Is your company in compliance with EPA and OSHA regulations, including employee Hazard Communication training required by December 1, 2013? Are you meeting your customers’ demands for sustainable printing and following the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Green Guides for marketing claims?

There are many printing operations unaware of their basic environmental and safety requirements, which can lead to thousands of dollars in fines! Making general environmental claims has become much more difficult, and the FTC has taken enforcement actions against companies that are not following their new guides.  

Your best bet is to learn and understand your risk and be proactive. The Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) department at Printing Industries of America is committed to helping our industry members stay in compliance and improve their operations. This renowned EHS team of experts provides training and consulting for many printing operations, assisting them with understanding and meeting compliance requirements, as well as uncovering opportunities to save money. Plus, since they work with federal and state agencies on the actual rules representing the interests of the printing industry, they know the regulations and can provide concrete advice on how to avoid high fines and other devastating blows to your business.

Focusing on Your Top Issues

To avoid risking expensive resources and business, you need to ensure your company maintains regulatory compliance, and the EHS staff is here to help. To give you an idea of what kind of issues they resolve, here are some common EHS dilemmas they can assist you with:*

1. What type of air permit do you need to run sheetfed or digital presses?

  • Regardless of the type of press being operated, air pollutants are emitted as a result of the inks, coatings, fountain solutions, and cleaning solutions. All printing presses and printing operations can emit air pollutants which may require air pollution control permits. Every state/local permitting authority has a permit threshold, and they can be based on emissions, material use, or press size. For assistance in determining air emissions from your operation, contact the EHS department today!

2. Why does OSHA require older equipment to be guarded to current standards?

  • Older equipment has never been “grandfathered” by OSHA. Under the OSHA guarding regulations, all equipment, regardless of when it was built, must have all hazard areas properly guarded. It is not the responsibility of the equipment manufacturer to ensure that equipment meets OSHA’s machine guarding standards. For more information on machine guarding requirements, review our OSHA Primer (free to members) and What you Need to Know for Safe Equipment Operation Guide.

3. What are the requirements for making “green and sustainability” claims?

  • Being “green and sustainable” is more than a single action or only promoting and using recycled paper. Sustainability means that the entire facility, operations, processes, personnel, and products are being touched by environmentally sound practices and policies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has specific guidelines for making environmental claims. General environmental benefit claims need to be specific and backed up by quantifiable information and the use of certifications and seals must be backed up with information on how a company qualifies. The Green Guides also specify requirements for particular environmental claims, including recyclability, renewable energy use, and ozone-friendly product claims. For more information check out the FTC’s Green Guides and our article Greenwashing: Combatting Its Effect On The Printing Industry written by Printing Industries of America staff.

4. What are the new training and labeling requirements of OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication standard?


  • The new Hazard Communication standard requires that all hazard chemical labels include the use of Product Identifier, Signal Word (such as DANGER), Hazard Statement, Pictogram, Precautionary Statement, and manufacturer contact information. Printing operations must update hazard communication programs and conduct employee training to reflect the new changes. The first deadline for initial employee training is December 1, 2013. Visit our for more information on the new Standard and guidance for meeting the new requirements (member login required). There are also new Safety, Know It! Live It! posters to display these guidelines (free for members).

Don’t worry. You’re not alone if you don’t know all the answers. The important thing is, they do, and they can help your company using a number of available resources. You’ll learn exactly what you need to solidify your operation and save money. 

Solutions at Hand

Find solutions through a variety of resources from our EHS department. Learn how this team negotiates directly with government agencies and obtains regulatory interpretations. For information on all EHS resources, including compliance assessment, consulting, and custom onsite and offsite training, just visit the EHS webpage.

For additional information on these common questions, or any regulatory or sustainability-related inquiries, just visit the EHS webpage or contact the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Department at Printing Industries of America by calling 800-910-4283 ext. 794 or by clicking here.

*Answers to these questions will be revealed each Monday starting October 14!