Safety Training, Equipment, Supplies & Rentals

Considering it is now 2013, commercial and industrial industries are under more rules and regulations than ever before. When it comes to safety in the workplace, there are numerous governing bodies regulating the way jobs are performed, ensuring that best practices are enforced, and promoting the completion of jobs and tasks in the safest way possible. One of the things these governing bodies, such as OSHA, have specific regulations for is gas detection. Gas detectors are required by industry best practices and regulations and are the only way that workplaces can identify gas leaks and potential threats within the workplace. They are extremely important and are a critical piece of safety equipment that can be used to detect explosive atmospheres, oxygen deficiency, and toxic gases that may have leaked into the air. Without gas detectors being used to detect threats, workers are exposed to potentially damaging gases that can cause harm to their minds and bodies, or even result in death.

Gas detectors are great for detecting gases that would not otherwise be smelled by humans in the workplace. However, due to the harsh and rigorous conditions of some jobsites and workplaces, gas detectors can be affected and could suffer damages to physically or through their sensors. Damage to the sensors can be caused by poisons in the air or concentrations of poisons that exceed the gas detector’s detectable limit. Dirt and debris can also obstruct the sensor ports of gas detectors, which would prevent the movement of gas into the detector. Due to all of these possible complications with gas detectors, it is important to have a method of verifying whether or not your gas detectors are working correctly and are reacting to target gases. One of the best ways to do this is with something called the “bump test.”

gas detection

A bump test is where the gas detector is exposed to a concentration of gas that exceeds the alarm set points on the detector. This will help identify the sensors’ ability to respond to target gases. By manually testing gas detectors with the bump test, one can confirm that the sensors are reacting to gases and that visual and audio alarms are working correctly and will alert workers when dangerous gases are present. There are a number of different ways to perform a bump test including using aerosol cans of sample gas to docking stations designed for the detectors. Bump tests are extremely important and only take a minute to perform, so don’t neglect this! It is highly recommended that all workers and supervisors bump test their gas detectors every morning before heading into work. This is already required by most manufacturers, but still too many workers neglect to test their detectors on a regular basis. Those that don’t test their detectors are greatly increasing their chances of being exposed to harmful gases that they cannot smell.

Considering that there are so many different ways for harmful gases to leak into the air, gas detection is extremely important and should, in no way, be neglected. Workers’ health and even their lives are at stake. Not only that, if a worker were to somehow get injured or killed on the job, the company would be in serious trouble both legally and financially. Not to mention the fact that their safety record would essentially be ruined. Don’t neglect gas detection! It is imperative to worker safety and the company’s overall well-being. Regularly bump test gas detectors and promote gas detection safety throughout the workplace so that workers, supervisors, and managers are aware of the dangers and consequences of harmful gases and the benefits of gas detection and bump testing.

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It is required by OSHA that employees who work with uncontrolled hazardous wastes must attend a 24 hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Training course. Any and all workers who have not yet attended the course will not be allowed into job sites with these uncontrolled chemicals. On top of the course, workers also must have one day of supervised field experience. These are not only all requirements by OSHA, but are practices that will help you better protect yourself and your coworkers from hazardous materials you may encounter while in the workplace. Sometimes, workers look beyond the safety aspects of training courses and only see them as an inconvenient requirement they must fulfill in order to work, so we’ve put together this guide on the importance of HAZWOPER training to better help workers like these fully understand how imperative this training is to their safety.

There are several instances where employees will have to deal with potentially harmful chemicals and substances while working. A majority of these substances are completely airborne so it is difficult to detect them without actually testing the air. If any employees are exposed to these harmful toxins in the air, they can suffer significant damage to their health; some of it may even be permanent or life threatening. A 24 hour HAZWOPER training course is designed to train employees on how to identify these chemicals, how to handle them, and how to prevent any possible accidents or contamination from happening. They will be taught how to properly use a respirator for protection against chemicals along with several other methods of protection.

HAZWOPER training

Other learning objectives for 24 HAZWOPER training:

  • How to understand the characteristics of each work zone. 
  • Listing all of the elements of site security.
  • Developing a Medical Surveillance Program.
  • Identifying uses for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and how to choose them properly.
  • Reading and understanding fully OSHA’s requirements and regulations.
  • Understanding chemicals and the hazards they present in the workplace.
  • Understanding principles of toxicology and how they are related to exposure to chemicals.
  • Describe potentially dangerous situations involving reactive chemicals, solvents, oxidizers, and corrosives.
  • Understanding OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard and steps that need to be taken for a Hazard Communication Program.
  • Identify and recognize types of respiratory equipment.
  • Identify and recognize types of radiation and the hazards they present.
  • Comprehension of Protection Factors.
  • Understand the different methods and types of air monitoring.
  • Know the principles of decontamination, methods of decontamination, and levels of decontamination.
  • Comprehend the confined space permit system.
  • Understand medical issues related to confined spaces.
  • Know the main confined space atmospheric hazards and different types of ventilation.
  • Understand and know the numerous considerations in emergency situations and the importance of the actions and training for personal safety as well as the safety of others.

HAZWOPER training

Health and training sessions should be scheduled on a regular basis in all companies and organizations that deal with hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Worker safety should be paramount over anything else when dealing with these chemicals and 24 HAZWOPER training is designed to help your employees not only fulfill OSHA’s requirements, but will also make your workplace much safer and your workers much happier. Happier workers means more productive workers, which positively affects your bottom line. Don’t be one of the workplaces or employers who neglects getting your employees trained in HAZWOPER methods due to petty financial reasons. Without safe workers, your company is merely asking for trouble on a number of levels. Here at Safety Partners, we offer a full, 24 hour OSHA approved HAZWOPER training course that you can sign up for now! Don’t wait, the longer your employees operate unsafely, the higher your chances are of experiencing an incident in the workplace that could injure or even kill one of your workers, not to mention the heavy financial cost your company will experience afterwards.

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According to a recent article in Safety & Health, each day over one thousand eye injuries occur in the workplace. These eye injuries are directly responsible for over $3 million each year in medical expenses, lost production, and worker’s compensation fees. The worst part about this is the fact that OSHA approximates that about 90% of these eye injuries could’ve been prevented with the correct use of protective eyewear. Considering so many people are injuring their eyes due to ignorance or just lack of education, we felt it would be appropriate to remind you exactly why eye protection is so important in the workplace and what you can do to prevent eye injuries from happening in the future.

First, let’s take a quick refresher on which operations within the workplace typically present threats to your eyes.

  • Hammering, chiseling, grinding, wood working, or any similar activity that results in large fragments or small particles to fly through the air and possibly into your eyes. 
  • Spraying, painting, metal working, sanding, spot welding, or any process that involves fumes, dust, or tiny particulates becoming airborne.
  • Electric welding, cutting with a torch, furnace tending, or any operations or work tasks that are performed around or near intense heat or radiant energy.
  • Handling acids, caustics, hot metal casting, or babbitting where vapors, gases, liquids, or splashing metals are produced.

If you are going to be performing ANY of the above tasks, make sure you are wearing protective eyewear! Logically, everyone should be wearing eye protection at all times within the workplace and especially while performing the above tasks, but like we mentioned earlier, a majority of eye injuries happen due to worker negligence and ignorance of the dangers around them.

protective eyewear

To better put in perspective the level of ignorance that is occurring across the country and where these injuries are happening, here are some FACTS concerning eye safety, and the ignorance of eye safety, in the workplace. These numbers are based off of the Safety & Health report we mentioned at the beginning of this article.

  • 3 out of every 5 eye injuries occur due to the lack of the worker wearing ANY eye protection at the time of the incident.
  • 40% of injured workers WERE wearing some form of protective eyewear, but were wearing the WRONG TYPE of eyewear that failed to protect them. The biggest reason for this was the absence of side shields.
  • Falling or flying objects led to 70% of eye injuries with 60% of these cases involving an object that was literally smaller than a pinhead.
  • 20% of eye injuries resulted from contact with chemicals through splashing or spraying directly into the eye.
  • Craft workers, repairers, mechanics, plumbers, and carpenters accounted for 40% of eye injuries while operatives such as sanders, assemblers, and grinding machine operators accounted for 30% of eye injuries.
  • 50% of workers who were injured worked in manufacturing, while 20% worked in construction.

As you can see, a lot of the eye injuries that are occurring across the country on a daily basis are in some way preventable. Not only are some workers just blatantly disregarding eye protection in general, but some are actually wearing eye protection, just not the CORRECT eye protection. In fact, 94% of eye injuries that occur result from objects or chemicals going UNDER or AROUND the eye protection. This means workers are either wearing eyewear that doesn’t properly fit them, or they are wearing the wrong type of eyewear relative to the conditions they are working in and the tasks they need to accomplish. There are also workers who are wearing eyewear that is old and hasn’t been cleaned in awhile, so they end up injuring their eyes because their lenses are dirty and they could not see what they were doing. Don’t be one of these people! Make sure you know which eyewear is appropriate for each given situation and wear the CORRECT protective eyewear. Your vision, and your quality of life in the future, depend on it.

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