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Confined Space

What are confined spaces?
Ventilation hoses provide air and exhaust toxic vapors during confined space entry. A guardrail would also be necessary to protect workers from potential falls.

Many workplaces contain areas that are considered “confined spaces” because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.

OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

Source: osha.gov

Industrial Signs

signsSafety signs are important facility visuals vital to communicating warnings and other safety information. Our safety sign selection includes signage for: biohazard and hazardous materials, electrical safety, first aid, lockout tagout, machine and equipment, personal protection (PPE) and much more. Many of these signs are OSHA/ANSI compliant allowing you to be properly prepared for safety inspections. Safety signs are bold and bright providing high visibility to critical messages. They are available in many different sizes and materials so that you can find safety signage suitable for your facility.


Electrical Safety Signs

Brady electrical safety signs can be used throughout your facility to identify electrical hazard and high voltage areas. They use bright color to draw attention to vital messages that warn against entry, machine operation and identify buried cables. Electrical safety signs are available in a wide variety of colors, sizes and materials making them suitable for almost any application or facility.

Machine and Equipment Signs

Machine and equipment signs communicate warning messages about the potential dangers of operating machinery and equipment in your facility. These signs remind employees about safety, risks, proper operating instructions and more. Most of these machine and equipment signs are OSHA and ANSI compliant and they are available in a variety of legends and pictograms.

Radiation and Laser signs

Radiation and laser signs can help you comply with OSHA’s regulations for radiation safety and laser warnings. These radiation signs offer messages for radiation danger, microwave warning signs and other radioactive warning safety signs. They can be placed around your facility where radiation and x-ray safety are concerns. Radiation and laser signs are available in a wide variety of sizes, materials and messages to fit just about any appropriate application.

Source: www.bradyid.com

Eye Protection

eye-protection-blogThousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.

OSHA requires employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment. Eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards.

Eye and face protection is addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and the construction industry.

Safety Spectacles

Safety spectacles are intended to shield the wearer’s eyes from impact hazards such as flying fragments, objects, large chips, and particles. Workers are required to use eye safety spectacles with side shields when there is a hazard from flying objects. Non-side shield spectacles are not acceptable eye protection for impact hazards. [29 CFR 1910.133(a)(2) and 29 CFR 1915.153(a)(2)]

The frames of safety spectacles are constructed of metal and/or plastic and can be fitted with either corrective or plano impact-resistant lenses. Side shields may be incorporated into the frames of safety spectacles when needed. Consider each component of safety spectacles when selecting the appropriate device for your workplace.

Safety Goggles

Safety goggles are intended to shield the wearer’s eyes from impact hazards such as flying fragments, objects, large chips, and particles. Goggles fit the face immediately surrounding the eyes and form a protective seal around the eyes. This prevents objects from entering under or around the goggles.

Safety goggles may incorporate prescription lenses mounted behind protective lenses for individuals requiring vision correction. Take time to consider specific lens, frame, and ventilation options when selecting safety goggles.

Face Shields

Face shields are intended to protect the entire face or portions of it from impact hazards such as flying fragments, objects, large chips, and particles. When worn alone, face shields do not protect employees from impact hazards. Use face shields in combination with safety spectacles or goggles, even in the absence of dust or potential splashes, for additional protection beyond that offered by spectacles or goggles alone.

Face shield windows are made with different transparent materials and in varying degrees or levels of thickness. These levels should correspond with specific tasks.

Source: www.osha.gov

Head Protection

Head injuries may be caused by falling or flying objects, or by bumping the head against a fixed object. Protective helmets must do three things:oil-engineers-on-site

  • Resist penetration.
  • Absorb the shock of a blow.
  • Protect against electrical shock.

Head injuries may be prevented by the selection and use of appropriate head protection.


Use Of Head Protection

Potential Hazards:

  • Head trauma due to contact with falling objects
  • Electrical shock or burns due to contact with exposed electrical conductors
  • Various head and neck injuries due to the striking low overhead objects (for example piping, I-beams)

Requirements and Example Solutions:

  • Workers must wear a protective helmet (hard hat) when working in areas where  there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects. [29 CFR 1915.155(a)(1)]
  • Workers must wear a protective helmet designed to reduce electrical shock hazards where there is potential for electric shock or burns. [29 CFR 1915.155(a)(2)]
  • Wearing a hard hat can reduce the impact from striking low overhead objects.

Selection Criteria

Potential Hazards:

  • Head trauma from falling objects
  • Bumping the head against fixed objects
  • Electric shock and burns from contact with exposed electric conductors
  • Head protection due to use of head protection that does not meet nationally recognized standards

Requirements and Example Solutions:

  • Protective helmets must comply with ANSI Z89.1. [29 CFR 1915.155(b)(1)and (b)(2)]
  • Hard hats are designed to provide protection from impact and penetration hazards caused by falling objects. Hard hats must be worn when working below other workers who are using tools and materials which could fall. [ANSI Z89.1-1986]
  • Hard hats are designed to provide protection from impact and penetration hazards caused by falling objects. Hard hats must be worn when working below other workers who are using tools and materials which could fall. [ANSI Z89.1-1986]
  • Head protection which provides protection from electric shock and burns is also available. [ANSI Z89.1-1986]
    • Class A helmets provide electrical protection from low-voltage conductors (less than 2,200 volts).
    • Class B helmets provide electrical protection from high voltage conductors (less than 20,000 volts).
    • Class C helmets provide only impact and penetration protection and since they are usually made of aluminum, which conducts electricity, that should not be used around electrical hazards.
  • Materials used in helmets must  be water-resistant and slow burning. [ANSI Z89.1-1986]
  • Each helmet must consist of a shell and suspension system (such as a head band). [ANSI Z89.1-1986]
  • Helmets must have suspension systems (such as head bands) that are adjustable to prevent the helmet from falling off the head.  [ANSI Z89.1-1986]
  • Suspension systems must be worn in the correct direction (for example an adjustment strap in the back of head). See Figure 1. [ANSI Z89.1-1986]
  • Helmets and suspension systems (such as head bands) should be inspected daily, maintained as necessary, and replaced promptly when damaged. [ANSI Z89.1-1986]


Source: www.osha.gov

Fall Protection

manFalls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls.

OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.

To prevent employees from being injured from falls, employers must:

  • Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).
  • Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway.
  • Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat or acid or a conveyor belt) employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
  • Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety and harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and hand rails.

Types of fall protection and prevention equipment include:

  • Harness, Suspension trauma safety straps,  Life Lines, Fall Limiters, Positioning, Restraint & Body Belts and more.
  • Kits: All-in-one harness kit designed specifically for your industry. Typically includes harness, D-ring and support strap.
  • Ultra grip gloves, slip resistant shoes & hard hats and more.
  • Precaution signs, Man hole guard rail and/or man hole guard rail shield and more.

For Fall Protection Equipment Visit https://www.abcosafety.com/c-34-fall-protection.aspx

Cut Protection Gloves

Cut resistant gloves and sleeves are designed to protect hands from direct contact with sharp objects such as glass and metal. The level of cut resistance provided is a combination of material composition and weight. Performance of a glove can also be affected by coatings applied to the surface which can also offer enhanced grip.Image result for Cut Resistant Gloves osha
Common cut resistant fibers include:
  • HPPE: High performance polyethylene fibers offer maximum strength with minimum weight. HPPE is 10 times stronger than steel by weight as well as 40% stronger than aramid fibers offering a softer, cooler alternative.
  • Aramid: The most common brand name is Kevlar®. It is 5 times stronger than steel and provides great tensile strength. Due to its inherently flame resistant nature it will not melt and offers heat protection up to 320° F based on product design.
  • Spectra: A polyethylene fiber that is 10 times tougher than steel per unit weight offering high cut resistance even when wet. Its low lint and flexible nature make it ideal for use in food processing.
  • Taeki5®: A blended yarn made of Taeki5® , fiberglass and synthetic fibers that delivers high cut resistance without sacrificing dexterity and tactile sensitivity.
  • Blended Shells: The introduction of steel and glass to HPPE and aramid help to significantly increase levels of cut protection while helping maintain comfort and fit.

Source: www.westchesterprotects.com

Heat Stress

Tips on Protecting Yourself in the Sun

  • Cover up. Wear tightly-woven clothing that block out light. Try this test: place your hand between a single layer of the clothing and a light source. If you can see your hand through the fabric, the garment offers little protection
  • Use sunscreen. A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of UV rays. You want to block both UVA and UVB to guard against skin cancer. Be sure to follow application directions on the bottle.
  • Wear a hat. A wide brim hat (not a baseball cap) is ideal because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, and forehead, nose, and scalp.
  • Wear UV-absorbent shades. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, but they should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation

Protecting Workers in Hot Environments

  • Engineering controls, including general ventilation and spot cooling by local exhaust ventilation at points of high heat production may be helpful.
  • Cooling fans can also reduce heat in hot conditions.
  • Plenty of drinking water — as much as a quart per worker per hour.
  • Train first aid workers to recognize and treat heat stress disorders. Make the names of trained staff known to all workers.
  • Alternating work and rest periods with longer rest periods in a cool area can help workers avoid heat stress.
  • Supervisors should be trained to detect early signs of heat stress and should permit workers to interrupt their work if they are extremely uncomfortable.
  • Acclimatization to the heat through short exposures followed by longer periods of work in the hot environment can reduce heat stress.
  • Employee education is vital so that workers are aware of the need to replace fluids and salt lost through sweat and can recognize dehydration, exhaustion, fainting, heat cramps, salt deficiency, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other heat disorders.

Choosing the Right Glove

Glove Protection

Technology, within the hand protection industry, has lead to specific glove styles for nearly every application. Having the proper hand protection is at the forefront of safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) accounts for 1,080,000 emergency room visits by workers annually. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 110,000 days are spent away from work due to hand and finger lacerations.

Hand protection is critical for the worker as well as the company. With the proper hand protection employers can reduce unnecessary injury to employees, days away from work as well as workers compensation payouts.

Are you and your employees properly protected?

Below are several questions to be considered when choosing a proper glove.

  • What is the application of the glove?
  • What dangers are posed to the hand? Heat, chemical, lacerations,etc
  • What causes glove breakdown throughout the application? Rough surfaces or products, chemical exposure, heat exposure, or sharp objects like blades from machines.
  • How much dexterity is needed? Is a sensitive touch necessary – this will aid in determining the thickness needed.
  • What type of grip, smooth or rough, would best fit the application? Rough grips are best for applications with oily or slick processes.
  • What chemicals are employees exposed too? This will effect the material of the glove as well as the breakthrough time.
  • Does the application expose the employee to a multitude of hazards? Which hazards?
  • How quickly does the glove need to be removed? Is there any risk of arm or wrist injury? This will effect the cuff style as well as length of the glove.
  • What is the length of wear time for the glove?
  • Consult a glove sizing guide to determine glove sizing.

Once you have answered these question you are ready to choose a material as well as a glove style for each respective application and or process.

Find the right glove for your application at http://www.abcosafety.com/c-60-hand-protection.aspx

High Visibility Safety Apparel

Hi Visibility Safety from Abco Safety

High visibility safety apparel is a crucial and often necessary part of any business’ safety program. Whether you are working outside or in a warehouse with forklift traffic establishing a high visibility apparel program will keep your works as well as the general public safe.

There are four classes of garments specified in ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 standard that are based on the wearers activities. Below is a breakdown on the different specifications, which will aid in choosing your work place standards.

Class 3:

  • Provide the highest level of conspicuity for workers.
  • Intended for workers with high task loads where traffic exceeds 50 mph.
  • The standard recommends these garments for all roadway construction personnel, vehicle operators, utility workers, survey crews, emergency responders, railway workers and accident site investigators.
  • These garments have the greatest visibility of the three classes. Must have sleeves with retro reflective material between the shoulders and elbow.
  • The width of the retroreflective material shall not be less than 50mm wide.

Class 2:

  • Garment is for workers who work near roadways where traffic exceeds 25 mph and need greater visibility in inclement weather.
  • The standard recommends this garments for individuals in the following industries: railway workers, school crossing guards, parking and toll gate personnel, airport ground crews and law enforcement personnel directing traffic.
  • This garment has superior visibility and provides more conspicuity than the Class 1 garments. The minimum width of the retroreflective material used on these is no less than 35mm.

Class 1:

  • Recommended for workers where traffic does not exceed 25 mph and there is ample separation from the traffic.
  • These workers typically are parking service attendants, warehouse workers in equipment traffic, shopping cart retrievers and those doing sidewalk maintenance.
  • This garment needs to be conspicuous and use retro reflective materials no less than 25mm in width.

Class E:

  • When hi-visibility pants are worn without other ANSI 107 compliant garments, they are considered Class E.
  • When pants are added to Class 2 or 3 vests or coats the ensemble is considered a Class 3 classification.

The four classes of garments are differentiated by the requirements for amounts of retro reflective material that needs to meet specified performance criteria, the width and placement of the material, design and the color of vest used.

Check out Hi-Viz apparel at http://www.abcosafety.com/c-341-hi-viz-bomber-jacket-special.aspx

Arc Flash

Arc Flash Protection

OSHA currently requires employers to protect their employees from electrical hazards, including shock and arc flash. The primary method of protecting employees from arc flash as spelled out in 70E is de-energizing live parts prior to working on or near them using proper lockout-tagout procedures. This limits the employee’s exposure to electrical hazards during the shutdown and verification process. Many believe they don’t have to worry about arc flash because they have instituted a ”no live work” policy at their facility. Because the employee is still exposed during shutdown and verification, this policy does nothing to remove the need to protect against arc flash. Until you have verified that the circuit is de-energized, it must be treated as energized and the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be used to protect against arc flash.

The first step in protecting employees who will be exposed to an arc flash hazard is to identify the level of the hazard. NFPA 70E lists these as Hazard Risk Category (HRC) 0 through 4 based on the incident energy of the circuit. Each category requires progressively more thermal protection. Circuits with incident energy above HRC 4 are considered so dangerous that exposure to them is not recommended as PPE is not manufactured to guard against an arc flash of that magnitude. These circuits are more common than you might think: 42 percent of the facilities we’ve studied had such a panel.

There are two methods prescribed by 70E to determine the HRC. One tactic is to use the series of task-based tables provided in 70E that list HRC based on the type of equipment and the task being performed. The downside of this approach is that it is not specific enough. Think of a doctor who tells every patient who complains of chronic headaches that their symptoms are stress-related and they need to take a vacation. While he may be accurate in a handful of cases, this doctor is potentially misdiagnosing a serious life-threatening condition by applying a blanket solution to a specific situation. Similarly, the tables do not account for vital factors such as the facility in which the equipment is located. What applies to a piece of equipment in a library will likely not apply to the same piece of equipment in a steel mill.

A more thorough method is to have a complete Arc Flash Analysis (sometimes referred to as: Arc Flash Study, Incident Energy Analysis, Arc Flash Hazard Assessment, or Arc Flash Hazard Assessment Study) performed on your facility. This type of analysis involves a detailed field verification of your electrical distribution system from your utility to the equipment on the floor. This data is used by engineers utilizing software specifically designed to perform the calculations of the arc flash hazard levels. The engineers then must write a set of detailed instructions showing how these hazard levels can be reduced. In facilities we’ve studied, 90 percent of the panels did not need any modification. Of those that did, 80 percent could be modified relatively easily at a low cost, such as circuit breaker adjustment and fuse replacement. More expensive and time-consuming modifications include breaker replacement or having entire panels upgraded.

OSHA requires arc flash protection now. Begin by using the tables until you can get a proper arc flash analysis completed that will give you a more accurate evaluation of the hazard risk levels and provide you with recommendations to reduce those levels. NFPA 70E is a wonderful tool put together over many years by hundreds of people participating in the standards development process. It’s not perfect, but it has and will save lives. That, in the end, is appropriate reason to implement 70E. Do not employ 70E purely for compliance reasons. There will be many decisions in the process of putting 70E into practice: which insulated tools to purchase, what PPE to purchase, who provides the training, drafting an electrical safety policy, performing hazard analysis, and many more. Make injury prevention your overall objective in these deliberations and you’ll find your organization will be more than just compliant; it will be a safer place to work.