1. NIOSH report details role of exposure banding in chemical management

    Washington — NIOSH has published a technical report intended to help safety and health professionals, employers, trade associations, labor organizations, and state-level programs control chemical exposures in the workplace.

    The NIOSH Occupational Exposure Banding Process for Chemical Risk Management, released in July, details a strategy for managing the many chemical substances that don’t have an authoritative occupational exposure limit. About 99% of the more than 85,000 commercially available chemicals in the United States fall under that category. NIOSH defines an “authoritative limit” as one that comes from consensus, government or peer-reviewed sources.

    The strategy relies on banding, or categorizing chemical substances based on their toxicity and potential adverse health outcomes resulting from exposure. Occupational exposure banding is also known as hazard banding or health hazard banding.

    “The occupational exposure banding process is not meant to

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  2. Eliminating workplace hazards through training

    How does creating a culture around training and education empower and encourage employees to assess their work areas for hazards, as well as play an active role in eliminating those hazards?

    Companies often treat the idea of developing a plan around a “safe culture” as something that would be “nice to have one day,” but it’s put on the back burner as other initiatives and business goals take priority. It’s not until a major incident – or even worse, a fatality – occurs that these companies finally get serious about safety. By then it’s too late, resulting in a demoralized workforce, a tarnished reputation and a feeling of regret that they weren’t more proactive.

    With global 24/7 news coverage and the advances of social media, word of damaging compliance issues can spread like wildfire, and companies that don’t adopt a compliance culture put themselves and their most valuable asset – their employees – at risk. Workplace injuries and fatalities can profoundly affect the

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  3. Eyewash/Safety Shower Protection—Trust But Verify!

    Include it in all of your safety topics . . . first aid, chemicals, materials handling. Do whatever is needed to ensure a working, well-documented, accurate program.

    During weekly inspections, one drench hose was always noticed with the dust covers dangling and the hose in an awkward position. Upon closer observation and following conversations with staff, it was learned that this hose was often used to fill mop buckets by placing a tie band around the activation handle and dangling into the bucket. Ingenuity at its worst. . . . and, worse, your eyewash program has now been compromised!

    These first-line emergency equipment items are truly the silent sentinels of exposure and are not given the value they deserve. Eyewash and emergency safety showers may seem like a straightforward safety program, but it is far from being a "one and done." As you manage your program progressively for years to come, consider the following items.

    The Evaluation

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  4. Protecting workers at height from gravity’s pull is never-ending

    Formal training is not enough. Gravity doesn’t need to go to school. She is a master at pulling all objects toward the center of our blue planet and has been doing so since the dawn of time. So, yep, she is the grand master. Whereas we mere mortals are still learning how to counter her effects. Part of our learning is how to protect our workers at height from falling into her grasp. And OSHA recognizes we are still learning and thus requires employers to provide appropriate training to protect their workers at height – as well as from the grand master’s constant grip.

    There are several roles and responsibilities within any comprehensive fall protection program, and there are just as many courses of instruction that provide a baseline of knowledge and skills designed to get the individuals occupying these positions started, or to enhance their ability to perform in these roles. But no single course of instruction currently covers, nor will ever cover, every bit of knowledge neede

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  5. How to conduct a firefighter PPE risk assessment

    Identifying firefighter hazards, response area features and potential operations help in PPE selection

    Most firefighters and officer should be informed and educated about what a risk assessment is and why it's a vital component in making emergency operations safer, more effective and more efficient. Conducting a risk assessment forces the incident commander to identify the risks to civilians and firefighters, prioritize those risks and develop an incident action plan that addresses those risks as part of the overall incident management strategy.

    One of the key factors in reducing those on-scene risks to fire department personnel is personal protective equipment (PPE). But before fire department leaders select the PPE their personnel will use, they should conduct a risk assessment to ensure that the gear they select is the right gear for the job.


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  6. Sound of the Summer - Tackling sound issues when the heat rises

    Tackling sound issues when the heat rises

    The long-running, scorching hot summer of 2018 provided a new range of considerations for health and safety professionals looking to protect their workforce.Aside from the usual concerns of dehydration, skin protection for workers outdoors and general lethargy, the issue of noise control also came to the fore.

    In this article, expert acousticians from the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC), led by author David Garritt, set out some of the main issues that should be considered at this time of year to ensure good acoustic performance is achieved when the temperature rises.

    The need for good acoustics

    Environmental noise can have negative impacts on the health and wellbeing and is a well-recognised public health risk.The World Health Organization in their latest Environmental Noise Guidance states that exposure to noise presents the second largest health risk to the population of
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  7. Maximize FR protection - Not all FR protective gear is created equal

    Consider all your workplace exposures to ensure compliance. Whether you’re working around dangerous chemicals, electrical systems, or fire-prone areas, you need to make sure you’re wearing the right flame-resistant (FR) clothing. If a fire occurs, FR clothing will minimize the severity of the burns, improving your chances of survival. If your employees are working around potential fire hazards, it’s your job to keep them safe by ensuring everyone is wearing proper FR clothing. Failing to provide FR rated workwear puts the health and safety of your employees at risk.

    Not all FR protective gear is created equal. Keep these considerations in mind when searching for the right FR clothing for you and your staff.

    Identify potential hazards

    The first step is to evaluate all the potential hazards you and your employees may be exposed to on the job. Every industry comes with its own set of risks. You or your employees may be exposed to more
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  8. Rescue from height - Fall arrest PPE is widely used in a number of jobs

    Examining the systems and methods available for the recovery of a user whose fall has been arrested by personal protective equipment.

    . The basic principle of such equipment is to prevent the user hitting an injurious object by catching them at an earlier stage – namely, before the energy associated with the fall reaches terminal levels (either when hitting the floor or due to decelerations that are likely to cause death). However, one factor that is quite often overlooked in such systems is how the user is likely to be recovered once he or she suffers a fall.

    This is especially important where fall arrest is used, as the potential for permanent injury and possibly fatal consequences will increase the longer the user is left suspended following a fall. As well as the need for treating any injuries sustained in a fall, there is the effect of suspension trauma (constriction of blood vessels and pooling of blood in the limbs) to consider, which can have fatal consequences i

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  9. Protect Your Eyes with Eye Protection – There’s No Reason Not To!

    Eye protection – some may feel safety glasses or goggles are a hassle to wear and not really necessary. That notion is absolutely incorrect – in fact, eye protection is extremely crucial to your overall protection in the workplace. According to OSHA, there are an estimated 1,000 eye injuries in the workplace occurring daily.

    So, what causes all of these daily eye injuries? The answers are alarming.

  10. Three out of every five workers’ injuries could have been prevented, as they lacked eye any type of eye protection at the time of the accident.
  11. Wearing incorrect eye protection for the job being performed. These workers were most likely to be wearing eyeglasses that lacked side shields.

    Between lost production time, workers compensation, and medical expenses – there’s more than $300 million per year lost; there’s no reason for this. Regardless of the dollar amount spent to rectify an eye injury, ultimately, no amount can reflect
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  • When Should You Wear Safety Goggles Instead of Safety Glasses?

    Safety Glasses Versus Safety Goggles

    Safety glasses do a great job providing impact protection; however, they do have a few weaknesses. Safety glasses usually have small gaps around the lenses that can make your eyes vulnerable, especially to liquids and dust. Even safety glasses with wraparound lenses cannot provide the same level of protection as a safety goggles.

    When you have to contend with splash hazards, airborne dust, and flying debris, safety goggles will prove to be a better option than safety glasses. Safety goggles provide 360-degree protection due to a tight, form-fitting facial seal; something safety glasses cannot offer.

    Examples, where safety goggles are the better option, include metal grinding, dusty conditions, chemical exposure and more. All of these situations have a higher-than-normal chance of a foreign object getting into your eyes from the side. Only goggles with a complete facial seal can protect you from these
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