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Be Prepared for an Early Winter!

prepare for winter

Alright – let’s be upfront about this, this might seem a little premature, as you’re sweating it out every day at work, but according to reports, there’s a Polar Vortex on its way this September.

We know, they might be wrong – they often are – but nonetheless there’s nothing wrong with making some plans for how you’re going to get your work done once the winter weather arrives – whenever that might be! Last winter was rough, so we hope these tips will help you get ready for the worst, and more importantly, keep you ahead of the game. Continue Reading…

Taking Care of your FR Wear

FR Care Blog

Flame resistant (FR) clothing saves lives because it significantly reduces burn injury, gives the wearer escape time, and increases chances of survival. Providing FR clothing demonstrates management’s commitment to safety and employee well-being. It can improve morale, as well as increase safety.

FR clothing can only provide protection if the wearer follows garment manufacturers’ recommendations for proper use:

  • Wear garments properly – collars closed, sleeves and cuffs down and secured, shirt tails tucked, closures secured, and other manufacturer recommendations.
  • Wear looser-fitting garments that provide adequate mobility.
  • Do not wear non-FR clothing over FR garments. The outermost layer must be FR
  • Wear only FR or non-melting undergarments (e.g. cotton, silk, wool.)
  • Wash garments thoroughly after each wearing to remove contaminants.
  • Do not put on or take off the garment in proximity of flammable gasses, vapors, dusts, or in other potentially explosive environments.
  • In potentially explosive atmospheres, proper grounding procedures must be used.
  • Wear garments with the appropriate arc rating as dictated by an electric arc hazard analysis. Consult employer if unsure.

Continue Reading…

Proper Care and Prevention of Corns

WPS Corn Care

It’s amazing how a tiny little bump of skin on your foot can cause so much pain and discomfort. If you’ve ever had a corn on your foot, you know how unpleasant it can be. Corns are preventable, but if you do have the unfortunate occurrence of getting one, they are also treatable.

Corns are thick, hardened pieces of dead skin, and they usually occur on the tops and sides of toes. They can make walking very painful. They develop because of rubbing and friction and pressure on the skin. Some corns are caused by an improper walking motion, but most corns are caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Some corns also occur on the bottom of the feet and some doctors believe this is caused by blocked sweat ducts.

So in order to prevent corns from occurring in the first place, the best course of action is to make sure your shoes or boots fit properly. Make sure you have the proper size and that they are not too wide or too narrow, or fit too tightly. If you can’t wiggle your toes in your shoes or boots, they are too tight. Also, keep in mind that your feet might not be exactly the same size. You might need two different sized shoes or boots. Continue Reading…

Don’t be a Statistic: Prevent Back Pain on the Job

WPS Logo

They have hard heads to protect your head. Steel toe boots to protect your toes. And safety goggles to protect your eyes. But none of those things protect you from the injury you are most likely to suffer at work: Back problems. Avoiding back problems is the most important health-related priority you can have when working in the trades.

If you’ve ever come home from work and felt an aching back, there are some things you can do in the future to help with avoiding back problems. The Center for Construction Research and Training says the construction industries have the highest rate of back injuries other than the transportation industry. One in every four of all construction industry injuries every year are back injuries, causing 1 in every 100 construction workers to miss work.

These injuries, on average, cause the worker to lose seven days of work, but often, it’s much more than that, sometimes more than a month. Most back problems are caused by low-back injuries, and repeated injuries can cause permanent damage and even disability. The most common back injuries are strains and sprains caused by lifting, pulling, carrying, and pushing things at work. If you work with heavy loads, you are obviously more likely to suffer a back injury. But your chances of getting injured are also elevated if you spend a lot of time working bent over, or twisting and turning while carrying heavy objects — activities which are common in many of the trades and other blue-collar work, not just construction. Continue Reading…

ESD Footwear: Keeping you Safe in Electrical Environments

timberland esd shoes

Static dissipative footwear (ESD) is designed to protect you against hazards, due to really low footwear resistance, while keeping a high enough level of resistance to reduce the possibility of electric shock. And to qualify, the footwear has to have a lower limit of electrical resistance of 106 ohms and an upper limit of 108 ohms.

Put simply, ESD work boots reduce the amount of static electricity that can build up in your body.  But unlike Electrical Hazard (EH) work boots, ESD boots can be either steel toed or soft.  They actually conduct static electricity through the linings, the insole, outsole, and into the ground.

And so you can be sure what you’re pulling onto your feet before you set out to work, ESD shoes or boots will have an “SD” clearly visible on the ASTM label sewn inside them.

But there are some pretty tight rules around modifying, or altering your ESD work boots too.  First, you can’t add your own insole to the shoe because unless it’s explicitly an ESD insole, static electricity can’t flow through it. Also as a guide to keeping safe, try to keep the floor and the bottom of your ESD work boots as clean and free from dust as possible, this means the static electricity can dissipate properly, flowing straight through the sole and into ground. Continue Reading…

Take Proper Care of Your FR Clothing

FR clothing care

It’s obvious what flame-resistant clothes do to take care of you. You know, protect you from flames. But it’s not always obvious how you’re supposed to take care of your flame resistant clothing. How to wash it, dry it, and keep it in good condition. It’ll last much longer if it is properly cared for, and it will also retain its flame-resistant properties much better. So here’s some good instructions:

When it comes to laundering flame-resistant cotton clothing, ASTM F1449-01 has several recommendations. It’s important to realize that some laundering procedures can damage for FR clothes. Hard water and high temperatures that are used in industrial laundering and drying can cause minerals to build up on cotton fabrics and make them flammable. The harder the water, the more minerals build up, the more flammable your flame-resistant clothes become. But this can be prevented. Using soft water or an adequate soap can keep minerals from building up, and thus, keep your flame-resistant clothes flame-resistant. Continue Reading…

Stay Safe in the Heat!

Heat safety

Summer’s coming, so we thought it was about the right time to share what we know about keeping cool at work, as the temperature rises. It’s all too easy to think that all you need to do is lather on the suntan lotion and you’re good to get out there, but it’s not always that simple.

Although a lot of jobs are outdoors and do require that you take plenty of precautions if you’re going to be exposed to the sun all day, a bigger danger present in most lines of work is heat stress. And that can happen outdoors, working on the construction sites, in maintenance, landscaping and agriculture, but it is an indoor problem too. If you work in commercial kitchens, laundries or factories, you need to take care this summer. Why? Well according to OSHA, thousands of workers fall ill with heat stress every year. And if its not taken seriously, it can even kill. Continue Reading…

Stay Safe, Stay Cool

Occunomix cooling bandana

The summer’s coming, we promise. No seriously, it’s right around the corner – it’ll be here before you know it. And that’s great, right? Well yes, and no.

If you’re hanging out by the pool, then great! Whenever you get too hot, you jump right in. But then again, when you’re out on the job, at work on the site or generally exposed to the sun and heat all day without a proper break, it’s a different ball game altogether.  Continue Reading…

Protect Yourself From Water and Flame with FR Rain Gear

frraingear

When working in an industrial workplace, it is quite common for safety risks and hazards to be diverse.  Oftentimes there isn’t just one hazard to be cautious of, but many.  For example, ASTM F2733-09 the Standard Specification for Flame Resistant Rainwear for Protection Against Flame Hazards is a standard that is important to look for when purchasing workwear when your work puts you in a situation where you can be exposed to wet weather conditions and hydrocarbon and/or petrochemical industrial fires. Continue Reading…

Safety First, Comfort Too

OSHA

If you’ve ever worked in the oil or natural gas industries, we don’t have to tell you how dangerous simply showing up to work can be. These jobs involve some of the most hazardous industrial conditions in any workplace, anywhere. Since the job sites are typically outdoors, are typically in remote areas of the country, and often operate year round regardless of weather conditions, there are all sorts of things that can and do go wrong on the job: Environmental hazards caused by extreme weather, machine accidents, materials hazards, chemicals hazards and more.

Continue Reading…

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