Your Express Guide To Protective Equipment

Protective Equipment Explained

This section gives advice about general personal protective equipment (PPE), which may be required to protect against injury. Hard hats: On almost all sites there is a risk of injury from falling materials. Minimise these risks by providing suitable barriers and toe boards at the edge of work platforms to prevent materials from falling. Deal with the remaining risks by providing suitable head protection. The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 198940 make specific requirements about hard hats. Hard hats are required where anybody might be struck by falling materials or where people might hit their heads.

These are just some of the hazards to consider: loose material being kicked into an excavation; material falling from a scaffold platform; material falling off a load being lifted by a crane or goods hoist or carried on a site dumper or truck; a scaffolder dropping a fitting while erecting or dismantling a scaffold. Decide on which areas of the site hats have to be worn. Tell everyone in the area, if necessary make site rules. Provide employees with hard hats. Make sure hats are worn and worn correctly. There are many types of hat available; let employees try a few and decide which is most suitable for the job and for them. Some hats have extra features including a sweatband for the forehead and a soft (or webbing) harness. Although these hats are slightly more expensive, they are much more comfortable and therefore more likely to be worn.

Footwear

Is there a risk of injury from either: materials being dropped on workers’ feet; or nails, or other sharp objects, penetrating the sole? If so, boots with steel toecaps and mid-soles may be needed. Foot protection comes in many types and styles and manufacturers offer advice on the most suitable footwear for specific types of hazard. Wellington boots are essential in preventing burns from wet cement or concrete as the cement content, when mixed with water, becomes highly corrosive and can cause severe burns to the skin.

Goggles and safety spectacles

These are required to protect against: flying objects, eg when using a nail gun. To provide adequate protection goggles should be shatter-proof – check the manufacturer’s specification; sparks, eg when disc-cutting; ultraviolet radiation from welding – specialist goggles or shields are required; chemical splashes. Eye protection should be readily available in sufficient numbers so that any that are lost, destroyed or become defective can be replaced. If protection against corrosive splashes is needed, visors can protect the whole face.

Outdoor clothing

Where employees regularly work outdoors and they cannot be sheltered from the weather, wind and waterproof clothing will be needed. There should be facilities for storing clothing not worn on site and protective clothing as well as for drying wet clothing, A major hazard to the skin is exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. The effects can vary from sunburn (blistering and peeling of the skin) to permanent damage and increased risk of skin cancer. Construction workers who are outdoors for long periods of time are at the greatest risk and should take steps to protect their skin by: wearing a long-sleeved top and covering their legs; regularly applying high-protection sun cream to exposed skin; and carrying out periodic checks for any visible changes in skin, such as changed or newly formed moles or any skin discolouration.

High-visibility clothing

Many accidents happen when people in hazardous positions cannot be seen. It is important to plan work to avoid placing people in these positions. Where this is not possible, provide high-visibility clothing. It is essential that this clothing be kept clean if it is to be effective. Badly soiled garments should be replaced. High-visibility clothing will be needed wherever workers: could be run down by vehicles, eg signallers assisting with vehicles being manoeuvred and anyone engaged in roadworks; need to be seen by others to allow them to work safely, eg signallers assisting in lifting operations need to be clearly visible to the crane driver.

How To Make A Cleaner, Greener New Zealand Environment: Hazardous Waste Management

New Zealand boasts a clean, green, environmentally utopic image to the rest of the world. We pride ourselves on being 100% pure and natural, but sadly our badge of honour is fading and our true colours are starting to shine through.

Pollution coupled with the increasing amount of solid and liquid hazardous waste is a growing concern, threatening our environment, our oceans, our sustainability, and our health. The aftermath of the earthquakes in the South Island see millions of dollars spent on recycling, managing and disposing of hazardous waste debris, whilst in the North Island we are becoming plagued with water pollution.

Whilst we can’t prevent all types of waste, we can help to make a cleaner, green NZ. Large businesses account for the majority of hazardous and chemical waste pollution,therefore it is essential that these companies realise the negative effects that poor waste management is causing and take control by educating their employees and hire a certified, professional waste management service to deal with the handling, transport, treatment and elimination procedures.

Many large and small businesses here in New Zealand use a company whom they entrust their corporate waste to. Unfortunately, it has come to light that some of these companies are more than happy to take your waste off you, for a large amount of money, yet they do not follow through with the intended disposal agreement; instead they pocket the cash and dump the waste illegally, causing catastrophic damage to our environment and clean, green image.

For NZ Business’s: It is important that when choosing a waste management company that you can trust them to dispose of your waste safely and efficiently. To be sure that your waste company is recycling or destroying your waste as agreed, you are entitled – and encouraged – to ask for a disposal certificate. This guarantees that your waste has been transported, handled and disposed of correctly, giving you and your business peace of mind.

By organisations working together with waste management and disposal companies, we can work towards improving New Zealand’s clean, green image. But further to waste disposal being hazardous and damaging towards our environment, it is also costly. However, if you take the time to shop around you can find a waste management service that you can trust and who will actually save you money!

A great locally owned kiwi company will also offer you services such as health & safety training, chemical safety training, environmental compliance training, auditing and more. You should always check that your waste management company is;

o Approved Handlers Certified
o Bulk Dangerous Goods Driver Endorsed
o Heavy Vehicle Class 4 Licenced
o Consented Hazardous Waste Treatment Facility

If you are wondering if you have hazardous substances on your company property, some of the main hazardous waste materials in New Zealand include – but are not limited to;

• Solvents
• Pesticides
• Lab Chemicals
• Industrial Chemicals
• Paint, Oils, Thinners
• Expired Products
• Aerosols
• Oxidising Agents
• Acids and Bases
• Reactive Chemicals
• Caustics/Bases/Alkalis

All of these hazardous and chemical waste products can be dealt with in a safe, controlled manner by waste management specialists in your area. Let’s keep New Zealand clean and green!

6 Useful Tips for Workplace Safety

Anyone in charge of running a business will appreciate the importance of workplace safety. A clean and healthy workplace is essential for employees to avoid getting hurt and creates the environment that is a pleasure to work in. Plus, it is always a requirement to comply with local standards and regulations.

Here are six useful tips on creating the clean and healthy workplace:

Keep your work area clutter-free

A fresh, clean and organized office is that much more pleasurable to work. A common cause of accidents is tripping or slipping on spills or other objects on the floor. It is essential to keep aisles clutter-free, organized and clean to minimize the risk of accidents. Also, any office should have rules in place to make sure spills are cleaned up straight away.

Care with slippery floors

Any area of the workplace that has a high risk of creating spills on the floors, such as in front of a sink can benefit from using mats. A non-slip rubber mat is a quick and simple solution to increase employee safety and prevents employees from having a nasty fall. The high-quality mats have the ability to absorb nearly 80% of water spills.

Stay safe with combustible materials

It is essential for combustible materials to be stored properly to avoid the risk of a fire. They should be stored in appropriate housing that is secure, well vented, and in a temperature controlled environment. Also, any spills for these materials should be professionally cleaned up to avoid further issues.

Provide proper training in the workplace

Any employee that is expected to handle machinery, equipment or tools must get the proper training. The employees that aren’t yet trained should stay away from heavy machinery. Also, the newly trained employees can benefit from having a trained person supervise them when first using this type of equipment.

Clearly mark hazardous zones

Areas in the workplace that are used for storing dangerous equipment should be clearly marked. Walkways can benefit from clear labeling, or even white and black stripes painted on the floor. This lets everyone know the designated hazardous zones and helps to minimize potential accidents or injuries.

Essentials for Construction Site Safety

No matter the type of construction your company is involved in, there can be many potential hazards on the jobsite that can result in injury, and in extreme cases, even death. In addition, any safety mishaps on the jobsite can cause downtime, additional expenses and even cause your company to miss important deadlines. So, it’s critical to give your workers some basic guidelines to follow at all times when they are on the jobsite. Here are some essential safety tips to keep you and your workers safe on the jobsite.

Visibility can be a critical issue on job sites. Make sure you give your workers the proper accessories needed to make sure they are easily visible to any crane or machinery operators and also to other workers in the area. Ear and eye protection is also important, such as hearing protection headsets and safety glasses. Vests are a common site on construction sites nowadays, and they should include bright colors.

Many times, structures involved in building are not secured properly until late in the process. Be sure to anchor any temporary or unsecured structures while the building process is still taking place. Workers should also be equipped at all times with proper safety gear such as hard hats and fall protection equipment and accessories.

Often on a construction site, there may be temporary heat, water, gas or electricity lines open to the job site. It’s critical that all workers know where these areas are and how to move around them. Live electrical wires should never be left exposed.

Machinery and tractors are often used on job sites, it’s important to check the maintenance on these machines before every use, but especially their safety measures, such as lighting and sound warnings. Your workers should always be reminded to be on the lookout for moving machinery that is in use.

Many times, temporary workers may be on the job site, such as workers installing a device or decoration that may only take a few hours or a day. It’s critical to let these workers know the basics of safety on the jobsite before they are let into it.

Slipping and falling is a common problem on job sites. Workers can fall off of ladders, scaffolding or uneven surfaces. They might also trip on the many machines and cords that can run through a job site. Make sure proper warnings are posted around the site to watch their step, and make sure all workers have proper foot wear for the particular environment that they are working in.

No matter how careful you and your workers are, accidents can still happen on a job site. Equipment can fail without warning, or the weather, such as wind, rain or even a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood may cause an accident on the site. This is why it is critical to have an emergency plan for when something happens

9 Reasons to Hire an Office Cleaning Company

Did you know that every year there are thousands of man hours lost in offices all around the globe, simply because the office is not clean? It might sound crazy, but the office environment is not as clean as one might want to believe. Yes, the floor may have been vacuumed or swept, and the trash has been taken out but this does not necessarily equate the perfectly healthy clean office. In fact, many people (71% according to a study by the University of Arizona) believe that their less than stellar work environment has led to a past illness or virus.

This is a problem that goes beyond the germs spread in an office scenario, but is due to many offices not being serious about true, deep cleaning such as that done by an office cleaning company. In fact, another study by Durable of the United Kingdom, revealed that 82% of office workers believe they would healthier and would be able to work harder in a cleaner environment. And the reality is, there is a fair bit of science to back up this thought. Consider these stats regarding the state of the office.

· There is typically 445 times more bacteria on your desk than on a toilet seat

· Properly disinfecting your desk can remove 99.9% of germs

· 60% of office illnesses are caused by dirty office surfaces

· The average office worker’s desk has about 10 million bacteria.

· 62% of Americans eat lunch at their desks, but only 20% of the people who eat at their desk clean their workspace before eating at it. There are over 20,000 germs per square inch that live on your keyboard, computer mouse, and office chair.

· Diseases can be transferred through a variety of items. 25% of water cooler buttons are considered a serious risk for transmission of various diseases.

· Office phones have approximately 25,000 germs per square inch.

· The air quality in a closed office space can be 500% worse than the air quality outside.

· Without daily sanitizing, office surfaces’ bacteria count increase 30% every day.

To be a truly effective and efficient company you need people who can be there to get the job done. When you bring in an office cleaning company to not just maintain your workspace but do some real deep cleaning, you will likely be amazed at just how much better your office work flows. Sure, people will get sick, but chances are, it will be less often – and that’s a win for everyone.

Potential Fire Hazards And Preventive Measures

Fire can be a huge potential risk in any working environment. Workers die every year due to the inhalation of smoke or workers falling to their death from multi-story buildings. Taking necessary preventive measures can avoid fire-related incidents. Risk assessment can improve fire safety in a workplace. Finding out the chances of a fire occurring and the potential risk fire poses to the workforce is the prime function of the risk assessment process. Following are the five major steps a factory should include in its risk assessment process:

— Identify the potential fire hazards

— Identify employees most vulnerable to a potential fire

— Evaluating the potential risk and implementing preventive measures

— Keeping a record of the findings and data

— Taking assessment as a constant process and making necessary changes

We can further discuss these five-step strategy in detail. In the first step, safety managers should look at the sources of ignition, combustible material, and the processes that could create a fire hazard. Sources of ignition could be many from electrical wiring to poor machine maintenance and it is not hard to highlight the combustible material.

If there is a fire in a facility, the first priority should be to save lives and evacuate the building of all employees. The fire spread quickly and workers can be overcome with heat and smoke that can kill them. Therefore, there must be a safety procedure in place to warn employees before fire takes over.

Apart from all the preventive measures safety managers can take, employees should stay ready and wear safety garments which can help them avoid the heat. Firefighters generally wear clothes that are relevant to their work. Fire retardant coveralls is one of the examples of safety clothes that can help workers survive a fire. Workwear cannot be used as a sole technique to deal with workplace hazards. Fire is a serious hazard which demands thorough safety plans.

It is almost inevitable for workers to wear fire resistant clothes if their work involves hazards like high temperature and heat. Coveralls and bib pants are recommended garments for professionals like firefighters and manufacturing plant workers.

Most of the workplaces implement a dress code for their employees based on the nature of hazards. It is essential to a safe working environment. If your job is to deal with the risk of fire and other hazards, make sure you are well-equipped and well-trained. Remember, safety always comes first.

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