Aug 19, 2010
Written on Monday, November 2, 2009
Ear plugs may be small, but they can do great things. They protect your ears from the damaging affects of noise that can cause hyperacusis and tinnitus over time. Permanently damaged, you will never get it back. This can lead to many other problems in life.
If you work, live, or play in a loud environment, earplugs are vital to protecting your hearing. At the same time, earplugs can help with the ability to focus, sleep, and maintain a higher level of concentration. OSHA enacted a hearing conservation standard in the 1980s. This requires all employers to keep an eye on their employee’s hearing. This is required when people are in areas of 85 dB and above. All employees must have a hearing conservation program. Along with this, hearing tests must be available at no cost to the employee. If a person is subjected to 90 dB or above in a workplace, they must wear devices to protect hearing.
The noise of normal city traffic from inside a car is said to be around 85 dB. Overtime, loud noises can lead to ringing in the ears and varying levels of hearing loss. Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can be temporary or permanent depending on the extent of inner ear damage. Many people develop hypersensitivity to sounds (hyperacusis). If there is damage to the auditory nerve, all incoming sounds will be amplified. This usually leads to discomfort or even pain. There are simple precautions that you can take to prevent damage to the ears. Wearing earplugs when exposed to loud noise will help to prevent damage, hearing loss, and the conditions that can accompany damage tot he ears.
There are many options out there when it comes to earplugs. Understanding what you need beforehand can save you time and frustration. All earplugs will have an NNR rating on the box. This is a good way to understand how much protection you are getting from an individual type of earplug. If earplugs have a rating of 20 NNR, this means that they will protect up to 20 dB. NNR rating will help you decide the noise reduction that is best suited for your job or other noisy environment. You also need something that is going to be comfortable. There are different shapes, sizes, and makes when it comes to earplugs. Plastic earplugs are very common. They expand to fill your ear canal and protect your ear from noise. For people who need a lot of protection, custom-fit earplugs are available. If you want an idea of the types of earplugs that are available, doing a web search will give you the options available. You can then buy online or know exactly what you need when you go to the store.
Make sure to look around enough that you know what kind of ear protection is needed. You need an earplug that can hold up to the level of disciples that you will be exposed to. This will ensure that you will not damage your hearing.
Aug 19, 2010
Written on Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Safety shoes are an essential part of personal protective equipment (PPE), as they can prevent severe and disabling foot injuries. Wearing appropriate foot protection isn’t just good practice, it’s required by law.
Protective footwear is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for all employees who could be exposed to falling objects, hazardous materials, or matter that could pierce the sole. In order for your workplace to be as safe as possible you should make sure that you follow OSHA guidelines and purchase only certified footwear.
Protective footwear must also comply with American National Standards Institute standard ANSI Z41-1991, which breaks footwear down into 6 categories:
1. Impact/Compression Resistance – uses a steel or nonmetallic toe cap (steel toe) to protect against falling objects or crushing from heavy rolling objects.
2. Metatarsal Footwear – provides similar protection against falling objects to the area of the foot between the ankle and the toes.
3. Electrical Hazard – the sole of the shoe or boot is designed to protect workers from electric shock from 600 volts or less, under dry conditions.
4. Conductive Footwear – prevents the buildup of static electricity.
5. Puncture Resistance – the sole resists penetration from sharp objects; such as nails or broken glass.
6. Static Dissipative – reduces the buildup of static electricity by conducting body charge to ground, while protecting the employee from electrical hazards.
Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a safety shoe:
- Steel toes to protect against falling objects, which cause 60 percent of all foot injuries. Where there are electrical hazards, a fiberglass toe should replace the typical steel toe.
- Good traction to protect against slips and falls, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics said were responsible for about 329,000 lost workdays in 1994. Depending on the environment, consider cleats, or a shoe with an abrasive, gritted grooved, spiked or studded sole.
- Proper chemical protection. Boots and shoes made of rubber, PVC or neoprene (depending on the chemical) are needed.
- Employee comfort. If a shoe is unwieldy or heavy, chances are it will not be worn. Give workers a choice of footwear colors and styles but only after you are satisfied that all of those to be considered provide adequate protection.
Written By: Carissa Kelley
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