Respirator Fit Check - Personal Protective Equipment Although negative pressure respirators are an accepted way to reduce exposure to airborne contaminants, engineering controls should always be your first choice. Sometimes strategies such as adequate ventilation can reduce contaminants to levels where personal protection is not required. However, if you do choose this equipment, you must be certain of two things: Have you selected the proper respirator with the correct filtering media, and does it fit properly? No amount of training or respiratory equipment will provide the protection you need unless a good seal is made. Prior to entering a contaminated atmosphere, you...

Report Unsafe Equipment Equipment Hazards Your employer does its best to keep equipment in good condition, but maintenance personnel are only human and can't keep up with all the problems in the field. Some defects will go unnoticed in spite of every effort made. Those of you who work with and around machines and equipment are in a good position to notice hazardous conditions. Get in the habit of reporting things that can lead to accidents so that corrections can be made before they result in costly accidents and/or employee injuries. Keep in mind that the person who sees a situation that should...

Safety Considerations For Sandblasting Sandblasting operations can be overlooked when preparing safety plans because they are generally a small part of a larger project such as cleaning and refinishing or painting. As a result, many workers are exposed to the hazards of sandblasting without adequate protection. Even if all sandblasting equipment is properly designed and regularly inspected, users must always be alert to the hazards of these operations and take precautions against harmful exposures. Airborne dust: This is one of the most serious hazards associated with blasting operations. When evaluating this hazard, it's important to consider the concentration of dust and the...

Shop Hazards & Typical Incidents An incident is defined as "any observable human activity sufficiently complete in itself to permit references and predictions to be made about the persons performing the act." (Whew!) Therefore, it is safe to say that incidents or accidents do not usually just happen; they happen for a reason and are usually due to unsafe acts or conditions. The following is a list of incidents that have typically led to employee accidents. This list focuses upon shop work, but of course there are many other unsafe acts, conditions, or work activities that give cause for concern. Which...

Metal Worker PPE for Hands and Eyes Metal workers drill, press, punch, cut, bend, shape, and fasten pieces of sheet metal to make construction and consumer products.  The most common injuries to metal workers are hand lacerations and eye injuries from metal pieces.  Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) can prevent these. Choose appropriate work gloves for the job task.  They should be well-fitted so they don’t get caught by moving or rotating machine parts.  The gloves should be flexible enough to allow your hands to move freely while holding stock materials and using tools.  They should be sturdy enough to...

Eye Injury Prevention Personal Protective Equipment  One thousand eye injuries occur in American workplaces every day. These injuries are responsible for over $3,000,000.00 annually in medical, lost production and workers' compensation costs!! Why are these injuries occurring? Three out of five injuries happen because the worker was not wearing any eye protection at the time of the accident. About 40% of the injured workers were wearing some type of eye protection, but it was the wrong kind and failed to protect adequately. The leading cause in this category is the lack of side shields. Accident studies reveal flying or falling objects and sparks...

Safety Eye Wear - For Sun & Shade The days of old style safety glasses are numbered. Today, you have a selection of protective eye wear that rivals the style of designer glasses. Employees can now select a style that is most flattering to their face. They also have a choice of different colors, protection factors and prices. When choosing "safety glasses" the primary consideration is to ensure that the glasses provide necessary impact protection and that they meet or exceed the ANSI Z87.1-1989 standard. Both frame and lens must meet this standard. The idea is to prevent flying and splashing objects...

Welding On Galvanized Metals One of the most significant health hazards in the welding process is the generation of fumes and gasses. Do you weld on galvanized metals? Zinc is the coating used on galvanized metals, and when you heat the metal, it produces vaporized metal droplets which are called fumes. This is the smoky haze which consists of fine particles of metals or silicates. When you breathe these fumes, they may work deeply into your lungs. The typical effect of breathing zinc fumes is metal fume fever. One or two hours or more after welding-without proper personal protection-you may experience severe...

Give New Co-Workers Your Support! Once the initial orientation to the company is over and the basic requirements of the job and the safety program have been covered, it's time to move the new employee into the work force and introduce the people he or she will be working with. Co-workers play an important role in getting the new person off to a good start. What is a veteran employee's role when it comes to orienting a new employee? Remember that new people are nervous to begin with - just starting a new job. They probably don't remember all the instructions they...

Hydroblaster Safety High pressure water cleaning has become more common over the past few years, often replacing the need for sand blasting. The uses of hydroblasters vary from paint and grease removal, tank cleaning and log debarking, to rodding of heat exchangers and cleaning of sidewalks. Although hydroblasters are fairly simple to operate, they can be dangerous if not properly used. A pump is used to increase the water pressure to 10,000 psi, with larger units capable of 45,000 psi or more. This pressurized water is pumped through a flexible steel braided hose and discharged through a pipe called a lance which...