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Category Archive: Industrial Supplies

Keep Confined Spaces Safe With Air Ventilation Systems

air ventilation systemsBy definition, confined spaces come with a number of hazards, and one common hazard is air. If the air in a confined space is toxic, combustible or low in oxygen, it can be extremely dangerous.

Consequently, OSHA has standards, fact sheets and bulletins on the topic, including Procedures for Atmospheric Testing in Confined Spaces, Asphyxiation Hazard in Pits and Suffocation Hazards in Flat Storage Building and Tanks. OSHA standard 20 CFR 1910.146 applies to confined spaces and includes specifics on forced air ventilation.

Note also that OSHA recently issued its Final Rule on Confined Spaces in Construction (May 4, 2015). You can learn more about managing confined space hazards on our blog.

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What Kind of Gas Detector Do You Need?

gas detectorIf you’re only familiar with home and office carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, you might be surprise at the wide variety and sophistication of gas detectors on the market. In this blog post, we’ll quickly review where gas detectors are typically deployed as well as some of the more popular options.

Does Your Workplace Need Gas Detectors?

Generally, gas detectors are used anyplace with potential gas hazards. This includes plants where hazardous vapors are produced, such as wastewater treatment plants. It also includes welding shops and other facilities where combustible gases could be present. Less obviously, it also includes confined spaces where gasses can accumulate.

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What Spill Control Products Does Your Workplace Need?

spill control productsIs there anything less exciting than spill control products? How much can you say about sorbent materials? Well, more than you’d expect, actually.

Today, spill control products are more sophisticated than ever. They’re much more than the oversized, oddly shaped cotton balls they appear to be.

In fact, spill control products are tailor made to absorb different kinds of spills. Understanding what kind of spill control product you’re using is important because choosing the wrong kind of spill clean up product can be dangerous.

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Choosing the Right Safety Cabinet for Flammable Liquid Storage

Safety CabinetMost manufacturers and distributors deliver flammable liquids in clearly labeled, safe containers. But it’s not enough to place these containers on any available workplace shelf. Flammable liquids must be stored in safety cabinets that comply with applicable standards.

What is a Flammable Liquid?

But what is a flammable liquid anyway? While organizations often define the term differently, OSHA considers flammable liquids to be any liquid having a flash point at or below 199.4°F. They also classify flammable liquids as either Category 1, 2, 3 or 4:

  • Category 1: Flashpoint below 73.4°F; boiling point at or below 95°F.
  • Category 2: Flashpoint below 73.4°F; boiling point above 95°F
  • Category 3: Flashpoint at or above 73.4°F and at or below 140°F.
  • Category 4: Flashpoint above 140°F and at or below 199.4°F.

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Cleaning Up Incidental Spills in the Workplace

Incidental spillsWhen you work with liquids every day, such as water, oil, grease, solvents and fuel, there’s always the possibility of incidental spills.

Help make sure you and your employees are prepared for spills when they happen by reviewing the following tips:

1. Assess hazards and risks

Consider the type, volume and location of liquids in your workplace to determine the risk and potential impact of spills. For example, small quantity clean-water spills that occur far from sensitive equipment or walkways are generally low impact and easy to clean up.

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How to Safely Store Unsafe Chemicals

store unsafe chemicalsMany workplaces use potentially hazardous chemicals as part of their manufacturing processes. Fortunately, you can mitigate chemical hazards through proper storage and handling procedures.

Here are a few tips to help you store unsafe chemicals safely:

1. Know your chemicals

Different chemicals have different properties. They may be flammable, corrosive or oxidizing/reducing. Some require storage at specific temperatures. Some are light sensitive. Some may be volatile or odiferous.

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Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing – Which is Better?

hand sanitizerWith cold and flu season quickly approaching, it’s more important than ever to keep hands clean. Colds and flu viruses are transmitted when infected people cough or sneeze—emitting tiny droplets. When these droplets come in contact with another person’s eyes, mouth or nose, the cycle of infection continues.

Viruses can live for two hours or longer on surfaces such as hands and doorknobs, which is why hand cleaning is such an important defense against infection.

The CDC recommends washing hands several times throughout the day, including (but not limited to):

  • Before, during or after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

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