EN 14126 Certified Protective Clothing Against COVID-19

What is COVID-19

The latest global pandemic, is a coronavirus disease that causes respiratory illness that can spread quickly from human to human. The latest outbreak of COVID-19 caused about 7,000 confirmed cases in China in the first month (January 2020,  Situation report). Following with another 80,000 confirmed worldwide in the second month (February 2020,  Situation report).

Difference between COVID-19, MERS and SARS

Coronaviruses are a wide family of viruses that cause disease, often in animals. However, forms of coronaviruses can cause disease in humans, and 3 of these can cause significant outbreaks of deadly pneumonia:

  • COVID-19 – It is an infectious disease caused by the most recently identified coronaviruses. The “SARS-CoV-2 virus” is a novel coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China at the end of  2019 as a disease with extreme acute respiratory syndrome that actively spread worldwide in 2020.
  • MERS – The Middle East respiratory syndrome is a viral respiratory disease caused by coronavirus. The virus “MERS-CoV” was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
  • SARS – The virus “SARS-CoV” was reported in 2002 as the cause of an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), SARS and MERS took years to spread and killed more than 800 people. Yet COVID-19  took just 3 months to spread around the world, causing about 115,000 deaths worldwide. Such high numbers that have occurred in a short time can cause the local medical resource to crash.

How to ensure protection level sufficient for healthcare personnel

According to WHO guidelines, the virus can spread directly when a case of COVID-19 coughs or exhales droplets that touch the nose, mouth or eyes of another person. Keep your hands clean and cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing is vital for public health. Yet it’s another matter for healthcare services.

In order to prevent mass infection in healthcare facilities, infected patients need to remain in a controlled environment, namely negative pressure isolation room. Frontline operators need to wear a complete range of isolation equipment, like face shield, N95 respirator, coverall, gloves, boot covers, etc. according to WHO Disease Commodity Packages (DCPs) of COVID-19, or CDC Coronavirus Disease Infection Control.

Is it enough if wear all the equipment suggested? Typically, environmental variables are under-controlled in a healthcare facility. Normally, biological threats come from a few directions, usually from the lower front, since the patient can sit or lie down on the bed. Protective equipment used in the medical industry, such as isolation gown, is intended to avoid front contamination only. But the region above or below the chest is exposed and can cause possible hazards. Once it comes to coronavirus disease, such as COVID-19, protection for the human body is not enough.

In order to get an appropriate protection, coverall is a safer choice when dealing with disease prevention, such as COVID-19. Coverall has a one-piece hood, gloves, body cover and pants that eliminates all gaps in the collar, chest, legs and back section. These will have 360 degrees of protection for healthcare personnel.

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The Differences Between Protective Clothing and Gown

What Face Shields Do?

What Face Shield Do?

We talk a lot about eye safety and eye protection when dealing with hazards like sparks, debris, or splashing chemicals, and focus on safety glasses and goggles as an important part of our personal protective equipment (PPE).  Our eyes are easily damaged, and becoming blinded from a work injury has significant repercussions for the injured employee.

On protecting our eyes, let’s not lose sight of the fact that more than just our eyes need to be protected. Many tasks require the use of face shields too.

They provide additional protection for our eyes, and also the rest of our face as well. With that said, there are some things that we need to understand about what face shields can and cannot do.

When properly used as part of a workplace injury prevention program, face shields provide additional protection against some impact hazards, or things flying into our faces.

Pay attention to the word ‘additional,’ though; when used, OSHA does not consider face shields to be enough   protection for impact hazards like flying fragments or objects, large chips, or particles.

To protect an employee from those hazards, a face shield must be used with safety glasses or safety goggles. That’s right – 2 layers of protection. And if you think about it, it seems reasonable – the face shield can slow or even stop a flying hazard before it even reaches your glasses, which are within an inch of your eye. That’s a little close for comfort.

A big part of why a face shield isn’t enough on its own, though, is that it doesn’t sit as close to your face or eyes, and so there is still potential for something to fly under the shield and injure your eyes. When combined with safety glasses or goggles, a face shield provides an important additional layer of protection not just for your eyes, but also protects the rest of your face from burns, cuts, or even exposures to toxic or caustic chemicals.

Selecting Face Shields

Like other PPE, we need to select the right face shield for the task at hand. To do that, we need to understand what kind of protection is required, and how it will interact with other required PPE used for workplace injury prevention.

One of the most important decisions comes down to selecting the right type of window (also called a visor) on the face shield. Many are available in different types of plastic or plastic-like materials. These often provide excellent visibility for the worker, are usually lightweight (reducing the strain on the worker’s head and neck), and can even be ANSI rated for impact protection.

The materials don’t all function the same, though. Some of these materials are more scratch resistant than others. Some provide adequate protection against specific chemical exposures, whereas others may provide none, or worse, might interact with specific chemicals in dangerous ways.

Keep that in mind when selecting face shields to protect against chemical splashes, and make sure to consult your safety data sheets for the chemicals that you use to make sure that your face shields are made of the right materials.

Plastic or plastic-like materials aren’t necessary, or even ideal, for all tasks though. Steel and nylon mesh windows are also available, protecting workers against impacts from larger objects. They won’t provide the same level of protection against dusts, fumes, and vapors, though, as they do not form a solid shield, allowing dusts and vapors to pass through the mesh. That same mesh design allows for even greater airflow for the worker, which can be particularly useful when working outside in the heat.

Other required PPE can also affect what types of face shields are appropriate. One common type is attaches to hard hats, allowing employees to  wear adequate head protection. When hard hats are not required, face shields are also available as adjustable headgear.

What is Hydrofluoric Acid?

What is Hydrofluoric Acid?

Hydrofluoric acid (HF), which termed as ‘The Bone Seeker’, has been used in glass etching, rust removal, petroleum refining, tanning and dyeing since mass production in 1931. It has become an indispensable raw material for the semiconductor industry and an important catalyst in the petrochemical process. Depending on its concentration, exposure to HF can cause death.

Where hydrogen fluoride is found and how it is used
  • Hydrogen fluoride is used to make refrigerants, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, high-octane gasoline, aluminum, plastics, electrical components, and fluorescent light bulbs. Sixty percent of the hydrogen fluoride used in manufacturing is for processes to make refrigerants.
  • Hydrogen fluoride is also used for etching glass and metal.
How you could be exposed to hydrogen fluoride
  • In a natural disaster, you could be exposed to high levels of hydrogen fluoride when storage facilities or containers are damaged and the chemical is released. This release could occur at an industrial site or even a retail location.
  • You could be exposed to hydrogen fluoride if it is used as a chemical terrorism agent.
  • If you work in an occupation that uses hydrogen fluoride, you may be exposed to this chemical in the workplace.
  • You may be exposed to hydrogen fluoride as part of a hobby.
How hydrogen fluoride works
  • Hydrogen fluoride goes easily and quickly through the skin and into the tissues in the body. There it damages the cells and causes them to not work properly.
  • The seriousness of poisoning caused by hydrogen fluoride depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and preexisting medical condition of the person exposed.
  • Breathing hydrogen fluoride can damage lung tissue and cause swelling and fluid accumulation in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
  • Skin contact with hydrogen fluoride may cause severe burns that develop after several hours and form skin ulcers.
What Harm Does Hydrofluoric Acid Cause to the Human Body?

HF is a weak acid but highly toxic and corrosive. The harm to the human body can be divided into the skin, respiratory tract, eye, and digestive tract. The main cause that contributes to a life-threatening situation is still skin exposure. There might be no obvious symptoms at the beginning, but if it is not treated in time, the black necrosis of the affected part must be amputated or even cause death

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What Is Hydrofluoric Acid?

Achieving Safety Goals

Achieving Safety Goals Safety Talk

Any company that focuses on improving workplace safety aims to get their employees home in the same health they came into work or better every single day. For many companies there is often a larger expressed goal attached to this effort. Often the goal for many worksites or companies as a whole is to make it an entire year without any injuries. For other companies it may just be no lost time injuries in a year. Despite what the goal is or the duration set, one thing is for certain- it takes focused effort every single day to achieve it.

Safety Goals Set by Companies

Safety records are tracked, days since last injury counters loom over employees’ heads, and safety lunches are held quarterly to celebrate employee efforts in working safely. While these tools may be good reminders for a workforce that there is a goal set and there is progress being made, the honest truth is that it takes dedication by every single person on that team over a long period of time to achieve the larger goal. The enormity of these safety related goals can overwhelm even the most optimistic employee.

achieving safety goals toolbox talkThe Only Way to Achieve a Big Safety Goal is One Task at a Time

After huge goals are set by companies regarding workplace safety, it is up everyone’s willingness to embrace that it is possible and take action towards meeting the goal. The thought alone of making it a whole year without injury automatically shuts down many individuals from even wanting to put a care towards attempting to achieve it. To reduce the enormity of the goal, concrete actions need to be lined out every day to focus on preventing injuries one task at a time.

The best way to achieve a huge goal is to take small steps towards it every single day. For safety goals it means doing one step, one work task, one safeguard, the right way each time it needs completed. Effort cannot be applied directly to the overall abstract goal that may be a year or two away. Effort can be applied by each individual to take action in the task they are doing that minute to complete it in the safe and correct manner.

The Standard PPE List

If you are new to a business, or are just starting out, you might not know what you should be offering as part of this responsibility. The standard personal protective equipment list that ensures you are meeting the needs of your staff, and the legal requirements expected of you as an employer. Read on to find out more.

What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment is the first level of protection against injury or illness in the workplace.

What are the laws on personal protective equipment?

The expectation set for employers about PPE is dictated by Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, a law responsible for ensuring the workplace health and safety for employees.

Appropriate training in the use of the equipment should be given, and employees should have free and easy access to the products they need. 

List of personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment refers to products that will protect the user (or wearer) from the health and safety risks posed in the workplace.

Based on this, the PPE you need to introduce into your workplace depends on the hazards posed there. Here we have listed some the most common types of PPE, and the hazards that they can be used to combat.

                                                                                                                                                                   

Head protection

Products include: Safety helmets, hard hats and bump Cap

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Falling objects
  • Head injury when working in close confines
  • Electric shock during electrical work

                                                                                                                                                                   

Eye protection

Products include: Safety gogglesoverglasses, and safety glasses.

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Airborne dust and debris
  • Chemical splashes
  • Impact hazards

                                                                                                                                                                   

Face protection

Products include: Browguards and face shield

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Chemical splashes
  • Splashes from molten metal
  • Impact hazards

                                                                                                                                                                   

Hearing protection

Products include: Reusable ear plugsdisposable ear plugs, ear defender, and clarity ear muff 

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Damage to hearing from noise exposure of all types, including:
  • Machinery
  • Equipment

                                                                                                                                                                   

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)

Products include: Disposable respiratorshalf masks and full face masks and reuseable respirators

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Airborne dust and debris
  • Airborne solvents
  • Exposure to areas of low oxygen levels

                                                                                                                                                                   

Hand protection

Products include: Gloves to suit different hazards, including gloves and heat-resistant gloves

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Contact with chemical hazards
  • Heat and burns
  • Injury through manual handling
  • Injury from machinery vibrations

                                                                                                                                                                   

Safety footwear

Products include: Work boots and  safety shoes

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Corrosive or irritating substances
  • Electric shock during electrical work

                                                                                                                                                                   

Questions to ask when creating your PPE list

Before making your final decisions on the best PPE for your workplace, make sure to ask the following questions:

  • Is it fully-adjustable to fit the wearer correctly?
  • Does the PPE create any other health and safe issues that need to be accounted for?
  • Is it compatible with the other types of PPE that should be worn?
  • Does the PPE allow the wearer or user to do their job safely and effectively?
  • Is the PPE also suitable for the working environment, whilst also dealing with the health and safety issues?

We hope you have found our PPE list useful, and that it guides you towards making the best decision for your workplace. If you have any further queries about choosing the correct PPE for your employees, please don’t hesitate to contact our team who will be happy to advise.

Keep Safe, Keep Farming

While you may not think of farming as very dangerous, it is actually one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.

According to the Institutes’ MedlinePlus website, farms have many health and safety hazards, including:

  • Chemicals and pesticides
  • Machinery, tools and equipment that can be dangerous
  • Hazardous areas, such as grain bins, silos and wells
  • Livestock that can spread diseases or cause injuries

Of those hazards, machinery , reportedly, causes most of the farm accidents. But many of those can be prevented through proper machine inspection, maintenance. Using safety gloves, goggles and other protective equipment can also reduce accidents.

To find out what type of protection is best suited to your needs, you can visit Weldbro site to view each item for more detail or contact us for more information.

Respirator Certification – What Does N95 Really Mean?

Respiratory Protection

Selecting respirators appropriate for your workplace can be a daunting task. Respiratory protection program managers need to understand the airborne hazards in their facilities, determine the required assigned protection factor for a respirator, choose what type of respirator is needed (air-purifying or atmosphere-supplying, tight-fitting or loose-fitting) and make sure each employee’s respirator fits properly.

The term “N95 respirator” gets thrown around a lot because it is one of the most common types of respirators. In this post we’re going to take a look at what that term (and similar terms like R99 and P100) mean. Understanding these labels is important for both employers and employees because both need to know the respirators being used are sufficient for the hazards present.

NIOSH Certification Levels for Particulate Filtering Respirators

For a respiratory protection program to be OSHA compliant it must use respirators certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH, a division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has 10 classes of approved particulate filtering respirators.

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Using hand tools safely

Using hand tools in a safe manner This guidance gives advice about good practice in the use of hand tools that are not powered by electricity or a battery. What does the law require? The Provision of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) require all work equipment to be fit for its intended purpose, to be maintained and inspected to ensure it remains in a safe condition, to have relevant clear and visible safety markings, such as a CE mark and British Standard markings. Some typical risks from hand tools

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Workplace Accidents – 10 Most Common Workplace Injuries

Rundown of most common workplace injuries

Unfortunately the workplace accidents are not so uncommon occurrence. As expected they happen more often in more dangerous work environment like construction areas, lumber jacking and fishing. But other workplaces are no exception like average offices or professional environments like office buildings. Basically injuries happen across all industries, only difference is the rate at which they occur. Injuries can happen in places where we least expect and can be a result of employer or employee negligence.

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