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By RWLS Safety, Jul 31 2018 02:00PM

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the easiest way to keep yourself and your workers as safe as possible in dangerous working environments. It is important to know not only when to use it, but also the types of protection available.

When to Use PPE

PPE is necessary for any working environment that has a possibility of specific injuries. This includes any environment with the risk of:

Impact: Places where objects may drop or where there is a risk of personnel falling require gear to keep workers safe. Also, there is a risk of impact when there is machine motion or other movement that may come in contact with personnel.

Penetration: This takes place when objects that can cut, puncture, or poke are present.

Chemical: Chemical risks include a wide variety of chemical elements and personnel must be protected from these chemicals as well.

Heat or Cold: Both extreme hots and colds may result in a burn. These temperatures may also end in fire or eye injuries.

Harmful Dust: Breathing in harmful dust could cause issues for workers. Also, this dust entering eyes or sticking to skin and clothing raise the possibility of injury.

Radiation: Radiation may be present in your working environment. If so, your workers and personnel must be correctly protected.

Light Radiation: Light radiation includes dangers from welding, furnaces, lights with high intensity, brazing, treating heat, or cutting with laser-like technology.

Biologic: Biologic hazards involve infected materials such as blood.

Shock from Electricity: Working with electrical materials pose the risk of electrical shock.

Types of Personal Protective Equipment

Protective gear comes in all shapes and sizes, each with different and specific purposes.

Eye and face protection: This type of personal protective equipment includes gear such as goggles, welding shields, and other face coverings such as masks.

Foot and leg protection: Leggings are a common way to protect workers’ legs. They are often made of thicker materials to provide optimal protection. Toe guards, metatarsal guards, and safety shoes keep feet from harm in most situations.

Hand and arm protection: Thick, canvas-like or leather gloves aid in saving the fingers and hands of your personnel. Depending on the work being performed, chemical-resistant gloves, insulated rubber gloves, or liquid-resistant gloves may be necessary. Metal meshes and fabric coated protection keep arms and hands safe as well.

Head protection: Keeping workers’ heads protected is incredibly important. The best hard hats or helmets provide resistance to impacts, penetration, and voltage. This level of protection may not be required for the work performed, but there are a variety of hard hat protection levels that may better fit your line of work.

Hearing protection: Environments ripe with loud sounds require gear to protect personnel from hearing damage.

For training on the differing types of personal protective equipment, contact RWLS Safety at 570.404.8420.

By RWLS Safety, Jul 31 2018 01:43PM

A safety harness is a form of personal protective equipment (PPE). It’s made of various straps and belts that secure personnel to help keep them from falling or getting injured.

The Main Components

What makes up the safety harness and why? The various belts and buckles that make up the harness sit in very specific areas of the body so that:

The harness is comfortable for the worker to wear

It absorbs the majority of a fall’s force

The straps are situated over the shoulders, pelvis, chest, and around the upper thigh of an individual. However, despite all the straps, belts, and buckles, the harness is fashioned to stay flexible so personnel can still do their job.

Why Are Safety Harnesses Important?

The main purpose of a safety harness is to keep individuals from injury due to falling. The harness does not prevent a fall, but helps reduce the impact of a fall.

Even though a harness is incredibly important to employees working at heights, there are still risks caused by the harness after a fall. If not given aid within 10-15 minutes of a fall, an individual may suffer from suspension trauma. This takes place when the weight of a worker weighs down in the harness and begins to cut off circulation.

Inspecting Harnesses

All personal protective equipment (including harnesses) should be inspected at least one or two times per year. Be sure to check:

The webbing: Any strains, frays, or loosened stitching in the webbing is an indication that the harness should be replaced.

Straps or belts: Similarly to the webbing, any fraying or strained straps should be inspected.

Buckles: Any bent, broken, or chipped buckles should be replaced.

D-Rings and plastic loops: Make sure there is no rusting, cracking, or distortion on any of the rings or loops.

Labels: Finally, ensure labels are showing with serial numbers and important dates (such as inspection dates) so you can keep on track with your harness inspections.

See if one of our courses can help you stay up to date with workplace safety! Learn more about safety harnesses, fall safety, and other personal protective equipment on the RWLS Safety website.

By RWLS Safety, Jul 27 2018 05:30AM

Using safety equipment is important in adhering to guidelines, ensuring the safety of personnel, and promoting a work environment that safely performs everyday work. While many might see the use of safety equipment unimportant, it prevents serious injury and allows work to move forward smoothly in the long run. Over the years, the guidelines for safety has fallen to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They have tested and researched what best practices and equipment are essential for various roles in the workforce.

The Types of Safety Equipment

There are nine main types of safety equipment that can be used to address a wide variety of jobs and common injuries.

Skin Protection: This may include hats, sunscreen, long sleeves, or thick working materials to keep your skin from getting burnt or cut.

Head Protection: Helmets or hoods can keep your head safe.

Eye Protection: Visors, shields, or goggles keep debris from entering your eyes.

Hearing Protection: Earplugs or muffs help keep your hearing from being harmed.

Hand Protection: This can include barrier creams or gloves.

Foot Protection: Specific shoes or boots help your feet stay unharmed.

Respiratory Protection: Masks, breathing filters, full/half face covers, and other related gear block contaminants from entering your lungs.

Heights Safety Protection: Harnesses or fall-stopping devices keep you safe when working from heights.

Other Personal Protective Equipment: Clothing for working with chemicals, temperature-protective clothing, and other types of gear aid in your safety.

Many of these safety equipment types can be used across a wide array of job types, yet all of them address the various hazards that come with certain careers. It is important to follow safety guidelines for each specific task or work position, ensuring the highest level of care and safety.

Training With Safety Equipment

The key to adhering to safety guidelines is training each position on the proper safety protocols for every task. If a trainee has a clear understanding of why a piece of safety equipment is important and how to use it, you will have a higher rate of success in compliance. While many training videos demonstrate the reason why a particular piece of equipment is important, videos may be less effective in showing a trainee the clear need for safety than your own words. If your company takes safety guidelines seriously and shows deep respect for the hazards that come with the job, trainees will understand that and internalize it at a higher success rate.

Overall, there is a wide range of personal safety equipment that is tailored to jobs and tasks. By demonstrating your own adherence to safety guidelines and training the property safety, your company will have a lower rate of on-the-job injuries and a higher use of safety equipment.

Make sure your workers stay safe and gain the training you need on safety gear and equipment! Call 570-404-8420.

By RWLS Safety, Jul 10 2018 05:30AM

Every business needs a plan for how to prepare for fire emergencies. According to OSHA, fires and explosions caused three percent of workplace fatalities in 2007. Ensuring that your employees have appropriate training can reduce the risk of similar catastrophes in your workplace. Fire safety training is more than a good idea; it’s also a key requirement in compliance with federal laws.

Types of Workplaces at Risk for Fire

Although fire can break out in any workplace, it’s more likely to happen in certain environments. Some types of work sites where fire can occur more frequently include:

● Shipyards,

● Construction sites,

● Mining operations,

● Manufacturing businesses

Companies who work with electrical functions are at particular risk of experiencing fires. These environments call for fire safety training and well-outlined fire safety plans and procedures.

Why Fire Safety Training is Important for Employees

Employees have the right to work in a safe environment, which is guaranteed by federal law. Fire safety is a particular requirement for OSHA compliance to ensure worker safety. Workers should know how to operate equipment safely to prevent fires, as well as how to quickly and appropriately respond if and when a fire occurs in the workplace.

Aspects of Fire Safety Education

Your employees will learn about more than just the risks that make fire safety so important on the job. One of the most important aspects of fire safety training is educating about how to set up an emergency action plan. Each individual work site must have its own unique emergency action plans even if your business has multiple locations. The emergency action plan should contain details such as the following:

● Preferred method of communicating information about fires or other emergencies

● Evacuation procedures

● Emergency escape routes and procedures, including maps

● Names and telephone numbers of individuals within the company to contact for more information

● Detailed protocols for how to operate fire extinguishers and when and how to shut down essential plant operations

● Rescue and medical procedures

Employees should be well-trained in many aspects related to fire safety, including where to locate and how to operate fire extinguishers, how to account for all employees in an emergency, and when to seek medical care. Make sure that all of your employees’ personal information is easily accessible, including contact information for next of kin.

Designate a couple of employees to be leaders in managing fire safety plans. Make sure to do periodic drills to practice your fire safety and evacuation plans, and re-evaluate them as needed.

Fire safety training is an important step in keeping your employees safe, protecting your company and its assets, and remaining in compliance with federal laws. Learn how by contacting RWLS Safety at 570-404-8420.

By RWLS Safety, Jun 26 2018 05:30AM

Respirators are one of the most effective methods of protection against a number of hazards in the workplace. However, in order to provide the highest level of protection and comfort, these devices must be properly selected, worn, and maintained.

Respirator training is the first step towards ensuring employees and employers are aware of the risks to health and life if a respirator is not worn and how and when a respirator should be used.

Why Are Respirators Important and How Do They Work?

There are two main types of respirators: atmosphere-supplying respirators, which provide the wearer with clean air from an uncontaminated source and air-purifying respirators which use cartridges, filters, or canisters to provide clean air by removing contaminants as you breathe.

Respirators can also be classified as loose-fitting or tight-fitting. If you are required to wear a tight-fitting respirator, you must be fit tested to ensure the mask fits tightly to your face. Any breaks or gaps in the seal could allow contaminated air to be breathed in.

What Can Respirators Protect Against?

Respirators are essential protection for employees who work in environments where oxygen levels may be insufficient or where harmful fogs, smokes, gases, dust, fumes, vapors, or sprays may be present. Without protection, there is a very real threat of serious health hazards developing such as:

- lung impairment,

- cancer,

- terminal diseases,

- or death

Respirators must be worn whenever and wherever regular workplace practice control and engineering measures do not provide adequate protection against contamination on the worksite. For example, if the confinement of contaminant-producing operations still results in an insufficient amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, employees must wear respirators. Even in areas where sufficient confinement measures are in place, employees should still be given the option to wear a respirator as an extra precaution.

The Respirator Fit Test

As mentioned above, the respirator fit test is used to ensure the correct fitting of a respirator mask. Fit testing is required in a number of different fields of work. One of the most common fields is the medical sector where employees must be protected against airborne viruses and diseases. There are two types of fit test. Each should be undertaken every 2 years according to OSHA regulations.

● Qualitative: This type of fit test is the most common and covers most types of respirator mask. This test involves the taste sensitivity of the individual undergoing testing and can be used for any type of mask that does not have a dedicated air supply.

● Quantitative: This type of testing uses a piece of equipment called a Portacount machine to test the safety of the respirator mask via the fixed air supply.

Who Needs Respirator Training?

Respirator training is essential for any employee that is provided with a respirator by their employer. Employers should also undergo training so they understand how, when, and why a respirator should be used. They also need to know which type of respirator to provide to employees and how they can continue to keep employees safe by reviewing safety procedures and policies.

If your company is in need of respirator training, you can trust that RWLS Safety will help you and your employees become proficient in respirator usage. Call 570-404-8420 to get started today!


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