Archive for June 11, 2008

The Importance of Sunscreen

SunX SunscreenProtect your skin!
The sun radiates light to the earth, and part of that light consists of invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. When these rays reach the skin, they cause tanning, burning, and other skin damage. Unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause skin damage, eye damage, and can even cause cancer.

If you can’t avoid being in the sun you can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen. Make sure you use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 or higher. Sunscreens that say “broad-spectrum” can protect the skin from ultraviolet A and B rays. Sunscreen comes in lotions, gels, creams, ointments and towelettes.

■Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going in the sun.
■Apply sunscreen to all the skin that will be exposed to the sun, including the nose, ears, neck, scalp, and lips. Sunscreen needs to be applied evenly over the skin and in the amount recommended on the label. Most sunscreens are not completely effective, because they are not applied correctly. It usually takes about 1 fl oz to cover an adult’s body.
■Apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours while in the sun and after swimming or sweating a lot. The SPF value decreases if a person sweats heavily or is in water, because water on the skin reduces the amount of protection the sunscreen provides. Sunscreen effectiveness is also affected by the wind, humidity, and altitude.

Other ways of protecting yourself from the sun include wearing sun protective clothing and sunglasses with UV protection. Given the epidemic of skin cancer in this country, sun safety should now be an important part of our lives. Skin protection from UV rays should begin as soon as a baby is born and continue throughout life. Make your skin happy by taking the proper precautions when dealing with sun.

High Visibility Clothing

High Visibility ClothingThe American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) have published the ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 standard which specifies different classes of high visibility safety garments based on wearer’s activities. This standard was developed in response to workers who are exposed to low visibility conditions in hazardous work zones.

ANSI/ISEA have also recently published the ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 Standard for High-Visibility Public Safety Vests which establishes design, performance specifications and use criteria for highly visible vests that are used by law enforcement, emergency responders, fire officials, and DOT personnel. This public safety vest standard was created in response to public safety user group demand in 2005 for a high visibility safety vest garment differentiated from ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 compliant apparel. The primary concern was a need for flexibility of designs that would provide tactical capability not achievable with ANSI 107 garments. Law enforcement and emergency responders that would be distinct from ANSI 107 to avoid interchangeability with other high visibility vests.

ANSI/ISEA Approved High Visibility Clothing:There are three classes of garments specified in the standard that are based on the wearer’s activities.

Class 3: These garments provide the highest level of conspicuity for workers and have the greatest visibility of the three classes. These will have more retroreflective material used in its construction than the Class 2 and it must have sleeves with retroreflective material between the shoulders and elbow. Class 3 approved high visibility clothing are for workers with high task loads in a wide range of weather conditions where traffic exceeds 50 mph. The standard “recommends these garments for all roadway construction personnel, vehicle operators, utility workers, survey crews, emergency responders, railway workers and accident site investigators”. Our Mesh Safety Vests and High Visibility Rain Jackets are great sellers for those requiring the highest visibility level.

Class 2:These garments have superior visibility and are more conspicuous than the Class 1 garments. The minimum width of the retroreflective material used on these is not less than 35mm. Class 3 garments are for workers who work near roadways where traffic exceeds 25 mph and need greater visibility in inclement weather. Workers who would typically wear these garments are: railway workers, school crossing guards, parking and toll gate personnel, airport ground crews and law enforcement personnel directing traffic. The Surveyor’s Vest is our most popular economical safety vest. The majority of our safety vests are ANSI class 2 approved.

Class 1: These garments need to be conspicuous and use retroreflective materials not less than 25mm in width. Class 1 garments are worn by workers where traffic does not exceed 25 mph and there is ample separation from the traffic. These workers typically are parking service attendants, warehouse workers in equipment traffic, shopping cart retrievers and those doing sidewalk maintenance. We also offer a large selection of high visibility clothing for those who don’t require ANSI approval.

Protect Your Feet – Safety at Work

Work BootsProper footwear is important, not only for foot comfort but also for one’s general well-being. You wouldn’t think of handling abrasive objects without work gloves, or entering a dusty environment without a respirator, so why walk through your workday without the right shoes? Improper footwear can cause or aggravate existing foot problems. Safety shoes are part of the personal protection equipment providing effective protection against a number of risks of foot injuries such as shock, crushing and puncture. However, it is important to be aware of the risks that are specific to your job.

If you handle corrosive or irritant chemicals, or if you work with gravelly or hot substances, keeping these substances out of your shoes is preferable. In order to protect yourself, select a shoe with the tongue attached to the sides or shaped like a gusset. The Chemical Strapper overboot provides a high degree of chemical resistance.

Selection should be made to suit the specific working condition. Working outdoors in cold weather poses a special requirement on selecting the proper footwear. “Normal” protective footwear is not designed for cold weather. Terra-Lites Boots are made for extreme cold weather environments and provide protection to -50 degree Fahrenheit.

Steel-toe boots (also known as safety toe boots, steel-capped boots or safety boots) are durable boots or shoes that have a protective reinforcement in the toe, usually combined with a sole plate, which protect the foot from falling objects and punctures from below.

All working footwear, for both men and women, whether it is safety wear or not, should provide comfort without compromising protective value. In addition, protective footwear should conform with CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z195-02 or appropriate standard for your jurisdiction.