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Workers’ Compensation, Injuries, In Steel Industry

Workers’ Compensation, Injuries, In Steel Industry

When you think about the importance of having employees covered, then you first need to think about what it really means. Injuries can happen each and every day regardless of where you are or what you do. However, when you consider the specifics of injuries on the job, the last thing you want to do as an employer is have an employee sue you for being hurt in the line of their job duties. That’s exactly why workers’ compensation exists and it’s also why people in tough industries such as the steel industry pay such high rates.

What is Workers Compensation?

Workers Compensation itself is the basis for which injuries are paid. It prevents employees from suing their employers, tying up the courts with simple claims, and even harming small businesses as they are dealing with constant injury lawsuits. When you think about the specifics of workers compensation over the course of an operational day then you can see how necessary it is to have workers compensation insurance. Throw in the fact that industries like the steel industry have much more risk associated with them and you can see how it would help to pay medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and more.

What Could Happen That Needs Covered?

Thinking about the specifics of how the steel industry works will let you see why you need to have workers compensation coverage in the first place. Bending and stooping, twisting and turning, and even the shocks to an employee’s body from a significant amount of weight in awkward positions can all be hard on the body.

What About Long Term Damage?

You also have to consider that in addition to the blunt force or trauma that can occur with significant weight and mass of steel, you also have long term damage that can be caused due to the repetitive nature of twisting and turning. The fact of the matter is when you throw in the heavy machinery there can be a significant amount of damage or physical harm done in a short period of time.

Steel Industry Specific Payments

When it comes to the specific payments of workers compensation, an employee is able to be taken care of for medical bills as well as much more. There could be a potential for the employee to receive a scheduled amount of money for anything from a scheduled injury, to even receiving lost wages for being off of work. This will all come down to the specifics as listed in the workers compensation insurance policy, but for the most part the insurance will kick in and the employee will be covered. Whether that is medical bills, rehabilitation, ambulance costs, and etc. All of these items can be covered by workers compensation insurance.

When you are thinking about the steel industry, you have to be sure the employees are covered. There is a significant amount that could go wrong and the last thing you want is for bills and money to be a problem in addition to the physical damage and suffering that can occur.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading supplier of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipes, tubes, fittings and flanges.

Do’s and don’ts for winter construction work

Whether they’re doing important repairs in the middle of a blizzard or working on a new construction during dangerously low temperatures, construction workers need to wear the proper protective clothing during the winter.

To be fair, employees should always be able to communicate with each other, use functional equipment and be prepared in the event of an accident, no matter what time of year. There’s also an obvious difference in hazard levels depending on the environment where the project takes place.

Take these steps during the winter for safe construction.Take these steps during the winter for safe construction. At the same time, it may be worth reviewing the following tips no matter what the current weather is, in case conditions take a turn for the worst. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts for construction professionals to follow during the colder months.

Do: Be cautious around downed power lines
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration mentions this in a list of winter weather guidelines, noting that snowy environments could make live wires even more dangerous than they are normally.

“A major hazard is snow, because the moisture can reduce the insulation value of protective equipment, and could cause electrocution,” OSHA explained. “In these conditions de-energized work is safer, but if energized work must be done, qualified workers and supervisors must first do a hazard analysis that includes evaluating the weather conditions and identifying how to safely do the job.”

Don’t: Use equipment unsuitable for the weather
The tools workers employ in winter conditions need to be specifically approved for seasonal use. Assuming that a tool fit for warm weather use is equally viable in cold or snow could lead to a possible hazard, as can using any of this equipment incorrectly.

In general, it may be best to exercise caution before work begins and thoroughly check equipment during an assessment. Tools that are verified for outdoor winter work still need to be in good enough condition to function.

Do: Wear insulated gear
From head to toe, workers can look for apparel that retains body heat and keeps them comfortable. Insulated Gloves, scarves, socks, and coveralls with thermal protection can all be useful, as can boots and helmets with the right insulation.

Make sure that all of these articles don’t restrict the worker’s movement, though. Gloves and scarves in particular need to give the wearer enough mobility to do their job. Employers can supply heaters, too, provided they use them correctly.

Don’t: Work too long without breaks
Even with protection, workers shouldn’t spend too much time exposed to the elements. Managers should take precautions to keep workers warm and in good health, such as breaks in a well-heated space to recover.

OSHA also advises that employees have warm (non-alcoholic) beverages on hand and learn to recognize the symptoms of conditions like frostbite. Drinking water is another necessity, especially when employees are wearing a large amount of heavy clothing. Another way to reduce the effects of the cold is to plan ahead and schedule projects during times when the weather will be the warmest.

Do: Keep walkways safe
Move slowly when surfaces are icy, and wear boots with treads to reduce the chance of losing a grip and falling. Sanding or salting slippery patches also helps with traction and get make it easier for crews to make it through high-traffic areas.

Don’t: Let snow pile up too high
Clear walkways of snow and ice as well, especially if it’s still snowing during a construction period. Although workers may have to focus on the job to get things done quickly, it’s a mistake to ignore active snowfall, which can endanger operations on the ground or in heavy vehicles. Keep the windows on these vehicles clean to make sure that operators get a clear look around if necessary.

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Check out our main website at www.tasco-safety.com for all sorts of occupational safety products.

The Importance of Workplace Sobriety

The Importance of Workplace Sobriety

It is essential to maintain sobriety and avoid taking either drugs or alcohol within the workplace.

Whilst that sentence, in and of itself, sounds relatively obvious, maintaining concentration by avoiding the dangers of being under the influence of alcohol is absolutely essential for ensuring a safe work place. Alcohol and substance abuse is the number one health epidemic facing Americans, with statistics from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence suggesting that alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the country: An incredible 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence, and an additional 12 million individuals abuse alcohol through binge drinking or other risky drinking behaviour that could lead to addiction, an accident, or another form of self-harm. So how does this huge number of American drinkers affect safety within our workplaces? Well, of the 17.6 million alcoholics in the United States, a huge 75% of those individuals hold down a regular job, meaning that they are putting the health of themselves and their colleagues at risk because of their impaired status on a daily basis. It should come as no surprise that these statistics combine to ensure that in approximately 10% of the cases where employees are involved in a fatal accident at work, the deceased individual tested positive for either drug or alcohol use, or both.

How Workplace Alcoholism Affects Performance

In conjunction with the obvious safety issues, there are a myriad of ways in which workplace drug or alcohol use can negatively impact on the performance of your employees and ultimately on the productivity of your company. The use of illicit substances in the workplace can lead to: frequent tardiness or increased absenteeism, which can result in less work being achieved and in colleagues being expected to pick of the slack. Poor decision making within the work place, such as choosing to sleep on the job or even steal from the work place in order to fund their addiction, can also lead to the cost and trauma of disciplinary procedures and, if there is no choice but to let that individual go, to the cost of recruiting and training a new member of staff to fulfil that role. It is also important not to underestimate the effect that working with an alcoholic can have on the morale of the overall workforce, causing the level of satisfaction, particularly amongst close co workers, to diminish considerably.

Protecting Both the Alcoholic and Their Co-Workers

Much is made of ensuring that the individual impaired by alcohol is protected as much as possible and that they are supported in changing their habits (ie freeing themselves of their addiction) whilst simultaneously maintaining their role within the company, where that is feasibly possible. However it is just as important to ensure that their co-workers are protected from any potential harm as a result of working alongside an alcohol or drug-impaired individual. This is a huge problem regardless of what industry you are working within, with approximately 20% of workers and managers who were questioned across a wide range of industries and company sizes reporting that they felt a co-worker’s drinking (either on or off the job) was jeopardizing their own productivity and safety. This can be avoided by making use of workplace referral programmes within your company, so that those individuals abusing substances (either drugs or alcohol) in the workplace have immediate access to a referral to the resources and services that they need, improving their overall health, reducing their absenteeism, and ultimately improving their workplace productivity, making seeking support for your employees a more cost effective and economically sensible decision when compared to the alternative of pursuing a disciplinary procedure, letting that member of staff go, and recruiting and training their replacement.

Safety at the workplace, of every member within the workplace, is and should always be of the utmost importance to every employer within every industry. Workplace substance abuse is a very real threat to businesses and one that should be taken and managed very seriously.

3 Great Reasons to Consider Purchasing Your Industrial Products Online

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texting While Driving is Still One of Today’s Biggest Problems

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

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

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

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

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

Ways to Increase Workplace Safety Awareness in the Workplace

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

1) Increase Safety Training and Awareness Courses

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

2) Improve Awareness of Spill Kits

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

3) Enhance Employee Knowledge of Fire Extinguishment Materials

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

4) Implement an Action Plan

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

5) Establish Efficient Practices Through Continuous Improvement

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

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

Health and Safety Tips for Tradies

Every day, tradies build, create, design and install equipment and infrastructure people rely on to make their lives easier and more comfortable. The many demands of the work, including the many physical and labour-intensive tasks that are performed, mean there are some specific health and safety considerations unique to those working as a tradesperson. Since tradies rely on their physical and mental health to do their job well, below are some tips specific to tradies that can assist with staying healthy and safe while on the job.

Schedule Regular Visits to the Physio

Because of repetitive movements like lifting and muscle strains arising from working in challenging environments, tradies have a higher risk of physical injury than other workers. Because of this, it’s essential that tradies make regular appointments with a physiotherapist. Physio will provide physical therapy to help ensure on-the-job comfort and limit time off work due to injury. A good physiotherapist will also be able to monitor and address any muscle problems before they have a chance to worsen.

Always Use or Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Whether it’s a plumber, electrician, mechanic or builder, trade workers rely on a number of tools, equipment and machinery to get the job done effectively and safely. Using personal protective equipment means wearing gear, like goggles, hardhats and steel-capped boots, when using power tools to prevent injury. It’s important tradies always wear or use any safety equipment that assist with ensuring safety while doing their job duties. It also helps to know you’re working with the safest, best quality tools from a specialist supplier like AEG.

Limit Exposure to the Sun

The majority of tradies work outdoors in the sun, which dramatically increases the risk of developing skin cancer. It’s crucial to stay safe in the sun by wearing sunscreen and looking at ways to limit exposure. This could involve a number of strategies, including starting work earlier in the day or moving any duties to shaded areas where possible. Especially in warm climates, it’s important for tradies to consider what they can do to reduce exposure to the sun, helping to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Ditch the Tradie Diet

The diet of the tradie has a reputation for being anything but healthy. Instead of munching on the same daily meat pie and chocolate milk combo, tradies would benefit from limiting their calorie intake and boosting their fruit and vegetable quota. Additionally, the after-work or ‘knockoff’ drinks that tradies are known for could become a weekly ritual instead of a daily one. As well as feeling better and healthier, steering clear of the typical tradie diet will also have benefits for any trade worker’s waistline and wallet.

Drink More Water

Leading on from the diet point, it’s also important tradies make sure they keep their fluids up since they are particularly prone to becoming dehydrated while performing physical work. It’s essential trade workers, especially those working outdoors, stay hydrated – not with a cold beer but through drinking good, old-fashioned H20. Staying hydrated will improve concentration, as well as helping to reduce heat-related stress and overexertion. There’s little doubt this will help tradies perform their jobs more effectively and safely.

These are just some of the ways those working a trade can stay safe and healthy while on the job. Ultimately, the major responsibility for staying healthy and safe rests on the individual – the same individual who will also reap the benefits of doing so.

Avoiding Asbestos Hazards in the Workplace

Asbestos was a popular naturally-occurring mineral commonly used in household products and building materials a few decades ago. Today however, it can only be found in a few materials and products, and those that do contain it have to be labeled as such.

A number of homes and buildings that were constructed during the 1970s up to the late 1980s are still standing today. While they don’t really pose a threat to health so long as the asbestos fibers are not disturbed, asbestos hazards in the workplace are still very much around, especially when the job requires constant handling of this dangerous mineral.

So how can employees avoid asbestos hazards in the workplace?

1. Being and staying informed
It is the employer’s job to provide information and trainings to employees, especially when the task requires the said employee to be exposed to asbestos. Companies need to comply with government standards and rules in keeping the working environment safe for their employees. However, workers also have a general duty to take care of their own health so as not to compromise the health and safety of other workers. This involves, but is certainly not limited to, the knowing the company’s policies, and staying informed by constantly checking for updates, especially regarding health and safety in the workplace.

2. Using proper equipment correctly
Equipment that allows workers to properly deal with asbestos-containing products can be expected of an OSHA-compliant company. Nevertheless, it is the worker’s responsibility to know how to use the provided equipment, and use them correctly. Failure to comply with the company’s standards and policies, particularly with the use of safety-providing equipment, may lead to health hazards, or worse, fatalities in the occupational setting.

3. Getting certified.
Safety training and certification is a necessity for workers whose daily tasks puts them at risk for exposure to asbestos. Asbestos may not be easily identifiable, and its fibers are also so tiny that they are not easily seen by the naked eye.

When released into the air, they can be inhaled into the lungs, or settle on articles of clothing which allows them to be taken out of the workplace and possibly into the worker’s home. Getting trained and certified is a necessity in order to protect not only the worker’s health and safety, but also the health and safety of those who work in the company as well as their families.

4. Helping to identify risks.
When the presence of asbestos is suspected, the worker should follow company protocol in order to have the risk identified and assessed. Part of a worker’s responsibility is to report both identified and unidentified risks, as well as participating in the implementation of risk control measures.

Employers have a duty to do what they can to ensure that their employees’ health and safety are protected at work. This includes making sure that workers are not exposed to substances that could be detrimental to their health, such as asbestos. By doing so, employees are able to work in a safe environment without risking their health. On the other hand, employees also need to do their part in keeping free from asbestos exposure. Keeping safe in the workplace is a collaborative effort.

Visit theasbestosinstitute.com for more information. This comprehensive training center seeks to educate and protect clients through a diverse group of classes and training seminars.

Safety in the Office is Directly Tied With Cleaning

Every office environment needs to be cleaned and sanitized in order to ensure the safety and health of all employees working there. Regardless of what the nature of the work you do in the office is, you have to make sure it is safe. That way people will not only feel good about the work they do in the office, but also they will be more productive.

Safety in the Office is Directly Tied To Cleaning2

When it comes to maintaining the safety of people, while they work, everything plays an important role. That said, office cleaning is very important, just as it is important to maintain a certain standard about cleaning. That will ensure that all health standards are maintained and that there is no risk to human health. Here are certain points that prove that work safety is tied to cleaning:

Clean equipment – the equipment in any office should be regularly cleaned in order to ensure that it functions properly. This is especially important for machinery that requires human operators and that people often work around. In order to ensure that the equipment functions properly and that it is most efficient, it needs to be maintained by professional cleaners most of the times. If that is not done, there is always danger of machinery not working properly, which poses a threat to the work process and those who are involved in it.

Reduce the clutter – a cluttered working environment poses a real danger to everyone working there. When there is too much stuff lying on the ground and on the desktops, accidents can happen. People often times require a lot of space to work effectively, and when that is not the case, their productivity will be hindered. When there is no clutter in the office, the work process will be smooth and people will not accidentally bump into things that get in their way.

Careful with the cleaning substances – a good number of cleaning solutions are truly harmful for human health. This is why if you hire a professional cleaning company you have to make sure that their substances and solutions are non-toxic and they pose no risk for human health. You want to make sure that the office cleaners utilize green cleaning methods and eco-friendly solutions. Ideally you want to have efficient cleaning service that will get the job done fast and efficiently.

Cleaning practices – you want to ensure that any cleaning practices in the office are carefully designed so that they pose no risk for anyone. This includes putting warning signs of wet floors, safety instructions on how to utilize cleaning equipment and written rules of how cleaning the office environment should be done.

Safety in the Office is Directly Tied To Cleaning

Cleaning the office is an important part of the work process, as it is the only thing that can guarantee a safe and clean environment. The aforementioned aspects of cleaning should always be maintained as they are essential in ensuring there are no risks for the people working in the office.

For more cleaning tips go to this site

Respiratory Safety Tips and Guidelines

There are plenty of hazardous jobs out there, ranging from cutting materials and grinding them, producing dust in the process, to welding which produces toxic fumes, mixing chemicals and various other types of work during construction and other jobs that produce and use toxic substances. The side effects of working with such chemicals or in such conditions will often include a number of symptoms such as shortness of breath, burning sensations, dizziness, and in the worst case scenarios even unconsciousness and death. Keeping yourself safe when working in such conditions is a serious business, so you will need to ensure you know what you’re doing, lest you end up sick or worse.

Respiratory Safety Tips and Guidelines

• Ensure your equipment fits you, as there are different sizes available and you need to make sure yours is the right one, especially when you work with chemicals. There is a good reason why it’s a bad idea to have beards, sideburns, stubble or even moustaches, as they will be a problem when you’re using a respirator of any kind. You need to ensure you’ve tested the fit to verify the seal before entering a hazardous environment. Eye glasses may also affect the fit, so you may want to have corrective lenses on your eyes instead so they won’t get in the way. Cold temperatures will create valve sticking, fogging, and stiff rubber on masks and so on.

Choosing the right respirator is up to you, as there are different ones used for different types of hazards. You need to make sure you use the right kind for the right situation. You need to ask yourself if any other ways of countering the hazard will work out first. Make sure you’re fully aware of what it is and how you can deal with it. You need to know that an unknown composition of the atmosphere you’re about to breathe can be extremely dangerous, flammable or even deadly. You can use disposable masks for dust such as sawdust and so on, but they will not work well with concrete dust and finer particles. They will work well when you need to do cleaning for construction, or maybe even simple house cleaning, carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and so on if you’re allergic to dust. You need to make sure you always use a full gas mask for hazardous chemicals that may also act as eye irritants or worse. Always, absolutely always make sure you have a tight seal and you’ll do just fine.

Respiratory Safety Tips and Guidelines2

• Air purification devices are fairly common in the construction world, but they do possess their own limitations as well. They do not protect against oxygen deficient atmospheres, since they will require the resupply of air, they also cannot be used for entry into dangerous atmospheres such as those of hydrogen sulfide. You also cannot use them with substances with poor warning properties, such as those extremely dangerous, no odor, no eye irritation or respiratory irritation substances such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide, which are fairly hard to detect by ordinary means. Be aware of what you’re dealing with as much as possible and use the right filters for the right situation.
More tips find on this website