Posts Tagged safety

How should I sample to comply with OSHA’s silica dust standard?

“So, silica…”dusty

This was how many conversations started while exhibiting at conference  last week. OSHA released its rule for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica back in March and many are still looking to understand how it will affect their business and employees.

The new rule goes into effect on June 23, 2016 and most business will have between one to five years to comply depending on industry. The new standard reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift. This is a reduction is two to five times lower than the previous PEL.

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So, you’re implementing a gas detection management program…

You’ve got personal gas detectors in the field with your employees. That’s a great step in keeping them safe. But now, you need to make sure the equipment is working properly, is bump tested on a regular basis, has current calibration certificates, and be able to easily produce these records if a worker is injured in the field. That’s where your gas detection management program comes in.

So, where do you start?

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Background Noise Decreases Performance at Work

If you’re like me, you enjoy multi-tasking while listening to music or watching TV. However, you might notice that sometimes that same background noise can be distracting, too.

For routine, or “busy” work that requires little thought or concentration, I find music to be a great performance enhancer. It has a positive effect on my mood and energy level that allows me to get stuff done. But when it comes to completing more complex tasks (like writing this blog post), I find myself easily distracted, leading me to put down the headphones and subdue to the silence of my cubicle.

This leads to me to wonder, does background noise affect performance at work?music-at-work.jpg

According to an article I read, environmental noise such as background music, city sounds and office chatter, can lead to decreased performance at work.

Most of these noises can be tuned out easily, except one…

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Minor Gas Leak Creates Opportunity for Major Safety System Improvements

As much as our customers may try to prevent them, sometimes toxic gases are released during the course of plant operations or after hours. When a minor gas release occurred at a local manufacturing plant, safety engineers took it as an opportunity to improve the safety of their employees and the emergency personnel that get called to help resolve the problem.

The plant’s engineering, safety, and industrial hygiene teams, their alarm company, and the local fire department met with a team from RAECO and Honeywell Analytics. Their goal was to improve the safety of company employees, the rescue workers that support them, and improve their working relationship with the surrounding community.

This broad-reaching safety planning team started by identifying the potential hazards: chlorine gas and hydrogen cyanide could be released from the plant’s wastewater treatment operation, and there is the possibility of ammonia release from a bulk storage area. With risk to area workers, the adjacent neighborhood, and the first responders, being prepared for how to handle a leak is critical.

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Tuning Ventilation Systems Saves Energy, Reduces Employee Exposure Risk

Are we running exhaust fans enough to keep the air breathable and safe? Are we over-running fans and wasting energy?

Area exposure monitors are ideal for showing airborne particulate concentration over time in a designated area. Personal exposure monitors can do the same, but they also provide usable details about concentrations within the employee’s breathing zone. Used together, the two device types provide effective real-time data for making decisions regarding employee health and ventilation control.

Recently, we helped a customer with a large welding operation. There was visible smoke on the plant floor during operation, so they needed to address both potential hexavalent chrome and total respirable dust exposure. They decided to use the TSI DustTrak DRX handheld unit for area monitoring, and employees started wearing TSI SidePak AM510s for personal monitoring.

DustTrakDRX BlogSidePak AM510 Blog.jpg

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