Sep 18, 2012
You may wonder at what point should your hard hat be replaced, since it is an item which is worn daily. The answer is not simple, since there is no pre-determined standard as to when hard hats should be retired. Instead, employees should learn to make their own evaluation, based on the work conditions, the job’s specific hard hat requirements, and the physical condition of the hard hat itself.
Jobs where there is more exposure to intense conditions, such as heat and sunlight, water pressure, or construction sites where there is much dust and grime, will subject their hard hats to more wear. These hats will need to be replaced more often than ones worn by employees who are inside and in cleaner conditions. The sun and heat will dry out the plastic of the had, causing it to crack. This can cause it to not be up to standards. Some hard hats are rated based on the number of volts of electrical charge they can withstand. When they crack, they may not be able to withstand as much charge. Hardhats that are visibly damaged should be discarded and replaced with a new one.
Decals and paint can applied to hard hats but should be done so with proper consideration to the condition of the hard hat. Stickers may cover damaged areas and make them harder to detect. Certain paint can degrade the plastic quicker, especially if the employee wearing it is outside most of the time. Try to limit the amount of decals applied to the hard hat, and check with the manufacturer of the hard hat before painting to find out if it will affect the integrity of the hard hat’s safety rating. When stickers are present, be sure to carefully inspect to make sure that any cracks are discovered.
As a general guideline, manufacturer’s of hard hats suggest replacing them every 5 years, despite its outward appearance. However, replacement every 2 years is suggested for hard hats that are exposed to higher temperatures, extreme sunlight, harsh chemicals or other adverse conditions. Since hard hats are typically made of two components, the outer shell and the inner suspension, both parts need to be regularly inspected to ensure compliance. If either part is damaged, the hard hat needs to be replaced.
Individual workers have to remain vigilant of the condition of their hard hats since, ultimately, it is they who will decide with it is time for a new one. Visual inspections should be done on a daily basis. Hard hats are an important part of job safety, however, if damaged, they may fail to adequately protect you. If you are in doubt about whether or not to replace your hard hard, replace it, because you should always be thinking, “Safety first.”
Aug 23, 2012
Each year, there are far too many work-related fatalities. Most of these could be prevented with the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Besides face shields, safety glasses, hard hats, and safety shoes, PPE includes a variety of devices and garments such as goggles, coveralls, gloves, vests, earplugs, and respirators. Below is a list of 5 important safety products that could save your life:
1. Fall Arrest System – The US Department of Labor (DOL) lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death, accounting for 8% of all occupational fatalities from trauma. A personal fall protection system is comprised of an anchorage connector, body wear (i.e. a full body harness), and a connecting device. The connecting device – a lanyard or lifeline – bears the greatest force during a fall and is the most critical life-saving component of the system.
2. Gas Detectors – At high levels, exposure to many toxic gases is fatal within minutes. Gas detectors are life-saving devices. They are precision instruments that are built exclusively to assess and monitor potentially lethal gases on the job site.
3. Respirators – An estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. Respirators are designed to protect you from toxic airborne substances that could bring about long-term or permanent impairment or in some cases, death. Compliance with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard could avert hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses annually.
4. Hard Hats – Protective helmets are often the most obvious form of personal protection that workers wear. Hard hats are designed to protect against impact and penetration of flying and falling objects, and in many cases, save lives. Many hard hats can even be equipped with accessories such as face shields and earmuffs, for added protection.
5. Safety Signs – In the workplace, safety signs serve as a visual reminder that employees need to use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and/or avoid certain areas. Although signs are typically not something you’d think of seeing on this list, they can certainly save the lives of otherwise unaware individuals in hazardous situations.
All categories of PPE are important and are designed to protect employees from serious workplace injuries or illnesses. As an employer, you must assess your workplace to determine if hazards are present that require the use of PPE. If such hazards are present, you must select PPE and require employees to use it, communicate your PPE selection decisions to your employees, and select PPE that properly fits your workers.
Oct 12, 2010
Maybe you’ve seen the Simpsons Industrial Safety Posters or maybe you haven’t. Rather than show them all at once it might be an idea to show you one a month.
First up there’s the “Use the Right PPE for the Job!” which is obviously trying to highlight the need to wear the correct personal protective equipment.
From the Gallway site: “Protective clothing comes in many forms – maybe you only need a protective sleeve or apron, or maybe you need full body coverage for electrical arc exposure. Once the need for protective clothing is established, an evaluation of the hazards is necessary so that a proper selection can be made. Whether you need protection for chemical exposure, high-visibility garments to be seen on roadways, or simply rainwear to keep dry.”
Aug 19, 2010
Written on Tuesday, February 10, 2009
What’s most Important about Personal Protective Equipment?
Today I discussed with Colin what may possibly be the most important thing to know about Personal Protective Equipment – IT HAS TO BE COMFORTABLE.
And I’ll tell you why.
Let’s say you already know your workers have to wear safety glasses at the job site. You decide to buy the most inexpensive model you can to save a little cash. But then you realize the workers aren’t wearing them, which highly increases the risk of work-related injury.
This illustrates the fact that least expensive is not always best, especially when it comes to safety equipment. If you aren’t used to wearing glasses all day to see, then why would you want to wear a cheap, uncomfortable pair of safety glasses to work in? This is why choosing comfortable gear is so important. The more comfortable the protective equipment is, the more likely workers are to wear it – resulting in less injury at the work place.
Colin used this analogy: If you take a size 10 shoe, you wouldn’t want to wear a size 12 – it would be uncomfortable and also hazardous.
Eliminate the comfort issue, eliminate the problem!
Written by: Carissa Kelley