The Hidden Dangers in the Workplace

Sometimes, the dangers of a work environment are easy to assess. Dangerous factory work, mechanical jobs, and other rough and ready professions are noted for their inherent danger and risk. Where there is the greatest risk, there is also the greatest precautions. However, it’s not just the obviously dangerous workplaces that pose a threat to employees and employers. Seemingly safe environments, such as offices and retail spaces, always pose a risk. The only difference is all too often these environments are not treating with the same risk as others.

In this article, we take a look at some of the workplace threats that can cause trouble but which are often overlooked by less than stellar workplace safety reviewers.

How to Stay Safe

When it comes to keeping your employees safe, communication is key. A business owner could have the very best workplace practices, but there’ll be ineffective if they aren’t conveyed to the employees.

It’s always important not to just boringly walk through the dangers of the workplace with your employees; there’ll be more likely to remember it if it’s livened up through role play and/or other interactive ways.

Finally, one of the most important aspects of keeping safe is making sure you have a plan for what you do if something does go wrong. This, in many cases, is just as important as prevention. Make sure your employees know the procedure for handling workplace injuries and accidents. Similarly, you should also be prepared to handle things going wrong by ensuring your business is properly covered and prepared to deal with whatever happens. As with most things in life, its preparation and prevention that offer the best keys to success. You’re can’t always control what happens, but you can control your reaction.

Next, we move on those less than obvious – but very simple – dangers lurking in your workplace.

Hidden Threats


Clutter is actually more of a hazard than you’d think. Apparently, it undermines our mental productivity and can greatly affect the mood of an office. A messy environment equals a messy mind, one in which dangers happen more by blindsiding and inability to focus. And then there’s also the physical danger; the more stuff lying around, the more chance there is that somebody will trip over and fall. The answer? A simple new policy: no mess!


Cabinets are the enemy of HR professionals. These simple objects have a disproportionately high effect on injuries in the workplace. Whether it’s a cabinet draw left open or a cabinet that hasn’t been securely fastened to the wall, the dangers are obvious once you’re aware of them. And the injuries can be very painful, as well as potentially very serious. So what do you do? Let everyone know the dangers of drawers being left open, and also ensure they’re attached to the wall.


You might be quite amazed just how many people suffer from eyestrain. Roughly 6 out of 10 people will suffer eye problems, just from looking at their screen for long periods of time. Of course, this is part of the modern world; everything is done on computers. Still, that doesn’t allow you to wash your hands of the problem – or you might just end up paying for it later. There are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it happening.

The first is making sure everyone takes regular breaks from their digital screens. The simple, easily remembered 20-20-20 rule can help here. Every twenty minutes, tell your employees to take twenty seconds to stare twenty feet ahead of them. Doing this might just stop pain from developing in their eyes. You should also remind them to blink while they’re working at the computers.

Air Quality

The quality of the air in an office is another one that is often overlooked. However, poor air can lead to problems such as poor breathing, increased illness, and food sanitation issues. The best solution for this is to make sure the office receives plenty of fresh ventilation, especially if harmful chemicals are used during cleaning.

You can’t always prevent accidents from happening, but you can take steps to ensure the risk if minimal. By taking the appropriate steps, you can protect both your employees and your business from avoidable instances that can cause real issues.

This article was submitted by Helen Sellers

3 Great Reasons to Consider Purchasing Your Industrial Products Online

The days when online shopping was only something people considered when they were in the market for CDs or books are long over with. Now people can turn to the Internet for easy access to absolutely everything from cars, to pets, to houses.

The Internet is a great resource to consider when it comes to purchasing tools, building supplies, and industrial equipment as well. Here we’ll take a closer look at some of the reasons why you might want to consider shopping online for industrial supplies.

1. Better Selection
Whether you’re looking to outfit an entire construction team with new equipment or just looking for a few great options just right for projects, you absolutely want access to the largest possible number of options. Your local supply warehouses and merchant centers are only going to have so many different items available. They’re going to concentrate mostly on stocking the most popular items in the most popular sizes and styles.
Online outlets, on the other hand, are in a position to offer more different types of merchandise in one place. Instead of having to buy your scaffolding from one vendor and your caulking supplies from another, you can get them all at one time and from the same merchant. It’s easier to locate hard-to-find items this way.

2. Value-Savvy Prices
It’s not unusual for merchandise like safety products to be available at lower prices online. Online outlets don’t generally have to worry about covering the same overhead costs that brick and mortar merchants do. They don’t have to pay an entire staff a full-time salary to wait on customers or cover exorbitant property rental fees.
A large portion of those savings are passed along to the customer. When prices are lower, you’re able to buy more product for your money. You’re also able to consider upgrading to better brand names, higher quality alternatives, and so forth.

3. Complete Shopping Freedom
With the average schedule becoming busier and busier, it’s harder for contractors to find the time to set entire days aside to visit multiple brick and mortar locations or call around looking for a specific item. Plus, who wants to wait in line or spend all afternoon searching a hardware store for an employee to help you decide which ladder is the best fit for a project?

Online shopping gives you a highly convenient alternative. You can shop whenever you want, even if the best time for you is three o’clock in the morning. You can shop at your leisure without the need to fight crowds or find your way around a massive store. The best online industrial products suppliers have ready resources available to help you make your decision, as well as ways to get in touch with experts if you need to ask questions.
All things considered, it’s a wonderful time to be alive, thanks to the Internet. Let your fingers do the walking and lead you to your new favorite industrial supply company today!

Hazardous Waste Disposal: It Matters

Technological advancements, modernization, and urbanized progress. They have undoubtedly made our lives so much easier with all the modern conveniences that we are able to enjoy today. However, in as much as they have made our lives better, there are also disadvantages and negative effects that have come out of it.


Negative effects of modernization
With the increase of global population follows an increase in the demand for food and daily essentials, and these have in turn increased the amount of waste produced. Households and big industrial companies churn out both hazardous and non-hazardous waste on a daily basis, which, when not regulated, can be potentially harmful or dangerous to our health and the environment.

Why proper disposal matters
The proper disposal of hazardous materials is not just the responsibility of industries and companies that manufacture items that produce a large amount of waste. Professional offices, as well as households, all have to pay attention to how they throw away seemingly harmless waste that could contain hazardous substances. The improper disposal of such waste can harm not only the health of employees and local residents, it can also affect plant and animal life through the contamination of soil and water supplies, and cause air pollution. It can also lead to fines or lawsuits, and the possibility of having property value decrease.

Responsibility on hazardous waste disposal
Household waste should be dealt with by each household through segregation. Hazardous waste should never be lumped together with non-hazardous rubbish, nor should they be poured down into sinks or toilets, as they can corrode pipes and cause problems at water treatment plants. If household hazardous wastes are too much to handle, it’s better to contact the local government to arrange for scheduled waste collection.

On the other hand, big companies that produce hazardous waste on a daily basis should follow proper disposal as standardized by the OSHA. This is not only intended to protect the company from incurring penalties and fines, it also protects worker’s health and safety, as well as the environment. If you work for a company that constantly deals with hazardous waste – whether through clean up, treatment and storage, or emergency response – it is a must to get HAZWOPER training online from a reputable organization like The Asbestos Institute.

While it may not be possible to completely stop using household materials that contain hazardous materials, its impact on the environment and on human and animal health can be minimized. Avoid dumping hazardous waste just about anywhere, and dispose of it responsibly. When dealing with uncontrolled hazardous waste, contact the experts for proper disposal.

Keep Kids Safe Around Worksites

It may seem obvious but here are some tips to keep children safe on worksites.

1. Don’t play near construction site garbage or refuse.
2. Don’t play in water sored near construction sites.
3. Don’t fly kites in construction areas.
4. Don’t play around loud construction areas
5. Don’t climb fences around or near construction.
6. Don’t play around construction sites with air debris.
7. Don’t play around any construction area where demolition is involved.
8. If you see a child breaking any of these rules, let an adult know immediately.

Let’s keep our kids safe. Construction sites are a curiosity to our young people and these areas are very dangerous.

HAZWOPER Training Benefits for Workers

The HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, and is in essence set of standards that was designed and implemented by the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to protect workers and companies that deal with hazardous waste operations. Getting a HAZWOPER training is imperative for workers who work in companies whose operations puts them in contact with or risk for exposure to hazardous waste and environments.

Let’s look at some benefits that can be had when HAZWOPER training is completed.

Situation Preparedness
When your job entails you to deal with hazardous waste, chances are, you’d be facing a big chemical spill sometime in the future. Such an occurrence requires the knowledge to know how to contain it, and the skill to execute the plan of action as quickly and safely as possible. This is where the HAZWOPER training comes in. Being trained means having the background and skill necessary to take care of such problems without being caught off guard and not knowing what to do.

The HAZWOPER training is not only necessary for people to know how to contain toxic waste, it’s also necessary to ensure the safety of all the workers involved. When everyone in the company knows how to identify risks and keep themselves safe when faced with a hazardous waste problem, then it also protects the safety of those around them. This produces a more comfortable environment that would make workers feel confident about going to work.

Employment and Salary Boost
Having completed the HAZWOPER certification training makes a person more employable. Not only that, PayScale has reported that those who have been HAZWOPER-trained typically earned more than those who haven’t.

Penalty Avoidance
For companies, having their workers trained would mean compliance with OSHA standards, thereby avoiding any penalties that they may incur should they allow workers without HAZWOPER training do jobs that require them to be trained.

It doesn’t matter how long one has been working in a certain area; when safety is concerned, there is and should always be a need for proper instruction and updated training.

Cleaning is Essential Part of Work Safety

Even the safest-looking workplaces have their own dangerous moments. If you think that nothing wrong could possibly come to you in the safety of your own calm office, think again. There are probably bookshelves near you, with books high above you that could fall off and concuss you. How are the power outlets handled? Are there any bare wires? If you are working in a paper-filled office, even the smallest sparks can lead to big fires if not handled immediately. And, believe it or not, all these dangers are doubled when you opt to do some cleaning around the office. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and the office.

• If you are about to do some office cleaning, use gloves. Hand protection is important even in the smallest of instances. Rubber gloves can save you a nasty shock and spill if you accidentally come in contact with a bare wire. They will also protect your hands from all the toxins in the cleaning product you are using. Avoid gross rashes and itchy spots with ease, simply put on a pair of gloves while rubbing your desk with a cleaner product and all will be fine.

Cleaning is Essential Part of Work Safety

• If might seem laughable, but if you are working in a place with lots of shelves with files or books, and you are trying to dust them, or even just looking for a particular item, you should use some headgear. Imagine you inadvertently shake a bookcase as you are browsing through some volumes, and there are heavy and unchecked books or folders above you. One wrong step (or shake) will collapse a few of those volumes over your head and could easily lead to a bad concussion.

• Be wary of slippery spots on your floor or carpet. If you are one to have lunches in the office, surely you spilled something once or twice, but did not bother to thoroughly clean it. Some stains become slippery over time and you should protect yourself – and the ones coming into your office from them. Get some carpet cleaners to remove it, or even hire a cleaning agency to do regular office cleaning and keep your workplace safe. Yes, cleanliness sometimes is the key to safety. A professional cleaner will do a fine job of recognizing lasting and problematic stains and will remove them to bring the shine to your office.

• If you are working with a lot of office hardware, you should know that it is inevitable that something may eventually breakdown. Unless you are a mechanic or specialize in office appliance repairs, call an actual repairman to see to the problem. Do not be a hero and try to help out a colleague with a quick fix to a problem that you have no clue about. Leave the broken machinery as they are and call somebody who actually can fix them.

Cleaning is Essential Part of Work Safety2

It requires very little to work safely in your office. A small bit of effort put into a clean and organized office will do wonders for the state of your workplace. If you cannot do it yourself, get a cleaning company. The key thing here is to work safe, so expenses should not be an obstacle.
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Texting While Driving is Still One of Today’s Biggest Problems


We should all know by now that not only is texting and driving a bad idea but is probably also against the law where you live. A federal ban on texting and driving was enacted in 2010 and 46 states have laws in place about using mobile devices while behind the wheel of a vehicle. A new law outlawing the practice in Mississippi will go into effect on July 1, 2015. The dangers of texting while driving should be common knowledge by now but apparently it bears repeating. Despite the laws in place and the number of warnings, texting while driving remains one of the biggest dangers on the road today.

It seems that every week there are reports of a new tragedy that could have been easily avoided happening on the road. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nine people are killed each day as a result of distracted drivers and over 1,000 people are seriously injured. Some of the main culprits that contribute to distracted driving are using a mobile phone, texting or eating. The CDC outlines three major types of driving distractions and they include: visual distractions that take your eyes off the road, manual distractions that take your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions that take your mind off of driving.

Did you know that someone using their phone while driving is 23 times more likely to have an accident than someone that isn’t? In fact, a study cited by the Huffington Post found that there’s a 1 in 4 probability that any given car crash involved a cell phone in some way. There were 3,328 people killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012 and another 421,000 people were injured. That’s almost half a million people injured as a result of something that might not have happened if people stopped texting while driving.

In the year 2000, Verizon Wireless became the first wireless carrier to support state legislation for the banning of all hand-held cellphone use while driving. That’s 15 years of supporting safe driving initiatives like the Responsible Driver Action Plan while continuing to be one of the industry’s leaders when it comes to safety outreach. The company developed its Responsible Driver Action Plan as part of its efforts which included the incorporation of responsible driving messages in customer communications and company advertising.

There are even apps now specifically to help drivers resist the temptation of their phones on the road. One of them is SafelyGo, which will automatically receive and respond to your calls while you’re on the road. This way you can keep your eyes on the highway while your phone makes sure you stay connected during your trip. With these kinds of advances in technology, there’s no excuse to be using your mobile device in the car. It’s not just about your own safety; it’s about everyone around you.

Lab Safety Guidelines

There is a great need to examine and reevaluate the safety procedures in a lab, especially if you happen to be more than just a simple lab assistant. Lab managers will need to consider this task carefully if they want safety to be a primary concern, especially when handling hazardous materials. There are plenty of cleaning companies that have certification as professional cleaners, going far beyond the usual house cleaning, office cleaning, carpet cleaning and the like and well into the area of laboratory cleanup, biohazard cleanup and more. Proper routines and rules must be observed if you want to succeed at keep the lab safe. The following tips will give you a few ideas you can use in your daily work:

Lab Safety Guidelines

• No drinks and food in the lab
This is pretty commonplace in most areas, but it also happens to be one of the things people find hardest to deal with. Everyone happens to enjoy a refreshing drink of cold water or coffee at work, but removing food and drinks from the lab will have multiple great benefits. First of all it will reduce the available distractions, so fewer things will go wrong. When performing really important and sensitive tasks, every distraction is a serious problem, especially when handling hazardous materials and substances. The risk of contamination in such areas jumps exponentially since such items can bring bacteria from the outside or may become carriers of contaminants from within the lab environment itself.

• Partnering up
A lot of times experiments can only be done right by sharing duties with a partner. Working in teams has a great advantage over working alone, obviously – you will have another set of eyes looking out for you when something goes wrong. Human error is not something that can be avoided – people get tired, mistakes are made and so forth, but in certain conditions mistakes cost lives, so working as part of a team requires people looking out for each other.

• Warning sign usage
Anything that you know for sure is dangerous should be labeled as such, whether with the appropriate sign or by using the NFPA 704 “fire diamond” to denote the type of danger faced by handling the materials or substance in question. You should also consider the OSHA guidelines or similar ones in your country. Trip hazards, high decibel noises, circuit breakers and more will need to be clearly marked so lab members will be fully aware of what they’re dealing with.

• Proper Safety Equipment
Maintaining your budget is very important for any laboratory out there, but you will also need to setup a good budget for safety and a safety plan. When you need to draft a new budget or you plan on revisiting your current one, you would do well to consider extra funds for safety equipment, such as eye wash stations, goggles, safety glasses, ear plugs, lab coats, protective gloves, fire safety and a whole lot more. You should also consider setting up a budget for proper safety training for all experienced and new lab members as well to drill in procedures in case of emergencies and accidents.
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Ways to Increase Workplace Safety Awareness in the Workplace

There is no such thing as being too safe. As technology continues to evolve, so do the potential hazards and risks that threaten the safety of each and every employee and work place. With respect to this notion, there are always new ways to increase workplace safety awareness. Here are five proven ways to effectively improve safety awareness and reduce the risk of incidence:

1) Increase Safety Training and Awareness Courses

Safety training will help employees become more situationally aware and as a result decrease the likelihood of accidents. The point is simple, less accidents create more time to focus on corporate goals and initiatives which in turn will improve productivity. As new methods emerge, outdated safe practices are often proven to be obsolete or ineffective compared to modern theories and methodologies. Thus, it is imperative for safety awareness to be the fabric of the workplace.

2) Improve Awareness of Spill Kits

In the event of a spill of hazardous materials, improving workplace awareness of spill kits can prevent and mitigate a potentially horrific disaster. Along with fire prevention and extinguishment devices, spill kits can stop the spread of contaminants from further adversely affecting the workplace. In addition spill kits can also contain components which can be utilized to protect and aid workers affected by chemical spills as well.

3) Enhance Employee Knowledge of Fire Extinguishment Materials

Knowledge of fire extinguishment materials can sometimes be the difference between a small contents fire and a massive building conflagration. Fires double in size every minute, in addition to the implementation of a fire evacuation plan, knowledge on how and when to properly use the different varieties of fire extinguishers can be a great aid in improving safety.

4) Implement an Action Plan

In the event of an emergency, an action plan can assure all employees and workers are protected from potentially deadly consequences. In the event of an accident, the implementation of recovery policies and procedures can serve as a framework to handle the most complex of scenarios. From these action plans, a course of action and a chain of command can be established, seamlessly streamlining all facets that require action. It is important employees know what to do in a variety of emergency situations. In the event such an incident were to occur, a prepared team is more equipped to effectively and safely handle all the challenges that accompany.

5) Establish Efficient Practices Through Continuous Improvement

When workers know how to work safely, they establish continuity. Continuity can lead to innovative methods to complete a task, faster and better. These methods can be documented in to the form of standard operating procedures or workplace practices. Continuous safety is virtually synonymous with continuous improvement, which in turn results in identifying and implementing better and safer ways to do the same job. In addition to efficiency, there are less accidents and workers are more cognizant of hazards that accompany various material handling applications.

Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon.

Protection Clothing for Cleaning

Cleaning is a necessary task that you are often times forced to do around your home and your office. Thanks to cleaning, you will have a refreshed environment and living conditions that are more than suitable for resting and relaxing. There are a lot of products and tools that can make your cleaning more effective and fast, but what you have to keep in mind is that home cleaning and office cleaning should be carefully executed.
If you want to be completely safe during your cleaning service, you need to consider some protection clothing. There is a lot of risk related to using the various cleaning solutions, some of which are far from safe. If you pay attention to labels, you will often notice the description saying ‘poison’, ‘toxic’ and ‘danger’. That alone should be enough to warn you of the threats and make you stay alert during your cleaning service. Acquire the following gear if you want to be safe:

Gloves – even simple latex gloves can protect your skin from the chemicals and dangerous ingredients of various solutions you use in your everyday cleaning. If you have any skin problem, such as irritation, rash, itch and burn you will do well to avoid direct contact with the solutions you use in office and home cleaning. Gloves will not hinder your cleaning in any way, and they will not allow the dangerous liquid to come into contact with the skin on your hands. Thanks to a pair of gloves you can mix solutions without fear and wash dishes with any type of cleaning detergent.

Protection Clothing for Cleaning2

Goggles – some of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service can greatly irritate your eyes because of the fumes they release. In order to protect yourself from this danger, you should acquire a pair of specialized goggles to wear while cleaning. This will provide protection for your sight not only from the fumes of the chemicals, but also from dust and other debris that might get airborne during carpet cleaning for example. Goggles can usually be used multiple times, so definitely consider acquiring quality protection for your sight.

Mask – cleaning solutions and more importantly the chemicals that are present inside them can sometimes lead to respiratory distress. To avoid breathing in the chemicals and fumes of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service, you should always wear a mask. It will be your best line of defense when it comes to filtering the toxins of the cleaning products. This is especially the case with professional cleaners, who have to work with different cleaning solutions every single day. A mask will also prevent solid particles, such as dust and various others from entering your organism.

Protection Clothing for Cleaning

Apronaprons are very useful, especially those that provide pockets where you can put your extra cleaning equipment during your home cleaning. Not only will you stay clean if the job is a messy one, but also you will have everything you need with you and will not waste time.
A lot of these additions to your cleaning are not expensive at all and you can use most of them more than once. Definitely consider them to be safe during your cleaning.

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