Occupational hearing loss is an important issue that employers must not only acknowledge but also take precautionary measures to prevent. When your employees work in a dangerously loud environment, without preventive measures in place, they are risking their health and safety on your watch. You may be surprised to know that an environment only needs to have a noise level of 85 db to begin causing damage to the human ear.

A kitchen blender, diesel truck, and city traffic all fall within this range; a noise level most of us don’t think twice about. It only takes a few hours of unprotected hearing before this range (or higher) begins to do irreversible damage. Here are a few examples of ways your company can promote hearing conservation in the workplace.

Provide Employees with Hearing Protection
Hearing protection should be compulsory for employees in all noisy areas. This is made easier when employers have ample hearing protection available that is conveniently located in an area proceeding a workplace with higher noise levels. Mark the area clearly with signs. Consider holding a safety class to educate employees on noise levels in their workplace, proper ways to use the hearing protection, and the risk they take if they choose not to use it.

Decrease Workplace Noise Level
As well as promoting hearing protection awareness in the workplace, you can also take steps to decrease the amount of noise as a whole. Setting a noise target will help your company create a plan, and you will be able to make adjustments accordingly. Consider upgrading older equipment and machinery to quieter newer models and purchase new machinery that has noise control as part of its intended design. Simpler, less expensive measures can also be taken to effectively lower noise in the workplace. Carpeting or other types of noise barrier between certain machinery and employees can be effective at reducing noise levels.

Create Hearing Protection Zones
By clearly marking zones with higher noise levels, workplace hearing awareness will be increased. As a responsible employer, hearing protection should be required in any marked zone. The hearing protection zone should have clear signs that not only mark the area as a dangerous noise area, but also remind employees to use their hearing protection before entering.

Initiate a Workplace Safety Code
To strengthen the importance of workplace safety within your company, you may wish to consider including an official addition on hearing conservation and safety in general in your company code of conduct. Not only does this reinforce safety protocol, but it shows that your company takes employee safety very serious.

Excessive noise does much more than cause hearing damage for your employees, studies have shown that working in a noisy environment increases stress levels, impacts emotional and psychological well-being, and lowers concentration. Chances are if  your company operates with a noisy workplace, employees concentrating on the job at hand is likely detrimental to job safety and the smooth running of the work environment. As an employer you are legally responsible for the well-being of the employees who work for you; hearing safety is vitally important for their safety and your own.

Jessica Galbraith is a writer who has worked in several workplaces under excessive noise. As an advocate for hearing conservation, she also runs a small business entrance mats enterprise.  Sent to us by Debbie Allen.


Winter officially began December 21st, so we know there’s  a lot of winter ahead of us.  There were several areas in the U.S. that had some unusually cold weather prior to the first day of winter.  Many college students will be returning to school pretty soon, so we thought it would be a good time to remind them and holiday travelers to be extra-careful.  Those who are on the road every day can use these suggestions, too.

Weather forecasts are pretty accurate; however, we can sometimes be hit with a cold front unexpectedly.  Rain, snow, fog, and ice can change the way we drive.  Here are some winter driving tips:

  • Check weather conditions ahead of time Be sure to tell your family or friends the route you are traveling.  Inform them when you have arrived safely.
  • Drink plenty of water. When the weather is chilly, dehydration might seem unlikely, but as little as a 1-2 percent loss of body weight can lead to fatigue and reduced alertness — both of which can be deadly when you are driving in icy conditions. Carry (and drink) five to six 16-ounce bottles of water per day in a small ice chest in the car.
  •  Take rest stops. Winter travel is much more tiring than summer driving, so stop every hour or so. Get out, and stretch, walk around a little. Just five minutes will significantly improve your level of alertness. (Chances are, if you drink all that water, you’ll need those pit stops!)
  • Pack a winter travel safety kit. Keep your cell phone charged, an ice scraper and brush, a tow rope, cat litter (for use as a traction aid), blankets, a good flashlight, a candle, matches, a portable weather radio and a can of lock de-icer, gloves and extra set of warm clothes.
  •  Eat enough food. Your body needs more nutrition in cold weather than it does on a warm day. Sandwiches, fruit or a thermos of hearty stew are much better choices than candy bars and sweets. Carry a day’s worth of high-energy food in a warm area of your vehicle in case you are stranded for a few hours.          
  •  Don’t speed.  A good rule of thumb is to reduce speed by 50 percent in snowy conditions.  Equally important: Don’t go too slow. Your car needs momentum to keep moving through snow on grades.
  •  Don’t grasp the steering wheel too hard. Smooth operation is the key to keeping control in slippery situations. Nervousness can lead to a hard clench of the steering wheel, which can result in loss of control. Consciously loosen your grasp or stretch out your fingers from time to time to help prevent that tight grip.
  •  Keep your tires in good condition and properly inflated. Cold weather reduces tire pressure, so check and adjust frequently. Tire tread depth should be at least 1/8-inch, and good snow tires with lugs will outperform just about any all-weather tire on the market.
  •  Know how to recover from skids. When braking on a slippery road, it’s all too easy to “lock up” your wheels by stepping on the brakes a little too hard. If you start to skid, steer the vehicle gently in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go and don’t touch your brakes. This previously was termed “turning into the skid,” but tests have shown that drivers often misinterpret these words in real-life situations. 
  •  If you get stranded, stay in your vehicle. Stay warm and wait for assistance. Many persons have made the mistake of trying  to walk for help, resulting in tragedy.  Ensure your exhaust pipe is clear of any obstructions, including snow and ice to keep carbon monoxide gas from building up inside the vehicle. 

If you know that weather conditions are going to be hazardous, don’t take any chances.  There will be another day you can get there more safely, and it’s not worth the risk of an accident.  Some drivers may not know how to drive in icy conditions, and could cause unintentional crashes.  Wait for the right opportunity to travel.  

When you see 18-wheel trucks sitting on the side of the road, that’s a pretty good sign that the road is not safe.  Follow their advice, and wait until it clears up.  Have your safety kit and food in your vehicle and pull over if this is the case.

Drive safely!


Our parent company, Texas America Safety Company, has been in the business of selling quality personal protective equipment for over twenty years.  There are many items you may not know about, so we would like to take the time to introduce some winter products to help you stay warm.  Whether you plan to be sitting outside at a football game, going on a ski trip, hunting, or working every day in the outdoors, we think you will enjoy viewing these products.

Here is a list of some of our items that will help you stay warmer, and chances are, at a lower cost than retail stores.  You can see full descriptions on our cold weather comfort products page.

  • Winter liners.  These are worn under hardhats to keep your head warm from outside cold. They can also be worn underneath a regular hoodie to add warmth.
  • Knitted tube liners.  Warm liners that fit over hardhats; they are either full-face or half-face. 
  • Plush Fleece Balaclava winter liners.  These work much better than scarves, and come in navy, orange, or camo colors.  Drawstring ensures warmth around your head and neck.
  • Multifunctional Winter Gaiters. Made of microfiber, these can be worn 10 different ways.
  • “Hot Rods” Warming Packs!  Handy little packets that warm up your hands, feet, anywhere you need to stay warm!  Be sure to check these warming packs that last for hours.  You’ll be glad you did!

It is our goal to furnish you with safety information on a daily basis.  We thank all our readers and blog contributors this past year, and wish all of you a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!

 Don’t forget to ask for the 5% discount we offer if you mention that you read about it on our blog!



We are smack-dab in the middle of flu season, and unless sick people stay at home until they feel much better, we are all potential candidates to catch this “bug.”  There are several types of influenza;  the seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or February.  However, it can sneak up on you as early as October, until the month of May.  There are many precautions we can take to avoid being ill from this virus.  The best preventative measure is to get the flu vaccine.  

Vaccines vary according to the strain of flu that is prevalent every season.  However, the Centers for Disease Control provide the vaccine that is deemed proper for the expected type of flu that is anticipated to be widespread.  Everyone six months of age to the elderly should get this vaccine.  Those age 65 and older and children younger than age 2 are more likely to have complications from the flu. 

Flu viruses are a contagious respiratory illness.  It can cause mild to severe illness, and sometimes, the flu can lead to death.  At last report, in our state of Texas, twelve persons have died from complications of the flu.  One of those persons  lived in my small hometown, and was only 47 years old.  She had the swine flu.  Complications from the flu may be pneumonia and dehydration.  

When you are around someone who is sneezing, coughing, or talking to you, experts say that you are exposed to the flu because their germs land in your mouth or nose.  Yuk!  If you touch a surface or object that has the flu virus on it, and then touch your mouth, eyes, or nose, you hve found another way to contact the virus.  That’s why it is important to keep your hands clean.  Keep some hand sanitizer in your pocket or purse, and another container in your car.  Remember, when leaving a public restroom or any other public place, elevator, escalator, or using shared equipment in your place of work, watch what you touch,  and wash or clean your hands often.  (And stay away from anyone who is sick as much as possible.) 

Flu and the common cold have similar symptoms.  We want to help you understand the differences.  First, flu symptoms: 

  • Fever, body aches, cough, and fatigue.
  • A 100°F or higher fever, or feeling feverish (some persons with the flu do not run fever).
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and body aches
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Almost never causes upset stomach, except:
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
  • Chills. 

Cold symptoms: 

  • Colds rarely cause fever or headaches.
  • Runny nose.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Sneezing, coughing. 

The flu can be much worse than the common cold.  Seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following: 

  • Sudden dizziness;
  • Confusion;
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen;
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath;
  • Seizures;
  • Purple or blue discoloration of the lips. 

If you think you have the flu, go to your doctor, who can test to see if your illness is the flu.  Please stay at home until you are completely over it.  Some of the flu-like symptoms can improve, but later come back with fever and a worse cough.  Avoid contact with your co-workers until you are well.  Your family members can use antibacterial spray and wipes to help avoid catching the flu, and if they have been vaccinated, this will be most  helpful.  Face masks can help both the patient and caregiver avoid those germs floating around in the air.  Face masks and latex gloves  are also very useful for persons with underlying health problems to use when traveling.

One additional clarification:  Stomach “flu” is really gastroenteritis, not the flu. 

Source:  Flu.gov                  NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


As hundreds of parents and grandparents have done, we have watched our grandson play football since the fourth grade – beginning with flag football.  The love of the game carried him through the rest of his middle school and high school years, finishing this season as a senior.  Fortunately, the only serious injury he received was a concussion in the seventh grade.  From then on, we, as so many others, were concerned that this might happen again.  Thankfully, it didn’t.  He enjoyed the years of playing with his classmates, some of whom had aspirations to play college ball.  High school students may need that scholarship in order to enroll in college and friends and fans alike support them in attaining that goal.  We sometimes don’t realize how many of those youngsters are under pressure to get it. 

College teams earn a lot of money for their schools, through ticket sales and college gear, shirts, etc.  Those whose records make them fortunate to make a bowl game will earn even more money for their school.  There is truly a spirit of comradery between team members, playing for the glory of their school, as well as being noticed by pro scouts.

The main attraction in professional sports is, of course, the huge paycheck that they earn.  It is amazing the amount of money that football, basketball, and other pro atheletes make.  Fans buy their gear and pay large sums of money for tickets to see them play in person.  Advertisements on television also draw attention to their team.  By the way, Texas America Safety has all the great team sports hardhats, for wearing to the games and work, to show your support of your favorite team, either professional or NCAA.

The more serious side of playing football, at all levels, but especially professional, is the risk of injury.  In glancing over the NFL Injury List for Week 17, it is amazing the amount of injured players that are questionable to play this week.  Ranging from eye, jaw, collarbone, shoulder, neck, concussion, and chest injuries, the list continues to include wrist, elbow, back, abdomen, finger, hand,  quadriceps, biceps, groin, hamstring, knee, achilles, thigh, ankle, shin, to toe injuries.  Also on the list were those who were not playing because of illness.  It’s easy to see how busy trainers and physicians are, trying to get their players back on the field.

There are many professional players who are now seeing their young sons wanting to play the game.  One pro was on the news the other day, who said at first, he wasn’t going to let him play; however, because the child wanted to play so badly, he would let him.  There was one catch: he would help coach the team.  He stated that it was very important that young players learn the right way to play, in order to avoid those injuries.  Concussions are being scrutinized more than ever, due to the number of past players who suffered numerous concussions, resulting in brain damage.

Protective gear is so important is all sports: whether it is eye protection. knee pads, or padding and helmets, schools owe it to their students to provide the best possible gear to keep their players safe.

We wish all those college teams and professionals who make the play-offs the best of luck, and injury-free games.  They provide much pleasure for fans who love to see them give it their all.





 Whether you have a residential or a commercial property, ensuring that your roof stays healthy and dry is critical to the structural soundness and value of your property. Unfortunately, roofs are not always easy to access, nor are they always safe. With infrared roof inspections, however, you can get accurate answers quickly without doing any probing or causing any damage to your property. 

An infrared roof inspection is a diagnostic technology that can be performed on its own or as part of a comprehensive building envelope survey, which is a thorough visual inspection of the entire exterior of a building. Much like building envelope surveys, infrared roof inspections are ideal for detecting moisture and giving a general idea of the current condition of the roof. 

How Does an Infrared Roof Inspection Work? 

Basically, in an infrared roof inspection, a thermal imaging camera (or infrared camera) is used to detect and record heat differences in the roof with the general goal of identifying any water that may have leaked under the roofing material and made its way into the building.

Because wet materials have a higher mass, they retain the sun’s heat longer. Meanwhile, dry materials have a lower mass, so they cool more quickly. Any abnormal or inconsistent temperatures recorded during the inspection are indicative of a problem, and they signal to you that the area should be inspected in greater detail.  Thermal imaging technology is convenient as it can help you find hidden defects that a traditional roof inspection cannot. 

Benefits of Infrared Roof Inspections 

Infrared inspections are now the industry standard for detecting water and moisture intrusion not just because of their convenience, but also for a number of other reasons. Outlined below are some of the main benefits of infrared roof inspections:

  • Infrared inspections are non-invasive and non-destructive, so you don’t have to cut holes in your walls or probe your roof with special devices. This saves your invaluable time and money.  
  • Infrared roof inspections facilitate early detection of, and early intervention with, potential problems. Getting your roof inspected regularly (e.g. once a year) allows you to identify any existing or potential problems early on, thereby preventing costly damage and extra costs associated with repairs. Infrared roof inspections are a huge part of the preventive maintenance of a building.
  • Thermal imaging inspections are cost effective because they’re much quicker, easier and more accurate than their traditional counterparts. Thus, they save you time and money. They are a small investment that leads to big savings. Think about it this way—would you rather pay a couple hundred dollars for a roof inspection now or a couple thousand dollars in repairs later on?
  • Infrared inspections of your roof can help you prioritize and plan repairs and upgrades.

Last but not least, infrared roof inspections can reveal a number of hidden issues with both your roof and your property as a whole. Here are just a few:

-Moisture intrusion
-Energy efficiency problems (heat loss)
-Poor insulation
-Roof leaks
-Missing or damaged shingles
-Structural issues such as a cracked chimney
-Faulty electrical work
-Leaky plumbing

Roof inspections are especially important for buildings that have a flat or low-sloped roof because water tends to accumulate at the top with no place to drain to. This can lead to moisture intrusion, degradation of foundation, mold growth, and many more headaches. 

It’s important to take care of your roof because it’s a vital part of your building’s structure. Ignoring a problem just because you can’t see it is foolish and will lead to bigger problems down the road. Infrared roof inspections are an affordable and effective way to avoid these kinds of problems, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get one for your home or office building. You can always contact the certified thermographers at InfraScan for any questions you have about thermal imaging or infrared roof inspections.

Srdjan is working for InfraScan.ca, specialized company for thermal imaging and infrared inspection.  Currently living in Ottawa, his motto is that good life is a healthy life.


In the past, I have always thought of those workers whose jobs require that someone is on the job every day of the year.  There are benefits to working holidays, and many employees are happy to work and earn extra pay.  Some even volunteer to work so a co-worker can be off.  There are several types of work that this applies to, and here are some of them; maybe you will think of others:

  • Law Enforcement.  Prisons must be staffed 24/7, so correction officers and jailers must be there.  Also, police, sheriff officers, and of course, our State Troopers are out in full force, reminding us (by their presence)  to drive safely and observe the speed limit.
  • Nuclear Power Reactor Operators.  These require near-constant surveillance, and must be attended to.  They boast an exceptional safety record.
  • Electric power line and gas repairmen.  If your power goes out any day, you expect someone to answer the call.
  • Medical personnel.  We all know that illness and accidents never take a day off.  This requires staffing at hospitals, nurses, doctors on call, and emergency response teams to be on stand-by. 
  • How about telecommunication equipment repairers?  They may get called out in case of a shut-down emergency, and must have someone to respond.
  • Travel.  We take for granted that airplanes, air traffic controllers, pilots, and staff are flying every day to get us from Point A to Point B.  This includes luggage handlers, screaners, ticket operations, etc.  Trains don’t stop for Christmas, either.  Their conductors and yardmasters still must show up for work.  Buses make their usual runs, as well.
  • Water and wastewater treatment plant and systems operators are working around the clock to ensure that we have clean water.  Because this is non-stop, someone always has to be operating the system, even on holidays.
  • Our firefighters.  Fireworks are plentiful during holidays,  always causing the threat of fire.  Adding fuel to the fire is the possibility of someone “frying the turkey”, and having an accident.  Christmas trees and candles are also fire hazards.  But you can count on your fire department to be there day or night, any day of the year.
  • Last, but not ever least, the military.  They are ready 24/7.  Let’s hope for a more peaceful new year for the world, especially our troops.

There are many businesses that operate 365 days per year – hotels, restaurants, etc.  Travelers would find it hard to have successful journeys without their services.

We wish everyone, at home or work during these holidays, a very Happy Holiday Season.  Stay safe.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s theme this year is a warning to all drivers to drive sober at all times, especially through the holiday season.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Association , MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and the Governors Highway Safety Association are all supporting this campaign.  Local law enforcement agencies are also involved. 

Every day, no matter where you live, you see news reports of persons being involved in DWI crashes.  Regardless of the age of the driver, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland stated, “It is unacceptable and downright offensive that anyone would get behind the wheel drunk, let along have twice the limit of alcohol in their body.”  

Deaths resulting from crashes involving drunk drivers increased last year by 4.6 per cent, costing 10,322 lives – compared to 9.8658 in 2011.  The majority of drivers who were involved in those crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher.  This is almost double the legal limit.  Eight hundred and thirty persons were killed during last year’s holiday because of drunk driving crashes. 

It is a known fact that drunk driving is often a symptom of a larger problem: alcohol misuse and abuse. The more than 10,000 persons who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2012 account for one person every 51 seconds!  The cost of alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes totals an estimated $37 billion every year.  And those costs don’t account for the devastation caused to families whose loved ones are victims.

Before you take that holiday trip, think about defensive driving more than ever.  Your family could be the victims of a drunk driver.  Watch for swerving or any other suspicious driving antics that could endanger others.  Call 9-1-1 and report your suspicions to law enforcement. 

This crackdown campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” began December 13 and is enforced through the New Year’s holiday.  Over $7.5 million dollars have been spent for public advertising to raise awareness and support law enforcement activities in every state in an effort to reduce drunk driving deaths.  This message will be featured in a new public service announcement featuring MGM Pictures/Columbia Pictures’ RoboCop, in theaters February 12, 2014. 

This year, let’s lower those statistics by being more careful and watching out for the other guy.  If you plan to indulge in alcoholic beverages during parties, be sure you have a designated driver, or get someone to call a cab for you.  Do not attempt to drive your vehicle.  Don’t spoil someone else’s holiday.

Source: NHTSA


Ignoring Heart Disease Won’t Lower Your Risk

We don’t want to rain on your parade during the holidays, but here is a very insightful look at heart disease, some of the causes and preventive measures we should take.  We usually make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, so hopefully, this great article sent to us by Shannon Lochwood will help us realize how very important it is to be heart-healthy and keep that resolution! 


Christmas Tree Safety (Guest Infographic)

Every year, thousands of dollars in damage is caused by Christmas tree fires.  Something that makes our hearts happy can end up creating devastation.  If you have a live tree, it must be kept watered often, and many artificial trees and their lights could be risky, too.  Please heed the warnings from this great infographic sent to us by Courtney Fettu,  and also use her advice on how to dispose of your tree properly.