How Workplace Safety can be Ensured by Employers

It is important for an employer to create a safe and healthy physical work environment, and for leaders to go beyond their legal obligations to ensure workplace safety. When an employer or their worker is sick or injured at work, it is difficult for both parties, and can be easily avoided with a few important preventative steps. To go over how workplace safety can be ensured by employers, we spoke to US Standard Products to go over everything you need to know.

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The Purpose of Using Safety Equipment

No matter what industry you are in, chances are you use safety equipment in the workplace. Whether it is protective gloves, earplugs or steel-toed shoes, it is easy to forget how far we have come. Safety equipment is used to reduce employee exposure to hazards, which can be anything from wet floors to falling debris. To go over everything you need to know about the purpose of safety equipment and how far we have come in health and safety, we spoke to industry leaders, US Standard Products.

Read the full article here.

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The Role of Personal Protective Equipment on the Job Site

Personal protective equipment is a necessity in many industrial fields. Commonly known as PPE, personal protective equipment is worn in order to minimize a person’s exposure to serious workplace illnesses and injuries. Chemical, radiological, electrical, mechanical, and physical hazards are examples where personal protective equipment is needed. This equipment could include full body suits, vests, coveralls, respirators, hard hats, earplugs, safety shoes and glasses, and gloves.

Read the full article here.

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Does your team have protective rain gear?

April showers are here and rain can undoubtedly be a major nuisance for outdoor workplaces. Is your team prepared? Equipping your team with protective rainwear can dramatically boost employee productivity, especially if you’re in an industry that consistently works outdoors. OSHA does not mandate employers to pay for ordinary clothing such as rain coats, but it is highly recommended for employee safety to ensure that projects will be completed on schedule.

Read on to learn the importance of adequate protection from the rain, as well as what qualities to look for in rainwear to ensure your team is properly protected from the weather.

RAIN-RESISTANT COVERAGE

Employees should be equipped with rain-resistant gear from head-to-toe, including a hood or hat, gloves, and boots. Having an overlap between the pants and coat (or a one-piece body suit) is recommended for labor-intensive jobs where water is more likely to seep through the gaps. Often, rainwear is equipped with snaps, zippers, elastic bands or detachable components to ensure water doesn’t slip through the cracks. Boots and leggings should also have a similar overlap.

HIGH VISIBILITY

Considering how rainstorms can dramatically reduce visibility, it’s important to wear clothing that’s highly visible in order to minimize the chance of an accident. This is especially true for industries that work with heavy machinery, at high altitudes, or with potential health hazards.

WATERPROOF, WINDPROOF, AND BREATHABLE

Water resistance is one thing, but protective rainwear should be “waterproof” to ensure it can stand up to prolonged precipitation. Gear that is “water-resistant” can typically only handle moderate rain for a short period of time, so look out for these terms when shopping.

Rainstorms can also bring about heavy winds, so rainwear should also be windproof and offer protection from reasonably high wind speeds.

Another factor to consider is breathability. No one wants to work long hours in a wearable sauna, so look for qualities such as “breathable” or “ventilated” when searching for rainwear. This type of gear allows sweat vapor to exit the rainwear’s shell, allowing the body to remain at a reasonable temperature.

Waterproof gear can withstand prolonged exposure to precipitation. Windproof gear is best for heavy winds. Get gear with both of these types of protective layers to best serve your team.

REGULATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), does not set specific guidelines for working in the rain. However, there are many rain-related state laws and guidelines for specific industries (such as construction or logging), and storms accompanied by lightning or heavy wind can halt operations if workers are not adequately protected.

While there may not be federal guidelines requiring employers to provide rainwear, it can be downright dangerous if employees are not properly equipped for inclement weather. When it comes to productivity, it’s unlikely that employees will be working at peak performance if they’re shivering in cold, damp clothes. Furthermore, the adverse health effects of working long hours in the rain can be problematic, both for employees and safety regulators. Especially in the early spring or late fall, prolonged exposure to rain and chilly temperatures can cause cold stress, frostbite, hypothermia, trench foot and other ailments.

CONTACT US STANDARD PRODUCTS FOR ALL RAIN GEAR NEEDS

For affordable rainwear that offers all of the qualities listed above, check out the US Standard Products catalog. We offer more than a dozen different lines of durable, protective rainwear for all sorts of different applications, all available in an array of sizes and colors.

Whether you’re in need of full rain-resistant suits or just individual articles of clothing for modest projects, contact us for high-quality, cost-effective rainwear that is sure to protect your team from whatever Mother Nature has in store.

To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:  LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Quick Checklist for Property Managers

Even though office buildings aren’t typically equipped with heavy machinery, complicated equipment, and dangerous chemicals, there are still a number of hazards that tenants can face. Not only should you act to keep those on your property safe, you also will want to take precautions against a potential lawsuit. But that doesn’t mean that commercial building and property managers are off the hook on the safety front.

Here, we’ve put together a quick checklist to help those in charge of property maintenance keep their buildings, grounds, and tenants safe and sound. You can also find a wide variety of self-inspection jobsite checklists on OSHA’s website when preparing for a new season or project.

Create a Hazard Reporting System

Property managers aren’t typically on-site at all times. To ensure that all potential dangers are noted and addressed, we recommend implementing a hazard reporting system. Whether you provide a comment box in the main lobby, or set up an online ticketing system, by offering workers the opportunity to share what they see, you’ll be able to maximize your awareness of potential problems and minimize the danger to tenants.

Keep Parking Lots and Sidewalks Clear

To keep your walkways clear of snow and ice in the winter months, don’t forget the importance of using ice melt. Even as the ground begins to thaw, you’ll need to be on the lookout for cracking pavement, potholes, and other structural issues that could pose a trip hazard. Year-round, be sure you’re regularly monitoring the condition of your grounds—patch up any problem areas, pick up trash, and make sure that traffic markers are clearly visible.

Prevent Indoor Falls

Falls are the #1 cause of office injury, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In fact, employees are 2.5x more likely to be injured from a fall in an office setting than anywhere else. Here are a number of tips to prevent falls indoors:

  • Provide small ladders or step stools for each office in your building—too often, tenants try to use dangerous swivel chairs to reach highly-placed items.
  • Be sure to line any potentially slippery surfaces, such as building entryways, with a skid-resistant treatment or carpet.
  • If your building has many sharp turns, place mirrors in the corners to help workers avoid collisions.
  • On multi-level buildings, stairwells are often neglected by cleaning crews. To ensure safety, make sure they’re consistently swept, and all handrails are in tact.
  • All trip and slip hazards—whether an exposed electrical cord, or a freshly mopped floor, should always be marked in yellow for maximum visibility.

Need new safety supplies and equipment for your commercial property? US Standard Products is an industrial supplies distributor based in New Jersey. We provide a wide range of operational and safety necessities including ice melt, work gloves, and much more.

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

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How to Survive a Flu Epidemic

An influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of a new influenza A virus that is very different from current and recently circulating human seasonal influenza A viruses. Influenza A viruses are constantly changing, making it possible on very rare occasions for non-human influenza viruses to change in such a way that they can infect people easily and spread efficiently from person to person.

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a weekly influenza surveillance report?

Close monitoring of influenza viruses is required to better assess the potential impact on public health—2018 and 2019 influenza activity increased in the United States. Check out the CDC’s report for the week to educate yourself fully.

Here are tips for avoiding the flu:

  • Get the influenza vaccine every year. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease, even into January and beyond.
  • If you’re healthy, an N95 respirator face mask may prevent you from breathing in particles that contain a virus. And if you’re sick, a face mask may help prevent you from spreading the infection to others.
  • Clean your hands often and for at least 20 seconds. Use soap that lathers, as that is how it traps germs. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a good substitute for hand-washing when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid preparing food, touching your eye, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Depending on the environment you’re working in, use the proper gloves. Vinyl gloves are a good option for food service professionals, whereas nitrile gloves are one of the best options for surgeons and medical professionals.

Use the tips and product recommendations listed above to provide your workers with the knowledge they need to stay healthy this flu season and beyond. If you’re still unsure of the best safety products your team will need, our safety experts are here to help. Give us a call at 844-877-1700, or check out our catalog for an in-depth look at the wide variety of masks, gloves, and soaps we offer.

To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:  LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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

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

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

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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

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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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