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Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • Ladder Safety: High Number of Workplace Incidents Require More Attention

    workplace ladder safetyA recent paper that's been published within the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has been quite an eye-opener. The paper evaluates the number of injuries and deaths as a direct result of work-related ladder accidents by compiling data from many different injury surveillance systems and the results are quite alarming.
     
    While there is an abundance of data available, it takes time to mine through and it's hard to get current and consistent numbers, so the paper has focused on the 2011 work year in an effort to provide the most accurate report possible.
     
    Within 2011, there were 113 fatal falls from ladders. Another 15,460 falls were non-fatal and resulted in at least a day of lost time and 34,000 non-fatal ladder injuries that required treatment in emergency rooms.
     
    The Ladder Fall Injuries (LFIs) report shows an abundance of preventable injuries and deaths for workers. It simultaneously highlights the need for research and action that can help create awareness while aiding in the development of innovative technologies to assist in the prevention of falls.
     
    According to the data, men and Hispanics showed an increased rate of fatal and non-fatal LFIs when compared to women and non-hispanic persons of other race/ethnicity. Additionally, they discovered that accident rates increased with age and fatality rates were noticeably higher for workers who are self-employed. Interestingly, establishments with fewer employers had a higher rate of death or injury due to LFIs.
     
    Construction and extraction were found to be the two most likely industries to suffer accidents with ladders, followed by installation, maintenance and repair work.
     
    Of all fatal LFIs on record for 2011, nearly half (49%) of those show the implication of head industries. Most non-fatal LFIs involved damage to upper and lower extremities.
     
    Another factor mentioned within the report is the height of the falls, which was documented for 82 of the 113 fatalities recorded and for 11,400 of the 34,000 non-fatal falls which were recorded. Almost 90% of all non-fatal falls occurred at a height of less than 16 feet with heights between 6 - 10 feet being the most common. As for fatal falls, heights of 6-10 were the most common, yet they only accounted for 28% of the total fatalities on record.
     
    Overall, the numbers seem quite alarming considering ladder safety should be common knowledge. While accidents and equipment failure do happen, proper awareness that could be created by ladder inspection and other preventative procedures should be able to lower these numbers significantly.
     
    The paper, was written by Christina M. Socias, DrPH, of CDC; and Cammie K. Chaumont Menéndez, Ph.D., James W. Collins, Ph.D., and Peter Simeonov, Ph.D., all three of whom work for NIOSH’s Division of Safety Research. The authors have also implemented several suggestions for employers to help prevent ladder falls.
     
    View this CDC report here, and keep in mind that ladder safety is a serious concern and should be reviewed in your workplace to ensure best practices. To aid in reducing and/or avoiding LFIs in your workplace you can download the Free NIOSH Ladder Safety Smartphone app for for both iPhone and Android devices. The app is loaded with cool features that will ensure a safer step up.

  • Mamximum Comfort, Maximum Visibility with HiVis Work Shirts

    hivis shirtsWhen it's freezing cold outside, a high visibility safety vest or jacket is ideal for providing safety on the job. But during the spring, summer and fall, a jacket is too warm and even a simple safety vest adds another layer of clothing which can be quite a burden. If you're looking for maximum comfort, ANSI compliant safety and minimal layers of clothing, you might want to take a look at our high visibility shirts.
     
    Hi-vis shirts are available in a variety of different styles including t-shirts, long sleeved t's, and buttoned short & long sleeve work shirts. From the fluorescent-colored enhanced visibility designs to ANSI Class 2 and 3 compliant, there are shirts for practically any application. Some of the features available include microfiber fabrics for optimal breathability and even FR Rated shirts for situations requiring FR protection. They're also equipped with the same highly reflective striping materials that's used on safety vests such as 3M Scotchlite, so you're not sacrificing safety for comfort.
     
    Aside from comfort and lightweight ANSI compliant protection, another major benefit of high visibility shirts is that even the short sleeved t-shirts have more fabric than a sleeveless vest, so you're getting a larger amount of high visibility fabric on your body - which is always a plus from a safety standpoint.
     
    If you're interested in simplifying safety this year while improving your level of comfort on the job, be sure to check out our complete line of Hi Vis ANSI Class Shirts today. There are plenty of styles to choose from, including your favorite brands like ML Kishigo and Red Kap. As always, they're all available at our everyday discount pricing.

  • Prepare to Beat the Heat with High Visibility Cooling Products!

    hivis cooling productsAlthough the extreme heat of summer is still a couple months away, those scorching temperatures will be here before we know it. A day of hard work in an outdoor environment during the summer can be physically taxing, and in many cases quite dangerous. To make things easier while achieving a consistent level of comfort and safety, consider investing in the proper gear for the job this year.
     
    Just as high visibility gear ensures you can be seen, 'cooling gear' is another important element of staying safe on the job. When the temperatures rise, manual labor an physical exertion can quickly catch up to you causing dehydration, heat stress and even heat stroke. Cooling gear aids in keeping your temperature at a stable level, preventing heat stress and ensuring you're as comfortable as possible when the temperatures reach extremes.
     
    At HiVis Supply, we carry a complete inventory of high visibility cooling products which vary widely in use and serve a broad range of cooling needs for specific applications. We stock an assortment of head & neck gear, safety vests, shirts, hats and sun shades, heat stress/stroke rehabilitation products and even electrolyte drinks.
     
    All of our heat stress and cooling products have been specifically designed with the worker in mind. Many of these products offer cutting-edge technology and materials to absorb moisture, enhance breathability and provide safe and effective alternatives to ordinary hi vis safety wear. Technology has come a long way in recent years and manufacturers are doing their best to develop functional, practical products to help deal with the blazing summer heat so you can focus your energy on your job.
     
    Check out our High Visibility Cooling Gear today and discover the unique cooling products that will help make your summer work day a breeze. Our everyday low prices and free shipping on all orders over $150 are sure to keep you feeling cool in any situation!

  • Reducing the Risk of Workplace Injury with Personal Protective Equipment

    personal protective equipmentTo showcase the importance of personal protective equipment in the workplace, we've put together this little fact sheet. Not only can the proper safety gear prevent accidents or death, it can drastically diminish the chances of serious injury on the job.
     
    If you're working in an environment where your personal safety can be enhanced from the use of additional protective equipment, don't hesitate to do so. Incorporating preventative measures that will decrease your risk of injury is always a step in the right direction.
     
    While you might think you've been properly protecting yourself on the job, statistics show that:
     
    • Only 16% of workers who suffered head injuries were wearing hard hats
    • Only 1% of workers who suffer face injuries were wearing face protection
    • Only 23% of the workers who suffered foot injuries were wearing safety shoes/boots
    • Only 40% of the workers suffering eye injuries were wearing protective eye equipment
     
    The vast majority of the instances mentioned above were received while performing normal job duties at a typical job site. In other words, a substantial amount of injuries that happened were injuries other than what might be considered common for a specific task. While protective equipment alone cannot guarantee the absence of injury during an accident, it's a positive measure that can greatly decrease the injury that might be sustained. It's important to expect the unexpected.
     
    The data that we've compiled below comes directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and has been broken down by the different types of personal protection equipment that are commonly used on the job.
     
    Head Protection
    When it comes to head injuries, the resulting damage can be quite serious. 86% of head injuries included cuts or bruises to the scalp/forehead and concussions occurred in 26% of incidents. Over a third of overall head injuries are a direct result of falling objects striking workers.
     
    Foot and Leg Protection
    66% of workers suffering leg and/or foot injuries were wearing protective footwear while 34% were wearing regular street shoes. Of the ones wearing safety shoes or boots, 85% were injured due to being struck in an unprotected area of the shoe or boot.
     
    Eye and Face Protection
    Of the injured workers who were surveyed, nearly all of them indicated that the use of face and/or eye protection was not a normal practice or not required for the type of work being performed when the accident occurred. Nearly 1/3 of all facial injuries are caused by blunt metal objects weighing one pound or more. Cuts, lacerations and punters occurred in 48% of cases while fractures and lost teeth accounted for nearly 27%.
     
    These are just a sample of the statistics. There are many other types of injuries that can be sustained on the job including hand and arm injuries, torso injury, damage from failure or improper use of respiratory equipment and even impairment or loss of hearing due to a failure to utilize proper ear protection.
     
    Remember that personal protective equipment is not a replacement for proper procedure and safety gear does not eliminate hazards. Every workplace is different and the risks that are presented can constantly vary. Stay safe, remain aware and always protect yourself with the proper safety gear.

  • Workplace Safety Tips for 2014

    workplace safety tipsNeed a quick refresher on workplace safety? Maybe just a bit of motivation? Maybe you practice safety 100% of the time and are confident that you don't need any tips, but chances are that you know someone who does. Take a look quick look through these safety tips to help yourself remember to always promote a safe working environment.
     
    Create a Safe Work Space: Whether you're operating heavy equipment, flagging traffic, running a drill press or working a conveyor line it's critical to keep your work area as safe as possible. Faulty or worn components, dangerous debris and other hazards can cause serious injury. Even if it's not an immediate threat, an unrelated occurrence could cause an otherwise overlooked or ignored hazard to become a dangerous factor when making split-second decisions.
     
    Maintain a Clean Work Space: The cleaner the better. Clean environments contain less foreign material and therefore fewer potential hazards. Less clutter also promotes better productivity and performance.
     
    Involve Your Peers: Don't forget that accidents and injury on the job are not always the fault of the injured. Things that you choose to do on the job can have a direct effect on the safety of others. Take ownership of safety for yourself AND your coworkers. If everyone does so, you'll have a safer overall environment. Safety is a group effort!
     
    Get/Give Clear & Proper Instructions: When working amongst immediate hazards, it's important to have a clear line of communication. Whether you're giving or receiving instructions, make sure that those instructions are communicated effectively and provided in written or printed format if necessary. One wrong move can cost a life; people rely on the instruction of others to be sound.
     
    Focus on the Smaller Picture: While the term safety is often generalized, it's important to pay attention to the small details. While major safety concerns are always important, it's equally important to never overlook the small dangers as they can tend to add up quickly.
     
    Encourage Awareness: Whether you're an employee or an employer, it's important that everyone on the job is aware of any hazards. Encourage your employees or coworkers to report safety hazards to management in an effort to prevent injury or death. An employee should never be afraid to communicate legitimate safety concerns.
     
    Don't Take Shortcuts: If taking a shortcut increases the risk of possible injury, don't do it. Don't attempt to complete any task or job with any less protections in place than you normally would. One time is all it takes for a lack of proper procedure to cost a life.
     
    Maintain Machinery: The importance of this can't be stressed enough. The details will vary, but anything with moving parts should be cleaned, inspected, maintained and serviced on a regular basis to minimize any present dangers. Know your equipment and learn to identify warning signs. Questioning the "what if's" is a good rule when deciding if machinery requires service or attention. For example, "the part seems a bit loose but it's still working. But what if it did come apart?" Always consider a worse case scenario when questioning the importance of safety.
     
    Review Safety Standards: Whatever the job may be, it's critical to review safety standards on a regular basis. This is especially true when new employees are present. Review as a group and encourage teamwork when it comes to preventing accidents. Ensure that everyone understands the risks and knows how to identify potential hazards.
     
    We understand that most people know their job well but it's critical that EVERYONE knows their job well in order to ensure a safer and more efficient workplace. Please, don't wait until it's too late. Accidents will happen, but any accident that can be prevented isn't an accident after all.

  • ML Kishigo Black Series ANSI Class 3 Windbreaker

    ml kishigo black series windbreakerWorking outdoors has both its advantages and disadvantages. One of the most critical aspects of an outdoor workplace is obviously the weather, yet too often it seems that we're either braving the extreme cold of winter or trying to find a place to cool ourselves from the scorching summer sun. Ideally, we'd prefer the weather to be somewhere in the middle - not too hot, not too cold. Usually it's only during the spring and fall that we get to enjoy the luxury of ideal working conditions. But what type of high visibility gear can be worn during these mediocre temperatures? When it's a bit too warm for a bulky for a sweatshirt or jacket and still too cool for a t-shirt, what's the answer to safety and comfort? A windbreaker; and ML Kishigo has just the product.
     
    The Black Series Windbreaker is the perfect answer to the rather mild and unpredictable months of spring and fall. Manufactured from 100% lightweight polyester it offers enough protection to dampen the wind yet provide breathable and flexible high visibility safety when you need it the most. It also functions perfectly as a space saving backup that can be kept in a car or locker and used on an as-needed basis. Better yet, it's ANSI Class 3 compliant so it's suitable for practically any job site.
     
    As are all ML Kishigo's products, the Black Series Windbreaker is designed for a tough job. Comfort, safety and functionality has always been trademarks of the brand and they've surely been incorporated in the design of this windbreaker.
     
    Being ANSI Class 3 compliant, it features plenty of reflective striping for poorly lit environments and decreased visibility. Strategic placement of these materials on the garment provide you with the best overall reflectivity to ensure that you're seen by drivers, equipment operators and co-workers. After all there's no such thing as being too safe, right?
     
    Adjustable wrist cuffs allow for a secure yet comfortable fit while adjustable waist cinches are located on the interior of the zippered front pockets to prevent from being snagged on equipment or materials. We think that's quite clever from a safety point of view - not to mention it provides a cleaner look.
     
    There's also a vertical pocket on the left chest with a waterproof zipper for anything that needs to remain dry during wet conditions. Unique shoulder shoulder vents have been integrated as well to allow heat to escape during rigorous activity, keeping you cool enough to prevent sweating and discomfort. The black fabric areas of the underarm are made from a more durable ripstop material to help prevent wear while providing a clean appearance in areas that might normally appear soiled from frequent contact with materials or equipment. Not too bad for a windbreaker!
     
    The ML Kishigo Black Series ANSI Class 3 Windbreaker is available in HiVis Lime or Orange (WB100 or WB101) in sizes Medium through 5XL and is priced just under $50 at HiVisSupply.com right now. It's a solid investment in long lasting comfort and safety, two things you definitely don't want to spend the work day without. If you're interested at taking a shot to win one for free, be sure to enter our April HiVis Giveaway on our Facebook page for your chance.

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