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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.


FR Clothing

Personal Protective Equipment
Flame-Resistant (FR) Clothing

Worker wearing flame-resistant clothingElectric arcs pose some of the most serious safety hazards for electric power industry workers. Arc blast or flash hazards include high temperatures (hotter than the surface temperature of the sun) over short periods of time (fractions of a second), hot gases, an intense pressure wave from the explosion (like having a hand grenade explode inches away), and shrapnel from vaporized and molten metal particles. Arc-related injuries can range from minor to severe burns, blindness, hearing and memory loss from the pressure wave, broken bones, or death. When a worker is exposed to an arc, the clothing they wear may play a large role in the severity of the potential injury.

The “269” standard (1910.269(l)(6)):

  • Requires that workers be trained in the potential hazards of electric arcs and the flames they can produce by igniting other materials in the area.
  • Prohibits workers from wearing clothing that, in the presence of an arc, can potentially increase the extent of injury; that is, if the clothing would ignite and continue to burn, or if it melts on the skin. Thus, workers are generally prohibited from wearing clothing materials made entirely of, or blended with, synthetic materials such as acetate, nylon, polyester, or rayon.

FR Clothing and the “269” Standard. OSHA issued an interpretation memorandumthat provides guidance for complying with the apparel requirements. This memorandum provides information on acceptable types of clothing and on the employer’s assessment of the hazards.

Selecting Appropriate FR Clothing: Clothing made from 100% cotton or wool may be acceptable if its weight is appropriate for the flame and electric arc conditions to which a worker could be exposed. As heat levels increase, these materials will not melt, but they can ignite and continue to burn. The amount of heat required to ignite these materials is dependent upon a number of factors, including the weight, texture, weave, and color of the material. This type of clothing does not comply with the “269” standard if it can ignite (and continue to burn) under the electric arc and flame exposure conditions found at the workplace. If they do not choose FR clothing, employers need to make a determination of whether or not the clothing worn by the worker is acceptable under the conditions to which he or she could be exposed. FR clothing is acceptable with respect to the OSHA apparel requirements.

Source: www.osha.gov

Red Kap Contstruction Workwear

Respiratory Protection

A rescue worker wears a respirator in a smokey, toxic atmosphere. Image show the importance of protection readiness and safety.

OSHA requires that employers use PPE, or “personal protective equipment,” to decrease their worker’s exposure to dangers when administrative and engineering manipulations are not viable or effectual with reducing hazardous exposures to acceptable levels. Companies are required to establish whether PPE is necessary to protect their employees.

Atmosphere providing respirators are utilized to supply breathing air from a source different from the surrounding environment. Respirators that provide breathing-air must be of the utmost quality and the equipment must operate reliably. Employers must supply their worker’s with respirators when all other favored methods of shielding workers from breathing impure air has been deemed to be inadequate to decrease the contamination to non-hazardous levels.

Respiratory Protection/Respirator’s Use

Respirators are apparatuses that safeguard employees from inhaling dangerous substances, such as biological, chemical, and radiological agents. These substances may appear in the form of sprays, smoke, mists, fumes, fogs, dust, gases, and airborne vapors. These exposures could cause diseases, lung impairment, cancer, or death. Respirators also guarantee that workers do not inhale air that consists of hazardously low-levels of oxygen or air that is immediately dangerous to life or health, IDLH. In conditions where workers are exposed to hazardous airborne dangers, respirators must “seal off” and segregate the user’s respiratory-system from the tainted environment.

Respirators shield wearers in two fundamental ways:

-An APR, or air-purifying respirator is a respirator that eradicates impurities from the air. This type of respirator includes particulate-respirators that filter out airborne elements, and air purifying respirators with canisters or cartridges that filter out gases and chemicals.

– Other types of respirators protect by providing clean breathable air from another resource. Respirators in this category include airline-respirators, which utilize compressed air from a distant source, and SCBA, self-contained breathing apparatus that include their own air-supply. SAR, or supplied air-respirators, are also used as airline respirators.

When is a Workplace Environment Hazardous?

An atmosphere is harmful if it does not consists of enough oxygen, or if it has radiological, biological, or chemical contaminants in sufficient amounts to put the health of workers in danger.