Archive for Personal Protection

After the Storm, Pt. 2

The death toll from Hurricane Harvey has surpassed 60, Beaumont’s federal prisoners have gone a week without food and are drinking toilet water as I type this, and Irma has grown larger than Ohio on its collision course with Puerto Rico and Florida. If my calculations are right, 161,997.07 acres of California land are currently on fire, as are massive swaths of Montana and Oregon. This is America in 2017, and many more disasters are to come. Where will you be? What will you do? How will you be remembered?

 

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a professional laborer or an employer of laborers looking for great deals on high-quality safety equipment, and you’re in the right place to do so. Here at Enviro we have a large selection of products from several top-rated brands, engineered to serve all kinds of labor needs. But disaster cleanup is a significantly grimmer occasion to need our products than just another day at the factory. There’s a degree of solemnity that is appropriate for situations where the dead are multiplying and the dying are in dire straits.

 

What are we to do? Well, for us the solution is to keep doing what we do best: provide the market with top-tier products at unbeatable prices. If you read last week’s post, we covered the hazards of contamination by the fetid water and airborne debris. We’re still dealing with those same concerns, but your eyes are also at risk in this situation.

 

Proper eye protection for this job must seal out foreign matter and have anti-fog coating on the lenses to prevent perspiration distorting your vision. Ideally, they should also have side-shields to protect from impacts by flying objects. An airtight seal around the eye will do the trick to stay infection-free. Some goggles, like Pyramex’s chem splash (PYR304T-N) even have one-way air vents to allow some airflow without compromising the protection. 3M has a cheap and convenient option (AOS40661-00000-10) that can easily be bought in massive bulk and distributed to hundreds of rescuers.

 

Also necessary is protection for your hands, which will be your most essential tools in the field. Two great products come to mind. HexArmor’s Chrome Series 4036 is a waterproof heavy-duty work glove. Besides looking like something Tony Stark would make (HexArmor gloves are instantly recognizable), it feature level-5 cut protection, impact-resistant back-of-hand protection, and top-tier abrasion resistance on the palms. Combine all that with the waterproof H2X lining that fends off the bitterly wet and cold conditions you’ll be facing, and you have an excellent choice for the more extreme situations. In more predictable contexts, you can go with a disposable glove such as the Micromax N89. These are nitrile-coated medical-grade gloves designed for lab work, but what makes this particular product stand out is its long cuff. Even the best gloves are useless if water rushes into them, so this glove can serve a similar function to waders, except for the arms rather than legs.

 

Hurricane season is not over. America is facing devastating natural threats that we can do nothing to stop. But if we prepare in advance and go into recovery operations with a high level of organization, grit, and passion for the suffering, then we can come out of this stronger than ever before. Thanks for reading.

7 PPE Safety Products to Replace This New Year

Both good employers and good workers should be aware of the proper use and maintenance of personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to ensure that the equipment truly provides the protection it was designed for. Just the same way conscientious employers and workers should learn to recognize when it is time to safely dispose of and replace PPE. While some PPE is designed to last for years at a time, other PPE naturally wears out with regular use and should be replaced regularly to help ensure workplace safety. As the holidays approach, give your workers the gift of vigilant protection by replacing the following seven PPE products before New Year’s Day arrives. Here, our list of PPE safety tips for when and why to replace seven essential pieces of gear.

Gloves

Gloves are one of the most versatile and commonly used types of PPE. Fabric and rubber coated work gloves can provide general-purpose hand protection, and protect against dirt, abrasions, chafing and slivers. Disposable gloves made from various kinds of rubber can provide resistance to liquids and potentially harmful chemicals. In the short term, some types of hand protection, such as white cotton inspection gloves, can be laundered for reuse. The glove manufacturer typically provides instructions for safe and effective laundering. Employers should think twice before reusing gloves that have been exposed to toxic chemicals. Because of the safety risk of tears or punctures in the tips of the fingers that can occur with frequent use, and the degradation caused by chemical exposure, gloves should be replaced once a year at the very least.

Protective Footwear

Specialized footwear is necessary to protect against potential workplace impact or compression injuries, and to resist the hot surfaces common in roofing, paving and hot metal industries. All protective boots and shoes should be regularly inspected for cracks, holes, broken buckles or laces and embedded pieces of metal that could cause electrical or slipping hazards. As with ordinary footwear, protective footwear wears out over time and should be replaced regularly to ensure optimal function.

Hard Hats

Protective headgear is some of the most crucial PPE. While periodic cleaning and inspection may extend a hard hat’s shelf life, hard hats with any perforation, cracking, or dents should be replaced immediately. Any safety helmet, from construction hard hats to full brim hard hats, that has sustained an impact should be replaced whether or not there is any visible damage to the hat. Hard hats that are exposed to paints, paint thinners or certain cleaning agents should be replaced regularly, as those substances can weaken the hats’ shells. One of the most serious degradation threats to your workers’ head gear is UV rays. If your crew frequently works outside, sunlight has likely began to significantly wear down their hats’ protective casings. Inspect such items more frequently and consider replacing them with a UV-damage-indicating model, like the 3M Uvicator hardhat, which partially changes color as sun damage becomes more intense.

Safety Goggles

To provide adequate safety, protection goggles must fit tightly, covering the entire eye and facial area surrounding the eye. With regular use, goggles can become more loosely fitting, or can sustain small cracks. The smallest perforation can potentially allow harmful dust or liquid particles access to the eye area. Goggles are relatively inexpensive, and a conscientious employer should see that they are replaced regularly to ensure workplace safety.

Laboratory Coats

The old reliable white lab coat protects the wearer’s street clothes, allows for cleaning at high temperatures, makes any foreign substances easily visible, and acts as an unofficial uniform for scientists and medical professionals. However, lab smocks and coats are not always in a condition to be laundered and reused. As with ordinary clothes, lab coats may become worn and torn over time, and should be replaced accordingly. Lab coats that have been heavily stained or that cannot be safely decontaminated should also be discarded immediately. It is helpful to have a stock of replacement lab coats at the ready.

Fall Arrest Systems

Fall arrest systems regularly save the lives of those who work at heights. As a general rule of thumb, fall protection equipment should be replaced a maximum of five years after the first use. However, frequent use of this essential PPE safety product may require the system to need replacement sooner, and the life expectancy of particular systems can vary. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and check the system regularly to determine whether it needs to be replaced. A failure of one small part of the system could cause the entire thing to malfunction, so do not hesitate to replace your fall arrest system regularly.

Molded earplugs

Workers who are regularly exposed to high decibel levels must have some kind of hearing protection. Molded earplugs are a safe bet, as they are individually fitted by a professional. Some molded earplugs may be washed and reused, but they should be replaced at least once a year because they are subject to losing their shape over time, and for sanitary reasons.

Follow these PPE safety tips to keep your workplace running like new all year. In addition to replacing these PPE pieces yearly, always be sure to conduct routine maintenance of safety products to monitor any degradation that may occur throughout 2015.

Free Heat Index Calculator App: Heat Safety Tool

Heat Safety ToolThe Heat Safety Tool app from OSHA is a handy tool for calculating the heat index of your job site to determine protective measures for heat stress prevention.

This smartphone app works by using your current location to determine the temperature and humidity levels, then calculates the heat index and displays a risk level for outdoor workers. Users can then read precautionary tips associated with the risk level, including replenishing fluids, taking the appropriate breaks, training for new employees and emergency panning and response.

The app provides:

  • Heat Index Calculator
  • Heat Risk Levels (Lower, Medium, High, Very High)
  • Heat stress prevention tips
  • Training on what is heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash signs and symptoms
  • First Aid tips for treating heat stress illnesses
  • OSHA contact info

Remember, when working in the heat safety comes first and with the Heat Safety Tool app, you’ll have all the vital information for preventing heat stress related illnesses at work. This app is available for iPhones and on the Android Market

Healthy Traveling Tips to the 2012 Olympics

2012 Olymipic Trevel TipsGoing to the the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer? Use these helpful tips to make sure your trip is a healthy and more importantly, a safe one.

Up-to-Date Vaccines

Some rare illnesses and diseases to the US may be common in the UK, so make sure your entire family is current on vaccinations. Especially if you are traveling with children, make sure they have their shots. Consult your physician to find out which vaccines you have had, and which ones you need. In the UK, vaccines are known as Jabs.

Don’t Shy from Healthy Habits

Just because you are on vacation does not mean you take a break from your healthy habits:

  • Frequently wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer or hand wipes
  • Don’t forget to wear sunscreen when outdoors during the day
  • Also apply bug repellant to avoid bites from foreign insects
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve and NOT in your hands

In Case of an Emergency

999 EmergencyIn the event you become seriously ill or suffer and injury, don’t dial 911 for emergency help while in London, call 999 and asked to be taken to the A&E (Accident and Emergency), not the ER. For all other minor cuts, scrapes, minor illness and more, visit a local walk-in center or pharmacy for help. Remember, your health insurance here in the US won’t cover you in London. Any medical expenses will be out-of-pocket. To locate a pharmacy or walk-in center, visit the National Health Service website, or call 0845-4647 (while in London of course). Travel health insurance will reimburse any costs you incur.

Talk Like the Brits

Here’s some useful terms to say that will help avoid confusion if you are in need of medical care:
British Terms                              American Terms
A&E (Accident & Emergency)     ER (Emergency Room)
Chemist                                 Pharmacist
Consultant                             Attending Physician
Giddy                                    Dizzy
Gip                                       Aches, Pain
Jabs                                     Vaccinations, Shots
Loo                                      Restroom
Paracetamol                           Acetaminophen
Plaster, Elastoplast                 Elastic Bandage, Band-Aid
Surgical Spirit                        Rubbing Alcohol

Visit the CDC website for more healthy traveling tips this summer.

Sun Protective Clothing

Don’t let the sun wear you down this summer. At Enviro, we take heat stress seriously and are dedicated to providing you with the best information and heat stress prevention supplies necessary to keep you cool this summer. After an uncharacteristically warm winter, this summer has the potential of being warmer and dryer than previous years, which means heat stress prevention is crucial.

Cooling Neck ShadesNeck Shades
When your neck is cool, your entire body is cool. Your neck absorbs the most heat when exposed to the suns rays and puts the most stress on your body, wearing your muscles down and resulting in fatigue. Neck Shades are the best way to protect your neck from sunburn and extreme heat exposure and they are not just for hard hats. Neck sun shade is great for any outdoor activities including; sporting events, fishing, hiking, lawn mowing, and more. The possibilities are endless with a protective neck shade.

Cooling VestCooling Vests
For those summer days that push the extremes, a Cooling Vest is the best way to keep your body temperature down and prevent you developing heat stress. Cooling vest for adults have a slim-line design that conform to your body and are worn under personal protective clothing or other garments and keep you cool for several hours. The special crystals inside the vest absorb and retain the temperature of water (that it has been soaked in), which then releasing a cooling sensation through your body. Cooling vests are not just for industrial worker, but are also great around the house or on camping trips.

Cooling BandanasCooling Bandana
Another great way to keep your body cool during summer. With a Cooling Bandana, you can get cool in minutes. Simply soak in cold water and feel the coolness for days. It works without freezing or ice and can be reused thousands of times without loosing any effectiveness.  Cooling bandanas are used by people around the world to keep them cool during any outdoor summer activity.

Remember, Cooling Clothing is a cost-effective way to not only prevent sunburns, but prevent heat stress during the hat summer months ahead so you can stay cool while on the job, or out on the trail.

The OSHA/NIOSH Guide to Nail Gun Safety

A Nail Gun is a common tool used by contractors and carpenters everyday at construction sites, especially in residential construction and every year, tens of thousands of painful injuries occur related to nail guns. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Dr. David Michaels said that nail gun injuries are responsible for approximately 37,000 emergency room visits annually.

In an effort to prevent nail gun injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a handbook for employers and self-employed contractors titled, “Nail Gun Safety – A Guide for Construction Contractors”.

Improving Nail Gun Safety in the Workplace
OSHA and NIOSH have developed six steps that employers can take to improve nail gun safety and prevent workers from injury or death.

  1. Use nail guns with a full sequential trigger – this type of trigger will reduce the risk of unintentional nail discharge and double fire, which includes bumping into co-workers.
  2. Provide adequate training – everyone benefits from training. Employers should provide hands on training, including operation, loading the nail gun, air compressor operation, awkward positions and what-to-do when the nail gun malfunctions.
  3. Establish work procedures – creating a step-by-step procedure for handling, operating and storing of nail guns will make the workplace safe and reduce employee injuries.
  4. Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – workers should be provided and required to wear steel toe boots, a hard hat, high impact safety glasses with ANSI Z87.1 protection, and earplugs or earmuffs while operating a nail gun.
  5. Encourage employees to discuss the importance of nail gun safety – employees should be active in making sure fellow employees are following proper nail gun operating procedures.
  6. Provide adequate first aid supplies and immediate medical treatment immediately following nail gun injuries.

Nail Gun Don’ts

  • Never bypass or disable nail gun safety features, including removing the spring from the safety-contact tip, or securing the trigger so it does not need to be pressed.
  • Never keep your finger on the trigger when holding or carrying a nail gun that is not in use.
  • Never lower the nail gun from above or drag it by the air hose.
  • Never operate a nail gun with your non-dominate hand.

Click Here to download OSHA’s “Nail Gun Safety – A Guide for Construction Contractors” handbook.

Winter Safety

During emergency response activities or recovery operations, workers may be required to work in cold environments, and sometimes for extended periods. Cold stress is a common problem encountered in these types of situations. Enviro Safety Products has cut the prices on some of our most popular winter safety gear. Check out the savings now! The following will help workers understand what cold stress is, how it may affect their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.

How cold is too cold? According to OSHA, when the body is unable to keep itself warm, cold induced stress may result. Tissue damage and death are possible outcomes if precautions are not taken.  Air temperature, wind speed, moisture in the air, and contact with cold water or surfaces all increase the possibility of greater damage.

How does the body react to cold conditions? When in a cold environment, most of your body’s energy is used to keep your internal temperature warm. Over time, your body will begin to shift blood flow from your extremities (hands, feet, arms, and legs) and outer skin to the core (chest and abdomen). This allows exposed skin and the extremities to cool rapidly and increases the risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Combine this with cold water, and trench foot may also be a problem.

Protective clothing is the best precaution to avoid injury due to cold. When working in cold weather, wear the proper clothing. Three layers works best with the outer layer protecting the worker from wind and rain while still allowing some ventilation. Wear a hat or hood and insulated footwear.

Drink plenty of liquids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol. It is easy to become dehydrated in cold weather. If possible, heavy work should be scheduled during the warmer parts of the day. Take breaks out of the cold. Try to work in pairs to keep an eye on each other and watch for signs of cold stress. Avoid fatigue since energy is needed to keep muscles warm. Take frequent breaks and consume warm, high calorie food such as pasta to maintain energy reserves.

A New Look For Our Website

We put a new face on our website! What do you think? Feel free to provide feedback and let us know what features or focus would better serve you as our valued customers. Is our navigation easy to use? Can you find the product you are looking for easily? Do we carry the product you are looking for? Email us at news@envirosafetyproducts.com with your comments.

We are striving to make our website more current and will be offering specials and resources in the coming months that we hope you find valuable. Currently, we are offering the Peltor Workstyle FM Only Radio Earmuff at a 20% for only $63.70 each.

Please take the time to sign up for our newsletter to receive future special pricing offers or information important to our safety customers. New subscriptions will receive $10 off on your next order of $75 or more! You will find the sign up prominently displayed on our home page.

Safety Tips for Servicing Hybrid Vehicle Batteries

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV’s) account for only about 3% of vehicles on the road today, but that number is on the rise and the average mechanic has never serviced a hybrid vehicle and is unaware of proper safety procedures and regulations. Every HEV has a high-voltage hybrid battery that carries over 400 Volts of electricity and contains corrosive fluid that can be lethal if the proper safety procedures are not followed.

Protection from High Voltage Mechanics are required to wear Electrical Gloves (also known as lineman gloves or arc flash gloves) when servicing the high voltage system and battery only. While electrical flow from the high-voltage battery pack stops when the car is turned off, the current may not be dissipated from the system for up to 10 minutes. Ensure that your gloves are Class “O” and rated for 1,000 Volts. Mechanics must also inspect their gloves for holes since the smallest of openings can draw electricity looking for a ground. Since the high voltage system is not grounded to the body or the chassis, gloves are not required when performing other routine maintenance.

Protection from Corrosive Liquids – Unlike lead acid batteries found in gas-powered vehicles, HEV’s NiMH hybrid battery contains a highly corrosive electrolyte fluid (pH 13.5), that will dissolve your skin if contacted with. When handling the hybrid battery, mechanics should be wearing the following to avoid contact: Splash shield or safety goggles, Tyvek Coveralls, Rubber, Latex or Nitrile Gloves and Rubber Boots. The overall risk of coming in contact with the fluid is low since it is stored in a self-contained enclosure within the battery.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles bring new, highly dangerous hazards to the work environment and service managers should develop service protocols for their employees to help prevent any future injuries. Independent hands-on and online courses are also available to mechanics wanting to learn how to service a hybrid. Simply search “hybrid vehicle training technicians” and find the course that is right for you.

Preventing Eye Injuries

Preventing eye injuries is easier than you think. Just remember to ALWAYS wear effective eye protection. OSHA standards require that employers provide workers with suitable eye protection. To be effective, the eyewear must be of the appropriate type for the hazard encountered and properly fitted. For example, the BLS survey showed that 94% of the injuries to workers wearing eye protection resulted from objects or chemicals going around or under the protector. Eye protective devices should allow for air to circulate between the eye and the lens. Only 13 workers injured while wearing eye protection reported breakage.

Nearly one-fifth of the injured workers with eye protection wore face shields or welding helmets. However, only six percent of the workers injured while wearing eye protection wore safety goggles, which generally offer better protection for the eyes. Best protection is afforded when goggles are worn with face shields.

Better training and education. BLS reported that most workers were hurt while doing their regular jobs. Workers injured while not wearing protective eyewear most often said they believed it was not required by the situation. Even though the vast majority of employers furnished eye protection at no cost to employees, about 40% of the workers received no information on where and what kind of eyewear should be used.

*Maintenance- Eye protection devices must be properly maintained. Scratched and dirty devices reduce vision, cause glare and may contribute to accidents.

OSHA-