It has been nearly a year and a half since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic began, and while we have made some progress in fighting the virus, it appears we still have a long way to go. The emergence of the Delta variant, first identified in India in December 2020, has weakened the defenses we have put in place to stop the spread of the virus and significantly impeded our ability to return to normalcy.
According to OSHA, the number of worker deaths and injuries has decreased by over 60% since the organization’s creation in 1971. This sounds like a resounding success, right? Unfortunately, despite the improvements to worker health and safety that have been made by OSHA, over 5,000 people still die at work every year, with another 3.6 million people suffering a severe work-related injury.
Safety in the modern mining industry continues to be well regulated. However, the ongoing use of outdated lighting systems, particularly in underground mines, creates potentially hazardous working conditions.
Two years ago, estimates from the Gates Foundation said the number of buildings worldwide would double by 2060, and the International Data Corporation reported that there would be 75 billion connected devices by 2025. In one survey by Wired Score, 77% of tenants said they would sign a longer lease in a building with a superior infrastructure to manage them all.
Electricity is something we often take for granted. Because it’s so intertwined into our daily lives, from powering your smartphone to providing lighting in even the most obscure locations, we can often forget the dangers that come with it.
Environmentally friendly safety products are better for the environment. But they are also good for businesses. Most of the PPE and safety products that you’re currently using, such as gloves, lockout/tagout kits, and cleaning supplies, have an earth-friendly alternative or can be recycled.
Lashing wire is stainless steel wire commonly used in the utility and telecommunications industries to bring and support aerial cables or a combination of cables to a supporting strand. It is produced by a specially controlled annealing process which yields a uniform fine-grain structure throughout wire length and cross section for best results.
Finding ways to increase supply chain efficiency is always good for business. As many companies are adapting to business challenges given the current pandemic, it’s even more critical to maximize the value of your supply chain to save time and resources, reduce costs, and shrink waste.
With the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, health agencies have strengthened their messaging around the importance of wearing a mask, but the variety of face-covering options can be daunting. How do these respiratory protection options compare in terms of performance?
Natural disasters can hit unexpectedly, resulting in storm damage and destruction of homes, businesses, roadways, and electrical systems. When Hurricane Laura made landfall on August 27, 2020, causing 150 mph winds, flooding, and power loss, communities in Texas and Louisiana faced complete devastation. WESCO and Anixter employees were quick to respond with power rebuild and restoration support.
If you visited any of your facilities and asked, “How often are you pulling your team together to talk about safety?”, what response do you think you would get? Varied responses are an indicator of the need to reexamine how, when, and what your facilities use to talk about safety, and to implement consistency across all locations.
Wildfires are a continual concern in many California communities. In fact, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, there have been 7,921 fires from January 1 through November 29 of 2020. That’s an increase from 6,872 fires reported in the same period in 2019.
As we move into the third year of the Coronavirus 2019 Pandemic, new variants continue to challenge many of the controls we have established to protect our workers. Most recently, the Omicron variant has caused a surge breaking records for the number of new daily cases.
Article was originally published on July 19, 2017, and updated for accuracy and relevance. Electrical workers face many dangers on the job, but few (if any) are more devastating than an arc flash. This electrical release of energy can be hotter than the surface of the sun, producing an explosion with the force of eight sticks of dynamite.
The outbreak of COVID-19 continues to impact businesses around the globe. And while many companies are ready to re-open offices, they’re looking to do so as safely as possible so employees can have peace of mind when walking through the front doors.
Being able to clearly hear sounds, warnings, discussions, alarms, and alerts on a job site may be something that many of us take for granted. Preventing initial hearing damage and protecting remaining hearing through hearing conservation is critical because hearing is foundational to communication and quality of life – at work and at home.
With parking garages, lighting is one of the most critical components of safety and security. When designing a new parking garage or retrofitting an existing one, it’s important to provide the right amount of lighting not only for the entrance and interior but also for the stairwells, top deck, and exterior.
Viruses, disinfection, and workplace safety – these are things we used to think about periodically, but likely nowhere near as much as do we now given the current health crisis. In just a few months’ time the SARS-COV-2 virus has completely changed the way we work, recreate, educate, and go about our lives.
With the recent healthcare crisis, businesses around the world increased their work-from-home rate from 5 percent to 90 percent in just a few days. As offices slowly begin to re-open, employees will be making their way back into the office, but we will all be adjusting to a new normal. New procedures should be developed, implemented, and communicated to sustain a clean and safe workplace.
It’s not a tightly held secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a tectonic shift in how the world functions and how it will move forward into a less certain future. As businesses, schools, governments, and communities look to safely reopen and resume some semblance of normal operations, the sheer volume of information and opinions available can overwhelm the senses.
You’ve heard of arc flash. You’ve even heard some numbers. And while it’s easy to remember that an arc flash is three times hotter than the surface of the sun, it’s not so clear why that matters, or what your facility should do about it.
Article originally published Nov. 20, 2017, and updated for accuracy and relevance. While most elements of ladder safety might seem like common sense, OSHA requires that employers take additional measures to ensure that their workers’ safety isn’t compromised. Of several topics covered in the most recent Walking Working Surfaces standard, updates detailing fixed ladder use within general industry settings were a key focus.
Employee safety is always a top priority in any business. To avoid the possibility of injuries, the use of high-visibility clothing is important. High-visibility clothing allows workers to be seen in low-light conditions where the risk of injury is high.
Employees working on the job every day – from construction sites to warehouses – often become so comfortable with their daily activities, they can become complacent to the injury risks. Unfortunately, it’s this form of complacency that can result in job site injuries ranging from slips and falls to struck-by hazards.
The construction industry has seen an increase of women on the job site. Year after year, this number continues to grow – but as a primarily male-dominated industry, there are still many things to take into consideration for women.
From tornadoes and hurricanes to floods, earthquakes, and ice storms, Mother Nature has many ways of threatening your business. When disaster strikes, it’s important to have a predetermined plan in place to minimize downtime, injury, and loss of valuable information.
The number of overdoses in the U.S. is growing at an astonishing rate. It’s estimated that 1.7 million people suffer from substance disorders. As deaths related to the opioid overdose continue to grow, it has reached the point that it’s now causing a decline in the life expectancy of Americans.
When thinking about workplace injuries, it’s easy to picture yourself in the warehouse trying to grab a box just out of reach and as you wiggle it off the shelf – you drop it on your foot. Or maybe you are walking through the warehouse and have a near miss with a forklift that didn’t see you coming.
Whether you’re removing snow from your driveway, making work deliveries in cold pouring rain, or just attending a chilly outdoor event, you run the risk of getting a cold stress-related injury if you’re not properly protected or adequately prepared.
When you think of a loading dock, does a flurry of activity and the classic “beep, beep, beep” backup sound come to mind? On a daily basis, loading docks are a hub of activity for shipping and receiving functions that keep the lifeblood of businesses flowing. Unfortunately, about 25 percent of reported warehouse injuries occur on loading docks.
Consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the human foot is an engineering marvel of the human body — one that needs the utmost protection while on the job.
Assessing the workplace for potential safety hazards often leads companies to invest in signage, labels, personal protective equipment, and other safety products. Floor marking tape is an effective one of these since it’s a simple identifier of hazardous areas, places of caution, safe pathways, and other precautionary areas.
Imagine this – you’re working on a factory floor. Small debris is floating through the air, so as you start your shift, you reach for your safety glasses. Bad news, they’re not where they should be. You can’t start work without your glasses, so you let your manager know.
In the industrial space, you’re probably familiar with both U.S. and European standards for industrial gloves that protect against cuts, punctures, abrasions and chemical exposure. These standards allow companies to properly compare products to find the best match for their application.
Although the modern mining industry has always been well regulated in terms of safety, what has been evident is the increased tolerance and acceptability of sub-standard and hazardous lighting systems being used in underground mining.
The frequency of non-residential fires has steadily increased over the last 10 years, resulting in 80 civilian deaths and over $3 billion dollars in direct property damage per year (NFPA). Factor in the monetary loss from business interruption and the impact is staggering.
Working with high voltage power systems carries many hazards and inherent risks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the electrical fatality rate in the mining industry is approximately 8 to 12 times higher than the rate of other U.S. industries.
Have you ever wondered, “Do I really need a special equipment rack in a seismically active area?” The short answer is “Yes.” Using a rack or cabinet designed for seismic applications may be more costly, but will give you the highest load-bearing capacity in your designated floor space.
Electricians often perform repetitive motions, twist their bodies in awkward positions, and handle heavy materials. To protect their field workforce from strains, sprains, and career-inhibiting injuries, many of today's top electrical construction firms are focusing on ergonomics.
The utility industry is filled with risks and hazards that other lines of business do not experience. Electrical work has been repeatedly identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries as one of the most dangerous jobs.
Now that summer weather is finally here, staying hydrated throughout your day and at work is crucial to staying healthy and alert. Dehydration is a health concern that can be caused by hot, humid weather or when working around tools and equipment that produce a great amount of heat. Many people don’t think about drinking water until they feel thirsty.
Fall protection has progressively advanced over the years from single lap/torso belts to full body harnesses with significant safety features to quickly restrain a worker in the event of a fall. In industrial and construction settings, workers often need to reach elevated areas to retrieve material or place items for storage.
With so many different ratings for ingress protection — from NEMA ratings, to UL standards, to the European IEC ingress protection (IP) ratings appearing more frequently in the U.S.— keeping the standards straight can be challenging.
Healthcare, foodservice and educational institutions often have different requirements for lighting technology compared to residential or commercial facilities. One such requirement may involve additional testing to ensure food, water and consumer safety.
Did you know a typical lockout/tagout safety program can contain over 80 separate elements? In addition to creating, maintaining and updating equipment lists and hierarchies, task-specific procedures and workplace regulations such as confined space entry requirements might play an important part.
Article originally published April 20, 2017, and updated for accuracy and relevance. For every mining professional, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is a frequently discussed topic. This organization regulates the mining industry to create safer mines through safety and health rules.
Every three years, the National Electric Code (NEC) is updated, and as a result industry standards for the installation of electrical wiring and equipment are revised. The full NEC text spans approximately 1,000 pages, broken down into several chapters and annexes, and includes safety information that’s relevant to all industrial audiences.
Did you know that 20 percent of occupational fall injuries involve ladders? Many workplace falls occur from ladders. Falls are a serious concern for both employers and employees. The good news is that ladder falls are preventable if the right precautions are taken.
Some of the most common workplace injuries are often the most preventable with proper education, hazard controls, and work area setup. One of the common mechanisms of sprain and strain injuries in the workplace relates to manually lifting heavy objects. While these injuries could occur in a number of situations, material handling tasks that required workers to bend, push, pull, lift, and lower were the leading causes.
In September, Conney Safety took home one of three “Best in Show” prizes awarded at the National Safety Council Congress and Expo. As the only distributor to win the honor, we wanted to connect with the Conney Safety team to learn about the design and development of their winning product – the Direct Safety Karbonhex Dusk Glove. On October 19, we met with Conney Safety Brand Manager Missy Taylor, the woman behind the new glove.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) drives workplace safety procedures that span multiple industries. On the surface it may seem that different industries such as food and beverage processing and oil and gas drilling and refining should have very different safety standards. In fact, there are several safety standards that are applicable to both due to the similarities in their harsh, wet environments and the types of devices used in them.
This year, OSHA made updates to its Walking Working Surfaces standard for general industry, in an effort to bring fall protection requirements more in-line with those for the construction industry. As a result, OSHA estimates the new rule will prevent 29 worker deaths and 5,842 lost-workday injuries each year. In addition, compliance will be easier and more affordable to maintain, since the requirements now overlap industries and many existing ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards.
While every company has different challenges when it comes to safety, some training best practices are consistent across industries. OSHA recently made changes to its Walking Working Surfaces standard for general industry. With this update, OSHA estimates that the final rule will prevent 29 worker deaths and 5,842 lost-workday injuries each year. By harmonizing general industry requirements with OSHA's existing construction industry standard and many ANSI standards, the new rule makes compliance easier and less costly.
When it comes to handling hazardous chemicals, workers need the proper equipment to stay safe. Protecting a worker’s face and head should be an employer’s top priority. And while many businesses supply safety equipment, it’s not always used in the right way. A faceshield doesn’t provide the coverage necessary to prevent injury 100 percent of the time. Workers need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects both the eyes and the face from injury. A faceshield alone doesn’t always guarantee safety.
Professionals who brave the elements year-round know that summertime often creates particularly harsh outdoor working conditions. Exposure to heat and the sun is not only challenging from a productivity perspective but can lead to serious short- and long-term health implications.
As one of the oldest and most heavily regulated trades in the world, mining faces challenges that are shared across many industries yet uniquely complex due to harsh, changing environments. While the cost of doing business rises due to volatile commodity prices and a shrinking talent pool, decision makers must maintain an urgent focus on safety, efficiency and social responsibility. Mining is well-positioned to leverage emerging technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) to meet these competing demands. Mine operators can take advantage of IoT data through RFIDs, Radio over IP, and video for greater safety and efficiency.
Mining presents a variety of risks to those working underground. But one of the most dangerous risks in mining electrical work is an arc flash. An arc fault heats the air around it in an electrical enclosure, causing pressure to build and metals to vaporize, leading to an arc flash. The high temperatures destroy even the most powerful metals and the pressure forces shrapnel outwards.
Maintaining the security of the electrical grid is recognized as a top priority by most federal, state and local entities. There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose security is entrusted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the electrical grid is what allows the other 15 to function. The financial resources to implement necessary mitigation solutions to deter, detect, protect, respond and recover from an event are limited.
Strategic marketing or labeling that uses the term “food grade” has caused a great deal of confusion in the food and beverage industry. It’s led companies to believe they are buying a food-safe product when, in truth, they may not be. The assumption is that the food-grade product has been subjected to rigorous testing to ensure safety throughout the food and beverage processing environment. But, in fact, there is no industry certification called “food grade.”
Risks are inherent in industrial plants and other settings where workers come into contact with heavy equipment and processes combining metal surfaces, electrical machinery and power systems. GFCI-compliance and watertight connections are critical wherever power components contact moisture, chemicals, weather and other harsh environmental conditions. Industrial operations are at risk anytime unprotected electrical connections are exposed to moisture, metals and harsh conditions.
Physical security concerns are an integral issue for healthcare facilities. These vital organizations are open to the public and serve vulnerable populations. A physical or cybersecurity attack could be devastating to the facility, its personnel, patients and the community. Conducting a risk assessment can significantly mitigate the vulnerabilities of a healthcare facility to ensure a safe environment for everyone.
By their very nature, mining operations are high-volume electricity users. Energy costs have a significant impact on the mining industry’s bottom line. The good news is that there is something you can do to improve your energy efficiency without sacrificing your operating efficiency. It’s all about power factor and power factor correction.
While working around live wires, keeping electricity grounded should be every miner’s number one priority. It stops electricity from seeking a worker’s body as the grounding path. Grounding electrical equipment is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and ASTM International to promote safe work environments while electrical work is done.
While working on an electrical line, promoting electrical safety is absolutely critical. The line you are working on could become energized in an instant, creating a dangerous, even deadly, situation. Lightning, human error, static electricity, induced voltage and backfeed are all serious dangers to line workers.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the average annual fatality rate for power line workers is 56 deaths per 100,000 employees. To keep workers safe, there are several personal protective equipment (PPE) items that should be utilized in the field. One of the most important lines of defense is rubber goods.
When you’re standing or sitting at work for long periods of time, there’s nothing worse than sore legs and feet. Every year, two million sick days are lost to lower limb disorders. Ergonomic injuries come at a high cost. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, $1 of every $3 spent on workers’ compensation comes from insufficient ergonomic protection. It’s clear that taking steps to prevent these injuries is well worth it.
Electrical equipment is only as effective as it is protected. Whether you’re indoors, outdoors, exposed to water, or facing harsh weather conditions, electrical equipment needs to be protected by an enclosure. Choosing the right electrical enclosure requires some knowledge of electrical standards. Ratings from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) provide guidance on what level of protection your enclosure needs depending on the environmental factors it is subjected to.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most preventable workplace accidents, yet the numbers don’t seem to prove it. Second only to motor vehicles, incidents related to slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of accidental deaths. They can also cost an employer an average of tens of thousands of dollars per incident.
Did you know that four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise? In just one year, 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment. And these are only the cases that were reported! From these statistics, it’s clear that we’re not doing enough to prevent hearing loss at work. Employers give earplugs and earmuffs to employees, but getting employees to wear them when they need to is another story altogether.
Article originally published Feb. 4, 2016, and updated for accuracy and relevance. In the immortal words of "Game of Thrones," winter is here. Luckily for us, we don't have to worry about facing the army of the dead in 100-foot-high snow drifts. There are, however, plenty of outdoor workers who will be exposed to the harsh elements this season. As conditions start to deteriorate, brush up on these 5 essential tips for every outdoor winter worker.
If you went to work today and sat in a gray cubicle, or were surrounded by endless white walls, chances are your mood matched the color of your environment. Bland, cold colors in the workplace could leave us feeling sullen instead of inspired. Adding vibrant paint schemes or accents is not only aesthetically pleasing, but capable of boosting mood, morale and productivity.
If you’re looking for a way to increase safety and efficiencies in your mining operations, using “Lean” methods will help you accomplish that. This Japanese system has swept through global industries, eliminating waste in its path. While 5S has helped mining companies accomplish Lean objectives, many have called for a greater focus on warehouse safety. With the addition of a sixth step, mining organizations are using Lean practices to increase warehouse productivity without sacrificing safety. For workers employed in harsh and hazardous environments, 6S is especially effective in securing worker safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million Americans get sick each year from foodborne illnesses. Another 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 are killed. These alarming statistics helped lead to the signing of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011. The legislation, which recently went into effect, enforces proactive measures to prevent food contamination.
Summer might be coming to a close, but there’s still plenty of time for swimming, barbecuing and dining outdoors. The following tips will help you enjoy the last few weeks of the season in the safest way possible.
Universities and colleges face many possible risks. While it may be impossible to plan for every crisis situation, you can put processes in place to be prepared. Creating a robust emergency plan is the first step to ensuring a safe place for students, faculty, and the general public. But once your plan is in place, how do you know if it is actively protecting your campus?
According to OSHA, approximately three million workers who service equipment face potential injury if lockout/tagout (LOTO) is not properly implemented. Complying with the LOTO standard could help prevent an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.
Workplace safety is paramount, and sometimes the worst accidents are the easiest to prevent. Slips, trips and falls account for 25% of all injury claims per fiscal year and 15% of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicles. They are also responsible for more than 95 million lost work days annually. Here are four simple ways to prevent your employees from getting “tripped” up.
In the event of a critical situation, campuses could save lives with the help of a strong emergency plan. To get there, they must think beyond traditional security methods. Those approaches are a solid start, but they might not be enough. Now campuses must evaluate all potential security scenarios to ensure the safety of students and staff.
Last June, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law requiring every restaurant and commercial building in the state to install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors by June 27, 2016. The law will apply to both new and existing buildings with possible sources of CO, such as garages, electrical generators, and faulty furnaces. Alarms should be installed in a central location within every 10,000 feet in a facility. They must also be hard-wired units with battery backup.
Locking our doors is one of the first and most effective forms of security, including in the workplace. To protect their employees and assets, companies can choose from either mechanical (keyed) locks or electronic systems. But does one provide better security over the other?
Workplace safety shouldn’t just be a leadership priority. The best way to nurture a true and effective safety culture is to involve your whole organization. There are plenty of ways to make safety a hot topic with your employees. You could start meetings with a brief safety talk, hold a forum, or even arrange creative projects. You could also give your workers opportunities to provide feedback and report possible hazards.
It goes without saying that safety should be your first priority. A strong safety culture protects your employees, equipment, and organization as a whole. So what happens if you encounter resistance when developing or changing your process?
May is National Electrical Safety Month, and it’s a crucial cause to honor. Electrical hazards result in roughly 325 deaths and 4,400 injuries every year, according to the National Safety Council. Throughout the month, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) will run a major campaign to increase electrical safety awareness.