The Best Earmuffs for Hearing Protection

Every year millions of people in the US are exposed to hazardous occupational noise. The law requires employers provide their employees with a safe workplace. When the workers’ noise exposure exceeds an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels on the A scale (dBA), the employer must develop and implement a hearing conservation program, which includes noise level monitoring, hearing test, and hearing protection (29 CFR 1910.95(c)). Although noise exposure is usually less than 85 dBA, for those situations in which noise pollution exceeds this level, wearing earmuffs is an appropriate solution for effective hearing protection.

If you do not make it a habit to protect your ears with earmuffs from damaging noise, chances are you will eventually have some degree of permanent hearing loss. Loud noise also reduces productivity and creates psychological and physical stress. For maximum protection, use acoustic earmuffs and wear them correctly and consistently. Make sure that your ears are well-covered by adjusting earmuff strap to fit according to your individual parameters. In choosing the right earmuffs, you should consider the work environment, the type of equipment handled, other types of PPE that you will be wearing, and the duration of use.

There are different styles of earmuffs designed for various types of work:

  • Headband style earmuffs are the sturdiest and best choice for frequent wear.
Leightning L1 Headband Earmuff 1010922 (NRR 25)

Leightning L1 Headband Earmuff 1010922

Leightning L1 Headband Earmuff 1010922 (NRR 25) features steel wire construction for extra durability of daily use in agriculture and farming, landscaping, sporting, steel, wood products, metal fabrication, transportation, forestry, general contracting, military and law enforcement, petrochemical and equipment manufacturing. The padded foam headband and the ear cushions provide extra comfort with minimal pressure. The patented air flow control reduces the frequencies without having to change the ear cup size.

 

  • Neckband style is a behind-the-head design to be worn with other PPE, such as face shields, helmets, visors, and respirators. Here are a few examples of the best neckband earmuffs.
Howard Leight Leightning Ultraslim Neckband Earmuffs 1013460 (NRR 22)

Howard Leight Leightning Ultraslim Neckband Earmuffs 1013460

Howard Leight Leightning Ultraslim Neckband Earmuffs 1013460 (NRR 22) are perfect for low level noise reduction especially in the construction industry.

For more precision, try the high-quality Howard Leight Leightning L1H Helmet Earmuffs 1011991 (NRR 23) or Howard Leight Leightning L3H Helmet Earmuffs 1011993 (NRR 27). Both models are specifically designed to be seamlessly integrated with a wide range of hard hats and include adapters to attach the earmuffs to a hard hat.

 

 

Howard Leight Leightning L1H Helmet Earmuffs 1011991 (NRR 23)

Howard Leight Leightning L1H Helmet Earmuffs 1011991

Howard Leight Leightning L3H Helmet Earmuffs 1011993

Howard Leight Leightning L3H Helmet Earmuffs 1011993

Taking proper care of your earmuffs is important. Wash earmuffs with a mild liquid detergent in warm water. Rinse in clear warm water, and ensure that sound-attenuating material inside the ear cushions does not get wet. Also, for better care, it makes sense to check the manufacturer’s instruction manual.


If you need expert advice about the best hearing protection devices (HPDs), please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com, and follow @PKSafetySupply.

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Oil & Gas Journal Features PK Safety Press Release

Published in the Oil & Gas Journal

Oil & Gas Journal

PK Safety Supply announced the addition of real-time gas monitors to the line of products for oil and gas industry. BW Clip Series are reliable, maintenance-free gas detectors, specifically engineered for hazardous environments and extreme temperatures.

This new generation of gas detectors includes the real-time digital display of gas levels, the ability to calibrate the device, and the ability to put it into hibernation mode when not in use. H2S and CO models provide up to three years of operation and hibernation capability, and all models are maintenance-free with no need for battery charging or sensor replacement. BW Clip Series Real-Time Gas Detectors are based on Surecell™ and Reflex Technology™. Surecell™ is a unique dual reservoir sensor design that dramatically improves instrument performance, response time, and longevity.

Reflex Technology™ is an advanced automated internal test function that routinely checks the operating condition of the sensor to increase safety, up-time, and overall worker confidence. Specifically, there is an automated self-test of battery, sensor and electronics within the BW Clip Series.

The instrument management option with the IntelliDoX Management System combines smart docking modules, updated Firmware V 7.000, and Fleet Manager II 4.3.31 software. It ensures quick bump tests and calibrations, unmatched configurability, enhanced productivity, and the highest level of protection.

Download the full version of the press release: PK Safety Supply Press Release

Originally published in the Oil & Gas Journal, Aug 1, 2016 issue, p.80-81 in a printed version, and p.95 in a digital version of the Journal.

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Your Skin on Concrete: Irritation, Burns, and Dermatitis

Hand Protection

Concrete Burn Causes

Concrete burns are just that, burns that are caused by skin’s exposure to concrete and other materials that can lead to a chemical reaction. Concrete burns work slowly over hours or days as the concrete hardens. In order for concrete to harden, it has to absorb moisture—cement can draw water away from anything that has moisture—even wet clothing—which only aids in the drying process. Once concrete hardens, if left untreated, skin begins to blister, swell, and bleed; second and third degree burns follow soon after. Severe cases of concrete skin irritation can lead to permanent scarring and require skin grafts or amputations. Not only is this painful and distressing to the worker, but it is harmful to their employer as well— OSHA reports that concrete workers in the U.S. lose four times as many work days for skin problems compared to other construction trade workers.

Concrete Burn Prevention & Treatment

If cement makes contact with your skin, immediately wash with cool, clean water. If your protective gear gets wet, change it out. Wash any exposed areas of skin even if you’re not aware of contact—concrete burns can take hours to form.

If you experience a cement burn, after washing your skin with water, apply vinegar to reduce the burn. Vinegar is a weak acid, so it will counteract the alkaline and help to balance your pH. Seek professional medical attention right away if a large area of skin is burned.

Dermatitis: Prevention & Treatment

Prolonged exposure to cement can make you susceptible to Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD).  ICD will cause skin to itch, scab, and become red or swollen. Multiple ICD experiences can lead to Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD), a long-term sensitivity to the chemicals in cement.

ACD is difficult to cure, but short term treatments include antibiotics for infections, steroids, antihistamines, and repeated washing with a pH neutral cleanser. Because ACD and ICD take days to develop, bring persistent skin problems to your doctor’s attention as soon as possible.

As is often the case, prevention is the best cure. Invest in high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) and make sure everyone is trained on how to use and care for it. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that workers who deal with cement wear PPE, such as:

  • Eye wear
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Coveralls or pants
  • Rubber boots
  • Liquid or chemical resistant safety gloves

Supplying employees with proper PPE decreases time loss injuries, thereby increasing employee productivity. It’s the easiest way to reduce burn-related incidents from wet cement and send your workers home safe.

This article was originally published in HexArmor Safety Blog in April, 2016.


If you have questions or need help finding the right hand protection solution, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit PK Safety Supply online at www.pksafety.com.

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ISEA Announces Revised ANSI/ISEA 105 Hand Safety Standards

Revised ISEA Hand Protection Selection Criteria Guides End-Users and Specifiers

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has received American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval for ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification, with cut-resistance testing and updated corresponding classification levels as key focus areas.

ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 was prepared by the Hand Protection Group of the ISEA and reviewed by a consensus panel of key stakeholders representing construction, healthcare, sanitation and recycling facilities, end users, testing and certification organizations, and government agencies.

The standard addresses the classification and testing of hand protection for specific performance properties related to mechanical protection (cut-resistance, puncture resistance and abrasion resistance), chemical protection (permeation resistance, degradation) and other performance characteristics such as ignition resistance and vibration reductions.

Gloves are classified to a performance level ranging from 0 to 6 based upon their performance when evaluated against defined industry test methods.  Such ratings can assist users to select appropriate hand protection for known specific hazards in the workplace.

One of the major changes in ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 surrounds the determination of classification for cut-resistance, including the use of a single test method for testing in an effort to provide consistent meaning of the ratings from the end-user perspective. Classification levels have been expanded to address the disparate gap among certain levels seen in earlier versions and to model the approach used in similar international standards. Additional updates include the incorporation of a needlestick puncture test, recognizing that this is a common potential exposure for the medical, sanitation and recycling industries.

“The 2016 version reflects a proactive process to include state of the art material performance and technology and to harmonize with other existing standards. The updates will assist end users and specifiers in properly selecting appropriate hand protection based on testing and classification,” said Brent Lohrmann, Vice President of HexArmor and Chairman of the ISEA Hand Protection Group.

ISEA Cut-Resistance Calculator Tool

To assist manufacturers, material suppliers and test labs, ISEA has developed an on-line tool that can be used to easily and accurately calculate the glove’s cut-resistance classification outlined in the standard.  The complimentary tool can be downloaded here.

This article was originally published in HexArmor Safety Blog in January, 2016.

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OSHA: the New Construction Rule and the General Confined Space Rule

By Mario Mendoza, Regional Sales Manager, Allegro Industries

OSHA Fines Increase

On May 4, 2015, OSHA issued a new standard for construction work in confined space. There are five key differences from the Construction Rule, and several areas where OSHA has clarified existing requirements.

The five new requirements include:

  1. More detailed provisions requiring coordinated activities when there are multiple employers at the worksite. This will ensure hazards are not introduced into a confined space by workers performing tasks outside the space. An example would be a generator running near the entrance of a confined space causing a buildup of carbon monoxide within the space.
  2. Requiring a competent person to evaluate the work site and identify confined spaces, including permit spaces.
  3. Requiring continuous atmospheric monitoring whenever possible.
  4. Requiring continuous monitoring of engulfment hazards. For example, when workers are performing work in a storm sewer, a storm upstream from the workers could cause flash flooding. An electronic sensor or observer posted upstream from the work site could alert workers in the space at the first sign of the hazard, giving the workers time to evacuate the space safely.
  5. Allowing for the suspension of a permit, instead of cancellation, in the event of changes from the entry conditions list on the permit or an unexpected event requiring evacuation of the space. The space must be returned to the entry conditions listed on the permit before re-entry.

In addition, OSHA has added provisions to the new rule that clarifies existing requirements in the General Industry standard.

These include:

  1. Requiring that employers who direct workers to enter a space without using a complete permit system prevent workers’ exposure to physical hazards through elimination of the hazard or isolation methods such as lockout/tagout.
  2. Requiring that employers who are relying on local emergency services for emergency services arrange for responders to give the employer advance notice if they will be unable to respond for a period of time (because they are responding to another emergency, attending department-wide training, etc.).
  3. Requiring employers to provide training in a language and vocabulary that the worker understands.

Finally, several terms have been added to the definitions for the construction rule, such as “entry employer” to describe the employer who directs workers to enter a space, and “entry rescue”, added to clarify the differences in the types of rescue employers can use.


If you have questions about the right PPE for your specific applications, please contact one of PK Safety Customer Service folks at 800-829-9580, or visit pksafety.com.

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Gas Detection Solutions for Commercial Spaces

Confined spaces become hazardous areas when exhaust gathers from cars, trucks, buses, tractors, trailers, forklifts, and other fossil fuel burning engines. Exhaust fumes are highly toxic and exposure to the fumes can result in serious health problems, and even death. That is why the CO and NO2 levels must be measured, and when concentrations reach unsafe, unhealthy levels, the areas must be ventilated. Reliable detection can also protect those who work in these areas from accidents like explosion and fire. A number of different gas detection solutions exist to satisfy these needs. Designing a proper gas detection system can be challenging because of the existing variety of applications in parking garages, hospital/ambulance bays, fire or police stations, boiler rooms, commercial kitchens, indoor stadiums, car dealerships, warehouses, loading docks, train stations, airports, and tunnels. The specifics of the design of the structure must determine which specific monitoring system suits the application best.

E3Point

The Honeywell E3Point

The versatile Honeywell E3Point network gas detector monitors toxic, oxygen and combustible gases in commercial applications. It can be used as a standalone unit with single or dual-gas detection using a remote sensor, or deployed as a network device interoperable with BACnet, Modbus and other Building Automation Systems. The advantage of E3Point is that it is based on the accurate electrochemical and catalytic bead sensor technology that reduces false alarms. Other benefits of using E3Point include flexible operation, cost effectiveness, versatile communication, and advanced sensing technology. The E3Point Gas Monitor has an accuracy of ± 3%. Diagnostic information can be viewed on LCD display. Interchangeable sensors are pre-calibrated and may be easily exchanged.

To network several E3Point gas detectors together, the 301C is a gas detection controller is the device to do the job. With unique zoning and comparison abilities, it can continuously monitor and average multiple sensor readings in different zones. This unit allows for up to 96 hardwired E3Points to be linked together and back to the 301C on just two pairs of wires. To take advantage of wireless networking, the 301W is a two-year maintenance and calibration free gas detector which uses a wireless mesh network to communicate back with the 301C. The 301C can monitor up to 50 wireless transmitters, and datalogging is an option. Ventilation (exhaust fans) and alarm beacons/warning systems are also controlled and activated by the 301C, and should be placed in appropriate locations as required.

Facility Building Environment Gases Present (detected by E3Point)
Parking garage Parking Structure CO, NO2, C3H8
Loading dock Loading Dock CO, NO2, C3H8, H2
Transport terminal Transport Terminal CO, NO2, C3H8, CH4
Golf cart repair Golf Cart Maintenance/Battery Charging Area CO, NO2, CH4, O2, H2
Maintenance garage Maintenance Garage CO, NO2, C3H8, O2, H2S, H2
Ambulance Bay Hospital/Ambulance Bay CO, NO2, C3H8, O2
Fire station Fire/Police Station CO, NO2, C3H8, O2, H2, H2S
Carwash station Car Wash CO, NO2, C3H8

If you have questions or need help finding the right gas detection solution, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.

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Safety Issues With Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go Safety Alert

What is the latest universal safety danger? You will never guess, but it is a new augmented reality phone app which uses GPS-tracking and technology that imposes a digital facade on the real world – Pokémon Go. Who could have predicted this safety concern? The cute harmless cartoon critters debuted in Japan in 1996. Apps that layer a digital world on top of the real one can create awkward and even dangerous situations. The particular issues with playing Pokémon Go are the locations where players can catch and battle imaginary monsters: parks, stadiums, back yards, churches, museums, construction sites, and even in NASA. That’s where safety concerns come up.

Pokemon Go in NASA

Pokemon Go in NASA

Pokemon monsters in NASA

Pokemon Go Monsters in NASA

 “Because Pokémon Go is becoming so widely adopted, the app not only should cause safety concerns among parents, law enforcement officials and businesses, it also should cause concern within companies and subsequently, safety managers,” says EHS Today in one of the articles.

The first accidents have already been reported: players were struck my moving vehicles, crashed the car, got mugged, robbed, and fell in a ditch while playing the game in inappropriate places. Michael Pachter, a gaming analyst for Wedbush Securities says: “I just hope that nobody actually gets killed walking into traffic.”

You do not need an OSHA officer on your site to deal with this cultural phenomenon. To prevent injuries in your working area, issue strict rules about using personal devices at work, install “Caution: restricted area” signs, warning labels, warning lines, barricade tapes, and make sure fences around the restricted project area are secure and well-maintained. Little things like that matter for saving lives. The National Safety Council found that there were 136,053 preventable injury deaths in the U.S. in 2014 – a 57 percent increase since 1992.

Here is the list of safety tips for players to prevent Pokémon Go-related accidents:

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times,
  • Respect real-world rules when playing: watch traffic, do not ignore cars, trucks and stop lights,
  • Be cautious and do not go to restricted areas (construction sites, refineries, confined spaces),
  • Do not drive, ride a bike or a skateboard while interacting with the app,
  • Play in a group in well-lit unrestricted areas to ensure your safety.

If you need the expert advice about safety, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com, and follow us @PKSafetySupply.

Images courtesy of Kirsi Kuutti at NASA.

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Delta’s Comfortable New Positioning Harnesses

Harnesses are part of the program to provide fall safety while working at height. That’s their number one job. But comfort has to be up there in the list of requirements especially for folks who wear their harnesses for long periods of time each day. Delta harnesses have come quite a long way since the days when at-height workers were tying a rope around their waist.

Delta Comfort Possitioning Harness 110084

Delta’s new Vest-Style Comfort Positioning Harness 110084 is the latest advancement to combine incredible comfort with modern fall protection. Delta achieves this balance by using modern materials, common sense, and knowledge acquired from feedback of thousands of climbers.

The Delta Comfort harnesses feature built-in shoulder, back and leg comfort padding, as well as integrated vent windows that allow for better air flow and circulation to cool down the user. The polyester webbing material of the straps is stiff enough to give some shape to the harness when you’re putting it on, but not to the extent that it becomes uncomfortable.

Of course, these new harnesses still feature the long list of advancements that define the Delta harness line, such as a fixed back D-ring, the 420 lb. total weight capacity, a rigid body belt and a hip pad with side D-rings, the tongue buckle leg straps, a durable, lightweight polyester webbing, the built-in lanyard keepers with a break-away feature, the Revolver-style vertical torso adjusters, an impact indicator, and protected labels (though I don’t know any climber who sees that a harness has the protected labels and shouts Hurrah! Still, somebody must like that feature.)

And just so you know, the Delta Comfort Harness 110084 meets all the applicable safety standards including OSHA 1910.66, OSHA 1926.502, ANSI Z359.1, ANSI Z359.3, Capital Safety Gen. Mfg. Requirements.

For more information about safety products, please don’t hesitate to call 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.

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Introducing SKYSAFE PRO FLEX Energy-Absorbing Lanyard

By Mark Conover, Sales Manager, SKYLOTEC

Skylotec Fall Protection

the SKYSAFE PRO FLEX Energy-Absorbing Lanyard

SKYLOTEC introduces the SKYSAFE PRO FLEX Energy-Absorbing Lanyard series. These lanyards are designed to provide protection in 6 AND 12 foot free fall in a single lanyard. Other manufacturers require you to have two lanyards, one for each free fall distance. SKYLOTEC’s SKYSAFE PRO can save you time and money. If you ever tie-off below your dorsal D-ring or at risk of taking a fall greater than six feet this may be the lanyard for you. The SKYSAFE PRO FLEX also includes rescue web loops integrated in each leg for a strong and effective means of rescue. This lanyard also features a variety of ANSI tested hook configurations including light-weight aluminum alloy hooks or carabiners to meet your demands.

Key Features:

  • Carabiners are robust and lightweight
  • Rescue loops enable easy attachment of the rescue device, ensure safe and fast rescue operations
  • Fall indicator indicates easy fall detection and inspection
  • The flex function creates no clack and reduces the risk of tripping
  • No peak load, smooth shock absorbing
  • Max. service life: 4-6 Years
  • Area of application: Wind Power

Customer’s Review: “Saved my life twice on top of a 4 story tower, and countless others’ lives. Highly recommend this item. You can’t put a price on safety, only a budget.”


If you have questions about the best lanyards for your specific applications, please contact one of PK Safety Customer Service folks at 800-829-9580, or visit pksafety.com.

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How to Use an Eyewash Testing Gauge

By Samantha Hoch, Marketing Specialist, Haws

Eyewash Station

Eyewash testing gauges are an important tool when testing eyewashes and eye/face washes for ANSI Z358.1 compliance. Make sure you are utilizing it correctly with this quick guide.

How To Use An Eyewash Gauge

To determine a suitable eyewash pattern, the eyewash testing gauge should be a minimum of 4 inches in length with two sets of parallel lines equidistant from the center. The interior of the lines should be 3.25 inches apart. (Section 5.1.8)

STEP 1. Activate the eye/face wash. Note: If the eye/face wash is a part of a combination unit, ensure all other outlets are activated to confirm proper flow and simultaneous use. (Section 7.1)

STEP 2. Place the testing gauge in the streams of the eyewash. (Section 5.1.8)

STEP 3. The flushing fluid should cover the areas between the interior and exterior lines of the gauge at some point less than 8 inches above the eyewash nozzle. (Section 5.1.8)

Eyewash Gauge

This guest post was originally published in Haws Blog, June 28, 2016.

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