Respirator Upkeep: A Little TLC Goes A Long Way

3M™ 6000 Series Respirators and Filters

A respirator is an important piece of safety equipment in the workplace. Respirators are used to protect workers who are exposed to hazards in the air such as dust, mold, allergens, airborne chemicals, etc, and are considered mandatory under these specific hazardous circumstances.

These dangers may cause lung impairment, cancer, other diseases, or even death. In North America alone, an estimated five million workers are required to wear respirators in the workplace. Which is why choosing the proper protective breathing apparatus is essential for you and your workers’ safety.

Like any equipment, respirators need maintenance. Your face masks should always be in good working condition for them to be effective in keeping you safe. Proper cleaning and maintenance should be done regularly before and after use based on the manufacturer’s specifications. But even with a manufacturer’s instruction present, you also need to focus on four main aspects of respirator care that will help ensure your breathing apparatus will work every single time.

Cleaning

Respirators must be cleaned after every use as indicated by the manufacturer’s instructions or according to the following alternative procedure:

  1. Remove the cartridges, filters, canisters, or any other component that are not to be washed.
  2. Wash the respirator in warm water using a mild cleanser that contains a disinfecting agent.
  3. Thoroughly rinse the respirators in warm running water.
  4. Air dry the respirator or hand-dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.
  5. Reassemble the face piece and replace cartridges, filters, and canisters if necessary.
  6. Test the respirator to make sure all parts are working properly.
  7. Store the respirators properly in a sealed bag to keep off dusts and germs.

You can use non-alcoholic disposable wipes to clean your respirators in between uses during the workday, but respirators that are not individually assigned must be cleaned and sanitized before the next worker uses it.

3M-QUALITATIVE-FIT-TESTING-52790-baInspection

Workers are responsible for inspecting their respirators before and after use in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The worker must check the:

  • Condition of component parts
  • Tightness of connections
  • End-of-service-life indicator
  • Shelf-life dates
  • Proper functioning of alarms, regulators, and other warning systems or devices

Defective or non-functioning respirators must be identified and tagged as “Out of Service” and must be removed from service until repaired or replaced.

Repair and Test

Only qualified persons shall make repairs or adjustments to respirators. These trained personnel must only use the respirator manufacturer’s NIOSH-approved parts designed for the respirator. Any attempt to replace components, make adjustments or repairs outside of manufacturer’s recommendations should not be done. Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) must be tested, adjusted, and/or repaired only by the manufacturer or a professional repair service. Defective breathing equipment must be removed from service immediately for repair or discard.

Storage

Storing respirators near pesticide, on a work bench, in an enclosed cab, or even on the dashboard of a truck is dangerous. Cartridges can absorb anything from smoke to engine exhaust and may not work effectively on the next use. After inspection, cleaning or repair, you must store respirators in a way that will:

  • Protect them from dust, contamination, sunlight, extreme temperatures, chemicals , and other harmful conditions.
  • Prevent the face piece and/or valves from becoming deformed
  • Follow all storage precautions issued by the manufacturer
  • Keep them accessible to the work area but not in a place where it can be easily contaminated or inaccessible during an emergency.
  • Be easily identified by clearly labelling the respirator’s storage container as emergency equipment

Specialized respirators such as airline, SCBA or PAPR require additional inspection, maintenance and cleaning procedure. These equipment have a different respirator care checklist.

Wearing respirators is a good, simple solution that just works. However, a better one is keeping the workplace free from airborne hazards. With the proper breathing equipment, this can be easily achieved. Also, make sure that engineering and/or administrative controls are implemented. A comprehensive respiratory protection program will ensure that you and your workers are protected from any respiratory hazards that can occur in your workplace. 

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Stop Speeding With Bumps And Traffic Calming Tools

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Speeding is a serious matter. It is a common cause of crashes on Canadian roads. The faster a motor vehicle is moving, the less time the driver has to react to any hazard on the road. This increases the likelihood of a crash, injury or death.

The risks are particularly high for users such as pedestrians and cyclists, which have a large presence in suburbs and urban areas. With so many speeding-related accidents that occurs, safety measures should be put in place. One effective way to do this is through traffic calming.

Traffic calming is a set of safety measures in traffic education, enforcement, and engineering that aims to reduce vehicle speed without restricting access, improve road safety, and enhance safety for pedestrians and motorists. Applying traffic calming measures on streets has many benefits, including :

  • Decreasing noise and air pollution
  • Lessening through traffic
  • Prevention of crime
  • Improvement of property value
  • Promotion of urban redevelopment
  • Saving lives

Traffic calming devices are helpful tools used to enforce these safety measures. They are fixtures added to streets to physically reduce the speed of vehicles or stop them completely. They include road safety equipment such as:

PLASTIC SPEED BUMPSSpeed Bumps

A speed bump is a raised pavement area across a roadway and is generally three to six inches high with a length of one to three feet. Typically found on parking lots and private roadways, these temporary road bumps can slow vehicles to 5 mph or even to an abrupt halt at each bump. They are a temporary and cost-effective solution to control traffic speed especially in residential areas and school zones. Speed bumps also deter unnecessary traffic, encouraging drivers to choose alternative routes.

Speed Humps

Speed humps are the most traditional type of traffic calming device. They look like speed bumps but are much wider. Unlike speed bumps, speed humps encourage vehicles to slow down without having to do a complete stop. This makes it easier to build them over bigger traffic calming projects. These parabolic-shaped raised devices help bring speeds down to between 10-20 mph, making them ideal for residential neighbourhoods and areas where cycling is encouraged.

Speed Tables

These slows traffic the way speed humps do, only they are larger in size. Speed tables have a flat top with ramps on either sided and are mainly used on roads that pickup or collect pedestrian like in school zones.

Traffic Circles

Traffic circles slow down drivers at intersections because all vehicles coming all directions must yield to traffic already inside the circle. These employ the same rules as roundabouts, but are meant to slow traffic and are only used on local roads. The middle of a traffic circle can be landscaped or made with coloured asphalt to increase visibility.

parking blockParking Stops or Blocks

These traffic calming tools help ensure that vehicles stop at the designated location when parking, making them ideal for parking lots, grounds, garages and municipalities . They also prevent the chances of a vehicle rolling forward from a parking spot or over driving through the designated area. Use them to control curb overhang that may be hazardous to pedestrian, or use them as barriers to separate passable and impassable areas for motorists.

Road Signs

Traffic signs are essential in slowing and managing the volume and flow of traffic entering areas with traffic calming measures. ‘Keep Right’ signs are very crucial at traffic circles and curbs , while signs that display the speed limits help remind motorists of maximum allowed speed. This helpful guide will aid you in selecting the correct traffic signs for your area.

These effective traffic calming tools have greatly increased road safety and have significantly decreased accidents in areas where they are carried out. But it’s not enough that these safety measures are in place. We should still do our part to improve safety on our roads by following allowed speed limits and getting rid of distractions such as talking or sending out texts on cell phones while driving.

Practicing courtesy to drivers and pedestrians, paying more attention to laws and rules, and being more aware of your surroundings will make a big difference in your life and the lives of others. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s time to do your part in keeping our roads safe.   

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Confined Space: What Safety Equipment Do You Need?

Confined spacesWorking in confined spaces can be challenging. Many work injuries and deaths that happen each year are related to confined space work, making it one of the most hazardous kind of job in any work setting. In fact, sixty percent of confined space fatalities are the would-be rescuers. Which is why Canadian employers are required to create a Confined Space Hazard Assessment and Control Program in their organization.

But how do you determine what a confined space is?

For a space to be considered as “confined” , it must meet three criteria:

  1. It has limited means of egress with only one way of entering/exiting,
  2. Not designed for continuous occupancy, meaning there are no provisions for lighting, HVAC and such; and
  3. The space is large enough for a body to fit in and perform work.

Some examples of confined spaces include manholes, silos, tunnels, ventilation and exhaust ducts, storage tanks and pipelines, among others.

Confined spaces present many dangers including lack of oxygen, poisonous gas and liquid build up, fire and explosions, high dust concentration, and excessive heat, among others. Then there are the potential dangers that may arise from when the actual work is being carried out. Machinery that is being used may need special precautions, such as provisions against electric shock. Also, if men are trapped inside a space with restricted entrance, escape or rescue will be more difficult.

If your job requires you to work in confined spaces, you need to use the proper tools and equipment to safeguard yourself and others against  these hazards. Working safely in confined space requires special training in knowing more about the common risks and how to manage them, including which safety tools and equipment to use. These include:

Safety signs

All spaces must be identified, documented and marked so workers will understand what level of protection is necessary. Confined space signs clearly and effectively warn workers and guests of dangers in these areas, ensuring their well-being and safety. Post danger and caution signs at strategic places to indicate hazardous and restricted areas.

Danger Confined Space LabelSafety labels

Labels provide secure identification to authorized confined space workers and visitors, so you can control access to your hazard areas. This also helps discourage potential trespassers and unauthorized personnel from restricted areas. Display these confined space labels on machinery, equipment, or in any potentially dangerous area to warn workers, maintenance crews or repairmen of confined spaces and the dangers.

Respirators

A self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is essential if the air inside the confined space is not fit to be inhaled because of the presence of fume, gas, or vapour, or lack or oxygen. Respirators minimize work related injuries and save time and money. There are different kinds of respirators available, so make sure you are using the right one.

Rescue harness

When going down a manhole or to a lower level of confined space, you need to use fall protection equipment like harnesses, lanyards, carabiners, and lifelines to allow for the safe and effective lowering and lifting of workers. Fall harnesses are also used by rescuers to remove trapped workers in a confined space safely and quickly out of danger.

Comfo-Cap Mining Hard Hat with Staz-On SuspensionHead Protection

Hard hats and face shields protect your workers from potential head and face injuries such as falling or piercing objects and electrical shock that may happen while working in a confined space. All personnel must wear head protection before entering a confined space.

Eye, ear, hand, and foot protection

Goggles and safety glasses protect your eye from heat, chemicals and injury from foreign objects that may be present in confined spaces. Operating machinery inside confined spaces can create excessive loud noises. You need to wear proper hearing protection to protect your ears from damage. You also need to protect your hands and feet from possible injury while working in a confined spaces.

Special tools and lighting

Powerful lighting such as safety lamps is a must for dark confined areas to be able to perform your tasks well. Ventilators and blowers are needed to provide air circulation. You must also makes sure that your tools are non-sparking to avoid fire and explosion from flammable or potentially explosive atmospheres.

Lockout equipment

Confined spaces that are deemed too dangerous to use must be sealed and locked to prevent further access. Devices such as switch locks also prevent people from activating electrical or mechanical equipment while someone is inside a space working on the said equipment.

It is possible to work safely in a confined space, but it needs careful planning and preparation to achieve this. A strong and compliant confined space program will guide you in doing this. You need to follow all safety precautions and never take shortcuts when it comes to confined space safety. Don’t hesitate to speak up or ask questions when you are unsure of the correct procedures. You are the key to making your confined space safety program a success. By consistently following safe work ethics and procedures, you can continue to work safely for a long time.

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Storage Cabinets: A Must for Every 5s Program

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Are you having difficulty in finding your work tools and equipment? Is your workspace crowded with parts and tools, stacked between your workstations and gathering dust? Do you always have excess inventory, items, and machines that make it difficult to improve process flow? If you said yes to any of these, then you may have some serious storage and organization issues and it’s about time you start implementing a 5s program.

 “A place for everything, and everything in its place” is the slogan of the 5s methodology. A 5s system is a good starting point to remove waste, improve organization, and maximize the use of space for storage. Which is why adopting a 5s program at your workplace just makes for good business sense. Aside from helping your organization develop a new sense of discipline and order that can be applied to other activities, having a well-implemented 5s program also:

  • highlights problem areas
  • improves safety
  • reduces waste
  • results to shorter lead times
  • enhances quality and productivity output
  • contributes to a sense of ownership of the workspace
  • increases employee morale
  • improves maintenance
  • leaves a better impression on customers and visitors

Storage solutions are essential to a successful 5s program. An organized workspace means less wastage that includes time – time consumed locating items, time wasted due to improper use of an item, and time spent trying to find a proper place for an item. Storage products help in making sure these wastage are reduced or altogether removed. They include:

Lyon All Welded Extra Wide Storage CabinetsStorage Cabinets

Work spaces should be set up so that everything has a place that is available when needed. Cabinets provide order and easy access to tools and materials. Use workbenches and storage cabinets in tidying up your workspace so each item, product, and equipment has a dedicated place. This helps reduce the footprint of goods and equipment that would otherwise just be lying around in your work area. Having an assigned space for your tools and mechanism also reduces time wasted searching for lost inventory.

When using storage, make sure everything is labelled and identified. If you have different storage needs for different employees, a better option would be to use adjustable storage and workbenches which can easily adapt to the different needs of the user.

Modular Drawer Cabinets

Since this type of cabinet can be customized, it offers the maximum use of cubic space for the highest density storage. Modular drawer cabinets provide maximum weight-bearing capacity, tailored drawer organization, and ergonomic item handling and access. Use these space-saving storage solutions for storing parts, tools, and items of any size and type.

Racks and Shelving

Shelving provides visual and physical organization of your work and production areas. It offers a place to store your shelf bins and containers while still keeping stored items visible and easily accessible. Some shelving options even come with wheels so they can be moved from place to place with ease while other shelves can be mounted on walls for a permanent storage solution and at the same time freeing up valuable floor space.

Key Cabinets

Keep your keys and other valuables safe inside a key cabinet. This type of  storage solution prevents access to restricted areas, and deters theft and tampering. It also keeps your keys organized and easily accountable.

First Aid Cabinets

Even your first aid supplies need to be organized too, especially since they are a critical tool in an emergency situation. First aid cabinets are usually mounted on walls in public areas for visibility and easy access, reducing precious time wasted on locating the supply. You can store the recommended number of medical supplies in these cabinets so your workplace can be better prepared to respond to an emergency.

Your 5s system doesn’t stop with utilizing these storage cabinets in your work areas. You also need to follow these guidelines for a truly successful 5s program:

  1. Make sure you tools and instruction manuals are stored near where they are going to be used and easily accessible.
  2. Design storage areas with wide openings and shallow shelving depths.
  3. Lay out your storage cabinets along the wall to free up space on the floor.
  4. Store similar items together and different items in separate rows for easy identification.
  5. Avoid stacking items together. Use racks and shelving when possible.
  6. Small bins make for great storage for small items.
  7. Colour-coding and labeling goes a long way in at-a-glance identification.
  8. Use see-through/transparent covers and doors for visibility.
  9. Use carts to move, organize, and store tools and equipment.

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No Skidding: Keep Safe With Winter Cleaning Tools

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Winter in Canada is synonymous with extreme cold weather and snow – lots of it. For residential and business owners, it’s important to ensure that all areas are covered when it comes to winter safety and cleanliness. Twenty-five percent of  all serious injuries related to slips and trips happen in winter, but these accidents are preventable by making sure your walkways and pathways are clear of any snow or slush. This guideline on clearing pathways and these safety tips to prevent slips and falls can get you started on winter safety and preparedness program in your facility and at home.

There are many ways of dealing with snow cleanup during this season, and there are corresponding tools available to aid you in your snow removal tasks. Read on to know more about these handy and helpful snow cleaning tools for your winter cleanup activities:

Shovels

Shovels are your most basic snow removal tool and the most economical too. Before using one, you need to apply wax on the shovel to reduce friction as you scrape through the slush and snow. This keeps the ice from sticking to the shovel and makes it less heavy when working. Waxing also keeps the shovel from rusting, prolonging its life.

De-Icers and Ice Melters

De-icing is a preventative method wherein de-icers are applied on driving or walking surfaces before a snowfall to prevent hard ice from forming. Snow and ice can become compact and bond to a paved surface. A de-icer can be absorbed into the compact snow or ice, melt it, and break it up for easier shoveling.

Ice melters are used to dissolve existing ice and snow. Most of these are a blend of calcium, sodium, or magnesium chloride. Ice melters work by attracting moisture to itself to form a liquid brine. This solution generates heat which melts the ice.

Broadcast-Spreader-8136B-lg_250Spreaders

Spreaders are one of the most effective tools in melting snow. These are used to evenly distribute ice melt, rock salt, or grit for slippery icy spots and prevent waste. This snow removal tool can be handheld, feature wheels,  or can be attached to the back of a truck, so you can remove ice and snow faster in any scenario.

Snow Blowers

This powerful snow removal machine does a better and faster job of clearing snow and covers a larger area in little time. Before getting a snow blower. you need to make sure that there is:

  • an impeller to suck up snow and blow it out the chute. Cheaper ones don’t have these, so they don’t discharge snow and ice properly.
  • an electric starter, to lessen aggravation
  • a powerful engine
  • self-propulsion. Pushing a snow-blower through the ice is inefficient – it takes more time and uses up more energy.

When used correctly, a snow blower puts lesser stress on your lower back compared to shoveling.

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Ice Scrapers

This is a old-fashioned but handy way to clear snow and ice from your sidewalks and walkways. It works by chipping at the ice until they break apart. Another type is used to remove snow and ice off your vehicle. This type lets you easily push heavy, wet snow off the roof, hood, windshield and trunk of your car making cleaning easy work for this season.

Snow Cutters

Snow on your roof puts added weight which can lead to roof damages. This tool removes snow or ice from your roof in sections. This is safer and faster to use compared to shoveling, and you don’t have to climb onto your roof to shovel off snow.

Snow removal is no fun when you need to work in freezing temperature. But proper technique and good quality equipment help make this chore more bearable and less intimidating. Do it yourself and save up on cleaning fees that may add up with the long winter season and endless snowfall. Use these tools to help protect structures from damage, provides more mobility, and make traveling safer and easier. And finally, say goodbye to nasty slips and trips this winter!

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PPE: Your Top 8 Work Wear Must-Haves For Winter

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Winter is already here, and so are darker days and cold, wet weather. This is the time when Canadians are more susceptible to workplace hazards and sickness brought about by some of the toughest weather conditions this country has to offer.

Cold weather can affect mental alertness and manual dexterity, and can lead to accidents such as slips, trips, and falls. Exposure to cold weather can also bring about deadly health risks such as hypothermia and frostbite. All of these things can affect worker productivity and ultimately, the bottom line of your company.

For workers who spend much of their time outdoors, preparation is a must. This means that members of the workforce such as construction workers, road crews, utility workers, fire fighters, and commercial fishermen, to name a few, must use specialized weather-appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and clothing to be able to combat the harsh, cold temperature and still perform their work task safely and properly.

Employers must provide the right PPE that are suitable for the temperature, the task that will be done, and the physical exertion needed to accomplish the task. The PPE should also comply with government standards and regulations. If your workers are exposed to harsh winter conditions, the following PPE items are a must so your employees will be safer, healthier and more productive in winter work environments:

Anti-exposure Work Suits

In extreme cold and wet environments, your employees need an anti-exposure work suit that can protect them from hypothermia. These are waterproof and designed to keep you warm on the boat and in the water. The one-piece overall provides comfort and allows for a full range of motion so you can perform your tasks well.

Rainwear

Rain can aggravate winter cold problems. Employees who work in the rain should wear rain gear that fully covers their body. Rainwear come in three types: water-resistant, waterproof/breathable, and waterproof. Which type to choose depends on how much time you will be spending in the rain and the intensity of your tasks.

Safety Goggles

The eyes are often forgotten when it comes to winter protection. But cold air and wind can quickly dry eyes and  mucous membranes. Goggle help prevent eyes from heat and moisture loss. They also protect your eyes from wind and flying particles, and provide additional face coverage as well.

Winter Gloves

Your hands are your most important tools to perform any task, so it only follows that you should make sure they are protected from the harsh weather. A good pair of warm, insulated work gloves is a necessity when working outdoors in cold climates. You can choose from mittens, ski gloves, neoprene glove and other options to address your cold weather exposure needs.

Boots

Like your hands, you also need to keep your feet warm. Extremities, such as the hands and feet, are most prone to conditions such as frostbite and chilblains. Felt-lined, rubber bottomed, leather-topped boots with removable insoles are best for heavy work in cold weather, but waterproof boots are more suited to tasks that involves walking and standing in water.

trex-6310-ice-traction-device-9464b-lgIce Traction Devices

Traction devices are placed over existing footwear to give extra traction for walking on wet, icy surface, and prevents slip and trip incidents. These are ideal for road construction workers, roofers, installers, deliver person, utility men, among others.

Winter Liners

Use cold weather winter liners to keep the head, neck, and ears warm when wearing a hard hat or other safety head gear. For more severe exposure to cold weather, there are full head covers with openings for the eyes, nostrils, and mouth, and come in flannel, knit, and even neoprene materials.

Work Tents

Wind chill can be dangerous in windy environments. A work tent acts as a temporary shelter for your workers who need to work outdoors, and reduces the length of exposure of workers to deadly wind chill factor.

Working outdoors in the cold is no laughing matter. It can be dangerous to the untrained and to people without adequate winter clothing. But for a well-informed and prepared worker, it can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Wearing winter-appropriate PPE helps make that happen, as well as following these winter safety guidelines to avoid accidents and mishaps in the workplace.

 

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Forklift Safety: Why Forklift Training Matters

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Forklifts are an integral part of industrial work. These vehicles are instrumental in moving, lifting, carrying and delivering load to any point in a facility or site efficiently and safely – that is, if proper equipment is being used correctly.

A forklift is an extremely powerful machine, and it doesn’t take much for damage, injury, or loss of life to occur. With forklift fatalities occurring in almost every industry that deals with manufacturing, construction, mining, or transportation of materials, safety is and should be top priority.

Forklift safety tools such as safety posters and forklift accessories are helpful but only supplemental. A majority of these forklift accidents could have been prevented with proper forklift training, or just simply better training. This is why forklift training and certification is crucial to workplace safety.

Forklift training not only prevents accidents and injuries from happening, they can also benefit your company and the bottom line as well. Here are six more reasons why you should start your forklift training at work today:

It saves time. A trained and skilled operator will know what to do when using a forklift. This confidence from their training will mean they can speed up their work pace and can move heavy inventory faster. This saves time, increases productivity and maximizes the work done per man-hour.

It reduces risks. Forklift training teaches operators on how to safely navigate and operate a forklift, what dangers may arise, and what actions to take if any hazards come up. An untrained operator will not know these things, putting him or her at a higher risk for forklift accidents.

It lowers inventory loss. Inventory can get lost or damage from wrong handling when a  forklift driver does not know how to safely operate the equipment. That is already lost money for your company. It may not seem much, but in the long run, these accumulated loss will be higher compared to the cost of getting your operators trained.

300x300It contributes to machine maintenance. Workers who are trained in forklift handling are also educated on the proper way to take care and maintain the equipment. This includes knowing how to re-fill battery fluid and perform safety and equipment checks, which will in turn reduce costs on equipment repair and service. This will ensure that the machine will always be running at top form, with little or no risks of breakdown during important operation.

It increases productivity. Trained forklift operators will know how to operate the machine properly, which means they will be more efficient and productive. This increases the overall output of your company which can help you stay competitive and stand out from the rest. With more productivity, you can have the option of expanding your business and increasing your profit even further.  

It lessens the risk of machine damage. Repair for damaged forklifts can cost your company a lot of money.  A trained operator will ensure that the machines will not be broken due to mishandling.

Forklift training is vital for any company that puts priority on safety in the workplace. Employers and facility managers such as yourself should ensure all your employees receive adequate training and are aware of these forklift safety do’s and don’ts. Lastly, you need to make sure that your forklift operators are fully licensed and trained to do their jobs safely and effectively.

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Stanchions: For Effective Crowd & Traffic Control

600x250_origlargeCrowd and traffic control is a must for any site that expects a lot of traffic from people or vehicles. Even with only a few users of the area, having a controlled space can make your place a whole lot easier to manage. It’s time to start making your queue and crowd management more efficient with crowd control equipment.

Traffic Control Persons (TCP), in particular, are required to provide some form of regulation on traffic flow in the facilities they manage. Let’s take a page out of their books and discuss one of the most common crowd control tools they use: stanchions.

A stanchion is the easiest solution to all your traffic and crowd control problems. These crowd control barriers direct guests and motorists to where they need to go and block areas off so people and vehicles cannot enter. This effective crowd controller also helps avoid incidents of stampedes or other crowd-related deadly mishaps from happening.

Stanchions are commonly used for large events, concerts, malls, marketplaces,  sporting events, and anywhere a large number of people gather. They are also utilized for site security in construction sites and in onsite traffic management.

Stanchions are available in many forms, each with specific applications. Here are the five types of stanchions you need to know:

Ropes and Poles

This is the most traditional and commonly used stanchion. You can spot them indoors or outdoors in music halls, movie theatres, museums, amusements parks, and even on the Red Carpet. These classic rope-and-post barrier provide an elegant feel to queuing and crowd control. Use this to direct traffic, maintain order, and block-off no access areas effectively in a stylish manner.

Retractable Belt Stanchion

Think of retractable belt stanchions as the star of the crowd control industry. These modern, multipurpose retractable belt stanchions offer versatility to queue management since they can easily expand and retract to adjust to the size and flow of the crowd.  Belted stanchions are available in a variety of finishes. You can even customize the belts with your own logos, graphics, or messages to truly make it your own. They are also available in different configurations such as  single-belted, double-belted, and low-level “exhibit height” stanchions that are used to block-off sensitive exhibits without obstructing the display.

Wall-Mounted Belts

These are ideal for areas where you don’t want to take up valuable floor space. These belt barriers effectively restrict access to aisles, hallways, corridors, and gangways with ease. It features a slow-retract mechanism for safety and can be customized to feature your own message, logo or graphics. You can use them solo or combined with other posts, this provides an opportunity to reduce costs by cutting down on security personnel who do the same job!

300x450Outdoor Utility Stanchions

As the name implies, the design and material for this type is used outside. These utility stanchion can withstand even the harshest weather conditions, making them perfect for outdoor events , construction work, recreation parks, and school yards. These high-visibility crowd barriers are the practical and economical solution for any outdoor crowd control need.

Stainless Steel Posts

Use these to create boundaries for crowd management and thresholds – be it indoors or outdoors. These durable crowd barriers are used to control aggressive crowds, block access, prevent theft, and stop trespassing. They are also ideal for use in zoos to prevent animals from wandering away.

Before selecting stanchions for your needs, you need to answer two important questions. First, “How many people are in the crowd?,” and second, “What areas are accessible and restricted?” This will help you in determining what kind of stanchions will you need for your facility. Remember as with any location, safety should be top priority, and it is no different when managing a crowd.

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Hand Carts: Your Ticket to Safer Material Handling

600x250Back injury is a common problem in the workplace. In British Columbia alone, almost one out of five Canadians suffer from some form of work-related back problem. These back injuries mostly result from lifting heavy or irregular-sized objects.

Workers loading and unloading cargo are exposed to serious threats of heavy objects, which could potentially fall on or hit them. If this happens, the cargo itself or the immediate surroundings could also be damaged.

Manual Material Handling (MMH) equipment such as hand trucks, carts and dollies can help prevent these mishaps. Even the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recommends these to prevent back injury. With these tools, workers can transport light or heavy loads faster, without the threat of back injuries and other accidents. While there is no hard and fast rule on when to use a utility cart or hand truck, common sense will dictate that a load too heavy or cumbersome to lift manually needs some form of MMH.

As with any equipment, you need to know how to use and maintain them properly to get the most out of them. There are safety guidelines on how to use your hand trucks and carts, especially in a factory or warehouse setting.

Here are some safety tips to help you in your material handling tasks:

  • Check if your MMH equipment is in good condition. Before using your dolly or cart for transporting, you need to ensure it is in good condition. Check if the cart handles are stable and if the wheels have proper air pressure. Flat tires do not roll so well, so make sure yours aren’t deflated. Otherwise, you won’t be able to move your cargo.
  • Make sure your cargo fits and is secure. Know the load capacity of your cart or truck. Trying to load your cart with small individual items or large unstable pieces isn’t just a daunting task; it can also cause the load to fall off and hurt you or make a mess. Put your small items in a container and secure your large items by bundling them up before transport. Use heavy-duty nylon belts and other cargo restraints to secure your load.
  • Load the heaviest item first.  Unless you want your smaller items to get crushed, the heaviest cargo should go to the bottom. A top-heavy cargo will tip over and hurt you or someone else. Make sure the load is evenly distributed on all wheels of your cart or dolly. Always follow the load capacity of your MMH and never overload.
  • Decide on which direction you are going before moving your cargo. Never pull a cart, dolly, or hand truck. Always push it when moving loads. Moving forward with your cart in front of you is more stable, but your vision is compromised by the cart. Going backward means you will be in front of the truck, but it’ll be more difficult for you to control the cart, and there is a greater chance for your truck to tip over or hit something. If your view is obstructed, ask a spotter to assist in guiding the load.
  •  Move at an appropriate pace. Speeding, rushing, or pushing too hard can cause your cargo to shift and become unstable, causing damage to the product or hurting you or someone else in the process.
  •  Know when it is time to use mechanical equipment instead. Never use your back when raising or lowering a load. Use mechanical or hydraulic lifting mechanisms when you need to move extremely heavy loads.

Learning how to safely move cargo and practicing the correct methods of transporting will help prevent back and muscle injuries. You also need to prepare yourself and your surroundings before performing any lifting or moving tasks by following these simple tips on MMH general practices. Being knowledgeable on the different material handling equipment will also help you determine which tool is best for the task at hand. Doing these things will ensure you and your workers can do your jobs safely and properly.

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Safety Vests: Get To Know the Different Classes

250_375Visibility is an important part of job safety, especially if you work in industrial or construction sites. These jobs require you to perform tasks close to moving vehicles and equipment in different weather and light conditions. You need to be highly visible at all times to avoid accidents and injuries. Which is why for the Canadian workplace, wearing a safety vest is a must, and a legal requirement.

Safety vests are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) designed to make the wearer more visible to others. These come in bright, neon coloured fabric and feature strips of reflective tape which reflect the light from headlights of moving vehicles. Workers who wear safety vests are easier to spot, even from a distance or in low light conditions. As a result, accidents are reduced since motorists and machinists can easily see the workers wearing the high-visibility vests.

When it comes to choosing the best safety vests, you can use this handy guide on choosing safety vests to help you in your decision. Aside from this, you also need to know the different classes of safety vests and their application so you can comply with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) regulations:

Class I

Class 1 vests provide minimal amount of bright and reflective material, usually in orange, yellow, and lime green. They are used for occupational activities with low traffic, meaning the worker must have ample distance from the approaching traffic. Vehicle speed should not exceed 25 mph, and the worker must have his full attention to approaching traffic. These vests are ideal for sidewalk maintenance workers, parking attendants, and shopping cart retrievers .

Class II

Class 2 safety vests are worn by people who need greater visibility in areas of high traffic, dangerous weather conditions, and complex backgrounds. People who work in construction, law enforcement, emergency response, and utility fields need to wear this type of safety vest.

Class 2 safety vests are worn over the top of uniforms or shirts and come in fluorescent orange, lime, or yellow. Several styles of class 2 vests are available including adjustable variants, illuminated, mesh, and even vests made of flame retardant material. Usually, the vest also displays the company or department logo for identification purposes.

Class III

Class 3 safety vests offer the highest level of visibility and are required to be worn by workers on federal road right-of-ways when exposed to traffic or construction. They must be worn by workers performing heavy-duty tasks in limited or no light conditions, in areas of higher traffic in excess of 50 mph, or in extreme weather conditions.

Class 3 safety vests provide visibility through the full range of body motions from a distance of at least 1,280 feet. Similar to the Class 2 vests, they can also be imprinted with a department or company name,  and come in fluorescent yellow, lime, or orange. You can choose from a variety of materials such as rubber, mesh, and  non-mesh. A variety of styles for these vests are available from the common jacket to even overcoats and sweatshirt like apparel.

Maintaining high visibility should be a priority. You need to make sure that you and your workers are wearing the correct safety vests for your specific tasks when applicable. Wearing a safety vest lets you avoid unnecessary accidents and keeps you and your workers safe, enabling you to do your jobs properly. Always make sure you are wearing the right protective clothing before performing any task. This can spell the difference between an accident-free work zone and an accident-prone work zone.

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