Safety equipment to wear when a hurricane hits

Did you know that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30? The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.” Whether you find yourself in a hurricane, cyclone, flood or typhoon, all of these storms can cause disastrous damage.

Before any storm hits, all residents (especially coastal residents) should form evacuation plans to identify a safe shelter and a route to get there.

If the storm hits and you find yourself working as a response or cleanup worker after a hurricane, use this information to stay safe.

Make sure you use the following personal protection equipment (PPE): 

  • Eye and face protection: Goggles, full-face shields, or other suitable protection as needed to protect against flying objects and liquid splash hazards.
  • High-visibility apparel: High-visibility safety apparel and headwear compliant with ANSI/ISEA 107-2004, along with other traffic safety measures, in areas where vehicles or heavy equipment are used. This is especially important when working in temporary roadway work zones. (View this OSHA Fact Sheet for additional OSHA-published materials on work zone traffic safety.)
  • Hand protection: Appropriate gloves suitable for the tasks being performed (balancing dexterity with protection). Considerations include biological hazards (bloodborne pathogens), chemical hazards, and physical hazards (abrasions, cuts, punctures, and heat). Vibration-dampening gloves should be used when vibration hazards exist (e.g., during jackhammer use)
  • Work clothing and gear: Lanyards, harnesses, and supports for fall protection, and chemical protective clothing where contact with chemicals may occur.
  • Leg protection: Snake boots or snake gaiters to protect against snakebites in areas where snakes are indigenous. Chaps when using chain saws.
  • Respiratory protection: The mandatory use of respirators requires compliance with the OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134), including the development of a written respiratory protection program that describes how respirators will be cleaned, maintained, and stored; a filter or cartridge change out schedule based on the work expected; and how workers will receive medical evaluations, training, and fit testing. Voluntary use of respirators must conform to Appendix D of 29 CFR 1910.134.

For more hurricane resources, visit:

Everyone working in flooded areas will need hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank).

Find all the major safety products listed above by downloading our free catalogue or calling 844-877-1700. To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Got Graffiti All Up in Your Business?

Since caveman days, humans have been expressing themselves through art and words on the surfaces of their environment. Yet in today’s world there are many artistic mediums available, and expression becomes vandalism when it involves somebody else’s property.

While some graffiti can make a statement, it often causes more harm than good. Graffiti can damage a business, especially if the artwork features offensive lewd imagery or fowl words, by corrupting the appearance and professionalism of the building, as well as giving customers a negative connotation about the surrounding area. As location is a big factor for the success of many businesses, it’s important to ensure that your location is clean and orderly.

Graffiti comes in many forms—spray paint, chalk, marker, stickers, etching—and affects different types of environments including offices, schools, arenas, parks, medical facilities, and manufacturing plants. Indoor vandalism can come in the form of pen, marker, or stickers on desks or bathroom stalls, while outdoor vandalism often comes in the form of spray paint on a multitude of surfaces.

Graffiti can cause permanent damage, so if your building gets tagged, it’s important to act quickly!

WHO SHOULD CLEAN UP THE GRAFFITI?

The responsibility of cleaning up graffiti usually falls on a building’s maintenance department, however, governmental units often have their own graffiti-removal programs. Additionally, some schools and other buildings will call the local police to photograph the graffiti for a report, so make sure you’ve gone through all the appropriate channels before digging into the dirty work.

HOW TO REMOVE GRAFFITI

When removing graffiti, regardless of method, you should work from the outside to the center, rather than across the stain, so it doesn’t spread to clean area. On any surface, using abrasive materials too aggressively can also leave the graffiti’s pattern scratched or shadowed into the surface.

To tackle graffiti on vertical surfaces, you can rely on foam or paste cleaners that will stay in place. For minor pen or pencil graffiti, often you can use a household cleaner or disinfectant, then dab (don’t rub) the area and neutralize with water to remove it. For etching, try filling in scratches with paint softener.

Below are some tips on how to remove graffiti from a variety of surfaces: 

Brick, Concrete, & Masonry

  • Apply baking soda-based products
  • Rub with steel/bronze wool or sandpaper
  • Power-wash with a 3000psi pressure washer
  • Sand-blast

Metal

  • Apply paint thinner
  • Rub with steel/bronze wool or sandpaper
  • Power-wash with a 3000psi pressure washer

Wood

  • Apply mineral spirits (only if wood is painted, stained, or sealed)
  • Apply citrus-based cleaners (for ink)
  • Power-wash with a 3000psi pressure washer
  • Sand the wood and repaint

Glass

  • Apply paint thinners
  • Scape off with a razor blade
  • Rub with ultra-fine bronze wool with water

Plastic

  • DO NOT apply paint thinners
  • Rub with ultra-fine bronze wool

GRAFFITI? GONE!

Before trying any of the above solutions, why not try out U.S. Standard Product’s Graffiti Gone W.B. solution? Part of our Industrial Solvents and Degreasers collection, this solution is specifically designed to remove graffiti from all surfaces.

Graffiti Gone is a high viscosity, water-based graffiti, urethane, paint, and varnish remover formulation containing no harmful methylene chloride. Graffiti Gone can be used on metal, concrete, brick, marble, stone, soft woods, and plaster. This fast-acting formula penetrates and softens multiple coats for easy removal.

This solution is available in 1-gallon volumes, order yours today from U.S. Standard Products.

Start exploring your industrial cleaning options by downloading our free catalogue or calling 844-877-1700. To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

5 Tips for Creating Your Own Office Cleaning Procedures

A clean workplace can promote productivity, satisfaction and a stronger culture among employees. However, one unclean hand can undermine all of this in just a few days.

A recent study uncovered the impact of hand hygiene on employee absenteeism— researchers found that a standard office desk harbors 10 million bacteria, 400 times the amount of germs than a toilet seat. After testing 4,800 surfaces in office buildings, researchers found that the dirtiest surfaces include: keyboards, refrigerator doors, microwaves, and sink-faucets.

The Importance of Office Cleanliness

In August 2018, a food service employee at the Newport Syndicate events center was working while ill, and was subsequently diagnosed with hepatitis A. The Northern Kentucky Health Department urges all residents who consumed food or drink at the events center to get a vaccination and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.

OSHA standard 1910.141 requires places of employment like the Newport Syndicate to be kept clean. In order to prevent this from ever happening again, all companies should keep floors should be dry and clear of hazardous objects, and waste should be disposed of on a regular basis. Vermin and other pests should be prevented from sneaking into cracks in the wall or air vents—check last month’s blog post all about this topic.

Corporate cleaning services can cost you upwards to $50 to $100 an hour, so educating your staff about hand hygiene and office cleanliness procedures is a better way to boost productivity and improve office cleaning etiquette in your office. U.S. Standard Products offers an array of cleaning products for industrial and janitorial applications; this includes a full line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Read about these green products here.

In order to successfully achieve a clean office, it’s best to come up with your own office cleaning procedures. Here are the five basic steps to keep in mind when writing your procedures, along with some cleaning products we recommend that you should use:

1. Wash Your Hands

It only takes contagious germs two to four hours to spread onto most surfaces in an office building, so it’s important to keep your distance with sick employees and wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSHA recommend people wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and clean water. U.S. Standard Products offers hand soaps such as the Delight Foaming Hand Soap to keep your hands clean and moisturized.

2. Throw Away Trash

Break rooms and office kitchens are frequent homes for germs. Foods should be properly packed, and any expired or moldy foods should be disposed of immediately. Make sure they are handled in a way that does not leak or spill on the floor. Custodians should also change trash bins out regularly.

It is important to regularly tidy and organize your desk. Throw away unnecessary and unused papers, notes, wash dishes, silverware and mugs thoroughly. USSP offers dishwashing detergents such as DW 131 Dishwashing Liquid. Even the smallest amount provides maximum cleaning action.

3. Dust Off Your Equipment

Over time, your items and equipment on your desk will collect dust particles and debris containing microbes and germs, which can irritate the eyes and nose, cause dry skin, and trigger allergies.

Use sanitizing wipes to sweep dust off telephones, desktop monitors, printers and other electronic devices. Dust control products from USSP such as D-Dust and Magic Mist are ideal for surfaces and air dusters can also be used to blow our dust from between your keyboard.

4. Wipe Any Surfaces

Most surfaces in the office also collect dust and house germs, thanks largely to cross contamination. Disinfectants such as USSP’s Clean & Shine Neutral can effectively kill germs when used on desks, tabletops, and counters. To prevent physical contact with chemical solutions and avoid constant hand-washing while scrubbing, try wearing rubber gloves.

5. Scrub the Floor

Bacteria is the most abundant in soil and dirt, which can be spread around the office right under your heels. Carpet cleaning products such as Float Away Neutral pH Extraction Cleaner can remove soils, dirt, stains, and spills from carpeting and upholstery. Be sure to sweep or vacuum any food crumbs or litter as soon as possible.

Enforcing office cleaning procedures will help you maintain a clean workplace and provide a positive social environment for you and your employees. However, knowing is only half the battle, unless you get the right products.

Start exploring your industrial cleaning options by downloading our free catalogue or calling 844-877-1700. To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Do-It-Yourself Pest Control Tactics for the Workplace

Earlier this month, seven Kansas Department of Revenue employees were placed on administrative leave after a bed bug infestation was discovered in one of their office buildings. All employees were even required to inspect their homes for bedbugs before returning to work.

Believe it or not, pest infestations in the workplace are more common than you think. In fact, this year in the Central US, 87.1 percent of companies saw an increase in bed bug activity.

Beyond bed bugs, other pests to watch out for in the workplace include: ants, fruit flies, gnats, beetles, and moths. Pests like these are not only a potential health risk for everyone in the workplace, they cause a horrible first impression for guests or clients.

But, fear not, we’ve compiled a list of warning signs to watch out for, along with some of the best pest control solutions you can easily integrate into your own workplace.

Preventative Pest Control Measures

To prevent pest infestations from happening in the first place, consider implementing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. An IPM program can be used to manage pests anywhere—in urban, agricultural, wildland, or natural environments. Think of IPM as the strategy your workplace will use to solve any pest problems that might arise, while minimizing risks to staff and the environment.

IPM programs detect pests at the earliest stages and combat them before they can become a major problem. Simple preventative measures and do-it-yourself pest control tactics can be posted in common areas to educate staff. Here are some key points to include:
• Keep food in sealed containers, and clean dirty dishes at the end of each workday.
• Ensure trash cans have plastic liners, and empty them every night.
• Refrain from leaving fruit on your desk overnight. Instead, place it in the refrigerator or bring it home.
• Keep the workplace as clutter-free as possible. Store items in cabinets, racks, or bins.
• Be careful not to overwater plants, which can lead to gnat infestations.
Setting up an IPM program can be as simple as writing up a check list to review monthly and keeping records of any pest-causing problems.

Educate Your Staff on the Specifics

Local pest control services can end up costing your company thousands of dollars, so whether you already have an infestation or not, it’s best to train your workforce to take all preventative pest control measures seriously. Educating your entire staff is the easiest way to prevent an infestation.

Pests will enter buildings in many ways: through cracks and holes in the walls, gaps around pipes, or even on workers’ clothing. Some will target places with poor sanitation, while others move indoors to avoid the cold or locate vital resources.

Pests like bed bugs attach themselves to furniture or personal items—they suck blood at night and leave itchy bite marks on arms and shoulders. Cockroaches can come from dark, unsanitary places and carry bacteria that can contaminate food. Spiders feed on other pests, but also wander around before settling in undisturbed places. And depending on where you live, some invasive pests are venomous, so having a standard medical procedure in place is critical, should an issue ever arise.

If you see a pest crawling around your workplace, take care of it as quickly as possible, and inspect the rest of the office for potential causes.

Here are some basic tips for conducting pest inspections:

• Check potted plants, which attract a variety of major pests.
• Make sure there are no cracks and holes in the walls or vents—seal them if found.
• Properly contain or package food or other items.
• Make sure your custodian empties your trash bins regularly.
• Clean up any workplace spills, especially sticky or sugary substances.

Pest Control Supplies to Clean Your Workplace and Prevent Infestation

US Standard Products offers a full line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products for industrial and janitorial applications—read about these ready-to-use solutions, here.

In addition to a variety of cleaning products, US Standard Products also offers two insecticides that are safe to use inside the workplace:

1. The Haunt-II Residual can drive a wide variety of crawling insects from their hiding places and contaminate whole colonies with long-term residual control, making it an ideal product for industrial and institutional use.
2. The Eradicate Insecticide is a fast-acting, water-based formula with botanical insecticide pyrethrum that works without leaving any stain, residual, or objectionable odors. Able to control or kill crawling and flying insects on contact, the Eradicate is a bed bug’s worst nightmare.

Utilizing these insecticides is easy, just use a power-operated or hand-held spray to lightly cover areas. Make sure the surface is dry before allowing anyone into the treated area.

Start exploring your workplace pest control options by downloading our free catalogue or calling 844-877-1700. To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

US Standard Products Launches Online Store

Shop US Standard Products on our newly-launched Shopify store.

Since inception, US Standard Products customers have relied on our free catalog to shop the wide variety of products we offer. This June, we made it easier for customers to shop by launching a new Shopify site featuring the most popular products we offer.

The new online store can be found on our website or by heading directly to us-standard-products.myshopify.com. Featured products on the new shopping site include industrial gloves, safety glasses, barricade tape, and more.

“We know this new e-commerce store will be a valuable resource for our customers because they will now have the opportunity to make orders at their leisure, on their own schedule,” Jo Jo Rubach, US Standard Products President said. “It has always been our goal to provide the American industry with the highest quality products available, and now our customers will be able to conveniently shop online for our most popular goods.”

We’ll be regularly adding products to this new Shopify website, but in the meantime, if you’re not seeing what you’re looking for online, please email us at info@usstandardproducts.com.

Visit our new online store to start shopping today. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

PPE for Lab Professionals

In a laboratory, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Taking steps to prevent exposure to hazards comes in many forms; establishing a culture of safety, administering regular inspections, and wearing protective gear, just to name a few. Personal protective equipment (PPE) comes in many different forms and varieties; knowing what equipment to wear and when to wear it is half the battle to keeping everyone in a workplace safe.

As part of a laboratory’s staff, you know that many of the chemicals and substances worked with in a lab are dangerous to handle. Accidental exposure to chemical solutions, biological agents, or other contaminated substances can cause extreme and permanent damage. Of course, taking precautionary steps such as working under a ventilation hood is a good start, but to increase lab safety, workers will also need to wear quality PPE.

Diving into Lab Safety Head-First

Starting at the top, protecting the eyes and face is a simple way to greatly increase safety in your lab. Not only do those working in the lab need protection from splash hazards, they need to increase their defenses against harmful fumes that can irritate and burn the eyes and other soft tissues. Properly using safety eyewear and face shields can significantly decrease these risks.

 Key Considerations
  • Anti-fog coating, or ventilated frames
  • Goggles that seal around the eyes
  • Compatibility with respirators
  • Compatibility with/prescription lens options
  • Heat-reflective face shield window
  • Removable or lift-front face shield design
 Recommended Gear

Photo of Verdict Goggles

2400 Verdict® Goggle

Getting a Grip on Safety with Gloves

Wearing gloves reduces the risk of contact with substances that you may not even know are there. Whether you’re pouring, mixing, or just cleaning up, gloves are an important piece of armor against accidental chemical contact. There are many qualities to think about when choosing the right gloves for the task at hand.

 Key Considerations
  • Reusability
  • Thickness or puncture resistance
  • Durability
  • Resistance to hazardous chemicals and substances
  • Coating
  • Extended or incidental contact coverage
Recommended Gear

Photo of NitriMed Glove
NitriShield Gloves

Dress for the Job

While wearing a hazmat suit should be more of the exception than the rule, being covered from head to toe in protective garments is still a good idea. Of course, clothing that is loose or provides inadequate coverage is never safe. Most, if not all, scientific labs will require hemlines below the knee, sleeves that come to the wrist, and closed-toe footwear. Some labs also require the use of shoe covers to prevent the spread of chemicals from work area to work area.

Key Considerations
  • Intensity of splash hazards
  • Resistance to chemicals and hazardous substances
  • Flame resistance
  • Tight cuffs around wrists and ankles
  • Ease of removability in case of contamination
Recommended Gear

Photo of Coveralls
12WPC Coveralls

PRO3 = PROfessional PROtection PROviders

US Standard Products has a wide selection of top quality protective equipment that provides safer and smarter protection in the lab. Start exploring your options by downloading our free catalog or calling 1-844-877-1700 today.

To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:

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Picking Proper Protection: Face Shields

In any workplace, there are a number of hazards that an employee might encounter and be injured by. Among these threats are several dangers to the eyes and face. But Prevent Blindness America has found that these injuries are some of the most preventable. In recent years, they have identified 86,000 work-related accidents that could have ended with a serious eye injury but were prevented by the proper use of eye protection. While many professionals are actively promoting the use of safety eyewear, civic and manual labor professionals often need the added protection of a face shield. While you should never wear a face shield by itself, knowing when to and what kind of face shield to wear for a task is essential when picking out protection for your employees.

When to Wear

OSHA requires all employers to, “ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.” But when exactly is the additional protection of a face shield necessary?

Put simply, face shields should be worn when safety eyewear offers insufficient protection for the potential hazards present in a situation. Since face shields do not seal in the face, safety eyewear should always be worn underneath. This ensures that workers are protected from hazards slipping behind the shield and into their eyes. See our blog about the basics of preventing eye injury for more information on safety glasses and goggles.

What to Wear

Three options to consider when picking out face shields for your worksite include window material, headgear, and operation design:

  • Window Material – There are three main materials used to make face shield windows: polycarbonate, Lexan, and wire mesh. Polycarbonate and Lexan shields are both advanced plastics and protect against impacts, but Lexan is more scratch resistant. Wire mesh windows offer less protection against fine particle and liquid splash hazards, but they never fog up.
  • Headgear – Wearing a face shield shouldn’t interfere with other protective equipment. When you need to be wearing head protection as well as a face shield, you can attach the shield to a hard hat with a bracket. Otherwise, face shields can be attached to their own, specialized headgear for a comfortable, safe fit.
  • Operation Design – Being able to operate safety equipment with minimal interruption to workflow is an important detail to consider. Face shields can operate in two ways: as removable windows or lift-front visors. Removable face shields are designed to be simple to replace while lift-front visors make it quick and easy to raise and lower the face shield during a task.

US Standard Products has a wide selection of face shields that provide safer and smarter protection for manual labor and civic maintenance professionals, including welders. Visit our website to download our free catalog and start exploring your options. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:

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Reducing Eye Injury: The Basics

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 2,000 workers in the US sustain a work-related eye injury that requires medical attention each day. Prevent Blindness America and many other professional organizations maintain that 90% of these accidents could be prevented. As an employer, you are responsible for providing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for every person working under your supervision. You can do your part to prevent these injuries from happening by understanding when eye protection should be worn and what type of protection should be used for different tasks.

When to Wear

OSHA requires workers to wear eye protection when “exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.” If there is even a remote chance that an employee could be struck by an object, exposed to toxic fumes, or ultra-bright light, (like from a welding arc), they are required to protect their eyes to avoid eye injury.

Even with this defined list, however, eye injuries are still occurring in US workplaces at alarming rates. There are many factors that lead to the 20,000 workplace eye injuries reported each year,  including workers wearing old, worn out gear, wearing equipment improperly, and even not wearing any protection at all.

What to Wear

There are three main variables when deciding what eye protection is best for a task: lens color, lens thickness, and type of frame.

  • Lens Color – The lens color used with eye protection should be largely dependent upon the lighting condition. Generally, clear lenses will provide the proper protection. However, when working outdoors, in low-lit areas, or on welding tasks, different colored, coated, and filtering lenses are recommended. To learn more, read our blog dedicated specifically to colored lenses and their applications.

  • Lens Thickness – Some jobs have an increased risk for high-impact hazards. Machinists, millwrights, carpenters, plumbers, and pipe fitters are all positions that should have more than just basic impact protection. High-impact lenses may still require the use of additional protective measures like side or face shields.

  • Type of Frame – While mostly interchangeable, there are some differences that should be considered when choosing what protection to provide workers. Goggles are more prone to fogging up than glasses due to their sealing fit around the eyes, and may require frequent removal to clean the lens. Glasses may not fog as easily, but they leave the wearer open to splash contamination and should be worn with side shields when impact hazards are present.

Eye Protection from the Pros

As an employer, it is your responsibility to create a culture of safety and ensure that all your employees are properly wearing the protection that you’ve provided them. Take the time to train your employees about what tasks in your workplace require which kinds of safety gear. Additionally, when a worker reports that their safety equipment, including eye protection, is worn out, it is your duty to replace the old equipment.

US Standard Products has a wide selection of top quality protective eyewear that provides safer and smarter eye protection. Start exploring your options by downloading our free catalogue or calling 1-844-877-1700 today.

To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Listen Up! 5 Guidelines to Protect Your Employees’ Hearing

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that about 22 million US employees are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work, making occupational hearing loss one of the most common work-related injuries in the country. With OSHA’s recommended “danger zone” starting at just 85 decibels, chances are that your industrial or construction workplace requires the use of hearing protection.

Common Sounds Measured in DecibelsSource: Chevy Chase ENT

1. Choose the Right Noise Reduction Rating

Having the gear doesn’t help if it isn’t the right quality. If crew members are using earplugs that don’t have the right noise reduction rating (NRR), hearing damage could still occur. Even though most hearing protection products come with a NRR on the packaging, you will still need to ensure your earplugs have the correct rating for the environment. If you’re not sure where to start, the CDC published a helpful guide to calculate and use the correct NRR for your work environment.

2. Keep Communication Lines Open

Protecting your hearing is good, but being able to communicate while working with proper protection in place can be challenging. To ensure clear lines of communication, despite the use of hearing protection, you might consider developing hand signals to help your employees get the message across. Another option is designating a place to step away from the noise and remove hearing protection safely. Digital earmuffs with radio capabilities are also a safe bet. These “walkie-talkie” earmuffs allow communication to continue without having to shut down machinery or move away from the work area.

3. Get Tested

OSHA standard 1910.95 requires employers to provide workers with annual hearing tests. While having an audiometric testing program is mandatory, the benefits of tracking employees’ hearing are worth the expense. Together, the baseline test and the annual test results allow employers to see if their hearing conservation efforts are working. If hearing loss is detected, employers can take follow-up measures to prevent further damage. For additional employer responsibilities, see OSHA’s hearing conservation guide.

4. Know When to Wear

As the old adage goes, knowing is half the battle. Educating employees about hearing protection and when it is necessary is the best way to strengthen your safety culture. Some key points to communicate include when and where to wear hearing protection, which protection to use in different situations, and the lasting damage that results from failing to use the proper protection.

5. Replace When Ready

Worn-out equipment should be thrown away. Following the manufacturer’s care instructions helps to keep the hearing protection working at their best. You’ll know that it’s time to replace earmuffs when the headband is no longer able to keep the muffs snugly against the head. To get the full benefit of the equipment, conduct regular inspections, checking that the earplugs and muffs are still flexible and safe to use.

Stock Up on Gear that Protects the Ears

At US Standard Products’ core, we believe in keeping workers across all industries safe from the dangers of the job, and do so by providing the highest quality operational and safety products. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:

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Staying Energized and Increasing Productivity on the Job

The ExxonMobil oil spill, Three Mile Island accident, Challenger Explosion, and Chernobyl were all disasters in their own right. They have each been studied extensively to isolate what caused them, and it’s been found there are many factors that worked together to cause these events to occur. What’s interesting is that one factor, in particular, was common among all of these crises—and it’s a factor that impacts every work site operating today: sleep deprivation.

Without the enough sleep, a worker becomes slower to react to hazards, sluggish in completing work, and more likely to make mistakes. These employees are up to 70 percent more likely to be involved in an accident while on the job. And although each individual is responsible for his or her own sleep schedule, it’s your company’s responsibility to ensure that workers remain safe on the job—whether that takes diligent observation, extra training, or regular drills and inspections. Now, especially with the dog days of winter upon us, you’re going to need more than personal protective equipment to maintain a safe, productive, and non-drowsy work site. Keep your workforce well rested, energized, and ultimately safer with our three tips for avoiding drowsy workplace disasters.

1. Stay Hydrated

More than a summertime problem, workers without enough fluids in their system become lethargic and irritable. They may not even recognize that they are dehydrated because the body’s thirst sensation decreases by about 40% in cold weather conditions. Not only does staying hydrated keep energy levels high during the day, thus increasing productivity, but it also promotes better sleep at night. A study published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) found that as subjects increased their liquid intake, especially in the hours before going to bed, they were more positive, satisfied, and calm. Encourage your leadership to implement a wellness program that provides education about healthy sleeping and hydration habits.

2. Avoid Sugar

Another part of that wellness program could include education about healthy eating habits and the effects of eating sugar. Many people don’t know that the effects of a “sugar rush” will last only for a short time, usually just 30 minutes. Then, they crash, leaving them feeling even more sluggish than before. A zombie-like crew isn’t one you want working in any environment, especially an extreme one. If possible, provide more low-sugar snacks, such as trail mix, whole grain cereal bars, and fruit with peanut butter packs, in the vending machines and lunch areas.

3. Get Some Fresh Air

If your crew isn’t already working outside, allowing them to step out for a breath of fresh air on their breaks can be really invigorating. The increased oxygen and vitamin D are good for both short-term and long-term health, helping your crew to stay healthy and alert on the job. The fresh air helps to clear the lungs, which in turn increases oxygen intake and flow to vital regions of the body such as the brain and heart. It also strengthens white blood cells whose job it is to fight off disease. Increasing productivity and general workforce health, an outdoor break is worth the extra minute or two it might take.

Bonus Tip: Provide Top Quality Safety Gear

Even when at their best, the most energized, well-rested crews can still have accidents. Always ensure that your gear is up to par by replacing old and damaged safety gear regularly. US Standard Products, a nation-wide provider of quality operational and safety products, has the personal protection equipment that you need to keep your employees safe. Call 1-844-877-1700 today to learn how we can help you get the right equipment at the right price.

Keep up with the latest industrial workplace trends by following US Standard Products on social media.

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