How and When to Use a Leading Edge SRL

Just because you are tied off doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fully protected from a fall. If and when you are working near the edge of a building (or any edge, for that matter) and you are tied off using a Self-Retracting Lifeline (SRL) there is still the very real danger that if you take a fall the leading edge could cut right through the cable unless you are using a leading edge SRL.

Download this new document explaining how and when you need to use a leading edge SRL.

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Top Ten 2016 OSHA Violations Announced

As is the norm at the annual National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo, the preliminary top ten safety violations for the year were announced. Here’s the list…

  1. Fall Protection, 6,929 violations
  2. Hazard Communication, 5,677 violations
  3. Scaffolds, 3,906 violations
  4. Respiratory Protection, 3,585 violations
  5. Lockout/Tagout, 3,414 violations
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks, 2,860 violations
  7. Ladders, 2,639 violations
  8. Machine Guarding, 2,451 violations
  9. Electrical Wiring, 1,940 violations
  10. Electrical, General Requirements, 1,704 violations

Compare to last years list:

  1. Fall Protection, 6,721 violations
  2. Hazard Communication, 5,192 violations
  3. Scaffolding, 4,295 violations
  4. Respiratory Protection, 3,305 violations
  5. Lockout/Tagout, 3,002 violations
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks, 2,760 violations
  7. Ladders, 2,489 violations
  8. Electrical – Wiring Methods, 2,404 violations
  9. Machine Guarding, 2,295 violations
  10. Electrical – General Requirements, 1,973 violations

Only numbers 8 and 9 switched places.



New Quantitative Fit Testing Method Proposal

If you want your employees fit-tested using quantitative fit-testing methods, it presently takes 7.2 minutes if done in accordance with the present standard.

Admitting that this might be a bit long, OSHA is proposing to adopt three new fit test methods, one for each of the main types of respirators used when doing quantitative fit testing: Full-Face Respirators, Half-Mask Respirators and Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR). These new methods would be known, respectively as the “Fast-Full Method”, “The Fast-Half Method” (OSHA was wise enough not to invert those first two words and label it the Half-Fast Method as it might be awkward for fit testers to explain to their clients why they were doing a half-fast job of fit testing employees!) and the Fast FFR Method.

Essentially these new methods would “include only 3 of the 7 current test exercises (i.e., bending, head side-to-side, and head up-and-down) plus a new exercise (i.e., jogging-in-place), and reduce each exercise duration“. These “Fast Methods” would reduce the time it takes to fit test someone down to 2.5 minutes instead of the current 7.2 minutes.

OSHA is presently seeking comments on this proposed amendment to the fit testing standard. Comments and further clarification can be found online at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OSHA-2015-0015-0002


Get the Right Reflexive Tape

You purchased your hi-vis rainwear, safety vest, T-shirt or sweatshirt and you believe that you are now highly visible (that is, after all, what hi-vis means, right?). You may be surprised, however to discover that you aren’t as visible as you think. Why? Because not all reflective tape is created equal.

There are primarily two types of reflective tape:

  1. Glass Bead Reflective Material

    reflectivetape1

    Glass Bead reflective tape is made up of thousands of microscopic glass beads (hence the name) “glued” to the tape material. When light is aimed at the tape the tiny glass beads reflect the light back making the wearer “light up”.
    Advantages:
    The nature of the glass bead tape makes it highly flexible and lightweight.
    Disadvantages:
    a. The big problem with glass bead tape is that it loses it’s reflective quality when it gets wet. Many people who are wearing a reflective garment with glass bead tape do not realize how much of their reflectivity is lost when the garment is wet, putting them at risk when working outside in the rain at night.
    b. Glass bead tape does not resist abrasion well.

  2. Prismatic Reflective Material

    reflectivetape3

    Prismatic reflective material is made up of thousands of “micro-prisms” that are covered with a transparent film.
    Advantages:
    a. The prismatic material is waterproof and does not lose it’s reflective quality when wet.
    b. It is much more abrasion resistant than glass bead material
    Disadvantages:
    Prismatic reflective material is not as flexible or lightweight as glass bead material making it feel somewhat restrictive at times.

Additional note:
Although glass bead material is more flexible (able to bend easily with the garment) it is not stretchable (neither is prismatic material) and because of that it can break. In order to address that problem manufacturers are now able to lay the reflective glass bead tape in strips, allowing the garment to stretch without tearing the reflective tape (see image below).

reflectivetape2

If you are purchasing a T-shirt, a sweatshirt or any other garment that stretches, consider purchasing one with this type of reflective tape.