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What to Know About The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a dangerous toxic gas that is undetectable by people because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Did you know that every year about 430 people die in the U. S. from accidental Carbon Monoxide poisoning? Recently, police officers were poisoned by CO from a carbon monoxide leak in their vehicles, reported by FOX 25 News. Four officers driving modified Ford Explorers tested positive for carbon monoxide; one even passed out behind the wheel and caused an accident. “Safety is our top priority and we are concerned for those involved. We are investigating, but until we have the facts, it would be inappropriate to comment further,” said Elizabeth Wingrandt, the Safety Communications Manager for Ford. Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, some Police Departments added CO detectors to their Required Equipment list. However, some officers expressed their concern about having to carry gas monitors in addition to a lot of other equipment that they have to use daily. They think Ford has to fix the problem with the vehicle instead.

Here’s what one of our customers has said about using one of our CO gas monitors: “With a current manufacturer defect for carbon monoxide leaks in our Ford police vehicles, these lightweight, small, and portable detection devices have literally been life-saving. They have alerted us to carbon monoxide leaks in multiple vehicles which have saved lives.”

How Is Carbon Monoxide Produced?

Incomplete combustion is the main reason why CO is released. Fossil fuels contain carbon and hydrogen, which combine with oxygen during complete combustion and produce carbon dioxide and water. During incomplete combustion part of the carbon is not fully oxidized which creates carbon monoxide. Some of the reasons of incomplete combustion include the insufficient mix of air and fuel or insufficient time to burn.

All gas-powered appliances and vehicles give off some amount of carbon monoxide. CO poisoning occurs when people have been exposed to the high levels of this gas for a short time, or to the low levels of CO for a prolonged period of time. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), varying levels of CO in the atmosphere can cause different health problems:

  1. From 0.5 ppm to 5 ppm – does not affect your health, as it is a normal range of CO for environments and buildings without gas appliances.
  2. Less than 70 ppm – no health damages were observed if exposed for a short time. More than six-hours of exposure will cause headaches and dizziness.
  3. Around 100 ppm – will give you a headache after two hours of exposure.
  4. From 150 ppm to 200 ppm – the exposure at these levels causes disorientation, unconsciousness, and even death.

It is important to know that long exposure to low levels of CO is as harmful as short exposure to high levels of this gas, because Carbon Monoxide easily bonds with red blood cells, and prevents them from absorbing oxygen, which is extremely dangerous for people’s health.

Top Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

Digital, fast-responding, portable CO detectors are a great choice for on-the-go applications, as they respond to low levels of CO in seconds, compared to residential alarms. Portable CO detectors are mostly used for professional applications in oil and gas, automobile industries, construction and in confined spaces.

The BW Clip Series CO Detector is a great example of a high-performance CO gas monitoring systems.

Key Benefits of BW Clip Detectors:

  • Maintenance-free: does not require battery and sensor replacement
  • Compact: one-button operation
  • Hibernatable, with a hibernation case accessory
  • Compatible with the Micro-Dock II and the IntelliDoX instrument management systems
  • Automated self-test of battery, sensor, and electronics
  • Activated detectors automatically perform 1 internal diagnostic test every 24 hours
  • Provides wide-angle flash alerts with an audible and a vibrating alarm
  • Automatic logging of the 35 most recent gas events, bump test, and calibration results
  • Can be used with the hands-free Hard Hat Clip carrying accessory

Depending on your application, you can choose from two types of BW Clip Series monitors: standard or real time.

The BW Clip Standard Monitor does not display readings at any time. It is a compliance detector, with alarm points set to alert users when preset limits are reached. These are OSHA default alarm settings. The advantage of this type of monitor is that no calibration is required for the life of the unit.

If seeing the actual gas level is important to you and your company, we recommend other instruments. For instance, the BW GasAlert Extreme CO monitor will show a constant digital readout. You will need to calibrate the unit at least every 180 days to maintain accuracy.

Here are two additional great CO monitors available:

Standard: BW CLIP 3 YEAR CO SINGLE GAS DETECTOR BWC3-M

Standard CO Gas Monitor

This option is more affordable than real-time monitors. The standard BW Clip detector provides visual and audible alarms warning the user immediately when CO levels in the environment become dangerous.

Real Time: BW CLIP 3 YEAR CO DETECTOR 35-200 PPM BWC3R-M

Real Time CO Gas Monitor

Designed for a wide range of harsh environments and extreme temperatures, the BW Clip Real Time Detector ensures and displays on the screen continuous real time measuring of CO levels. It features the updated Firmware and includes a real-time gas level display, the ability to calibrate the device, as well as a user-settable calibration reminder. It is a perfect gas monitoring device for the first response, confined space entry, hazmat, oil and gas, public safety, industrial and environmental uses.

Are you ready for real-time gas detection? Give us a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online https://www.pksafety.com/gasdetection.html.

Sources:

  1. Data Sheet
  2. Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  3. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  4. Carbon Monoxide Safety Outreach Materials
  5. Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention
  6. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Checking for Complete Combustion
  7. Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements
  8. Boston 25 NEWS
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5 Helpful Tips for a Safe Labor Day Celebration

Posted on Thursday, August 31st, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Labor Day was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City to commemorate the social and economic achievements of American workers. A few years later the first Monday of September was selected as the official day to pay tribute to the leadership, strong spirit, and freedom of the American workforce. Labor Day is celebrated across the country with parades, festivals, and family get-togethers.

Labor Day also signals the end of summer and usually includes outdoor activities like swimming in lakes, rivers or the ocean, hiking, playing sports, partying and backyard barbecuing. Check out these helpful tips that will allow you to stay safe while enjoying outdoor Labor Day festivities.

Top 5 Tips for a Safe Holiday Celebration:

  1. Planning a road trip? It is a good idea to get enough sleep before the trip, especially if you are driving. Have your car checked by a professional technician to make sure you have a smooth ride. Having an emergency first aid kit is a good idea, keep it in your car trunk, both for long and short trips. Popular Mechanics magazine suggests adding dust masks with a N95 or a N100 rating to your ultimate survival kit, “which not only keeps dirt and debris away but can also filter airborne pathogens.”
  2. Enjoy swimming in a natural water basin? Avoid areas where there are obvious sources of environmental pollution nearby. Remember that, unlike a swimming pool, a lake or a river may have hidden hazards: underwater rocks, uneven bottom, strong underwater currents, and pathogens in the water. Use caution when swimming in fresh warm water, especially in stagnant water that may have deadly parasites. Swimming in water that contains blue weeds may cause skin irritations. Taking a shower immediately after swimming should eliminate this kind of threat. For your own safety, it is always better to go swimming in supervised locations and to not enter the water alone to avoid accidents and drowning.
  3. Can’t imagine a Labor Day without a barbecue? To minimize chances of fire, set your grill away from any buildings, use protective gloves and special long-handled tools for grilling, and have a fire extinguisher ready. Never leave your food in the sun for a long period of time to avoid foodborne diseases. Eat only freshly prepared meals, and refrigerate the leftovers immediately.
  4. Love beach parties? To prevent sun burns use sunscreen with SPF 30+ and reapply it every 3-4 hours, wear a hat and high-quality sunglasses with the 99% UV-protection capability. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and remember: alcohol and heat are a bad combination, as it increases the chances of dehydration, heat-related illnesses and serious accidents like trips, slips, and falls, and drowning when swimming under the influence.
  5. Watching Labor Day fireworks is one of the most loved activities across the country. However, fireworks also create a fire danger – the reason why police and fire department crews are always on high alert during the fireworks season. Launching DIY fireworks is not a good idea because it increases a chance of accidents. It is much safer and more fun to attend well-organized community events that culminate in fireworks when all the safety measures are being taken care of by the organizers.

Do you need expert advice on personal protective equipment for your specific application? Give us a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at https://www.pksafety.com/.

Sources:

  1. History of Labor Day
  2. Swimming Illnesses and Hazards
  3. 7 Safety Tips for an Injury-Free Labor Day
  4. Safety Tips Help Ensure a Safe Labor Day Weekend
  5. The Ultimate Survival Preparedness Kit for Your Car
  6. The Danger of Swimming Under the Influence
  7. What happens to your body when you drink alcohol and swim

 

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The Worker Safety Specialists for 70 Years

Posted on Friday, August 18th, 2017 by Analisa H.

Seventy years ago, PK Safety was founded by Eric L. Pedley and ship captain, Josiah Knowles, in San Francisco, CA under the name Pedley-Knowles and Company. What started as one of a dozen Bay Area ship chandlery businesses expanded to include safety nets and eventually shifted to safety equipment and services.

 

Eric was known to be a tinkerer, which led to one of his biggest inventions: extremely durable safety nets. In the mid 1950’s Eric and his nephew, Phillip Pedley, formed Pedley Nets, a manufacturing and sales alliance in Glen Ellen, California. Through a patented manufacturing process on these practically indestructible nets, they were able to gain preeminence in the safety netting field.

 

Half Way To Hell Club

Eric L. Pedley was a member of the Half Way To Hell Club, an exclusive club organized by the men who fell from the Golden Gate Bridge during its construction in 1936 and 1937 and were saved by the safety nets.

 

They leased these safety nets to be used on high rise buildings, bridge construction and maintenance, and special nets for children to use at theme parks and playgrounds. Today these nets can still be found underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and in many amusement parks across the country.

 

Pedley Nets were used on bridge construction and maintenance like the one pictured here.

Pedley Nets were used on bridge construction and maintenance like the one pictured here.

 

The chandlery business continued with the addition of Eric A. Pedley (Eric L. Pedley’s son) and Mel Freeman in 1960. Eric A. Pedley came from Bethlehem Shipbuilding with expertise in mechanics of ships; Mel came from Tidewater Oil Company with expertise in and connections with the Philippine shipping industry, which gave the Company access to a new market.

 

By the early 1970’s the Company shifted its focus to safety equipment since the shipping chandlery businesses were all in decline and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had just formed in 1972. Eric S. Pedley (Rick), PK Safety’s current President and CEO, joined the family business in 1979. In 1982, his grandfather Eric L. Pedley retired and the relationship with Pedley Nets came to an end.

 

The Company relocated to Illinois Street in San Francisco. In 1996 Rick took over the Company, shortening its name to PK Safety, and moved it two more times: from San Francisco to Oakland, CA in 1996, then to Alameda, CA in 2001. The following year he launched the Company’s first online store, expanding its customer reach both nationally and internationally. Year over year, PK Safety continued to grow and eventually got certified in 2014 to start servicing products like gas monitors.

 

In 2015, the Company stopped housing product in its own warehouse and shifted to using a third-party logistics (3PL) system with warehouses located in Fresno, CA, St. Louis, MO, and Carlisle, PA. This has helped the PK Safety scale with faster fulfillment and delivery along with shipping orders directly from manufacturers.

 

PK Safety serves multiple industries including oil & gas, solar/wind, construction, manufacturing, confined space and fall safety.

 

Although PK Safety has evolved over the years, one thing that still rings true is our commitment to outstanding customer service and industry knowledge— you get a real live safety expert to speak with, who will pick up the phone faster than 911. Our extremely knowledgeable safety experts receive regular trainings directly from manufacturers of the products we carry. We serve multiple industries — from construction and confined space to renewable energy and oil and gas.

 

We are so grateful for our customers’ support these past 70 years and look forward to serving them for many years to come.

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How The Total Solar Eclipse May Affect You

Posted on Thursday, August 17th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

On Aug. 21, 2017, for the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will cross the US coast-to-coast. The shadow of the Moon will block the Sun, and daylight will disappear for around two minutes. Across the US, it will create a path of totality and those who live within this path will be able to see a total solar eclipse. Outside the path of totality, you will be able to view a partial solar eclipse – check out your zone on the 2017 Total Eclipse Path map.

The impact of the solar eclipse includes:

  • Reduced solar energy supply, which will create a special peak demand in electric power
  • Potential serious eye injuries from viewing the solar eclipse without recommended eclipse-certified dark glasses or filters
  • Radio and cell transmission, GPS and other navigation systems disruptions from high-volume use

Solar Eclipse Glasses

3 Things You Can Do To Stay Safe

  1. Reduce Your Energy Use

The sun has become an important source of electric power in the United States. During the eclipse, we will have a reduction in solar energy production, causing a higher demand on the grid for alternate power plant supply. Bloomberg estimated that solar energy production will be reduced as much as 9,000 megawatts. This could trigger a spike in power prices, and cause the shift of power source to extra power plants that rely on fossil fuels. You can help offset the drop in energy production by pre-cooling or automatically changing the temperature in your home by just a few degrees before the eclipse starts. Automated thermostat systems like Nest have rewards programs for reducing energy consumption at peak demand times, and the eclipse is a special event that will cause a shift in renewable energy supply, creating a special energy rush hour. Reducing your energy use during this peak demand time will help save money and reduce carbon emissions.

  1. Protect Your Eyes

The only safe way to look directly at the Sun or a partial or annular eclipse is through special eclipse-certified glasses ISO 12312-2. Standard sunglasses or DIY filters will NOT protect your eyes from the intensity of even the crescent sun. This exposure can cause permanent retinal damage, especially when viewed through binoculars or other optical aids.

Want to capture the moment? Here is what you can do: clean your phone lens, hold solar glasses in front of the phone lens, and snap a picture. Don’t look at the sun when shifting the glasses from your face to the camera. Do not try to take a photo with a high-end camera without proper solar filters, because the rays can damage your eyes. Keep your eyes safe by wearing the proper eyewear, and don’t miss this rare astronomical event.

  1. Be Ready for GPS or Cell Phone Malfunctioning

Crowds of eclipse-chasers will travel on August 21 trying to get the best chance of having clear skies for a better view. If you have planned a trip and are driving, print the map, and have alternative means of connection ready in case your cell phone ends up having reception or connectivity issues. Experts recommend using a 2-way radio, like a walkie-talkie, and texting to connect with your friends and family as more reliable means of communication. Leave home well in advance to make sure you won’t miss the event in case you get stuck in traffic. The cell phone or GPS malfunctioning is predicted as result of the huge increase in bandwidth usage. People will try to share photos, videos, or live stream the entire event on social media using their smartphones which may cause connection disruptions. Some service providers are boosting the bandwidth capacity by deploying a Cell-on-Wheels (COWs) and a Cell on a Light Truck (COLT) at several locations where most tourists will travel to get a better view of the eclipse. It is the same gear used by network disaster recovery teams after natural disasters.

For many people, the total solar eclipse could be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Enjoy the view, and stay safe! In case you miss this total solar eclipse, here is a Map of Total and Annular Solar Eclipses so you could prepare well in advance for the next one.

Solar Eclipse

References:

Atlas Obscura: The Unique Science Experiments Planned for the Eclipse

Bloomberg: A Solar Eclipse Could Wipe Out 9,000 Megawatts of Power Supplies

Chicago Tribune: Eclipse Offers Rare Opportunity to Study Sun, Atmosphere, Animals 

Eclipse 2017: Eclipse 101

High Altitude Observatory: Eclipse Science Showcase

Interactive Map: Total Solar Eclipse 2017

Live Science: The 2017 Solar Eclipse May Prove the Sun Is Bigger Than We Think

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences: Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Proven in Australia, 1922

NASA: NASA Prepares for Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse with Live Coverage, Safety Information

Nest.com: Solar Eclipse, Meet the Nest Thermostat

Space.com: The 2017 Solar Eclipse May Prove the Sun Is Bigger Than We Think 

Xavier Jubier: Pictures of Total Solar Eclipses

 

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Sparks Will Fly for the 4th of July: Top 4 Tips on How to Stay Safe

Posted on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Whether your 4th of July celebration will involve fireworks, grilling, or going to the beach, we have a list of easy-to-follow safety tips for you.

Top 4 Safety Tips for a Responsible Holiday Celebration

1. Grilling Safety:

  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using a grill,
  • Keep the grill away from anything that could catch fire: your house, deck, trees, etc.,
  • Never grill indoors,
  • Never leave a grill unattended when in use,
  • Make sure everyone stays away from the grill,
  • Use tools specifically designed for grilling to stay safe while cooking,
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

2. Sun Protection:

  • Limit exposure to direct sunlight especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,
  • Wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 50,
  • Wear protective sunglasses that will absorb 100 % of UV sunlight,
  • Wear a hat or stay in the shade as much as possible.

3. Heat Protection:

  • Stay indoors during the heat wave,
  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of fresh cold water regularly, and drinks with electrolytes when possible,
  • Wear a ventilated, protective hat, and watch for signs of a heat stroke: red/hot skin; rapid, weak pulse, and shallow breathing,
  • Get the first aid kit ready for any emergency situation, regularly check the expiration date of your medical supplies, and discard the expired ones.

4. Fireworks Safety:

  • Both OSHA and FEMA are urging people to remember to take fire and burn safety precautions when celebrating the 4th of July with fireworks: OSHA.gov
  • Download OSHA Poster: Fireworks Safety

Check out our previous blog post on fireworks safety: Learn to Be Safe: Responsible 4th of July Celebration Tips.

Here is an amazing sale on products you can use to ensure your safety. Check out these great deals!

Save Big

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Top 5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Posted on Friday, June 16th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Father’s Day was not celebrated in the US until the 20th century. A big credit for promoting the Father’s Day celebration goes to Ms. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington. She was deeply attached to her father, as she and her five siblings were parented by their father alone. Due to her efforts, it became possible that on June 19, 1910, Washington State started to celebrate Father’s Day. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June every year.

Father’s Day is coming up fast! Although any Dad will love any gift from his kids, one guy can only have so many ties hanging in his closet. Looking for something unique? We have you covered. We have put together some awesome Father’s Day gifts that your Dad will love! Let your Dad know how much he means to you by giving him a thoughtful present for Father’s Day. He will cherish and appreciate extra thought and effort you put into selecting a gift for him this year.

Top 5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas:

1. CORETEX PROFESSIONAL OUTDOOR SKIN PROTECTION KIT – a collection of sun and burn protection, insect repellent, anti-itch, and hand sanitizing towelettes and pouches
2. TELESTEP FOLDING ALUMINUM STEP LADDER –  a lightweight aluminum step stool, perfect to have at home
3. KLEIN TOOLS TRADESMAN PRO ORGANIZER LIGHTED TOOL BAG – offers 31 pockets, an orange interior, and a built-in LED light to easily find tools in the bag
4. WATERPROOF REFLECTIVE BOMBER JACKET  – provides excellent protection from the elements and offers superior visibility
5. LIFT RIGGER APEX GEL KNEE PADS – feature gel insert forms to patella and knee cap, maximizing comfort and protection

Discover more gift ideas in our previous blog post: Top 7 Gifts for Dads

It’s never too late to show yourself some love. Here is what we have for you: Best Buys for Yourself.

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Climbing a Ladder to Get a Job Done? You May Be Doing It All Wrong.

Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) reports that falls remain a leading cause of occupational injury and mortality nationwide. The industries cited for OSHA violations include wholesalers, specialty trade contractors, civil engineering and building construction, real estate, equipment and machinery repair and building maintenance. Here are some examples of why and how fall-from-a-ladder accidents happen: workers utilized the wrong type of ladder for their job assignment (ladders were too heavy for the job, which caused sprains and strains); workers used a wrong way of leveling ladders (boards or bricks instead of leveling devices); employees tried to over-reach which caused trip-and-fall accidents (they should have added outriggers to the bottom of an extension ladder to increase the footprint or just moved a ladder closer to the job area).

It doesn’t take expensive equipment to prevent these kinds of accidents. All it takes is common sense, backed by effective training and a thorough development and enforcement of best practices.

Working on and around stairs and ladders is common to many workplaces. Basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to ladders. And because it seems like an ordinary tool to use, most workers do not take them seriously which increases their chances of getting injured while using ladders.

OSHA Standards for Ladder Use

OSHA has developed rules to regulate the use of ladders at work: Standard 1926.1053 (Ladders in Construction) and 1910.27 (Fixed Ladders)

Here are the main requirements:

  1. Each self-supporting or not self-supporting portable ladder should be capable of supporting the following loads: At least four times the maximum intended load, except each extra-heavy-duty type 1A metal or plastic ladder should sustain at least 3.3 times the maximum intended load.
  2. Each fixed ladder: At least two loads of 250 pounds each, concentrated between any two consecutive attachments plus anticipated loads caused by ice buildup, winds, rigging, and impact loads resulting from the use of ladder safety devices. Each step shall be capable of supporting a single concentrated load of at least 250 pounds applied in the middle of the step.
  3. The minimum clear distance between the sides of the step ladders and between the side rails of other fixed ladders should be should be 16 inches.
  4. Fixed ladders should have a clear width of 15 inches to the nearest object on each side of the centerline of a ladder.
  5. The steps of fixed metal ladders manufactured after March 15, 1991, shall be corrugated, knurled, dimpled, coated with skid-resistant material, or otherwise treated to minimize slipping.

OSHA requires that portable wood ladders be inspected frequently. Before using a ladder, inspect it to make sure it is in a good working condition.

Ladder Inspection Checklist:

  • Check all rungs and step connections for bends, cracks, splits, or corrosion,
  • Make sure the ladder’s feet work properly and have slip-resistant pads,
  • Make sure rung locks and spreader braces are working,
  • Ensure that all bolts and rivets are secure,
  • Make sure steps, rungs, and other ladder parts are free of oil, grease and other materials,
  • On extension ladders, make sure the rope and pulley work and the rope are not frayed or tangled.

Five Tips: How To Choose the Best Ladder

  1. Types: Do you need a fixed or portable ladder?

Fixed ladders are ones that can be fixed in place on a building; portable ladders are movable. If you require a portable ladder, assess whether you need a self-supporting ladder, like an “A” frame, or a straight or extension ladder.

  1. Consider the Weight Rating: 200, 225, 250, 300, or 375 lbs

Since ladders are usually not assigned to a particular worker, consider buying a ladder suitable for the heaviest person in your team. Ladders are rated at 200, 225, 250, 300, and 375 lbs of the maximum recommended total load (including worker’s weight, clothes, tools, shoes, and the load a worker is carrying). Construction jobs should use a Type 1, 1A, or 1AA, which hold up to 250, 300, and 375 pounds, respectively.

  1. Choose the Best Material for Your Application: Wood, Aluminum, Fiberglass

Fiberglass ladders are best for electrical work since they are non-conductive. Aluminum ladders are lighter and more durable than wooden ladders, but their disadvantage is that they cannot be used around electricity. When using a wooden ladder, be sure it’s treated but not painted so you can tell if the ladder structure is sound. Defects may be hidden by the paint. Wood preservatives or clear coatings are usually safe.

  1. Style: Step ladder (A-frame), Extension ladder, Multi-purpose ladder

If you have a 6’ step ladder, don’t climb above the 4th step. Step ladders are not designed for climbing to the roof, use an extension and a lean-to ladder instead.

  1. Length: Before choosing a ladder, measure the height that you have to climb and choose a ladder that meets or exceeds this height, depending on the style. Never stack the ladder on something else or tie two ladders together with duct tape.

According to the American Ladder Institute, workers can reduce chances of falling during a climb by:

  • wearing slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles to prevent falls and foot fatigue,
  • cleaning the soles of shoes often to maximize traction,
  • using containers or belts to keep tools handy, so the worker’s hands are free,
  • climbing slowly, avoiding fast, sudden movements,
  • not attempting to move a ladder while someone is standing on it,
  • not using ladders outdoors in bad weather like high winds or heavy rain.

Workers who use ladders are at high risk of injury or death from falls. This hazard can be eliminated or substantially reduced by following the safety regulations mentioned above, and by the enforcement of these best practices in the workplace.

Learn about OSHA Safety and Health regulations for construction; specifically the use of ladders at work sites.

OSHA Quick Card: Portable Ladder Safety offers instructions on preventing falls from portable ladders.

You can purchase durable and safe work ladders from PK Safety.com/ladders. You can also call us to find out more at 800-829-9580.

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Top 3 Tips on How to Work Without Pain and Injury

Posted on Friday, May 26th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Many workers are required to spend hours on their feet during their work shifts. Did you know that excessive standing is as detrimental to your health as prolonged sitting? The usual complaints are lower back and knee pain, shoulder and neck stiffness, sore feet as a result of too much standing at work. To reduce the negative effects, it is recommended to change working positions frequently, avoid extreme stretching, allow regular rest periods, and use anti-fatigue standing mats.

By law, employers must provide a healthy and safe environment for everyone in the workplace. This is why in working environments where employees stand for a long time, employers should provide anti-fatigue mats that will significantly reduce the chances of getting a workplace muscular skeletal disorder (WMSD). Studies have shown that the use of specially designed anti-stress and anti-fatigue mats eliminate discomfort. With so many mats available to choose from, how do you know which one is the best for you?

Here are 3 important criteria to consider when selecting a mat:

  1. Area of application

In damp environments, some types of mats could absorb moisture and potentially breed bacteria or mold. An open-surface mat that provides good drainage or a sealed mat with a textured surface will work in this case. This is particularly problematic in workplaces where various chemicals are being handled. It is important to verify that the materials from which the mat is made and the chemicals being handled in the area will not start a chemical reaction and will not cause mat deterioration.

If the workers are walking more often than standing, a firmer mat is needed to avoid sinking in with each step. For those who are kneeling a lot while performing their work assignments, an extra-cushioned kneeling mat is recommended.

  1. Amount of surface coverage

Work mats come standard in rectangular and square shapes and are available in various sizes. To avoid tripping hazards, sometimes customized mat sizing might be a better solution for a large area, or when mat installation is needed under heavy equipment.

  1. Frequency of use

Another thing to keep in mind is that mats that will be heavily used have to be of the highest quality possible to avoid the need to replace them frequently. Anti-fatigue mats constructed from various durable materials including PVC, nitrile, polypropylene, and natural rubber are available for you to choose from. A cost-effective mat solution can be a good choice for the situations when only limited use is expected.

Here are a couple of amazing, high-quality mats you are guaranteed to be satisfied with:

Working Concepts ErgoKneel mats are designed for all-day standing or kneeling. They are extra comfortable, durable and are proven to improve your overall health. These ergonomic mats are made of heavy, resilient, closed-cell foam rubber, and are non-conductive, resistant to petroleum, and will not absorb liquids. They can also self-extinguish if accidentally exposed to fire, and are great for standing or kneeling on cold or hard surfaces, like steel, concrete, or gravel.

Standing Mat

The ErgoKneel 5010 Extreme Standing Mat is a workstation mat with tapered edges that offers great relief from pain associated with standing all day while operating heavy machinery at work, or doing DIY projects at home.

Kneeling Mat

The ErgoKneel Kneeling Mat 5050 with a built-in handle is perfect for utility workers (telecommunications, plumbers), petrochemical workers, and electricians, or for use at home (gardening, DIY). The advantage of this mat is that it is easy to clean because it is made with closed-cell rubber not plastic like some kneeling mats so you can use soap, power wash, or even some harsh solvents.

Top occupations for WMSDs that could benefit from high-quality standing mats are nurses, aides, attendants, truck drivers, assemblers, janitors, cleaners, stock handlers, baggers, cashiers, construction workers, carpenters. Some of the benefits of using anti-fatigue matting include an increased blood flow, stress-relief on legs, the back, and joints, and the prevention of slips and falls.

For more information, check the selection of work standing mats at PK Safety and learn more from these resources:

CCOHS.ca: Anti-Fatigue Mats

OSHA.gov: Ergonomics: The Study of Work

Ready to make a purchase? Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions: 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com. Follow us on Twitter: @PKSafetydotcom

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Shop Made in the USA Products from Klein Tools this Memorial Day

Posted on Monday, May 22nd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Make projects easier and more efficient with Klein Tools Tradesman Pro tool bags, backpacks, and specialized cases or an aerial apron. Whether you work on site or travel from one job to another, you have to keep your tools and instruments transportable, accessible, and secure. You can save yourself a lot of time by storing tools in professionally designed and engineered portable, impact-resistant containers that will protect them against tough environments, accidental misplacement, or even theft. Most likely, you have invested a lot in tools, so protecting them from possible damage and getting them to your job site in a secure and organized way is a top priority.

PK Safety carries several storage options that are made in the USA: tool bags, cases, buckets, aprons, and backpacks. Consider which features are most important for your application to narrow down the options in order to choose the right container. Whichever tools you are using, if the container is functional, it will streamline your work and help reduce stress on the job.

Top 6 Product Picks: Tool Storage Bags, Backpacks and Accessories

Rolling Bag for Tools

Rolling Tool Bag

The Tradesman Pro Rolling Bag is a heavy-duty wheeled tool bag featuring a telescoping handle and rugged 6-inch wheels that can easily handle any rough terrain. This rolling bag includes 24 pockets for a great space to hold all the tools you will need on a job, and the interior is orange for easy visibility. This rolling back is very durable and great for moving tools from your truck to the site. It is load tested for up to 200 lbs. of contents for your best tools.

Electrician’s Backpack

Electrician’s Backpack

Keep your hands free and your tools organized and easily accessible with the Tradesman Pro Hi-Vis backpack. The high-visibility interior makes it super easy for you to find small tools. The outer reflective stripes create a much better visibility in low light conditions.

Lineman’s Tool Bucket

Tool Bucket

For portable and long-term storage, many professionals who work at heights need to use tool buckets. Constructed of rugged denier polyester to resist wear and tear on the jobsite, the Hard-Body Aerial Bucket provides abundant and secure storage with its 15 interior pockets and 14 outside pockets. These are great for linemen and electricians.

Tool Bag

Tool Bag

When it comes to performing many electrical or mechanical jobs, a tool bag provides an easy access to all the necessary tools. For carpenters, mechanics, repair people, and DIY homeowners, tool bags are an essential part of their working day. The Tradesman Pro Organizer Lighted Tool Bag features 31 pockets and a built-in LED light to see the tools in your bag. The LED light can also be removed and comes with a hook to hang in place while working in dark environments. The 1680d ballistic weave bag and molded plastic bottom provide long-term durability and protection from the elements.

Tool Case

Tool Case

The extra-sturdy Klein tool case is a great solution for bringing your tools into tough environments like construction sites or manufacturing plants. The piano-hinged case cover has both a combination lock and two key-locked latches for security.

Tool Apron

Tool Apron

The Klein Tools Aerial Apron features a large pouch for a hot stick and attachments as well as pockets many other tools. The apron includes 10 hand tool pockets, two pouches reinforced with heavy duty rivets, holes for hanging, a hammer loop and a drill bit pocket. The sewn-in magnet for small pieces like screws and bolts won’t catch on your gloves.

Having a good storage container for your tools also contributes to your own safety and allows you to avoid a dropped tools hazard and a tripping hazard. Our tool storage selection will keep you safe and organized, save space, and get your projects completed with ease.

Need help to determine the best way to store your tools? Give us a call at 800-829-9580.

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PK Safety’s Top 5 Paired Safety Products for Cinco De Mayo 2017

Posted on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Let the Cinco de Mayo festivities begin early! Find your sombreros, grab some amigos, and shop our top 5 must-have safety products, perfectly paired for your easy everyday protection.

Pair 1: Gas Detector + Docking Station

BWC4

The BW Clip4 Four‑Gas Detector provides portable, easy-to-use multi‑gas detection that’s always on. It detects Oxygen (O2), Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), Carbon monoxide (CO), Lower Explosive Levels (LEL) of a variety of combustible gases. It offers a full 2‑year warranty including all sensors.

intellidox

The IntelliDoX Docking Station is a bump test and calibration station for BW Clip4 four-gas detectors that performs the quickest bump test in the industry for increased uptime and no wasted calibration gas.

Pair 2: Gas Detector + Hibernation Case

Gas Detector

The 2-Year BW Clip H2S is a maintenance-free, single gas detector for hydrogen sulfide detection. Just turn on the device and it runs continuously — no need for calibration, sensor replacement, battery replacement or battery charging. That means great reliability and no downtime.

Case

The BW Clip Hibernation Case is an excellent companion to for two-year BW Clip gas detectors for H2S or CO. It is able to hibernate monitors for a week or more, for up to 12 months of extended service.

Pair 3: Gas Detector + Calibration Gas

gas-alert-max-xt-ii

The BW Honeywell GasAlert Max XT II Confined Space Muti-Gas Monitor is one of our popular multi-gas monitors that comes calibrated with a fully-charged battery, and is ready to use right out of the box. The handheld gas detector displays levels of all four gases on its bright, backlit LCD screen (which also shows you battery levels and pump activity). It allows you to clearly monitor your environment no matter how dark and dingy your confined space may be.

Calibration Gas

Your gas monitor needs to be bump tested and calibrated regularly to make sure it is functioning properly. This standard Bump Test and Calibration Gas for BW Honeywell gas detection units contains specific gas concentrations:  Methane (CH4) – 2.5 percent, Oxygen (O2) – 18.0 percent, Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) – 25 ppm, Carbon monoxide (CO) – 100 ppm.

Pair 4: Respirator + Filter

Full Face Respirator

The low maintenance 3M 6000 Series Full Face Respirator is light and well-balanced. An innovative lens design offers a wide field of vision. The polycarbonate lens is rated as primary eye protection, meaning that you don’t need safety glasses when wearing one. Mask comes with a peel off clear lens cover to protect it from paint and debris.

3M Filter

The 3M 2091 P100 (HEPA) Filter is sold by the pair and features extremely fine filtration that traps all but the most minuscule particles. Our customers use them to protect against asbestos and lead dusts in particular, as well as a host of other dusts, allergens, and fumes.

Pair 5: Guard Rail + Winch

Guard Rail

Allegro Manhole Guard Rail is designed to protect an area of 33 in. x 33 in. This 42 in. high guard rail collapses to only 44 in. by 4 in. square for easy storage. The entire unit weighs only 34 lbs. Made from one inch tubular .078 gauge steel construction, the Rail is powder-coated in safety yellow for a durable finish and high visibility.

Guard Rail Winch

The Allegro Guard Rail Winch is a necessity for workers who need to lower gear into a manhole. With its 300 pound capacity, you can lower most gear down, but this winch is not man-rated and not subtle for lowering workers.

The 5th of May is nearly upon us! Stock up on our best personal protective equipment, and fiesta like there’s no mañana!

If you have questions, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.

 

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All You Need to Know About First Aid Kits

Posted on Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Did you know that every year thousands of people get injured at work? Having a well-stocked portable first aid kit is extremely important, regardless if it is at work, at home, in a car, or outdoors, because if an accident occurs, an immediate First Aid response can reduce the severity of injuries. All employers have to ensure that they fulfill their legal responsibilities by offering immediate and appropriate first aid help to employees, as well as supporting them with taking care of their work-related health issues.

Here is a list of what is necessary to ensure that the first aid requirements are met for your specific location:

  • availability of the appropriate types of first aid kits
  • information on how to use first aid kits
  • first aid response trained personnel on-site

The 1910.266(d)(2) OSHA Standard can be used as a guide to determine which type of first aid kit is necessary for each particular environment. The required content of a kit varies from one worksite to another. Some workplaces have greater risks of injury and illness because of the sort of work they do. Low-hazard environments include shops and offices. High-hazard environments are warehouses, factories, oil and gas operations, and construction sites. Where there are unusual hazards that have been identified during a risk assessment of a particular environment, workplace first aid kits should be supplemented with the appropriate components. For example, first aid kits sold for use in watercraft may contain seasickness remedies. A travel first aid kit may contain these items: antihistamine cream, sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, and insect repellent.

The OSHA Standard on Medical First Aid Kits also gives recommendations on key features of a First Aid container. It should be clean and dustproof, have enough space to fit all the relevant components, and must be closed securely.

The following table can help you make an informed decision about the correct size and content of the kit that is required for your environment:

 

Category of Hazard Number of Employees Size of First Aid Kit
Low hazard Less than 25 Small
25-100 Medium
More than 100 1 Large kit per 100 employees
High hazard Less than 5 Small
5-25 Medium
More than 25 1 Large kit per 25 employees

 

It is important to maintain adequate supplies in the first aid kits.  Here is a minimally acceptable number of first-aid items:

  1. Gauze pads ( 4 x 4 inches minimum)
  2. Two large gauze pads (8 x 10 inches minimum)
  3. One package of gauze roller bandage (2 inches wide minimum)
  4. One box of adhesive bandages
  5. Two triangular bandages
  6. Wound cleaning agent (sealed moistened towelettes)
  7. Scissors
  8. Tweezers
  9. Splint
  10. One blanket
  11. Adhesive tape
  12. Latex gloves
  13. Two elastic wraps
  14. Resuscitation equipment (resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask)
  15. Instructions for requesting emergency assistance

In an emergency situation, you have to act quickly, so it is vitally important to be familiar with your first aid kit and know what to use for different kinds of injuries. Call our product experts for additional information about first aid kits: 800-829-9580.

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Top 5 BW Multi-Gas Monitors For Shutdown/Turnarounds

Posted on Friday, April 21st, 2017 by Analisa H.

Operational shutdown/turnarounds are when maintenance and renewal work is performed in oil and gas refineries. They can occur at any time between three to five years and allow for businesses to maintain safe operations, stay competitive and meet government regulations.

Poorly conducted shutdown/turnarounds can cost businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue and drive up operating costs, so it’s crucial they’re performed correctly. Some refineries are even requiring that their employees switch from single-gas to multi-gas monitors. Many of our customers have chosen BW Honeywell’s multi-gas monitors with their shutdown/turnaround needs.

Here’s a list of our of our top five multi-gas monitors:

  1. BW Honeywell GasAlert MicroClip XL 4-Gas Monitor

    This is our most popular multi-gas monitor thanks to its small size, durability, extended battery life and ease of use. It can be used up to 18 hours on a single 4-hour charge. The MicroClip XL is a rugged diffusion monitor ideal for a range of industrial work sites and confined space entry.Thanks to the one-button user interface, workers can easily access all major features with very little training required to use the device on site.

  2. BW Honeywell GasAlert Max XT II Confined Space Monitor

    This gas monitor has an internal pump that detects and monitors toxic gas levels for remote sampling. No matter how dark and dingy your confined space may be, it displays levels of all four gases on its bright, backlit LCD screen (which also shows you battery levels and pump activity).

  3. BW Clip4 4Gas Detector

    Once activated, the BW Clip4 is always on. Two years of runtime with no charging, no maintenance or servicing, and no battery replacements. The BW Clip4 has a two‑year warranty to cover its entire service life.

  4. BW Honeywell GasAlert MicroClip X3 4-Gas Detector

    Slim, compact and easy to wear, the X3 protects you from gas hazards that are ever present at job sites, especially in cold weather. This monitor uses a new revolutionary O2 sensor which allows the manufacturer to provide a three-year warranty. This significantly reduces the cost of ownership over the life of the monitor.

  5. BW Honeywell GasAlert Quattro 4-Gas Monitor

    The Quattro we stock comes with changeable rechargeable batteries, offering hours of run time. Should it be needed, you can easily swap the batteries for alkalines in the field, though this does require purchasing the alkaline battery pack.

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Product Experts’ Picks: Top 3 Hard Hats

Posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Experts Picks

Every month our Product Experts offer top product picks for a given category. This month we select our favorites for hard hats because they are some of our most popular head protection products that are vital for workplace safety.

PETZL ALVEO VENT VENTILATED CLIMBERS HELMET HARD HAT A20V

PETZL ALVEO VENT VENTILATED CLIMBERS HELMET HARD HAT A20V

Petzl Alveo – the most comfortable, light, best-looking helmet on the market (in our opinion). The best-looking one keeps you nice and cool too.

PETZL VERTEX VENT HELMET A10V

PETZL VERTEX VENT HELMET A10V

Petzl Vertex Vent – More durable than the Alveo but not quite as comfortable. If you don’t want to replace your helmet after every little impact, this is a top pick for you!

PIP EVOLUTION VENTED HARD HAT 280-EV6151V

PIP EVOLUTION VENTED HARD HAT 280-EV6151V

PIP 280-EV6151V – Simple, basic hard hat. Reasonably comfortable and gets the job done. If you frequently loose your things, this is a great option (because it’s inexpensive to replace).

The previous posts in this series are:

If you have questions or need help finding the head protection equipment, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.

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Surprisingly Safe and Easy Ways to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Posted on Monday, March 13th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional Irish feast day that takes place each year on March 17 to honor Ireland’s patron Saint Patrick for his extensive missionary work. Holiday parades and the custom of pinching people for not wearing green are fun! However, most people look forward to St. Patrick’s Day for eating traditional St. Patrick’s Day dishes, like corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread, and for social drinking. This is why drunk driving is a special concern for the state and local law enforcement agencies and should be taken very seriously. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports that 252 people died in fatal auto accidents involving drunk drivers during St. Patrick’s Day weekend from 2011 to 2015.

Here are some simple ways to avoid accidents during the holiday celebrations:

1. Celebrate at home: it’s much safer to host the party since you don’t have to drive after it’s over. If your guests drink too much, provide a safe place for them to rest until morning, or help them call a taxi or Uber or Lyft for the ride home.

2. Know where you are going: map out your travel to the place where the party will be hosted, and check for traffic delays which are very likely to occur due to bad weather conditions, transportation issues, or big crowds. If you have enough time to get there, you will not drive aggressively, which makes your trip much safer.

3. Keep contact with your family and friends: get a good phone charger to make sure you keep your cell phone charged at any time, so you could contact them in case of emergency.

4. Hydrate well and eat more: don’t drink alcohol when dehydrated or on an empty stomach: have some a shepherd’s pie or a corned beef sandwich. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

5. Have a designated driver in your party. If your friends are intoxicated and you do not have an assigned driver, you should arrange a different way to get home.

6. Buckle up to save lives and be cautious. Watch out for pedestrians: they may be drunk. If you are a designated driver, drive carefully, slow down, and remember: you might be sober, but you’re not the only one on the road.

7. And finally, if you walk or to bike to a party, wear high visibility clothing (it actually can be in hi-vis green), so vehicles could easily spot you on the road or sidewalks.

Unlike traditional family holidays, like Thanksgiving when most people prefer to celebrate at home, St. Patrick’s Day is an event which leads people to dress up in green outfits and go out to pubs and bars. So, follow these tips above and have a safe and festive holiday! Remember – you will have to go to work tomorrow, so be responsible!

No matter what color you are wearing this St. Patrick’s Day, we will be happy to answer your questions, just call us at 800-829-9580.

Bet You Didn’t Know:

  • The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
  • There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.

St. Patrick's Day sale

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Over Complicating Safety

Posted on Saturday, March 11th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Brian Mitchell, HSE officer, and drilling consultant

The rig count is climbing once again, and completions activity is increasing. Personnel who have been out of the business for a period of time and new hires are being put to work. With that, many are expressing concerns about restarting effective safety programs and avoiding serious injuries that come with the early stages of a boom.

In 2006 Patterson-UTI had 5 fatalities in 6 days. They did a company-wide safety stand down, and as a third party supervisor, I was required to attend a safety meeting conducted by the regional safety manager. At the beginning of the meeting, he asked the four crews, “Who has more than a year’s experience in the oilfield?” One person raised his hand and he wasn’t a driller. That rig went on to have a number of serious incidents, but no fatalities. They took several kicks, crowned the rig and dropped the blocks to the floor. 2017 may not be that bad, but every new hand and every hand who has been out of operation for a while is at risk.

Safety at work

There is an engineering axiom that simply states – “The more complex the system, the higher the probability of failure.

Anyone who doubts the veracity of this statement has never stood in the door of the VFD House while a tech tries to figure out what is wrong with the Top Drive.

Engineers thrive on complexity to our benefit while a roughneck thrives on practicality and getting things done. Nowhere can this contrast create more problems than in Health, Safety and the Environment. As the rig count begins to tick higher there is a corresponding increase in concern for rig, completions and related safety.

No denying, Safety Engineers have made huge strides forward for the people in the field. The International Association of Drilling Contractors reported prior to the bust of 2015 that since 1968, Lost Time Incidents have declined 98%. Regulatory compliance requires that certified people hold HSE positions. While justified, the policy makes no allowance for the value of experience and outstanding past performance.

Watching a Derrickhand climb to the board I think about how many times I climbed without being tied off or the benefit of a derrick climber. If you were too tired and slow climbing the ladder, the driller would send you to the board on the blocks. Eventually, we started using a belt that had a better chance of breaking your back if you slipped than breaking a fall. I brought a climbing harness I used for rock climbing because it made working in the derrick a little more comfortable. What a far cry from the fall protection on every rig today.

But as with anything that requires an engineering degree, complexity has increased in the safety category to the point that there was this report in eNews from DrillingContractor.org, ”at the 2015 IADC Drilling HSE&T Asia Pacific Conference on March 11 in Kuala Lumpur, Alain Moonen, Manager Wells Safety at Shell, noted that the industry’s safety performance is tailing off even though we are still going in the right general direction. ‘It’s unacceptable that we create an environment where people still get hurt,’ he said.”

HSE has become more complicated with the addition of one more letter to become HSE&T, and presumably another certification to be competent in safety. I’m only guessing the T stands for Training, or is it Technology, or maybe Terminology? I better ask a safety engineer.

Sunset

Each basin and state has different safety standards and operational procedures, and most companies have specific safety standards. Rig crews often complete classroom, computer-based and field-specific training before they can deploy. The IADC is trying to standardize safety, with most programs oriented to offshore and reacting to the Macondo blowout, and this may not be a good solution. Safety shouldn’t shift to a one size fits all mentality.

Having participated in many different safety programs, I’ve seen which are most effective and which programs aren’t. The trend is always toward increasing complexity. The IADC adds more requirements with every committee meeting, OSHA has historically added more requirements with each passing year and every state regulatory agency is compelled to add standards for compliance as well. Operator safety departments address specific incidents in their operations. While equipment gets safer, the culture of safety becomes more difficult to navigate.

Many of you will recognize a company who uses a “safety wheel” which lines out nine specific safety areas that each rig is to be concerned with. I’ve completed this training with a number of crews and very intelligent hands and attended daily safety meetings where each of these points is highlighted. Yet at the end of the day, even the sharpest men on the rig are hard pressed to recite the entire nine components of that safety program.

 

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3 Ways To Stay Safe During Daylight Saving Time

Posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017 by Analisa H.

March 12, 2017 — a day many dread. Daylight Saving Time is responsible for you losing an hour of sleep, causing your internal clock to suffer.

On the (literally) brighter side, you get more sunlight. A huge plus for those no longer having to commute in the dark during rush hour. Though you lower your risk of accidents thanks to increased visibility, there are still other safety measures you should consider during this time of year.

1) Replace Batteries In Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Check that these are working properly and replace the batteries. Replace CO alarm units older than 5 years old and smoke alarm units older than 10 years old. In addition, if you don’t have one already, create a fire escape plan in the event of a fire. If you already have one, now would be a good time to brush up on it — it could mean the difference between life and death.

2) Prepare An Automobile Emergency Kit

If stuck in bad weather while driving, this kit could be a lifesaver. Make sure to include items like warm, hi-vis clothing, blankets, flashlights or headlamps, batteries, water, non-perishable snacks, flares, jumper cables, and anything else you think you may need.

3) Recharge or Replace Fire Extinguishers

Check the pressure gauge at the top of your extinguisher. If it’s green, the extinguisher is still functional. If it falls anywhere else, especially in the red area, it is unreliable and should be serviced or replaced. For older models without a gauge, have it checked by a professional.

 

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Addressing Occupational Safety for Locksmiths: Protective Equipment Must Haves

Posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Dusty Henry, Sevan Locks & Doors 

When you consider occupational safety, there are a lot of different occupations that may come to mind first for needing protective equipment – construction workers, welders, etc. Being a locksmith can actually be rather hazardous work for your health as well. There is, of course, the inherent danger of dealing with going into a stranger’s home, business, or locked car. But there are even more dangers than this to consider. Protective equipment is a must, as with any occupation using powerful tools to shape and cut materials.

Metal Shavings

Metal shavings can be produced by many of the different tasks done by a locksmith. This is one of the biggest dangers that a locksmith faces during their schedule. Their small sizes make them likely to be brushed off without thinking. Metal shavings are a small annoyance, but ask anyone that has to deal with them, and they’ll tell you that they can be painful if you get them in your eye, under your nails, or embedded in your skin. Speed is an important factor in getting any job done, and this can cause metal shavings to fly. Protective gear like gloves or eyewear can be a good investment that keeps these pesky shavings at bay while still being able to work efficiently.

Splinters

Just like metal shavings, splinters are another hazard that doesn’t seem like a very big deal until you get one stuck under your skin. Locksmiths that are installing new locks and equipment in buildings will potentially come into contact with cut wood. This means that splinters will be a likely possibility.

Lead Hazards

The metal shavings that locksmiths come into contact with may have an added detriment – lead.  Brass keys that are machined to fit into client’s locks often contain 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent lead. This small amount of lead can have some serious health consequences when locksmiths come into contact with it. Some may scoff that this small amount is nothing to be concerned about, but participants in a research study found that they had elevated levels of lead in their system and they urged for further investigation on this issue.

Lead at high enough levels can result in death, and medical professionals note that even small amounts can be bad for a person’s health. There’s a lot of attention given to the symptoms that can happen to infants and children from lead exposure, but this can also have negative health consequences to adults as well. There are some symptoms that can occur to adults from exposure to lead, such as reproductive health issues, high blood pressure, pain in your muscles and joints, mood disorders, headaches, and memory issues.

Equipment Must Haves

Locksmith working

For locksmiths, there are three areas of protective equipment that should be addressed if it’s not already: eye protection, hand protection, and skin protection. Eye protection through safety glasses is necessary to protect eyes from any flying debris that comes from cutting and drilling through materials or machining keys. There are a variety of glasses available that have the options that will work best for the particular tasks at hand.

Hand protection through gloves will help to protect the sensitive skin of your hands and the nail beds. A good choice here is cut resistant gloves that fit the hand closely allowing for an easy freedom of movement for handling any task.

The final aspect is protective clothing. This is probably the easiest to convince anyone to wear since they’ll be wearing shirts and pants anyway. This clothing is useful because it can give that extra protection to sensitive areas of the body. In addition, you can find reinforced elbows and knees that can help make this clothing last, compared to clothing that isn’t reinforced. In an occupation that can result in a lot of arm movements and kneeling, this can truly come in handy. This is especially true in the case where you’ll be kneeling right where the metal shavings and splinters are located.

The safety and security of a locksmith are more than just ensuring that they have personal safety in their surroundings. There are innate dangers that exist in this line of business that may be overlooked by some, but the best way to handle these issues is by getting the proper protective gear necessary for the job. The safety glasses, protective gloves, and protective clothing can be beneficial in providing you and your locksmiths a better working condition.

Sevan Locks & Doors is an award-winning locksmith and garage door company based out of Seattle, Wash. They offer fast response times, reasonable rates, and crucial security services for homes and businesses.

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How Lower Gas Prices Influence Occupational Safety in Oil and Gas Industry

Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average retail price of regular gasoline in the US was $2.24/gallon on August 29, 2016, (the lowest price on Monday before Labor Day since 2004). In spite of the fact that gasoline consumption has been robust in such countries as India, China, and the U.S.A., growth in supply has been steadily outpacing consumption starting from 2015.

Refineries have the ability to adjust petroleum product yields by improving production processes and by upgrading their equipment. In 2015, they have increased production of gasoline to take advantage of high margins. As a result, gasoline production exceeded the growth in gasoline demand, which was followed by the excessively high gasoline inventory levels that remained steadily above 5-year averages and caused the drop in gasoline pricing.

Today, one of the conundrums for experts to solve is how to increase operational efficiency without increasing expenses. The recent collapse of oil and gas prices was followed by the attempts to decrease operational expenses by spending less on safety equipment.

Incidents in Oil and Gas Industry

Oil and gas refinery operation is a complex downstream industrial process which involves a wide range of equipment and materials that create potential dangers for workers. Identifying these hazards and making fundamental changes to ensure safety is critical for preventing injuries and deaths at work. Unfortunately, fires, explosions, and gas leaks are still common at refineries.

Wake-Up Calls:

  • 2015, Upton County, TX oil rig inferno. Reason: absence of personal hydrogen sulfide monitors and not wearing flame-retardant clothing.
  • 2014, Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Reason: not sufficient fire hazard activities at the non-active oil platform.
  • 2013, ExxonMobil refinery caught on flash fire in Beaumont, TX. Reason: employer failed to remove residual stored hazardous energy from the E-1 exchangers to allow for a safe opening of the equipment.
  • 2012, chemical release and fire at Chevron Corp. in Richmond, CA. Reason: failed to upgrade the piping.
  • 2010, a catastrophic BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Reason: a series of mechanical failures and human errors, valuing production over safety.
  • 2009, a deadly accident at Valero Energy’s refinery in Texas City, TX. Reason: a boiler explosion.

These refinery accidents were caused by failure to follow OSHA guidelines, by usage of outdated equipment, or by negligence.

Safety must be a core value and a main concern in the oil and gas industry not only because people’s health and lives are priceless, but also from the financial point of view, as it makes more sense to keep workers and environment safe because eliminating accident consequences is more expensive than preventing them.

Current Trends in Safety Approaches

1. Creating a New Safety Model: involve general public in emergency planning, air quality control, give surrounding communities access to information and data

New regulations to strengthen workplace safety in oil refineries have been recently proposed by California’s Department of Industrial Relations, California Environmental Protection Agency and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The Department of Industrial Relations commissioned the study to assess the impact. The benefits and costs to implement the regulation are addressed in the following two categories: the costs and benefits to the industry and to the society. These initiatives were driven by the fast changing situation in the oil and gas industry and were speeded up by the recent major fire and chemical release in California. Their main purpose is to prevent incidents at refineries and to protect workers and nearby communities from exposure to health risks.

For years, many companies have been implementing exactly the same safety measures and performing exactly the same safety activities, trying to improve safety without taking into consideration rapid advancements in technology and changes in the economy and the environment. In current market conditions, companies should start working together with government agencies to implement the highest possible level of safety culture. To maintain profitability, companies must focus on ensuring consistent safe operations to avoid compliance violations.

Important changes in OSHA regulations regarding severe injuries reports were announced in 2015. The one-year impact evaluation report on the implementation of 2015 OSHA Regulations, (which requires employers to report severe injuries within 24 hours of the incident), shows that employers and employees are more likely to increase efforts to make their work environment safe when they are involved in collaborating with OSHA. Today, instead of sending inspectors to the site where injuries occurred, OSHA responds by providing all the necessary materials to the employers to do their own investigation and to find a solution to the safety problem.

Reports filed by industry sectors in 2016 show that the oil and gas industry has the lowest hospitalization rate of 3% and the lowest amputation rate at 4% among the major sectors. However, OSHA officials are stating that only about 50% of severe injuries have been reported, judging by the number of filed claims and compensation received. Many employers, especially small and medium companies, prefer to hide the problem rather than fix it. Oil and gas industry data shows that safety is the number one priority for the oil and gas industry and safety measures are being implemented successfully in many cases.

2. Adopting the European approach to occupational safety

“U.S. regulators should adopt the approach taken by the U.K. and Norway, in which oil producers are required to prepare detailed analyses and plans prior to obtaining drilling permits,” suggests Tom O’Connor, executive director of the Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH). A new safety model is based on community and worker education and involvement. This new approach emphasizes the importance of the general public’s involvement in emergency planning which could be achieved by providing full access to relevant data and information.

The positive experience of the countries where this safety model has been implemented indicates that their success was based on the presence of several regulatory prerequisites:

  • A designated governmental unit dedicated to enforcement;
  • A sufficient number of inspectors with high competence level for the initial licensing evaluation and audits, that are able to evaluate technical operations, training effectiveness, and safety culture;
  • A dedicated funding source: fees paid by the oil and gas industry;
  • Encourage refinery operators to adopt policies and practices beyond those that are required under the existing law.

3. Showing more willingness to invest in new technology from adjacent industries

“Unlike in the past, the oil and gas industry now embraces emerging technologies from adjacent industries,” said Daniel Choi, Lux research analyst. “Weaker oil prices will likely facilitate the more rapid adoption of new technology, such as fit-for-purpose rigs for onshore drilling. The decline in oil prices could result in companies going either toward doubling down on efficiency imperatives or focusing on technology investment, depending on the exploration and production company’s culture, talent, leadership, play circumstances, and the regulatory regime under which they operate,” said Mike Mueller, vice president of technology development with MicroSeismic.

The following technologies will significantly increase the safety of operations:

  • Automatic tracking of all procedure specifications and tools status parameters,
  • Programmable control and security of pump systems,
  • Automatic security of procedure devices.

New equipment and technologies will require highly-skilled and experienced technical professionals to run them.

4. Developing best practices that allow new technology to get implemented at lower cost

 “Efficiencies have a way of moving through the industry in quicker periods of lower prices,” says R.T. Dukes, an upstream analyst with Wood Mackenzie. “Companies are developing best practices at all times and those practices get implemented faster at lower prices.” A large portion of cost savings to date have come from time saving. Today, preventing incidents compared to just improving emergency response is the best cost-saving strategy.

Oil refinery worker

Facing the Future

By 2020 the worldwide demand for energy is expected to increase by 24%, according to ExxonMobil’s prediction. Although alternative fuel sources have been developed, oil will remain the main source of energy for the nearest future. Since energy is fundamental to our society, the refining will remain crucial to the nation’s economy. Therefore, in the contemporary world, policies that influence energy production should be based not only on what’s good for the industry, but also on understanding what is best for the consumers and for the environment. The oil and gas industry influencers and the community enthusiasts should combine their forces to create a safe environment around refineries without compromising fuel production efficiency.

If you need the expert advice about the best gas detection devices, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com. Follow us on Twitter: @PKSafetydotcom.

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Klein Tools Designs a Headlamp with all the Must-Haves for the Jobsite

Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Courtney Bloom, Product Marketing Specialist, Heavy Infrastructure Business Unit, Klein Tools

Klein® Tools, for professionals since 1857, launched its new Illumination line, including a headlamp designed specifically for electricians. “Most headlamps used on jobsites now are designed for activities like camping and hunting,” said Laura Ranieri, senior product manager. “They often include extra features like colored LED’s or strobe lights that electricians don’t use. We designed ours to include essential features used daily by electricians and uniquely secured it with a silicone strap which stays put and won’t stretch out.” Klein Tools’ new Illumination product line includes:

Headlamp (Cat. No. 56220)
• Anti-slip silicone strap comes pre-adjusted to fit a hard hat
• Lamp has 45-degree tilt for varied beam direction
• Spotlight mode: 150 lumens, six hours of run time (3xAAA batteries included)
• Floodlight mode: 50 lumens, 10 hours of run time
• Impact (6ft. drop protection) and water resistant

Slide Focus Flashlight (Cat. No. 56223)
• Adjustable focus: forward for spotlight and back for floodlight
• Aluminum body with cushion grip handle and rubberized power button
• 215 lumens, six hours of run time (3xAAA batteries included)

Penlight (Cat. No. 56222)
• Aluminum body with cushion grip handle and rubberized power button
• Soft-on feature for quick reference lighting; click to stay on for extended usage
• Pocket clip for hands-free use
• 36 lumens, five hours of run time (2xAAA batteries included)

Clip Light (Cat. No. 56221)
• Rubber overmold for protection and grip
• Pocket clip is magnetized for hands-free options
• High mode: 150 lumens, 6 hours of run time (3xAAA batteries included)
• Low mode: 50 lumens, 10 hours of run time

Head lamp


If you have questions about the safety equipment 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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Wishing You Safe and Happy Holidays

Posted on Monday, December 19th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

PK Safety Supply offices will be open all week before Christmas.

We will be closed on:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday, January 2, 2017

From our family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Please connect with us on social media and feel free to share your questions or comments. Follow us on Twitter @PKSafetydotcom, like our Facebook page, find out the latest news from PK Safety on LinkedIn, check out our Pinterest page for the latest product images.

If you have questions or would like help selecting the right equipment for your application, please give us a call at 1-800-829-9580, or go to www.pksafety.com.

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PK Safety Holiday Gift Guide

Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Holiday season should be filled with joy and happiness, but not the anxiety that comes along with trying to find the perfect gift. Can’t figure out what to give to that handy person? Take a look at the list of the latest and greatest safety products. These are some of our top picks for gifts to give to your friends and family, or to your employees.

1. MCR Safety Forceflex Anti-Impact Gloves

MCR Gloves

Why is it a great gift?

These gloves have Zoomband technology, which allows you to avoid injuries, maintain a steady hand, and manage the most jarring jobs in the automotive assembly, carpentry, impact tool handling, etc. Battle-tested in professional sports, Zoombang technology was adapted for industrial workplaces. The advantage of this innovative protective polymer is that it stays soft and supple, yet stiffens upon impact force, vibration or g-force side loads.

2. ALVEO VENT Helmet

Petzl Helmet

Why is it a great gift?

Designed for confined space workers and those working at height, including technical rescue, as well as tower climbers and wind energy technicians, this lightweight helmet is also popular among workers who carry heavy loads or perform work that makes regular helmets too hot to wear. The CenterFit adjustment system allows you to get the helmet perfectly centered and balanced on your head for maximum comfort. It is compatible with the Petzl PIXA Headlamp and other headlamps with elastic bands for work at night. The scratch- and fog-resistant VIZIR Face Shield can be easily attached to this helmet for enhanced eye protection.

3. MSA Skullgard Hard Hat

MSA Hard Hat

Why is it a great gift?

MSA Skullgard Hard Hat with full brim and Fas-Trac suspension is a hit among folks who prefer a vintage look. Made-in-the-USA Skullgard helmets can withstand radiant heat loads producing temperatures up to 350F. The full brim provides additional protection against the sun, glare, rain and falling debris.

4. Tradesman Pro Organizer Lighted Tool Bag

Klein Tools Bag

Why is it a great gift?

This Tool Bag features 31 pockets for maximum storage, an orange interior for increased visibility, and a removable built-in LED light to see all the tools in your bag. It is ideal for moving tools from a truck to a work site. The shoulder strap and handles have extra padding which provides additional relief for your shoulders and hands.

We believe gifts should be just as exciting to give as they are to receive. Our guide highlighting the best safety gifts is perfect for any holiday. Want even more gift ideas? Browse our website to find great gifts.

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Weatherization: Home Safety Issues and Reducing Your Energy Bill

Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

We recently learned about a nationwide program instituted by the U.S. Department of Energy that promotes the use of clean and sustainable energy through weatherization funding. It’s the Weatherization Assistance Program. This came to our attention when a couple of new customers approached us from community action groups that specifically carry out weatherization services. These customers purchased gas detectors for their organizations so we looked into it a bit to find out more and how they are helping their communities. We worked with the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, and B.C.M.W. Community Services. They found us after being advised to purchase RKI Instruments four gas monitors that would bring them into OSHA compliance for their services and qualify them for their state’s funds. One of our Corporate Account Experts worked with them to help choose the right solution for gas detection in their projects, and recommended the GX-2009 4-Gas Monitor from RKI Instruments.

RKI GX-2009 4-Gas Monitor 72-0314RK

What’s Involved In Weatherization?

In order for a residence or building to be properly weatherized, it will need to undergo an audit. During the home audit, several elements in the home are checked and assessed for energy use in every room and to pinpoint problem areas. These include appliances and home electronics, insulation and air sealing, lighting and daylighting, space heating and cooling, water heating and windows, doors and skylights. Services and upgrades may include:

  • Home audit and assessment of energy efficiency needs
  • Checking insulation, windows, doors, basements and attics for leaks to the outside
  • Testing heating systems and appliances for combustion safety
  • Testing for carbon monoxide and gas leaks
  • Monitoring for possible moisture damage or mold infestations
  • Checking electrical panels and wiring for safety
  • Replacing and/or providing tune-ups for unsafe heating and cooling systems
  • Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Installing solar energy systems

Some upgrades that are often needed in a weatherization retrofit are: insulating walls, attics, water heaters and pipes, sealing doors, basements and crawl spaces, applying weather stripping and caulk or replacing doors, windows, walls and roofing, installing new HVAC and ducting, and even adding solar energy panels. Confined spaces, like attics and crawl spaces, may be poorly ventilated and, as a result, contain insufficient oxygen or hazardous levels of toxic gases.

Why Are Gas Monitors Needed for Weatherization Projects?

Contractors and service providers encounter a wide variety of health and safety risks when entering a home to accomplish weatherization audits and services. In order to qualify for federal and state funding through the Weatherization Assistance Program, the organizations that carry out these projects need to ensure they are OSHA-compliant. OSHA requires gas monitoring of confined spaces before entering them in order to prevent serious injury or death. In 2015 the definition of a confined space was expanded to include attics and crawl spaces. Most commonly, there are cases where a worker could be exposed to hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, combustible gases or a combination that would poison them or leave them with a lack of oxygen. RKI Instruments is a very dependable and respected brand of gas detection equipment. It makes sense that the OSHA representative recommended these instruments to the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program for their gas detection needs. PK Safety carries many RKI Instruments gas detectors and is happy to help you find the right gas detection solution for your projects.

What Are The Benefits of Weatherization?

Weatherization improvements in buildings and residences can make a positive environmental impact through clean energy use and reduced need for energy consumption. Through the program, organizations are working with qualifying low-income residents who normally wouldn’t be able to make this type of change, and also help them with a reduction in energy bills. In addition, the safety of the residents is often improved with better air quality in the home from newer, retrofitted insulation and filtration systems.

Improved insulation, windows, and sealing leaks around doors and wall joints can keep heat out of your home in the summer and in during the winter. These simple changes can really reduce energy use through the seasons. Depending on your climate, you will have different needs for levels of insulation, moisture control and ventilation. Insulation provides resistance to heat flow, and the more heat flow resistance provided in your insulation, the lower the heating and cooling costs and the more comfortable it will be. Not only is weatherization good for your energy bill, it can help with safety issues caused by aging appliances, insulation, and HVAC systems.

More About The Weatherization Assistance Program and Services

Instituted by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Weatherization Assistance Program will fund qualifying community organizations like these, to help local low income residents to reduce energy bills and improve health and safety. The U.S. Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office coordinates with local and state leaders to accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency improvement best practices and technologies. These partnerships help American communities overcome barriers to clean and efficient energy use.

The state governments and local agencies usually work to leverage this Energy Department funding with other federal, state, utility and private resources to increase the amount of homes that can be weatherized. The local agencies and organizations work to provide weatherization assessments and services to those who may be in need of solutions or improved technologies for home energy upgrades.

The U.S. Department of Energy developed the Home Energy Score system to build market value for home energy efficiency with nationwide household recognition. In order to score a home, a builder or contractor will use the “house-as-a-system” approach for evaluation. A home is audited and receives a score that reflects its energy efficiency based on the structure, heating, cooling, and hot water systems. This approach ensures that the team of building professionals consider all the variables, details and interactions that affect energy use in the home. In addition to this, they evaluate the occupant behavior, site conditions, and climate.

Who is eligible for Weatherization Assistance?

Weatherization Assistance resources are available in every state through the U.S. Department of Energy. More than 30 million U.S. families may be eligible for weatherization services nationwide. Energy services are provided by the states’ local weatherization agencies, and each state has slightly different eligibility requirements. If you receive Supplemental Security Income, you are automatically eligible to receive weatherization services. Not only owner-occupied households are eligible, but renters who meet the criteria are eligible if the landlord accepts the terms of the weatherization contract.

DOE guidelines mandate that states must give priority eligibility to the elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, and families with high energy burden or high energy use. Each state sets how these priority factors will be applied. One of the primary factors affecting eligibility is income. Depending on what state you live in, you are eligible for weatherization if your income falls below the “200% poverty level” (as defined in http://waptac.org/data/files/website_docs/government/guidance/2013/wpn-13-3.pdf).

Options for assessing and completing energy efficiency through weatherization are available through your state and local government’s Weatherization Assistance Program, and likely through your local energy providers home efficiency programs. Check your local government and power company website for more information. Thank you to organizations like B.C.M.W. Community Services or the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program for providing service options and promoting clean energy use.

This post was originally published in A CONSUMER RESOURCE FOR HOME ENERGY SAVINGS, December 14, 2016.

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

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3M Notice on the Breathe Easy Rubber Butyl Hood BE-10BR

Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

The BE-10BR Hood is designed to provide respiratory protection against certain particulates like dust, fumes, mists, radionuclide, asbestos, organic vapors, and inorganic gases. The butyl rubber hood offers resistance to certain chemical warfare agents. It meets Military Standard MIL-C-51251A for butyl.

In September 2016, 3M issued a User Advisory Notice regarding the Breathe Easy BE-10BR Rubber Butyl Hood, the purpose of which was to communicate the valve replacement requirement and the use and storage limitations that were defined by 3M while redesigning the hood. 3M established a 10-year maximum life for this product. When used beyond the 10-year shelf life or stored outside of the recommended temperature range, these hoods may not work properly because they are more likely to deteriorate. In this case, hoods must be replaced immediately.

For details, download the pdf version of this document: User Advisory Notice

To answer all the inquiries, 3M provided more explanation about why hoods older than 10 years need to be replaced in their second notice in November 2016. The recommended 10-year period was determined to be necessary after 3M inspected several BE-10BR hoods that were in service for different periods of time. A number of hoods that had been in use for over 10 years experienced deterioration of various components.

3M recommended the following action plan for the customers who choose to use the hood past the 10-year recommended shelf life:

1. Ensure that the product is being stored in accordance with the conditions specified in the user instructions.

2. Replace the over-pressure valve and valve holder assembly in the hood. Call 1-855-317-4203 and request a complimentary replacement valve and valve seat.

3. Carefully inspect the condition of the hood and all the components for signs of degradation.

To learn more, download the pdf: BE-10BR Notice

If you have questions, please give us a call at 1-800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.

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How to Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal

Posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Holidays are wonderful when we share a meal with our friends and family. It can be a quiet peaceful time, filled with joy, but according to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is also the number one day for fire danger. Most of these fires are a result of the use of candles and also home-cooking gone wrong, destroying hundreds of homes every year. Luckily, this kind of disaster is easily preventable.

Here are some basic safety tips:

  • Check smoke alarms, and install the new ones if needed.
  • Remove fire hazards: no unattended candles, no kitchen towels, and mittens near the stove.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and if frying a turkey outside, bring one out there!
  • Avoid toxic gas build-up to prevent poisoning. If you are using a natural gas or propane stove, be careful of a carbon monoxide (CO) build-up inside your home.

Shopping for a turkey: Raw turkeys are tricky to cook, but if you follow the rules, it should turn out fine. First and foremost, when shopping for a turkey, put the bird in your shopping cart as far from other products as possible.

When transporting it to your kitchen, use a separate bag for the turkey to avoid cross-contamination. Keep it in the fridge in the lower levels, far from other food items. De-frosting rule of thumb: 24 hrs per 5 pounds of frozen meat.

The most important tip: Take extra precaution with turkey deep fryers.

Turkey Deep Fryer

Deep Frying Safety Tips:

Turkey and oil is a dangerous combination: use extra care when cooking it in a deep fryer.

Tip #1: Avoid oil spillover, don’t overfill the pot
Tip #2: Turn off flame completely when lowering the turkey into oil
Tip #3: Fry outside, away from houses, cars, and other flammable objects
Tip #4: Properly thaw the turkey in the fridge before frying
Tip #5: Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
Tip #6: Cook the turkey thoroughly to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured by a food thermometer

After the Thanksgiving Dinner: Put turkey leftovers and other prepared food back to the fridge within 2 hours.

Hopefully, these easy-to-follow rules will help you keep your family safe and will allow you to remember the Thanksgiving dinner not as a disaster, but as a warm family get-together, where everyone feels loved and secure.

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

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Saluting All Who Have Served This Veterans Day

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Do you know why Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th? It originated as Armistice Day on 11.11.19, celebrating the end of World War I, and became a national holiday in 1938. President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday to the Veterans Day in 1954. The meaning of the day has evolved into a tribute to all veterans who have served in the military during times of war or peace. According to the HISTORY® Channel, there are about 23.2 million military veterans in the United States. Let’s pause on November 11th to remember their selfless service and courage.

Veterans Day Flag

Thankful for Our Veterans and Proud of Made-in-the-U.S.A. Products

Using high-quality safety products is essential to ensure a safe environment and save lives. A product’s country of origin is an important criterion for making a purchase decision. U.S.A.-made products have earned their right to be considered the highest quality products due to their reliable performance ensured by strict standards of safety product manufacturing.

Here are three excellent products, you can be glad to know are made in the U.S.A.:

1. EZ Air Pro Deluxe Air Shield PAPR 9904-10

EZ Air Pro Deluxe Air Shield PAPR from Allegro

Allegro’s EZ Air Pro Deluxe Air Shield PAPR is the ultimate Personal Protective Equipment for industrial manufacturing environments that demand respiratory protection from contaminates. The Deluxe Supplied Air Shield/Helmet uniquely provides all-in-one head, eye, face and respiratory protection against hazardous airborne contaminants and flying debris. Complies with ANSI Z89.1 Type 1 Class G for head protection; ANSI Z87.1+ for face shield/eye protection, and is NIOSH approved.

2. Skullgard Hard Hat with Full Brim 475407

Skullguard Hard Hat

The MSA Skullgard Hard Hat with full brim and Fas-Trac suspension is one of our top-sellers. Skullgard helmets have been able to withstand radiant heat loads producing temperatures up to, but not exceeding, 350F. The full brim provides additional protection against the sun, glare, rain and falling debris.

3. 3M N95 Disposable Respirator 8210V

Respirator

The 3M N95 Disposable Respirator 8210V blocks 95% of all non-oil particle matter down to .03 microns from getting into the lungs. Providing the same protection as the 3M 8210 Respirator, the addition of a CoolFlow Exhalation Valve makes this disposable respirator both comfortable and effective. This respirator mask features a cushioned, adjustable nose pad that forms to provide a custom fit and secure seal. Lightweight construction added to the cooling exhalation vent makes this a good choice for all-day work that involves grinding, sanding, sweeping, or general clean-up.

If you have questions or would like help selecting the right equipment for your application, please give PK Safety folks a call at 1-800-829-9580, or go to www.pksafety.com.

Veterans Day Celebration

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Miller Fall Protection: Providing Safety at Great Heights

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Workplace safety is critical for your business success. The number one cause of major workplace injuries and fatalities are falls from heights while working on ladders and roofs. Most falls can be prevented and lives can be saved with proper planning, personal protective equipment (PPE), and training that allows workers to understand the correct set-up and use of the protective equipment. Take a pragmatic approach when considering precautions for working at heights, and weigh in all the factors that might disrupt safety. These factors include the duration and the frequency of the task, the height and the condition of the surface being worked on, the weather and the location of the job site. It is a good idea to reinforce these efforts by the extensive training of your employees on the safe use of the equipment they will need in order to complete the job: scaffolds, ladders, fall protection systems, etc. It is important that work equipment is assembled and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and is in line with the industry guidelines. If the equipment is exposed to any conditions that may cause deterioration, it should be inspected at appropriate intervals. An employer should ensure that before use, the PPE has been inspected by a competent person who has all the required knowledge, skills and experience to manage onsite safety.

Providing a healthy work environment for your employees is required by OSHA. OSHA made numerous materials and resources available for employers to use during safety talks and training on safe practices to avoid falls.

Why Should You Choose Miller Harnesses for Tower Climbing?

Miller Fall Protection offers a wide variety of fall protection devices that include harnesses, SRLs, lanyards, and ladder climbing systems to keep you protected when your feet are off the ground. Striking a balance between comfort and safety is a challenge. Miller harnesses meet strict OSHA and ANSI fall safety requirements and standards with the advantage of being much lighter than their competitors’ harnesses, which ensures better mobility and comfort.

Here are the best harnesses picked by our tower climbing safety experts:

1.Miller AirCore Tower Climbing Harness With Steel Hardware ACT-QCUG

Miller AirCore ACT-QCBUG tower climbing harness

The AirCore Tower Climbing Harness is designed for construction and utility industries and features front and side D-rings, removable belt, and tongue buckle leg straps in addition to AirCore’s famous breathable padding, and quick-connect chest strap. It’s lightweight (total weight is 6.6 lbs.), and easily visible with bright green coloring.

2. Miller AirCore Tower Climbing Harness With a Bos’n Chair ACT-QCBCUG

Miller AirCore ACT-QCBCUG tower climbing harness

The lightweight Miller AirCore Tower Climbing Harness with Bos’n Chair provides ultimate performance, comfort, and durability in the most challenging work environments. In addition to its breathable padding, this version features a removable/adjustable leather rigid work seat for added support, side D-rings, removable belt, and quick-connect chest and leg strap buckles.

Click to watch the video about the AirCore Harness

Video

If you want to take your tower climbing experience to the next safety level, accessories such as the Bos’n Chair, Tool Loops, and a Spreader Bar Hook should be on your buying list.

Here is our selection of the best fall protection accessories:

1. Bos’n Chair With Steel Side D-Ring ACT-BC

Bos'n Chair

The Miller AirCore ACT-BC Bos’n Chair with Steel Side D-Rings provides versatile convenience for climbers. This leather attachment is removable and adjustable for added support. Key features are steel side D-Rings, rigid work seat for added support, removable and adjustable support attachment, comfortable and lightweight design, and leather construction.

2. Miller Tool Loops ACTL10

Tool Loops

The Miller AirCore ACTL10 tool loops are engineered to conveniently carry your tools while climbing and are designed to stay in position when disconnected, even when tools are attached.

3. Miller Spreader Bar Hook 6758WRS/18INGN

Miller Spreader Bar Hook 6758WRS/18INGN

The Spreader Bar Hook is an accessory for the AirCore Tower Climbing Harness that is attached to an 18-in. web lanyard with a locking rebar hook. Key features include a unique design which allows for staying in position and connectors with 3,600 lb. gate strength.

All the above-mentioned harnesses and accessories are designed for workers who are climbing towers (cell phone, TV, radio, and utility), building/decommissioning towers, changing out transmission lines/antennas, and installing/replacing lights. Possible applications include various maintenance industries, utilities, and construction.

Read our previous blog post on Miller Fall Protection: Less is More with the Miller AirCore Harness

If you have questions about fall protection equipment, please visit us online at www.pksafety.com or call us at 1-800-829-9580.

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Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant: How to Choose Rainwear

Posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Rain Gear

Have you ever felt like you are lost in a jungle of raingear not sure what to choose? Understanding the difference between waterproof and water-resistant work wear will allow you navigate easier and solve your next rain gear challenge like a pro.

2 Types of Weather Protection Gear

Although many jackets offer some level of water protection, if you have to work outside in the rain for an extended period of time, water-resistant or waterproof clothing will be a perfect solution depending on your particular situation.

1. Water-resistant gear is lightweight and can handle light rain for a short time. This type of jacket works great for some activities that are brief, outside in drizzly conditions. In windy, wet weather and in situations when you are highly active, for example, working at a construction site, you will need more protection.

2. Waterproof gear (rain coat or rain suit) keeps the rain out and is a cost-saving alternative ideal for frequent use in heavy rain. It also makes sense to add waterproof gloves to protect your hands.

Today’s protective rain gear is based on advanced technology and provides complete protection against unfavorable weather conditions. Some rain jackets are also flame-resistant and hi-vis, and provide excellent resistance to most chemicals, oils, and acids, and are able to keep you warm.

Breathability Matters

Air permeability in rainwear is a game changer. No one wants to work in a “wearable sauna” – that is why breathability is so important. The key component of rainwear fabric is a membrane, bonded to a protective fabric to create a laminate that blocks the rain while also allowing sweat vapor to escape. Today’s jackets have much better breathability performance than the previous versions. This diagram helps you understand fabric composition and how rain gear protection works.

Schema

PK Safety Expert Rainwear Picks:

1. PIP Waterproof Reflective Value Bomber Jacket 333-1766-LY

Waterproof Bomber Jacket

The Waterproof Reflective Value Bomber Jacket 333-1766-LY provides excellent protection from the elements and can be used by roadway construction workers, survey crews, utility workers, railway and metro workers, and emergency response personnel. It’s ANSI 107 Class 3 certified for safety on the road and on sites where you need to be seen.

2. PIP Hi-Visibility 2-Piece Reflective Rain Suit 353-1000LY

Reflective Rain Suit

Ideal for rainy conditions in construction, municipalities, shipyards, this Hi-Vis Yellow Rain Jacket and Pant Suit are made of lightweight polyester with a 100 % waterproof polyurethane coating. The jacket features a zipper closure with a storm flap, roll-up hood, and an elastic waist pant for extra comfort. Two-inch reflective tape adds superior visibility. The suit meets ANSI 107-2010 Class 3 standards.

3. Muck Chore 12 in. Steel Toe Boots CMS-000A

Muck Chore 12 in. Steel Toe Boots

Wearing boots in the rain is imperative. The high-performance 12″ tall Muck Boot Company’s Chore Boots are 100% waterproof, lightweight and flexible. They feature the steel toe, the steel shank for additional arch support, the bootstraps, and the top quality Vibram outsoles based on the latest technology in providing comfort and reliability, even in the temperatures ranging from sub-freezing to 85°F.  The 5mm NEOPRENE four-way stretch nylon, the Airmesh for extra breathability, and the self-insulating CR flex-foam ensure a snug fit to keep out cold temperatures and keep workers’ feet warm. Perfect for wearing in different job environments from muddy livestock fields to oil drenched grounds, the Chore Boots will also work great for rainy roads and construction sites.

4. MCR Memphis Waterproof Luminator Drivers Glove 34411

Luminator Gloves

The Memphis 34411 Luminator Drivers Glove is a grain pigskin glove (great for abrasion resistance and breathability) from MCR Safety with Thermosock® lining and hi-vis reflective tape on the back. This 3-layer system is made to keep your hands warm and dry in bad weather working conditions. Instead of water soaking through leather, the waterproof layer keeps the Thermosock® lining dry. The durable grain pigskin outer layer remains pliable, even after going through repeated wet/dry cycles. We have had success with customers using these gloves in the snow for tire chain installation and removal, shoveling, snowmobile riding, and staying warm while directing traffic. The hi-vis reflective stripe and bright orange color on the back help keep you visible in low light conditions.

Don’t get soaked. Stay safe and dry with @PKSafetydotcom.

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

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Safe Halloween Costume Ideas

Posted on Friday, October 21st, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Finding a perfect Halloween costume does not have to be stressful and pricey. Get creative inspiration from PK Safety! But first, here are some safety tips to remind you that safety should be your number one priority anytime, especially during the hectic holiday season.

Safety Tips:

  • Select costumes made from flame-resistant and flame-retardant  materials;
  • Always use safety-approved electrical lights and decorations;
  • Carefully inspect decorations and discard the damaged ones: any cracked or bare wires may cause a fire or an electric shock;
  • Make sure the electrical decorations you use outdoors are labeled as being suitable for outdoor use;
  • Instead of using real flame candles, use battery-operated ones to light your jack-o-lanterns, outdoor walk paths, and displays;
  • To prevent electric shock, always plug your outdoor decorations into circuits protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, and never staple or nail light strings or extension cords;
  • Keep electrical cords out of doorways and walkways to eliminate tripping hazards;
  • Always turn off your electrical decorations and put out open flames before going to bed or leaving your home.

Now that you know some of our top safety recommendations, it’s time to dress up. Here are some fresh costume ideas from PK Safety:

Classic Cowboy: Hat + FR shirt + jeans + vest

Cowboy-Hard-Hat-600px-New

Ninja: dark coverall + black gloves + balaclava

Ninja-costume-jpg
Construction Worker: Hi-Vis rain suit or vest + hard hat + tool belt + protective gloves

Confined Space Entry Kit

Zika Virus Survivor: half face Mask + high-risk disposable gloves + goggles

Zika virus survivor

Airport Technician: vest + ear muffs + glasses + work pants +FR T-shirt

Airport Ground Crew Safety Equipment
Mad Scientist: HazMat suit + umbrella + full face respirator + booties + disposable gloves

DIYers Information About Asbestos Clean-Up

Bee Keeper: tan coverall + gloves + boots + hat 

bee-keeper-adult-costume-bc-800454

SEAL team:  dark glasses + pants + camo shirt + knee pads + cooling vest + black gloves

adult-seal-team-costume

Warning Signs: the whole family can be wearing warning signs attached to the front or to the back of a dark sweatshirt

arc-flash-labels-warning

Check out our previous posts to get additional costume suggestions: Grown Up Halloween Costume Ideas from PK Safety


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

 

 

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ANSI Cut Level Testing Updates: Glove Protection Standards Improve

Posted on Monday, October 17th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

The American National Standards Institute and the European Union have developed different standards for cut resistant gloves testing and rating criteria, the purpose of which is to facilitate the classification of cut protective clothing. The United States uses ISEA/ANSI standards, while Europe uses EN certification. The standard has no impact on poking or piercing hazards like needle sticks and sharp corners of the broken glass. Two types of cut testing equipment are used to support these standards: a TDM (Tomodynamometer) and a Couptest.

Per OSHA regulations, the final burden of responsibility concerning cut resistance falls on the employer. In order to make an informed decision about the needed apparel performance and cut level protection, it is important to know that these standards and test methods are not interchangeable, which means if you are comparing products, make sure you compare the ones that were tested using the same test method, or at least keep in mind that these two types of testing and certification standards are different.

The recent changes to ANSI cut resistance standards aim to significantly improve the rating of cut protection at a workplace, especially on the higher range of the cut-resistance scale. The increased number of cut levels from five to nine (A1-A9) will provide a more detailed classification and will make it easier for the PPE manufacturer to classify their products. These changes will also allow the employers to speed up the process of finding the best fit for their cut-protection applications.

An overview of the test standards and methods for measuring cut resistance:

ANSI/ISEA

ANSI/ISEA

This test method is now the only one that is recognized by the ANSI/ISEA 105 Handbook. The new ASTM F2992-15 test method allows for only the TDM-100 machine to be used in simulating an accidental cut or slash with a sharp object since this machine generally produces more consistent results. The test measures weight in grams necessary to cut through the material when applied to a razor blade tested over approximately a 1-inch distance. The sample is cut by a straight-edge blade, under load, that moves along a straight path, and is cut five times each at three different loads. The data from these cuts is used to determine the required load to cut through the sample at a specified reference distance. Depending on the results, the glove made with this material will be given a rating between A1 and A9.

EN 388

EN 388

The European standard for protective gloves against mechanical hazards uses the Couptest cut machine. A circular blade, under a fixed load of 500 grams, moves back and forth across the sample until cut-through is achieved. A cotton canvas fabric is used as a reference material. The reference material and the test sample are cut until at least 5 results are obtained. The cut resistance is a ratio of the number of cycles needed to cut through the test sample vs. the reference material. The Couptest is not recommended for rating the high cut-resistant material that dulls the blade quickly (for example, glass fiber, para-aramid, etc.) resulting in an inaccurate representation of the protection capability of such materials.

In summary, before continuing with a purchase decision while discussing the product performance levels with sales representatives to determine what product fits best for your needs, make sure you clarify which standard was used to classify the product, and if it is suitable for your particular application and work environment. Also, request a trial sample of the gloves you intend to buy. Ask your employees to test-drive these gloves and to provide you feedback about their performance. Testing a product against worksite hazards at your workplace is vital to the success of your PPE program.

Once the new cut level testing methods are fully implemented across safety glove brands (they are required already as of 2016), it will allow for a higher level of accuracy and a broader range in glove testing capability. This will in turn eliminate the gaps between cut levels that existed under the old classification, and result in achieving a better hand and arm protection and in a decrease in occupational injuries, since it will be easier and faster for manufacturers to classify their products and for the distributors and customers to find a perfect solution for their specific applications.

To learn more about the new classification standards, read our previous blog post:
Understanding the New ANSI/ISEA 105 (2016) Hand and Arm Protection Cut Level Classification


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 us online at www.pksafety.com.

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Simple Steps to Decrease PPE Costs

Posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

While it may seem obvious, one of the easiest things you can do to decrease your PPE cost is to take care of it. Companies who properly launder their safety gloves can often increase lifespan by up to 300%. Laundering removes harmful chemicals, perspiration, and everyday grit and grime that can weaken protective fibers and seams. Think of the grit like sandpaper. Every move you make is creating friction as these particles rub against the threads of your gloves.

Additionally, many OBMs and other chemicals over time begin to break down the fabrics from which gloves are made. Even OSHA has a statement regarding PPE cleaning “Clean and properly maintained PPE is important to ensure the effectiveness and proper functioning of PPE…“

At HexArmor®, we have countless examples of companies that instituted simple cleaning procedures whereby doubling, or tripling the life of their gloves. Some of the things that we have seen work well include:

  • Provide each worker two pairs of gloves, which they alternate daily. This gives the gloves an opportunity to dry out, which extends life;
  • Purchase a scratch-and-dent washing machine from your local appliance center and wash gloves each night with Dawn® dishwashing liquid, Oxy Clean®, or Simple Green® to remove as many oils as possible. When using laundry detergent, powdered works better than gels;
  • If you don’t have access to a washing machine, rinse off and scrub with Dawn® dishwashing liquid or Simple Green®;
  • Wash your gloves with your hands in them like you are washing your hands. Then use an old toothbrush to remove sand and debris from the seams. Let dry overnight;
  • Make sure gloves fit correctly , as wearing the wrong size can reduce glove life;
  • If one hand of a glove gets ruined, make sure you keep the other glove available in case the opposite glove gets ruined for someone else;
  • Check the care label of all gloves, or check the website for launder-ability. Some materials and gloves are not launderable or lose their performance when washed;
  • Always store your gloves or other PPE in a dry, ventilated area away from the sun. Moisture, heat, and UV light can over time break down components of almost all PPE.

Download washing instructions: Glove Care

This article was originally published in HexArmor Safety Blog, March 2015.


If you have questions about the hand protection equipment for your specific application, please contact one of PK Safety Customer Service experts at 800-829-9580, or visit pksafety.com.

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Allegro EZ Air PAPR as a Complete System for Ultimate Worker Protection

Posted on Monday, October 10th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Jim Moryan, Marketing Communications, Allegro Industries

Introducing EZ AIR Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) as a Complete System for Ultimate Worker Protection by Allegro Industries

Workers will experience more comfort, less fatigue and improved productivity with the Allegro EZ AIR PAPR complete particulate system intended for industrial applications where respiratory, eye and face protection is required. The System features a motorized, Lithium-ion battery operating system that supplies a constant supply of fresh, filtered air over the user’s face. At an APF level of 25, it creates optimal protective pressure inside the respirator head top keeping away harmful gases, vapors, particulates, and fumes. Recommended applications are welding, assembly, facility maintenance, grinding, machine operations, painting, and sanding.

The Allegro EZ Air Deluxe PAPR System includes: a Welding Shield made of Dupont super tough, flame retardant Nylon that withstands extreme cold and heat, can accommodate safety glasses and comes equipped with the 9935-X81V ADF lens that is ANSI and CSA approved; a flame retardant shroud that covers the user’s ears, neck and back of head to prevent arc burns; a flexible 30” breathing tube with quick disconnect and FR cover; a Blower assembly with eight airflow settings, audible, visual and vibration alarms; a convenient single replacement NIOSH approved HEPA filter which filters 99.97% particulates; an adjustable and lightweight FR belt; a Battery Charger and Lithium-ion rechargeable battery with up to eight hours usage; and a Storage bag. Complete assembly weighs under 5 pounds.

The Allegro EZ Air Economy PAPR System includes all of the features of the Deluxe System but offers an ANSI and CSA approved 9935-X54V ADF lens that offers UV/1R protection up to shade 16 with a permanent outer coating to protect eyes. Both systems come with a 3-year warranty.

Ask our Sales team at PK Safety about accessory items for both helmets. They include Helmet Decals to customize the Welding Shield for a personal, unique look and Magnifier Lens (Diopters) for Shields. These magnifier lenses have a built-in magnifier lens holder. Simply slide the magnifying lens into the holder and it’s ready to use. Available in 4 different magnification strengths.

Allegro offers a comprehensive line of products and accessories for Welding and Grinding that include: EZ AIR PRO Shields and Helmets, Economy and Deluxe Supplied Air Shields, Helmets and Systems, replacement lenses, Hardhat Adapters, Browguards, Goggles, Portable Fume Extractor, Knee Pads, Storage options, Cooling Products and Lens Care items.

Allegro Industries

Follow Allegro Industries on social media to keep up to date with the latest literature, product updates, and introductions, updates in the industry and videos made available.


If you have questions or would like help selecting the right equipment for your application, please give PK Safety folks a call at 1-800-829-9580, or go to www.pksafety.com.

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Cold Weather Protection: Top 7 Tips on How to Prevent Frostbite

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Folks experienced in working under harsh conditions are usually great at keeping themselves warm. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to review some cold weather protection basics with your workers before the temperature hits extremes. Now is a good time to hold a safety meeting and explain the importance of hypothermia prevention. In general, the objective should be learning or refreshing the knowledge of best practices on how to conserve body heat and avoid bare skin exposure when working in cold weather conditions.

Here are top 7 tips on how to prevent frostbite:

1. Wear insulated jackets, heavy coats, and coveralls which provide superior protection combined with a good range of motion.
2. Use your helmets and hardhats with insulating liners and a mouthpiece to effectively protect head and neck.
3. Wear gloves with a double-layer lining or insulated mittens for better dexterity and comfort. Seamless string knit gloves have excellent thermal insulation properties and a snug, comfortable fit that does not chafe or irritate skin.

Working in cold conditions

4. Sometimes, in warmer climates, it is sufficient to wear a beanie and a scarf to cover your head, neck, and chest from the cold and the wind. Fleece liners with drawstring perform both functions and are ideal for use in cold weather work conditions in such industries as construction, woodwork, refineries, oil drilling, maintenance, and mining.

5. If you are continuously walking on extremely cold surfaces, wearing double-layer thermal socks and insulated boots with steel or composite toes is a good idea.

6. Create an instant barrier between the frozen ground and the feet by standing on a mat. Go inside the building during your break and have a hot beverage to warm up.

7. According to OSHA, “protecting workers’ eyes from wintry conditions is an important yet easily overlooked part of an overall eye safety program. Without the proper cold weather eyewear, workers are vulnerable to an array of hazards, and the chances for injury increase significantly.” Goggles with a Thermo Lens System are perfect for protecting those at risk of eye damage.

Following these basic safety practices will help you make sure you don’t fall prey to the chill.

If you need the expert advice about the best means of cold weather protection, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com, and follow us on Twitter @PKSafetydotcom.

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Allegro Constant Flow Respiratory Protection

Posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Providing workers with clean breathable fresh air while working in dangerous environments is essential. According to OSHA, “Employees need to wear respirators whenever engineering and work practice control measures are not adequate to prevent atmospheric contamination at the worksite.” Respiratory protective devices must be approved by NIOSH for the contaminant to which the employee is exposed.

Advantages of Constant Flow Respirators:

  • Low cost
  • Reusable
  • Constant supply of fresh air
  • Low breathing resistance
  • Increased worker production
  • No cartridge change outs or having to schedule maintenance
  • No fit testing
  • Minimal paperwork to maintain
  • Air temperature controllers available
  • Pump and filtration panel options can be used with half mask, full face, soft and hard hood styles

If you have a job that involves spray painting, chemical handling or mixing, construction, spray foam application, or light grinding, here are two reliable solutions from Allegro to provide healthy air to you in the workplace:

1. Ambient Air Pump A-750 by Allegro

Ambient Air Pump A-750 by Allegro

Ambient Air Pump A-750 is a rotary vane, extra portable and lightweight air source for one hood user or for two full- or half-face respirator users. The benefit of this device being lightweight and portable is that it has the flexibility to be used at multiple sites, and be easily stored when not in use. Another advantage of this oil-less pump is that it does not produce any carbon monoxide, oil vapor or oil mist. Inlet and discharge filters need to be changed every 200 running hours or if the pressure gauge shows a drop in pressure. Carbon vanes should be replaced every 4000-5000 running hours.

Low-pressure ambient air pumps differ from air filtration units in that they are electrically driven, oil-less compressors–and are usually placed in locations with fresh air away from work areas. This pump is designed to move air through a hose to a breathing area. This is why it is important for the air inlet to be located where the breathable air is supplied at all times. Air delivery can be adjusted via the brass pressure relief valve. The steel handle offers protection for the pressure gauge in case the unit tips over. The device pumps the existing air but does not provide an independent air supply, that is why it is not recommended for use in extremely hot or cold environments, as the air temperature cannot be changed. The longer airline will help cool the air. Ambient Air Pumps are not intended to be used with generators, and Vortex coolers. Fittings for other brands respirators can be swapped out for free.

The ambient air pump is only designed for use with constant flow respirators and does not have the psi or CFM capabilities to run a pressure demand respirator. It is not approved for an IDLH (Immediate Danger to Life and Health) application. Respirators receive air from an ambient air pump that draws in fresh air from wherever it is located and sends it to the respirator. The pump should be located away from any area where vehicles may pass by or stop and stay idle. In can be used in medical facilities while mixing chemicals or cleaning the rooms, in pesticide operations when handling chemicals and spraying, in foundries, etc.

Other possible applications include: spray painting, spray coating, fiberglass coating, pharmaceutical manufacturing, spray foam, chemical handling and mixing, pesticide operations, light grinding, medical facilities, foundries, building, construction, restoration. When placed in a clean air environment, pumps offer a low-cost alternative of supplying clean, breathable air to respirator wearers working in contaminated environments. Air pumps do not require temperature alarms, CO monitors or airline filters, so they are considered to be a cost-effective way of providing air supply.

2. Air Filtration Panel 9872 by Allegro

Air Filtration Panel 9872 by Allegro

Air Filtration Panel 9872 filters out impurities (most particles, fumes, moisture, hydrocarbons) from an air compressor and converts it into the grade D breathable air. The panel provides up to 30 CFM of air within a 5-125 PSI range. It is housed in a Pelican case with a carrying handle and latches and offers a 16 gauge powder-coated steel stand for support, and all-brass plumbing with quick-disconnect Hansen couplers. You may use NIOSH-approved constant flow and pressure–demand respirators with this panel. However, it is important to know that you cannot mix an airline and a respirator from different manufacturers. Most types of compressors (piston, screw, rotary vane) are suitable to supply air for this type of application. On the inlet side, you can use a pre-filter to filter out larger particles. On a discharge side, you may use an Allegro Vortex cooler or a temperature controller, when used with the Allegro Fully Disposable Hoods. There is an optional Remote CO alarm (P/N 9871-01), a remote Point of Attachment (P/N 9871-03), which will extend the airline length. The maximum length of breathing airline is up to 300 feet.

Wearing respiratory protection may seem inconvenient, but airborne particles and contaminants – no matter how small – can cause both short-term and long-term health problems if proper use and care are not exercised.

If you have questions or would like help selecting the right equipment for your application, please give us a call at 1-800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.

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FR Layering and Moisture Management Systems

Posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Melissa Gerhardt, FR Workwear and Arc Flash PPE Product Manager, NSA

What is an FR Layering System?

In general FR layering is a combination of two or more arc rated materials combined together to achieve higher protection and/or performance. FR layering systems are specifically made up of 2 or more arc rated garments that are worn together to achieve higher protection and/or performance. All FR layering combinations need to have an actual arc test performed to verify the official arc rated of the layered materials. Trying to estimate a layered system arc rating by adding together the arc ratings of the individual layers is not a valid approach. There is no formula to calculate system arc ratings and you may be required by OSHA to provide an actual test report as proof of your PPE’s protective value. FR layering systems are a great way to ensure the level of protection your PPE is providing exceeds your calculated potential risk.

mms_nsa

What is a Moisture Management System?

All FR layering systems are not created equal. While most layering systems provide an increases level of protection, not all FR layering systems provide increased performance. A moisture management system is an FR layering system that is comprised of high-performance garments.

These systems also utilize optimal moisture management by combining both base layers and outer layers that work together to wick away moisture and allow it to evaporate quickly.

Moisture Management takes moisture wicking one step further with a combination of hydrophilic (water-loving) and hydrophobic (water-hating) fibers. A high-performance shirt with moisture management technology has a drying rate of 2-3 times faster than a standard cotton shirt. This allows you and your shirt to stay dry and comfortable. As moisture quickly evaporates is also creates a natural cooling effect by pulling heat away from the body along with the moisture. This allows the body’s natural cooling processes to function properly. Garments that work with your body, not against it, can aid in the prevention of heat stress.

Moisture Management takes moisture wicking one step further with a combination of hydrophilic (water-loving) and hydrophobic (water-hating) fibers. A high-performance shirt with moisture management technology has a drying rate of 2-3 times faster than a standard cotton shirt. This allows you and your shirt to stay dry and comfortable. As moisture quickly evaporates is also creates a natural cooling effect by pulling heat away from the body along with the moisture. This allows the body’s natural cooling processes to function properly. Garments that work with your body, not against it, can aid in the prevention of heat stress.

What are the benefits of choosing a high-performance moisture management system from National Safety Apparel®?

All of our proprietary moisture management systems feature inherent FR protection. This provides you protection and performance for the life of the garment.

These systems also provide unmatched comfort. This is achieved by utilizing ultra-lightweight fabrics that start out soft and flexible from day one. These fabrics go into garments that breathe rather than weighing you down and trapping in heat. These systems also utilize optimal moisture management by combining both base layers and outer layers that work together to wick away moisture and allow it to evaporate quickly. This combination of lightweight, breathable, and moisture management work with your body to reduce the risk of heat stress, keeping you cool and dry.

The secret to achieving this high level of performance and comfort without sacrificing protection is our proprietary technology. Our CARBONCOMFORT™ and TECGEN Select™ garments are powered by OPF, a proprietary blend of fibers that combine high thermal protection, superior performance, and lasting comfort.

We are proud to be able to offer you even more high-performance FR options with the addition of DRIFIRE® to the National Safety Apparel house of brands. DRIFIRE has an excellent reputation as being one of the leaders in moisture management with its inherent drirelease® technology.

This highly innovative brand is widely recognized for its innovative inherent FR products and superior performance which is comparable to the world’s top athletic brands. This includes their exceptional base layers. Choosing the right base layer is important when creating your FR layering system. One benefit that both DRIFIRE and our FR Control 2.0™ base layers have is they are anti-microbial to reduce odors. FR Control 2.0™ base layers include the additional benefit of proactive body temperature regulation. This phase change technology works with your body to keep you cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cool. This is another reason why our moisture management systems are a great addition to your heat stress reduction plan.

This post was originally published in NSA Blog, September 2016.


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

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Quantitative Versus Qualitative Respirator Fit Test

Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Benjamin Gomez, Marketing Associate, Mobile Health

If you work in the nursing, manufacturing, construction or other industries commonly affected by airborne hazards, you’re probably familiar with the respirator fit test.

Simply put, a respirator fit test is a test that will show if a tight-fitting respirator can be worn by a person without having any leaks. The test must be done using the exact same respirator that a worker is expected to wear on the job, and if the worker needs to wear glasses or other protection while wearing the respirator, they must also wear them during the test.

Generally, respirators are either categorized as loose-fitting or tight-fitting. Because tight-fitting respirators can’t protect you unless they fit, they’re held to tougher standards. OSHA demands respirator fit testing only on tight-fitting respirators, and those respirators that don’t rely on a tight seal around a person’s face do not require testing. But just because you know what one is, do you know which one your employees will need?

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Respirator Fit Test

There are two main types of respirator fit tests. Respirator fit tests are either qualitative or quantitative. Here are the differences between the two types of respirator fit tests.

Qualitative:

  • Pass/Fail Test
  • Uses sense of taste/smell or reaction to irritant to detect leaks
  • Does not measure amount of air leaking into face piece
  • Test subject detects leakage of test substance
  • Mostly for half-mask respirators like N95 face masks
  • 4 methods accepted by OSHA:
    o Isoamyl Acetate- smells like bananas
    o Saccharin- tastes sweet
    o Bitrex- tastes bitter
    o Irritant Smoke- causes coughing

Quantitative:

  • Uses a machine to measure actual amount of leakage into face piece
  • No taste or smell test used to detect leakage
  • Can be used for any tight fitting respirator
  • Mostly used for full face respirators
  • 3 methods accepted by OSHA:
    o Generated Aerosol,
    o Ambient Aerosol,
    o Controlled Negative Pressure

Final Respirator Fit Thoughts

Respirator fit tests must be taken before a worker wears a mask for the first time. The worker must also take the fit test every year after that. Fit tests must also be taken if there are changes to a person’s face that could change the fit of the respirator. These changes can include things like:

  • weight change that changes their face
  • dental work
  • face surgery
  • face scarring

While respirator fit tests may be easy to lose track of, it is an important element in OSHA compliance. Even more than that, the respirator fit test is an important tool in keeping your employees healthy and safe from environmental hazards. Should you like to know more about the specifics of respirator fit testing, the OSHA website is a great resource.

Visit MobileHealth.net to learn more about respirator fit tests.


Check out our previous post to find out more about respirator fit tests: How To Conduct a Respirator Fit Test For Your Company

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How To Protect Your Workers From Hypothermia

Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Samantha Hoch, Marketing Specialist, Haws

EMERGENCY RESPONSE BEST PRACTICES :: PROTECTION AGAINST HYPOTHERMIA

Low ambient temperature and wind chill may simply be part of the job in cold climates, but they can have a lethal effect on exposed skin – particularly when combined with hazardous conditions where safety showers are required. This problematic combination creates a scenario for an ineffective and injurious emergency shower response. In some cases, inappropriate safety equipment can actually speed up the potential for cold-temperature related injuries like hypothermia. To ensure everyone’s safety, awareness and adherence to proper procedures and safety standards is critical.

UNDERSTANDING COLD-TEMP RELATED INJURY RISKS

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) defines hypothermia as a cold-temp related injury in which normal body temperature drops to or below 95°F/35°C. Symptoms include drowsiness or fatigue, bluish skin, uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech and clumsy movements. Permanent tissue damage and death can result if hypothermia is left untreated.

EXPOSED FLESH in 0°F/17.8°C with 10mph wind
speed is in danger of hypothermia within 1-minute

Specific conditions in cold-weather climates can increase the risk of cold-temp related injuries, including hypothermia, which can affect a person even when land temperatures are above freezing or water temperatures are below 98.6oF/37oC. Factors influencing these injuries include:

• Low ambient temperatures and/or wind chill
• Wet skin, which freezes at a higher temperature than dry skin
• Exposed skin

While the ANSI Z358.1 Standard outlines suitable water temperatures as tepid – with a defined range of 60 to 100°F/15.5 to 37.77°C – and requires a full 15-minute drench period, the low end of this accepted temperature range can exacerbate the effects of hypothermia, particularly when exposure lasts the entire drench period. In addition, ANSI Z358.1 Appendix B6 states: Colder ambient temperatures might require an enclosure for added protection – even with water supplied in the ANSI Z358.1 specified temperature range, there is a high risk of hypothermia for wet victims exposed to frigid ambient temperatures where loss of body heat is intensified by the effects of evaporative cooling and wind chill. It is crucial that the proper safety shower system is provided to prevent an incident where hypothermia could intensify an injury to a victim already in a hazardous situation.

SAFETY SOLUTIONS FOR COLD-WEATHER CLIMATES

Haws Integrated™ offers a variety of customized, ANSI compliant enclosed safety solutions for all climates. Features specific to equipment intended for use in cold-weather climates include combination units enclosed in booths with all-weather insulation, water-proof exterior coating, self-closing shower doors, built-in heaters, internal hot water supply and medically superior, non-injurious water flow, all of which qualify as industry best practices. Enclosures eliminate frigid environments by providing a shower area at a safe ambient temperature, out of the elements. Properly preparing a site for the use of climate specific equipment can mean the difference in minimizing or increasing the severe effects of cold-temperature injuries.

This guest post was originally published in HawsCo.com Blog, Aug.31, 2016.

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Your Skin on Concrete: Irritation, Burns, and Dermatitis

Posted on Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

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

Posted on Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Mario Mendoza, Regional Sales Manager, Allegro Industries

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

Posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

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

Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

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, backyards, churches, museums, construction sites, and even in NASA. That’s where safety concerns come up.

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.”

Pokemon Go in NASA

Pokemon Go in NASA

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 @PKSafetydotcom.

Images courtesy of Kirsi Kuutti at NASA.

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Learn to Be Safe: Responsible 4th of July Celebration Tips

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

The Fourth of July is a time to enjoy fireworks in the company of family and friends. The first commemorative Independence Day fireworks were set off by John Adams in 1777. Since then, the nation has celebrated this holiday by staging pyrotechnic extravaganza shows with live music and family fun, or just by lighting smaller displays at home. Explorer Richard Byrd even set off fireworks to salute the USA in Antarctica on a day that was comparatively warm for that region (- 30°F)!

The thrill of fireworks could be ruined by unexpected explosions and injuries. No one wants the drama of dealing with an accident. Here’s our guide on how to stay safe around fireworks.

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks to avoid accidents:

  • Before using fireworks, make sure they are permitted in your local area.
  • Read the label and performance description before igniting the fireworks.
  • Federal Aviation Administration prohibits the transportation of fireworks in your luggage.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket, or shoot them into metal/glass containers.
  • Have a responsible adult supervise all fireworks activities. Do not allow children to play with fireworks.
  • Don’t take your pet to a public fireworks event: they can be traumatized by noise. Make sure your pets have an ID tag/microchip, in case they escape.
  • Use fireworks only outdoors, and keep them away from vehicles and buildings. Do not point the fireworks at a person, an animal, or a structure.
  • Put on FR clothes, safety glasses and safety gloves before shooting fireworks. Most fireworks-related injuries involve hands and fingers (46%), and eyes (17%).
  • Always have a water hose and a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Light one firework at a time and then back up to a safe distance. Never try to re-light a firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Dispose of fireworks by placing them in a metal trash can.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department.

When you follow safety rules, fireworks are a wonderful way to add fun and excitement to your family gatherings.

Fireworks Injuries Infographic

If you have questions or need help finding the right safety equipment, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com, and follow us @PKSafetydotcom.

Sources of information:

  1. http://smithsonianmag.com
  2. http://nationalgeographic.com
  3. http://accidentattorneys.org/fireworks-safety-infographic/
  4. http://www.fireworkssafety.org/
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Top 12 Non-Compliance Issues in Emergency Equipment

Posted on Monday, June 20th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Samantha Hoch, Marketing Specialist, Haws

There are two types of non-compliance when referring to emergency shower and eyewash equipment.

A. Performance Related: Any type of issue that affects the ability for the emergency shower or eyewash to provide proper first aid in the event of an emergency. This could include lack of tepid water, insufficient flow to the showerhead, eyewash heads or both, too much flow or pressure to the heads, or a combination unit that does not have the capability of providing adequate flow to both the showerhead and eyewash heads simultaneously. Failure to meet the requirements in these areas can have a significant impact on the outcome for the victim.

B. Not Performance Related (other): Issues that do not affect the proper functioning of the emergency equipment and the ability to deliver tepid water at the proper flow rates etc. These are considered low-impact non-compliance. Typical examples include missing signs, misplaced or missing dust covers, minor deviations in installation heights, obstructions in the pathway to the equipment, and failure to conduct weekly inspections. These issues may not affect the ability of the equipment to deliver proper first aid so they are considered “non-performance” related reasons for failure to be in compliance with the ANSI requirements. Although seemingly minor, these issues will be cited by OSHA and still need to be corrected.

Eyewash station

To highlight, we have identified the top 12 most common reasons emergency showers and eyewashes do not comply with the standard.

NON-PERFORMANCE RELATED

#1: Improperly installed or missing dust covers
This exposes the nozzles or outlets to airborne contaminants which can ultimately make their way into a victims eyes and exacerbate the issue.

#2: Lack of proper signage on the equipment or lack of acceptable lighting
Although this does not affect the unit’s ability to perform, it can prevent a victim from finding the shower or eyewash during an emergency.

#3: Providing the improper equipment for the application
Meaning that maybe an eyewash has been installed when an eye/face wash is the correct solution.

#4: Obstructions in the path of travel to a shower and/or eyewash
Examples include hosing, boxes, and other equipment. This could prohibit a victim from being able make their way to the equipment, thus inhibiting its use or possibly leading to a trip or fall and the risk of further injury.

#5: Improper installation of eyewash nozzles, actuators and showerheadsIncorrect placement or assembly could result in an inadequate emergency response thereby potentially causing further injury.

These next 7 reasons for non-compliance are considered performance related, affecting the ability of the unit to provide proper first aid.

PERFORMANCE RELATED

#6: Parts of a unit, such as the pull rod or push flag, in a dysfunctional, non-usable state
This could create a situation where a victim is unable to use the equipment if needed. This is a very common issue we have witnessed in the field.

#7: Lack of flow control to the eye or eye/face wash including erratic, inconsistent or unpredictable water flow
From an independent study of practicing ophthalmologists, comfortable water pressure is important and should be provided to a victim with the expectation that they will be flushing for a full 15 minutes. This is commonly seen pertaining to showerheads as well.

#8: Insufficient water pressure or flow rate
With not enough water pressure or flow, the eye, eye/face wash and/or shower can be considered unusable and may not provide proper flushing capabilities to a user with chemicals or harmful substances on their body.

#9: Uneven flow patterns
The eyewash is not capable of providing flushing fluid to both eyes simultaneously. This is considered non-compliant as the standards requires that a controlled flow be provided to both eyes.

#10: Improper alignment
Regarding combination units, the second most common compliance issue is improper alignment. Many times, the showerhead is not in alignment with the eye or eye/face wash and vice versa, thus not allowing for simultaneous use of the shower and eyewash by the same user.

#11: Does not maintain flow rates for simultaneous use when shower and eyewash are both activated
The most common reason for non-compliance is the inability of the equipment to maintain the required flow rates when both the shower and the eye/face wash are activated at the same time – a requirement of the standard since 2009. Although the eye/face wash may meet all flow requirements when activated alone, once the shower is activated, the flow to the eye/face wash is often impacted, making the unit no longer compliant – and more importantly, impacting the ability to deliver proper first aid, putting the victim at risk.

#12: Not providing tepid water
As of 2004, the ANSI standard incorporated the tepid water requirement, yet many existing and new units have yet to comply. All showers and eyewashes must provide tepid water in between 60-100 degrees Fahrenheit or 16-38 degrees Celsius.

This guest post was originally published in Haws Blog, June 9, 2016.

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What Respirator Is Right For You?

Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2016 by Analisa H.

When it comes to choosing the right respirator or dust mask, it all comes down to the job you’re trying to tackle. To be safe, you should always consider using a respirator if you’ll be exposed to biological contaminants, dusts, mists, fumes, and gases, or oxygen-deficient atmospheres according to OSHA.

There are two types of respirators: air-purifying respirators and atmosphere-supplying respirators. Air-purifying respirators use filters, cartridges, or canisters to remove contaminants from the air. Atmosphere-supplying respirators provide clean air from an uncontaminated source.

Below are a few respirators we recommend based on the job you plan to use them for and the types of contaminants you’ll likely face.

Multi-Use

The Moldex 7000 Half Mask Respirator and 7640 Cartridge Combination provides multi-hazard protection especially when doing yard work, home remodeling and cleaning, or hobbies involving sawdust, paint, chemical odors, or other debris and small particles. It complies with NIOSH standards and OSHA regulations.

Lead & Asbestos Removal

When seeking protection against asbestos, lead and cadmium dusts, we suggest the 3M 6000 Lead & Asbestos Respirator Combination. It’s ideal for use at indoor shooting ranges, when welding, working on older heating vents/ducts, ‘popcorn’ ceilings, automotive break linings or pip insulation.

Mold Remediation

The Moldex 9000 Full Face Respirator Combination may be fit for you if you want protection against the following: asbestos, mold, ammonia, chlorine (bleach), chlorine dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, methylamine, organic vapors, sulfur dioxide, and formaldehyde.

Additional safety tips involving respirators:

  • Replace When Needed – Follow suggested instructions on doing so, especially for disposable respirators. If it becomes difficult to breathe, there’s the possibility that the filters could be clogged. Respirators, filters or canisters that are dirty or damaged should just be thrown away.
  • Smells – Change filters if you notice any changes in smells and/or tastes, or if your skin or lungs become irritated. If your skin continues to stay irritated after changing the filters, check out our previous blog post on choosing respirators geared towards those with sensitive skin.
  • Keep facial hair short – Sporting a full beard while wearing a respirator can be problematic for most respirators. Long facial hair can limit the effectiveness of a respirator’s seal to the face. You will need to consider a full hood or helmet system like the Allegro EZ Air Pro PAPR system.
  • Don’t just rely on the respirator – Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area when possible to help minimize airborne contaminants. To help ventilate a confined space, try one of the top selling ventilators we carry.

If you have any questions, 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.

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Top 7 Gifts for Dad

Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Father’s Day can be a tough one for finding a perfect gift, or not so hard, if you know your father well and pay attention to what he likes. Sure, your dad would be happy with just a pat on the back from you, but come on, you could also add a special gift: something that he really enjoys! Also, don’t forget to treat yourself this Father’s Day. Here are 7 great gift suggestions for a handy Dad.

Top 7 Gifts for Dad:

  1. Pyramex Venture 3 Safety Glasses, perfectly balanced from temple tips to the bridge of the nose, providing the best fit possible,
  2. PIP Evaporative Cooling Ranger Hat + Neck Shade, ideal for protection from the sun and from the stress of high temperatures, both outdoors and indoors,
  3. Petzl PIXA 3 Pro Multi-Beam Headlamp, the most advanced and versatile, designed for close-range work only,
  4. DBI-SALA Roofers’ Fall Protection Kit Light, a smart choice for any roofer,
  5. MCR Memphis Ninja Flex Glove offers a unique shell and polymer combination for better dexterity, sense of touch, and safety protection,
  6. Working Concepts ErgoKneel Kneeling Mat, great for tough kneeling conditions on cold hard steel, concrete, gravel or any other surface,
  7. Klein Tools Leather-Bottom Bucket for tools and equipment with a 100 lb. maximum load rating.

Discover more gift ideas here: Clothing

Happy Fathers Day

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com, and follow us on Twitter: @PKSafetydotcom.

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Staying Hydrated In the Warm Weather

Posted on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Steve Rapoport, Director, Fresh2o

With the warm weather approaching, it is imperative to stay hydrated. The dog days of summer have hit with temps 100 degrees and higher! Not only is this unpleasant, it can be dangerous. Our body’s fluid requirement increases as the temperature rises and being dehydrated can have serious effects on your health. Check out my tips on how to keep yourself hydrated and learn which foods/beverages hydrate you.

Functions of fluid in the body

Our body is made up of 55 – 60% water. Water is essential for life and plays vital role in the body, including regulation of metabolism and body temperature. Every day we lose about 2 1/2 liters of water through breathing, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. And when you are outside in the heat, you lose even more. For our bodies to function properly, we need to replenish these fluid losses by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

Who is at risk for dehydration?

Everyone who goes outside in the heat is at risk of dehydration, but those people who work or exercise outdoors, children, the elderly, and anyone who has the pre-existing conditions – such as respiratory or cardiovascular related conditions, or diabetes – has a greater risk.

Symptoms of dehydration

Symptoms of dehydration range from mild to life threatening. How many times have you had a headache, a dry mouth, felt weak or haven’t urinated in hours? It’s possible that you were dehydrated. Other symptoms include constipation, dry eyes, muscle cramps, decreased sweating, and nausea. While not a symptom, dehydration can increase risk of kidney stones. More serious symptoms include mental confusion, vomiting, racing pulse, difficulty breathing, seizures, etc. At this point, medical attention is needed immediately.

How much fluid do you need a day? The recommendation used to be that we consume 64 oz of water a day. However, newer research led to updated recommendations by the Institute of Medicine:

– adequate intake for men is ~ 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day
– adequate intake for women is ~ 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

It has also been shown that we can meet up to 25% of our fluid needs from watery foods, such as tomatoes, lettuce, watermelon and oranges.

*Keep in mind that your fluid needs will be higher if you work or exercise in the heat!

Stay Cool

Tips to increase your fluid intake in the hot weather

  • Eat watery fruits and veggies to get nutrition and fluid.
  • Don’t wait until you are thirsty. By the time thirst sets in, you are already dehydrated.
  • If you know you’ll be doing errands or in the car for extended periods of time, freeze bottles of water and take them with you. Drinking warm water when it is 90 degrees outside is not pleasurable! (nor is drinking hot Gatorade on a 60 mile bike ride!)
  • At work, set concrete goals with regards to fluid intake, otherwise you may get caught up in what you are doing and forget to drink. For example, tell yourself that you need to finish at least 3 16 oz bottles of water by the end of the day.
  • Drink 8 oz of water before you leave the house in the morning. Drink 8 oz with both lunch and dinner. Now you’ve consumed 24 ounces!
  • While water is always best, other beverages such as tea and coffee (both iced and regular), juice, sports drinks and milk count as fluid. In the past it was said that caffeinated beverages dehydrated you. We now know that they can provide your body with fluid – if you are used to drinking them.

My disclaimers:

*While I strongly discourage drinking soda, both regular or diet (for many reasons!), it does contain fluid and therefore will hydrate you. But try to get more of your fluid intake from water …
* But keep in mind that sports drinks and juices tend to contain large amounts of sugar – not a good thing for most of us …
* While caffeinated beverages can provide fluid, I don’t recommend consuming large amounts of caffeine (and some people shouldn’t consume any).

  1. If you don’t love plain water, try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to flavor it. Or drink flavored seltzer.
  2. If you are exercising for 60 minutes+ (especially if it is in the heat), drink a sports drink that contains electrolytes and carbohydrates. Otherwise, plain water is fine. If you are working in the heat and sweating profusely, you may want to drink a low calorie sports drink such as G2 to get the electrolytes but with less sugar.
  3. A good way to test your hydration status is to check the color of your urine. Clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration. Keep in mind that taking B vitamins can cause your urine to appear more yellow!
  4. It is highly unlikely that the average person will drink too much water. The exception may be with endurance athletes who drink large amounts of water when exercising for long periods of time. This can cause a potentially dangerous condition called hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood). This can be prevented by drinking a sports beverage that contains electrolytes (including sodium).
  5. Lastly – sorry but alcohol doesn’t count as fluid (to all my friends who get out the lemonade and vodka as soon as the temps rise … you know who you are!) Alcohol does the opposite and causes dehydration.

Be safe and drink up!

This guest post was originally published in HawsCo.com Blog by Samantha Hoch.

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Retrofit Notice on DBI-SALA Advanced Adjustable Offset Davit Systems

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 by Analisa H.

Have you purchased one or several of the following products?
Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 1.44.52 PM

Capital Safety has determined that these following DBI-SALA Advanced Adjustable Offset Davit Systems manufactured before 1/1/16 do not fully meet some of the loads specified for certain davit adjustment positions as represented in the “Instruction for Use” (IFU) manual & product labels.

This is NOT a recall and there have been NO reported accidents or injuries related to this issue.

Please contact Capital Safety’s Customer Service department at 800-328-6146 (prompt #2012) or email ADVDAVITS@capitalsafety.com to request a Retrofit Kit be shipped to you directly free of charge. As always, we welcome you to call us at PK Safety with any questions at 800-829-9580.

View Capital Safety’s Product Retrofit Notice directly here:

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 1.37.46 PM

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Heat Stress Prevention: Keep Cool & Stay Safe

Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 by Analisa H.

Working in the heat, especially during Summer months, can lead to illness or even death. Common reactions are heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat cramps and heat rash — all of which can be avoided following these heat stress prevention tips from OSHA.

Some risk factors that can cause heat stress include:

  • High temperature and humidity, direct sun exposure, no breeze or wind
  • Low liquid intake
  • Heavy physical labor
  • Waterproof clothing/non-breathable fabrics
  • No recent exposure to hot workplaces

You may be experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke if you have the following symptoms: headache, dizziness, fainting, weakness and wet skin, irritability or confusion, thirst, nausea, vomiting, passing out, collapse, seizures, or even if you have stopped sweating.

To prevent heat stress, make sure a heat stress prevention program is in place by your employer. Cool water should be available to workers close to the work area (at least one pint of water per hour is needed). Drinks with alcohol or caffeine should be avoided as these will dehydrate you. Work schedules should include rest periods and water breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas. New employees may need to be acclimated to the heat by gradually increasing their workloads and allowing for more frequent breaks to stay hydrated. Protective clothing that’s lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting should be worn. Consider those that provide cooling such as a vented hard hat or hats with neck shades, cooling wraps, cooling vests, and sunscreen.

If you or a fellow worker does experience heat illness, call a supervisor for help. If the supervisor is not available, call 911. Someone should stay with the worker until help arrives. If possible, move the worker to a cooler/shaded area and remove outer clothing. Fan and mist the worker with water, apply ice (ice bags or ice towels), and provide cool drinking water if the worker is able to drink. If the worker is not alert or seems confused, he or she may be experiencing heat stroke. Call 911 immediately and apply ice as soon as possible if this is the case.

If you have any questions in finding heat stress prevention products, 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.

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Give the Gift of Safety This Mother’s Day

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday. Since then, Mother’s Day has become one of the major holidays in the USA, giving us a chance to honor the individuals in our lives who care for us. Some women will have the luxury of being pampered at home with entertainment and meals prepared for them by family members. Flowers, chocolates, jewelry are among the most popular gifts for Mothers.

Flashy gifts are nice, but all that Mom wants is to feel appreciated, loved and safe.

Why not think about safety this time?

Here are a few suggestions:

As you can see, the choices are limitless. Think about what she really needs, you still have time to make the right decision. Celebrate everything that your Mother represents in your life with a gift of safety.

If you have questions or need help finding safety equipment, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com. Follow us on Twitter @PKSafetydotcom.

 

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Did you know that 32.3 percent of U.S. firms in construction, maintenance, and repair, personal and laundry services are Mexican-owned? The first week of May is a tribute to Mexican companies, investors, talented and industrious workers, and the Mexican culture.

On May 5th Mexican-American workers celebrate the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Being not a major holiday in Mexico, in US Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Cinco de Mayo traditions include street festivals, parades, and live mariachi music performances. It is important to keep in mind that safety at work should be the number one priority.

So, what’s the best way to prevent all of the unnecessary stress? Wear PPE even when the risk of injuries is only minimal! Check out our special offers on the safety equipment that might be handy for various types of work.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

For more information about our product lines, please go to www.pksafety.com, and follow us on Twitter: @PKSafetydotcom.

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Spring Cleaning Starts With Your HVAC System

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 by Analisa H.

Doing a regular maintenance check on your HVAC unit is critical in preventing major problems from affecting your home or business. Now is the perfect time to check on your system if you haven’t been doing so regularly.

By performing regular HVAC maintenance, you can potentially lower your utility costs and extend the service life of your unit. Here’s a look at different parts of your HVAC system and why they need to be cleaned or replaced periodically according to HVACMaintenance.org.

Inspect Filters Monthly 

Filters prevent dirt and grime from clogging your HVAC systems. Also, it’s crucial to use filters that specifically fit your system. They can be replaced every 90 days, but it’s good to check them monthly. If they look dark and/or clogged, it’s a good idea to change them. If you are extremely sensitive to allergens, filters help remove a greater amount of particulate matter from the air, including those carrying bacteria.

Examine Condensate Drain

Once a year, try pouring a cup of bleach mixed with water down the condensate drain to prevent buildup of mold and algae, which can cause a clog.

Maintain, Replace Fans & Belts Twice a Year

Poorly operating fans or belts not only can result in less cooling and heating efficiency, but also an excessively noisy unit or constant vibration while running. HVAC maintenance should be completed right away if you notice any problems.

Keep Coils Clean

Since they are often damp, wet and in contact with humid moist air, it’s common for coils to grow mold and bacteria. If they are left dirty for extended periods of time, coils can grow a sticky film on them that is difficult to clean and eventually become inefficient. Cleaning the mold with the necessary chemicals tends to damage and pit the coils, requiring them to be replaced.

Clean & Lubricate Dampers

Dampers keep compressors running when the temperature dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If they are not properly cleaned and lubricated, they will begin to stick, causing a loss of cooling and heating efficiency in your HVAC unit. Keep the dampers well serviced to avoid this issue.

In addition, make sure there’s at least two feet of space around outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps. Now is the perfect time to regularly remove debris such as leaves, pollen, and twigs from top and sides of these outdoor units. Summer is also the perfect time to shut down the water supply to the furnace humidifier.

We offer home and HVAC gas detection units ideal for professional technicians or home repair persons. Got questions about these units? Please give us a call at 800-829-9580.

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