1. The Fabric of Safety

    Technical textiles refer to textile materials and products used primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than their aesthetic or decorative characteristics.

    The technical textiles sector encompasses many diverse products and applications, based on product characteristics, functional requirements and end-user applications.

    Technical textiles are predominantly man made and fiber-based owing to their inherent advantages of strength and versatility. Man made fibers are estimated to account for around 80% of the total fiber consumption in the global technical textiles market. The majority of technical textiles are manufactured using regular fibers or their specialty variants, whereas, high performance fibers account for a mere 5% of the total fiber consumption. Its materials designed for specific applications requiring concrete and demanding properties (mechanical resistance, tenacity, insulation, thermal resistance,
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  2. Modern Warehouse Safety Problems

    The retail warehouse business is undergoing massive change. Amazon alone manages over 150 million sq. ft. of warehouse space around the world and sells over 4000 products per minute. Many brick and mortar brands are shifting to digital—and with that, transforming warehouses from stock rooms to e-commerce support stations.

    That’s not all: there is also a logistics technology race that, rather than immediately replace worker jobs, will likely make them more repetitive, physically stressful, and fast-paced.

    Warehouse fatalities jumped from 11 to 22 annually in a span of just two years (2015-2017), according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The most recently released injury rate is 5.1 per 100 full-time warehouse workers, which is the same injury rate as farming.

    Hazards from employee interactions with motorized equipment like autonomous forklifts and

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  3. Improving health and safety at work: Council adopts conclusions

    The European Council has adopted conclusions inviting the Commission to present a new EU strategic framework on occupational safety and health (OSH) at work for 2021-2027, and offering the Council’s input into that strategic framework.

    The conclusions recognise that some positive results have been achieved, as many member states have adopted national action plans based on the existing framework. The Commission, the member states and social partners are invited to intensify their efforts in the area of the changing world of work, including on:

  4. Psychological risks;
  5. Work-related accidents and diseases;
  6. The inclusion of disabled and older workers.

  7. In particular, the Council states the following in order to address the challenge of the changing world of work:

  8. Strive to improve the protection of all workers, in particular workers i
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    We’ve all been there. Whether you’ve sat through a painfully prolonged deathly silence, or perhaps caught the tail end of a toxic argument – we’ve all experienced atmospheres so thick with tension that we’ve pleaded for the ground to swallow us up. But perhaps next time we should instead think ourselves lucky that the atmosphere in question is one of social awkwardness, rather than – as is the case for workers in oxygen deficient atmospheres – a genuine matter of life and death.

    Take a deep breath in. And slowly exhale. And another deep breath in, feeling the expansion of air in your chest and abdomen; and slowly exhale again. Relaxing, isn’t it? Maybe you go so far as to close your eyes for a few moments and picture a beautiful, tranquil setting. But now, imagine quite the opposite: you’re in a confined space, carrying out a difficult job that would stress you out in any environment, let alone while working against the clock, knowing that with the hard conditions and yo
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  • Integrated fire & life safety protection

    The industrial sector is facing growing pressure to meet the rising demand for goods and energy. To meet these demands, implementation of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled tools can be instrumental in helping to increase production by improving plant connectivity, efficiency and scalability. IIoT leverages connected assets, secured cloud-based data and advanced analytics to enable new way to optimize business results.

    The 2019 IIoT Thought Leadership Study1 found that 70 percent of industrial executives surveyed have invested significantly in IIoT at their facilities and 94 percent have cited improvements to business productivity. The study polled 600 U.S. business professionals in senior roles, including C-suite executives, senior vice presidents, vice presidents and directors, across six industrial industries.

    In most industrial facilities, the distributed control system (DCS) manages the daily production and operation of the plant while the safety-instrumented

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  • How to help new employees stay safer

    Proper training is important for all workers, especially those who are new to your company and its unique safety standards

    Why do new workers get hurt more?

    A worker who knows all the ins-and-outs of their position and has spent years on the site will be more efficient than someone who has just started. But, learning on the fly in situations like this could be riskier than you may think. Research from Toronto’s Institute for Work & Health shows that workers who had been at a job for a month or less had three times the risk of suffering a lost-time injury compared to those who had been at a job for over a year. Additionally, a lack of experience can lead to a new worker not fully understanding or evaluating risks while on the clock, leading them to engage in certain actions during their shift that may cause injury to themselves or others.

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  • OSHA Embraces Leading Indicators

    In the future, employers will need to deal with federal safety law compliance from an entirely new perspective. OSHA has announced that it is moving away from relying on past employer safety data, or lagging indicators, to focus its enforcement efforts on what it defines as leading indicators.

    “These lagging indicators have been denounced by safety and health professionals as reactive, and an ineffective means of measuring the effectiveness of an employer’s safety and health program. OSHA has finally agreed,” says attorney Samantha Catone of the law firm of Goldberg Segalla LLP. “As a result of this shift, employers must become well-versed in leading indicators and how to utilize them.”

    Up until now, the agency for a long time chose to focus on “OSHA recordables,” or the number of work-related injuries contained in an employer’s OSHA 300 log, to assess safety in workplaces.

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  • Employers Must Measure Respiratory Threat

    In a decision published Sept. 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard requires that employers adequately evaluate all appropriate respiratory hazards before determining if a respirator is required as well as to select an appropriate respirator.

    The case began in 2009 when workers’ complaints drew OSHA inspectors to the marine vessel repair facilities operated in Seward, Alaska, by Seward Ship's Dry-dock Inc., which at that time performed both dry-dock and dockside repairs and maintenance on ships and barges.

    The company was in the process of performing welding within a ship’s voids (empty compartments designed to contribute to the vessel’s buoyancy). Respirators had been offered to the welders on a voluntary basis, but only one had chosen to do so.

    The site superintendent, who also was the designated “shipyard competent person” and held a marine

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  • 5 strategies & tactics to minimize errors

    I was rushed and thrown off a bit from my normal travel routine — flying to a keynote event in French Lick, Indiana. For one, I normally leave my packed bags in the hallway, just outside of my bedroom. But the night before, I decided to carry my travel bag to the basement, nearer to my vehicle. I left my house that morning around 7:15 and halfway to the Pittsburgh Airport, I felt that horrible sinking feeling in my stomach.

    You got it — I left my travel bag at home and had to make a quick management decision. Do I continue to the airport and buy clothes and necessities after I land, or do I go back home for my bag and drive to Indiana?

    The decisions we make before, during, and after work are filled with starts, stops, distractions, and potentially harmful errors. Individual oversights and errors can and will eventually lead to unwanted consequences. However, we need multiple checks and balances that limit fallout and the continuance of loss, or possibly, an egregious eve

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  • OSHA Boosts Number of Inspections in 2019

    Federal OSHA inspected a record number of employers in fiscal year (FY) 2019.

    The number of inspections is more than what was completed in the past three years. Final statistics indicate a record number of compliance assistance requests as well.

    “OSHA’s efforts – rulemaking, enforcement, compliance assistance and training – are tools to accomplish our mission of safety and health for every worker,” Loren Sweatt, OSHA principal deputy assistant secretary of labor, said in a statement. “I am proud of the diligent, hard work of all OSHA personnel who contributed to a memorable year of protecting our nation’s workers.”

    The agency's enforcement activities are a result of an increased focus addressing violations including trenching, falls, chemical exposure, silica and other hazards. Federal investigators conducted 33,401 inspections in FY 2019. OSHA's On

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