Category Archives: General Safety Issues

Workplace Injuries Facts and Accidents: Things You Need to Know

Injuries are no laughing matter, and when they happen at the workplace, they can sideline you for weeks or months depending on the severity. The worse an injury is, the more time you will likely need to recover; in that time, you may be wholly unable to go to work. You should not wait until you have already suffered an injury before you learn about workplace accidents. Knowledge is power, and the more you know about common trends in workplace incidents, the better prepared you will be with each passing day.

Here are a few things you need to know about workplace injuries.

Communication Problems

In many accidents, the lack of communication between individuals can be blamed as the cause. Workers who had misgivings did not bring up these issues to their supervisors or managers, while others who were hesitant about completing a duty did not inform their coworkers. It is not uncommon for workers to carry out a task despite not feeling comfortable doing so. If there is communication, the problem can usually be solved with the help of a few different people, and an accident would be avoided. Without communication, employees will have a hard time completing their day to day job duties

You should make it a point to double check with people about anything you feel hesitant about doing.

Be Aware of Falls

Falls are the most common cause of workplace injuries and deaths, accounting for nearly 40% of employee fatalities in 2016, as per the OSHA website. Falls can happen anywhere and anytime – it does not take a lot for a person to fall, merely a loose piece of fabric on a rug or a small we spot on the ground. These falls often take the victim by surprise, and as a result, there may be no time to break the fall.

In some cases, the falls happen near equipment or excess merchandise. Still others happen due to an unreported problem with a staircase or a corridor. As a worker, you should make it a duty to report any issues you find before they become sources for accidents.

Do not fall victim to a trip or slip. You can quickly lose everything if the accident is severe enough.

Construction and Injuries

Construction workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in the country, data which is supported by the OSHA. Even though police officers and firefighters may face more apparent risks, construction workers enter job sites each day surrounded by extremely deadly equipment and low levels of safety. It is not uncommon for construction workers to be struck by falling objects, fall in trenches, or be crushed or harmed by equipment.

These workers need to do everything they can to prevent injury, whether that is undergoing additional training or implementing more safety measures. For all employees, you must not be afraid to voice your opinion if you feel something is dangerous or if there needs to be higher standards of safety and more hands on training.

Other Jobs

You should keep in mind that construction, public service positions, and other similar careers are not the only ones that have risks. Employees in every kind of company suffer injuries at work. Food service workers are usually on the receiving ends of burns, while desk workers in offices are often afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome.

There is always the chance for injury at a job, whether it is by electrocution, violence, falling objects, falls, or occupational hazards. No job is completely safe, and you should be properly knowledgeable about procedures just in case an accident occurs.

Worker’s Compensation

In many states, the chance to earn worker’s compensation in the event of an injury is invaluable. There are people who suffer injuries that are not their faults, and their medical bills can be taken care of. In some states, like California, there is a no-fault system in place, which deems that you can collect worker’s compensation for an injury you sustained while at the workplace regardless of whose fault it was.

It is important that you learn more about worker’s compensation in your state, but it is also equally important that you obtain the information from your employer. The lack of a visible sign detailing worker’s compensation benefits and procedures can be an offense. You should be aware of your rights ahead of time instead of attempting to figure out what you can do after an injury already happened.

Pain and Suffering

Speaking of worker’s compensation  did you know that you are generally unable to sue your for pain and suffering or noneconomic damages? The majority of cases end in award settlements for compensation of medical bills and reimbursement of lost wages. There is usually an agreement that is signed upon hire that disallows employees from suing for these damages. It is to be expected, as pain and suffering can net a fairly sizeable amount of compensation on its own.

Deaths in the Workplace

In 2016 alone, over 5,000 employees were killed n the workplace for various reasons. Many of these incidents could have been prevented by using some of the tips discussed above. It is a complete tragedy to see a worker pass away due to a job-related incident or injury.

No matter what kind of occupation you hold, whether you are a truck driver who may be at risk driving while tired or a factory worker who is in danger of developing lung problems because of the smog, you should take care of yourself and do everything in your power to stay safe.

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors do not always have the same set of rules that employees do. For example, someone who has been contracted to do construction is not an employee of the business doing the contracting, and the company cannot be held responsible for any injuries. In other cases, such as with Uber, this is not true.

Uber initially claimed that its drivers were independent contractors and the company was not liable for any accidents that occurred while the driver was on the clock. This was later changed after a law was put into effect; now, Uber carries insurance policies for its drivers that allow them to recover compensation for damages in the event of an accident. There may still be some confusion at times, however: these Uber accident lawyers claim that some Uber drivers are still curious if they can earn worker’s compensation in the event of a crash or if they have to rely on the insurance coverage from Uber. The short answer is the latter; Uber will not provide worker’s compensation benefits for its drivers.

What to Do Next

Workplace injuries are serious incidents, and the amount of information present on standards, laws, statistics, and more is near limitless. There are many outlets for information, and we recommend finding out as much as you can. It is better to be well prepared before anything happens than it is to be rushing for help in the wake of an accident.

Material Handling Tips for Safe and Efficient Work Performance

Material Handling Tips for Safe and Efficient Work Performance

The way materials are managed in a warehouse determines operational efficiency and profits. A poorly organized warehouse with wrong shipments results in too much or too little inventory that is being over-handled. When too much weight is being handled manually, workers can become excessively fatigued, maximizing the risk of injuries and minimizing productivity. This creates the need for a well-managed warehouse that is ergonomically designed to ensure worker safety and efficiency.

Potential Hazards for Workers Handling Materials Manually

Lifting and carrying bulky objects is a major factor that is responsible for back injuries since it involves lot of bending, twisting and turning. Improperly stacked materials and falling objects also pose hazards to worker safety. Lifting loads that are either too large or too heavy can also result in strains and sprains. Cutting ties wrongly and securing devices incorrectly can invite cuts and bruises. Injuries also occur due to exposure to moving machinery parts, collisions and nip points. In fact, according to a study published by the National Safety Council, material handling alone accounts for 20-40% of all occupational injuries. But all of this can be avoided when supervisors train workers on proper techniques and enforce the best practices that minimize risk and maximize efficiency.

How to Improve Material Handling Quality, Worker Safety and Efficiency at the Same Time

Protect your employees from injuries with well-designed operations that are both safe and efficient. Review the following 10 areas and use the insights to redesign tasks and reduce the risk of material handling:

  1. Instead of pushing, pulling, lifting, and carrying equipment manually, use hand trucks, slides, lift trucks and conveyor belts.
  2. Reduce the force needed for moving the equipment and loads.
  3. Keep the load small and reduce the distance between the hands and the body when pushing and pulling loads.
  4. When carrying load, provide grips and handles for comfort and safety.
  5. Any load that needs lifting or lowering should be kept between the shoulder and the knuckle.
  6. Bending can be easily eliminated by placing materials at work level.
  7. Twisting can also be eliminated by providing adequate space for the entire body to turn.
  8. If objects are being handled manually, reduce their size, keep the load close to the body, and eliminate all reaches that go beyond 16 inches.
  9. When pushing and pulling objects, reduce the distance and lessen the force.
  10. Ensure that the loads are carried while keeping arms straight down.

Every worker should be specifically educated on handling oddly-shaped objects that are bulky and they should be directed on safe practices for handling heavy objects.

The Importance of Using the Right Material Handling Equipment

Material handling equipment is available in a wide variety ranging from robust lifting platforms to heavy-duty conveyor belts. There is a specific solution for every conceivable set of material handling requirements. While manual material handling is laborious, risky, and time-consuming, using the right material handling equipment makes the task quick, efficient, safe, and easy. It not only reduces the risk of injury when carrying heavy items but also eliminates the possibility of musculoskeletal problems. When it comes to safety, conveyor belt systems bring massive benefits for handling various weight loads of all sizes and styles. Apart from conveyor belts systems, material handling equipment is also available in the form of storage equipment likes shelves, racks, pallets, and containers, automated equipment for handling moving materials and bulk material equipment like trucks, drums, silos, and grain elevators.

An important thing to ensure when handling automated equipment is to provide proper training to employees. When operators know how to handle the equipment safely and correctly, no damage is caused and efficiency is improved.

Author Bio:

Kevin Hill heads the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries. He also writes about how to care for and get optimized performance from different scales in different situations. He enjoys spending time with family and going on camping trips.

4 Most Important Tips for Fire Safety

4 Most Important Tips for Fire Safety

Whenever a fire breaks out at home, it is best to leave the place as early as possible. However, there are some things to remember and more importantly to follow, while escaping the catastrophe. This post will explain, step-by-step, what to do in case of fire.

What should you do When Fire Breaks Out at Your Workplace/Home?

There are several things that can lead to a house fire. However, what matters the most is that how you can save yourself when you are stuck in such situation. How? Let’s have a look.

  1. Keep Your Cool

The most common, or we may say the natural reaction of anyone, who is stuck in a fire is getting panic. This is exactly what you have to avoid. DO NOT PANIC! This is because, when you go into the panic state, your brain stops working, and you don’t know how to get out of the situation. So, the very first thing that you should do is KEEP YOUR COOL! This will allow you to think of ways of saving yourself. Some of these ways are:

  • Call 911 for help, and tell them your location.
  • Don’t have access to the phone? Not a problem, you can yell for help.
  • Keep the smoke out by plugging clothes, or blankets to any vents or cracks.

Once you have a clear and calm head, you can think of the second point below.

  1. Plan Your Escape Route

Now, you need to identify all the exits of your home, so that you can plan your escape route. See? This is why you need to keep your head cool to remember all the possible escape routes, such as a back door, front door, or emergency exit. Once you are ready with all the possible routes, decide which route you are going to follow. However, always have a backup route, so that if the decided route is blocked by fire, you can immediately jump to plan B (second route), without wasting much time.

Is there a specific technique to follow, while actually escaping the catastrophe? Yes, there is. This brings us to our next important point.

  1. Get Down, and Crawl

When a fire breaks out, the smoke rises up to the ceiling. Thus, there is some breathable air near the floor surface. Besides this, the temperature goes on increasing towards the ceiling. This means that the temperature of the floor is lower than that towards the ceiling. So, it is strongly recommended that you get down on your knees, and crawl your way to escape. Another thing you need to remember while crawling is that keep your nose covered with a piece of towel or cloth. This will stop the smoke from entering your body, which can make you dizzy and pass out.

Are you stuck in an apartment, several floors up, and want to go down? In such cases, always remember the following point.

  1. Strictly, No Elevator Please!

This is the most important point to remember. An elevator is not the option for coming down in case of fire. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. It is an electrical device, which can fail during a fire, or worse can itself catch fire. So, there are two things that can happen, when you choose the elevator – either you’ll get trapped, or if the elevator gives out, you’ll enjoy your fall several floors down, along with it. Thus, it is strongly recommended to use the emergency staircases instead.

You need to bear all these points in your mind, which will help you save yourself as well as other, during a fire. In addition to the above-mentioned steps, there are various fire protection products that you can easily depend on. These include gloves, fire extinguishers, etc. It is important that you source these products from a reliable supplier like GND Consulting and Supply.

5 Must-Follow Safety Tips While Doing Electrical Work

5 Must-Follow Safety Tips While Doing Electrical Work

Image Source: https://www.logicum.co

Did you know that about 97% of all electricians have been either shocked or injured while working? Shocking, isn’t it (no pun intended)! There is always some risk when you are working around electrical products, which is why you must maintain safety and work with extreme caution.

Being careless around electrical equipment can cause serious injuries, some of which may even lead to death. You must maintain strict safety standards in the workplace so that no one is at risk. Here are 5 safety tips that you must follow if you work with electrical equipment.

  • Maintain Situational Awareness

You must be absolutely aware of your surroundings. Make a habit of locating overhead power lines and knowing where they are. You must keep a distance of 10 feet between the equipment and overhead lines when you move tall equipment near overhead power cables.

Don’t forget something basic like avoiding contact with live electrical wires or circuits. Keep a track of what’s live and what isn’t. It would be better to treat all electrical circuits as if they were live to be on the safe side. You must be aware of the condensation on a job site. Be aware of the rooms temperature as condensation occurs when the room gets cold. You must avoid using electrical equipment in these rooms whenever possible. If there’s no workaround, mount the equipment vertically.

Lastly, take note of all the safety signs on the job site and follow the instructions without fail.

  • Always Wear Appropriate Clothing

If you work around electricity, make sure you wear something that fits you well and isn’t too baggy or loose as ill-fitting clothes put you at a risk of getting entangled by moving parts of the machinery. Moreover, baggy pants may also put you at a risk of tripping over electrical cables, which is dangerous while working around electricity.

Apart from that, it is imperative that you wear clothes that are designed for electrical work such as non-conductive gloves, shoes with insulated soles, etc. Opt for 100% cotton or wool as they are less likely to catch fire and stay away from fabrics like polyester, nylon, etc.

  • Take Necessary Precautions when Digging

If you undertake digging, you must first report to the relevant authorities so that you can get the area surveyed and mark the utilities within or near the job site. Once you are on the site, you must maintain minimum 2 feet from the marks that identify the utility. If it is absolutely necessary to dig near the utility line marks, avoid using electrical devices and rather do it by hand.

  • Perform Equipment Service Regularly

You must perform regular maintenance on all the electrical equipment to make sure that everything is working properly. Identify if there is any breakdown or wear and tear on the equipment which can put you at risk and fix the issue through inspections and service. If your electrical product is old, get in touch with your nearest electric service provider to change it.

  • Avoid Touching Things You Aren’t Familiar With

If you are not familiar with any piece of equipment, do not touch it. Never handle electrical equipment with wet hands or feet or if condensation is formed on it. If you are working in a hot environment, your perspiration may also become a hazard near electricity.

If a co-worker comes in contact with a live conductor, disconnect the power source from the circuit breaker or use a non-conductive material to pull the plug. Do not grab the person getting electrocuted, the electrical conductor or the cord.

You must maintain workplace safety at all times when you use electrical products. Service the electrical wires and electrical conduit fittings regularly to be on the safe side.

Author Bio:

Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D&F Liquidators and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He’s got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field. Jeson lives in Hayward, CA and loves to explore different cuisines that the food trucks in the Bay area has to offer.

Trucking Safety Tips

Trucking Safety Tips

Safety is a subject that all truckers need to keep at the top of their list of things to think about when on the road. Truck driving is a profession that not only comes with a decent salary, but it’s also one that comes with risks for injury and even fatality in the line of work. According to the FMCSA, there were more than 4300 fatal accidents involving large trucks and buses as well as more than 87,000 involved in accidents that resulted in injury in 2015.

Below are tips to keep truckers and motorists on the road safe from harm on the road.

  1. Stay Alert! Truck drivers need to stay alert and keep an eye on their surroundings. When traffic is heavy and congested, check for safe ways to slide out of line to avoid a crash. To stay alert, it’s important to get enough sleep before jumping behind the wheel. Fatigued driving is a huge contributor to fatal crashes and can be avoided with rest and paying attention when driving.

 

  1. If a trucker needs to park the truck, it should never be parked on the side of the road without using flashers, safety triangles and flares to alert other drivers that the truck is parked. Unless the truck is having a mechanical issue and is not able to pull off the road at the next exit, it should not park on the side of any road where the speed limit is higher than 30 mph or where it will obstruct the view for other motorists to safely drive. If the truck breaks down, it is best to contact a licensed heavy duty truck transporter to make sure it can be safely moved off the roadway as fast as possible to reduce the risk of an accident.

 

  1. Slow Down! Big trucks simply do not maneuver like a small sports car will around a curve and they certainly won’t stop on a dime if someone abruptly stops in front of them. Truckers need to watch their speed and reduce it around curves, in work zones and when traffic is congested to avoid a crash.

 

  1. Blind Spots. All vehicles have blind spots, but for a big truck, it can be difficult to see small vehicles on the road. Truckers need to check their blind spots frequently because cars often do not realize that there are certain areas that truck drivers just cannot see them. For car and small vehicle drivers, truck drivers may not be able to see you when your vehicle is positioned in the following areas around the truck:
  • Behind the truck.
  • Beside the truck at the front of the cab.
  • Beside the truck but in a bad location that is too close for the side mirrors to see.

 

  1. Weather Updates! Whether the sun is bright and shining when you head out in the truck or you see cloudy skies ahead, a trucker always needs to stay updated on the weather report for all areas the truck will be driven. Knowing what the weather has in store can help a driver know what to expect and allows the driver to plan on how fast the truck can be driven and how long a delivery may take.

Are you a licensed truck driver who works long hours on the road each day? If so, it is up to you to take safety seriously and stay on top of the things that can cause crashes and pose a risk to your safety and the safety of other motorists on the road.

 

 

Lead testing in the workplace: why is it so important?

Lead testing in the workplace: why is it so important?

For a long time, lead appeared to be something of a miracle metal. One of the earliest metals discovered by humans, it’s soft, malleable, and has a low melting temperature, making it perfect for a variety of applications. Back in the days of the Roman Empire it was used to build water pipes, aqueducts and even cooking pots (apparently to enhance the flavour of food!), whilst the ancient Egyptians used it as an ingredient in kohl, a cosmetic applied to the eyes. In more modern times, it was used in ammunition, ceramic glazes, paints and protective coatings.

Unfortunately, in the late 19th century it was discovered that lead is actually incredibly toxic to mammals. A potent neurotoxin, it accumulates in the bones and soft tissues of the body. This can eventually lead to convulsions, coma and even death at dangerously high levels. This was a huge health hazard. For instance, it was often used as an additive in paint, which it oddly gave a sweet taste to. This made tasting lead paint very tempting for young children, leading to childhood lead poisoning becoming endemic in certain areas. It’s also since been theorised that the Roman’s fondness for lead hastened the Empire’s downfall!

Children are most susceptible to lead poisoning simply because their bodies are smaller. However, bans and regulations around the world mean children are now unlikely to come into contact with lead in their day to day lives. In fact, the group now most at risk of lead poisoning are adults working in the smelting, refining, alloying and casting industries.

Lead is impossible to smell, see or taste, so until symptoms of lead poisoning appear it’s hard to know it’s there. This means lead testing is essential in high risk workplaces to protect against long-term health problems. If it’s present, adequate guidelines should be put in place for the healthy, safety, and general wellbeing of the workforce. Paint Inspection Ltd have created this handy infographic which goes into more detail about the dangers of lead in the workplace…

 

Office Hygiene – What’s Hiding On Your Desk?

Office Hygiene – What’s Hiding On Your Desk?

Where does your mind goes when you hear the words bacteria ridden? Does it go to toilet seats? The mushy tomato in the fridge? The sweaty gym shorts under the bed? The dog’s toy that he someone keeps managing to get out of the bin?

Well, have you ever thought about your office desk?

I bet you’re looking at it right now. Notebooks scattered around. Half a bag of crisps. A pen in between your teeth.

A recent study carried out by The Cleaning Services Group, has claimed that the average office desk is 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat.

The Average Worker

According to the study, 8 in 10 people in the UK work in offices. Those 8 in 10 people spend an average of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. In their offices.

If we spend so much of our time in the office then how come we treat it so badly? Even our toilet seat at home is cleaner than our office?

Is it because our office it isn’t our home? Do we care a bit less?

It isn’t our job to clean the office? It isn’t our responsibility.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but when it comes to office hygiene we’re all responsible.

Can I really get sick from a dirty desk?

We all know that if someone comes in with the cold, there is a very good chance everyone else will get sick too.

Sure, the risk of getting the cold or flu increases, but what about everyone’s least favourite friend, the norovirus? Also known as the stomach bug?

Or even worse you could get Hep A&B or Influenza!

You might think it’s not a big deal to come into work with a little cold, you can struggle through your shift, and at worse take a day or two off work. But if you’re taking a day off work then who is picking up your work?

Productivity decreases as people are stretched with workloads or when feeling under the weather, and stress increases. Â

And what about absenteeism?

In one year in the UK 131 million days were lost due to sickness, costing the economy £29 BILLION.

Bad office hygiene can make you sick, make others sick, and decrease productivity, as well as causing unnecessary stress.

And to think, most of it is avoidable with some common sense, and by promoting a healthy and hygienic office environment.

The facts behind the germs

A huge  80% of infections are spread through contaminated surfaces, rather than through coughing and sneezing as most people believe.

It is the surfaces that people touch most, where the germs are lurking in their thousands if not millions!  The office phone, the buttons on the microwave, the printer, and don’t forget the door handles.

Unfortunately for us, bacteria and viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours.

Plenty of time to spread through the entire office.

An appalling statistic has been established that 32% of office workers don’t wash their hands after visiting the toilet! And these are the hands that come in contact with more than 10 million bacteria per day!

So you can imagine how easy it is for germs to spread.

The most commonly touched surfaces in the workspace is your Desk.

The average office desk has more than 10 million bacteria hiding on it.

Your keyboard containing 3, 295 bacteria per square inch and the mouse adding an extra 1676 per square inch.

To contrast this, the average toilet seat only has 49 bacteria microbes per square inch!

And would you eat your lunch of a toilet seat? No, that’s disgusting! Yet 2 in 3 office workers eat at their bacteria ridden desks, and 1 in 5 don’t even wipe it down before doing so.

One person carrying a virus will infect 50% of all equipment and employees in their vicinity in just FOUR HOURS!

Who is responsible?

You are! Everyone in the office is responsible to ensure their is a healthy and hygienic working environment.

Management is responsible to communicate the facts with the staff to involve the staff to take accountability.

The management should also provide solutions such as bins, soap, cleaning stations, and ensure cleaning regimes take place.

Staff should take responsibility for their personal hygiene and their work station. Be proactive by preventing the spread of bacteria by using bins and washing hands. Staff should also take accountability and call in sick to work if sick with a spreadable illness.

About Safety Training Scotland

Since Safety Training Scotland was founded in 2013, it has delivered courses to over 2000 successful delegates. At Safety Training we’re passionate about changing the negative perception of health and safety training. Our highest priority is not just to inform, but also to engage and inspire. We are transforming the safety training industry and putting an end to “death by powerpoint”.

The Economic and Health Implications of Workplace Stress

The Economic and Health Implications of Workplace Stress

 

Did you know that about four in ten working adults, or 44% employees, said in response to a survey that their current job affected their overall health? In addition, more than four in ten people also mentioned that their job had a major impact on their family and social life, their weight issues, eating patterns and sleeping habits. This was found in a survey of working adults in the US, conducted jointly by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Work-related stress among employees is known to have an adverse effect on their health, the well-being of their family as well as economic implications for the business and the nation as well.

Stress Impacts the Health of an Employee

  • Psychological Disorders – Depression and burnout, as a result of work-related stress, can have a negative impact on the health of a worker and can even affect personal relationships.  “It’s not just your body that is affected by stress, your relationships and overall life satisfaction are also significantly impacted,” says an expert at Nature’s Wellness.

 

  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse – The onset of depression, due to workplace stress, has also been known to act as a trigger for alcohol and substance abuse in an individual. Working erratic shift timings, putting in excessively long working hours, taking up more than one job and constant job insecurity are some of the main reasons that drive people towards becoming heavy drinkers and using drugs for the perceived ‘stress-relieving’ effects, which any physician will tell you is a false notion.

 

  • Chronic Diseases  –  Constant levels of stress, be it because of an inability to strike a perfect work-life balance or any other reason, can have long-term health complications, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

 

How Workplace Stress Affects the Bottom Line

  • Economic Costs of Workplace Stress –  In the United States, an estimated one million workers are absent every day from work due to stress, according to survey findings published by The American Institute of Stress (AIS). The AIS goes on to report that this last-minute absenteeism tends to cost companies, on an average, around $602 per worker each year, which in the case of large companies could even reach $3.5 million annually.

 

  • Loss in Productivity –  It is interesting to note that loss in productivity is not only due to absenteeism but also occurs in the case of what is known as “presenteeism” or a situation where workers are reporting to work but are not working at their optimum levels because of stress-induced medical conditions like depression.

 

  • Workplace Injury –  Whether it is an individual’s inability to handle stress or the prevalence of stressful working conditions, it could lead to low levels of concentration and result in workplace injuries. In fact, in 2014 alone, there were more than 3 million work-related injuries and more than 4,800 occupational fatalities, costing the US exchequer a sum of $50 billion, according to Glorian Sorensen, Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

 

The AIS survey findings cited above estimate that the US economy loses over $300 billion annually on account of absenteeism, reduced productivity, workplace accidents, healthcare costs and workers’ compensation. It, therefore, becomes important for employees experiencing work stress and the company they are working for to work in tandem and find ways to lower stress through identifying the causes and working on solutions. This in turn would have a positive impact on the well-being of the employees and the financial health of the business.

 

How Criminals Think – 4 Tips to Help You Stay Safe

How Criminals Think – 4 Tips to Help You Stay Safe

Winning is rarely an accident.

The best sport teams in the world work hard to get there. I.m not talking about simply practicing hard. Winning requires studying the opposition.

Sports teams can usually predict their opponents’ reactions. They can counter these actions to limit the opponents’ success.

Criminals do this with you. They study your home and workplace. They know your weaknesses. If they know how you or your security system will react they can counter or bypass it.

Do you now the criminals that are studying you?

You’ll build a safer environment if you think the way they do.

Consider these viewpoints. It will help you build a stronger offensive.

  1. How Daily Activities Put You in Danger

Criminals are opportunists.

They know which situations are more beneficial to them. They look for:

  • People who aren’t giving attention to their surroundings
  • Premises with a lot of traffic so they can disappear in a crowd
  • Roads that lead to highways for a quick getaway

Here are two general activities that criminals take advantage of.

Moving or Renovating

When you’re moving or renovating you’re preoccupied. There’s a change in routine and you give less attention to security.

It’s easy to see which buildings owners prepare for a move. Moving vans, boxes and bubble wrap outside are tell tale signs. The same relates to building supplies. Chances are your security system is disconnected if you’re busy with a construction project.

Criminals take note.

They can highjack a moving truck or follow it to your new premises. While your security system isn’t in place they can easily break in and rob you.

They can partner with moving company employees or construction workers. These individuals can leave your doors unlocked or allow certain boxes to disappear.

Driving

Many attacks or high-jackings take place in the early evening. On your way home from work you’re tired and distracted. Your reactions are slow.

This makes you an easy target. Before you can call the authorities criminals can overpower you.

Stay in control by being extra vigilant in these situations. Criminals are trained to read human behavior. If they see you looking around they’ll most likely back off.

Now think. What other activities at home or at your office make you and easy victim?

  1. Criminal Communication Methods

It pays off to be observant.

Criminals notice where we let our guard down. Luckily they sometimes do too.

Many criminals work in syndicates. They have to communicate with each other but what methods are safe to them?

  • Talking via Smartphones creates proof of their criminal activities.
  • There are usually members of the public who know one or two petty criminals. Crime organizers don’t want to be seen with petty criminals. The connection can get them caught.

So what’s their solution?

Have you ever driven past a premises with odd features on the exterior of the walls or lawn? These can be signs criminals create to signal others in the syndicate. While one group finds ideal targets others break in.

Signs include:

  • Markings on walls
  • Stacked garbage
  • Broken plants

Each sign represents a unique feature. This can show robbers where women stay alone or where large dogs are.

You can protect yourself by removing signs and checking your vulnerabilities. If you realize there’s a syndicate in your area improve your security.

  1. Out of Sight

If your backyard can’t be seen from the street’s secure right? Wrong.

Privacy gives criminals time. They may not be able to scout properly beforehand. But if no one can see what they’re up to they have time to figure out how to gain access to the building.

Don’t assume any area of your premises is secure. Installing adequate security features built by professionals is vital. This relates to doors and windows. Steel doors or security grilles take a while to get past. If they didn’t know these features were there before entering the premises they won’t be prepared to deal with them.

Criminals know they’re at risk if they take too long. Waste their time so they have to give up in the end.

  1. Acting Skills

Don’t think you’ll recognize a criminal for what he or she is.

They’re corrupted enough to hurt or steal from others. They can put up a good act too.

Criminals know what groups of people garner sympathy from the public:

  • Widowed women
  • Religious groups
  • Charity foundations

Criminals even use children in their syndicates.

Don’t open a door to someone you don’t know. Not even if they seem to be in trouble. They want access to your premises.

Security cameras even fake ones are an excellent deterrent. No criminal wants irrefutable proof that can be used in court.

The more you understand criminals the more you can limit their actions. Be on the offence instead of defending. It’s possible to win the fight against crime. Let no criminal take advantage because one player neglects his or her duty. Make sure everyone on the premises is part of your plan.

Are you wearing the right workwear?

Are you wearing the right workwear?

 

In the recent years, the need for employees’ personal safety and protection in hazardous work environments have reached an all-time high. The safety rules and regulations have never been more detailed and comprehensive. It is of utmost importance for companies now to make sure that their employees are well protected and covered for any potential risks they may have to face on job. In jobs, where high-risk hazards such as fire breakout, high-voltage electric arc flash or any other form of inflammable substances are involved, it is imperative for the company to introduce personal protective clothing or equipment for their employees.

Fire retardant fabric used as employee uniform not only provides necessary protection for the workers but also gives rise to a sense of personal protection at work site. With proper training for personal safety, together the organization and employees can minimize the risk of any probable hazards. This is the reason that the use of FR clothing has become not only much more common but also a prerequisite by law in many developed as well as developing countries. This has also resulted in a consistent development of industry safety standards and continued growth of the FR clothing sector. FR or protective clothing protects the wearer in the following ways:

  • It resists burning and self-extinguishes flames
  • It does not melt onto wearer’s skin
  • It provides protection from heat through thermal insulation
  • It does not break open safeguarding wearer’s skin from flames
  • It minimizes the chance of burn injury thus increasing the likelihood of survival

It is extremely important to note that although FR clothing reduces the risk of burning, it does not eliminate it. It is however designed to keep the extent of damage down to under 50 percent. But accidents still happen and FR clothing does increase the survival rates that much more and even provides valuable escape time for the wearer.

In order to choose the right protective wear for the employees, there are three important questions for any organization to ask:

Primary Hazards

There are many different kinds of hazards workers may have to face at their workplace. But there are primarily four kinds of major hazards that require utmost protection. The choice for FR clothing will majorly depend on the kind of risk involved.

Flash Fire  Flash fires form as a result of concentrated fuels such as combustibles solids, liquids, gases or dust mixing up with enough oxygen causing an unexpected ignition. Flash fires are sudden and short in duration remaining for only a few seconds but they are a common hazard in fuel plants, molten metal and gas foundries, mining, oil and gas refineries, extraction services etc.

Electrical Arc Flash  An electrical arc flash is an explosive blast of flame that can result from electrical equipment failure, human error or interference with high-voltage current. Arc flash lasts for only a second but it can wreak havoc in its wake producing deafening sound, also causing molten metals and debris to fly at super high velocity and producing extreme radiant heat (35000F+).

Molten Metals  Specifically, in welding jobs, metals such as aluminum, magnesium, titanium and other alloys have to be heated at extremely high temperatures (between 520 to 3700F) to get them in a workable state. Even the teeniest amount of molten metal can end up severely damaging exposed skin or setting fire to regular clothing. This kind of hazard most commonly exists in industries such as steel mills, foundries, fabricators, and welding jobs.

Chemical Spills  Chemical spills are referred to as any harmful biological, radiological and/or physical substance or agent likely to pose risk to humans and the environment. Such spills can result in virtually any kind of reaction from burning to allergies to fatality.

Why is compliance for Correct Fire-retardant clothing important?

Compliance to safety procedures and regulations works on many levels for both companies and employees. Not only does it minimize the risk for injuries for workers but also save funds and bad publicity for companies. Many benefits make a solid case for FR clothing in the long run:

  • Provides safety and proper protection for employees
  • Emphasizes a culture of personal safety
  • Develops an environment of trust for workers
  • Minimizes costs associated with injuries, man-hours and accident claims
  • Evades legal issues and fines
  • Builds a goodwill for the company

Industry standards

As per the guidelines of local protective authorities, organizations are responsible for identifying and assessing the risk conditions their employees may be exposed to as well as employ the best safety procedures and practices available in order to counter these risks. Protective apparel is an important part of safety clauses in most developed countries. In the light of these guidelines too, the FR clothing has to be tested for flame resistance, heat resistance, thermal shrinkage as well as thermal protective performance (TTP) testing for each layer of protective fabric.

How to choose the right FR workwear?

As far as complete compliance for FR clothing is concerned, it is not a question of merely choosing a well-known supplier. The choice for the right kind of protective wear depends on many factors. The first and foremost thing would be to perform a hazard analysis of the facility. For instance, in the case of a risk pertaining to arc flash hazard, a Flash Hazard Analysis of the facility would be necessary to determine the level of protection required for the workers. However, a difficult and time-consuming job, it can be achieved in several ways:

  • A detailed evaluation of each electrical task can be performed by an inside electrical resource of the company. A software can also be used to perform the required analysis as long as essential data inputs are available.
  • Another approach is to check the electrical tasks against the tasks tables provided by local authorities. But in this case too, the resource doing the analysis has to be knowledgeable enough to determine what kind of tasks match the tables.
  • The third option is probably the most costly option is hiring an outside expert to do the analysis. But it is also the easiest and the most comprehensive way as well.

The next step is the categorization of potential hazards and classification of the appropriate FR clothing.

Identify hazard type  Determining what kind of hazard is involved – whether fire, arc flash or molten metals – will dictate the further choice for protective wear required in a particular situation – the material of FR clothing, hazard ratings, apparel type etc.

Review Standards for Identified Hazard  It is extremely important to review the safety standards applicable in your case as there may be new clauses or updates.

Determine the Level of Protection Required  The performance of FR clothing is quantified on the basis of level of protection they offer which is measured in calories (heat energy) applied per square centimeter of surface area. The use of garments with insufficient ratings will simply not serve the purpose. Similarly, ones with higher ratings than required, while may do the job, but they will be a cause of unnecessary discomfort for the employees and added costs for the company.

Research the Different Protective Wear available in the Market  There is a considerable variety of FR fabrics and finished garments available in the market. There are multiple factors that need to be taken into account for the right selection of FR clothing from material, cuts, colors and specifications to strength, comfort, durability, price and service support to compliance to proper arc ratings.

Evaluate the reputation of FR clothing suppliers  Where risky conditions are concerned, it is better to play safe and go for suppliers who have a proven record in the manufacturing of FR clothing and enjoy client trust. A detailed background information of suppliers can be obtained from public and private safety organizations. But much more important is a comprehensive wear trial for not only will this exercise paint a true picture for on-site performance but also gain employee feedback.

On-job Training  Once the appropriate FR apparel has been chosen and made available for employees, the next step is to train employees in safety practices as well as proper use and care of FR garments. This sort of training is significant for getting most out of the incurred costs on FR garments since they won’t be of much use if not used and maintained with care.

Summary

So here is what we are trying to establish in this step by step guide. Let’s summarize what the right protective clothing or FR wear should do for you:

  • It should live up to the appropriate safety regulations applicable in your particular case.
  • It should fulfill all the protective needs involved in your particular work hazard.
  • It should fit the individual workers comfortably.

And further the company needs to:

  • Train the workers in the proper use of protective clothing.
  • Train the supervisors as well in order to ensure they understand how to enforce the use of protective clothing by the workers.
  • Train employees in the careful use of protective clothing.
  • Ensure the protective clothing is adequately cleaned and maintained.

 

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