An innovative national recycling scheme is celebrating more than 10,000 recycled hard hats.

    Every year, the UK throws away several million end-of-life protective hats. The National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme is a user-friendly method for old hard hats to bypass traditional waste disposal routes, thereby ensuring end-of-life hats go directly into reprocessing. Three years ago, Yes Recycling built a bespoke recycling capability at its Buckingham shire facility specifically to recycle hard hats.

    Although the company is no stranger to innovation when it comes to recycling everyday plastic items – it recycles plastic banknotes, crisp packets, coffee cups and shop hangers – the hard hat recycling presented some particular and unique challenges, not surprising considering hard hats are fundamentally designed to be difficult to destroy.

    Nevertheless, engineers were able to overcome this: all hats are completely destroyed by being shred down int

    Read more
  2. CDC Announces New Coronavirus Testing Rule for Air Travel

    The CDC announced on Jan. 12 that air passengers who are entering the United States must provide a negative COVID-19 test before they can board their flight, according to NPR.

    The rule will go into effect on Jan. 26. It arrives in the midst of another surge in coronavirus cases across the country—the death toll from the virus is expected to exceed 400,000 in the next few weeks.

    “Testing does not eliminate all risk,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “But when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports and at destinations.”

    Travelers will have to be tested for coronavirus within three days of their departure to the U.S. It is also recommended that passengers get another test administered between three to five days after they arrive in the country.

    Read more
  3. EPA publishes first installment of controversial risk evaluation for asbestos

    Washington — Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency are renewing their call for a complete ban on asbestos after the agency’s release of Part 1 of a final risk evaluation that concludes that the substance – a known human carcinogen – presents an unreasonable health risk to workers under certain conditions.

    Used in chlor-alkali production, consumer products, coatings and compounds, plastics, roofing products, and other applications, asbestos is among the first 10 chemicals under evaluation for potential health and environmental risks under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

    Released Dec. 30 and announced via a notice published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register, Part 1 of the final evaluation centers on chrysotile asbestos and states the substance poses unreasonable risk to workers involved in numerous operations, including:

    ● Processing and industrial use of asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry
    ● Proces

    Read more
  4. Leading indicators, a guide to success

    What exactly are key performance indicators (KPIs)? And how can they help you and your management team to set realistic goals and enhance performance? These are questions that many organizations are facing in 2020.

    These indicators are necessary in any industry – including occupational health and safety. It can be confusing for organizations to navigate, as there are different types of indicators, for example leading and lagging indicators…

    So what exactly are leading indicators vs. lagging indicators? Lagging indicators can measure an organization’s current performance and current or long-term trends.

    “Most safety professionals are used to the traditional lagging indicators (rear view mirror perspective) like injury rates, claims, etc. However, as important as these are, they don’t give us the fullest picture of what is in front of us (front windshield) and what to do about it.” Says Adrian Bartha, CEO of eCompliance.


    Read more
  5. Is Your Safety Program Practical?

    A safety program can’t be everything to everyone, but that should still be the goal.

    In most organizations, a safety program has many masters. Each silo and function have safety needs that should be addressed. Management wants results that enable the organization to compete and/or benchmark favorably. Legal wants specific rules and procedures to limit liability if serious injuries or damage occur. HR wants clear guidelines for hiring and onboarding new employees, and fair disciplinary policies for violators of safety rules. The safety professional or department wants support from leaders and cooperation from supervisors to reinforce the desired safety behaviors.

    Supervisors want clear roles and responsibilities for their contribution to safety and clarity on the priority of safety in relation to productivity. Workers want sufficient training, clear expectations and available assistance in safety when needed. Many organizations have other groups with special needs a

    Read more
  6. CDC Cuts COVID-19 Quarantine Time for Exposure to Others

    But CDC’s critical infrastructure worker guidance is seen limiting infected employees’ return to work.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reduced the amount of time it recommends for employees to stay away from work after they have become exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Up until the CDC’s Dec. 2 announcement, the agency had advised that employers impose a blanket 14-day quarantine for those individuals who came into close contact with other individuals who tested positive or were presumed-positive.

    While the agency continues to hold that the original 14-day quarantine period is best after a close contact, the revised guidelines now allow for quarantine periods it deems acceptable, if the individual remains symptom-free.

    The new periods are: 10 days after close contact with the positive person; and seven days following close contact if the returning employee has a negative result for a test within 48 ho

    Read more
  7. Everything you need to know about hand protection

    Gloves have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

    A recent article from National Geographic reports that utilitarian gloves have been around since Ancient Greece. Indeed, Homer mentions characters wearing gloves to protect from brambles in his epic The Odyssey. National Geographic states that gloves became more common in Medieval times and were certainly worn by workers, with knights and warriors wearing metal gauntlets or chain-mail for battle or blacksmiths wearing leather gloves for smithing.

    Gloves have been a constant throughout history, from factory workers in the Industrial Revolution to doctors and surgeons in the late 19th century.

    And that’s probably for the best because, in the workplace, hands are among the body parts most at risk of injury. Indeed, workers’ hands face a number of hazards: cuts, abrasions, heat injuries, chemical burns, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.

    According to 2019 statistics from the Workplace Saf

    Read more
  8. Fit testing face masks to avoid transmission during the coronavirus pandemic

    Tight-fitting respirators (such as disposable FFP3 masks and reusable half masks) rely on having a good seal with the wearer’s face.

    To ensure that respiratory protective equipment (RPE) will protect the wearer:

    ■ a face fit test should be carried out the first time a worker uses a particular type of respirator
    ■ the wearer should carry out a pre-use seal check or fit check, which they should repeat every time they put a respirator on

    When carrying out a face fit test during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, testers and wearers should take additional measures to minimize the risk of transmission.

    Face fit test

    A face fit test should be carried out before people wear RPE for the first time. Inadequate fit can reduce the protection provided and lead to immediate or long-term ill health or can even put the weare
    Read more
  9. Key PPE advice we received in 2020

    2020 really is the year that PPE (or, for those who don’t yet know, personal protective equipment) went mainstream. For those of us active in the safety sector, PPE has been a huge concern for years. In every issue of COS, we shine a light on a key piece of PPE. We’re lucky enough to speak with experts all over Canada for insider tips, the best of which are below.

    Hearing protection

    In our first PPE feature of the year, our writer Linda Johnson revealed that excessive noise can pose a hazard in occupations not generally associated with a high risk of hearing loss such as hospitality or healthcare. To prevent against this issue, hearing protection is of course essential, but Anna Van Maanen, audiologist at WorkSafeBC, also had this very simple piece of advice:

    “Ideally, you do not start off with hearing protection; the first step in hearing conservation is reducing the noise at its source,” says Maanen.

    Protective clothing for women

    Read more
  10. 5 Reasons Improving Safety Culture Is a Business Skill

    The practice of culture change recognizes that everything is connected. From worker safety to your customers’ experience, your organization is an ecosystem full of variables that are difficult to measure and even more difficult to adjust.

    Safety is a profession that has understood this for a while. With its emphasis on active listening, example-setting and collaboration, it teaches practitioners how to put people first. With its emphasis on design, technical specifications and systems, it teaches practitioners how to plan, do, check and act.

    But others in your organization may not be as proactive about culture change or may not even see its value. That’s a problem, say researchers Mark Lundell, GSP, and Cheri Marcham, Ph.D., CSP, CIH, CHMM, FAIHA, because only leadership can drive and develop a culture in which looking out for each other is a shared priority.

    “Leaders or managers who place profit and production over the safety of their employees, who are w

    Read more