Get your New Safety Identification Catalog

Our new “Safety Identification” Catalog is now available.

Table of Contents:

  • Signs p. 35
  • Tags and Labels p. 97
  • Label Printers p. 127
  • Facility p. 133
  • Glow p. 171
  • Fire p. 187
  • 5S p. 201
  • Hazardous Materials p. 211
  • Highway and Parking p. 237
  • Lockout Tagout p. 261
  • Operational Hazard p. 283
  • Bilingual p. 307
  • Going Green p. 329
  • Utility Tapes p. 337
  • Pipe Markers p. 347

If you would like a copy of this new catalog, drop me an email at robv@nationalsafetyinc.com


New Standard for Insulating Apparel in Cold Weather

The International Safety Equipment Association website reports a new standard developed by ISEA that is designed to assist workers who have to work in cold weather environments (outdoors or indoor freezers, etc…) to determine what level of insulation they are getting when they purchased a garment.

From the ISEA website:

The American National Standard for Classification of Insulating Apparel Used in Cold Work Environments (ANSI/ISEA 201-2012) provides a means for a garment to be classified based on its material’s ability to keep workers warm in low temperatures and to retain such protection throughout its expected life.

Manufacturers will test a garment’s insulating value after a specified number of washing or dry cleaning cycles, and assign a thermal performance category based on the results.  The intrinsic insulating value is expressed in clo. One clo is the insulation needed to maintain body temperature for a person seated in a 70-degree F room, roughly equivalent to a business suit.

The thermal performance category and corresponding temperature range will be displayed on the garment’s label, along with a durability classification to show how many laundering cycles were performed before testing.  These figures are designed to inform the user how the garment will perform at various levels of exertion, and how it is expected retain its insulating properties over time.

Also in the standard are guidelines for selection of thermal insulating apparel, to give specifiers, purchasers and users a way to evaluate garments based on environmental conditions, work being performed and other factors such as the need for dexterity and mobility.

“When you’re operating in extreme cold conditions, it’s a challenge to find apparel that will keep workers comfortable and still allow them to do their jobs,” said ISEA director of member and technical services Cristine Fargo.  “This standard provides an objective way to measure and show insulating performance, and gives users an important tool for selecting the right garment.”

The standard was developed by ISEA’s Protective Apparel Group and was approved by key stakeholders representing testing laboratories, product suppliers, users, university researchers and government agencies.  It is recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an American National Standard.

American National Standard for Classification of Insulating Apparel Used in Cold Work Environments (ANSI/ISEA 201-2012) can be purchased from ISEA for $30 a copy; discounts are available on bulk orders.  For more information, contact Cristine Z. Fargo, ISEA director of member and technical services, cfargo@safetyequipment.org, or visit www.safetyequipment.org.


DIY Safety Tips from The Family Handyman

The Family Handyman website is one of my favorite sites. It’s associated with The Family Handyman magazine and if you’re anything like me, you’ll start exploring it and look up to find that four days have gone by and you haven’t stopped to sleep or eat (okay, that’s a little exaggerated, but not by much). It has a massive collection of DIY Projects, downloads, home repair tips, and a whole lot more.

I don’t bring this website up to make your spouse a DIY widow but rather because, in conjunction with what this blog is about, it has an awesome collection of safety tips, tools and articles.

Head to the DIY Tips for Home Safety section of the website for all kinds of safety related stuff as it relates to your home.

Here’s a brief example of some of the stuff you’ll find there:
DIY Safety Tips – Our staff and field editors tell of the DIY mistakes they’ve made and the lessons learned from ladders, electricity, roofs, power nailers,…
How to Store Gasoline – Store gasoline in approved containers and well away from ignition sources and where children can’t reach it. Add a fuel stabilizer as well.
LED Safety Lighting – A retractable LED work light is safer than incandescent drop lights and a pocket LED puts light right where you need it in tight quarters.
Home Emergency Preparedness Guide – Learn to meet home disasters—both big and small—head-on without panic. Take effective action on burst pipes, flooded basements,…
Testing GFCI Outlets – All GFCI outlets have one little-known flaw: their circuitry eventually wears out, usually after about 10 years, at which point they no longer…
Home Disaster Prevention Tips – When it comes to home safety, plumbing and electrical problems do a lot more damage than crooks. Here are our top tips for what you can do to…
How to Prevent Home Fires – You can vastly cut down deadly fire risks by exercising good safety habits and simple prevention steps. This article lists the “Big…
Top 10 Electrical Mistakes – Wiring problems and mistakes are all too common, and if left uncorrected have the potential to cause short circuits, shocks and even fires.…
Safety First: Install an Outdoor Staircase Railing – Replace a wobbly old outdoor handrail with a rock solid one by using strong concrete anchors. We show you how to design and attach one to your…
How to Fix a Wobbly Bookcase – Stabilize a wobbly bookcase on carpet by providing solid floor support, installing adjustable feet and by anchoring it to the wall studs.
Tips to Lower Your Home Insurance Bill – Making your home safer (and avoiding red flags) makes your home a better risk, which can reduce your insurance premiums by 10 to 45 percent.
How to Work Alone – If you have to work on DIY projects by yourself, you can increase productivity and limit aggravation with a crew of clamps, jigs, ropes and duct…
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a whole lot more to sift through so have fun looking it all over but don’t forget to eat and sleep.


Spring Cleaning Safety Tips

They say there’s no better way to make it rain than to wash you car so maybe the same applies to spring cleaning, maybe spring cleaning makes the weather lousy. Either way, it needs to be done at some point so here are a few tips to make sure you do it safely.

Spring cleaning indoors:

  • When vacuuming and sweeping, check for electrical cords crossing your path or running under rugs. Cords should be out of pathways to avoid tripping and should never be hidden under rugs or furniture where they could overheat and potentially start a fire. Inspect these cords for damage such as fraying or cracking, which is cause for replacement.
  • Check outlets to ensure they aren’t overloaded. An outlet that makes popping noises, is hot to the touch or has sparks coming out of it should be checked by a certified electrician.
  • When cleaning in the bathroom and kitchen, make sure electrical appliances are not placed where they’ll get wet. Electrical parts can become grounded when wet, posing an electric shock or overheating hazard.
  • When dusting, check lamps and fixtures to ensure they have light bulbs with the correct wattage. Wattage should be of equal or lesser value than that recommended by the manufacturer.

Spring cleaning outdoors:

  • Winter’s inactive muscles can take only so much strain. Don’t overdo it — build up slowly so you don’t have strains that can put you out of commission for some time
  • If you use power tools to work outside, make sure extension cords are marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Overloaded cords may lead to electric shock and serious injury.
  • Wear safety goggles and other protection as recommended by the equipment or tool manufacturer when mowing, trimming or edging. Avoid loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in moving parts.
  • Check for overhead power lines when using ladders to clean your gutters or pool cleaning equipment that could reach within 10 feet of the lines. Touching an overhead power line can lead to serious injury or even death from electric shock.
  • When digging in your yard to plant new flowers and plants, make sure you know where underground electric lines are located. Always call 811 or 1-800-DIG-TESS (toll-free) at least two working days prior to digging in order to locate underground utility lines.
  • If planning on trimming trees, check for overhead power lines. The only safe way to trim trees within 10 feet of power lines is to call a professional. Every year people are injured or even killed when they climb or prune trees near power lines. Tree limbs in contact with power lines can act as conductors, and a person can be seriously injured if contact is made.

Spring Lawn Care Safety Tips:

  • Lawn care, yep that time of year too. Before mowing, prepare your lawn by walking over it, checking for broken limbs, stones, toys and anything else that could shoot out from under the mower or damage the blade. Before you start your lawn mower for the first time, check to make sure that all guards are in place. Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute or crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas.
  • Garden tools such as rakes, spades, forks, pruning clippers, files and metal plant stakes should not be left lying around when not in use. Store these with sharp points aiming down.
  • Practice poison prevention. Store pesticides and herbicides in original containers, on high shelves or inside locked cabinets, out of the reach of children. Keep the telephone number of your area Poison Control Center near your telephone: 1-800-222-1222.

Incentive Programs can result in discrimination

A new memorandum by OSHA published on Monday of this week seeks to clarify issues regarding safety incentives that may actually be illegal.

At issue is the fact that certain types of incentive programs would actually discourage employees from reporting injuries which is not only discrimination and illegal but also puts everyone at risk.

The memorandum goes through the obvious violations of employees reporting injuries and in some manner being disciplined for doing so (because the way they got the injury was a violation of company policy, because the way that they reported it wasn’t in keeping with company policies, etc…).

In the fourth example, however, it covers incentive “programs that unintentionally or intentionally provide employees an incentive to not report injuries. For example, an employer might enter all employees who have not been injured in the previous year in a drawing to win a prize, or a team of employees might be awarded a bonus if no one from the team is injured over some period of time.”

Well-intentioned as these incentive programs may be, they essentially cause the employee who is injured to hold back the information from his employer either out of peer pressure (all my co-workers will miss out on the prize) or out of a desire to get some kind of reward (if I don’t report it I’ll qualify for the free lunch).

Obvious examples of this type of illegal incentive program would be something like “If we can achieve 90 days without injury, everyone will get the company will buy everyone lunch.” If you do get injured, you’ll be motivated to not report the injury because if you do everyone will lose out on the free lunch (or whatever the prize may be).

If you have questions about whether or not your incentive program is legal and beneficial, or for ideas on how to put together an incentive program that doesn’t discriminate against the whistleblower, OSHA has a phone number that you can call: (202) 693-2199


DBI/SALA “I took a fall and I’m fine” award

Look at the photo above. In his left hand, he has a “Life Member” certificate and in his right hand he has a small statuette, much like an Oscar or something, cast of bronze.

Why did this guy do to receive these awards? Quite simply he wore his harness and wore it right when he took a fall. For it, DBI/SALA not only gave him a new fall protection harness to replace the one that he took a fall in (which should always be replaced after taking a fall) but they also awarded him the certificate and the award.

While, at first it might seem strange to reward someone this way for actually falling while working from heights, upon further reflection DBI/SALA is right. The reward and award isn’t for slipping off a beam, or falling from a girder, the reward is for having taken the time to don the harness correctly and taking the time to work safely and that is definitely something to celebrate and reward.

So don’t go jumping off the I-beam just to get an award but if you do happen to take a fall and you’re wearing a DBI/SALA harness and lanyard, let them know and celebrate safety.


March 18-24 is National Poison Prevention Week

Sorry for not posting this earlier but I just became aware of it myself (too many emails to sort through I guess).

Established back in 1961 by the U. S. Congress, the National Poison Prevention Week celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

“More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the 57 poison control centers across the country. More than 90 percent of these poisonings occur in the home. The majority of non-fatal poisonings occur in children younger than six years old. And, poisonings are one of the leading causes of death among adults.”

Spend a little time on the poisonprevention.org website to learn more about how to protect yourself, your children and other loved ones, especially in your own home.

(As a side note, if you want to get rid of the chemical cleaners in your home, visit http://www.melaleuca.com/ . I get nothing from promoting this company except the satisfaction of knowing that I may have helped save a life. All their products are safe. Your kids could literally drink them with no ill effects. Additionally, I can attest that they actually work better than the chemical detergents, soaps, cleaners, make-up, etc… that you might purchase at your local store. I no longer have kids in the home but I do have grandkids and I feel great knowing that my home is chemical-free. Try it, you’ll be glad you did).


Lawn Mower Safety Tips

Spring means the start of the chore of yard work. Yes as the spring flowers and trees begin to bloom, more and more of us are outside working in our yards. The power lawn mower is one of the most dangerous tools around the home. Each year, approximately 70,000 persons with injuries caused by power mowers were treated in emergency departments. More than 9,000 of the people hurt were younger than 15 years. Older children and adolescents were most often hurt while cutting lawns as chores or as a way to earn money.

Lawn mower injuries include deep cuts, loss of fingers and toes, broken and dislocated bones, burns, and eye and other injuries. Some injuries are very serious. Both users of mowers and those who are nearby can be hurt. Mowing your lawn all starts with safety preparation and awareness.

Handling Gasoline

  • Never smoke when filling the gas tank.
  • Store gasoline in a container with a UL, FM, or CSA label. Mark you container to say G-A-S so everyone knows what it is and that it is flammable.
  • Never keep gasoline in the house or fill gas tank indoors.
  • Never store the machine or fuel container where there is an open flame, spark, or pilot light such as near a water heater or other appliances.
  • Never fill containers inside a vehicle or on a truck bed with a plastic bed liner. Always place containers on the ground away from your vehicle before filling.
  • Wipe up gasoline spills immediately and do not attempt to start the engine but move the machine away from the area of spillage and avoid creating any source of ignition until fuel vapors have dissipated.
  • Never over-fill the fuel tank. Replace gas cap and tighten securely.
  • Never remove the gas cap or add fuel with the engine running. Allow the engine to cool, before refueling.

Safety for All Mowers

  • Be sure to completely read the safety information contained in the operator’s manual.
  • Never tamper with safety devices. Check their proper operation regularly.
  • Do not allow children anywhere near the area of operation. Tragic accidents can occur with children. Children are often attracted to the unit and mowing activity.

  • Never assume that children will remain where you last saw them.
  • If there is a risk that children may enter the area where you are mowing, have another responsible adult watch them.
  • The blades on mowers spin very fast and can pick up and throw debris that could seriously injure a bystander. Objects can be propelled at speeds greater than 200 MPH
  • Be sure to clean up the area to be mowed before you start mowing.
  • Do not operate a lawnmower with the discharge guard (reflector) or engine grass catcher installed.
  • The Mower Deck has spinning mowers blades that can amputate hands and feet.

  • Do not allow anyone near the mower while it is running.
  • Always allow the mower blade(s) to stop completely before leaving the mower’s operator position.
  • Always turn off mower when crossing a sidewalk or a driveway.

Safety For Riding Mowers

  • Do not give children rides on a riding mower, even with the mower blades not turning.
  • Children may fall off and be badly injured or interfere with safe machine operation.
  • Children who have been given rides in the past may suddenly appear in the mowing area for another ride and be run over or backed over by the machine.
  • Do not mow with a riding mower in reverse unless absolutely necessary.
  • You can be seriously injured or even killed if you use a riding mower on too steep an incline.
  • Using a riding mower on a slope that is too steep, or where you don’t have adequate traction can cause you to lose control or roll over.
  • Always consult your operator’s manual for safety messages concerning operation on a slope.

Safety For Walk-Behind Mowers

  • Do not put your hands or feet near or under the mower.
  • Never tilt a walk-behind mower; always keep all four wheels on the ground.
  • Do not pull the mower backward unless absolutely necessary. Always look down and behind before and while mowing backwards.

Safety For Electric Mowers

  • Use only recommended, grounded extension cords.
  • Mow away from the cord.
  • Never abuse the cord or use a frayed cord.
  • Always turn off the mower when you leave it and unplug the cord directly from the outlet; never unplug by yanking the cord from the wall.
  • Never use an electric mower when wet or raining.

Clothing Safety

  • Never wear sandals while mowing lawns. Open-toed shoes cannot protect your foot if it slips into the blade or from other flying objects that the lawn mower might throw.
  • Never wear baggy clothing while mowing lawns. Loose clothing can get caught up in the lawn mower controls and other moving parts.
  • It is generally a good idea to wear long pants while mowing lawns. Long pants will protect your legs from debris that is thrown from the lawn mower.
  • Always wear eye protection while mowing and trimming. It is a lot easier to have a lawn mowing business when you have two eyes.
  • Always wear shoes that have good traction while mowing lawns. Slipping and falling might cause you to lose control of your mower which could result in it running over something it is not supposed to.

General Safety

  • Always look for holes in the lawn so you do not step in them and twist your ankle.
  • Always make sure children and pets are not in the lawn while you are mowing. They usually do not understand the dangers associated with lawn mowers.
  • Never mow the lawn when it is dark outside. You need to be able to see where you are mowing so you don’t run over anything.
  • Always wear sunscreen while mowing lawns. Sun is more damaging to your skin than you think.
  • Always drink plenty of water before, during and after mowing lawns. Lawn mowing is a physically demanding activity and your body will not function properly without plenty of water.
  • Never mow wet grass. Wet grass is slippery. You could fall and slip under the mower.
  • Never work on a mower unless the spark plug is removed first.

  • Never mow a lawn while it is lightning or thundering. If you can see lightning or hear thunder while you are in the middle of mowing a lawn, abandon your mower and get inside.
  • Your safety should always be your first priority while mowing lawns. If for any reason at all, you feel unsafe, STOP, regroup and complete your lawn mowing Safely.

 

Lawn Mower Safety Tips, don’t take them for granted. WE DON’T WANT YOUR FOOT TO LOOK LIKE THIS!

Information provided by National Safety Council, Mayo Clinic, Progressive Agriculture Safety Fair, ASSE, and Lawn care .com

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com


Kite Safety

Stay Away From Power Lines When Flying Kites

Ben Franklin was lucky. His famous kite flight during a thunderstorm could have been deadly. Ben is a well-known example on “what not to do” with the first rule of kite flying: Park your kite during thunderstorms.

Now that warm windy spring weather is here, more children are playing outside. Here are some special safety suggestions for playing it safe while enjoying this fun, family activity as well as other spring safety tips.

Kite safety:

  • Adults should supervise children flying kites
  • Never fly kites near power lines or during thunderstorms
  • If the kite approaches a power line, release the string immediately
  • Do not attempt to retrieve a kite in a power line; notify an adult
  • Never use metallic string as kite string
  • Never use metal rods or other metal parts when building kites

Other outdoor tips for children:

  • Pad-mount transformers, areas around power substations, utility poles or other electric equipment are off-limits to children. Obey warning signs such as “Danger,” “High Voltage” or “Keep out”
  • Never carry fishing poles, flagpoles, ladders or anything tall in an upright position near power lines. If an object starts to fall into an overhead line, let it go!
  • Never touch or approach a downed power line. Report the hazard to an adult immediately
  • Do not climb fences or trees that are close to power lines

Today’s Post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com