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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.

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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 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 Steps 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 few 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 2 Styles of Gloves So Special?

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

The unusual combination of properties makes Kevlar suitable for a broad range of applications, such as in ballistic vests, blast and flame barriers, and in sports gear like high-performance running shoes, puncture-resistant bicycle tires, light weight boats, and durable sails.

Need new gloves? Take your time, do your research, and if you have any questions, call our product experts. 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.

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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.

Sale alert: Some Petzl items will go on sale in April. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get high-quality safety equipment for less! The details will be in our next blog post.

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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.

Read the full article: OilPro.com

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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.

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

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

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

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

1. Celebrate at home: it’s much safer to host the party since you don’t have to drive after it’s over. If your guests drink too much, provide a safe place for them to rest until morning, or help them call a taxi or Uber or Lyft for the ride home.
2. Know where you are going: map out your travel to the place where the party will be hosted, and check for traffic delays which are very likely to occur due to bad weather conditions, transportation issues, or big crowds. If you have enough time to get there, you will not drive aggressively, which makes your trip much safer.
3. Keep contact with your family and friends: get a good phone charger to make sure you keep your cell phone charged at any time, so you could contact them in case of emergency.
4. Hydrate well and eat more: don’t drink alcohol when dehydrated or on an empty stomach: have some a shepherd’s pie or a corned beef sandwich. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
5. Have a designated driver in your party. If your friends are intoxicated and you do not have an assigned driver, you should arrange a different way to get home.
6. Buckle up to save lives and be cautious. Watch out for pedestrians: they may be drunk. If you are a designated driver, drive carefully, slow down, and remember: you might be sober, but you’re not the only one on the road.
7. And finally, if you walk or to bike to a party, wear high visibility clothing (it actually can be in hi-vis green), so vehicles could easily spot you on the road or sidewalks.

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

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

Bet You Didn’t Know:

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

St. Patrick's Day sale

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Over Complicating Safety

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

By Brian Mitchell, HSE officer, and drilling consultant

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

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

Safety at work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunset

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

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

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

Read the full article: OilPro.com

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Welder Safety Tips: How to Avoid Exposure to Welding Hazards

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The potential hazards of welding include harmful smoke (a mixture of fine particles – fumes – of metal and toxic gases), intense heat and sparks, loud noises, bright light, ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Exposure to welding fumes has been a common problem for welders, especially for those involved in railroad track and shipyard welding, automobile industry, construction, and heavy equipment manufacturing. Welding fumes are internationally classified as carcinogenic to humans (IARC classification group 2B).

Not All Welding Fumes are Created Equal

The composition of welding fumes depends on the type of metals and the kind of welding rods being used. If they are made of iron or steel, the main component of the fume will be iron oxide. Welding on plated, galvanized, and painted metals generates fumes with cadmium, zinc oxide, or lead. Depending on the composition of their coating, welding rods can also generate fluoride and silica. Stainless steel fumes will contain Chromium Oxide and Nickel Oxide that can cause asthma. For this reason, stainless steel welding fume is considered to be more harmful than mild steel fume.

Other toxic gases that are created during welding include Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxides, Cadmium, and Ozone. If welding operations are being done in the presence of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons, hazardous concentrations of highly toxic Phosgene and Hydrogen Chloride may be produced.

If you cut a metal coated with paint that contains lead, welding fumes will contain Lead Oxide, which may cause lead poisoning that is harmful to your nervous system, kidneys, and reproductive system.

When galvanized steel is arc-welded, the heat of the welding arc vaporizes the zinc coating, because the boiling point of zinc is below the melting point of steel. Adverse health effects of exposure to welding fumes and gases include chronic and acute poisoning, metal fume fever, irritation of the respiratory tract, emphysema, pneumoconiosis, and other diseases.

In addition to health hazards of metal fumes and toxic gases, welding operations involve hazards of burns from flame, arc, molten metal, heated surfaces, and metal splatter. If arc welding is done near solvents containing Chlorinated Hydrocarbons, the ultraviolet light can react with the solvents to form Phosgene, a gas that is deadly in any amounts.

Don’t Take Chances: Never Weld Without Proper Protection

Welding with a Respirator

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should always be used along with, but never instead of, engineering controls and safe work practices. Proper eye shields, helmets, and a powered air respirator (PAPR) system can provide protection for your lungs, head, and eyes. With proper PPE the amount of gas and hazards welders are exposed to can be significantly reduced. These items include N95 respirators, flame-resistant gloves, safety glasses or goggles, welding helmets with appropriate filter lenses and plates, leather aprons, and long-sleeved welding jackets. Even if you wear a welding helmet with a filter plate to protect from arc rays and weld sparks, safety goggles can protect further against slag chips, grinding fragments and other hazards that can ricochet under the helmet. Welding helmet filter lenses and plates must meet the test for transmission of radiant energy prescribed in ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015, American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices. According to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.252 (b)(2)(ii)(B), “Helmets and hand shields shall be arranged to protect the face, neck, and ears from direct radiant heat from the arc.”

Flame-resistant pants or overalls and steel-toed shoes are also required. Many work sites need to have ventilation in addition to ANSI standard PPE for welders and workers in the area to stay safe. Ventilation equipment that meets UL specifications, such as a RamFan Blower with ducting that eliminates the presence of harmful fumes in the welding area. This will help prevent welders and other workers from breathing high levels of airborne contaminants and provide adequate breathing air. Adequate ventilation depends on a few factors:

  • Configuration and size of the space where welding is being done,
  • The number and type of operations that generate contaminants,
  • The air flow rate of natural air in the area where these activities are occurring,
  • Location and proximity of the welding and other workers’ breathing zones in relation to the contaminants or other sources.

Since welders work with highly toxic materials, lockers should be provided so work clothes can be stored separately from personal clothing.

40-50 welders are hospitalized every year with pneumonia caused by welding fumes, and 2 of these welders die. It is important to encourage welders to protect themselves and to report any respiratory health concerns to their managers and seek medical help in case of exposure.

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3 Ways To Stay Safe During Daylight Saving Time

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

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

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

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

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

2) Prepare An Automobile Emergency Kit

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

3) Recharge or Replace Fire Extinguishers

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

 

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Product Experts’ Picks: Top 3 Harnesses

Posted on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Experts Picks

Every month our Product Experts offer top product picks for a given category. This month we define our favorites for harnesses because they are some of our most popular fall protection products that are crucial for workplace safety.

Top 3 Harnesses:

DBI-SALA ExoFit Harness – The daddy of harnesses. Comfortable, light, a shining example of how well American-made products can be.

DBI-SALA EXOFIT SAFETY D-RING HARNESS

DBI-SALA EXOFIT SAFETY D-RING HARNESS

Delta No-Tangle Vest Style Harness – Nice mid range harness, universal sizing so you can lend it to a buddy and durable enough that you’ll get it back in good shape (assuming your buddy will actually give it back).

DELTA BACK D-RING PASS-THRU LEG HARNESS 1103321

DELTA BACK D-RING PASS-THRU LEG HARNESS

Latchways Personal Rescue Device – A niche product and the coolest harness on the market. It is so good that some adventurous people wearing it could be tempted to fall on purpose just so they could drop out of the sky like spider-men. But we don’t recommend that.

LATCHWAYS RH2 R20 PRD (PERSONAL RESCUE DEVICE) HARNESS 68202-00LUS

LATCHWAYS RH2 R20 PRD HARNESS

Check out our previous blog posts in this series.

Product Experts’ Picks:

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

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ANSI Compliance, Safety and Health for Food Processing

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

By Samantha Hoch, Marketing, Haws Corp.

From the oil industry to mining, agriculture to research, any working environment that puts employees in close proximity to occupational hazards, such as potentially harmful chemicals, must make workplace safety a priority. The food processing, meatpacking, and poultry processing industries are no exception.

Industry Risks

In addition to physical hazards like high noise levels, cuts, and musculoskeletal disorders, exposure to substances like ammonia, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide can pose another risk to employees in the meatpacking and food processing industries.

In March of 2016, OSHA fined a Texas-based poultry plant for allegedly allowing the release of anhydrous ammonia, a gas commonly used in significant quantities as a refrigerant across a variety of food processing facilities. This colorless gas, classified as hazardous by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, is known to be highly irritating, with a very sharp, suffocating odor. Immediate health effects of exposure to anhydrous ammonia include:

• Burning of the eyes, nose, and throat
• Coughing and choking
• Swelling of the throat and/or chemical burns to the lungs

Prolonged exposure can lead to eye damage, severe burns, and even death.

Another OSHA violation occurred in December 2012, when a food manufacturing facility did not provide an emergency shower or eyewash in the immediate vicinity of a forklift battery charging station.

Meeting the Standard

Immediate first aid for exposure to anhydrous ammonia or battery acid includes providing fresh air and immediate flushing with water for no fewer than 15 minutes. Safety data sheets for many chemicals require that eyewash stations and safety showers are close to the workstation location as a protective measure. And OSHA 29 CFR 19010.151(c) states “where employees were exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body.” This kind of emergency response access necessitates appropriate safety equipment and proper employee training – hallmarks of industry guidelines set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

ANSI Z358.1 is a comprehensive guideline that outlines specific parameters for the appropriate design, installation, performance, certification, use and maintenance of emergency eyewash and shower equipment across a range of industries. Failure to comply with all aspects of ANSI Z358.1 not only puts employees at risk, it opens a facility to potential liabilities and penalties. When working with chemicals, such as anhydrous ammonia, taking preventative measures is your safest bet. By supplying the appropriate emergency eyewash and shower equipment, you’ll be able to prevent further injury as well as reduce the risk of OSHA and ANSI non-compliance.

This post was originally published on HawsCo.com blog, February 8, 2017.

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Addressing Occupational Safety for Locksmiths: Protective Equipment Must Haves

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

By Dusty Henry, Sevan Locks & Doors 

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

Metal Shavings

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

Splinters

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

Lead Hazards

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

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

Equipment Must Haves

Locksmith working

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Comply with Important Requirements for Eye Wash Stations

Posted on Friday, February 17th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

The ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 American National Standard covers emergency eye/face washes, showers, and combination units. It is important to know that emergency showers are designed to flush the user’s body, and should not be used to flush the eyes as the high water flow pressure can damage the eyes. Eye wash stations are designed to flush the eyes/face area only. Combination units contain both features: a shower and an eyewash station.

The main requirements for eyewash stations include providing a controlled flow of flushing fluid to both eyes simultaneously, at low velocity, and no less than 0.4 gallons per minute for the duration of 15 minutes. Ensuring that the appropriate flushing system is installed within 10 seconds or 55 feet from the hazardous area is critical. The first 10-15 seconds after exposure to hazardous substances are vitally important. Medical specialists define that the correct way to irrigate eyes is from the inside-out. Washing from the outside-in has the potential to increase the damage by pushing chemicals further into the nasal cavity and the lungs.

OSHA has adopted several regulations that refer to the use of emergency eyewash and shower equipment. The primary regulation is contained in 29 CFR 1910.151, which requires that “…where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”

Why is this standard important?

The ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 establishes minimum performance, installation, use and maintenance requirements for eyewash equipment in the emergency situation under hazardous conditions.

Here are some of the most common causes for ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 non-compliance: missing dust covers expose nozzles to airborne contaminants, lack of proper signage on the equipment, poor lighting around the wash station, providing the improper equipment for the application (for instance, an eyewash instead of a face and eye wash), physical obstructions on the way to eyewash stations (a closed door), incorrect assembly of the unit parts (improper alignment of showerheads), lack of flow control to the eye wash, not providing the tepid water, insufficient water pressure and flow rate.

Statistics shows that the most common reason for non-compliance is the inability to maintain the required flow rate when both shower and eye/face wash are activated at the same time (a standard requirement since 2009).

What does this mean for you?

For the first time in 25 years, OSHA penalties for non-compliance have increased by 80 percent starting from August 1, 2016 in all states regulated by OSHA. It is time to ensure your workplace emergency response equipment meets the ANSI/OSEA Z358.1-2014 Standard to keep your workers safe and avoid those costly penalties.

To ensure you are meeting all the necessary requirements, activate all eyewashes, drench showers and drench hose systems to ensure they are fully operational in case of an emergency. Replace any broken or missing parts immediately. Remove any obstructions or trip hazards on the way to the wash station area. Protect equipment against the extreme temperatures. Today, just providing emergency showers and eyewashes isn’t enough, monitoring their condition is as important.

Get started by taking the following steps:

  • When working with chemicals, check their safety data sheets for first aid instructions
  • Select eyewash equipment: plumbed if water source is available, and self-contained if there is no water source
  • Place eyewash stations in proper locations, within a 10-second walking distance (about 55 feet) from a hazardous area. This is a new requirement as of 2016, so be sure to check the locations of your stations!
  • Make sure all parts work properly: valves, heads, and drainage system
  • Use potable water, i.e. water that is safe for drinking
  • Use tepid water: 60-100°F
  • Ensure eyewash uses correct water pressure: 0.4 gallons per minute for 15 minutes
  • Train employees on how to use an eyewash station
  • Label equipment and routes with appropriate signs
  • Test eyewash regularly: turn the system on once a week to flush the water

Work sites that are required to provide wash stations include laboratories, high dust areas, spraying and dipping operations, battery charging and hazardous substance dispensing areas, etc.

Emergency showerNo barrier eyewash station

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How to Easily Protect Yourself With ANSI Compliant High Visibility Gear

Posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

If you or your employees are working in conditions with low light or poor visibility and are not wearing appropriate high visibility clothing, the risk of being struck my moving equipment or vehicles is much higher than when you are. Hi-vis garments include vests, shirts, jackets, coveralls and rainwear made with yellow-green, orange-red, or red ANSI-compliant fabric. These pieces of high visibility workwear can also have additional heat transfer reflective tape on arms, chest, legs, waist, and/or back areas. The specific function of high visibility clothing is to alert drivers of your presence on the site as early as possible, so they have more time to react and prevent an accident.

The American National Standard for High-Visibility Apparel (ANSI/ISEA 107-2015) provides guidelines for road construction, railway and utility workers, law enforcement, emergency response personnel, field surveyors, and airport crews.

Daylight Visibility vs Low-Light Visibility

The need to be seen while working in any lighting conditions and against any complex backgrounds is recognized as a critical issue for worker safety.

To be compliant with the ANSI standard, the material that hi-vis clothing is made of must be in one of the following three colors: yellow-green, orange-red or red. Fabrics that maintain fluorescent qualities after washing include polyester, nylon, and acrylic. While the fluorescent material is effective during the day, it doesn’t provide much of a visibility improvement for low light periods and at night. That is why OSHA requires that high visibility garments also be fitted with retro-reflective components, such as heat transfer reflective tape. While fluorescent fabric improves daytime visibility, reflective tape shoots light back at the source in the absence of natural light. When combined, these two applications can significantly improve visibility in a 360 degrees radius.

Different situations require different levels of visibility. Reflective vests are placed into three different HVSA types for uses, and performance classes for the level of visibility.

HVSA-High Visibility Safety Apparel Type:

  • Type O: off–road use,
  • Type R: roadway use,
  • Type P: public safety, emergency/incident responders use.

The distinction between types lies under the required minimum amount of background material. Hi-vis pants, bib overalls, shorts, gaiters are non-compliant if worn alone. Optional high visibility accessories, such as headwear, gloves, arm/leg bands are also non-compliant if worn alone.

ANSI Performance Class Definitions:

  • Class 1 (traffic speed does not exceed 25 mph): enhanced visibility workwear for parking service attendants, workers in warehouses with equipment, shopping cart retrievers, sidewalk maintenance workers and delivery vehicle drivers.
  • Class 2 (traffic speeds exceed 25 mph): clothes for railway workers, school crossing guards, parking and toll gate personnel, airport ground crews and law enforcement personnel.
  • Class 3 (traffic speed exceeds 50 mph): garments that are made with the most reflective material to provide the highest level of visibility for roadway construction personnel and vehicle operators, utility workers, survey crews, emergency responders, railway workers and accident site investigators.

The distinction between performance classes lies under the specified minimum design requirements for the background materials, retro-reflective and combined performance materials, and the width of reflective materials.

Use the table below to understand Fabric and Reflective Requirements Broken Down by Type and Class:

HVSA Garment Type O R R P P
ANSI Performance Class 1 2 3 2 3
Background Material Amounts 217 in² 775 in² 1240 in² 450 in² 775 in²
Reflective Material Amounts 155 in² 201 in² 310 in² 201 in² 310 in²
Width Minimums of Reflective Material 1″ 1.38″ (1″ for split trim designs) 2″ (1″ for split trim designs) 2″ (1″ for split trim designs) 2″ (1″ for split trim designs)

Challenges of Using and Maintaining Hi-Vis Gear:

  • Heat management. Hi-vis clothing often feels warm since it is made of polyester, nylon or acrylic. Mesh and cotton may be favored by workers in warm climates, but cannot be made bright enough to be ANSI compliant.
  • Maintaining high visibility. Over time and especially with outdoor work, high visibility clothing can get dirty or stained. Dirty retro-reflective materials provide much lower visibility, and in turn will no longer be ANSI compliant with the same high visibility class safety rating. Keeping your high visibility apparel clean is a must, and knowing when to replace it is just as important.
  • High visibility and FR. It is hard for manufacturers to produce a fluorescent fabric that also is flame-resistant, an important issue for many occupations, such as utility workers who need both types of protection. Finding these types of garments will be easier as technology improves in the manufacturing of new materials for safety apparel.

Keep in mind that enhanced visibility garments are not the same as high visibility garments. For instance, regular apparel having just a reflective tape is called an enhanced visibility garment. This type of clothing typically is non-ANSI-compliant and may be used only for workers in low-risk areas and in non-complex work environments. Performance Class 2 or 3 meet the requirements of the ANSI Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear. Construction, maintenance, survey, landscaping, towing, paving, flagging, emergency, and utility workers are required to wear certified Class 2 or Class 3 high visibility gear.

Don’t be invisible while working in a dangerous work area, wearing proper hi-vis safety clothing will prevent accidents and save lives.

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Valuable Tips for Effective Mold Remediation

Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Mold remediation is the process of removing mold and repairing mold-related damage in buildings. There are two important things to remember when dealing with mold: it is easier to prevent mold by controlling moisture and monitoring humidity levels; and when you face the mold danger, it is urgent that you take care of it immediately since it is harmful and is able to spread very fast. Studies have found that mold grows on materials that remain wet for 48 hours. A simple and easy way of preventing mold buildup is keeping moisture away by ventilating, ensuring there are no water leaks, and that the plumbing system is functioning well. Sinks, toilets, tubs, hot water heaters, roofs, and attics need to be checked for leaks. Windows and doors on exterior walls have to be tightly sealed. If the basement smells damp or musty, use a dehumidifier to prevent mold.

Why is Mold Dangerous?

People can be exposed to mold through skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion. The majority of fungal spores have aerodynamic diameters of 2–10 µm, which allows particles to be deposited in the respiratory system. Prolonged exposure to high levels of mold can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis – an immune-mediated disease also known as woodworker’s lung, malt worker’s lung and farmer’s lung disease.

Guidelines of Mold Remediation

The Department of Health has developed guidelines for cleaning up mold contamination. The following 4 basic steps are necessary for quickly remediating mold problems:

Step 1: Perform mold growth assessment

First, calculate the extent of the contamination. Assessing mold growth involves more than just looking at what is visible: mold can be an invisible threat. Behind any mold growth there is a moisture problem. Identifying the source of moisture will help you locate all mold, not just what is visible. Next, repair water leaks to prevent new growth by addressing the moisture source: fixing the plumbing system or sealing the windows, doors, and roofs.

Step 2: Remediate mold contamination

Remediation involves cleaning up existing mold-infected areas while avoiding exposure to mold. Calculating the scope of contamination is necessary: DIY project is possible for Level 1 (up to 10 square feet) and Level 2 remediation (from 10 to 30 square feet). For contamination areas larger than 30 square feet, only mold remediation specialists are qualified to perform the cleanup.

Vacuuming with HEPA filter

Step 3: Cleanup

The cleanup process is the same for Level 1 and Level 2 mold remediation and consists of these 5 steps:

1. Repair the water problem.
2. Isolate the contaminated area.
3. Clean. The cleaning process for Level 1 differs from Level 2 at this point. For Level 1, it is enough to clean the area with a damp cloth and a detergent solution. Level 2 requires vacuuming all the surfaces with a HEPA vacuum and then cleaning all surfaces with a damp cloth. Remove all wet and mold-damaged porous materials and discard them in plastic bags that are at least 6 millimeters thick, tie the bags closed. Wipe the outside of the bags with a damp cloth and a detergent solution prior to leaving the contamination area, and dispose of them in a regular trash can.
4. Visibility test. All areas should be visibly free of contamination and debris — no dust and dirt means no mold.
5. Dry. Cleaned materials should be dried to allow leftover moisture to evaporate. To speed up the drying process, use fans, dehumidifiers, or raise the indoor air temperature.

Step 4: Determine if the cleanup has been successful. The fact that there is no visible dust or dirt does not mean that you are done with your mold remediation project. The final step is to check if there are still signs of mold-damaged materials or moldy odors.

Types of Equipment for Mold Remediation

Isolated Contaminated Area

Minimizing exposure to mold involves administrative and engineering controls, and using PPE.

Administrative controls include identifying and restricting access to mold-contaminated areas and minimizing aerosol-generating activities by suppressing dust.

Engineering controls include ventilating mold-contaminated areas and using heavy equipment with sealed positive pressure, air-conditioned cabs that contain filtered air recirculation units to protect workers.

The main purpose of PPE in a mold-contaminated environment is the prevention of the inhalation and the ingestion of mold spores and eliminating the possibility of mold contact with skin and eyes. The minimum personal protection equipment for mold remediation includes goggles without vents, a respirator, a coverall, and rubber gloves.

Skin Protection

Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are recommended. When using the chlorine bleach or a strong cleaning solution, gloves made from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC are an ideal solution. When using a mild detergent or plain water, household rubber gloves can be used. Latex or non-latex medical examination gloves should be used if hands are likely to be in contact with infectious materials. The appropriate personal protective clothing (reusable or disposable) is recommended to minimize cross-contamination between work areas and clean areas. Tyvek coverall suits with attached hood and booties are perfect for mold remediation since they protect your whole body and are easy to put on and take off.

Eye Protection

Safety glasses or goggles with open vent holes are not a good choice for a mold remediation project. To protect eyes, a full face respirator or goggles designed to prevent the entry of small particles are needed.

Respiratory protection

The best respirators for mold remediation include full face and half mask models: an N-95 Respirator Mask, an N-99 Respirator Mask, an N-100 Respirator Mask, a half-face respirator, and a full-face respirator. Some of the most popular brands that offer good protection against mold are 3M and Moldex.

You also need additional equipment for your mold remediation project: a vacuum with a HEPA filter and large sheets of heavy plastic to tape over doorways and air vents to prevent the spread of mold spores to other areas of the building. A negative air machine is also recommended to help with removing airborne mold.

When it comes to mold, the key is to implement a comprehensive moisture management strategy. For more info go to: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm

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Product Experts’ Picks: Top 3 Single-Gas Monitors

Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Every month our Product Experts offer top product picks for a given category. This month we provide our favorites for single-gas monitors because they are some of our most popular gas detection products that play a pivotal role in ensuring workplace safety. 

Top 3 Single-Gas Monitors: 

  1. BW Clip Detector– You turn it on, it runs for 2 years, you throw it away. If every gas monitor was this simple we’d be out of a job.
  2. BW CLIP REAL TIME 2 YEAR CO DETECTOR 50-200 PPM BWC2R-M50200

    BW CLIP REAL TIME 2 YEAR CO DETECTOR 50-200 PPM BWC2R-M50200

  3. RKI 03 – Super small and it even comes in an LEL version. Perfect if you’re only looking for combustible gases.
  4. RKI INSTRUMENTS 03 SERIES LEL SINGLE GAS MONITOR 72-0037

    RKI INSTRUMENTS 03 SERIES LEL SINGLE GAS MONITOR 72-0037

  5. RAE ToxiRAE 3 – A favorite of fire departments thanks to its aluminum housing. This is one tough monitor.
  6. RAE SYSTEMS TOXIRAE 3 CO GAS DETECTOR G01-0101-000

    RAE SYSTEMS TOXIRAE 3 CO GAS DETECTOR G01-0101-000

Check back soon to see Top 3 Hard Hats recommended by PK Safety!

The previous post in this series was Top 3 Multi-Gas Monitors.

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

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The New BW Clip4 Four-Gas Detector Available Through PK Safety

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

PK Safety Supply Adds The New BW Clip4 Four-Gas Detector to the Product Line.

PK Safety Supply announces the addition of the wearable BW Clip4 (H2S, CO, O2, LEL) Gas Detector from BW Technologies by Honeywell to the line of products offered. The BW Clip4 joins the elite group of portable devices specifically engineered for gas detection in extreme environments.

Why Is This 4-Gas Monitor Special?

The innovative feature of this portable detector is that once activated it remains on without charging, battery replacement or repair. You can enjoy two-year continuous operation. The advantage of using this new generation of gas detectors includes a low cost of ownership due to low to no maintenance needed. It provides two-year continuous runtime, so there is no need for sensor or battery replacement. It is built with infrared technology which gives this detector a number of advantages: IR technology based devices are reliable, fast-detecting, power-saving, and accurate. This is the reason why there is no need for battery charging over the life of the detector. It’s never been easier to have reliable gas detection on the job, you just have to clip it on!

Note: Remember to calibrate every six months and regularly perform bump tests.

About PK Safety Supply

PK Safety Supply has been keeping people safe for nearly 70 years. The brands that the company offers have been vetted over the years by customer feedback and experience. PK Safety provides customers with the latest, most dependable technology, the best value for the money, and exceptional support. In addition to selling occupational safety gear, the company is a Factory Authorized Service Center for BW Honeywell, Gas Clip Technologies, RAE Systems, RKI Instruments and Draeger gas monitors.

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The New FreeTech Harness: Innovative Fall Protection from CMC Rescue

Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

CMC Rescue is known for excellent fall protection, rescue equipment, and training. The new FreeTech™ Harness is designed for extended wear and for various work and rescue applications. The harness uses a patent-pending SwitchPoint™ System, which provides a significantly more comfortable position to a fallen, suspended worker.

What Makes This Harness Special?

The FreeTech™ Harness is a figure-8-style fall protection harness that incorporates the patent-pending SwitchPoint™ System. This newly engineered system can save lives by substantially delaying the effects of suspension trauma in a post-fall situation.  Many safety professionals assume that once a fall has been arrested, the fall protection system has been successful and completed its job. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A worker suspended in an upright position with legs dangling in a harness of any type is potentially subject to suspension trauma.

What is Suspension Trauma?

It’s an orthostatic shock or intolerance, also known as HHS (harness hang syndrome). The most common cause of suspension trauma is an accident in which a worker remains motionless and suspended in a harness. Leg circulation becomes compromised, then heart circulation and potentially diminished blood flow to the brain can occur. Typical symptoms, like pallor, sweating, shortness of breath, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, hypotension and numbness of the legs, usually occur after 15-20 minutes of free hanging. If the worker is not rescued in time, fainting and death due to the lack of oxygen in the brain are imminent.

How Does the Harness Work?

Its unique release mechanism provides a way for the user to safely and easily transfer their body weight from the dorsal connector on the upper back to the front waist location of the harness to reorient the user into a seated position. This re-positioning helps the worker by providing relief from loss of leg circulation, which delays suspension trauma.

Other Prominent Features of the FreeTech Harness Include:

  • Quick-release buckles which make it easy to put on and take off the harness
  • Secure and simple quick-connect buckles
  • Contrasting thread colors that aid in inspection
  • Integrated fall-arrest indicator
  • Corrosion-resistant hardware and lanyard attachment loop.

This item, like many CMC Rescue items, is made in the U.S.A. and is UL Classified to ANSI Z359.11.

Who Needs a FreeTech Harness?

FreeTech

OSHA requires that fall protection is provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations. Generally, fall-protection harnesses are application-driven.

This harness is ideal for rescuers. Safety, efficiency, and speed are the main principles of any rescuer’s work. You also have to factor your gear into this equation. A harness is vitally important for rescuers because they are in continuous physical contact with this piece of equipment on a daily basis. This is why if the harness is uncomfortable, it may disrupt the worker’s ability to perform their job. The FreeTech harness gives the user the features they need to avoid disruption and stay safe in case of a fall incident.

CMC Rescue manufactures and ships products out of Santa Barbara, CA the same day an order is placed.  Today, all CMC Rescue, CMC ProSeries, CMC ProTech, and CMC/Roco Industrial Rescue Brand Harnesses, Straps, Packs, and Bags are manufactured at their Santa Barbara, California facility.

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Fall Safety: Choosing the Right PPE

Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Today we invite you to take a closer look at what makes 3M DBI-SALA® Fall Protection products a great choice for all your fall safety needs. Fall safety includes any situation where you or your workers are in danger of death or injury in the event of losing your balance or grip while on the job. This includes climbing a ladder, pole or conducting a roof inspection, to doing suspended platform work, or being lowered into or entering a confined space.

DBI-SALA folks are masters of building tripods, winches, and harnesses. Tripods are used to provide anchorage during confined space entry, a rescue, as well as positioning, fall arrest, and material handling support. DBI-SALA aluminum tripods are lightweight and easy to set up. Their winches that are durable and robust, and their harnesses will keep you safe in conjunction with the other equipment. Virtually all DBI-SALA products include i-SAFE™ functionality. The RFID tracking software allows you to track safety equipment and manage your safety inspection program on any asset or fall protection products with i-Safe™ tags.

Tripods work well for lowering workers into confined spaces and also for retrieval. For most confined space entry teams, we recommend the DBI-SALA 7 ft. Confined Space Tripod and Winch Combo that meets all applicable OSHA standards. The benefits of using a complete system are obvious: you have all-you-need devices guaranteed to be compatible with each other. The components included in this popular unit are extremely efficient. For instance, the rated working load of this combo is 350 pounds for work support (raising or lowering equipment) and 310 pounds for fall arrest. Let’s review some key features of the combo’s components.

The 7′ Aluminum Retrieval Tripod

DBI-SALA Tripod

The 7 ft. aluminum tripod is lightweight, portable, can be easily set up by one worker and transported from one location to another very easily.

DBI-SALA Winch

The Salalift II Retrieval Winch has a feature that is very unique to this product is that this tripod has rollers at the top. This setup allows the winch to come up through one roller, through the next roller and down which ensures an easy descent in a going down scenario. A simple flip of a switch quickly returns the winch back into a retrieval mode. This is a tremendously convenient feature. Most of other tripods use the hanging bits.

 

Want to see a live demonstration of this Combo? Check out this video.

Why DBI-SALA harnesses?

You can always depend on DBI-SALA harnesses to save your life. You just have to choose the right one for your application. Their advantage is that they are thoroughly engineered for a specific type of operation, and meet all OSHA and ANSI standards, including the stringent ANSI Z359.1. When you look for a harness, first of all, you are looking for the highest quality of the following parameters: dorsal connection, webbing, adjustment points, leg straps, pelvic support, stitching, padding, seat slings, impact indicators, and lanyard keepers. DBI SALA has the products and expertise to help you stay completely safe and comfortable.

Top 6 Harnesses – Choose the Best One for Your Application:

Tower Climbers Harness

ExoFit Tower Climbing Harness

1. Are you a tower climber? ExoFit will be best for you if you are working on a cell, radio, water, and many other types of towers or antennas. It features front and back D-rings, belt with a back pad and side D-rings, removable seat sling with positioning D-rings, quick-connect buckles. Seat sling features cushioned padding for the ultimate comfort and performance. Back D-ring is perfect for connection to fall protection system and front D-ring is ideal for use with a ladder safety system. We strongly encourage you to use a 100% tie-off lanyard when in tower climbing scenarios.

Wind Energy Harness

ExoFit Wind Energy Harness

2. The Wind Energy ExoFit Harness is designed for anyone building, maintaining or transporting wind turbines and similar equipment. It has a sewn-in reinforced lumbar support to ease the strain on your back and hips and all D-rings are PVC-coated to prevent scratches to the nacelle and other sensitive surfaces.

Iron Worker Harness

Delta Iron Worker Pass-Thru Leg Harness

3. Check out ExoFit Iron Workers Harness with an excellent tool-carrying capability. Extra tough tubular web encases sub-pelvic webbing for added wear resistance for straddling beams.

DBI-SALA Construction Style Vest Harness with Tool Bags

DBI-SALA Construction Style Vest Harness with Tool Bags

4. Construction harnesses are made for general construction work, and have a sewn-in hip pad and removable body belt. This harness and tool bag combo provides space for tools, comfort, and fall safety in one.

Delta Oil and Gas Harness

Delta Oil and Gas Harness

5. Delta Oil and Gas Harness harnesses are designed specifically for workers who operate the monkey and tubing boards on oil rigs. These models include connections for an optical derrick belt, which provides comfort while positioning for the next drilling pipe.

Arc Flash Harness

DBI-SALA ExoFit XP Arc Flash Harness

6. Don’t forget about the Delta Arc Flash harness! This model is equipped with webbing attachment loops instead of metal, which makes it perfect for use in any industry where high voltage electricity is a concern. The harness is made with cut- and abrasion-resistant Nomex® and Kevlar® materials to make it highly resistant to heat – up to 40 cal/cm2. This piece of equipment meets ASTM F887-05 Standard specification for personal climbing equipment.

Despite special emphasis from OSHA, falls from heights remain a serious occupational safety challenge. The main reason: not using fall protection equipment. Don’t wait for a fall to occur before taking action to update your fall protection equipment.

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

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Product Experts’ Picks: Top 3 Multi-Gas Monitors

Posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Every month our Product Experts offer top product picks for a given category. This month we determine our favorites for multi-gas monitors because they are some of our most popular gas detection products that are important for workplace safety.

Top 3 Multi-Gas Monitors:

1. BW MicroClip XL – This monitor is simple to operate, easy to maintain and calibrate, and weighs less than your first Nokia phone!

BW MicroClip XL

BW MicroClip XL

2. RKI GX-2012 – This is a top quality monitor that’s extremely reliable! If you have a good technical background and the budget, this is a fantastic monitor.

RKI GX-2012

RKI GX-2012

3. Gas Clip MGC – The battery lasts two months before needing to be charged. If a mobile phone could do that we would buy two!

Gas Clip MGC

Gas Clip MGC

Check back soon to see Top 3 Single-Gas Monitors recommended by PK Safety.

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

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What’s Your Rescue Plan?

Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 by Mila Adamovica

Be Careful in Confined Spaces

Working in a confined space is dangerous because of the risks of asphyxiation from noxious fumes or dust, reduced oxygen levels, as well as fire and flood dangers. Where can you find confined spaces? Here are a few examples: water and sewer pipes, silos, utility tunnels, pumping stations, tanks, vats, pits, kilns, wastewater wet wells, sumps, vaults, storage bins, crawl spaces under floors, manholes, meter vaults, water reservoirs, boilers, tunnels, and grit chambers.

What you need to do in order to ensure a safe work environment in confined spaces:

  • To prevent injuries and deaths, inspect your worksites for confined spaces;
  • Use a detailed checklist to analyze the layout, dimensions, entry and exit challenges;
  • Get the equipment to test and continuously monitor the atmosphere in each confined space;
  • Secure and label each space as a confined space or permit-required confined space;
  • Train your employees on all procedures, hazard control, and rescue operations;
  • Develop a rescue plan.

What’s Your Rescue Plan?

There are three common approaches to a rescue:

  • Non-entry rescue is performed with the help of a rope or a winch without entering into the confined space.
  • Entry by a trained rescue team:  a lot of companies have their own teams trained in the techniques and the equipment to perform rescues.
  • Entry by emergency services, such as the Fire Department, to do rescue.

Deaths often occur when untrained employees attempt to rescue an entrant without the proper equipment, and then get caught in the confined space.

After you close off the area, use a retrieval system to bring the employee out of the confined space. Authorized entrants are required to wear harnesses connected to a retrieval line. The retrieval equipment should be in place before employees enter the permit space.

Another important component of protection is using proper PPE: a respirator, a hard hat, safety glasses, clothing, gloves and shoes that protect the body against chemicals, and fire or arc flash.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the fall protection equipment. Harnesses used for fall protection most commonly are full-body style, have flat nylon webbing, and the point of attachment in the center of the back at a shoulder level. Tripods used for vertical entry most commonly are 8-foot or higher. SCBA Units (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) may be required to enter some confined spaces and to perform a rescue. Each confined space must also be evaluated to determine what other types of equipment may be necessary: communication equipment, monitoring and ventilation of space, slings, rescue baskets, ropes, victim stabilizers, and winches. After the rescue, it is important to do a post-incident analysis.

As you can see, there are numerous types of equipment available to assist with rescue. Contact us to determine which ones you need.

What Works Best in Confined Spaces?

PK Safety Kit

We recommend kits that combine all-you-need devices to make any confined space entry safe, both for workers and for rescue teams. At PK Safety, we have made getting all the right confined space items easy by combining the necessities into our confined space entry system. You will get all the confined space tools you need for OSHA compliance with the following kit that includes DBI-SALA II 8300030 Winch w/ 7 ft TripodBW Honeywell GasAlert Max XT II, Blower/Duct Canister Combo 25 ft ED7025, and ExoFit Back D-Ring Harness 1107976.

PK Safety Confined Space Contractors Kit

For a more economy-minded users, PK Safety has also compiled a complete Confined Space Entry Contractor’s Kit that features OSHA-compliant products, designed for teams doing periodic, or occasional confined-space entry. This kit was featured in January 2017 issue of the “Cleaner” magazine. The kit provides all the confined-space tools needed for OSHA compliance. It includes  BW Max XT II 4-Gas monitor,  8 ft. aluminum Protecta tripod, Compliant Protecta man-rated winch with 50 ft. of cableProtecta Snatch Block Pulley Assembly 8003205, Allegro Blower/Ventilator with 25 ft. of flexible ducting5-Point full-body Protecta harness. It is ideal for multiple applications in tanks, manholes, and other vertical-entry work practices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Incidents in Oil and Gas Industry

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

Wake-Up Calls:

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

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

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

Current Trends in Safety Approaches

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

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

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

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

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

2. Adopting the European approach to occupational safety

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

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

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

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

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

The following technologies will significantly increase the safety of operations:

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

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

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

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

Oil refinery worker

Facing the Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head lamp


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

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Discover Amazing New Cut-Resistant and FR Gloves: Northflex Cold Grip Plus 5 and FRGrip Plus 5

Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Hand cuts and wounds are preventable, yet they still account for roughly 30 percent of all workplace injuries in the US. How do you choose the right cut resistant glove for your application? First, evaluate what types of gloves you are using now and if they do the job. Do you have any new projects that will require new PPE? Then, identify solutions – do you need to switch to a new brand or just need to upgrade the cut-level protection currently being used. Then, talk to a trusted supplier or distributor (like @PKSafetydotcom) to make sure you have your workers’ hands protected with the highest quality and the proper cut protection rated PPE for your job.

The new generations of gloves by Honeywell — NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ and FRGrip™ Plus 5 — are ideally suited for the tasks where workers need the high level of cut protection as well as gloves that offer protection for the cold and the arc flash without having to give up comfort and dexterity.

1. NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™

NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5

An excellent tool for avoiding accidents, NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ gloves provide double-duty protection with the high-level of cut and slash resistance, coupled with superior cold weather protection. These amazing gloves feature a high-vis orange outer shell made of a highly cut-resistant fiber blend that enhances worker safety and an inner layer made of brushed acrylic thermal. The ¾-dipped foam PVC coating helps resist abrasion and offers grip in both wet and dry environments and prevents liquids from penetrating the glove, helping to keep workers hands dry and clean. While flexible enough for hand movement, these gloves are less bulky than other models of thermal protection gloves and offer excellent dexterity for jobs that require tactile sensitivity. NorthFlex Gloves provide both superior insulation and extra comfort. They are the perfect 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, forestry, etc.

Key features:

  • Outer shell is a 15 gauge seamless knit, lightweight and thin for excellent dexterity
  • Thermal interior is soft and provides extra cushion for palms of hand
  • Gloves retain flexibility at low temperatures, recommended for temperatures down to -15° F
  • EN511 Level 0 permeability to water (Level 0 = water permeation after 30 minutes)
  • ANSI cut level 4 and EN511 level 2 resistance to contact cold
  • EN388: Abrasion 3, Cut 5, Tear 4, Puncture 3

2. NorthFlex FRGrip™ Plus 5 Flame Retardant Gloves

NorthFlex FRGrip™ Plus 5 Flame Retardant Gloves

Hand injuries due to flame or arc flash can be devastating. Wearing the wrong kind of glove can add to injuries because a traditional fiber glove will melt onto the skin when exposed to heat. The FRGrip™ Plus 5 glove is composed of inherently flame-retardant and heat-resistant fibers that will not degrade under high heat and will provide reliable hand protection from flash fire hazards. Not just a fabric swatch, the entire FRGrip glove was tested to the glove standard for arc flash including the liner, the polymer-dipped coating, and overedge. Neoprene and nitrile, the bi-polymer dipped coating provides excellent heat, grease, and oil resistance. The orange color allows for a faster visual identification in hazardous environments. Applications include oil, gas and petrochemical industries, construction, mining, sheet metal and glass handling, trash collection and recycling.

Key Features:

  • 13 gauge, Kevlar® blend, seamless knit shell
  • Textured palm for better grip in wet or dry applications
  • Kevlar® fiber blend also offers excellent cut protection
  • HRC level 1 (ATPV = 5.6 Cal/Cm2 )
  • ANSI cut level 4/EN388 cut level 5
  • Static dissipative, with a surface resistivity of < 2.5 X 109
  • Longer 4-inch cuff to allow glove to be tucked under FR clothing
  • EN511 Level 0 permeability to water (Level 0 = water permeation after 30 minutes)
  • EN388: Abrasion 3, Cut 5, Tear 3, Puncture 2

Important to Know:

Work in gloves

1. NorthFlex FRGrip™ Plus 5 gloves are not dielectric and do not provide protection against electrical shock. NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ and  FRGrip™ Plus 5 gloves are cut-resistant but not cut-proof. It is not recommended to wear them while operating a moving or serrated blade without safety-guard.

2. NorthFlex FRGrip™ Plus 5 gloves provide protection up to a specified heat/energy level (5.6 Cal/Cm2) without melting. However, thermal heat can still be felt through the glove. A worker can receive burns if the heat is too high. Remember to always check if the PPE that is being used has an arc rating equal to or greater than the calculated incident energy.

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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Wishing You Safe and Happy Holidays

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

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

We will be closed on:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday, January 2, 2017

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

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

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

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PK Safety Holiday Gift Guide

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

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

1. MCR Safety Forceflex Anti-Impact Gloves

MCR Gloves

Why is it a great gift?

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

2. ALVEO VENT Helmet

Petzl Helmet

Why is it a great gift?

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

3. MSA Skullgard Hard Hat

MSA Hard Hat

Why is it a great gift?

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

4. Tradesman Pro Organizer Lighted Tool Bag

Klein Tools Bag

Why is it a great gift?

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

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

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Weatherization: Home Safety Issues and Reducing Your Energy Bill

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

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

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

What’s Involved In Weatherization?

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

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

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

Why Are Gas Monitors Needed for Weatherization Projects?

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

What Are The Benefits of Weatherization?

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

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

More About The Weatherization Assistance Program and Services

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

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

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

Who is eligible for Weatherization Assistance?

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Get Your Eyes Protected at Work

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Eye injuries are very common in a workplace. How do you protect your eyes? By wearing glasses, goggles, and face shields, depending on the type of work you are doing. Eyewear is important for safety because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three out of five accidents at work happened when the PPE was not worn at all or when the workers were wearing the wrong type of protection for the job. That is why it makes sense to consult a safety professional before making a purchase of eye protective equipment. Your trusted distributors can answer all your safety questions.

Why Uvex?

Honeywell Uvex® eyewear is a popular choice because it provides maximum protection, optimal comfort, and stylish design for people at work. The mechanical and optical properties of Uvex safety glasses are being continuously tested in the lab for quality improvement. The unique high-performance safety eyewear coating is made in-house by Uvex.

Why Do We Recommend Uvex Livewire™ Sealed Eyewear?

Uvex Livewire™ Sealed Eyewear includes matte grey frame glasses with two options of lens color: clear S2620XP, and grey S2621XP. Both are also available with an FR cloth headband.

These glasses are easily adaptable to individual head shapes while providing a personalized fit and a complete eye protection. Employees working in extreme conditions will benefit from the perfect fit and extra comfort. Possible applications include oil and gas, steel and metal, agriculture, construction, forestry, manufacturing, mining, municipal services.

The advantages of wearing these glasses are that they are 100% dielectric, lightweight, and scratch resistant. Anti-fog coating, interchangeability of arm temples and a head strap provide additional safety. The wraparound design creates a seal around the eyes. They meet OSHA, ANSI, and CSA requirements.

Here are four excellent options to choose from:

1. Uvex Livewire Glasses with Clear Lens

Uvex Livewire S2620XP Clear Lens
2. Uvex Livewire Glasses with Clear Lens and FR Cloth Headband

Uvex Livewire S2620XP with FR Cloth Headband
3. Uvex Livewire Glasses with Grey Lens

Uvex Livewire S2621XP
4. Uvex Livewire Glasses with Grey Lens and FR Cloth Headband

Uvex Livewire S2621XP with FR Cloth Headband

Want More Protection?

Uvex Turboshield™ headgear with a visor will get you covered. It provides an outstanding protection for your face and neck and a superior visibility due to its curved lens.

Turboshield

This unique product offers the reliable defense strong enough to protect you from safety hazards at work. The benefits of the shield are that it is easily adjustable and well-balanced. A simple push-button system allows for a fast shield replacement. A comfortable headband is ergonomically designed for the best fit. Other prominent features include a visor that slides back 7 in. improving balance and weight distribution, ergonomic adjustment knobs, and increased chin coverage. It meets OSHA, ANSI Z87.1-2010, and CSA Z94.3 face shield requirements. The headgear is ideal for manufacturing and utility workers exposed to falling and flying objects, airborne debris, impact, and splash. Faceshields provide secondary protection and must be worn with glasses or goggles.

For more information on protective eyewear and to see the full range of PPE that we offer, 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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3M Notice on the Breathe Easy Rubber Butyl Hood BE-10BR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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pH Neutral vs Saline Eyewash: When To Use

Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Samantha Hoch, Marketing, Haws Corp.

Personal Emergency Eyewashes are for use when dust, dirt, chemicals and other contaminants come into contact with the eyes. With multiple solution options, you need to determine which is appropriate for the most effective rinse.

STEP 1: Determine Type of Substance (Foreign, acid, alkali, irritant)
STEP 2: Select Appropriate Fluid Type and Rinse (pH Neutralizer or Saline)
STEP 3: Continue Rinsing
STEP 4: Rinse as Directed (Duration)

It is important to ensure the eyewash liquid hits the eyes with a soft, even flow. The Haws’ DUO Personal Eyewashes provide simultaneous eye coverage allowing for both eyes to be treated with an advanced rinse process for supplementary flushing support.

Learn more about how the pH Neutralizer phosphate solution works by viewing the back page of this chart. Download the pH Neutralizer vs Saline Solution Chart.

Chart

This guest blog post was originally published in Haws Corp blog, December 2016.

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

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Top Four Electrical Safety Tools from Stewart R. Browne

Posted on Monday, November 28th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

You should always use caution when working near electricity. Most electrical accidents are caused by the following factors: unsafe equipment, a hazardous work environment, and poor work practices. Other types of incidents include injuries by electrocution, electric shock and burns. Ensuring electrical safety is especially challenging for manufacturing companies, large electrical contractors, hospitals, power generation plants, solar and wind power, data centers, food processing plants, breweries, bakeries, dairies, and paper and pulp manufacturers. Employees who work directly with electricity should be trained on how to use the required PPE including rubber insulating gloves, hoods, sleeves, mats and blankets, and protective helmets or full arc flash suits. Using the proper equipment like grounding devices and explosion proof lighting will make your electrical work safe. It is also important to maintain tools in a good working condition and to check them regularly to prevent them from deteriorating and becoming dangerous to use.

What tools can help you prevent accidents while working with electricity?

Here is a list of the recommended made-in-the-U.S.A. equipment from Stewart R. Browne.

1. Static Grounding Devices are used to prevent static electricity buildup and discharge.

“I have tried many clamps and this one is worth every penny. When there is paint or material that prevents you to reach the base metal for grounding, this clamp is perfect. It works every time. The adjustable tip is a great feature as well.”

-Brian

The REB2960 ground clamp
a) The Grounding Clamp is a versatile product. It is a world standard for grounding or bonding small containers, drums, totes, machinery or personnel in areas containing flammable liquids and dust. The heavy duty die-cast aluminum handles with two stainless steel points and the 55 pound spring compression are the core of these grounding pliers. The advantage of this design is that it allows the clamp to get through multiple layers of paint and corrosion buildup, which makes the proper contact to bare metal effortless. The REB2960 model has a wide variety of applications, including situations when transferring flammable liquids between containers is needed, or while performing other maintenance operations where static-generated sparks could cause an electrical problem.

Stewart R. Browne Retract-A-Clamp (RAC) coiled static grounding and bonding cable assemblies

b) The Retract-A-Clamp coiled static grounding and bonding cable assemblies provide a cost-effective and an easy-to-use system. These assemblies incorporate a corrosion resistant, orange vinyl-coated coiled steel cable (for high visibility), and a choice of clamps (most popular is the REB2960 clamp mentioned above). The RAC assemblies with the REB2960 clamp use a 1/8 in. cable in 5 ft., 10 ft., and 20 ft. lengths. The RAC assemblies with either the GAT-P or G40PC clamps use a 3/16 in. cable. This assembly eliminates tangling of the assemblies that lie on the floor and create a tripping hazard. Coiled assemblies neatly and compactly retract out of the way when not in use.

2. Explosion Proof Lighting includes lights and fixtures specifically designed for use in the areas where flammable, explosive vapors, gases, liquids or pulverized dust are or may be present and create hazardous conditions. Their purpose is to prevent the ignition of fire or explosion. Suggested applications include offshore lights, rig lights, paint spray booth lights, etc.

XP162 incandescent explosion proof work light

a) The Incandescent Explosion Proof Work Light. The heavy-duty TUFFITE handle designed for high impact strength and chemical resistance makes it perfect for use in confined spaces such as tank cleaning and other industrial maintenance jobs. The aluminum guard and swivel hook are non-sparking which provides extra safety.

FLOOD LIGHT XP1530

b) The Flood Light is UL Listed Class 1, Division 1, Group C and D light with a base, and a 50 ft. cord. The XP1530 comes standard with a 300 watt, 120 volt flood lamp. It is ideal for use in outdoor hazardous locations or large tanks. You can find these lamps in the toughest workplaces like refineries, military bases, and aircraft hangars.

Using proper grounding devices and explosion proof lighting will make your electrical work much safer.

You can find some additional information on electrical safety here: OSHA.gov

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

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Solid Safety Programs Protect Workers and Margins

Posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

There is an epidemic in the construction industry that is costing companies billions of dollars in lost revenue and workers their wellbeing. The good news? It’s largely preventable. Hand injuries resulting from cuts and punctures cost the construction industry $382 million each year. This doesn’t account for any other type of injury, just those two very specific hand injuries.

How can your company better protect workers and avoid hurting productivity and profitability?

Even in an economic downturn, it is proven that appropriate high-quality PPE is a smart investment. The right glove may cost a fraction more but can save tens of thousands of dollars just by preventing a single injury and bring higher employee morale. In fact, the average cost of a recordable hand injury is $17,000 and ranges anywhere from $2,000 for a minor cut requiring stitches to a $70,000 surgery for a severed tendon. And these costs are only for medical attention and do not take into account the negative impact of a lower TRIR score, higher insurance rates, lost time or other indirect costs.

So what should you look for in a safety glove for industrial contractors? Perhaps most important is finding a glove workers will wear. Safety gloves cannot protect if they are not worn, and 58% of construction industry workers perform tasks barehanded. Why do they leave the gloves in the truck? The answer is usually a lack of touch sensitivity or overall dexterity and comfort. These workers have to perform their tasks skillfully and quickly, and if bulky gloves get in the way of their task, they will ultimately offer no protection. All HexArmor® gloves are designed to enhance safety without hampering the work. High dexterity materials provide the finger flexibility needed for fine motor skills, and workers can feel the tools and equipment without being exposed to hazards.

Beyond dexterity and comfort, the following HexArmor® glove attributes are all designed to offer protection from a variety of hazards found on construction sites:

  • Liquid/chemical protective coating – protects skin from rashes, burns and other unknown long-term effects of chemical exposure
  • Cut/Puncture – protects from splinters, metal burrs, and wires
  • Impact resistance – protects against dropped tools, smashes, and pinch hazards
  • Grip – provides grip in wet and oily conditions
  • Dexterity – allows workers to perform tasks unrestricted
  • Abrasion resistance – increases durability and glove life

This blog post was originally published in HexArmor blog, April 2015.

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

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Hand Warmers: Take the Warmth With You

Posted on Friday, November 18th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

It is cold in most parts of the U.S. Some areas of the country are more susceptible to severe cold weather than others. Also, some types of outdoor jobs require extra effort to stay warm. These areas include wilderness, parks and forest services, conservation and environmental industry, construction, petroleum and chemical industry, meatpacking, fishing and fish processing, and farming.

Are you working long hours outside? We recommend wearing gloves, hats, and jackets specifically designed for cold weather to protect yourself from frostbite. What if you have all this clothing on, but are still freezing? Consider getting express warming heat packs! What are these little inserts for? If you activate them and put them into your gloves or shoes you will get an instant warming effect for at least 8 hours! Here are a few suggestions: PIP Heat Packs and Occunomix Hot Rods. Their technical characteristics are very similar and they both work wonders by making your hands and feet warm again in a matter of minutes. They come conveniently packed and are easy-to-activate. Check them out.

Heat Packs: 399-HEATPACK Hand Warmers by Protective Industrial Products 

Heatpacks

These non-toxic packs generate up to 8 hours of warmth. They are the ideal size to use in your headwear and gloves! To activate, just remove them from the package.

Features:

  • Insert size: 2” x 3.5”
  • Air-activated and reach full temperature in 2-5 minutes
  • Re-usable: heating can be suspended at any time by resealing the inserts in an airtight container
  • Available in 40 pair display cases (5.6 lbs.) and in 240 pair bulk cases (35 lbs.)

If you love to hunt, fish, jog, work in the yard, or generally be outside in winter, try this handy product to get warming results fast. You will warm up in no time, and be ready to continue your adventure. Also if you have to do a lot of holiday shopping, try putting the hot packs in your pockets to conveniently keep yourself warm while shopping. You will like the fact that they are reusable so you can use them over and over again with no problems.

Hot Rods Hand Warmers by Occunomix

Hot Rods, Pack of 5

These disposable, air-activated warming packets are made from Iron powder. To activate, open and shake a pouch for about 10 seconds.

Features:

  • Warms up within 2 minutes
  • Great for gloves, pockets, and winter gear
  • Lasts up to 8 hours
  • Avg temp 120° F; Max temp 145° F
  • Safe, non-toxic, odorless
  • 5 pairs per pack, 48 packs (240 pairs) per case

Shrug off the coldest days with these “mini furnaces”. They are perfect not only for those working at construction sites or in manufacturing but also can be applied for other outdoor activities. Any outdoor sports, like winter camping or ice-skating, for example, will be easy with these little helpers which will keep you warm. Of course, all tech lovers will tell you that there are now the battery-operated ones, but nothing can beat the simplicity, affordability, and safety of Hot Rods.

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

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How to Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal

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

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

Here are some basic safety tips:

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

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

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

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

Turkey Deep Fryer

Deep Frying Safety Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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What’s New in the World of RKI Gas Monitors?

Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Gas detectors are essential for confined space monitoring before and after the entry. RKI designs high-rated topside and diffusion gas monitors for these purposes.

Topside Monitors

GX-2012

The GX-2012 is an active pumped four-gas monitor with sensors engineered to detect Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Oxygen (O2) and combustible gases (LEL). Its powerful internal pump is able to pull samples from up to 50 ft. away! This key feature makes it a perfect topside monitor for your team working in a potentially hazardous location. What else makes it special? With its three operating modes, you have multiple tools in one instrument. The GX-2012 can be used for the confined space safety monitoring, for the leak investigation, and for the underground leak checking. Intrinsically safe and lightweight, it was created with the petrochemical and wastewater treatment facilities’ employees in mind.

Diffusion Monitors

While topside monitors are perfect for evaluating the initial entry conditions, winding confined spaces may contain a hazardous environment impossible to be detected before the worker comes in contact with a harmful gas. This is why diffusion monitors are essential for any comprehensive safety program.

The GX-6000, with its rugged design built for the nastiest environments, is ideal for confined space entry, hazmat response teams, arson investigation, remediation sites, perimeter monitoring, leak detection, and landfill monitoring.

What’s New With the GX-6000 6-Gas Monitor?

gx-6000

Get ready to detect hazardous levels of gases like never before! RKI Instruments is introducing the GX-6000 PID and Super Toxics 6-Gas Monitor 72-6AB. This powerful hand-held instrument is capable of simultaneously monitoring up to 6 gases.

The GX-6000 six-gas, sample draw Monitor with PID, IR and Super Toxic capabilities now has 4 new sensors available.

Smart Toxics: Smart Infrared:
Cl2: 0 – 10 ppm CO2: 0 – 5% vol
NH3: 0 – 400 ppm HC: 0 – 100% LEL / 30% vol

It comes pre-configured with sensors for the 4 standard confined space gases including LEL, O2, CO, and H2S. Additionally, this gas monitor’s smart channel is also customized with a PID high-range 6,000 ppm sensor. You may also select a 6th Super Toxics sensor (SO2 6 ppm, NO2 9 ppm, HCN 15 ppm, NH3 400 ppm, or Cl2 10 ppm). Finally, choose from an Alkaline battery pack, an Alkaline and Li-Ion battery pack with 100-240 VAC Charger, or a Li-Ion battery pack with 100-240 VAC Charger.

Display

The unique feature that differentiates the GX-6000 from other models is its PID sensor. As standard, the GX-6000 with a PID sensor is equipped with a library of over 600 VOC gases to choose from. A Personalized Favorites list of 30 commonly used VOC’s and a list of 8 Most Recently Used VOC’s will make your selection process fast and super easy. GX-6000 is a powerful tool equipped with a strong internal sample pump, a man-down alarm, a panic alarm, a LED flashlight, and a large auto rotating LCD display.

Why Choose RKI Gas Monitors?

While many other manufacturers have launched themselves into the disposable gas monitor sector, the core of RKI’s philosophy is that your gas detection device is built to last. Reliability is the major benefit of RKI gas monitors. Ideal applications include confined space entry, hazmat response teams, arson investigation, remediation sites, perimeter monitoring, leak detection, and landfill monitoring.

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

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4 Reasons You Will Love the New BW Clip4 Multi‑Gas Detector

Posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

BW Technologies is introducing a new disposable multi-gas monitor that doesn’t need charging after activation. Know your team has an active, working monitor out in the field, and not one with a dead battery. The BW Clip4 Four Gas Detector simultaneously measures H2S, O2, LEL, CO, and is available in a black or a yellow impact-resistant housing. It is built with IR technology which gives this detector a number of advantages. Infrared (IR) technology-based devices are reliable, fast-detecting, power-saving, and accurate.

How Does IR Technology Work in Gas Detectors?

Gases with molecules that consist of two or more variant atoms absorb infrared radiation in a unique way and are detectable using infrared techniques. These gases are often corrosive and reactive. The major advantage of IR instruments is that the detector does not directly interact with the gas. The components of the analyzer are protected with optical parts, so the gas molecules interact only with a light beam.

Other benefits include:

• Saves power,
• Fail-to-safe operation,
• No routine calibration,
• Ability to operate in the absence of oxygen or in enriched oxygen,
• Ability to operate in the continuous presence of gas.

Disadvantage: gases that do not absorb IR energy are not detectable (for example, Hydrogen).

With the sophisticated optical engineering, IR detectors are factory-calibrated and are virtually maintenance-free. They are particularly desirable in the working environments where detectors must be located in inaccessible areas.

Why Should You Choose BW Clip4?

The exposure to a hazardous gas creates an immediate and long-term health risk to personnel. When you’ve got your hands full in the field, you need a no hassle Hydrogen Sulfide, Carbon Monoxide, Oxygen, Combustible Gases detection that you can always count on to stay safe.

With the two years of continuous runtime (no charging, no maintenance or servicing, and no battery replacement needed), you can be sure that the BW Clip4 is always on. Just clip it on and get the job done. This versatile portable detector is a perfect match for industries ranging from a confined space entry to firefighting and welding.

The BW Clip4 has a two‑year warranty to cover its entire service life. No need for charging or battery replacement guarantees a low cost of ownership. Just replace the device after two years and switch to a new one.

Working teams usually have more than enough gear to carry, making a small size and a light weight important attributes for any device. Today’s advancement in processing power allows sophisticated software to operate in even the smallest instruments, like the BW Clip 4, which is a major benefit to have.

4 Benefits of Always-On Detectors:

  1. Easy to Wear
  • Durable, ergonomic and wearable — convenient and lightweight, doesn’t weigh you down;
  • Compact profile — allows feeling comfortable even when working in tight spaces.
  1. Easy to Use
  • Real-time gas concentrations are shown on LCD with intuitive LCD icons;
  • User-friendly — tamper-proof operation with just one button allows to easily turn on the monitor, even when wearing protective gloves.
  1. Easy to Comply
  • Flashing red non-compliance indicators warn workers that the detector has not been bump tested;
  • Daily full function self-test of sensors, battery status, circuit integrity, and audible and visual alarms.
  1. Easy to Rely On
  • Built-in concussion proof boot;
  • Tested to last in extreme environments.

The BW Clip series revolutionized wearable gas detection with the safety of the always‑on simplicity. When you clip on the BW Clip4, you know you are safe. It detects a variety of gases which pose a threat to your teams as they perform their duties. These devices help you ensure that everyone goes home at the end of their shift.

Note: Remember to calibrate every six months and regularly perform bump tests.

Was there anything we overlooked? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’ve got questions about whether the BW Clip4 is the right detector for your application, feel free to call us at 800-829-9580 or visit us at PKSafety.com.

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Saluting All Who Have Served This Veterans Day

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

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

Veterans Day Flag

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

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

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

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

EZ Air Pro Deluxe Air Shield PAPR from Allegro

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

2. Skullgard Hard Hat with Full Brim 475407

Skullguard Hard Hat

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

3. 3M N95 Disposable Respirator 8210V

Respirator

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

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

Veterans Day Celebration

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Miller Fall Protection: Providing Safety at Great Heights

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

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

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

Why Should You Choose Miller Harnesses for Tower Climbing?

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

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

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

Miller AirCore ACT-QCBUG tower climbing harness

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

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

Miller AirCore ACT-QCBCUG tower climbing harness

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

Click to watch the video about the AirCore Harness

Video

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

Here is our selection of the best fall protection accessories:

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

Bos'n Chair

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

2. Miller Tool Loops ACTL10

Tool Loops

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

3. Miller Spreader Bar Hook 6758WRS/18INGN

Miller Spreader Bar Hook 6758WRS/18INGN

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

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

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

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

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Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant: How to Choose Rainwear

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

Rain Gear

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

2 Types of Weather Protection Gear

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

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

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

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

Breathability Matters

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

Schema

PK Safety Expert Rainwear Picks:

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

Waterproof Bomber Jacket

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

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

Reflective Rain Suit

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

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

Muck Chore 12 in. Steel Toe Boots

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

4. MCR Memphis Waterproof Luminator Drivers Glove 34411

Luminator Gloves

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

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

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

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The Shocking Need for Electrical and Arc Flash Safety

Posted on Monday, October 24th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

Electricity has been generated in power stations since 1882. Due to increased efficiency, world energy consumption was cut down by 1.5% in 2009, for the first time since World War II. The continuous increase in efficiency will result in less electricity needed for a given demand of electrical power. But since the demand will continue to grow (mostly because of the electrification of heating and transportation and the growing economies in developing countries), the world energy consumption is projected to increase from 549 quadrillion Btu in 2010 to 815 quadrillion Btu in 2040,  according to International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016), released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Over the last decade, occupational safety experts have become aware of the increased frequency and the severity of electrical arc flash hazards. Utility, solar, wind and power generation industries, hospitals, universities and colleges, food processing and packaging plants, breweries, bakeries, dairies, paper and pulp manufacturers are just a few of the environments where arc flash events may occur. The danger of exposure to arc flash hazards is on the rise due to an increase in overall energy use, higher system voltages, and available fault currents.

What is Arc Flash?

An arc flash is the light and heat produced from an electric arc supplied with sufficient electrical energy to cause substantial damage, harm, fire, or injury. Arc flash hazards/blasts typically last less than 1 second. The blast is of an extremely high thermal energy level, up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit, measured in Cal/Cm2. It also causes a pressure wave from expanding metallic material into vapor.

Electric blasts can most commonly happen during these activities:

  1. Voltage testing by an electrician or maintenance worker;
  2. Removing bolted panel covers;
  3. Inserting or removing circuit breakers;
  4. Catastrophic failure of electrical equipment during normal operation from wire anomalies or internal failure;
  5. Troubleshooting live electrical circuits;
  6. Racking and unracking circuit breakers during normal operation.

OSHA Standards

Published by OSHA on April 11, 2014, revisions to OSHA 1910.269 address the frequency and magnitude of arc flash hazards in high-voltage utilities and industrial facilities that operate power generation, transmission and distribution equipment.

What are NFPA 70E and CSA Z462?

The US National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 70E Standard and the Canadian CSA Z462 Standard define the requirements for occupational electrical safety. Both standards define best practices for performing work near energized electrical equipment that includes work plans, hazard analysis, engineering control, workforce training, and proper use of PPE. Any person working with energized electrical equipment operating at 50 volts or more must comply with these safety standards.

Resources for Reference: nfpacatalog.org

NFPA, NFPA 70E Online Standard for Electrical Safety

The NEC® (also referred to as NFPA®-70) is issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA®) and addresses proper installation and use of electrical systems and equipment in buildings and structures so as to help protect people and property from potential hazards.

The main types of systems and equipment addressed include:

  • Installations of electric conductors and equipment within or on public and private buildings or other structures (mobile homes, recreational vehicles, floating buildings), and other premises (yards, carnivals, parking lots, and industrial substations);
  • Installations of conductors and equipment that connect to the supply of electricity;
  • Installations of other outside conductors and equipment on the premises;
  • Installations of optical fiber cable;
  • Installations in buildings used by the electric utility (office buildings, warehouses, garages, machine shops, and recreational buildings that are not an integral part of a generating plant, substation, or control center).

How to Conduct a Hazard Analysis/Assessment

NFPA 70E-2012 includes Table 130.7(C)(15)(a) for AC (Alternating Current) tasks and 130.7(C)(b) for DC (Direct Current) tasks. These tables provide common work tasks and the corresponding required clothing.

The requirement for assessing the workplace to determine if hazards are present (including the electrical hazards of shock/arc flash) has been in effect for 40 years.

NFPA 70E-2009 made several revisions to the requirements. One significant revision was the inclusion of the requirement to consider the design of the overcurrent protective device and its opening time, as well as the condition of maintenance as part of the arc flash hazard analysis.

1926.960(g) Protection from flames and electric arcs.
(1) Hazard assessment. The employer shall assess the workplace to identify employees exposed to hazards from flames or from electric arcs.
(2) Estimate of available heat energy. For each employee exposed to hazards from electric arcs, the employer shall make a reasonable estimate of the incident heat energy to which the employee would be exposed.”

Why Do We Recommend Using Oberon Brand Electrical Safety Gear?

Oberon logo

Oberon has been in the safety business for almost 75 years. They are a manufacturer of high-quality safety spectacles, face shields, cover goggles, and welding helmets, focusing on Arc Flash protection for the last 30 years. To maintain consistent quality and delivery, Oberon manufactures its specialty products in the USA.

Three Types of Arc Flash Suits from Oberon

Overview of the three different series of Arc Flash suits and face shields that come with them:

  • CAT Series FR Treated Cotton is the most economical choice, perfect for infrequent use; however, it is less durable than Arc Series and is not as comfortable as LCI suits;
  • LCI Series Inherently FR is more economical than the Arc Series and is the best option for semi-frequent users of the Arc Flash PPE;
  • Arc Series with True Color Grey face shield is extremely comfortable and durable, suitable for frequent users who need the suit every day.

What does HRC Mean?

Hazard/Risk Category (HRC) is the term used within the current NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 Electrical Safety Standards. It describes the potential thermal energy of an arc incident to which the worker could be exposed, and the arc-rated PPE requirements. Arc Rating from 0 to 7 is expressed in calories with 7 being the highest electrical hazard risk requiring the highest protection level. Since the electrical hazards do not stop at 40 calories, Oberon created additional categories: ORCs. This table provides an overview of HRC and ORC categories classification.

Electrical Arc Safety Hazards

Types of Hazards/Risk Category Task Hazard Range PPE Protection Minimum
HRC 0 No hazard Garments constructed of non-melting, untreated natural fiber
HRC 1 Task up to 4 calories 4 calories
HRC 2 Task up to 8 calories 8 calories
ORC 2 10 calories
HRC 3 Task up to 25 calories 25 calories
HRC 4 Task up to 40 calories 40 calories
ORC 5 65 calories
ORC 6 100 calories
ORC 7 140 calories

Selecting the Right Protection

PK Safety and Oberon Company are trained and can assist with guiding you through the selection process once you know the risk/hazard level of your workspace.


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

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Safe Halloween Costume Ideas

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

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

Safety Tips:

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

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

Classic Cowboy: Hat + FR shirt + jeans + vest

Cowboy-Hard-Hat-600px-New

Ninja: dark coverall + black gloves + balaclava

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

Confined Space Entry Kit

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

Zika virus survivor

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

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

DIYers Information About Asbestos Clean-Up

Bee Keeper: tan coverall + gloves + boots + hat 

bee-keeper-adult-costume-bc-800454

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

adult-seal-team-costume

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

arc-flash-labels-warning

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


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

 

 

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ANSI Cut Level Testing Updates: Glove Protection Standards Improve

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

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

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

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

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

ANSI/ISEA

ANSI/ISEA

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

EN 388

EN 388

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

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

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

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


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

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Portable vs. Plumbed Eyewash: Which Do I Need?

Posted on Friday, October 14th, 2016 by Mila Adamovica

By Samantha Hoch, Marketing, Haws Corp.

The most costly injury of the more than 5 million unintentional work-related injuries in the US involves the head, averaging $82,382 per claim. In any environment, occupational safety should be taken very seriously and the appropriate emergency response is a crucial component to the overall safety of your employees and your company.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 29 CFR 1910.151, requires that “Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.” OSHA turns to The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1-2014 Standard for specifics on selection, installation, operation and maintenance requirements.

Proper emergency equipment selection is a function of knowing your risks, the characteristics of the materials you work with, and logical consideration of the variety of products and design configurations available.

Once you’ve determined that an emergency station is needed, you need to define whether a portable or plumbed station is most appropriate. But first, you must be aware of the difference. A portable eyewash is a self-contained ANSI-compliant emergency response product that is needed for locations without access to water and can be moved at a moment’s notice to meet the rapidly evolving needs of a chemical, manufacturing, or construction environment. There are various types of portable eyewashes including gravity-fed, air-pressurized, and personal squeeze bottles (reference ANSI Z358.1 Supplemental Equipment/Personal Wash Units (Section 8.1)). Portable stations can provide added flexibility that is a benefit in to7361-7461day’s dynamic work settings. A plumbed unit is just as it sounds; a permanent emergency response solution that is in a fixed location connected to a continuous source of potable water with sufficient flow and pressure for ANSI compliance and victim comfort.

ANSI Z358.1 requires that all emergency stations, portable or plumbed, must provide sufficient flow (flow rate depends on product type i.e. eyewash vs. eye/face wash vs. shower) for a minimum of 15 minutes. They are also required to be located within 10 seconds of the potential hazard. Supplemental eyewashes, such as personal squeeze bottles, are a useful solution while a victim is en route to primary equipment.

In addition to water source, ask yourself these questions when determining if a portable or plumbed unit is needed:

  • Does the potential hazard stay in the same location within the facility or is it mobile? If it is a static workstation, a plumbed unit is the recommended product choice and must be installed within 10 seconds of the hazard. If the hazard is mobile such as a construction site, a portable product is recommended and is to be placed within 10 seconds of the hazard.
  • Does the location need tempered water (60-100°F/16-38°C)? If the emergency fixture will be located in areas where the internal water temperature could drop below 60°F (16°C) or rise above 100°F (38°C), the water temperature will need to be regulated. Most portable units do not provide an option for tempered water, therefore a plumbed unit along with a tempering solution is the recommendation. Although, a few manufacturers do offer a tempered portable station.

Maintenance of portable and plumbed units differ. As portable units hold stagnant water, they are required to be drained and refilled with potable water on a more frequent basis. Most eyewash manufacturers offer a sterile preservative that keeps the water for an average of 3 months. On a weekly basis, ANSI requires a visual inspection should take place to ensure the unit is full and clean. Regarding plumbed units, there is an ANSI-mandated weekly activation requirement to verify proper operation and to flush buildup that may have formed due to stagnant water in the piping and unit.

It’s impossible to predict when an injury will harm a workers’ eyes, face or body, but it is possible to take proactive preventative measures by supplying the appropriate emergency response equipment for maximum victim comfort and response.

This post was originally published in HawsCo.com blog, October 12, 2016.


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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