments play in protection and control, and normal steps that people can take to protect themselves, such as applying sun block or installing radon detectors in homes. Discover RadTown USA at

Our Safety Tip of the Month is courtesy of Jim Shumaker, director of safety, KCI Technologies, Inc. is an

employee-owned engineering firm with offices in several states. We have many employees who do inspections, surveying, testing, soil analysis, geo-tech and environmental assessments, stream restorations and the list goes on. Our problem is how do we keep everyone up to date with training, equipment and information and how do we get our employees "thinking safety". What we did was create a safety bag sporting our company logo. This bag contains a hard hat, safety vest (class 3), gloves, eye protection, hearing protection and any specialized PPE pertaining to their office or job. In the bag are "safety cheat sheets" - laminated 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock filled with key safety information for the field. They include: trenching and excavation, confined space, respirators, work-zone, electro-fish shocking, archaeological, construction site, outdoor, diving, fall protection, portable ladders, high voltage and PPE. These cheat sheets have diagrams, color and charts with important safety information, safety do's and don'ts, as well as training information on them packaged in a ring. We make sure each employee who enters the field receives one especially made for his/her division and/or office. They sign a sheet that they received this information and we send extras so new hires can get an early doctrinarian into our safety program. This has been well received by our employees as they have the equipment they need, the information they need and now they seem to be more careful on the job and it has helped our incidents decrease. The added benefit is that we are showing everyone we take safety seriously and although it is too early to tell, I believe this will become a recruiting tool as we want to become leaders in company safety.

If You Build It

[Editor's Note: Phil ­ this is for you] Constructed wetlands provide an ideal solution for dealing with storm-water in increasingly urbanized environments By Scott D. Wallace, PE

Storm-water managers around the country are challenged by growing regulatory requirements in the face of increasingly urbanized land uses. As cities continue to grow, more and more areas are covered with roads, buildings, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces. Instead of storing and slowly releasing water, these impervious surfaces quickly shed rainfall. At the same time, contaminants on these impervious surfaces, such as salt, oils, and sediments, are picked up and carried away in the runoff. The result is both an increase in runoff volume and a decrease in water quality, contributing to the decline of urban and suburban streams throughout the United States. This threat to our streams and rivers has lead to intense interest in storm-water best management practices (BMPs). Because storm-water managers often have very limited areas in which to install BMPs, there is a push toward systems that can provide as much multiple-use benefit as possible. Why Constructed Wetlands? Alterations of drainage patterns within watersheds often require the creation of new, engineered wetland systems. These constructed wetlands can be designed to achieve specific project goals. Wetlands combine the goals of water storage and release, water quality improvement, wildlife habitat, and community green space. By combining these attributes, wetlands offer many opportunities for multiple-benefit storm-water projects. Located within depressed areas in the landscape, wetlands are natural accumulation points for storm-water runoff. After storm events, wetlands fill with storm-water runoff, which is gradually released from the wetland basin. Water stored in the wetland can be released by overland flow to surface waters, or discharged to ground water through infiltration, depending on the specifics of the project. Managing Water in Wetlands The key benefits provided by water storage in wetlands are volume and time. Every cubic foot of water that is temporarily stored in a wetland is a cubic foot of water subtracted from damaging peak floods. Processes that treat storm-water and reduce contaminants require time to operate. The storage and gradual release of runoff from wetlands provides the time needed for water treatment. With knowledge of engineering hydraulics and plant hydrology, designers can create wetlands that store and release water in a manner that mimics the hydro-period of natural wetlands. Wetland plants have developed the ability to transport oxygen from the leaves, through the plant stems, and into the root system. This oxygen transport capacity allows the plant to survive in waterlogged soils (which do not contain oxygen). However, individual plant species vary widely in this regard. Plants with a high degree of oxygen transfer can tolerate permanently flooded soils. Other plants may tolerate flooding for only a few days, or not at all. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed a classification system for this flood tolerance that ranges from Obligate (plants

occur almost always (greater than 99 percent) in wetlands) to Upland (plants almost never (less than 1 percent) occur in wetlands) Wetland Treatment Processes Wetland systems remove contaminants through a variety of physical, chemical, and biological treatment mechanisms. Treatment mechanisms that are particularly important for storm-water management include settling, precipitation, plant uptake, and microbial degradation. In the process of storing water, wetlands reduce flow velocity through the dense stem networks of aquatic plants. Reduction in flow velocity allows for settling, interception, and filtration of sediment particles. Since nutrients, metals, and organic matter are absorbed into sediment particles, substantial reductions of these pollutants occur as well. These systems act as "microbial hotels," with the microbes growing on plants, plant detritus, and sediment particles (the biofilm) performing as powerful treatment drivers for organic matter and nitrogen compounds. The wide range of oxidation/reduction (redox) potentials within the wetland environment creates conditions conducive to the precipitation of many metals, including iron, copper, and nickel. Wetlands and Wildlife Habitat Since wetlands combine terrestrial and aquatic habitats, they offer unique benefits for hundreds of species of wildlife. These range from breeding habitat for amphibians to "stop-over" feeding and resting areas for migratory waterfowl. The decline of many animal species can be directly linked to the ongoing loss of wetland habitat within the United States. Despite an official policy of "no net loss" of wetlands, the United States continues to lose wetlands, with corresponding declines in many species (especially migratory birds) and associated increases in flood damages. Maintaining a healthy and diverse community of plants, insects, fish, birds and other species is a key ingredient is controlling nuisance species like mosquitoes. Well-designed wetland systems include a variety of habitat zones, ranging from open water to emergent plants to upland buffer areas. Wetland areas that are greater than 3-feet deep will generally not support emergent vegetation like cattails and bulrushes. These "deep zones" will instead be open-water areas that can support submerged aquatic plants and are attractive habitats for fish, waterfowl, and animals such as muskrats. Generally speaking, the greatest habitat diversity of a wetland system will be achieved with a 50/50 mix of open water and emergent plants. Wetlands and People Wetlands can provide "green islands" in an otherwise urban landscape. By combining zones of different water depth (with associated plant communities), a diverse range of habitats can be combined in a relatively small area. This creates a broad range of wildlife viewing opportunities, especially if visitor access through boardwalks or trails is incorporated into the project. This range of access can include viewing blinds for bird watching, elevated boardwalks for access into the wetland, fishing docks in deep-water areas, and associated trails through upland areas adjacent to the wetland. Planning for visitor use requires an understanding of the type of wildlife that will use the wetland, the anticipated degree of access to the wetland, and the programming or educational goals associated with the project. For instance, wetlands that support populations of alligators or other potentially dangerous species will require boardwalks that are located at least 3 feet above the water level with a secure railing system. Educational programs may have their own specific needs, ranging from signage to a good location to gather visiting students. Fishing docks can be constructed over deep-water areas that provide good fish habitat (old pipes or brush piles can be used to increase fish habitat in these areas). The key is to identify the project goals for visitor use up-front and then design the needed infrastructure into the project to support these goals.

Summary Wetlands have a lot to offer as a storm-water BMP. Through the storage and gradual release of water, they can reduce flood damage to downstream properties. Within the wetland ecosystem, a variety of processes naturally occur that treats runoff and reduces contaminants. Wetlands provide habitat for key wildlife species; and through the use of creative design, a diverse range of habitat areas can be combined into a small area. Finally, since wetlands are attractive to both people and wildlife, a broad range of visitor use can use the potential trails, boardwalks, and other design features. The natural "kidneys" of our landscape, the ability of wetlands to store water and gradually release it, reducing flood damage, is well documented. Inside the wetland, complex assemblages of plants and microbes act to purify the water as it flows through the system. Wetlands offer protection from predators for many kinds of fish, amphibians, and reptiles, and they are an important link in the life chain of hundreds of species of migratory birds. Because of their abundant wildlife habitat, they offer the chance for people to "get away" and experience nature, even in urban environments. References 1. United States Army Corps of Engineers (1987) Wetlands Delineation Manual. Wetlands Research Program Technical Report Y-87-1 (online edition). Washington D.C., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. ( 2. Shaw D., Schmidt R. (2003) Plants for Stormwater Design -- Species Selection for the Upper Midewest. St. Paul, Minnesota, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 3. Wallace S.D., Knight R.L. (2006) Small-Scale Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems -- Feasibility, Design Criteria, and O&M Requirements. Alexandria, Virginia, Water Environment Research Foundation.

NEWS BRIEF OSHA Schedules APFs' Release for July 2006

Federal agencies have published their semi-annual regulatory agendas this week, listing priorities for near-term actions and projects that are on the shelf with no completion date listed. If these new agendas prove to be accurate, OSHA will propose a table of Assigned Protection Factors in July 2006, thus completing the final Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134) it issued in January 1988 with APFs reserved. APFs are numbers that describe the effectiveness of respirators at reducing employees' exposure to airborne contaminants. Two accepted APF tables are in use -- not always in harmony; one developed by NIOSH in the 1980s and the other found in a consensus standard, ANSI Z88.2-1992. Respirator manufacturers and end users have been awaiting OSHA's APFs for years; the agenda said about 5 million employees wear respirators as part of their regular job duties and listed an estimated compliance cost for a proposed APF rule of $4.6 million. Other agenda highlights include: a confined spaces in construction proposed rule coming in October 2006; employer payment for personal protective equipment included as a "final rule stage" item; a hearing conservation rule for construction listed as "final rule stage"; and the Mine Safety and Health Administration listing a respirable crystalline silica standard as a long-term action. OSHA listed occupational exposure to crystalline silica as a "prerule stage" item, along with several other items including Hazard Communication and revised standards for power presses.

State Agency's Investigation Finds Passenger Action Caused Elevator Accident

A series of actions by elevator passengers led up to an accident that resulted in the death of a man in a Bellevue building on Feb. 20, according to an investigation by the Washington state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). The man fell to his death while crawling out of an elevator that had stopped partway between floors. L&I's investigation found that several of the passengers caused the elevator to stop by holding on to the handrail and jumping. The jumping motion tripped the over-speed switch, a safety device that automatically stops the elevator if it goes too fast. The passengers then used the emergency call button to call for help and were told that help was on the way. After waiting a few minutes, they began to exit the elevator on their own rather than wait for assistance. "In general, elevators are very safe and have multiple built-in safety features to prevent passengers from harm and from harming themselves," said Jack Day, L&I's chief elevator inspector. "This tragedy was a preventable accident, and we hope the public hears the message to take elevator safety seriously." Day added that he doesn't know of any other instance in Washington state where a passenger was killed in a public elevator. The investigation report shows that the following sequence of events occurred: · Some of the passengers began inappropriately jumping up and down in the elevator, causing it to stop between floors. · The passengers were told that help was on the way but did not wait. · They began prying open the elevator-car doors. Using significant effort, they overwhelmed the safety device that keeps the doors from opening. · They had to continuously hold the doors open to resist the door motor, a device that continuously forces the doors to remain closed. · The passengers then forced the hoist-way doors open so they could exit the elevator into the lobby. This required disabling the hoist-way lock, a device that keeps the lobby doors from opening to an exposed elevator shaft. This action put the passengers and others in extreme danger from exposure to the elevator shaft. · The passengers, one at a time, began to crawl out of the elevator on their stomachs, feet first, through a 10 3/4-inch opening, dropping down to the lobby floor and landing on their feet in front of the exposed elevator shaft. · As the passengers exited, they were assisting each other while also using their hands and feet to continuously hold open both sets of doors. The first four passengers were able to crawl out and land safely on the lobby floor. · The last passenger to exit slid out of the elevator and instead of landing feet first on the lobby floor, slipped into the elevator shaft and fell to his death. The elevator had been installed and approved for operation last October. As a result of the recent investigation, L&I required the elevator company to make two corrections to all four of the building's elevators. There are more than 23,000 elevators in public use in Washington state. Injuries, which are rare, are most commonly from tripping or being struck by closing doors. L&I investigates a number of these incidents each year; however, most could be prevented with education and awareness of elevator safety. L&I reminds people to keep the following safety tips in mind when riding an elevator: · Never try to climb out of the elevator. It may start moving, or you could be at risk of falling. You are safe in the elevator until qualified personnel come to your assistance. · If you find yourself in a stuck elevator, stay calm. Use the emergency button or phone to call for help. · Never reach out to stop a closing door. Not all doors will reopen, and it isn't worth the risk. Wait for the next elevator. · Check to make sure the elevator is level with the floor when it comes to a stop and the doors open. If it is not level, you could trip and fall.

Take Stock to Stop Heat Stress

Plan your rest and drink breaks--offering thirst quenchers or water--so you can keep the workers adequately hydrated by Fred Elliott

While you're probably welcoming the warm-up that heralds Summer 2006, you should be mindful of the safety impact the seasonal change can cause. Decreased safety, lower productivity, and more absences and sick days are a steep price to pay. And those are merely the non-fatal problems heat may cause. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data on lost-time cases from 2004. Only 610 lost-time cases during the year were attributed to heat stroke, heat syncope (fainting), and heat fatigue, BLS reported, but the more serious cases among these were fairly severe. Among 250 heat stroke cases, 50 caused the victim to miss two days and 50 others caused the loss of three to five working days--so 40 percent of all heat stroke cases cost two days or more. The BLS figures indicate frostbite and cold temperatures caused only 420 lost-time cases in 2004, by comparison. With these losses in mind, and with the knowledge that solutions are easy to implement, it will pay you and your workers to watch the temperature, the relative humidity, and to respond accordingly. Ambient temperature and RH together can make working in fairly mild temperatures (say, 85 degrees F) difficult; working in an environment that registers 100 degrees F is hazardous at only 35 percent RH or above.

Heat stroke is the most serious health problem connected to working in hot environments; it occurs when the body's

Heat-Related Health Problems

temperature regulatory system fails and sweating becomes inadequate. Body temperature may be 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; the victim's skin is dry and hot. He may be confused and may experience convulsions or lapse into unconscious. Prompt, appropriate treatment is essential.

Heat exhaustion happens when the worker loses a large amount of fluid by sweating. He still sweats, but he also may be fatigued, giddy, or nauseous. His skin is clammy and moist, with body temperature normal or slightly elevated. Treatment usually involves having the victim rest in a cool place and drink plenty of liquids. Heat cramps are muscle spasms felt by workers who sweat profusely and drink large quantities of water but do not

adequately replace salt loss.

Heat rash can occur in hot, humid environments where sweat is not easily removed from the surface of the skin by

evaporation and the skin remains wet most of the time. A skin rash results because the sweat ducts become plugged.

Getting Ready for Hot Environments It's impossible or impractical to cool some working environments. Fortunately, workers can prepare for them by gradually adjusting to a hot environment--a process called heat acclimatization over a period that may last only a week. "Gradual exposure to heat gives the body time to become accustomed to higher environmental temperatures," NIOSH says in a 1986 brochure about heat illnesses. "Heat disorders in general are more likely to occur among workers who have not been given time to adjust to working in the heat or among workers who have been away from hot environments and who have gotten accustomed to lower temperatures. Hot weather conditions of the summer are likely to affect the worker who is not acclimatized to heat. Likewise, workers who return to work after a leisurely vacation or extended illness may be affected by the heat in the work environment. Whenever such circumstances occur, the worker should be gradually reacclimatized to the hot environment." Plan your rest and drink breaks--offering thirst quenchers or water--so you can keep the workers adequately hydrated. OSHA's Heat Stress Quick Card suggests drinking about 1 cup of water every 15 minutes. OSHA also offers an excellent Technical Manual on heat stress ( that includes a discussion of work-load assessment, Wet Bulb Globe Temperature calculations, PPE, engineering and administrative controls, and more. (Remember, heat's effect on workers depends on many factors, including their age, physical condition, use of alcohol and certain drugs, and medical conditions including hypertension.) Provide cool rest areas if possible. Schedule the most difficult tasks so they are performed during cooler times of day. NIOSH suggests using work-rest cycles to "give the body an opportunity to get rid of excess heat, slow down the production of internal body heat, and provide greater blood flow to the skin."

If the work is taking place indoors, use fans, air conditioning, and exhaust ventilation to increase air flow. Personal cooling devices--vests, bandannas, etc.--are options for some environments, especially when workers must toil while wearing protective clothing. How to Respond The OSHA card lists five steps to take when someone suffers from a heat-related illness: 1. Call 911 or the local emergency response number at once. 2. Move the worker to a cool, shaded area. 3. Loosen or remove the worker's heavy clothing. 4. Provide cool drinking water. 5. Fan and mist the person with water. After a heat-related illness or incident has taken place, the Technical Manual recommends this checklist for follow-up: · Describe events leading up to the episode. · Evaluation/comments by other workers at the scene. · Work at time of episode (heavy, medium, light)? · How long was affected employee working at site prior to episode? · Medical history of affected worker, if known. · Appropriate engineering controls in place? · Appropriate engineering controls in operation? · Appropriate work practices used by affected employee(s)? · Appropriate personal protective equipment available? · Appropriate personal protective equipment in use? · Medical screening for heat stress and continued surveillance for signs of heat stress given other ·

employees? Additional comments regarding specific episode(s).

NEWS BRIEF EPA Announces Energy Efficiency Specifications For Imaging Equipment

A typical home office with a fax, printer, copier and scanner could save more than $300 in energy costs over the life of the products with new Energy Star specifications for imaging equipment, EPA announced on May 8. For the first time, the specifications cover energy use when the product is in use as well as in standby. The new specifications were developed because market research showed that technology had evolved in response to the Energy Star program, raising new opportunities to improve efficiency. EPA is challenging manufacturers to continue to make progress in developing energy efficient products for consumers. On average, Energy Star qualifying imaging equipment will be 30 percent more efficient than conventional models. The revisions to the will save consumers more than $3 billion over the next five years and avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions of more than four million cars. Imaging equipment uses a sizable amount of energy across the United States. This year, approximately 275 million imaging equipment products will consume more than $3.6 billion in energy each year, accounting for 2 percent of total electricity expenditures. Under the updated specifications, only the most energy-efficient of today's imaging products will earn the Energy Star, representing the top of their class. These new specifications are scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2007, pending adoption by the European Commission. EPA first allowed imaging equipment to earn the Energy Star in 1993. Information on new imaging equipment specifications can be found at:


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