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Does Your Workplace Need A Portable Hand Washing Station?

portable hand washing stationWith flu season still making headlines, it’s not surprising hand washing remains at the forefront of the battle against the spread of germs and bacteria.

But how do you combat the spread of germs and bacteria in the workplace especially when your workplace is mobile? For many employers, maintaining safe and sanitary conditions in mobile workplaces is a real concern, which is why portable hand washing stations are becoming increasingly prevalent.

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Hearing Protection in the Workplace

hearing protectionSadly, some workers continue to suffer hearing loss from hazardous noise levels in the workplace. In fact, the CDC reported 23,000 cases of occupational hearing loss in 2007, accounting for 14 percent of all occupational illnesses.

Today, 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels on the job. High noise levels are commonly found in construction, mining, manufacturing, agriculture and transportation. Musicians and support crews are also frequently exposed to dangerously high noise levels.

Fortunately, high noise levels don’t have to lead to hearing loss. Through a combination of administrative and engineering controls, as well as personal protective equipment, you and your employees can prevent hearing loss.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

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Eye Wash Stations in the Oil and Gas Industry

eyewash stations in oil and gasNow that America is the largest producer of oil in the world, it’s a good time to reflect on worker safety in the oil and gas industry.

And while the rate of minor injuries in the oil and gas industry is below the national average, serious injury and fatality rates remain high. These rates may reflect the many unique workplace hazards that exist in the oil and gas industry, such as:

  • Remote locations. Many oil and gas jobs are located in remote areas with no easy access to medical care.
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals. Not only are oil and gas workers exposed to hazardous chemicals during work processes, they may also be exposed to the hazardous byproducts of oil and gas drilling.
  • Reliance on outside contractors. Outside contractors may lack safety expertise, making safety oversight and protocols even more critical.
  • Possibility of multiple victims. When things go wrong in the oil and gas industry, they can go seriously wrong—with multiple victims and injuries as a result.

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Why Your Hair, Nail and Beauty Salon Needs an Eyewash Station

salon eyewash stationWe know how important it is to have eyewash stations in manufacturing and industrial environments where employees are exposed to hazardous liquids. But eyewash stations are equally important in non-industrial settings where hazardous liquids are present, such as hair, nail and beauty salons.

The issue of hazardous liquids in salons came to light a few years ago when air tests revealed formaldehyde air levels above OSHA limits in some salons. (Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen as well as a skin and respiratory irritant.) The source of the formaldehyde turned out to be certain hair straightening products. Disturbingly, the products were labeled “formaldehyde free.”

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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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What You Need to Know About GHS

GHSHave you noticed any changes in the labeling of hazardous products delivered to your workplace? With the implementation date for GHS compliant labels quickly approaching, some manufactures are now shipping products with GHS labels and GHS compliant safety data sheets.

While you probably received training on the GHS changes, it may have been months ago. If you’re struggling to remember what the change is all about, here’s a quick review:

What is GHS?

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System. It’s a system for classifying and labeling hazardous chemicals that’s designed for worldwide implementation. Prior to GHS, many countries (and even areas within countries) had different systems of classification and labeling.

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Fall Protection for Residential Roofers

fall protectionFor the past few years, OSHA has made fall protection a major focus of its education and compliance efforts. But unfortunately, fall accidents and fatalities remain at unacceptable levels. In fact, falls remain the leading cause of death in construction—with 294 fall fatalities in 2013.

More recently, OSHA has turned its attention to fall prevention among roofers, and residential roofers specifically. This may be partially because the majority of fatalities from roof falls occur within small construction companies.

If you follow the news, it’s not hard to see evidence of the failure of some residential roofers to use fall protection equipment. For example, in December, a Nebraska residential roofing company was assessed penalties of $140,000 for exposing employees to dangerous fall hazards.

Falls from Residential Roofing Versus Commercial Roofing

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Get Familiar With Fall Protection Equipment

fall protection equipmentWhile most of us understand the importance of fall protection equipment, it’s not always clear what this equipment is and what constitutes a complete fall protection system. In this post, we’ll review the four most critical components of a fall protection system:

1. Harnesses: Attaches to the body.

2. Anchors: Attaches to a fixed surface.

3. Lanyards and lifelines: Connects harnesses to anchors.

4. Rescue steps: Increases blood circulation in fallen workers while awaiting rescue.

Let’s look at each of these components in more detail.

Fall Protection Harnesses

In the past, fall protection systems used belts, chest harnesses or full body harnesses to secure the body. Today, belts are no longer used for fall protection (unless combined with full harnesses) because it’s possible to slip through them. Also, when suspended from a belt, workers can suffer injuries from the pressure on their waists.

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Prevent Eye Injuries With the Right Eye Protection

eye protectionAccording to the Center for Disease Control, every day more than 2,000 U.S. workers receive some form of medical treatment for eye injuries sustained at work. Every year, U.S. workers suffer from more than 800,000 work-related eye injuries.

These are some big numbers. What’s even more startling is that safety experts estimate that eye protection could have prevented or lessened the severity of 90 percent of these injuries.

Workers can face a multitude of eye hazards on the job, including flying objects, extreme heat, chemicals (including liquids and gases), dust and optical radiation. Industries particularly prone to eye injuries are production, construction, installation/maintenance/repair, service and transportation.

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How to Select Air Respirators for Your Workplace

air respiratorsSelecting the right air respirators for your workplace is no easy task. Get it wrong and the result could be catastrophic. While you should seek help from an experienced safety professional before choosing respirators for your workplace, it’s helpful to understand the many different types of respirators on the market.

To help, here’s a quick overview:

Air Purifying vs. Supplied Air

All respirators can be divided into two main groups: air purifying or supplied air. Air purifying respirators filter particulates or gasses out of the existing air supply. In contrast, supplied air respirators don’t use the existing air at all—they get their air from a separate, secure source. Continue Reading

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