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Northern California Wildfires: How to Protect Yourself From Smoke and Poor Air Quality

Posted on Friday, October 13th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The death toll from wildfires ravaging across Northern California has reached 23, and hundreds are reported missing. According to CNN, the director of Cal Fire, Ken Pimlott, expects the number of homes and businesses that have been destroyed to rise significantly from 3,500.
evacuation

 

8,000 firefighters battling 22 small and large fires are challenged by low humidity and windy conditions in seven counties including Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino. The flames have and continue to consume everything that isn’t steel, concrete or brick. Hundreds of people are being treated at hospitals for fire-related injuries including burns, smoke inhalation, eye irritation, and shortness of breath.

Windy conditions are spreading clouds of smoke and ash around the Bay Area. Hazy skies from wildfires are causing poor air quality and health concerns. People living as far as San Mateo County and San Jose can smell the smoke in their neighborhoods. Air quality in San Francisco Bay Area is reported to be the worst it has been in the last 10 years. To reduce your exposure to smoke and ash, stay indoors as much as possible, and don’t go outside without wearing a respirator with an appropriate filter protection. We recommend Moldex 2300 N95 Particulate Respirator, 3M General Use N95 Respirator, and Moldex 2315 N99 Premium Respirator.

Check the Air Quality Index (AQI) by typing your zip code into Local Air Quality Conditions text box to see if you have to limit your time outdoors in your area because of the hazardous levels of air pollution. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has assigned a specific color to each AQI category to make it easier for people to understand whether air pollution is reaching unhealthy levels in their community. The table below explains the color coding.

Air Quality Index (AQI)

 

Here are a few masks that are recommended for respiratory protection against smoke:

  1. The Moldex 2300 N95 Particulate Respirator is an inexpensive disposable mask with a unique Dura-mesh outer shell and an exhalation valve which facilitates the exchange of fresh air with each breath and prevents the buildup of moisture and heat, making it much more comfortable for wearing for the long periods of time.

respirator

 

  1. The 3M General Use N95 Respirator with Cool Flow Exhalation Valve offers easy exhalation for cool, dry comfort. An adjustable M nose-clip provides a custom fit and a secure seal.

3M respirator

  1. The Moldex 2315 N99 Premium Respirator is a disposable particulate respirator with the unique plastic mesh outer shell that holds its shape without metal nose clips. Added flame retardants help reduce shell flammability.

Moldex respirator

Call us 800-829-9580 if you need help finding the right respirator, or visit us online:  https://www.pksafety.com/mas.html

Resources:

California fires: Searchers seek hundreds of missing 
The California wildfires, by the staggering numbers
Wildfire smoke and your health: Do you need to worry? 
What’s the Difference Between N95, N99, and P95 Air-Masks

Photo courtesy of CNN.

 

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How to Prevent Hearing Loss

Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Noise is one of the most common occupational hazards in many workplaces. This is especially true in industrial settings, where there is often constant background noise that increases the danger of permanent hearing loss for workers. Most people think that you can permanently damage your hearing only when exposed to an extremely high level of noise, such as an explosion. Hearing damage can also occur gradually, at much lower levels of noise if you are continuously exposed to it.

The factors that contribute to hearing damage include the noise level intensity (measured in decibel units), the duration of exposure to the noise, and the type of noise: stable, fluctuating, intermittent, or impulsive. According to audiologists, the irreversible damage to hearing occurs when noise levels are higher than 85 dB. Symptoms of hearing loss include ringing in the ears, difficulty following regular conversations, or when noises seem to be muffled. Even a slight loss of hearing can prevent you from working to your full potential.

The table below shows you when it is necessary to put your hearing protection on, not just at work, but also in your personal life while performing common activities, like mowing your lawn, for example.

A Table of Safe Exposure Times

noise protection chart

High-Noise Work Area Safety Check List for Employers:

  • Post “High Noise Area” signs,
  • Regularly review the effectiveness of the hearing protection measures in your workplace,
  • Provide your employees with training on how to use their hearing protection to achieve the best results,
  • Rotate your crews frequently to control your workers’ noise exposure,
  • Insulate noisy equipment to prevent noise level increase,
  • Ensure that the hearing protection equipment is clean and has no cracks or tears, replace out-of-order hearing protection devices with the new ones immediately.

Selection of Hearing Protection

The acoustic perception of the reality plays a much more important role in our orientation in the environment than many people realize. Our eyes are only able to observe the area in front of us, but our ears recognize sounds coming from all directions and can alert us of the dangers. This is why hearing protection is important to keep us safe.

Measuring sound levels with a sound meter and wearing hearing protection devices are essential for your health. If a sound meter detects a noise level higher than 85 dB, the proper ear protection equipment (ear muffs, ear plugs) is required to prevent the hearing loss.

Ear Muffs

Poor fitting hearing protectors, like ear muffs, will prevent you from obtaining perfect protection for your ears. The hearing protection devices manufacturers came up with a multitude of solutions for every possible situation in a workplace. Ear-muffs can now be equipped with a headband, a behind-the-head or under-the-chin band, and a neckband, and some ear-muffs can be mounted onto hard hats and welding helmets.

Here is a great example of excellent ear muffs for the workplaces that have electrical hazards: the Thunder T3 from Bilsom ear muff is fully dielectric, i.e. made of plastic, with no metal presence. Its inner ventilated headband provides extra comfort and minimizes the pressure on the head which allows you to comfortably wear them for a longer period of time.

Thunder T3 earmuff

With an NRR 27 rating, the Peltor H7A ear muffs will protect your hearing against up to 101 decibels of external noise. Its inner fluid-filled cushion is covered with foam encased in high-quality vinyl, making these earmuffs comfortable for wearing in any environment.

Peltor earmuffs

The Sync Ear Muffs has industrial strength hearing protection and can be easily used with any portable music player. The experts at Howard Leight have engineered this safety set up to give you both protection and quality sound engineering. The Sync headband is an ideal solution for anyone who needs to wear hearing protection for extended periods of time, at work or at home.

Sync Earmuffs

Watch this video to see how these ear muffs work.

Ear Plugs

When ear muffs are worn in a hot environment, users might want to temporarily remove the ear muffs to wipe the sweat from their ears which leaves the ears unprotected. In this case, the risk of deterioration of hearing could be increased by up to nine times. In such warm environment, the solution is to use both ear plugs and ear muffs simultaneously. There are several types of ear plugs that you can choose for your application: pre-molded, custom-molded, corded, disposable or reusable.

Pre-molded ear plugs with several soft layers are designed to fit all ear canal sizes and are typically reusable. Our best sellers – Moldex BattlePlugs Dual Mode Impulse Ear Plugs – are ideal for hunters, soldiers, or workers subjected to occasional loud sounds, and provide two levels of hearing protection depending on how they are worn: with or without inner plug. The inner plug can be removed for easier communication when needed.

Ear plugs

Polymeric foam custom-molded ear plugs are able to expand inside the ear canal to provide an excellent acoustic seal. Ear-plugs made of polymeric foam can be disposable or reusable. Moldex Pura Fit Foam Ear Plugs offer superior comfort for users: their longer length makes them easy to insert and remove, and their extra smooth surface means no complaints of skin irritation. These air plugs are disposable, so sanitation and maintenance are not necessary. You will discard them after each use. Construction workers, drillers, sewer workers, and workers who frequently use chainsaws or jackhammers prefer Pura Fit earplugs because they are comfortable for all types of hot, damp, and humid work environments.

Pura Fit Earplug

Corded ear plugs, like the SmartFit earplug by Howard Leight, feature a detachable cord system. The poly cords provide extra safety and convenience. You can remove the cord by pulling it out of the plug and replace it back into the plug at any time.

Corded Ear Plugs

Hopefully, this article will help you select the right solution to ensure your safety in noisy environments. For more information, call our experts today at 800-829-9580, or visit us online in order to find the best hearing protection for your application.

Sources:

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Gas Detection: How Catalytic Bead Sensors Work and Why O2 Sensors Are Important

Posted on Friday, September 29th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Confined spaces found in refineries, chemical plants, and mines, may contain toxic and combustible gases and lack a safe level of oxygen. Inspecting and working in these types of spaces requires reliable gas detection in order to stay safe and be aware of any danger before entering, and knowing when to ventilate or evacuate. A lot of our customers look for the highest level of protection combined with the lowest cost of ownership. The solution can come down to choosing a catalytic bead or a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor technology. Which technology will work best for your application? Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Catalytic Combustion And How Does It Work?

The accurate and reliable catalytic bead sensor has been used for combustible gas detection for about 50 years. This kind of gas sensor is engineered on the basis of the catalytic combustion (oxidation). Here is how it works: combustible gas mixtures start burning when they reach their ignition temperature. In the presence of some chemicals, a gas molecule oxidizes at a lower than regular ignition temperature, which speeds up the process. Some metal oxides and their compounds have excellent catalytic properties. Coating gas sensors with suitable metal oxides helps improve their stability. The benefits of the catalytic sensors are that they are inexpensive, reliable, and non-gas-specific.

What Can Percent LEL Combustible Gas Sensors Measure?

Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) indicates the minimum concentration of gas in the air that will ignite and explosively burn if there is a source of ignition. The atmosphere will start burning under the following conditions: it must contain an adequate level of oxygen and fuel, a source of ignition, and the molecular energy sufficient enough to sustain the fire chain reaction. These four conditions form the Fire Tetrahedron.

A catalytic bead combustible sensor can measure the concentration of combustible gases up to 100% of the LEL. The readings will be most accurate when a monitor is used to detect the same gas that it was calibrated with. When a gas other than the calibration gas is detected, the reading will be relative to the calibration gas. In this case, a Correction Factor (CF) is used to determine the actual concentration of this gas.

The BW GasAlert Micro 5 Series Replacement Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) Sensor

MICRO 5 SERIES REPLACEMENT LEL SENSOR

Note that some airborne substances have a detrimental effect on catalytic sensors causing their loss of sensitivity (poisoning). The list of these substances includes polishes, waxes, lubricants, heat transfer fluids, caulking materials, and personal care products containing cyclic methylsiloxanes, polydimethylsiloxanes, or cyclomethicone. To prevent sensor poisoning, manufacturers add internal filters that block harmful molecules from entering the sensor. The larger the molecule, the slower it diffuses into the bead, and the longer it takes to get oxidized. If your application requires detection of more complex hydrocarbons, or alcohols, an unfiltered catalytic bead combustible sensor is recommended.

Because catalytic sensors lose sensitivity so easily, they have to be tested on a regular basis. Bump testing is the only way to determine if the catalytic sensor is still able to detect combustible gases.

Why Are O2 Sensors Important?

It is important to know that you cannot rely on the catalytic bead combustible sensor readings if the oxygen concentration in your environment is less than 10% v/v. There has to be enough oxygen to support catalytic oxidation. In addition, there needs to be a healthy range of oxygen for someone to be in the environment without bringing their own oxygen in. This is why portable safety gas monitors with a catalytic bead sensor must include an oxygen sensor to measure the concentration of oxygen in the environment.

The electronic device used to measure the amount of oxygen in a liquid or a gas was invented in the late 1960s by Dr. Gunter Bauman. Here is what an oxygen sensor for a portable gas detector looks like now:

RAE Systems Replacement Oxygen Sensor

RAE SYSTEMS REPLACEMENT OXYGEN SENSOR

NDIR vs. Catalytic Bead Technology

Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) combustible gas sensing technology is based on a gas molecules’ absorption of infrared energy by the bonds of dissimilar atoms. Non-dispersive IR sensors measure gases at a specific range of wavelengths associated with a particular gas.

Gas Clip Technologies LEL Replacement Infrared Sensor

Infrared Sensor

It is a less commonly used technology, mostly because it has some limitations. NDIR sensors cannot be used to measure gases that do not absorb infrared light: diatomic molecules like oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. The disadvantages also include warm-up time and cost. A portable gas detector with the NDIR combustible gas sensor requires up to 5 minutes warm-up time after it has been turned on before the sensor readings become accurate. In addition, NDIR sensors are 3-4 times more expensive than catalytic bead sensors. The advantage of using NDIR sensors is that they are not affected by contaminants, do not require oxygen, and use less power.

Knowledge of capabilities and limitations of different sensing technologies is important when determining what portable gas detector to select for your application. NDIR combustible sensors provide a good solution in certain applications: it responds well to large hydrocarbon molecules that cannot be measured by a standard LEL sensor and can be used for high-range measurement. In harsh environments, like refineries, IR detectors provide reliable fail-to-safe operation. However, they must be checked regularly to verify that a gas can enter the optical path, as dust shields can become blocked.

For everyday use, when combustible gas hazards vary, the catalytic bead combustible sensor is the most commonly used technology in portable gas monitors. In severe climates with temperature extremes, high humidity, or around vibrating machinery, catalytic detectors are the best choice to ensure occupational safety.

Both catalytic and IR-based sensors are reliable, fast detecting and accurate if you use them correctly.

To summarize, here is a table of sensor capabilities:

Sensor Type Detects LEL range C1-C5 hydro-carbon gases (methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, natural gas) Detects LEL range C6-C9 hydro-carbon gases (hexane, heptanes, octane, nonane) Detects LEL range heavy fuel vapors (diesel, jet fuel, kerosene, etc.) Detects heavy fuel vapors in low ppm range (diesel, jet fuel, kerosene, etc.) Used in low oxygen atmospheres Vulnerable to sensor poisoning Used for high range combustible gas measurement (100% LEL & higher) Detects H2
Catalytic LEL Sensor Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes
NDIR Sensor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No

 

Give us a call at 800-829-9580 and speak with our gas detection experts to find out the best solution for your application, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com for more information.

References:

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Points of Impact

Posted on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By HexArmor Marketing Team.

Falling objects. Heavy tools. Zero-visibility environments. These are all everyday dangers posed to the hands of workers. In fact, hand injuries are among the most frequently occurring incidents in industrial labor. With a vast selection of impact-resistant gloves, it’s hard to know which aspects to look for and what qualities are most important. Before making your next purchase, understand the impact protection you’re paying for and what you’re getting in return.

Foam: Foam layers provide greater dexterity, but offer weak defense against common impact threats.  After extended use and frequent exposure to UV rays, chemicals, and salt from sweat, foam can break down and lose its effectiveness.

Gel: Gels provide decent dexterity and sufficient protection, but like foam padding, it has the potential to break down over time from extended use and multiple impacts. Also, gel doesn’t allow for breaks or flex points, making it difficult to engineer a flexible back-of-hand protection area.

Thermo Plastic Rubber: TPR is a lightweight, moldable material that offers high dexterity and outstanding protection, and can be manufactured in a variety of levels of hardness. It can be designed in any shape, with both breaks and flex points, and lasts longer than foam or gel.

HexArmor IR-X® Impact Protection: HexArmor IR-X is lightweight, moldable, and soft. Unlike hard impact guards, HexArmor IR-X absorbs the impact and dissipates the force, deflecting it and reducing the transference of energy to the hand. Harder impact guards transfer force directly to the back of the hand.

The full article was originally published on HexArmor blog.

Photo courtesy of HexArmor.


For more information on protective gloves, go to www.pksafety.com, or give us a call at 1-800-829-9580.

Please feel free to engage with PK Safety on social media. We deliver the latest news and tips regarding the best safety solutions for your applications.

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How Do the New OSHA Crystalline Silica Rules Affect Construction Companies?

Posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Crystalline silica is a common mineral that is found in materials that construction workers deal with every day – such as roads, buildings, and sidewalks. It is a common component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block and mortar. Common workplace operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of these materials often create crystalline silica dust exposure in construction. Scientific evidence shows that current exposure limits do not adequately protect worker health. The new OSHA Construction Standard will help to fully protect workers against dangers of exposure to respirable crystalline silica in the workplace. OSHA’s new standards to protect workers in construction are set to roll out this weekend, on September 23, 2017.

Here are the New Requirements for Construction Employers:

  1. Design and implement an exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers,
  2. Designate a competent person to implement the written exposure control plan,
  3. Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available,
  4. Offer medical exams (chest X-rays, lung function tests) every 3 years for workers who are exposed at or above the action level and are required to wear a respirator for 30 days or more per year,
  5. Provide training for workers on the operations that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure to crystalline silica,
  6. Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and their medical exams.

OSHA allows for two alternative methods of ensuring compliance with these requirements: standard control methods specified in the Table: SPECIFIED EXPOSURE CONTROL METHODS WHEN WORKING WITH MATERIALS CONTAINING CRYSTALLINE SILICA that match common tasks with dust control methods, or the alternative control methods mentioned below.

Crystalline Silica Exposure Alternative Control Methods:

  • Measure the amount of silica that workers are exposed to. Is it at or above the action level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour workday?
  • Protect workers from respirable crystalline silica exposures above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour workday.
  • Use dust controls.
  • Provide respirators that have been properly fit tested to the worker when dust controls cannot limit exposures to the PEL.

Compliance Schedule:

OSHA Standards contained in the final rule took effect on June 23, 2017, but the enforcement was delayed to September 23rd. Industries have one to five years to comply with the requirements, based on the following compliance schedule:

  • Construction: September 23, 2017. OSHA delayed enforcement in order to conduct additional outreach and provide more guidance for employers.
  • General Industry and Maritime: June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date.
  • Hydraulic Fracturing: June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date for all provisions except Engineering Controls, which have the compliance date of June 23, 2021.

You can find additional information on OSHA’s silica rule at www.osha.gov/silica. OSHA can provide extensive help through different programs, including technical assistance about effective safety and health programs, workplace consultations, and training and education.

One of the most effective ways to protect against silica is using the appropriate respirators. The best-selling 7000 and 7800 series respirators by Moldex will ensure complete protection against crystalline silica and other harmful agents. However, a respirator can’t protect you if it doesn’t fit properly. A respirator must form a tight seal with your face and neck to function properly. This is why it is important to perform a respirator fit test before starting projects that involve exposure to silica. Moldex can help you stay in compliance with the new silica standard. Qualified safety managers and company buyers can check out a sample of Moldex respiratory or hearing protection products for free: http://www.moldex.com/spisafety/

Moldex

How do you know if you are providing enough protection? Talk to us at 800-829-9580 or visit us online. We have the right respirators and safety gear to help protect your crew and keep your company OSHA compliant.

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Thinking of Switching From Single Gas to 4-Gas Detectors?

Posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2017 by Gigi K.

BWClip4_overviewimage_352x250

We know the big guys are doing it, naturally our mid-sized and smaller customers are making the switch as well. It’s clear that in oil and gas environments like refineries single gas testing is required but for complete safety, it’s extremely important to detect the LELs and oxygen levels are within a safe range, too. This can only be done using a multi-gas monitor with at least 4 gas sensors. The standard 4-gas detectors check for the most common toxic and combustible gases in oil and gas environments: H2S, CO, LELs and O2.

Keeping your team safe is crucial. That is why we recommend switching to one of the new 4-gas detectors that are affordable, easy to use, and maintain. Here are the top two models we recently sold to customers like you, for this exact reason.

The Gas Clip MGC Simple is a continuous running 4-gas detector with an active 2-year run time, with no charging needed
gasclip-gas-detector
The Honeywell BW Clip 4, (BWC4) is similar in it’s operating abilities, with full 4 gas detection, no battery charging and a 2 year active lifespan.
bwc4-y-square
In addition, you can still rely on the durable and economical Honeywell BW MCXL. The BW GasAlert MicroClip XL is still our most popular 4-gas monitor, at a great price. It’s extremely durable and lightweight, and has an extended battery life, lasting up to 18 hours. That should keep your team’s shift covered, or at least a good portion of it.
bw-gasalert-micro-clip-xl-4-gas-monitor

Don’t forget the docking station for your fleet of detectors to recharge, bump test, log data, and recalibrate in record time.

Gas Clip Technologies has a Multi Gas Docking Station compatible with the MGC Simple 4-Gas monitors: MGC Dock.

mgc-dock

If you are interested in the Honeywell BW gas detectors, we currently have special offers on the new BW IntelliDoX Docking Stations and enabler kits for 4-Gas Monitors, so give us a call and we will set you up!

intellidox

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How to Protect Employees from Severe Cold Weather Threats

Posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Know the Risks

Exposure to extremely low temperatures for an extended period of time may cause serious health problems and complications if protective measures have not been taken care of before starting work on a project in severe weather conditions. The most common symptoms of being affected by cold include memory loss, uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsy movements, numbness, white or grayish skin color in the open body areas, which can be a result of the frostbite or hypothermia. If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. Hypothermia occurs if the body temperature falls below 95° F. In this case, the situation is qualified as an emergency and requires an immediate medical attention.

Winter Weather Watch

To stay safe during winter, familiarize yourself with these terms to identify the extreme weather conditions and to fully understand the alerts issued by the National Weather Service.

Freezing Rain: rain that freezes when it hits the ground and creates a coating of ice on roads and power lines.

Sleet: the rain that turns into ice pellets before reaching the ground, which causes moisture on roads to become slippery.

Wind Chill: the wind chill effect is the temperature as it “feels like” when you are outside.

Winter Weather Advisory: the winter weather conditions that may be hazardous.

Winter Storm Watch: the storm watch that is issued 12-36 hours before a severe storm hits your area.

Winter Storm Warning: the winter storm is in your area.

Blizzard Warning: alerts the population in the affected area that the sustained winds or gusts of 35 mph or more, and the reduced visibility due to snowfall are expected to last for three or more hours.

Frost/Freeze Warning: expect the below-freezing temperatures in your area.

Top 10 Tips to Protect Workers from Cold Weather:

Learn the signs of cold-related illnesses and how to help affected workers:

  1. Evaluate if the environment and the workplace conditions are dangerous for workers.
  2. Provide training for workers on cold-related injuries and encourage them to wear PPE.
  3. Provide proper clothing for the cold, wet, or windy weather, and don’t forget to include layering options that can be easily adjusted to changing weather conditions. Have an emergency kit ready.
  4. Encourage workers to take frequent breaks in shelters to allow their bodies to warm up and to avoid exhaustion or fatigue.
  5. Schedule work for the warmest part of the day, if possible.
  6. Work in teams or in pairs, so that at least one worker could recognize the warning signs of hypothermia or frostbite and alert others to take the appropriate action.
  7. Drink hot, sweet beverages, and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  8. Eat warm, high-calorie foods to provide additional energy to your body that is necessary to fight the cold.
  9. Remember that some workers may face increased risks if they take certain medications, or if they suffer from serious illnesses: diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Avoid scheduling them for long work shifts in extremely unfavorable weather conditions to prevent serious complications or death.

What kind of PPE will help you stay safe while doing your job during cold season? Here are our top 5 picks for cold weather protection.

Top 5 Picks:  Cold Weather Protection Gear

1. NorthFlex Cold Grip Gloves

Glove

NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ gloves provide double-duty protection with a high-level of cut/slash resistance, coupled with the superior cold weather protection capabilities. These amazing gloves feature a 15-gauge seamless knit hi-vis orange outer shell made of a superior cut-resistant fiber blend that enhances worker safety and the soft brushed acrylic thermal inner layer. They are an ideal solution for the following applications: construction, mining, masonry work, oil and gas, sheet metal and glass handling, trash collection, recycling, transportation, refrigeration industry, snow cleaning, and forestry.

2. Hot Rods Hand Warmers

Hot Rod

The disposable, air-activated warming packets made from Iron powder will keep you warm for about eight hours if you insert them into your gloves. These “mini furnaces” are perfect not only for those working at construction sites or in manufacturing but also for recreational outdoor activities and winter sports. To activate, open and shake a pouch for about 10 seconds.

3. Hi-Visibility 2-Piece Reflective Rain Suit

Hi-vis Suit

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

4. The Pyramex Heat/Cold Resistant Goggles 

Goggles

According to OSHA“protecting workers’ eyes from wintry conditions is an important yet easily overlooked part of an overall … safety program. Without the proper cold weather eyewear, workers are vulnerable to an array of hazards, and the chances for injury increase significantly.” Using goggles with a Thermo Lens System is a perfect solution for those who are at risk of eye damage. The high-rated Pyramex V2G-XP Heat/Cold Resistant Goggles combine two lenses to insulate against extreme cold or high heat and resist fogging, dust, flying particles, the wind, sun glare, and harmful UV rays. The interior acetate lens includes a protective layer of air between the two lenses. This Thermo Lens System keeps hot and cold from getting to your face and prevents fogging.

5. Muck Chore Steel Toe Boots

Boots

The high-performance Muck Boot Chore boots are 100% waterproof and are comfortable to wear in temperatures from sub-freezing to 85 ° F.  These black boots are 12″ tall and include Vibram outsoles and a steel toe for extra impact protection.

Call us at 800-829-9580 to get a full list of excellent cold weather protection products that we offer, or visit us online: https://www.pksafety.com/all-products/cold-weather.html

References:

  1. OSHA: Cold Stress Guide
  2. OSHA: Four Considerations for Cold Weather Eye Safety
  3. National Weather ServiceCold Weather Safety
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What Can Be Done To Prevent Falls In The Workplace?

Posted on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Fall hazards are common in many workplaces. A fall can occur during simple activities like walking on uneven, slippery surface and climbing a ladder, or as a result of complex activities involving work at heights. Fall incidents can also happen when fall protection equipment is misused.

Based on 2014 data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 261,930 workers missed one or more days of work due to injuries from falls. There were 800 work fatalities due to falls, slips or trips in 2015. Falls to a lower level accounted for 81 percent of all fatal falls. Two-fifths of fatal falls occurred from 15 feet or lower. Especially vulnerable are workers in the construction, transportation, healthcare support, cleaning, and maintenance industries. Employees’ compensation and medical costs associated with fall incidents in those industries were estimated at $70 billion a year. To learn more, review the chart below and check out the NATIONAL CENSUS OF FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES IN 2015 news release.

Chart

Making Fall Protection Your #1 Priority

The hierarchy of fall hazard controls includes the elimination of fall hazards (assessment of the workplace and the work processes), prevention of falls (engineering controls), and control of falls (training, PPE). Successful reduction of fall injuries and fatalities requires consistent efforts of employers to plan ahead in order to get the job done safely, to consistently train their employees on the importance of wearing fall protection equipment, and to make sure that their equipment is OSHA-compliant, well-maintained, and appropriate for their specific application.

Remember to involve all employees in the fall hazard assessment. They can provide valuable information about how to eliminate these hazards.

Proper fall protection gear (harness, lanyard, rope grabs and lifelines, SRLs) and equipment (ladders, nets, guard rails) are required for employees who are working six feet or more above a lower level. These components must be used in conjunction with each other to form a safety system that is capable of providing maximum protection from falls. For example, a boatswain’s chair system is considered to be a single-point adjustable suspended scaffold. Since the suspension system components are not designed to arrest a free fall, a backup fall arrest system, like a harness, should be used in conjunction with the personal suspension system that would be activated only if the worker experiences a free fall.

A couple of things to be on the lookout for:

  • If your equipment is nearing the end of its life, according to manufacturer’s specification sheets, it is a good idea to have it replaced, even if there are no visible defects.
  • When a new OSHA regulation is announced or a new work process is introduced, provide adequate training to all the involved employees so that everyone stays updated.

Top 8 Fall Protection Tips from OSHA:

  1. Identify trip and fall hazards before the project starts.
  2. Look for the following hazards: unprotected shafts, skylights, stairwells, roof edges, and wall/floor openings.
  3. Select, wear, and use appropriate fall protection equipment.
  4. Inspect fall protection equipment for defects before using it.
  5. Stabilize ladders before climbing.
  6. Never stand on the top step of a ladder.
  7. Use handrails to go up/down the stairs.
  8. Establish good housekeeping practice to keep walkways uncluttered.

If you remember to implement these vital steps for proper fall protection, you can save lives by staying committed to preventing and controlling fall hazards.

You can purchase durable and safe fall protection equipment from PK Safety.com. You can also call us at 800-829-9580 to find out more.

References:

OSHA Fall Protection Standards and Regulations:

CDC: Falls in the Workplace

OSHA: Preventing Falls

Workplace Falls

Photo courtesy of OSHA.net

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Glove Coatings and Grips: What’s Best for Your Application?

Posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By HexArmor Marketing Team

When choosing a glove, one of the biggest factors is the grip. There’s much to consider – starting with the application. Are you working in an oily, wet, or dry environment? What kinds of hazards are present? What kind of equipment will you be handling?

Not having a proper grip on the job can have ramifications on a gloves’ effectiveness and can make or break a worker’s productivity. The more control, dexterity, and durability a grip provides the more benefits it has – including a decrease in hand-related injuries from slipping, dropping, or mishandling equipment.

How do you know which grip is the best for your job? Let’s walk through the options.

Polyurethane: Polyurethane, or PU, is a lightweight, flexible, durable grip coating that features good abrasion and puncture resistance. This coating is incredibly popular and sufficient for a wide range of applications.

Natural rubber latex: Natural rubber latex is flexible, more resistant to abrasion compared to PU and nitrile, but has minimal tackiness. Natural rubber latex features an excellent dry grip.

Sandy nitrile: Sandy nitrile is, of course, known for its high abrasion resistance. It’s also more elastic and form fitting compared to other nitrile coatings. It’s excellent in oily situations and very good in wet environments.

Foam/sponge nitrile: Gloves with a sponge coating (chemically foamed) are softer and more flexible than flat nitrile and perform well in dry and oily applications.

Micro nitrile: Formulated to be thinner than a nitrile foam coating, micro nitrile coatings can have a slightly tacky finish and feature good breathability and flexibility.

Extra Grip (XG) nitrile: Solvent-free and derma safe, the Extra Grip nitrile coating offers excellent dexterity for an exceptional grip in wet or oily situations.

Neoprene/nitrile blend: A neoprene nitrile blend coating features abrasion resistance superior to latex. Flame retardant and solvent free – this blend is safe for people with a latex allergy.

With so many choices for grip options, many workers find their favorite through trial and error. While some grips are superior to others in certain applications, choosing a grip ultimately comes down to personal preference.

The full article was originally published on HexArmor blog, August 25, 2017.

 Photo courtesy of HexArmor.

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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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Don’t Die in a Sewer

Posted on Friday, September 8th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Luke Laggis, Editor, Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine

Educate yourself and your crews, and take every necessary step to make sure no one becomes a victim.

Wastewater work is important. We champion the work you do in every issue of MSW. But no sewer line problem is worth dying over.

Accidents happen all the time. All too often they’re the result of shortcuts, of failing to take simple steps to protect yourself to save a little time. The industry is filled with stories of people who tried to save a few minutes and ended up losing the rest of their years. And if you push your employees to get jobs done faster than safe practices allow, you could lose plenty, too.

There is never an acceptable excuse to enter a sewer without a proper gas monitor, or to enter a confined space unattended or without the required gear. Earlier this year, those exact mistakes cost three Florida utility workers their lives.

As reported by local news outlets, when crew members noticed a section of a paved street wasn’t settling properly, one of the workers removed a manhole cover and climbed down to investigate. When workers on the surface lost contact with the first man, another went down to rescue him. Then another.

The story, along with a complete overview of how to protect yourself from the dangers of hydrogen sulfide, is detailed in this month’s Staying Safe column. You need to do whatever you can to protect yourself and your workers on the job. At the end of the day, the safety of your crew should be top priority. If it’s not, the end of the day — and someone’s life — could come all too soon.

No matter how safety-conscious you usually are, it only takes one lapse, one mistake, to change everything. That’s the thing about safety measures: They only keep you safe if you follow them 100 percent of the time. Accidents are often the result of little shortcuts, of failing to take simple steps in order to protect yourself to save a little time.

Those aren’t situations where you learn from your mistakes; they’re situations where you die from your mistakes. That might seem overly dramatic if you’re used to that kind of work and haven’t had any issues, but do a quick internet search on “sewer fatality” if you want a sobering reminder — page after page of people who didn’t take the proper precautions and paid the ultimate price.

Hydrogen sulfide can choke you out before you even know what’s happening. You probably don’t face that danger on a daily basis, but you no doubt face it at least occasionally.

You probably know that the gas has the distinct smell of rotten eggs, an obvious warning sign. But as it reaches higher concentrations, H2S paralyzes the olfactory nerve. You won’t smell it. You’ll just collapse and die.

Please take the time to read the Staying Safe column. Even if you’re familiar with all the information, the reminder is worthwhile.

The article was originally published in the Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine, September 2017.

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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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Thе Importance of Using Prореr Prоtесtіvе Equірmеnt Whіlе Pеrfоrmіng Aѕbеѕtоѕ Abаtеmеnt Prоjесtѕ

Posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Alison Grimes, Health Advocate, MAA Center

Although there are federal and state laws in place to restrict the use of asbestos in products and materials, the dangerous carcinogen has still yet to be banned in the United States. With six different types of asbestos, the natural mineral takes many dangerous shapes and forms. As a result, certain types of asbestos are more lethal than others. Chrysotile, the most common form, has long, curly fibers allowing the fibers to be woven, totaling 90% of the asbestos used in the U.S. Think flooring, walls, ceilings, and roof materials. Other types like Crocidolite (blue asbestos), only account for 4% of  U.S. asbestos usage but are by far the most dangerous. The long straight fibers break down easily, causing the asbestos products to be more friable and prone to becoming airborne. Tremolite, Anthrophyllite, Actinolite, and Amosite are other types of asbestos that can be found in cement sheets, pipe insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall among other construction products. With the countless number of older buildings and homes still containing the dangerous material, it’s safe to say asbestos abatement projects aren’t going to slow down anytime soon. In order to minimize the risk of asbestos exposure, abatement professionals need to make sure they’re correctly using safety equipment in an asbestos abatement project.

No Paper Dust Mаѕkѕ!

Pареr duѕt masks dо nоt filter out аѕbеѕtоѕ fibers аnd ѕhоuld never be used when dealing with asbestos. People are surprised to realize that the microscopic fibers are hundreds of times finer than a single strand of hair. The invisible carcinogens can easily be inhaled and lodged in the lining of the lungs, without the victim even knowing they’ve been exposed. Once the fibers are embedded in the lining of the lungs (mesothelium), it can take 10-50 years before the lungs develop asbestos related cancer.

In order to prevent the inhalation of the fibers, half face or full face respirators need to be worn and should consist of a silicone or rubber face piece, elastic harness, and an appropriate HEPA filter cartridge that removes 99.9% of airborne particles. It’s important to note that rеѕріrаtоrѕ provide lіttlе рrоtесtіоn іf thеу do nоt fit рrореrlу. Facial hair will most likely nоt аllоw thе respirator tо fit properly. If a clean shaven face is not on the agenda, it’s important to conduct further research and reach out to the respirator vendors to get more information.

Proper Eyewear

Eyewear should always bе worn whеn removing asbestos-containing mаtеrіаlѕ (ACM), especially during overhead removal when the dust can fall on the person. Likewise, eуеwеаr іѕ still required durіng projects where the ACM is not overhead, for example, a floor tіlе removal. The extremely lightweight fibers are easily carried through the air, so never assume all the dust has settled on the ground posing no danger.

Abatement

Protective Clothing

Absolutely no part of the skin should be exposed during an asbestos removal project. The sharp fibers can become embedded in the skin, causing asbestos warts. Unlike other asbestos-related diseases, this is an external condition and poses less of a risk than internal exposure. Disposable coveralls are preferred to reusable coveralls, that way the coveralls can be disposed of as asbestos waste after the cleanup. Always check for rips or tears before use and be sure the material is suitable for preventing asbestos penetration. Other key features in safe coveralls include fitted hoods and cuffs – the DuPont Tyvek Coverall Suit in this lead/asbestos removal kit is an example of safe coveralls for asbestos abatement.

Asbestos Removal Kit

Rubber boots should be worn under, rather than over the coveralls so the dust does not fall into the boot and contaminate it. It’s important the boots are washed off and the threads are checked for debris after completion, otherwise, the dust can be tracked to other areas outside of the work area. Asbestos is nothing to mess around with, hence the need for professionals to handle any removal jobs. The necessary safety equipment paired with the knowledge of asbestos dangers will allow abatement professionals to make the world a safer place, one project at a time.


Contact PK Safety experts with questions or for help ordering the correct products for your specific job.

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How We Develop Product Expertise at PK Safety

Posted on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Continuous product innovation and increased functionality of the products we offer creates a need to continue to learn new information about the various top brand products we carry, and new products that hit the market. This helps our team remain experts in the industries we serve and allows our sales team to assist customers in determining what products they need for their specific application. Product knowledge is fundamental for our team’s success. We work with manufacturers to deliver highly effective product training – providing the latest and most relevant product information. Allegro Industries Regional Sales Manager, Mario Mendoza joined us for a great training in June 2017.

Highlights of the Allegro Industries Training

Allegro Industries is a valued brand we carry that consistently provides outstanding product training, solid products, great prices, and availability. They engineer and manufacture product systems within specific categories including powered air respirators, ventilation equipment, respiratory accessories, and confined space equipment. With his expertise and experience in the industry, Mario was able to describe and educate us about their product line and the latest product innovations in an easy-to-understand format. He featured the Ambient Air Pump A-750  and the Air Filtration Panel 9872  by Allegro.

Ambient Air Pump

We learned that low-pressure Ambient Air Pumps differ from Air Filtration units: they are electrically driven, oil-less compressors, and are usually placed in locations with fresh air, away from work areas. The Ambient Air Pump is designed for use with constant flow respirators only and does not have the psi or CFM capabilities to run a pressure demand respirator. 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. The Air Pumps do not require temperature alarms, CO monitors or airline filters, so they are considered a cost-effective way of providing air supply.

Air Filtration Panel

The portable Air Filtration Panel is engineered to convert air into Grade-D breathable air by filtering out impurities (particles, fumes, moisture, hydrocarbons). You may use NIOSH-approved constant flow and pressure–demand respirators with this panel. It is important to know that the best practice is not to mix an airline and a respirator from different manufacturers.

Allegro designs and manufactures their products for maximum convenience and ease of use in the field, which allows users to feel confident about the performance of the products they purchase. We are looking forward to their next product training in our office.

Building the expertise of our team has a positive effect on the PK Safety team’s performance, as it helps salespeople sync up with the latest market demands. We have strong connections with manufacturers. They provide excellent training on their products and explain what customers’ needs and solutions they provide. It’s not just a general PowerPoint presentation with some key features mentioned, but rather a live demonstration of the products, followed by a Q&A session to make sure everyone is up-to-date and can get clarification on product or application issues. At PK Safety, our sales and marketing teams participate in product learning sessions provided by the manufacturers’ representatives.

If someone from our sales team can’t make the live training, our video library is available to help them tap into the product knowledge base. Given the wide range and the complexity of the product lines that we sell, our sales team is provided with the opportunity to watch training videos that our marketing team records during product training sessions, so our new team members can reinforce their product knowledge, and our sales experts can brush up their product knowledge on-demand.

Learn more about the Allegro Industries products from our previous blog posts:

Allegro EZ AIR PAPR as a Complete System for Ultimate Worker Protection
Allegro Constant Flow Respiratory Protection
Allegro Venturi Blowers for Confined Space Ventilation
Complete PAPR Systems for Welders from Allegro

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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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How to Prevent Heat–Related Illnesses at Work

Posted on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The weather is heating up. Outdoor sun and indoor heat at the workplace are dangerous because they lead to health issues ranging from not feeling well to life-threatening health conditions. OSHA encourages employers to know the following symptoms associated with heat-related illnesses:

  • Heat rash happens when sweat glands become blocked.
  • Heat cramps in muscles appear after strenuous work because sweating causes dehydration and loss of electrolytes.
  • Heat swelling (edema) in legs and hands is a result of prolonged sitting or standing in hot weather conditions.
  • Heat stress (tetany seizure) is caused by short periods of stress in hot environments.
  • Fainting (syncope) generally happens when the blood vessels dilate and body fluids move down into the legs.
  • Heat exhaustion (prostration) develops when a person is working under hot conditions without drinking enough water.
  • Heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency that happens when the body fails to regulate its own temperature.

The National Weather Service lists a daily heat index to alert people of the risks related to the air temperature and the humidity. It is extremely important to monitor heat indexes in closed indoor spaces like warehouses, for example, where high humidity adds to high temperatures and increases negative effect on workers’ health. A heat index of 80°F – 89°F may cause fatigue; 90°F – 104°F may cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion; 105°F to 129°F may cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke; 130°F or higher may cause heatstroke.

Water. Rest. Shade.

Most heat-related illnesses can be prevented by keeping the body cool and avoiding dehydration.

The following simple-to-implement steps work really well:

  1. Drink plenty of water frequently.
  2. Schedule working outside for the early mornings or late evenings to avoid the exposure to the highest temperatures.
  3. If you have to stand or sit for a long time in a hot environment, flex your muscles often to regulate the blood flow.
  4. Take frequent breaks in a shade or by a fan.

Heat Stress Prevention Equipment

OSHA states that controlling indoor environments through adequate airflow and ventilation is an important method of improving air temperature and quality and preventing heat-related illnesses. Areas, where there is typically not enough ventilation, include confined spaces and other indoor areas without windows, like parking garages, hangars, and warehouses. Working in environments without continuous air flow makes people extremely vulnerable to the dangers of heat. We recommend using the following indoor and outdoor ventilation equipment that eliminates the threat of developing heat-related illnesses by increasing the air flow:

Allegro-Ventilation

The 16 inch Confined Space Fan is a flexible tool that keeps your work area safe with fresh air. You can easily ventilate large confined spaces with this blower. The powerful fan works great for extraction as well as for aeration purposes, letting you quickly expel fumes, and increase the natural air level in enclosed spaces. It is perfect for a wide range of applications: explosive/flammable petrochemical operations (oil rigs, refineries, and gas works), wastewater management, sewer access, and chemical tank maintenance.

ECKO K20 Ventilation Blower

The ECKO K20 Ventilation Blower is a rugged, economical industrial fan. Designed for confined space ventilation, the K20 comes with a chemical- and UV-resistant molded polyethylene housing, and attaches easily to the ECKO-FLEX ducting.

RamFan UB20

The lightweight RamFan UB20 is our most popular blower. The double-walled housing is molded from a UV-resistant polyethylene making it dent-resistant and corrosion-proof. It meets stringent outdoor use requirements – CSA/UL (AC model) and is extremely quiet compared to other ventilators. Add a polypropylene blade, tough nylon motor mount, and thru-bolted motor, and this unit becomes even more powerful. It is ideal for shipyards, utilities, contractors, and rescue teams.

OSHA calls ventilation one of the most important engineering controls available to maintain a safe work environment.

If you have questions about the size or the capacity of the blower that’s right for your application, give our Customer Service team a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online: www.pksafety.com.

References:

Cooling Your Home with Fans and Ventilation

Excessive Heat at Work: How to Prevent Indoor Heat Illness 

Heat-Related Illnesses – Prevention

Heat Index

Heat Related Illness

National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illnesses

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Avoid Heat-Stress Related Injury and Non-Compliance

Posted on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By NSA Marketing team

What is Heat-Stress?

Heat stress refers to the body’s inability to perform its natural cooling process, resulting in a failure to regulate body temperature. This can result in fatigue, dizziness and ultimately, heat stroke. While heat stress can be attributed to external factors like temperature, other factors such as workplace uniforms and work environment can also contribute to the impact of heat on the body.

The Challenges Associated with Hot Weather and PPE

A worker may not consciously realize the effect of his or her garments on core body temperature. In reaction to a rising body temperature, a worker may roll up sleeves, unbutton a collar or leave a shirt untucked, leaving them non-compliant and at increased risk of injury. OSHA cites the “use of bulky or non-breathable protective clothing and equipment as a factor that puts workers at a greater risk for heat-related illness.” As much as 89% of workers have observed fellow workers failing to wear personal protective equipment because of discomfort. When building a personal protective equipment (PPE) program for use in hot weather environments, special consideration must be given to keep workers as safe and comfortable as possible on the job.

Total Heat Loss (THL): A Key Measurement for Evaluating FR Garments

Total heat loss (THL) is a method that measures the maximum workload or metabolic activity rate a person can sustain while maintaining thermal comfort in PPE. THL measures the amount of conductive (dry) and evaporative (wet) heat loss that occurs through the fabric of a PPE garment.

By placing fabric samples on specially designed plates that simulate hot, sweaty skin under controlled lab conditions, the ability of the fabric to transfer heat can be precisely measured. In hot conditions, a fabric that holds less heat is more desirable to allow excess heat to move away from the body. When specifying protective clothing, a garment’s THL performance should be taken into consideration. Employees in physical roles may face discomfort, physiological strain, decreased productivity and performance, and potentially increased accident rates on the job. A work uniform with better THL performance can have an impact on these challenges.

The Importance of Comfort

Comfort increases compliance…

  • Comfortable PPE is more likely to be worn
  • High-performance PPE reduces improper use, eliminating the need to roll up sleeves, unbutton collars and leave shirts untucked

Comfort reduces distraction…

  • Comfortable workers can focus on the task at hand
  • Results in less mistakes and safer work practices

Comfort reduces the risk of heat stroke…

  • Lightweight garments that breathe do not impair the body’s natural cooling process
  • Moisture management aids in cooling

Based on end user research, a comfortable garment has three important characteristics:

  1. Lightweight – Fabric that will not weigh the user down
  2. Breathable – Allows heat and air to flow through, without getting trapped in
  3. Moisture Wicking – Pulls moisture out and away from the body

Selecting the Right FR Garments for Hot Environments

When evaluating uniform choices, specifiers should consider how each work uniform will affect worker safety and comfort level, which can have an impact on overall productivity­­5. Each garment should be assessed not only in terms of breathability but moisture-wicking ability and weight as well. The more employees can customize their personal uniform using garment layers, the better the chances they will remain comfortable, safe and compliant.

This article was originally published on the NSA Blog, July 17, 2017.


PK Safety experts are here to help you with finding the proper protection solution for your application. Call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.

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Need To Know About New OSHA Silica Dust Rules and Regulations?

Posted on Friday, August 4th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The U.S. Department of Labor first emphasized the life-threatening hazards of respirable crystalline silica in the 1930s. Today, according to OSHA, approximately 2.3 million Americans are exposed to silica on a regular basis in the workplace.

Heavy equipment operators, construction, and plaster/drywall workers are the most at risk to being exposed to silica. The most severe exposures to crystalline silica result from abrasive blasting. Additionally, exposures may occur in cement, brick, and asphalt pavement manufacturing, ceramic manufacturing, and the steel and foundry industries.

Inhaling silica dust causes silicosis and lung cancer. The symptoms of silicosis include shortness of breath, chest pain, and difficulty in breathing, however, this illness can show no symptoms for many years. These non-reversible lung diseases are the target of the new OSHA silica regulation.

3M Silica Dust Protection

On March 2016, OSHA issued a FINAL RULE to protect American workers, limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

Final Rule’s Key Provisions:

  • Sets a new PEL (permissible exposure limit) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, over an 8-hour shift.
  • Requires employers to use engineering controls (such as water spray systems or ventilation) to limit workers exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls are not able to eliminate exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan, and train workers on silica risks and on the ways to limit the exposure.
  •  Employers must support and provide the means for potentially highly exposed workers to obtain medical exams to monitor their health in relation to the exposure.

The final rule took effect on June 23, 2016. However, OSHA’s memorandum has delayed the enforcement of this rule in order to provide additional guidance for employers. The rule is comprised of two standards: one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime. These industries have 1-5 years to comply with the requirements according to the following schedule approved by OSHA:

  • Construction – September 23, 2017.
  • General Industry and Maritime – June 23, 2018.
  • Hydraulic Fracturing – June 23, 2018, for all provisions except Engineering Controls (a compliance date: June 23, 2021).

The implementation of this rule will prevent about 900 new cases of silicosis each year, and save 600 lives.

3M compiled a brief overview of means of respiratory protection against silica dust:

respiratory protection against silica dust

 

How do you know if you are providing enough protection? Talk to us at 800-829-9580 or visit us online https://www.pksafety.com/mas.html. We have PPE to help you protect your crew and keep your company compliant.

Silica Dust PPE

Resources:

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How to Choose a Respirator and Other Personal Protection for Painting Jobs

Posted on Monday, July 31st, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Choosing the right respirator and protective clothing for your painting project depends on numerous factors. The most important being the type of paint that will be used (solvent-based, water-based or powder paint), and the kind of paint application you are going to use (spraying, airless spraying, roller painting, dip coating, brush painting). In addition to the painting process, personal protection is also helpful for the prepping stage of the project. When preparing surfaces for painting, cleaning and degreasing can expose you to numerous health risks. Along with the general protective measures, like working outside or in a well-ventilated area and covering up any exposed areas, wearing protective clothing and using personal protective equipment is extremely helpful.

The aerosol spray can was invented in 1927 by Erik Rotheim. Spray can insecticides were developed to protect US troops against malaria in the Pacific during the World War II. Today, more than one method of spray painting is used: air gun spraying, HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure), LVLP (Low Volume Low Pressure), electrostatic spray painting, air assisted airless spray guns, airless spray guns. These methods of painting are fantastic for paint jobs in the industrial sector, but they also create a toxic environment in the working area. You will need reliable well-fitted PPE to successfully complete your painting projects.

Personal Protection Must-Haves:

1. Respirator

What to look for in a respirator? First, verify that it is NIOSH–approved, then check its filter capacity, a level of comfort, and determine if you need a disposable or a reusable respirator. The type of filter you choose should be based on the type of paint you use, your application method, and your budget.

We recommend this hassle-free Premium Paint Respirator kit for pesticide and paint spray.

3M Premium Paint Respirator Kit

Premium Paint Respirator kit

Kit Includes a 3M 7500 series half mask respirator, a pair of 3M 6001 organic vapor cartridges, a box of 3M 5P71 P95 prefilters, and a pair of 3M 501 filter retainers. Add the alcohol-free cleaning wipes to your cart to make sure you are able to clean your respirator when needed. These wipes will not harm even the most sensitive parts of your respirator!

Read what our customers are saying about the benefits of buying the kit versus purchasing the items separately.

 “I like that they set up the kit for you based upon your needs. I am far from an expert in respirators but I could probably have figured out what I needed after hours of research and a few phone calls. In this case, I just called and they hooked me up in a few minutes with exactly what I needed for a competitive price and oh yeah, I actually don’t mind wearing the gear! It’s a great fit and very comfortable. I figure I saved at least $100 or more in time using them.”

 “I picked this up to replace an older, cheaper 2 canister respirator I had. The company that made it was bought by 3m and 3m no longer sold the canisters. I’m glad I upgraded. I picked the 7500 series over the next series down because of the soft silicone face piece. It is VERY comfortable. And PK has a part number which gets you all the necessary 3M parts to have a complete mask w/ dust pre filter. The first day I used it, a skunk had visited outside my shop, but the filters stopped even that odor, as well as the paint fumes :)”

2. Goggles

Eye protection is critical in maintaining safety at a job site. Commonly called “chemical splash goggles,” the Pyramex G204 Goggles are a great choice for painting jobs because they contain indirect vents to restrict the influx of liquids and a convenient elastic headband.

Pyramex G204 Goggles

Here is what one customer had to say about the product:

“If you are renovating, or demoing – these are a must have! They do an excellent job of protecting your eyes from falling debris or dust. We’re removing old plaster and lath, and these were a lifesaver. I looked a little like a mad scientist, but I wore them every day on site.”

If you are wearing prescription glasses, the most suitable option will be Pyramex Capstone Anti-Fog Safety Goggles with 100% polycarbonate, scratch-resistant lenses. The benefit of using them is that they have enough room to fit your prescription glasses. If you are painting outdoors, these goggles offer 99% protection from harmful UV rays.

Pyramex Capstone Anti-Fog Safety Goggles

Pyramex Capstone Anti-Fog Safety Goggles

Check out what a customer thought of these Goggles and the benefits they provide:

“I love these goggles. They fit perfectly over my prescription glasses. It has never fell down and won’t let anything in, except air to keep them from fogging up. These glasses are not costly at all and I’ve been searching forever. Hope they last a long time!”

3. Gloves

Hand protection is vital when you are performing painting either on a regular basis or just from time to time.

The Memphis 9688 Flex Tuff II Gloves are among the most popular safety gloves. They feature a breathable 10 gauge grey cotton/polyester knit shell, coated with a grey latex dip to provide a rough finish for better grip and wear. The gloves are made in the shape of a relaxed hand for extra comfort. These general purpose safety gloves are great for painting and demolition work.

Memphis 9688 Flex Tuff II Gloves

Memphis 9688 Flex Tuff II Gloves

Check out our customers’ feedback:

“Purchased these gloves for hazmat work and found them more versatile and comfortable to wear performing a host of projects. They are flexible and allow for far better dexterity than lesser gloves at many times the price.”

4. Protective Clothing

Protective clothing is an essential part of your protective gear. Disposable coverall suits are the best for any painting applications.

DuPont Tyvek Disposable Coverall 1414 Suit

This lightweight disposable Tyvek coverall features an attached hood, non-skid booties, and elastic wrist for the total body coverage. Wear it with a respirator and protective gloves to be completely covered. The suit can be used for asbestos removal, fiberglass insulation, painting, and insecticide application inside rafters.

DuPont Tyvek Disposable Coverall 1414 Suit

Check out our customers’ feedback:

“Works great! It’s thin, and you will sweat like crazy in a warm attic, but it works great and I am buying more to have around whenever I need to go into the attic. We also used it to paint the ceilings in our entire house with a spray gun.”

When it comes to your safety, you should always put it first. We have what you need to complete your painting project safely. To easily get in touch with us for some good advice, call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online www.pksafety.com.

Sources:

  1. Rawlings Paints Blog
  2. PRV Engineering Blog
  3. Body Shop Business
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Indoor/Outdoor and Changing Light Applications: What Kind of Lens Tint is Best for Your Safety Glasses?

Posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Temporary blindness. Have you heard of it? Chances are, you’ve probably experienced it. Think of a time on the job when you’ve gone from inside a building to outside and it’s extremely sunny. The change forces you to squint while you wait for your pupils to constrict and properly adjust to the brightness. During this time, you’re temporarily unable to see. Do this several times in a day and your eyes start to become strained and fatigued. This is a recipe for eye irritability and headaches.

Add in the safety element – the hazard of not being able to see for those few seconds on the job – and things become much more serious.

When you’re wearing safety glasses and need to be both inside and outside at work, what is the best solution? Depending on the situation, you have options.

For example, if you’re working on a construction site, you’re likely in and out of the shade often, going underneath overhangs or stepping inside to grab additional equipment. When you need to read something in these situations, the last thing you want is to have to take off your safety glasses because the tint on them is too dark. When you’re in the middle of the sunshine on the site and need to read something, you also need a solution to help with sun glare.

And no one wants to carry two pairs of safety glasses around and switch back and forth. So, what tint do you choose?

These changing light conditions would benefit from a Silver Mirror 53% lens tint. Silver Mirror keeps pupil change and eye strain to a minimum. A Silver Mirror tint is halfway between a clear and a gray lens and helps with brightness and sun glare, but also allows you to see well in shaded areas. Many workers in the safety industry refer to this as an “indoor/outdoor” lens tint. Its main purpose is to help with clear vision when you’re frequently going between the two.

For situations where you’re primarily indoors, but go outside from time to time or where you’re working before sunrise and into daytime, a Variomatic lens tint is the way to go. Variomatic lenses are nearly clear lenses when they’re not exposed to sunlight and darken when exposed to UV light. If you’re working inside, you can wear Variomatic lenses comfortably all day. When you go outside from the indoors, HexArmor Variomatic lenses progressively darken within 10 seconds to around a 12% light transmission. They then progressively lighten up within 30 seconds when you go back inside (versus other lenses that can take up to two minutes). These fast transition times help lessen the strain on your eyes and allow you to see safely, quickly.

This article was originally published on HexArmor Safety blog, July 27, 2017.


It is important that you take good care of your safety eyewear. Try the Allegro Cleaning Wipes for the best results.

For more information on protective eyewear, go to our website www.pksafety.com, or give us a call at 1-800-829-9580.

Please feel free to engage with PK Safety on social media. We deliver the latest news and tips regarding the best safety solutions for your applications.

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All You Need to Know About The Walking-Working Surfaces And Personal Fall Protection Systems Final Rule

Posted on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The purpose of the OSHA’s final rule is to revise the outdated general industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) Standards on the slip, trip, and fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker injuries and deaths. The Walking-Working Surfaces; Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) Standard, 29 CFR 1910.22, became effective January 17, 2017. The final rule covers general industries (building management services, utilities, warehousing, chimney sweeping, outdoor advertising) and aims to prevent workplace slips, trips, and falls.

To ensure more consistency in the requirements across all industries, OSHA’s Final Rule revises the following general industry standards:

  • Fall protection flexibility (§1910.28(b)): it eliminates the existing mandate to use guardrails as the primary fall protection method and gives employers the flexibility to determine what method will work best in their situation.
  • Updated scaffold requirements (§1910.27(a)): it replaces the outdated general industry scaffold standards with the requirement that employers must comply with OSHA’s construction scaffold standards.
  • Phase-in of ladder safety systems or personal fall arrest systems on fixed ladders (§1910.28(b)(9)): it phases in over 20 years a requirement to equip fixed ladders (that extend over 24 feet) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems and prohibits the use of cages and wells, but requires that employers equip new ladders and replacement ladders/ladder sections with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems.
  • Phase-out of the “qualified climber” exception in outdoor advertising (§1910.28(b)(10)): it phases out OSHA’s directive allowing qualified climbers in outdoor advertising to climb fixed ladders on billboards without fall protection and phases in the requirement to equip fixed ladders (over 24 feet) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems.
  • Rope descent systems and certification of anchorages (§1910.27(b)): it prohibits employers from using RDS at heights greater than 300 feet above grade unless they demonstrate that it is not feasible or creates a greater hazard to use any other system. It requires building owners to provide and employers to obtain the information that permanent anchorages used with RDS have been inspected, tested, maintained, and certified as capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee attached.
  • Personal fall protection system performance and use requirements (§1910.140): it allows employers to use personal fall protection systems (personal fall arrest, travel restraint, and positioning systems), adds requirements on the performance, inspection, use, and maintenance of the systems. It prohibits using body belts as part of a personal fall arrest system.
  • Inspection of walking-working surfaces (§1910.22(d)): it requires that employers inspect walking-working surfaces regularly and correct, repair, or guard against hazardous conditions.
  • Training (§1910.30): it adds requirements that employers ensure workers who use personal fall protection equipment and work in high hazard situations are trained and retrained if necessary.

OSHA expects employers to fully protect their employees from slip, trip, and fall hazards. For more details, go to OSHA.gov.

How can you improve fall protection for your employees?

Falls from heights and on the same-level working surfaces are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and fatalities. Injuries occur as a result of the loss of balance most likely in the following situations: a foot/a leg hits an obstacle while an upper body continues moving forward, or while stepping down to a lower level. Falls can also result from working on the unstable surfaces, from misuse of the fall protection equipment, and if floor holes and wall openings are not protected or guarded. Most common slip, trip, and fall injuries include strains, sprains, bruises, fractures, and concussion, and are 100% preventable.

The key measures to ensure fall protection are the following:

  • All passageways, storerooms, service rooms, and floors must be kept in clean, dry condition;
  • Aisles and passageways must be kept clear;
  • Employers must provide fall protection in the following situations: hoist areas, runways, areas above dangerous equipment’s wall openings, repair pits, stairways, scaffolds, platforms;
  • Guardrails/covers must be provided to protect employees from the hazards of falling into open pits, tanks, vats, ditches;
  • Employers must protect workers from fall hazards along unprotected sides/edges that are 4 feet above a lower level. The open sides of platforms more than 4 feet above an adjacent floor or ground level must be guarded by a standard railing;
  • Employers must train workers on fall hazards and fall protection in high hazard situations.

Here are some examples of what happens when employers or employees do not follow these recommendations:

  1. An oil slip leads to a shoulder injury and a $600,000 lawsuit. A driver climbed onto the step-deck trailer to readjust one of the chains. The step-deck trailer was “wet as it was raining and had hydraulic oil on it” which caused the driver to slip while holding onto the chain, making his body twist, his legs fall over the edge of the trailer, which caused a serious injury. Leaking hydraulic oil on the surface made it unsafe and a safety analysis of the truck would have prevented that slip.
  2. OSHA proposed $272,720 in fines against New York contractors for safety hazards after the inspection conducted in response to a complaint against fall hazards. “These employees were one trip, slip or misstep away from a deadly or disabling fall. … There is no excuse for an employer’s failure to supply and ensure the use of legally required safeguards that can prevent injuries and save lives,” said Kay Gee, OSHA’s area director.

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

Sources:

  1. Final rule: http://ncc.asse.org
  2. OSHA.gov: https://www.osha.gov
  3. OSHA Law Blog: http://www.oshalawblog.com
  4. Smflegal.com: https://www.smflegal.com
  5. Arbill.com: http://www.arbill.com
  6. The Chronicle: https://www.thechronicle.com.au
  7. Photo: FREDDY ARANGO
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How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Home or Business

Posted on Monday, July 10th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

All it takes is a few inches of water to cause an extensive damage to your property, which can quickly become irreversible. Water damage can be devastating especially to the building’s structure: it weakens the foundation, causes cracks, and creates easy pathways for water to enter the building. If water is not removed in a timely manner, mold and other microbial organisms can begin to grow, creating damage and health hazards.

So, when should you start worrying that moisture could possibly damage your property? When there is a problem with surface water, a soggy lawn, or when you notice that water easily gets into your basement. It is important to waterproof your property because unexpected raining and flooding can happen anytime. Remember that preventing water damage is less costly than paying for home repairs.

Signs of Foundation Damage:

  • Doors (including garage doors) and windows no longer shut properly
  • Doors, windows, walls, ceiling, or bricks in the outdoor foundation have cracks
  • Foundation outside has moved from the level of your lawn
  • Sloping floors, or visible wall rotation
  • Gaps or separation between walls, ceilings, and floors.

Water Damage

Here is what you need to do to prevent house foundation damage:

  1. Exterior Measures

The basement and the floor perimeter drainage is essential for a building foundation protection. This is why you should install a good drainage system to keep the building structure intact. A minor water leak is usually not noticeable at first, but it can create major damage later. Persistent leaks lead to mold and mildew, and even termites and ants, as they love digesting softened wood.

When homeowners experience moisture in the basements for the first time, they have to determine if the water problem is likely to re-occur. To accomplish this, check the following: gutters should be free of leaves and debris, the drainage pipes must direct water 5-10 feet away from the building, the ground around the house has to be sloping at least 10 feet away from it, and the lawn irrigation system should not be placed too close to the building.

Don’t make a mistake of letting the soil around the house completely dry out, as it starts shrinking in dry conditions. Why is it important? Because a sudden expansion of soil during a rainstorm is inevitable and will cause the soil to move which puts extra pressure on the foundation. A solution here is to run a soaker hose at least 6 inches from the foundation on sunny days to prepare for the time when a storm hits your neighborhood. Clay soils are especially reactive to expansion and contraction, compared to sand and rock terrain that is usually not affected.

  1. Interior Measures

Here is your moisture prevention action plan: know the location of your water main, check home appliances and upgrade washing machine and dishwasher hoses regularly, install water detection devices to be able to easily find leaks and to fix them immediately. Monitor your monthly water bill to identify the unusual increase in water usage that might indicate possible water leaks.

Check your water pressure to prevent damage to the pipes: ideally it should be 40 – 70 psi. To test the static water pressure, you need a pressure gauge. If you get your water from the municipal utility, select a faucet or a hose bib near the water meter. If your water comes from a well, use an outlet that is close to the well’s pressure tank. To get an accurate reading, turn off washing machines, dishwashers, and sprinklers. It is a great idea to test water pressure even if you have a pressure regulator because it allows you to catch a problem with the pressure regulator before high pressure damages your plumbing.

Following these surprisingly simple steps will allow you to say Au Revoir to water leaks and prevent costly repairs. Now you know how to prevent water damage. Take the responsibility of protecting your property seriously.

We are here to help. Call our experts at 800-829-9580 for advice on what PPE you will need to accomplish your water damage prevention projects.

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The Best Davit Systems for Use in Confined Spaces

Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

A davit is a popular crane-like device made of steel or aluminum and designed for supporting, raising, lateral moving, and lowering people, working platforms, boats, anchors, or other heavy equipment. Davit systems can be used to lower a lifeboat to the embarkation level for boarding. They can be utilized as man-overboard safety devices to retrieve people from the water. You can also see people using davits when they are working on buildings with various terrace levels.

Considering that applications can be so different, it is important to make sure that the system you want to use is rated for your specific application, what you need to use it for and the weight it needs to support: fall arrest, rescue, or material handling. As a rule, temporary assignments require systems with a portable base that can be easily moved from one location to another. More complex projects require multi-piece davit systems with a permanent base and a variety of arm sizes, capable of being adapted to numerous access challenges. For example, if a hazardous work area, such as a tank or a vat, has to be accessed frequently, a davit system with a permanently mounted base is the best solution. Before starting a task that involves davit systems, you should refer to the product manuals to verify the maximum rated load of your lifting device. Davits should be used with the approved bases rated to support a maximum davit reach that matches your application.

Confined spaces can be found on the majority of job sites. Every year workers are injured there because the confined spaces have limited ways of entering and exiting which complicates their rescue in case of emergency. In confined space entry or rescue situations, an advanced davit system is a perfect way to lift and to descend workers or equipment.

Since confined spaces significantly vary in size, shape, and location, confined space safety systems are categorized into vertical and horizontal entry types. Entering confined spaces, such as a manhole on a street, requires the vertical confined space safety equipment. Some confined spaces, such as a tank, allow only an entry from a side. For these, you will need the side-entry or the horizontal type of equipment.

All system components must be made from tough materials strong enough to withstand exposure to the elements. A good idea is to choose a system that maximizes strength while minimizing weight. Powder coated and anodized aluminum construction offers durability and reduces overall weight.

Here are some great options for you to consider:

Skylotec Jackpod Davit Top Entry Set JP-100-1

jackpod set

The Jackpod Davit Top Entry Set by Skylotec consists of an upper pylon, a lower pylon, and a portable base. The portable system requires a small working base area and is easy to transport and store thanks to low weight and volume. It is recommended for use in confined spaces and for the rescue applications. High-quality finished aluminum and galvanized steel offer a high aging resistance. No tools are required for installation: the Hi-Viz, powder-coated, aluminum alloy components slide and click easily into work position.

The Pelsue Davit Retrieval System RK-EB1

Pelsue Davit Retrieval System

The Davit Retrieval System by Pelsue provides an excellent method of confined space entry and retrieval. The benefit of this lightweight and easily assembled system is that it can be easily stored on your truck. It is adaptable to a wide variety of access challenges. Kit Includes a portable three-piece base adjustable from 36 to 56 inches inside diameter, a cast davit system with adjustable offset reach from 18 to 24 inches, a winch-mounting bracket.

The Jackpod Davit system does not require a lot of routine maintenance: tightening of any loose fasteners and basic cleaning performed as part of the annual inspection are sufficient. Use a solution of warm water and a mild detergent to clean the system and the labels. Do not use solvents, as this may damage the powder coating.

The French Creek Complete Quad Pod Davit System FCPQ200

French Creek Complete Quad Pod Davit System

The Complete Quad Pod Davit Arm System by French Creek features a four-leg mobile base, a boom, a galvanized wire rope, and a winch. It can be used for confined space and rescue applications as an alternative to a tripod system. With the capabilities of an interchangeable arm, the quad pod base and the davit base can be shared between fall arrest, raising and lowering arm.

Call us 800-829-9580 if you have questions about what davit system will work best for your application, or visit us online: www.pksafety.com.

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Infographic: Glove Safety Guide

Posted on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Enviro Tech International

It’s often said that if something fits perfectly, it “fits like a glove.” However, workers using hazardous materials understand that not all gloves are created equally. Different gloves provide varying levels of protection against dangerous chemicals. Some gloves are more vulnerable to chemical solvents than others. If you’re in a lab, industrial environment or any workplace with hazardous chemicals, it’s essential to know how to protect yourself. The following infographic details glove safety.

A Guide To Comparing Safety Gloves from Enviro Tech International

Need new gloves? PK Safety experts are here to help you with finding the proper hand protection solution for your application. Call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.

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5-Star Customer-Rated Petzl® Harnesses

Posted on Friday, June 30th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

When working in tough environments, it is essential to be able to count on the performance and quality of your gear. Nothing is worse than a false sense of safety in a life-threatening situation. Petzl has developed harnesses that meet OSHA safety requirements for work-at-heights (fall arrest, work positioning, suspension, confined space entry, and rescue), and extreme sports (mountain and rock climbing, caving).

Customer-Rated 5-Star Harnesses:

  1. Petzl AVAO® BOD Full Body Harness C71AAA

Petzl harness
This comfortable lightweight harness is designed to provide a full range of motion for workers during their long shifts at heights. It meets ANSI Z359.1, NFPA 1983, CSA Z259.10 requirements, and features a semi-rigid waistbelt and leg loops for excellent support, and self-locking DoubleBack buckles for easy adjustment. The X-shaped dorsal construction wraps around to reduce pressure points during prolonged suspension. In the event of a fall, smart engineering distributes the weight of a user to leg straps while attached to the dorsal D-ring, which helps reduce harness trauma and allows a worker to remain suspended longer while waiting for a rescue team.

  1. Petzl AVAO® SIT Seat Harness C79AAA

Seat Harness

This harness is sturdy and durable. The waistband is slightly rigid for extra comfort and has a breathable mesh to prevent users from overheating and sweating. With its unique design, the harness provides even body weight distribution, so if you are leaning back in the harness, you will still be able to get the job done. The SIT features self-locking DoubleBack buckles on waist and legs, three equipment loops each capable of holding up to 22 lb of equipment, as well as one CARITOOL loop, which can take up to 33 lb load. A rear loop allows you to either attach a restraint lanyard, or a top harness and convert it into a rope access harness.

Both types of harnesses come in two sizes to suit all body shapes and to make sure you have the most comfortable fit. It is important to take good care of your equipment over prolonged use. Look for cuts and wear and tear due to use, heat, or exposure to chemicals. To ensure your safety, we (and OSHA) recommend a detailed inspection of your harness by a competent person at least once every 12 months.

We love to have happy, satisfied and safe customers. See what one of our customers has said about this product:

“We operate a waterfall rappel adventure for clients that visit our island of Kauai and this seat harness is excellent for what we do. The crew at times needs to do rescue operations, and testing this seat out on our waterfall is great. It’s comfortable, so easy on the back, and with all the extra features to it, we can hang a lot of rescue equipment in case of an emergency, therefore, be well prepared. Another beautiful thing about it, it is light but yet built strongly!”

If you are not sure what safety device to use for fall protection, ask PK Safety experts. Call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online: pksafety.com.

Stay safe up there!

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The Value of Wireless Alarms and Monitoring Systems on Emergency Equipment

Posted on Thursday, June 29th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Samantha Hoch, Marketing, Haws

Federal safety regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) make the importance of safety equipment in potentially dangerous working environments clear. However, the stringent guidelines for emergency showers and eyewashes don’t extend to the inclusion of mandatory alarm and electronic monitoring systems on this equipment. This oversight can create unsafe working conditions in even the most well-equipped facilities. Not only is this dangerous, it’s also a potential liability.

Alarm and wireless monitoring systems are exactly what you’d imagine. An alarm system is intended to notify the management and personnel of a facility when and where safety equipment is being used.

Alarm

Download the full paper: The Value of Wireless Alarms and Monitoring Systems on Emergency Equipment

This article was originally published on HawsCo blog, May 31, 2017.

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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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What’s New in the World of Safety Gloves: Advanced Cooling AD-APT® Technology from ATG MaxiFlex

Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

It’s beginning to feel like summer, which adds challenges to those who work outdoors under the sun, or in warm indoor environments. Luckily, there is an amazing advanced AD-APT Technology that will help keep your hands drier and body temperature cooler throughout the work day without sacrificing grip or dexterity. This technology is used in a new version of the popular MaxiFlex® Ultimate safety gloves.

Designed as a breathable work glove with a new distinct cooling effect, the MaxiFlex® Seamless Knit Nylon/Lycra® Gloves with Nitrile-Coated Micro-Foam Grip use the Advanced AD-APT® Technology that offers a unique cooling property. How does this technology work? Microencapsulated, natural-based components integrated into the glove activate when your skin temperature rises, which initiates the cooling process.

In addition, these gloves are 25% thinner than others on the market and are 100% silicone-free. Another benefit of wearing these gloves is that they provide a comfortable form, fit and feel based on the manufacturing process. To reduce hand fatigue and increase comfort, the shape of the gloves’ mold mimic a “hand at rest” position. The thin, flexible nature of the gloves offers excellent dexterity. The glove is perfect for a wide range of applications: general purpose and precision handling work in dry environments, final assembly, micro-engineering, finishing and inspection, maintenance, logistics, and warehousing.

MaxiFlex Gloves

Why Is the Hand Cooling Effect So Important?

There is a scientific proof that continuous cooling down of your hands will quickly restore your normal physical condition when being exposed to heat in hot environments, and will improve your overall endurance and performance.

In the late 1990s, as part of their research on improving physical performance, biologist Dennis Grahn and his research partner at Stanford, Craig Heller, worked on creating and testing a Cooling Glove, designed for use by military forces. They have been exploring performance benefits that could be obtained from using a portable device, like a glove, for instance, to continuously extract heat from a body during endurance exercise in a hot environment, compared to commonly-used cooling maneuvers, like taking a cold shower, which requires taking at least 30 minutes break from the activities you are engaged in.

The researchers were stunned to find out how well the cooling down effect worked for enhancing human performance. In trying to figure out why the Glove worked so well, the researchers challenged the conventional scientific wisdom on fatigue being the reason of muscle exhaustion. As mentioned on WIRED.com in one of the articles on this subject, their scientific conclusion was: “Muscles don’t wear out because they use up stored sugars. Instead, muscles tire because they get too hot, and sweating is just a backup cooling system for the lattices of blood vessels in the hands and feet.” Per scientists, the Glove “overclocks the heat exchange system”.

“It’s like giving a Honda the radiator of a Mack truck,” said biologist Craig Heller.

Fun facts: By applying mathematical techniques from quantum information theory, mathematicians proved that no real system will ever reach 0 Kelvin: it would take an infinite number of steps. This statement puts a limit to cooling and proves that you can’t get to the absolute zero of temperature.

Interested in learning more? Give us a call at 800-829-9580 to chat with our product experts.

Sources:

Stanford.edu 
WIRED.com 
Newscientist.com

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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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Top 5 Tips on How to Avoid OSHA HCS Violation Penalties

Posted on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The OSHA Hazard Communications Standard (HCS) 1910.1200 is important because it prevents over 500 workplace injuries and about 43 deaths across the USA annually. Revised in 2012, it covers 43 million workers engaged in handling hazardous materials at work. The Standard mandates the identification of about 650,000 hazardous chemicals and enforces the appropriate protective measures.

As a Safety Manager at a facility that handles hazardous materials (even part time or on rare occasion), there are several factors to keep in mind to ensure employees remain safe on the job.

Here are 5 key elements of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) and tips on how to implement them to keep your workers safe.

5 Key Elements of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

  1. Materials Inventory:

Have a list of the hazardous materials present in your work area.

  1. Material Safety Data Sheets:

Compile a detailed description of each hazardous material listed in the Materials Inventory.

  1. Labeling:

Label all the containers with hazardous materials to identify the material and to warn employees of its potential hazard.

  1. Training:

Train all the employees on the dangers of the particular chemicals they will be working with, and show how to use the required personal protective equipment at work.

  1. Written Program:

Develop a written program which ties together all the materials and processes mentioned above.

OSHA HCS

Who Needs a Hazard Communication Program?

Any job site that includes working with chemicals is required to have Hazard Communication Programs set up in order to educate workers on the various dangerous aspects of chemicals, like flammability and explosiveness. To ensure chemical safety at work, all the necessary information about the chemical hazards must be available – which can be done through the methods and practices mentioned above.

Violation of the HCS is one of the most commonly cited OSHA violations. Most cited industries include specialty trade contractors, fabricated metal, and machinery manufacturing, repair and maintenance, wholesalers, mineral product manufacturing, construction, wood manufacturing, and food manufacturing. The reason why some workplaces don’t enforce the Standard’s implementation is that they think that explaining the key dangers of various chemicals to their workers is too complicated and hard for them to understand. As a result, some employees start practicing unsafe methods while working with various chemicals. This is why Hazard Communication Training is extremely important in educating workers on the dangers of the chemicals they are working with.

One of the key aspects of a Hazard Communication Program is a careful review of the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) designed to inform workers about all they need to know about particular hazardous chemicals. Along with this information, workers also need to know the following: how to fully inspect the PPE required for their project before putting it on, and the emergency procedures in case of an accident.

It is extremely important to have eyewash stations set up in close proximity to the hazardous work site, regularly inspect and test them, and provide training for your employees on how to properly use them. Work sites that are required to have wash stations include laboratories, high dust areas, spraying and dipping operations, battery charging and hazardous substance dispensing areas, etc. Learn more from our previous blog post: How to Comply with Important Requirements for Eye Wash Stations.

Following these rules and requirements will create a much safer environment at your work site. If your company is not already HCS compliant, now is the time to act.

Download Hazard Communication Pictograms

Go to the OSHA’s Hazard Communication web page to learn more about the standards and resources available.

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

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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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Workplace Eye Injury Statistics – Don’t Be One of Them

Posted on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Think of the hundreds of times you’ve completed a task at work without eye protection, injury free. Perhaps the application doesn’t seem that hazardous, or maybe the safety glasses you have are uncomfortable, scratched up, or they fog too easily. Plus, you’re good at what you do. You’ve been doing this job for so long that being careful is second nature.

Until that one time when “being careful” wasn’t enough. It wasn’t your fault. In fact, you did everything right. Unfortunately, the tool you were using randomly failed, a coworker didn’t set up the workspace properly, a machine malfunctioned…whatever it was…IT happened.

Accidents happen every day, and usually, in situations you’ve become all-too-comfortable with.

300,000 workplace eye injuries send people to the emergency room each year nationwide. In most cases, safety eyewear is not being worn, it doesn’t fit, or doesn’t provide the appropriate protection for the application.

Of these 300,000 eye injuries, it’s estimated that 90% of them were preventable if the workers had been wearing (appropriate) eye protection.

That’s 270,000 workplace injuries that could be avoided each year.

Consider these other eye-opening injury statistics:

  • Eye injuries make up nearly 45% of all head injuries that lead to missed work days.
  • Eye injuries account for an estimated annual $300 million in medical bills, compensation, and time off.
  • Men ages 25-44 comprise 80% of all workplace eye injury victims.
  • 40% of on-the-job eye injuries happen in the manufacturing, construction, and mining industries.

Considering these staggering stats, why aren’t workers wearing their safety eyewear? Here are a few common reasons we’ve heard from customers:

  • It’s unwearable.
    Cheaply made safety eyewear becomes more of a distraction than a means of protection. Pressure, pinching and slipping points create an ergonomic nightmare for workers, and protective eyewear ends up on top of workers’ heads or in their pockets instead of over their eyes.
  • It’s “unnecessary.”
    Despite decades of reported eye injury experiences and how to prevent them, human ignorance and resistance are still big problems. Many workers think of eye protection as unnecessary and choose to not wear their required eye protection.
  • It’s fogging.
    In a recent study with manufacturing, construction, service, and retail workers, 100% of participants reported fogging as a major factor for not wearing their PPE on the job. They can’t see with the fogged-up eyewear, so naturally, they take them off. In the same study, 55% said that if their safety eyewear had working anti-fogging technology, they’d comply with wearing it.
  • It’s uncool. Let’s face it, sporting safety eyewear hasn’t always been the most glamorous look. Everyone likes to wear things they feel good in, so it’s no surprise that safety eyewear falls to the wayside for some.

Remember, the best eye protection is the protection that’s worn.

This article was originally published on HexArmor blog, April 25, 2017.

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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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How to Easily Prevent Catastrophic Dust Explosions

Posted on Thursday, May 11th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Effective September 2015, the NFPA 652 Standard outlines the requirements for controlling combustible dust hazards. The Standard specifies guidelines on dust combustibility and emphasizes the importance of fire protection and explosion prevention. It states that within three years, starting from October 2015, a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) must be performed by all enterprises that generate combustible dusts. It is also good to know the difference between NFPA 652 and NFPA 654 standards: the first one focuses on combustible dust hazards, the second one – on explosion protection in chemical processing facilities.

Combustible dust explosion hazards exist in a variety of industries including:

  • Agriculture, fertilizer, grain, tobacco, food processing (for example, candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour)
  • Rubber, tire manufacturing
  • Wood and paper processing facilities, furniture, textiles, dyes
  • Chemical processing, pesticides, pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics and recycling operations
  • Fossil fuel power generation (coal)
  • Metal processing (aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc) and welding

In general, about 70% of dusts are explosive. In addition, non-explosive materials (sand or silica, for example) could become explosive when mixed with other explosive materials (such as organic or metal dust) in sufficient concentration.

Why Do Explosions Happen?

The five factors – oxygen, heat, fuel, dispersion, and confinement – are known as the “Dust Explosion Pentagon”. A rapid combustion of dust particles is more likely to happen in a closed area where their concentration in the air is the highest. Keep in mind that secondary explosions could be even more dangerous than the initial ones: they claimed many lives of workers who were not aware of this danger. Why do secondary explosions occur? Because a primary explosion may release more accumulated dust into the air, or may damage a containment system (such as a vessel or a duct), which may cause multiple secondary explosions.

How to Prevent Catastrophic Explosions

OSHA recommends identifying factors that may contribute to an explosion and completing a thorough hazard assessment of all materials handled, all operations conducted (including by-products), all hidden spaces, and all potential ignition sources.

How to Comply with Combustible Dust Standard NFPA 652

The Standard dictates the following 10-step action plan that you need to implement in order to comply:

  1. Detect the combustibility and the explosibility of the materials being handled
  2. Identify fire, flash fire, and explosion hazards
  3. Manage these hazards: considerations must be given to the safety of building and equipment design, house-keeping, PPE, dust control, explosion prevention, protection, isolation, and fire protection.
  4. Educate all employees about the hazards and train them on protective measures
  5. Improve housekeeping procedures: do not clean with compressed air
  6. Use effective dust collection systems
  7. Use venting systems that comply with NFPA 68
  8. Direct exhaust air outside
  9. All central vacuum systems must be equipped with attachments made of static dissipative material, and all vacuum hoses must be grounded
  10. Develop MOC (Management of Change) procedures to be implemented prior to any changes to materials, equipment, technology, or work tasks.

How to Protect Workers: Explosion Prevention and Proper PPE

Unfortunately, combustible dust fires and explosions continue to occur on a regular basis. For example, 14 workers were killed in a sugar dust explosion in Georgia in 2008, and 3 workers were killed in a titanium dust explosion in West Virginia in 2010.

When properly designed, installed and maintained, explosion prevention systems protect well from the explosion hazards posed by combustible dusts. However, these systems provide little protection for the employees being exposed to combustible dust flash fires. Some employers tend to focus on wearing simple PPE (safety glasses, hearing protection, gloves) that only protects workers from easily recognized hazards. OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment Standard (29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1)) requires employers to “assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of PPE.” Often overlooked, Flame-resistant garments (FRGs) and ARC Flash Clothing can help protect employees from thermal and other hazards associated with combustible dust.

A significant portion of industrial explosions and fires are attributed to static electricity: fine dust in grain elevators has been ignited by static electric sparks, coal dust explosions happen in coal mines, and explosions in wood-working facilities have been reported every year. Preventing these explosions is possible by the elimination of static electricity with the help of grounding devices. Heavy-duty grounding clamps and static grounding cable reels from Stewart R. Browne are built for grounding in various industrial applications. These products are designed to prevent static build-up and control static charges in hazardous environments where equipment may be surrounded by dust or flammable liquids.

Additional Resources:

Read our previous blog posts on Arc Flash Clothing and Safety.

Download Combustible Dust poster: osha.gov

Check out OSHA website: Hazard Communication Guidance for Combustible Dusts

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

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How are Safety Glasses Supposed to Fit?

Posted on Monday, May 8th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Simply wearing any old pair of safety eyewear isn’t enough to protect your eyes. Sure, it decreases the possibility of an injury, however, if your eyewear fits poorly or incorrectly, your putting yourself at a higher risk for injury.

For too long, safety eyewear has been treated as “one size fits all.” Head and face shapes are so different, how is it possible to find one pair that works for everyone? It’s not. That’s why finding properly fitting eyewear is so crucial to wearability, especially when 90% of recorded injuries are due to poorly fitting eyewear or workers not wearing eyewear at all.

Eyewear that fits well helps reduce injuries and increases compliance, whereas poorly fitting eyewear often leads to workers removing it throughout the workday, making them susceptible to eye injuries.
glasses-fit

When trying on new safety eyewear, we recommend using this fit guide and reviewing eyewear descriptions and materials.

  1. There should be no uncomfortable pressure points on the side of the head or behind the ears.
  2. The nose piece should be comfortable and contact your nose without pinching.
  3. You should be able to see in all directions without major obstruction.
  4. The overall weight of your safety eyewear should be evenly distributed between your ears and your nose so that frames sit comfortably on your face without distracting from tasks.
  5. Frames should fit close to the face without hitting your eyelashes. The space around the frames and your face should be less than a pencil width. Gaps of less than or equal to 6-8mm are preferred.
  6. Lenses should cover eyebrow and any soft tissue around it.
  7. Eyewear should stay in place when you move your head front to back and side to side.

Remember, safety eyewear isn’t one size fits all. If you’re not able to pass the fit test above, try on another pair of safety glasses until you find the perfect fit. You could be saving yourself from a future injury.

This blog post was originally published on HexArmor blog, April 25, 2017.

To read the full article, go to HexArmor.com.

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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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From 1 To 4: Chevron Switching To 4-Gas Monitors

Posted on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 by Analisa H.

We have heard from a couple of our top sales reps in the gas monitor industry that Chevron refineries are moving forward requiring the use of 4-gas monitors in their process units instead of the old requirement of just single H2S gas monitors. This is a big shift for contractors and the oil giant’s in-house team to switch from using single-gas to 4-gas monitors. This change is slated for official launch in the fall of 2017, but they are already beginning to have their in-house team use 4-gas detectors and are promoting acquisition and use of them with contractors who work at their sites all over the nation.  

Neil Dwyer, Regional Sales Manager of BW Honeywell said that the new BWC4 gas detector would be a great option for these particular jobs because it eliminates the need and expense of on-site recharging stations because it runs continuously for two years without the battery needing to be charged. It is recommended that these have a routine calibration every six months.Dwyer said on-site recharging stations at Chevron can be costly since they use power and time of contractors while monitors are being recharged. The BWC4 will give added protection of 4-gas detection in addition to eliminating the need for all of this, saving both the contractors and Chevron time and money.

bwc4-y-square

Ramey Packer, Northern California Regional Sales Manager for RKI Instruments, said he recommends the GX-2009 Confined Space 4-Gas Monitor because it’s lightweight, small in size, and can easily be clipped in the “breathing zone” (within a foot of your nose and mouth – on your upper chest, shoulder, or hard hat) which OSHA and Chevron is strict about. He added that the battery life is 20 hours under normal conditions and 10-14 hours in real-world conditions (if the alarm sounds off, or you frequently bump test, etc.) — enough to last a full shift.

front

Dwyer expects other companies to follow suit within the coming year to two years. Other oil companies could be held liable in the case of an incident, and potentially be cited for non-compliance by OSHA down the road. They could be liable for not having the same safety standards as a leading refinery such as Chevron, and worse, ultimately risking the lives of contractors and workers. 

Chevron will be hosting a safety fair in mid April for industry contractors to connect with the leading manufacturers and check out 4-gas monitor options. 

PK Safety’s “From 1 To 4” is a series of blog articles following the switch Chevron will be making from single-gas to 4-gas monitors in the fall of 2017. 

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How to Choose The Best Kevlar Gloves in 6 Simple Steps

Posted on Thursday, April 13th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Kevlar, a lightweight material five times stronger than steel, was discovered by a chemist Stephanie Kwolek half a century ago. Today, it is a component material used in numerous products ranging from protective vests and helmets to airplanes and cell phones. Per Scientific American, “Kevlar fiber has a density of 1.4 grams per cubic centimeter compared with iron’s 7.9 grams per cubic centimeter … Offering strength under heat, Kevlar protects against thermal hazards up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit.” Although new versatile materials have emerged in recent years, some companies are still buying the same kind of Kevlar gloves that they’ve been using for many years. Kevlar has proven to be so dependable that experts predict it will be used for another fifty years.

Selecting the right pair of gloves can be challenging because protection requirements are different for different kinds of jobs. Here is your easy-to-implement 6-steps action plan which will help you find the appropriate hand protection solution faster.

6-Step Plan:

1. Choose between three basic types of Kevlar gloves

Type Applications Advantages Disadvantages
Knitted Kevlar® gloves without coating Commonly used in automotive industry and metal stamping Perfect for handling large metal parts, sheet metal; easy-to-wash for a repeated use, cut-resistant Dexterity is good, but not as great as in palm-coated gloves
Kevlar® Gloves with a palm coating Perfect for a wide range of applications from parts assembly and work with electricity to construction Great dexterity and grip for handling fine parts, cut protection; will not melt, ignite, or conduct electricity, cut-resistant When coating wears out, the gloves should be replaced
Leather gloves with a Kevlar® lining, PVC palm Applications include oil and gas industry and construction Extremely durable, great abrasion resistance, flame- and cut-resistant Dexterity is good, but not perfect, compared to palm-coated gloves

2. Decide what cut-resistance level you need

Cut Resistance Classification

The latest cut-resistance levels defined according to the new ANSI/ISEA standards were explained in the previous blog post: Understanding the New ANSI/ISEA 105 (2016) Hand and Arm Protection Cut Level Classification. Check it out – it should help you select the right cut resistance level of protective gloves required for your job.

3. Identify additional hazards you’ll be exposed to on the job: chemicals, extensive heat, and puncture

While finding the right glove to protect you from the multiple workplace hazards can be challenging, the protective gloves that will be effective against multiple threats do exist. The biggest trade-off, however, might be losing some dexterity.

4. Determine if 100% Kevlar or composite Kevlar is more beneficial for your application

The higher level of cut protection can be achieved by using the high-performance material, like Kevlar, and composite yarns made with fiberglass, steel, or synthetic materials, as well as by increasing weight of the material measured in ounces per square yard. Composite gloves typically provide higher cut resistance and better abrasion resistance compared to 100% Kevlar gloves and are often cost-saving alternative solutions.

5. Evaluate Durability

Durability is a critically important feature in a glove. To save cost, requesting a glove sample is a good idea. You can do a glove trial to evaluate durability and workers’ glove style preferences.

6. Prioritize comfort

Even if you chose a glove with the highest cut level and durability, if it does not provide some comfort while performing the job, your employees are not going to wear it. Making comfort a priority will help you make sure you are wearing the best gloves possible for your application.

Here are a couple suggestions for the following applications: material handling, general assembly, sanitation, general maintenance, woodworking, waste handling, fishing industries, recycling:

G-Tek Gloves 09-K1618

G-Tek® KEV™ Seamless Knit Kevlar® Blended gloves 09-K1618 with Nitrile-coated foam grip on palm and fingers. Key features: seamless knit construction provides comfort without sacrificing dexterity; gray 18 gauge shell for maximum dexterity; Kevlar® fiber is inherently cut resistant and will not melt, ignite or conduct electricity; foam nitrile coatings are compatible with light oils, and will provide excellent grip and abrasion resistance; touch screen capability allows users to operate any touchscreen device without removing gloves; knit wrist prevents dirt and debris from entering inside the glove. Performance properties: ANSI Cut Level A3 (Adopted by ANSI/ISEA 02/16), ABRASION 4, CUT 4, TEAR 2, PUNCTURE 1.

G-Tek Gloves 09-K1600

Want even stronger gloves? Check out G-Tek® KEV™ Seamless Knit Kevlar® Blended gloves 09-K1600 with Nitrile-coated foam grip on palm and fingers, 13 gauge shell, made with engineered yarn (Kevlar/Nylon/Steel Fiber), which are also touchscreen compatible. Performance properties: ANSI Cut Level A7 (Adopted by ANSI/ISEA 02/16), ABRASION 4, CUT 5, TEAR 3, PUNCTURE 2.

What Makes These Two Styles of Gloves So Special?

They have a touch screen capability and excellent dexterity paired with superior durability and high cut resistance.

Need new gloves? Take your time, do your research, and if you have any questions, call our product experts at 800-829-9580. Hopefully, this article will be helpful, too.

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5 Easy Steps to Clean and Care for Your Safety Lenses

Posted on Friday, April 7th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The number one reason for scratched lenses is improper cleaning. The second reason is poor handling and storage of safety eyewear.

It’s no surprise that the best way to make sure your eyewear is long lasting and high performing is through proper care, cleaning, and storage.

Take a moment to think about how you clean and care for your safety eyewear. Do you hold the lens to your shirt to rub it clean? Do you use a paper towel and regular soap to clean the lens? Or, do you (gasp!) use your saliva to clean your lenses?

We actually recommend avoiding all of those options. You could be scratching your lenses cleaning them with the materials above and the soap (and saliva) will leave a film over your lenses, which defeats the purpose of why you were trying to clean them in the first place!

Instead, try these steps to help you properly clean and care for your safety eyewear.

Step 1: Lightly blow off any loose dirt or debris from your lenses.

Step 2: Rinse your lenses with cool water.

Step 3: If you have an eyewear cleaning station at work, spray the cleaning solution directly onto the lenses.

Step 4: Use a lens-safe tissue provided at the cleaning station to dry and wipe clean. Let the lenses air dry before re-wearing.

Note: If you don’t have an eyewear tissue dispensing or cleaning station, use a soft microfiber cloth or eyewear approved tissue to dry the lens after rinsing off with water.

Step 5: If you’re not immediately putting the safety eyewear on, store it in a secure spot like a locker, or in a pouch. Never put unprotected safety eyewear in your pocket.

Following these steps will help you increase the longevity and usefulness of your safety eyewear.

This article was originally published in HexArmor Safety Blog, March 20, 2017.


If you have questions about the eye 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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4 Great Reasons to Get Your Petzl Gear at PK Safety

Posted on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 by Analisa H.

Reason #1: Petzl gear is a highly respected brand in the climbing industry for quality and reliability. It will keep you alive, and it’s 20% off at PK Safety. Petzl equipment has been thoroughly tested, re-tested, and meets the relevant certifications as well as the approval of rope access experts around the world. Those are two things in our first reason, but how can you afford to buy anything less than the best for your dangerous work and climbing?

Reason #2: Free shipping. If your order is over $99, we’ll cover the shipping. So whether you need a bunch of OXAN Steel Carabiners or an  AVAO Harness, we’ll put that order together and ship it out right away – for free!

Reason #3: Because of us. We are really nice, honest, knowledgeable, and easy to deal with (not to mention modest!). We work hard to make sure you get what you need, and get it when you expect it. You can count on us to get your Petzl equipment to you and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to give us a ring at 1-800-829-9580, or contact us online at pks-store@pksafety.com and we will be happy to help you out.

Reason #4: Timing is everything. Doesn’t it feel better to get a great deal? PK Safety is taking 20% off all our amazing Petzl equipment through April 19, 2017. Petzl equipment doesn’t go on sale often, so don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

If you have questions that our 4 Great Reasons to Buy Petzl From PK Safety didn’t cover, please give us a ring or contact us online Monday through Friday 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST.

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A Survival Guide Guaranteed to Prevent Heat Stress

Posted on Friday, March 31st, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The smart approach to work-related heat stress prevention includes setting up a wellness program for employees at risk. This can include those who work outdoors and in hot environments, like firefighters, farmers, miners, bakery and boiler room workers, construction and factory workers, who wear PPE according to their work requirements.

Wellness programs aim to educate teams on how to pro-actively ensure their health is not affected in any way by working in the extreme conditions. It includes training on using PPE correctly, and on being aware of resources that are available, and of the preventive measures that need to be taken before going to work in the heat.

What can you do to educate your team?

  1. Stress the importance of wearing PPE even in hot weather. Wear the required PPE with added heat stress prevention features, for example, use vented helmets instead of plain ones, get cooling towels, wraps, and vests, neck shades to cool down.
  2. Educate on the life-threatening symptoms to watch out for: hot, dry skin or profuse sweating, high body temperature, confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech, and seizures.
  3. Implement the following steps to assist your crew in staying safe in hot weather:
    • Take your time to acclimate: work short shifts to gradually get used to heat
    • Drink water before you get thirsty
    • Schedule frequent breaks to cool down
    • Install sunscreen dispensers in multiple locations, and encourage the team to use them
    • Provide sunscreen packs and lip balms with UVA/UVB protection qualities
    • Show how to treat an employee suffering from heat exhaustion before 911 arrives: cool down with cold compresses, give cool water, remove unnecessary clothing

Industries most affected by heat-related illnesses are construction, agriculture, building and grounds maintenance, landscaping, transportation, utilities, and oil and gas operations. Protect your workers from potentially fatal heat stress by training them on the dangers, symptoms and appropriate response measures.

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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What Makes Petzl Helmets Amazing? It’s All in the Details!

Posted on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Anyone climbing outdoors or indoors, for work or for fun, needs a helmet. A helmet or a hard hat should be considered a fundamental part of PPE. Why? Direct head trauma from a height of about 10 feet is sufficient to cause permanent brain damage or even death. Accidents while working at heights happen all the time: climbers can fall or bump into equipment at heights, drop equipment, rocks fall, massive plumes of snow or ice can appear out of nowhere. Check out the reported accidents database, you will be surprised, as these reports prove that care and attention are necessary even on the seemingly easy ground.

What should you be looking for in a helmet? Focus on these characteristics: foam types (EPP or EPS), ventilation, weight, comfort, sizing, adjustability, and headlamp compatibility.

  1. Protective Foam: Expanded Polystyrene is an incredibly hard and reliable material that will protect even from serious impacts, but it will be crushed while absorbing the blow and will need to be replaced as soon as you notice cracks. Expanded Polypropylene is engineered to absorb strong impacts without shattering.
  2. Ventilation: Although poor ventilation is a common complaint among many helmet users, there should be a perfect balance between ventilation requirements and safety because to improve ventilation more empty spaces were added, which increases a chance of a smaller rock or an insect to get inside a helmet through ventilation holes.
  3. Weight: The lighter helmets are less likely they are to shift around your head when you look up or down. However, there is a correlation between weight and durability: the heavier the helmet is, the more durable it is.
  4. Comfort: If it is not comfortable, you won’t wear it. Period.
  5. Sizing: A perfect fit is achieved by the correct sizing: a helmet should be comfortably snug.
  6. Adjustability: A helmet without adjustability does not make sense. Good helmets offer adjustable straps around the head and around the chin so you can adapt it to your perfect fit.

Need a headlamp? Today most helmets provide headlamp compatibility. Some helmets have removable headlamp clips which save you weight when you unclip them. However, constant clipping-on/unclipping might decrease the lifespan of your helmet.

VERTEX Best: Why We Recommend It

VERTEX Best

Of all the helmets we sell at PK Safety, this one is one of the most popular options for safety. Petzl has engineered this helmet for comfort as well as safety, and they have always been at the top of the industry in terms of intelligent design.

This helmet is used by cellular and wind energy technicians, tower climbers, rescue workers and many people working in industrial production facilities where climbing for maintenance is required, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, petrochemical and gas production facilities. It has a smart fit adjustment system that keeps the user’s head centered in the helmet. The fit-adjustment wheel can be easily used even without removing gloves. Complete accessorization includes optional VIZIR face shield, PIXA headlamps, or headlamps with elastic bands that can be attached directly to the helmet.

Because it does not have side vents, the VERTEX BEST helmet can get warm while you are doing some types of work in a warm environment. If your work allows you to have a ventilated helmet, the VERTEX VENT is recommended.

VERTEX Vent: Why We Recommend It

VERTEX Vent

This helmet is well-ventilated, with optional shutters to give you a certain degree of control in various weather conditions. It meets the requirements of the EN 397 and EN 12492 standards for protection against impact, as well the requirements of the EN 397 standard for lateral deformation and the use in low temperatures.  The VERTEX VENT Helmet is ideal for rope access, confined spaces, technical, on-site, rescue jobs, framing, roofing, and tree care.

Watch this video to compare pros and cons of wearing these two styles of helmets.

Our safety experts are here to help you with finding the proper protective solution for your application. Call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com. Follow us on Twitter: @PKSafetydotcom.

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The Danger of Cold Weather and Gas Detection

Posted on Saturday, March 25th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Matt Murdock, COO at Wind River Investments and Alert Plus, LLC

Across the northern regions the leaves have changed color and fallen from the trees, the sound of chainsaws fills the forests as people gather firewood for the coming winter, and homeowners have begun winterizing their houses as temperatures drop.

Mean winter temperatures in much of North America will go well below 0F this year, but what can be done for the average natural gas employee whose sole source of gas detection is a portable gas detector whose lower operating temperature is -4F? How can gas leaks and air quality be known in weather conditions well below the operational rating of their equipment? This very problem struck our community only last year.

On the morning of November 22, 2013, 5 natural gas employees in Wyoming went to work as usual. At 10:15 a.. they began to weld repairs on a condensate tank, the resulting explosion hospitalized 4 of the 5 men and the fire was not put out until 1 p.m. (Casper Star Tribune, Nov. 22, 2014). The cause? Despite practicing normal safety procedures, the welding ignited ambient natural gas in and around the tank. The obvious question is why would anyone in their right mind begin welding when gas levels were so high? The answer is simply nobody – unless they didn’t know the gas levels were so high. On that day at approximately that time, the weather services recorded temperatures at -6F and wind speeds at 4.6mph bringing the wind chill down to -13F or even lower out on the Mesa. This is 9F below the rating of their handheld gas sniffer. This story, minus the explosion, is lived out day in day out throughout natural gas fields across North America and Europe 6-8 months a year.

Cold Weather in US

In a post entitled “Baby it’s cold outside…” an Industrial Scientific writer advises his readers about using gas detection in cold weather. “The low temperature rating for continuous operation of most Industrial Scientific portable instruments is -20 degrees Celsius. However, they may be used at lower temperatures for intermittent periods… The response of the instrument will get sluggish at temperatures below -20C… The display may get dim and even go blank if it freezes… Battery run time will be reduced at low temperatures. Below -20C expect at least a 30- 40 percent reduction in run time… A good rule of thumb for using your gas detector in cold temperatures is that your gas monitor can generally stand to be out and working in the cold as long as you can. If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for the instrument as well.” Two things should be noted at this point: 1) -20C is only -4F and in cold regions that’s considered a balmy day, 2) while many natural gas employees must regularly work in temperatures below what is comfortable to them, production equipment does not have the luxury of jumping into the cab of a truck to warm up for 5-minutes before going back to work.

 

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Learn From the Pros: What You Need to Know About Head Protection

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

Recognizing Common Issues Of Head Injuries

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics report that the majority of workers who have suffered from head injuries were performing routine jobs, yet most of the workers were not wearing any form of head protection equipment. Wearing head protection is the most important thing that you can do to protect yourself from injuries. However, statistics don’t affect us, people do! So here is a real story.

Why Is Finding the Right Fit Essential?

The story of a lifelong rock climber Laura Bylund is powerful. She is an Outdoor Education and Rope Rigging Professional, a certified Single Pitch Instructor with the American Mountain Guides Association, an NFPA-Certified Rope Rescue Technician through Peak Rescue Institute, and a Course Provider for the Climbing Wall Instructor program with the Professional Climbing Instructors’ Association. She remembers that even though she started to learn rock climbing at a very young age and was trained by her father, she was not wearing any head protection. As a teenager, she realized that wearing a helmet is a must if you want to do rock climbing and stay alive. “I remember the top of my backpack catching a rock the size of a baseball, and after that, I was sold!” she says.

Now Laura enjoys wearing the light (and well-fitted for her small size) KASK Plasma helmet. She confirms that it is the most comfortable helmet that she has ever worn. No wonder, since it’s ergonomic turn-style knob allows the helmet to be easily adjusted with one hand. Another benefit of this helmet is that it provides enough room for long hair, making the helmet especially suitable for women. Laura says: “Just as seat belts in cars have proven to save lives, helmets are statistically championing the prevention of brain damage and death. In the words of my boss, they are simply “cheap insurance.” Even old timers … are jumping on the brain bucket bandwagon. I guess if you spend enough time dodging bullets, you get wise.”

Read Laura’s full story on the CMC Rescue Blog.

Not convinced yet? Check out these Crash Stories where other people have been grateful to their helmets for saving their lives.

Consider This Revolutionary Head Protection for Your Rescue or Climbing Jobs

SUNBRERO sun and rain protection

The newest evolution in helmets – Kask Super Plasma Helmet – is specifically designed for work-at-height and rescue applications. It is compact, lightweight, comfortable, well-ventilated with 10 air intakes, and equipped with aluminum anti-intrusion grills to protect against debris and water. The helmet’s outer shell is designed to withstand significant impact. The four fastening points of the chinstrap are engineered to eliminate the risk of helmet loss in case of an impact during a fall. This helmet works perfectly with the SUNBRERO™ to block the sun and rain from your face, ears, and the back of your neck.

OSHA Standard 1910.135 states that “the employer shall ensure that each affected employee wears a protective helmet when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.” Workplace occupational health and safety is an obligation that must not be ignored.

If you are looking for an incredibly comfortable and quality helmet, Kask designs some of the best in the industry. PK Safety now carries Kask helmets in addition to other innovative, high-quality fall safety and rescue equipment. Call us 800-829-9580, or visit us online: https://www.pksafety.com/. Follow us on Twitter: @PKSafetydotcom.

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Confined Space Entry — Top 3 Safety Tips

Posted on Thursday, March 16th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

When working in confined spaces, it’s critical that workers stay safe from hidden and potentially deadly dangers. These spaces – which, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration, are usually small and difficult to exit – can include places like coal mines, manholes, grain elevators or wine tanks, along with many others. OSHA recognized this and created more confined space regulations in 2015.

Why is OSHA Focusing on Confined Spaces?

The danger of these spaces is the buildup of colorless, odorless toxic gases like carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, or ammonia that can come from gas lines, HVAC systems or idling vehicles. Without any ventilation to ensure a moving airflow, they can quickly build to unhealthy – or even fatal – levels. In addition, when working in spaces like manholes, mines or a farmhouses, it can be difficult to enter and exit quickly should gas levels rise. As a result of these tight spaces with static air, it takes a smaller concentration of these gases to become deadly. Our latest white paper can help workers identify the risks of these enclosed spaces and help them stay safe.

There are three ways workers and managers can create safe work environments when working in confined spaces:

Use a Properly Calibrated Gas Detector

Going on-site with a properly calibrated gas detector ensures your device can measure noxious gases. This device will alert you when dangerous gases like hydrogen sulfide (H2S) reach harmful levels, before your senses can even detect them.

Properly Ventilate

If a gas detector alerts to high levels of toxic gas (or a low level of oxygen), workers need to address this quickly. An important step is properly ventilating your workspace. Appropriate ventilation blowers and ducting that create a moving air supply will help move toxic gases out of the work area.

Have an Escape Route and Rescue Plan

Most injuries that occur in confined spaces are from people working to rescue someone. To avoid that outcome, have a rescue plan in place before entering a confined space.

Want to learn more about how to work safely in confined spaces? Our new white paper, 3 Tips For Safety in Confined Spaces, breaks down the different types of confined spaces workers can encounter. When faced with working in these tight quarters, knowing how to prepare – and how to respond should gas levels get too high – can help workers stay safe. Download the white paper today to learn more.

White Paper

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