Category Archives: Respiratory Issues

Safety in the Lab – Essential Equipment You Need

Safety in the Lab – Essential Equipment You Need

Any laboratory that practises good safety will take care to ensure it has the right equipment on hand at all times.

No matter the industry – pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial engineering or food production – the same safety precautions must be taken to create a safe, productive and enjoyable working environment for all.

Below are some of the main safety clothing and equipment that should be found in most laboratories. Though the needs and requirements of labs will vary, many of these will lend themselves to a variety of processes and uses.

The equipment can be roughly categorised into three groups:

–          General PPE (used daily)

–          General purpose equipment

–          Specialised equipment, if required.

General PPE

  1. Safety shoes/boots        Safety shoes or boots are used for a number of reasons in the lab.

First, they improve grip performance on the lab floor, helping to avoid slips and trips.

Second, they protect the feet against falling heavy or sharp objects, which would otherwise puncture normal shoes.

Safety boots incorporate protective toe caps as well as other protective features such as slip-resistant soles and insulation against extremes. Safety shoes, meanwhile, incorporate protective toe caps like boots but are available metal-free as “composite footwear”. This makes them much more lightweight.

There are many different types of safety shoes on the market, which can make choosing the right ones overwhelming. However, all in all, safety shoes must:

–          Meet the legal requirements

–          Be the correct type for the task or worker

–          Be sued or worn correctly by all staff required.

Safety shoes ideally need to be slip-resistant, avoid static build-up and suit the main contaminants and surfaces in your workplace.

  1.    Safety Glasses/Goggles

Safety glasses and goggles protect against foreign objects that may splash into the eye, as well as cuts and scrapes to the cornea.

Some of the most common workplace injuries happen to the eyes, 90% of which could be easily avoided by the correct safety eyewear being worn.

The most common types of eye injury include splashes from grease and oil; burns from steam; ultraviolet or infrared radiation exposure, and flying wood or metal chips.

Also, some lab staff may be at risk of acquiring infectious diseases from eye exposure.

Types of safety eyewear include:

–          Safety glasses with side shields (worn in areas with flying particles and dust)

–          Goggles (work when working with chemicals)

–          Special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets (for working near hazardous radiation).

Eyewear should be selected based on the hazards of each activity. Prescription safety glasses are also available for those that usually wear spectacles, with safety glasses having much stronger lenses and frames than regular glasses.

The most common materials for safety glasses are plastic, polycarbonate and Trivex, with polycarbonate offering the most protection.

  1.    Safety Gloves

As with other PPE, safety gloves need to be suited to the hazards workers will be working with. They will usually be made of nitrile or latex, depending on allergies, but different gloves are more suited to different types of chemicals.

Glove selection can be determined by:

–          Chemical type

–          Temperature extremes and cryogenic properties

–          Physical hazards (piercing objects)

–          pH

–          Toxicity

–          Infectious potential of biological hazards.

It’s also necessary to consider whether contact with the chemical will be incidental or extended.

If the contact will be incidental (short-lived), disposable gloves are usually fine. Nitrile gloves are generally preferred over latex due to their chemical resistance and easy visibility when ripped.

If contact will be extended, norfoil gloves are recommended for highly toxic or easily absorbed through skin. These are usually reusable, but must be washed, left to air-dry and checked for punctures and tips after each use.

  1.    Lab Coat

A lab coat should fit properly and chosen according to the type of hazard and chemicals. There are various styles available, including women’s fit and varying sleeve lengths, so it’s always possible to find the fit you need.

Lab coats should be worn in the work area at all times buttoned or snapped, with the sleeves rolled down. They should be removed whenever one exits the work area, for example, when leaving work or going to the restroom.

If contaminated by spills or splashes, the lab coat should be removed immediately and disposed of as hazardous waste. They come in a range of materials – from flame-resistant Nomex and cotton, to traditional materials like polycotton blends and polyester (a good barrier).

General Purpose Equipment

 5. Fume Extraction

Fume extraction can be acquired in the form of either a cabinet or localised fume hood.

When choosing between the two, a hazard analysis will need to be done first of all to see what contaminants need to be removed, as well as air monitoring, which will determine what chemicals workers are exposed to.

The pertinent data obtained will determine what type of fume extraction system you need.

Ducted hood extraction systems are ventilated enclosures, where the ducting connects to the outside so contaminants are pulled out of the building. They are safe and easy to maintain and usually made up of a base, work surface, hood, blower and ducting.

Biosafety cabinets are another form of fume extraction that use HEPA filtration. They are categorised by three classes:

  • Class I – air is drawn away from the lab worker and across the work surface
  • Class II – air is drawn safely around operator, whilst sterile air flows downwards onto the work surface and exhaust air is HEPA filtered before either being recirculated into the lab or released into the atmosphere through ductwork or a canopy.
  • Class III – a gas-tight enclosure, with both intake of air and exhaust air passing through HEPA filtration.

Biosafety cabinets provide a safe environment for the research and examination of infectious microorganisms or other hazardous particulates.

Specialised Equipment

Full Face Respirators

These are highly recommended for all clandestine lab decontamination jobs, as eyes and nostrils can be an entry point for hazardous chemicals.

It is important to choose the right type of respirator. In secondary areas (where contamination has spread but no actual cooking took place), it may be acceptable to wear a half-face respirator with protective glasses.

Consider also the type of filter to be used with the respirator. Some only work in certain situations; for example, clan lab remediation jobs require the use of an ammonia filter.

  1. Tyvek Suits

When it comes to protective suits, Tyvek make an excellent choice. As the trusted leader for a variety of products, Tyvek suits offers high protection along with comfort, being made from versatile materials which are tough yet lightweight.

Tyvek’s creator DuPoint are widely known for their extensive testing against things like inward leakage, penetration and permeation. The suits are an excellent barrier against liquids and aerosols, are anti statically treated, and are “low linting” thanks to the non-woven fabric.

Because Tyvek suits aren’t made from films or laminates that can wear off over time, they are extremely long-lasting and abrasion-resistant.

Tyvek suits can provide protection against chemicals, oils, liquids, dust particles and fibres and airborne elements. They can be used for a variety of scenarios, including chemical safety, pharmaceuticals, biological hazard protection and chemical protection.

Different suits are tailored to different hazards, so as with anything else, always determine the type of hazard and select the correct suit accordingly.

  1. Dust Mask

Processes such as grinding, sieving sediment or plant materials or polishing can generate fine dust particles in the air.

Dust masks protect against these particles, which can be potentially harmful, and cause allergic reactions and asthma, if these processes cannot be carried out in a fume cupboard.

Dust masks can also be worn when handling or transferring powders in bulk.

  1. Chemical Absorbant granules

Chemical spill cleanup is something that must always be planned for in any lab, with the right tools on hand to control and manage spills when they occur.

Different industries require different types of spill cleanup processes, but chemical absorbent granules serve many different purposes and carry many advantages over other spill cleanup substances, with a simplistic and flexible application to small spills.

There are a few different types od chemical absorbent granules on the market. These are:

  • Multi-zorb – an industrial spillage absorbant quality granule clay. Multi-zorb absorbs spillages without granular breakdown, and is clean, dry and safe.
  • New Safety thread – this is non-marking, non-dusting, and suitable for strong chemicals.
  • Light Plus – paper pellet granules.
  • E-Sorb – fire retardant wood fibre granules.
  • ELCEF fibre – biodegradable oil selective fibre.
  1. Saline Eye wash

The first 10-15 seconds after a hazardous chemical coming into contact with the eye can often be the most critical. If immediate flushing is carried out, this greatly minimises the likelihood of any serious damage being done.

Emergency eyewash stations provide on-the-spot decontamination, helping workers flush away hazardous substances that can cause injury to the eye. They are an essential addition to the lab as they provide a necessary backup in the case of exposure to chemicals.

Saline is a very popular “flushing fluid” that is medically approved, and often used as a solution for eye washes.

The worker should use the eye wash station to flush the eyes for a minimum of 15 minutes, or 20 minutes if substance is not known.

The total flushing time may vary for different types of chemicals. For example, non-irritable substances may be flushed for only five minutes, whilst corrosives will need 30 and strong alkalis will need to be flushed for 60 minutes.

Whilst flushing, the user must keep eyes open and rotate numerous times in all directions to thoroughly remove the contamination.

About ReAgent

ReAgent has been producing chemicals for the food and construction industries for the last 40 years. As well as the supply of raw chemicals and materials, they also specialise in the production of chemical solutions, mixing, blending, filling and packing.

ReAgent is particularly proud of its high quality policies and transparent working relationship with its customers.

They are currently ISO accredited in both the 9001 Quality Standard and 14001 Environmental Standard, and are proactively working towards accreditation in ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety Standard.

The Importance of Personal Safety Equipment in the Workplace

The Importance of Personal Safety Equipment in the Workplace

Personal safety equipment is important for both the safety of employees as well as the company. Hard hats, safety gloves, and other devices can make a huge impact on your personal well-being.

But what are some of the most commonly used safety equipment? How exactly does it go about keeping you safe? Read on to learn more about the history of PPE and discover the important role personal protective equipment has played in the workplace.

 

The history of workplace PPE

While the history of personal protective equipment dates back beyond modern times, it wasn’t until 1970 that the US Government passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act. From that day, it put forth a new era where the entire US workforce would become protected from job-related injuries, illness, and even death.

After OSHA became established in 1971, the new agency set forth on a unique mission. To create a thorough program which would meet the legislative intent of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. After creating the program, they then went on to define the appropriate list of PPE for every job description a company could have. Since then, OSHA has continued to make extravagant advances in workplace safety and safety equipment.

Personal protective equipment

Even though laws have passed requiring the use of personal safety equipment, accidents still occur every year. But what are the most commonly used PPE that can keep skilled laborers safe while on the job?

Head protection

Most common on constructions sites, it’s easy to identify day laborers and skilled laborers by the hard hats they wear at work. Design to protect your head from falling objects such as equipment or materials. Protective head wear has protected workers for years from objects that would otherwise impact or penetrate them.

While some hard hats cover only your head, they can become quite intricate. Options are available offering extra protections with face shields, earmuffs, and more. For optimal protection, it’s important to wear head protection that is well-fitted and fits snugly on your head.

Eye and face protection

As important as head protection, laborers should take precautionary measures to keep their eye and face safe too. Products such as full-face shields protect your face from flying debris. Eye protection like safety goggles are necessary for skilled laborers who work with metal, wood, and hot temperatures.

Hand and skin protection

Important in just about every line of skilled labor or day labor, hand and skin protection can literally save the skin on your hands. Typically required by all jobs in the construction industry, it’s important to have adequate PPE such as gloves to avoid skin injury. Use hand and skin protection that help you avoid occupational hazards. Good skin protection would include rubber gloves, cut-resistant gloves, and heat-resistant gloves.

Respiratory protection

If you work on a site where toxic substances are present, it’s important to wear proper respiratory protection. You’ll want to keep vital organs like your lungs in good working order. Remember, just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you. PPE like respirators are not only designed to protect you from paint spray and dust, but they can also protect you from other danger. These can include substances such as pesticides, fumes, and other hazardous contaminants.

While those in the workforce may not be able to escape dangerous conditions all the time, you can do your best to protect yourself. Doing so, you’ll be able to take part in the workforce longer, get out alive, and remain healthy.

Author bio:

Ron Robbins is an online marketing specialist at Leadhub based in San Antonio Texas. He actively represents companies such as Dooley Tackaberry who provide quality personal protective equipment for those in the gas and oil industry.

How to be Safe in The Trade Industry – A Professional Guide

Working in trade is tough and each job comes with its own challenges and tasks that make it unique. From plumbers to builders you have to be skilled, qualified but most importantly, safe. Safety in the workplace has become a huge part of a day to day trade now and each profession is different. Lucky for you, we have teamed up with TradesmenTricks.com to provide a guide on safety for some of the top trades in the industry.

 Plumber

There are many aspects of being a plumber which can cause danger which will need equipment to prevent hazardous materials damaging items of clothing or even skin.

Full overalls or protective clothing is required, with minimal points that can be caught by obstructions as this can cause an issue if caught on nails for example. When working with possible electrical currents, non-conductive clothing should be worn for the safety of the plumber. The eyes should also be protected from sparks, drips, and dust, and leather or latex gloves are a necessity to guard against any injury to the hands or contact with hazardous or unpleasant materials.

Electrician

Electricians are tasked with a whole host of jobs and tasks including fitting, repairing and inspections just to name a few. Often working in confined spaces and will handle dangerous products which can cause electric shocks! So, remaining safe with PPE is vital.

Electricians should be equipped with rubber insulating gloves, with liner gloves used inside to diminish discomfort and leather protective gloves optionally worn over the top to protect against cuts, scratches, and punctures. Gloves should fit well and maintain flexibility to allow for dexterous handling of smaller items.

Plasterer

From walls and ceilings appliance to overseeing larger projects on construction site, plasterers are working with equipment which can cause damage to clothing and risk to the tradesmen’s health and well-being. With risks of developing problems such as rhinitis which can be solved by using a face mask to avoid breathing in harmful air containing dust.

Dust can also cause damage to the eyes so an eye mask or goggles and the perfect protective item to prevent danger, along with a hard hat being used at all times.

Plasterers can also be exposed to chemicals through skin contact, so full-body coverings are recommended, as are thick gloves to prevent injuring or irritating the hands.

Carpenter

Carpenters are in need of major protection as coming in contact with wood is dangerous. Producing sawdust, wood chipping and splinters are just a few minor risks. With working with power tools which can cause harm to the worker which will need protecting against also.

Anyone working extensively with wood needs to protect both their eyes and their ears. On-site carpentry involves lots of cutting and shaping, so safety glasses should be used to prevent sawdust invading the eyes, and proper hearing protectors must guard against the constant noise created by power tools.

Power tools are also a danger but can’t be avoided for the job, we recommend making sure that the surface you work on is clear and no obstructions are around which could lead to dangerous complications.

Post provided by  Oliver at  TradesmenTricks

Industrial Fabrication Quality and Safety Practices

Industrial Fabrication Quality and Safety Practices
When you’re in the metal fabrication industry, there are certain quality and safety practices you should follow to ensure that your workers are safe and that your clients are satisfied. Whether it is steel or aluminum fabrication, welders are always exposed to hazards that can endanger their lives.
In this article, we will discuss some of the guidelines you can follow to improve the quality and safety of welding practices in your workshop. Whether you’re working for a large construction company, a small metal fabrication workshop or a welding-centric company, you will find the something useful in this post.
Studying the Manual Carefully
These days, https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/el/whitepapers.pdf new technologies are always introduced to the metal fabrication workshop</a>. When operating the equipment, it is important that welders carefully read, study and follow the manual. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the manual’s content so that you can use the equipment efficiently. If you lose the manual, you can always contact the manufacturer and request for a replacement. You can also go online and download the manual from the manufacturer’s website.
Wear the Proper Work Clothing and Gear
People inside the work area should not wear shorts or short-sleeved shirts. No matter how long or short you’d use the machines, you should always wear proper safety gear which includes protective clothing and gloves, among others.
It is advisable for workers to wear flame-resistant clothing with tightly woven material. Some welding jackets may be thick and heavy, but you can always search for manufacturers that offer flame-resistant clothing that is lightweight.
Make sure that no skin is exposed to the damaging and harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays coming from the welding machine. This means that you should also make sure that your pockets, shirts and pant cuffs are buttoned. The aforementioned may catch sparks and get your skin smoldered.
When it comes to gloves, you do not have to settle for the generic ones. You can find ergonomic gloves that are designed with curved fingers, making certain welding processes more comfortable. Of course, you should not forget to protect your feet too. So, wear high-top leather shoes or boots and avoid wearing tennis or fabric shoes that may catch sparks. Moreover, do not let the legs of your pants go over your shoes.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Constantly breathing in the fumes and smoke coming from the welding process can be dangerous to your health. Inside an enclosed work space, toxic fumes or shielding gases may accumulate and replace the breathable air. So, do not forget to mount an exhaust hood so that workers can have proper ventilation inside the work area.
Keep your Eyes Protected
Welders who do neglect to wear proper eye gear may experience an ‘arc flash’. Although temporary, this condition can be painful and it is caused by exposing the eyes to the rays from the welding arc. Sometimes, people experience an arc flash hours after exposure and it would be too late for them to realize that they should have worn protective eyewear.
Do not neglect to wear a helmet that is fitted with a filter shade that protects your eyes. Moreover, under the helmet, remember to wear safety glasses with side shields and ear protection. Whether you’re doing steel fabrication or simply observing, always remember to wear a protective helmet.
Get Auto-Darkening Helmets to Avoid Stress Related Injuries
If you want a better option apart from traditionally fixed helmets, then go for auto-darkening helmets. Helmets like such are lighter which reduces neck fatigue. When they have to drop the hood, welders do not need to snap their head because of the helmet’s lightweight nature.
You can also save some seconds in between welds because of the auto-darkening function. When you’re working on bigger metal fabrication jobs, these few seconds can accumulate to several minutes. Consequently, you will have a faster turnaround time that will profit the business.
Keeping the Welding Workspace Organized
One of the most important safety practices in metal fabrication is organizing the workspace. Every piece of welding equipment must be clearly labelled and have a designated storage space. Moreover, the welding workspace must only have the tools and equipment that the welder uses and nothing more. For a more efficient and organized workspace, it is advisable to get a welding table with a scissors mechanism. This allows the welder to adjust the height according to the application so that they won’t have to switch from one table to another.
Encourage Efficient Operations by Using Boom-Mounted Wire Feeders
Wire feeders that are mounted with booms are efficient for welders who work on a high-production welding station. Having one increases the work station’s efficiency, flexibility, and comfort. Place the drive assembly at the end of the boom and the controls of the wire feeder at the 12- or 16-ft. boom’s base.
This option allows you to rotate the boom at 360 degrees. The set-up also allows you to move the boom up and down at 60 degrees, giving you around 24 to 32 ft. work area diameter. After setting the boom in its position the counterbalance will hold it in place.
Encourage Welders to Comply with Safety Rules
When new programs are rolled out, workers see the project as something that will only last for a few months. Metal fabrication companies can implement a different approach to promote welding safety.
Little by little, incorporate the guidelines listed in this article into the daily work activities of the welders. If they comply, motivate them by providing them with incentives. You can even encourage them more by using a weekly point system that will be rewarded by the end of the month.
Another effective approach you can use is the ‘stick’ in the ‘carrot and stick’ technique. When employees violate the quality and safety rules, give them a demerit. Implementing consequences lets workers know that you are serious about your guidelines. Some may think that this is a harsh way of treating your subordinates. However, you can combine it with the incentive program so that they will still have the motivation to do their best.
People working in the metal fabrication industry are exposed to hazardous processes. Apart from the equipment and the products, the labourers are the most important assets of a company. When they are kept healthy, safe and happy, you can ensure quality workmanship and business success.
Author Bio:
Ashley Batman is a writer at <a href=”http://ramfab.com.au/“>RamFab.com.au</a>. She worked as an online video editor before she started her writing career.
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/highwaysagency/“>Highways England</a>

A Safety-First Approach to Refueling a Forklift

A Safety-First Approach to Refueling a Forklift

Acute inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO) gas is considered to be one of the most frequent causes of occupational fatality in the United States, according to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), US National Library of Medicine (NLM). The fact that CO is a colorless and odorless gas makes it extremely hard to detect and therefore it is also dubbed as “the silent killer.”

According to the NCBI/NLM resource, fuel-powered forklifts are one of the common sources of CO poisoning. It is, therefore, extremely important for an employer to put in adequate safeguards around the use of forklifts, especially during the refueling process.

Even a small thing like using a high-quality safety valve can help prevent accidents during forklift refueling, which involves the use of dangerous gases. For instance, experts at Clark Cooper recommend a specific solenoid valve for hydrogen gas that can withstand its greater pressures, in comparison to other liquids or gases.

Follow OSHA Guidelines to the Letter

Did you know that workplace forklift training is governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under the US Department of Labor? There is already a set of guidelines by OSHA that act as best practices that every industrial unit should follow. These include forklifts with:

ü      Internal Combustion Engines

While forklifts with internal combustion engines are easier to refuel, a great amount of caution needs to be exercised while doing so to avoid spills and leaks. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • As a standard operating procedure, all hydraulics must be checked beforehand, along with the levels of oil and water, even before commencing the refueling operation.
  • It is a good time to check for any leaks that might have occurred in the battery, cylinder or fuel system.
  • Adequate ventilation is important and therefore the refueling must not occur in an area that is poorly ventilated.
  • You must be alert to unusual noises or excessive vibrations.
  • The color of the exhaust can reveal a lot. For instance, black smoke might be a sign of incomplete combustion.

ü      Liquid Petroleum Gas

  • Avoid confined areas, since LPG is heavier than air and can collect in low lying areas, thereby increasing the chances of an explosion, when it is accidentally exposed to heat.
  • LPG trucks must not be parked near heat sources.
  • The service valve must always be turned off when the forklift is parked for a long period of time.
  • LPG containers must always be handled by trained and authorized personnel only.

ü      Diesel and Gasoline

  • Safe locations should be earmarked for the refueling operation, preferably outdoors.
  • Refueling should not be carried out near heat sources, since that could lead to an explosion.
  • The engine must be switched off during the refueling process.
  • Transmission must be put to Neutral and the parking brakes applied.
  • No one should smoke while the refueling is in progress.
  • Keep an eye on the fuel levels. Avoid letting the forklift run out of fuel completely or being too low on fuel, since sediments can be drawn into the fuel system.
  • Do not fill the tank right to the top. Leave some space because fuel tends to expand when heated.

In addition, you must also be aware of the safety instructions as prescribed in the operator’s manual and comply with those guidelines as well. Remember, it is a federal offense for anyone below the age of 18 to operate an industrial forklift or for anyone above 18 years to operate it without proper training and certification.

Health and Safety Concerns in the US Cleaning Industry

Health and Safety Concerns in the US Cleaning Industry

 

The US Cleaning Industry is growing at a rapid pace, owing to the growth of industries such as healthcare. For instance, the employment of janitors and cleaners is expected to witness 6% growth from 2014 to 2024, a fact revealed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Janitors and Building Cleaners.

 

Working in the cleaning industry can be a physically demanding task, especially while working outdoors, such as cleaning windows of high-rise buildings. Here’s a review some of the key health and safety concerns and what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends to address these issues.

Safety and Heath Related Tips for the Cleaning Industry

  • Personal Protective Equipment – OSHA recommends that all equipment for personal protection be safely designed and constructed. These must meet or be equivalent to the standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The guidelines recommend the equipment fit comfortably, something that can mean the difference between “safely covered” or “dangerously exposed.”

 

  • Safe Work Practices When Using Chemicals – As per OSHA, it is the responsibility of the employer to train workers on safe practices while handling cleaning chemicals. Gloves act as good personal protective gear while dealing with chemicals. Natural latex gloves are recommended by experts at Signature Restaurant Supply, even while taking on messy cooking chores or at the time of cleaning and washing dishes.

 

  • Preventing Falls – One of the leading causes of work-related injuries and deaths is falls. Employers in the cleaning industry must provision for equipment like safety harnesses and safety nets. Another step that can be taken to prevent falls is to keep the floors in the work areas clean and dry at all times.

 

  • Protection Against Respiratory Issues – The use of respirators protects workers against work environments where there is lot of dust, smoke, vapors and allergens in the air. A respirator will either work by providing clean air from an external source or by filtering particles and chemically purifying the air. Some of these apparatuses such as a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) might require special training on how to use it safely.

 

  • Ergonomics – A good work place manager will always focus on the ergonomics aspect of the cleaning process. There are many concern areas for a cleaning worker, from moving furniture to carrying buckets and many things in between. For instance, the more tools and supplies that are loaded on a cart or a barrel, the greater the amount of force needed to push it.

 

  • Confined Spaces – Several areas, given the fact that they aren’t designed for humans, are termed as “confined spaces” and are occupational work hazards if adequate safety precautions are not taken. For someone in the cleaning industry, such areas could include tanks, vessels, pits, manholes, tunnels, large storage bins, etc. For instance, a blocked leachate line in a composting toilet, where liquid waste is backing into the waste vault, will be termed as an example of a “confined space” hazard for someone in the cleaning industry, according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines.

 

  • Electrical Safety – For an all-important issue of electrical safety, OSHA recommends never to operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water. Only a qualified and authorized person must inspect the electrical wires. Fallen electrical lines must not, therefore, be handled by janitors and cleaners, and must be reported to the utility company.

 

Well, the guidelines are out there to be followed. It is the primary responsibility of the employers in the cleaning industry to ensure compliance and provide a safe and healthy working environment for their workers.

How To Maintain A NIOSH/OSHA Safe Workplace?

How To Maintain A NIOSH/OSHA Safe Workplace?

 

One of the primary responsibilities of every business or employer is to fully implement an effective safety and health program in the workplace. A properly managed workplace safety program shows commitment to the safety of workers by the management. This, in turn, creates a more productive workplace that maintains the highest standards for safety and health.

As an employer, you’re responsible for ensuring that your business is in full compliance with the latest safety and health regulations set out by the law. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) oversee the implementation and promotion of occupational health and safety programs that help prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.

How do you maintain a NIOSH/OSHA safe workplace?

Identify Hazards in Your Workplace

You can do this by evaluating all occupational roles in your business, the work involved, and the tools and equipment used. For instance, hazards may include technicians working with heavy machinery, a warehouse worker stacking heavy boxes, or a janitor working with cleaning chemicals.

With a good understanding of the various hazards and risks that your workers and employees are exposed to, you can now take steps to minimize or eliminate them to ensure their health and safety.

Develop a Safety Plan and Do Drills

Once you have identified workplace hazards, you need to develop a safety plan. Your plan must comply with the latest NIOSH/OSHA standards, rules, and regulations. Ensure that all your employees understand what needs to be done should there be a health or safety crisis in the workplace. A written plan of action should be formulated and included in your business policies and operational procedures.

Regular vetting of your safety plan must be done with the involvement of managers, supervisors, and employees. It’s not enough to simply have a safety plan in place. To ensure it can be implemented, carry out drills at least once or twice a year so as to practice on what to do and where to go in case of a safety hazard or an emergency.

Inspect Your Workplace and Review Safety Procedures

Regularly check your workplace tools and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and safe to use. Are your employees properly trained and updated on how to handle equipment safely? Make sure that you also review all workplace operational and safety procedures. If you have invested in new safety equipment such as Moldex-Metric hearing protection or respiratory masks, are your workers aware of the updated safety procedures?

Being in the know of how your entire workplace operates and what measures are in place to ensure employee safety is critical.

Train Your Workers and Teach Awareness

Investing in proper health and safety training is necessary for all employees. Train them on safe working procedures and teach awareness. Training is best done on an on-going basis and should be offered in a simple, practical and easy-to-understand way.

Provide written instructions and other resources like online training and conduct regular supervisions to ensure employees are performing their jobs as expected and safely.

Communicate Safety Procedures Clearly

Communicating the safety procedures required in your workplace clearly is important. Make use of safety posters, data sheets, color codes, signs or labels to communicate to workers and warn them of potential hazards. Established operating procedures should also be communicated in the same way to remind employees of health and safety requirements.

Talk to Leaders and Employees

Maintaining a safe workplace is a collective effort that involves everyone from business owners to managers and employees. Meet your staff regularly to discuss health and safety issues. Encourage sharing of thoughts and ideas and how to improve workplace safety. You may even want to provide first aid training for all employees so that they can better handle emergencies.

Report, Record, and Investigate Incidents

It’s important to report all work-related fatalities to your nearest regulatory bodies such as OSHA or NIOSH. You should also keep all records of workplace-related injuries and illnesses, incident investigations, inspections, and health and safety training activities. Conducting investigations in any type of incident, however small, can help you determine why it happened so you can take preventative measures.

Adopt a Comprehensive Injury and Illness Prevention Program

OSHA encourages all employers to adopt programs that play a critical role in reducing the number and severity of workplace-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. Check with your state to clarify if there are specific requirements or guidelines for workplace injury and illness prevention programs for your small, medium or large business.

With the right prevention program in place, your business will see reduced cases of injuries, illnesses, fatalities and even compensation claims. It’s important to make safety a key part of your business so as to maintain a NIOSH/OSHA safe workplace.

The Bottom Line

With the recently updated OSHA guidelines for safety and health programs, employers in a wide variety of business settings and industries are adopting and implementing the recommended practices. These practices incorporate a proactive approach that helps you manage workplace safety and health, ensuring a safer and more productive working environment for everyone.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Clarke is a lead safety consultant and occupational health and safety expert who writes for a number of authority health and safety websites and blogs. She provides professional guidance and training around the use of personal protective equipment in specialist business settings. She also works with clients to create safe working environments for employees and workers and is a certified Occupational Safety and Health Technician.

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Construction Safety 101: Workwear, Safety Gear & Equipment

Construction Safety 101: Workwear, Safety Gear & Equipment

Keeping construction workers safe is a primary job among managers and foremen, with accomplishing the work to specifics and being on time being second. To support this main concern on construction sites, there are different pieces of safety vests and equipment that every worker should wear. These include items like safety vests, reflective T-shirts, and hard hats. Let’s walk through construction safety 101 while keeping your team sharp and safe on the construction site with these safety items.

Hard Hats

Protect the head in safety and style with an OSHA approved hard hat.  Hard hats should provide not just maximum protection from falling debris, but they should also deliver comfort factor for its wearer. For instance, if you need a high-performing hard hat with a Super-bowl style design, 2017 Super Bowl hard hats are approved for constructions site. These NFL hard hats are designed with comfortable and adjustable 4-point One-Touch Suspension for maximum protection and comfort.

Back Support Gears

Back injuries are among the most pressing health problems in construction sites by far. Hence, workers should promote maximum construction safety 101 by using back support gears to stay sharp and safe on the site.  The Allegro All Fit Back Support items are made in a universal size, so they fit most workers. Protect your back with these high-performance belts that deliver full back coverage, with neoprene pads for comfortable wear. For workers’ convenience, these back support gears come inside of a customized reusable zipper storage bag.

High Visibility Vests

Most construction workers require maximum flame resistance and maximum visibility at work. The Arc Flame Resistant Lime Class 2 Sleeveless Vest – Silver Stripe is preferred by many workers due to its wide range of applications. These High-Visibility vests come with silver stripes for excellent visibility as well as flame resistance. There are available in different sizes, so every worker will surely find the perfect size for him to work smartly and safely at the construction site.  They are also soft and flexible for maximum convenience.

Fall Protection

One of the most serious concerns among construction workers is falling. It is every employer’s responsibility to protect their employees from falls.  The Elk River Freedom Series Aerial Lift Kit is an OSHA-approved item that contains several fall protection products. If you work with platform lifts, buck trucks or scissor lifts, this item is a great product for you. They come with a unique D-ring harness for comfort and security while working high above the ground.

Safety Respirators

Protect your workers from gases, vapors and particles with high-performing reusable respirators. They

 

Provide protection against particles, gases and vapors with the 3M full line of reusable respirators. The 3M 5000 Half Face Respirator Kits are made to fit bigger head sizes. These safety respirators are very easy to set up and they can be used for wide range of applications.

Aside from these safety items, construction workers are also required to wear sturdy work shoes, long work pants, safety glasses, chemical splash goggles, face shields, hearing protection and protective gloves. At all times, practice construction safety 101 to keep your team safe and sharp at work.

 

Author Bio (Northbay)

Northbay is known for its high quality HVAC products and services that every client can depend on. They are proud to sell and install the finest air conditioning and heating products and carry out quality services for repair and maintenance. They can help you with all your HVAC needs, regardless of your system’s makes and models. They pride themselves for their unmatched customer service. http://www.northbayheatingandair.com/

 

 

Is Asbestos Eradication Realistic?

At the tail end of last year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health called for urgent action to be taken to tackle the legacy of asbestos in Britain’s workplaces. Building occupants may be exposed to asbestos, but those most at risk are persons who purposely disturb materials and they become airborne such as maintenance or construction workers. This often leads to mesothelioma – an incurable disease of the lungs which is fatal.

With an estimated 5000 people dying as a result of asbestosis and mesothelioma every year, and a vast majority of these deaths coming as a result of exposure just decades ago, the All-Party Parliamentary Group argued that it is wrongly seen as an issue of the past as the use of the material has been banned since 1999. However, they believe the time has come to put regulations in place that will lead to the safe removal of all asbestos that is still in use in buildings throughout the UK. This is to ensure that future generations do not suffer the same asbestos-related deaths which have blighted the workforce of the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

But is this proposed asbestos eradication realistic? While asbestos is still around us and can be found across both domestic and non-domestic premises, people are still knowingly being exposed to asbestos whether they’re working in maintenance, refurbishment or demolition. In their report, the group have called for:

• Commercial, public, and rented domestic premises should have to conduct a survey to indicate whether asbestos is present in the building, registering the results with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
• If asbestos is identified, any refurbishment or repair to the building should include its removal.
• The HSE must develop a programme of workplace inspections to ensure asbestos material is identified, marked and managed and that eradication plans are in place with a projected timetable.

Ian Lavery, chair of the all-party group said: “We believe that the Government needs to start now on developing a programme to ensure that asbestos is safely removed from every workplace and public place so that we can end, once and for all this dreadful legacy which has killed so many people, and will continue to kill until asbestos is eradicated.”

Whether asbestos eradication is realistic or not, it always helps to be fully informed on an issue that remains prominent in the public conscience. If you’re unsure of the impact asbestos may have on your property or business, Praxis42 are available to offer eLearning and consultancy to suit your needs. Our Asbestos Condition Surveys are provided as part of an estate and facilities risk management service, whereas our Asbestos Awareness eLearning course aims to help organisations meet their legal obligation to train employees whose work could lead to exposure to asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos

How to Protect your Office from Fire Hazards

Every building with people working inside requires fire protection, which takes many forms. It features a mixture of educational, preventive, mitigating and investigation aspects that are all aimed at alerting for potential risks and spotting a eliminating a threat before it becomes a problem. Different jobs present different risks, and it is important to know the dangers and risks in order to prevent fire threat. This is vital, as the damage that a destructive fire can cause is great. It can grow in a matter of seconds and cover large area. Modern day jobs need to be entirely safe when it comes to accidents such as this and for this reason measures against the threat are very important.
There are few elements of any fire protection system. All of them are aimed at preventing a fire from growing and eliminate threats that are potentially dangerous and may cause a fire to occur.

How to Protect your Building from Fire Hazards

– Instructions and education – this is the most basic element of a fire protection system. Basically this includes making all of the employees that work within a building aware of the risk of fire and any threats that can potentially cause one. They should be instructed on how to perform their work in ways that are safe. Educating all personnel on what to do in case of a fire alarm and an emergency situation is key in preventing any accidents. Facilities that work with dangerous chemicals, gas or other flammable materials must develop strict codes as they are exposed to more risks. It is often times the case when professional cleaning services and special handling of these materials is required.

– Passive fire protection – this element of fire protection is represented in the form of building materials that are resistant to fire. These include floors, walls, doors and pretty much any part of the building. For the most part, these materials are used because of established strict standards. The nature of the materials used requires special knowledge on how to maintain them. Any cleaning company should be aware of the specifics and provide sufficient service.

How to Protect your Building from Fire Hazards2

– Active fire protection – this important element of fire protection includes a number of suppression and detection systems be they automatic or manual. Manual systems mostly include fire extinguishers or standpipe systems located in key points of the building. They can be used by people to directly fight a fire. Automatic systems most often feature sprinklers at ceiling level that use a reliable source of water in case a fire and smoke is detected. Certain models include different forms of fire suppression that use a different extinguisher than water. Active fire protection relies heavily on detection components, such as heat and smoke detectors that can locate and alert in case of a fire threat. In order for these systems to work and function properly they must be regularly checked by professionals who will provide maintenance and cleaning service to them if needed.
Fire protection is a very important aspect of all work safety codes. Strict regulations must be followed in order to ensure that no threat occurs and that any danger is handled in time.

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