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Monthly Archives: August 2016

  • Workplace Safety: Eye Protection & 90% Injury Preventability

    workplace safety eye protectionThere's a lot of talk about workplace safety, but we find that one of the most overlooked aspects of personal protection on job sites is eye protection. Protecting your eyes at work is commonplace for welders and machinists, but there are hundreds of other occupations where eye injury is a real risk that often goes unacknowledged or ignored.
     
    If you're working with any of the following materials or tools, it's critical that you think twice about protecting your eyes:
     
    • Liquid Chemicals
    • Powdered Chemicals
    • Caustic Substances
    • Grinding/Cutting Tools
    • Granular Products or Materials
    • High Heat or Flammable Materials
    • Machines with Small Moving Parts
    • Airborne or Super-Lightweight Materials
    • Solvents and Cleaners
    • Heavy Machinery
    • Falling, Crumbling or Easily Breakable Materials/Products
    • Pressurized Products/Equipment/Materials
    • Sharp Objects or Sharp Moving Parts
    • Fibrous Materials or Products
    • Adhesives
    • Intense Light
     
    While the list may not be complete, it can provide some very real insight into the many ways your eyes can be harmed, by both accidents and/or long-term exposure.
     
    If there's any chance of something splashing, sparking, exploding, slivering, shattering, bursting, or blowing into your eyes, you need to utilize some sort of eye protection. Whether it's googles, safety glasses or a safety shield, it might prevent you from losing your vision or suffering irreversible damage that can be debilitating, painful and costly.
     
    According to the CDC, here are over 2,000 work-related eye injuries each day that require medical treatment in the US. ABout a third, or 650+ of those require emergency room visits.
     
    Even when wearing eye protection, studies have shown that 40% of these eye injuries occur when people are wearing eye protection - but wearing the improper type or wearing them wrong way was a major factor. While certain eye injuries can happen even when eye protection is properly utilized, the majority of injuries in which eye protection was being used is due to safety glasses without side shields.
     
    Not surprisingly, almost 70% of all accidents involving eye injury occur from flying or falling objects, sparks and debris striking the eye. Of the injured workers themselves, 3/5 of them estimate that the particle causing the damage was smaller than a pinhead and traveling faster than an object that had been thrown. This valuable insight, along with other statistics tells us that tiny, fast moving particles are the most common cause of eye injuries. There are many ways this can occur, from a simple gust of wind to piece of aluminum dust being thrown up by a sander or cutting tool.
     
    Accidents happen, that why they're called accidents. However, eye injuries are one of the only injuries that experts claim to be 90% avoidable.
     
    We often take our eyes for granted, but we need to make a better effort to expect the unexpected. It might take some getting used to and it may be a minor annoyance, but improving your use of eye protection could end up saving your sight and your career. Life is too short to suffer avoidable accidents, and it only makes sense to protect your eyes from common workplace hazards.
     
    Learn more about eye protection from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the CDC's Eye Safety Resources & Information page. Stay safe out there!
     

  • The ML Kishigo Black Series Windbreaker

    ML Kishigo Black Series WindbreakerWith the fall season closing in on us, it's time to begin preparing for cooler temperatures. In the outdoor workplace, this usually means adding an extra layer of clothing. While we're still a few months away from the brutal cold of winter, it's nice to be comfortable when the temperatures drop. The ML Kishigo Black Series Windbreaker offers a perfect combination of warmth and safety to make your workday easier during the beautiful but often chilly fall weather.
     
    The Black Series Windbreakers (WB100/WB101) are ANSI Class 3 compliant and constructed from lightweight 100% polyester fabric, giving you unmatched flexibility and water resistant protection throughout the workday. To meet the needs of demanding work environments, this high visibility windbreaker is equipped with ripstop reinforcements in high-wear areas, giving it a longer lifespan and improved durability over most hi-vis windbreakers. The black side panels and underarms of this windbreaker provide better contrast when compared to solid colors and have a cleaner, more stylish appearance to them. You're going to look better, be more visible, and feel safer than you've ever felt in windbreaker.
     
    If you're worried about functionality, the WB100 Windbreaker will set your mind at ease. With VizLite reflective striping that exceeds ANSI Class 3 standards, you're going to be visible in even the worst weather or low-light conditions. Also, unlike many windbreakers, this jacket is equipped with shoulder vents that allow just enough warm air to escape so you don't get too warm during vigorous physical work. The adjustable waist and wrist cuffs ensure the most comfortable and secure fit at any given moment, preventing cool drafts and uninvited water during periods of rain.
     
    To protect important items, the left chest of the Black Series Windbreaker is equipped with a waterproof zippered pocket. The lower front pockets are also equipped with zippers and perfect for simple storage of gloves and similar personal effects.
     
    If you're looking for comfort and safety this fall, be sure to take a closer look at the ML Kishigo Black Series Windbreaker. It's available in Lime (WB100) or Orange (WB101) in a variety of sizes. In our opinion, it's one of the best, most functional hi-vis windbreakers on the market at the moment, with quality craftsmanship and an affordable price of right around $50.
     

  • How Non-ANSI Apparel Could Save Your Life

    how non-ansi apparel could save your lifeMost of us know the drill. ANSI-rated garments meet a specific requirement that's been put in place to enhance visibility in hazardous, busy, and often chaotic work environments. But what about the work environments where ANSI Class safety gear actually lowers our visibility?
     
    It may sound odd, but it's a totally valid question. Generally speaking, it's the bright colors and mandatory reflectivity of an ANSI Class garment that allows us to be seen. However, in some circumstances we must consider that these qualities are useless from a safety perspective and that Non-ASNI apparel - although considered "less safe" - could be more beneficial to the wearer. It might even save lives.
     
    Imagine working in forestry during the prime months of fall when tree's leaves are changing colors and display vibrant hues of yellow and orange. Imagine working road repair on a heavily wooded and curvy 2-lane backroad during the same season. Imagine the lack of color contrast when a firefighter sporting yellow hi-vis gear battles wildfires among a blazing landscape of yellowish-orange flames. In all of these situations - especially during the daylight hours - the reflectivity of ANSI gear becomes somewhat irrelevant and the bright colors may actually work against their original intentions. What was meant to help you stand out from your surroundings is now doing the opposite. This is how Non-ANSI apparel could save your life.
     
    By definition and specifications, all ANSI gear requires a specific surface area (usually measured in square inches) of bright colored fabric and a specific surface area of reflective material. Regardless of how much reflective material a garment has, if the material isn't bright yellow or orange, it doesn't meet ANSI standards. This is why you'll see black safety vests with ANSI Class 3 reflectivity levels that are labeled as Non-ANSI. The black material itself fails to meet ANSI requirements.
     
    While "black-bottom" ANSI gear has exploded into the market in recent years, it still doesn't offer the level of contrast that a black safety gear might offer in these rare but very real environments mentioned above. So what is one to do?
     
    If your job has an ANSI standard, it needs to be adhered to. However, if you're wearing your ANSI 3 vest to improve your visibility in an environment where ANSI 3 is not technically required, you might want to rethink your actions. There are a lot of us who wear garments that carry a higher ANSI rating than our job or task requires, and we do this to improve our own safety. However, we could be unintentionally increasing the risk of accidents or even death without even realizing it. Before you make the decision to throw on your ANSI-rated safety vest, ask yourself if it's the most beneficial protection for the tasks at hand. Could a black, red, or even blue non-ANSI vest improve your ability to be seen by motorists, co-workers or equipment operators? It's something we deserve to consider.
     

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