Archive for Protective Clothing

Bloodborne Pathogens – Reduce Risk of Occupational Exposure

If you are a healthcare professional, the risk for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens is very high. “Bloodborne Pathogens means pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can casue disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatitis C Virus, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).” (OSHA) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Exposures occur through needlesticks or cuts from other sharp instruments contaminated with an infected patient’s blood or through contact of the eye, nose, mouth, or skin with a patient’s blood.”

Healthcare professionals, as well as employees in the fields of Crime Scene Cleanup, Embalming/forensics, Tank Cleaning, Fiberglass Manufacturing, Animal Research, and Emergency Medical Response, protecting yourself from potential exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens is extremely important. Kimberly Clark offers Bloodborne Pathogens Coveralls to protect workers from pathogens, bodily fluids, bacteria and more. These coveralls pass ASTM F1670-1671 testing for penetration of blood, body fluids and bloodborne pathogens.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the following if you are stuck by a needle or other sharp instruments, or get blood or other potentially infectious materials in your eyes, nose, mouth, or on broken skin:

  • Immediately flood the exposed area with water and clean any wound with soap and water or a skin disinfectant if available.
  • Report this immediately to your employer
  • Seek immediate medical attention

NFPA 70E – Arc Flash Standard for Electrical Safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) created NFPA 70E, a standard for Electrical Safety in the workplace. This standard is designed to protect workers around any device capable of generating arc flash by requiring arc flash protective clothing for their corresponding Hazard/Risk Category. The information below is a high level overview.

NFPA 70E Requirements:

The NFPA published the latest edition of the NFPA 70E standard in 2009. It requires employees to wear flame resistant protective clothing that meets the requirements of ASTM F1506 wherever there is possible exposure to arc flash. It also requires employers to perform a flash hazard analysis to determine the flash protection boundary distance. For additional requirements please review the NFPA70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace 2009 Edition.

Why should I comply with NFPA 70E?

The NFPA 70E is not only recognized by OSHA but can save your life! Numerous arc flash burn injuries and deaths are caused each year by arc-flash explosions. Wearing proper arc flash protection can minmize the likelihood of inuiry and fatality. OSHA has confirmed that garments which meet the requirements of ASTM F1506 are in compliance with OSHA 29 CR 1910.269 Electrical Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, with regard to garments not contributing to burn severity.

Just Added! Stay Warm With OccuNomix Winter Liners

Occunomix Liners and HatsWinter is here! We now carry a large selection of winter liners in various of styles. Our selection includes fleece liners, hard hat liners, beanies, insulated hats and much more. These liners not only keep you warm but they provide you with superior comfort and excellent cold stress relief. Crafted from flexible, durable material, this head gear allows room for other safety products, like ear plugs or protective glasses. You will see the difference in your body temperature when wearing these warm fleece liners. Be sure to protect yourself from cold related injuries by staying warm with our winter liners!

Rainwear

Are you ready for the rain? Protect yourself and your staff with comfortable, affordable, durable rainwear. Our selection of rainwear includes economy rainsuits, rain overalls, high visibility rainsuits, ponchos, and more. Rainsuits are available with different coatings and thicknesses to best fit your application. Many rainsuits offer protection from many different acids, oils, alcohols, salts and alkalies. Some rainsuits are even Flame resistant! Superior comfort, excellent protection and affordability? What are you waiting, be prepared and stay dry with rainwear from Onguard, Tingley Rubber, Occunomix and more!

ONGUARD SureFlex – Chemical Resistant Shoes and Boots

Work around dangerous chemicals? You probably wear the proper work gloves to ensure you don’t touch the liquids you’re handling, and you likely cover your mouth with some kind of respirator. But do you protect your feet. ONGUARD Industries specialty upper and outside compounds make SureFlex the number one choice for providing high degree of chemical resistance. SureFlex WorkShoes and Boots are available with plain toe or steel toe. Both styles feature a wider calf design for a more comfortable fit, a kick-off lug for easy removal, removable and replaceable preformed 3-layer insole for added comfort and steel shank for added support and protection in the instep. Orange slip resistant safety loc outsole combined with SureFlex compound provides superior slip resistance. ONGUARD SureFlex gives you safety plus comfort, what can be better?

ANSI/ISEA 107 Standards

ANSI Approved ClothingAbout the standard:

ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 is the American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel established by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.

This standard provides guidelines for the use of high-visibility safety apparel (shirts, rainwear, outerwear and safety vests) for construction, utility, police, emergency medical services, fire fighters and airport ramp ramp workers. ANSI/ISEA 107 is intended to improve workers visibility during the day, in low-light conditions and at night. It also provides guidelines to help purchasers select the appropriate garment based on assessment of worker hazards and tasks, complexity of the work environments or background, and vehicular traffic and speed.

Not sure about the differences between all classes? See which class is required for your job.

Class 1 – For workers in occupations that permit full and undivided attention to approaching traffic. When work backgrounds are not complex. When Pedestrian workers are separated from traffic. Examples, parking lot attendants, shopping cart retrievers, warehouse workers, and delivery vehicle drivers.

Minimum requirements for Class 1:

■Background Fabric – 217 square inches
■Retro reflective Material – 155 square inches

Class 2 – For workers who require greater visibility under inclement weather conditions. When work backgrounds are complex. When tasks divert attention from approaching vehicle traffic. Examples, roadway construction workers, utility workers, survey crews, railroad workers, school crossing guards, airport baggage handlers, law enforcement personnel, accident site personnel, emergency response personnel, high volume parking and toll-gate personnel.

Minimum requirements for Class 2:

■Background Fabric – 775 square inches
■Retro reflective Material – 201 square inches

Class 3 – For workers and vehicle operations whose high task loads place them in danger. When wearer must be conspicuous through the full range of body motions at minimum 1,280 feet. When wearer must be identifiable as a person. Examples, roadway construction workers, utility workers, survey crews and emergency service personnel.

Minimum requirements for Class 3:

■Background Fabric – 1240 square inches
■Retro reflective Material – 310 square inches

Arc Flash Protection

Arc Flash ProtectionEvery year, more than 2,000 workers are treated in burn centers with severe arc flash injuries. The flash is immediate, but the results can cause severe injuries that last months, years – even a lifetime. In some cases, they may cause death. Fortunately, arc flash hazards can be reduced by following safety precautions and using the proper Arc Flash Protection recommended for each application.

What is Arc Flash?

Arc Flash is the result of a rapid release of energy due to an arcing fault between a phase bus bar and another phase bus bar, neutral or a ground. During an arc fault the air is the conductor. Arc faults are generally limited to systems where the bus voltage is in excess of 120 volts. Lower voltage levels normally will not sustain an arc. An arc fault is similar to the arc obtained during electric welding and the fault has to be manually started by something creating the path of conduction or a failure such as a breakdown in insulation.

The cause of the short normally burns away during the initial flash and the arc fault is then sustained by the establishment of a highly-conductive plasma. The plasma will conduct as much energy as is available and is only limited by the impedance of the arc. This massive energy discharge burns the bus bars, vaporizing the copper and thus causing an explosive volumetric increase, the arc blast, conservatively estimated, as an expansion of 40,000 to 1. This fiery explosion devastates everything in its path, creating deadly shrapnel as it dissipates.

The arc fault current is usually much less than the available bolted fault current and below the rating of circuit breakers. Unless these devices have been selected to handle the arc fault condition, they will not trip and the full force of an arc flash will occur. The electrical equation for energy is volts x current x time. The transition from arc fault to arc flash takes a finite time, increasing in intensity as the pressure wave develops. The challenge is to sense the arc fault current and shut off the voltage in a timely manner before it develops into a serious arc flash condition.

Did you know?

The temperature of an arc flash can reach 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit – about four times as hot as the surface of the sun.

Arc Flash Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment, or PPE is designed to protect employees from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Besides face shields, safety glasses, hard hats, and safety shoes, PPE also includes a variety of devices and garments such as goggles, coveralls, work gloves, vests, earplugs, and respirators.

In order to select the proper PPE, incident energy must be known at every point where workers may be required to perform work on energized equipment. These calculations need to be performed by a qualified person such as an electrical engineer. All parts of the body that may be exposed to the arc flash need to be covered by the appropriate type and quality of PPE. Proper PPE for welding can include Flame Resistant clothing, arc flash kits, helmet or headgear, face shield, safety glasses, gloves, shoes, etc. depending upon the magnitude of the arc energy.

Industry Standards – Four separate industry standards establish practices for the prevention of electrical explosion incidents:

OSHA 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910, Subpart S

This regulation states, in part, “Safety related work practices shall be employed to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts” .OSHA also addresses the qualification of workers exposed to electrical shock hazards and the provision for protective equipment appropriate for the work to be performed. OSHA enforces safety practices and cites to the NFPA requirements.

NFPA 70e-2004, National Electrical Code

Section 110.16 requires that companies place a warning label on electrical equipment likely to constitute an electrical safety hazard. This field marking can be generic or very specific, whichever the company selects. Future revisions of the NEC standard may require more detailed information on this label.

NFPA 70E-2000, Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Workplaces

NFPA 70E can be considered the “how to” standard behind OSHA enforcement. It provides the detailed actions companies must take to be in federal compliance.
Specifically:

■Safety program with defined responsibilities
■Calculations for the degree of electrical safety hazard
■Training for workers
■Tools for safe work
■Warning labels on equipment

IEEE Standard 1584-2002, Guide for Electrical Safety Regulation

In order for the warning labels to carry enough information to show the danger zone for electrical safety conditions, companies must determine that area within which only qualified workers should enter – the protection boundary. IEEE 1584 provides a method to calculate the incident energy in order to specify the level of PPE required for workers.

Protective Clothing in the Workplace

Maintaining a workforce in modern times is a difficult task to say the least, particularly when it requires keeping on top of legislative changes and government red tape. Nevertheless, it is important for the well being of your workforce to make sure you have adequate protective clothing in place during working hours. Whether this involves buying specific items for your workforce, or devising a company uniform policy for health and safety reasons, you can source the right protective clothing for your needs. In this article we’ll look at why protective clothing is important for your organization, and where you can find it.

Protective clothing comes in a range of different styles and sizes, spanning most of the traditional “dangerous” industries. Whether you’re working in a heavy construction environment or handling volatile chemicals, chances are you’ll need some safety equipment, whether it be a sturdy pair of work gloves or a full-body hazmat suit, in order to do your job. But why is protective clothing important from the point of view of the organization employing staff? Furthermore, why should the organization care if its staff are well protected?

From a moral point of view, that seems obvious. Employers should want to take care of their staff and take all measures to avoid them coming to any harm. Unfortunately morality and business don’t always go hand in hand, and it can be hard to ensure employers live up to their obligations. Recent health and safety legislation has had the effect of making the workplace safer for employees, leading to a range of industrial court actions against offending employers. As an employer, it is now in your best interests to be seen to be caring for your staff and the environment in which they work, which is why it can be a good idea to invest in protective clothing for your workforce.

Finding protective clothing is important for the health and well being of both your staff and your company. By failing to provide the right protective clothing and safety equipment, you may end up with an injured workforce or even complex and costly litigation along the way, which can be seriously detrimental for business productivity. Wherever possible, locating protective clothing should be high on the list of priorities for the employer or small businessman, to provide long term value for your business and your staff, and to avoid the dangers of the work environment for the health and safety of your employees.

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.