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 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.
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.
In circumstances that call for temporary power, the long-standing approach has been to cobble together an electrical system using whatever extension cords and portable power supplies may be on hand. Although applications that call for portable power are inherently impermanent, it’s important not to sacrifice safety and increase the risk of trip-and-fall, electrical shock or other injuries. In fact, since these temporary power scenarios are typically found outdoors in the elements and require a significant amount of handling and transportation, extra attention should be paid to make sure the portable power equipment is safe, reliable and built to survive.
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.
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. It is estimated that 10 arc flash incidents involving more than one death occur every day in the U.S.
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. A top priority in electrical safety is keeping electricity grounded while work is performed. Grounding prevents electricity from seeking your body as the grounding path. OSHA and ASTM have mandated specific requirements to ensure that you remain safely grounded by using the right equipment and keeping that equipment functioning properly through inspections, cleaning and recertification. Follow these requirements, as well as company best practices, to support a safe work zone where the probability of an incident is reduced.
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.
For the mining industry, safety and lighting go hand in hand. Navigating harsh and hazardous conditions requires a well-lit work area. Slip and fall accidents are the second-leading cause of non-fatal mining-related injuries according to a report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
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.