OSHA, ISEA Team Up to Distribute Safety Equipment to Protect Hurricane Cleanup, Recovery Workers


“Although the hurricanes are over, their impact continues with hazardous and unstable conditions for both residents, and cleanup and recovery workers. OSHA and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) are teaming up to coordinate and distribute much-needed personal protective equipment to hurricane-affected areas in Texas and the Caribbean Basin, including Puerto Rico. “OSHA’s goal is to keep workers and volunteers safe while they perform cleanup and recovery operations, and the ISEA is an important partner in these efforts,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. Information on specific safety equipment and how to stay safe during storm cleanup and recovery can be found on OSHA’s Hurricane Preparedness and Response page ( https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/hurricane/ ) , and on the ISEA Storm Cleanup: Safety Equipment Resource Center page ( https://safetyequipment.org/storm-cleanup/ ).”

Project to establish cleaning procedures for firefighter PPE

“Firefighters are exposed to highly toxic substances on the fireground which is an increasing health concern, and there are currently no industry standards that reliably show if clothing is being adequately cleaned. A new Research Foundation project intended to establish definitive guidelines to the fire service for effectively decontaminating and cleaning their PPE.”

Image and article shared from: http://www.nfpa.org/ppecleaning?order_src=C244

Understanding the Modern Single Use Glove

“Today’s single use gloves have come a long way since their first days in medical applications. From colors to construction, this often overlooked piece of PPE has had some pretty significant upgrades over the past few years. Originally designed to merely protect the wearer from exterior elements of their environment, single use gloves now take a more holistic hand health approach, focusing on both the interior of the glove as well asthe exterior.

But even those that wear them may not fully understand all that goes into the design and manufacture of a single use glove, and many still think of these tools as a commodity product, with little differentiation between a good glove and a not-so-good one. Here, we dispel some of the common myths surrounding single use gloves to show how they have evolved to provide better performance, improved hand health, and increased ergonomics.

Misconception #1: Gloves today are the same as they were 10 years ago.
Although they may look the same, single use gloves manufactured in the last few years employ a number of different materials and formulations designed to withstand various environments, from oil and grease to caustic chemicals.”

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The Need for a Shield Against Steel

“NFPA 2112 is widely regarded in the industrial safety industry as the governing standard for personal protective equipment (PPE) used in environments where workers are at risk of flash fire exposure. It mandates for manufacturers and certifying agencies the specifying performance requirements and test methods for flame-resistant fabric and garments to “provide a degree of protection to the wearer, and reducing the severity of burn injuries resulting from short-duration thermal exposures resulting from accidental exposure to flash fires.”

NFPA 2112 is specifically written to protect workers from the hazards that primarily contribute to burn injuries, namely direct flame and extreme heat, but these are only two of the dangers steelworkers face in the workplace every day. Yet NFPA 2112 is the standard safety managers in foundries and steel mills across the United States adhere to. Steel companies are in compliance with NFPA 2112 by simply providing flame-resistant wear. But simply meeting the NFPA 2112 requirements does not provide the level of protection needed in all areas of most steel manufacturing facilities.”

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Workwear Customization for OSHA Compliance

“Employers can’t pick and choose when an accident is going to happen. Avoiding workplace hazards is a daily reality for workers across many industries. Your employees have to wear the correct protective workwear and be ready. Specialized workwear is an asset that protects employees’ health and safety, preserves your company’s product integrity, and saves money by preventing accidents before they happen.

OSHA regulation 1910.132 requires employers to assess their workplaces for personal protective equipment (PPE) needs and cover those costs. Businesses can do a lot to increase worker safety by using customized workwear that meets or exceeds OSHA, FDA, USDA, and HACCP requirements.

Depending on the industry, businesses can provide employees with work apparel that increases visibility and resists fire, electrical, and chemical hazards. Workers in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, chemicals, food processing, service, hospitality, health care, manufacturing, and transportation need clean garments daily that protect them from the hazards they face on the job.

So, what should you consider when selecting customized customized workwear and PPE for your business? We’ll help you avoid workplace catastrophes by exploring workwear needs in multiple sectors.”
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Alleviating the Risk from Above

“Head and face protection begins with hard hats. An OSHA enforcement action1 just two weeks into 2017 illustrates why it doesn’t end there. OSHA cited a Massachusetts auto parts company for more than a dozen serious violations and issued $27,157 in proposed penalties after an employee suffered fatal head injuries while trying to mount a multi-piece rim wheel on a vehicle in October 2016. The case involved much more than PPE alone—there were violations2 of training, personal protective equipment, electrical safety, exit route signage, powered industrial truck, and HazCom regulations, according to the agency’s Braintree, Mass., office.

Last year, the International Safety Equipment Association announced some of its member companies were at work on the first industry consensus standard establishing minimum design, performance, and labeling requirements for products that prevent dropped objects incidents in industrial and occupational settings. That’s significant because the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 240 deaths in 2014 from being struck by a falling object or equipment, “which accounted for approximately five percent of all workplace fatalities,” the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) noted.”
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NIOSH Wants Input on Improving PPE-Info Database

“The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has published a notice asking for comments from stakeholders on how PPE-Info, the Personal Protective Equipment Information Database, can be improved. Comments, filed electronically or in writing, must be received by April 13.
They may be submitted (identified by CDC-2017-0001 and docket number NIOSH-293) at www.regulations.gov or mailed to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Docket Office, 1090 Tusculum Ave., MS C-34, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998.
PPE-Info is a collection of national personal protective equipment information. The database allows standards developers, manufacturers, suppliers, purchasers, and end users to conduct searches of relevant standards, associated product types, target occupational groups, basic conformity assessment specifications, and additional pertinent information. It is the only private or public U.S. database that compiles, tracks, and updates comprehensive information about national PPE standards and select product information, according to the notice.”
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NFPA Bulletin Highlights Risks of Protective Hoods

“A new National Fire Protection Association safety bulletin highlights the dangers firefighters face because of the protective hoods they wear.

“It is well-documented that firefighter Personal Protective Equipment is exposed to a wide range of toxins, pathogens and other hazardous substances,” NFPA noted in its announcement of the bulletin. “According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, firefighters have a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer related deaths. Firefighter protective hoods are the most penetrable piece of equipment; they do not stop soot and chemicals from depositing on a firefighter’s neck and head – areas that are extremely vulnerable to dermal exposure.”

“NFPA has had the back of firefighters for more than 120 years,” said Ed Conlin, the NFPA Public Fire Protection division’s manager. “Given the increase in occupational cancer incidents in the fire service, we feel it is best to err on the side of caution as we await additional scientific research on PPE and learn more about the absorption of carcinogens near the forehead, jaw, neck, and throat.”
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Fit Makes the Difference

“OSHA notes that ensuring PPE fits an employee properly is essential to effectively protecting that person; this is particularly true with eye protection. Without proper fit, protective eyewear is likely to be uncomfortable, to slip, and possibly to be damaged or even discarded. The consequences of even momentary gaps in protection can be severe.

OSHA has reported that thousands of workers are blinded every year from occupational injuries that could have been prevented through using vision protection—which must be worn by employees who are exposed to hazardous chemical splash, dust, and particles—and that eye injuries resulting from such exposures cost more than $300 million per year in this country. 

The agency very much wants employers to prevent such injuries; it cited a Missouri sheet metal manufacturer in mid-December 2016 for more than a dozen repeated and serious violations, issuing $138,430 in proposed fines. The company had failed to ensure workers wore eye protection and other necessary PPE, according to OSHA, as well as train workers to handle hazardous chemicals, install adequate machine guarding, develop energy control procedures and conduct regular inspections of machine safety procedures, and remove damaged powered industrial trucks from surface, among other things.”

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Five Important Features of PPE for Chemical and Biological Hazard Protection

“Do you work in an environment that poses significant risk for exposure to chemical and biological hazards? Industries that put workers in situations where they may be exposed to chemical splash, isocyanate paint, bloodborne pathogens, and more should first evaluate conditions of use when selecting appropriate chemical protective clothing.

Too often, decisions are made based on price and aesthetic considerations when selecting protective clothing. Making decisions based on these factors can put workers at increased risk. Another unsafe selection practice includes making purchase decisions based on the brand or fabric that has always been worn and not taking the time to understand important research and test results to determine whether the product is truly the best choice for the application.
While it is important to be cautious of data that is misunderstood or incorrectly applied, buyers should be aware that there are considerable data and chemical resources available in the marketplace. Here are a few garment features that are important to take into consideration when making an informed and appropriate chemical protective clothing purchase decision.”
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