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Julie Copeland

CEO

Recent Posts

5 Things You Need to Know About PPE for Women

 

According to the 2017 edition of the National Safety Council chartbook “Injury Facts” in 2014, 367 women died on the job. That same year, women experienced nearly 350,000 injuries involving days away from work. In many cases, having the right PPE could have made all the difference.

When it comes to providing your women employees with personal protective equipment (PPE), the one-size-fits-all mentality doesn’t work anymore.

As the number of women entering traditionally male-dominated fields like construction, manufacturing and oil and gas grows, so to do the needs for employers to provide their female employees with personal protective equipment that fits their frames.

1. The Workforce Needs Women

As the labor market in these industries shrinks and the population continues to age, more employers will need to expand their workforce to include more women in order to stay competitive. More than that, women are driving growth and taking leadership roles in many sectors. According to a Wall Street Journal report, 40% of the women in construction run their own businesses, and construction accounts for the largest growth in new women-owned business.

When women are on the job site and running the front office, creating a safety culture that keeps the specific needs of women in mind doesn’t just help your employees, it improves your bottom line.

2. One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Having women wear larger sized PPE isn’t safe and the solution isn’t as simple as having them wear a smaller size. For example:

  • According to a 2006 publication from the Industrial Accident Prevention Association and the Ontario Women’s Directorate, a typical woman’s foot is both shorter and narrower than a typical man’s foot, so a smaller boot may be the right length but not the right width.
  • A woman’s face is generally smaller than a man’s. If a woman is using protective eyewear that is sized for a man, the gaps they leave at her temples may allow flying debris from a machine to enter her eyes.
  • When it comes to hand protection, a woman's hands are smaller — she has shorter, narrower fingers, and a smaller palm circumference — so even a man's small glove often does not fit. Instead, having gloves sized to a woman’s hand improves dexterity and reduces risk.
  • When it comes to slip and fall protection, an improperly sized safety harness can hinder a woman’s movements and affect the ability to work safely. It also can increase the worker’s risk of “suspension trauma” after a fall. This a potentially fatal condition in which blood pools in the legs and reduces the amount of blood in circulation. 
  • A woman wearing a hard hat designed for a man may risk having her vision obscured by a hard hat that falls in her eyes. Many manufacturers recommend that women wear hard hats with a chin strap in order to improve fit.

Another issue related to ill-fitting PPE is that women who can’t find comfortable PPE are less likely to wear any PPE. This puts them at increased risk of injury.

 3.  Alteration Isn’t the Answer

Often, women who are unable to get access to PPE that is sized for their bodies will try to compensate by altering available equipment. Big mistake. Safety equipment is specifically designed to protect the wearer as-is. Altering negates the protective property of the PPE at best and can even put a female employee at greater risk.

4.  It’s Not Just a “Female Thing”

While both men and women bring up issues related to PPE with their supervisors, women are often subject to derisive comments when issued ill-fitting PPE. According to a survey carried out in May 2016 by Women in Science and Engineering (WES), just over one-quarter of respondents (28%) reported that they had been subjected to unwelcome (mostly derogatory) comments as a result of ill-fitting PPE.

Comments reported in the survey included:

  • ‘You look like a kid playing dress up’
  • ‘Can you breathe in that?
  • ‘Are you wearing your dad’s clothes?’
  • ‘Here comes the elephant’
  • ‘Your boobs look big in that’

Creating a safety culture that welcomes women employees requires more than providing the right equipment. It requires setting the right tone for employees and supervisors on the job site, making sure that everyone understands that concerns about PPE for women are not only valid but addressing them can help you to avoid safety issues in the future.

5. Options Are Available

The good news is that one-size-fits-all doesn’t have to be a company’s default position. More and more providers are offering PPE that is designed and sized specifically for women. This includes everything from safety gloves and work boots to safety harnesses and fall protection equipment.  Talking to your PPE supplier is a great place to start. They often are familiar with different brand options, and if the equipment you need isn’t available, it’s easier than ever to create customized equipment that fits the needs of all of your employees.

For example, Arbill’s Truline product line includes the Assault Slim Pink Frame safety glasses. These stylish safety glasses are designed with a woman’s face in mind while also offering clear XCoat and anti-fog lenses.

 

When it comes to hand protection, Arbill also offers its GenWear 110 TrimFit Gloves. The “skinny jean” of gloves, these gloves are designed for workers (male or female) with smaller structured hands. This streamlined design allows for a better fit, while featuring a mesh back to reduce heat buildup and a reinforced grip.

 

 

Looking for more ideas on how to provide your women employees with the right PPE? Talk to one of our safety advisors today. You can learn about our custom PPE options and schedule a site assessment.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

 

Have a safe day!

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The First Annual Lisa Miller Safety Leadership Award

 

“There is a tendency to doubt your growth in the midst of a big leap forward; hold steady and allow yourself to bloom.”

 

 

Yung Pueblo

 

On April 10th Arbill came together to honor the life and legacy of Lisa Miller. Lisa came to Arbill in 2014 to help develop the EH&S training program and in the process, helped chart a future course for the company.

An experienced sales professional, Lisa was remembered for her embodiment of the “can-do” spirit that we value at Arbill and the incredible energy and passion that she brought to every part of her life.

Lisa passed away last year after a heroic fight against cancer. Even in her last days, she was still working, helping to build the program that she started and recruiting and training new staff members who could carry on the work that she had begun.

The lunchtime program consisted of remarks made by Arbill CEO Julie Copeland and President Robyn Zlotkin and Lisa’s family members in attendance, a 10-minute video about Lisa and the award, and the presentation of the first award to Lisa’s husband George, accepted by her sister Tina.

 

In her remarks, Copeland said, “She had the biggest heart combined with a brilliant mind. She could finish our sentences and had all the resources to bring forward and turn an opportunity into a project that would make her client’s workplace safer. Her creativity amazed me endlessly. We wanted to honor her entrepreneurial spirit with this leadership award. Going forward. this award is for the Arbill team member who exemplifies the value of “can do.” She was the essence of can-do, taking the scaffolding and building the frame with minimal support and she thrived. Lisa bloomed, and she gave Arbill the seeds to grow.”

 

The Lisa Miller Safety Leadership Award is given annually to the Arbill employee who best exemplifies Lisa’s “Can Do” spirit and her passion to make workplaces safer.

 

Want to learn more about our SafetyCare program and what it can do for your business? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

 

Have a safe day!

 

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5 Ways a Commitment-Based Approach to Safety Improves Your Workplace

 

When we grew up, we were probably taught to remember to buckle our seatbelts. First by parents, later by teachers and ultimately when we learn to drive. While tougher seat belt laws have contributed to the rising use of seat belts, education and making seat belt use part of our everyday lives has contributed towards the trend and the decrease in accidents.

How much? According to the CDC, since 1975 seat belts have saved an estimated 255,000 lives.

Workplace safety culture is the same. Your company ultimately has two options, use a control-based safety environment or a commitment-based safety environment.

A control-based safety environment is based on the idea of doing the minimum needed to avoid being fined or punished. In this environment, safety is seen as a distraction from (or a hindrance to) productivity. Even when a company has safety councils in place, meetings often fail to generate positive action and safety concerns often don’t get the attention of upper management. The control-based safety environment fits into more traditional workplace models with specialized roles and rigid hierarchy.

A commitment-based safety environment means that safety is seen as everyone’s concern from the CEO down. Commitment-based safety is geared toward making safety its own reward and rewarding employees for being proactive in protecting their safety and the safety of others. Safety is seen as a necessary part of overall productivity and not as a hindrance or distraction.

While a commitment-based safety environment is collaborative and requires input from all levels of a company it has several advantages over a control-based model. Here are five examples of how a commitment-based safety environment can improve:

1. Productivity

In a control-based safety environment, lowest-common-denominator thinking rules and employees often find themselves pulled into a race-to-the-bottom mentality. Employees who wish to do more are discouraged by their co-workers and supervisors out of fear of reprisals or unwanted attention from upper management. This environment stifles productivity and employee growth. While there may be some short-term benefits to this mode of thinking, in the long-run it can only do more harm than good.

Creating a commitment-based safety culture requires that everyone from the CEO on down, plays a positive role in creating and maintaining a safe work environment. When that kind of culture exists, employee morale improves and with it, productivity increases, and absenteeism drops.

2. Personal Responsibility

In a control-based safety environment, employees often ignore safety warnings, forget to use PPE and don’t say anything if they notice a fellow employee isn’t using PPE. This leads to more accidents which can hurt morale and the company’s bottom line. In addition, supervisors need to spend more of their time “monitoring” employees to make sure they’re following safety best practices, needing to “nag” employees about these issues makes it harder for supervisors to effectively develop their teams in the long term.

When a workplace has a commitment-based safety culture, employees are more likely to take their safety and the safety of their co-workers more seriously. This means that they are more likely to use their PPE and follow safety rules without needing additional training and reminders. This also reduces the need for additional oversight from management, allowing managers to focus on growth and business optimization.

3. Communication

In a control-based environment, employees are hesitant to speak up when they see problems for fear of being labeled as a complainer. If they do speak up and don’t see a response to their concerns, they’re less likely to speak up again in the future.

With a commitment-based safety culture in place, employees are more likely to report potential safety issues because they believe that their concerns are being heard and taken seriously. This allows you to head off minor safety issues before they become serious concerns.

4. Bottom Line

For many businesses the only thing that costs more than creating a commitment-based safety culture is not creating a commitment-based safety culture. As the workplace becomes more specialized, it is harder than ever to replace skilled workers. A workplace injury or accident cost easily cost tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, OSHA fines and legal expenses. A fatality can easily cost in the millions. And that’s only the direct costs. In addition, businesses often find themselves facing indirect costs including recruiting and training new employees and increased insurance costs.

Having a commitment-based safety culture may require an investment at the beginning, but it can provide a positive return on investment in the long term. In fact, OSHA has determined that every dollar invested in safety provides a return of $4 to $6 in the long-term.

5. Reputation

When employees feel that management takes their safety seriously and empowers them to make it a priority, employees are more likely to speak positively about your company. When the opposite is true, employees are more likely to air their grievances online. Don’t think this will affect your business? An Indeed survey shows that 83 percent of job seekers are likely to base their decision on where to apply based on company reviews and 46 percent will weigh a company’s reputation before accepting a job offer.

Ready to build or enhance the safety culture at your business? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule an assessment.

 Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

 Have a safe day!

 

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The 7 Most Popular Safety Training Courses and Why You Need Them

 

You’d like to make your business a safer place. A good way to start is to make sure that your employees have the necessary safety training. While there are many training courses available it can be a challenge to determine which one your business needs.

The following are some of the most popular courses that businesses have their employees complete and how these trainings can positively impact their business.

 1. DOT Hazardous Materials General Awareness

Required by the Department of Transportation, this training provides crucial education for any employee involved in the safe shipping, receiving or transporting of hazardous materials by highway transport. Training should include the identification of hazardous materials and how to meet the regulatory requirements for packaging, marking, labeling hazardous materials for domestic highway shipments.

The DOT hazmat rules are stringent and not having trained employees can be costly. Penalties for non-compliance are as high as $77,114 per day, per violation. For hazmat training violations, the minimum fine is $463 per day, per violation. Trainings should be refreshed ever three years.

2. EPA RCRA Hazardous Waste Management

According to the EPA, a hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids gases, and sludges.

Because hazardous waste takes many forms, training is required for individuals responsible for ensuring compliance with hazardous waste regulations, and includes discussion related to proper container management, storage procedures, the use of the hazardous waste manifest and necessary emergency response. It’s also important to remember that different states have different standards, so the training that qualifies in one state won’t always be equivalent to the training for another.

3. OSHA 10 For General Industry

The OSHA 10-hour Outreach Training Program for General Industry is intended to provide entry-level workers information about their rights, employer responsibilities, and how to identify, abate, avoid and prevent job related hazards in the workplace. The training covers a variety of general industry safety and health hazards, which a worker may encounter in the workplace. This is a good introduction to safety and serves as a great way to develop a safety culture for your business.

 4. Fall Protection

 In almost every industry, slip-and-fall and falling from height injuries have been identified as one of the most common. This course is designed for any employee who may be working at heights or any staff that may ever be around some one working at heights. The subject matter of the training should include identifying hazards and risks, ladders, handrails, stairs and basic fall protection equipment.

Training employees and knowing how to use PPE isn’t just good for your employees, it’s good for your bottom line. As reported in 2013 by National Safety Council, “fall from the same level” ($7.94 billion) and “fall to lower level” ($5.35 billion) were the second and third highest injury causes of disabling workplace injuries in 2011.  

 5. First Aid

According to OSHA, First Aid refers to medical attention that is usually administered immediately after an injury occurs and at the location where it occurred. It often consists of a one-time, short-term treatment and requires little technology or training to administer. First aid can include cleaning minor cuts, scrapes, or scratches; treating a minor burn; applying bandages and dressings; the use of non-prescription medicine; draining blisters; removing debris from the eyes; massage; and drinking fluids to relieve heat stress.

The benefit of having employees with First Aid training is that they can respond quickly in the event of an accident or injury and help keep a minor problem from escalating into a major one. Also, if First Aid is successfully provided on-site, an employer doesn’t always have to report the accident or injury.

 6. Emergency Action Plan

 OSHA requires every employer to develop an Emergency Action Plans for credible threats to their employees. Threats can include fire, severe weather, earthquake, active shooter, chemical release and many others.

All employees must be trained in how to identify an emergency, their employer’s emergency action plan, warning sounds and identifications, evacuation routes, safe havens, assembly areas and after emergency requirements.

If you don’t have an emergency action plan in place, or aren’t providing the training to your employees, creating a plan and getting the requisite training is a must.

 7. Lock Out /Tag Out

 For employees who use, maintain or inspect energized equipment, lockout tagout procedures can guide an authorized employee through a sequential process that renders a piece of equipment or process safe.

Employees need to be trained to ensure that they know, understand, and follow the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures. The training must cover at least three areas: aspects of the employer’s energy control program; elements of the energy control procedure relevant to the employee’s duties or assignment; and the various requirements of the OSHA standards related to lockout/tagout.

 Compliance with the lockout/ tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.

Looking for one of these trainings for your employees? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

 

Have a safe day!

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What's Wrong With This Picture?

When it comes to safety it’s all about the details. Being able to see what is missing in terms of protective equipment can make all the difference between whether an employee gets to go home at the end of the day.

This week, we challenged our followers on social media to look at this image and find the seven things wrong with this picture. As promised, here are the answers to our “What’s Wrong with This Picture Challenge"

1.  NO EYE PROTECTION

While the man in the picture is wearing eyeglasses, he is not wearing a face shield or protective goggles. Thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. According to OSHA Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.

2.  NO MACHINE GUARD

Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled. This page contains general information on the various hazards of mechanical motion and techniques for protecting workers.

3.  NEED ADJUSTMENT HANDLE FOR DRILL

The operator is trying to adjust his machine by hand. This may be a risk factor if the employee isn’t trained to correct the issue or gets their hands too close to moving parts. Having an adjustment handle can allow the operator to adjust the machine without the risk of getting their hands caught on moving machine parts.

4.  NO EMERGENCY SHUT-OFF

In order to avoid accidents or hazardous energy issues, machines should be equipped with an emergency shut-off switch or a foot pedal.

5.  NO FACE MASK/RESPIRATOR

If the machine emits harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors or sprays, it may be advisable for the operator to wear a face mask or a respirator to protect their lungs. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death. According to OSHA, an estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. Compliance with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard could avert hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses annually.

6.  SLEEVES PULLED BACK

The operator has their sleeves pulled back. While this may prevent their cuffs from getting caught in the machine, it also fails to protect their hands and arms. Also, if a cuff comes loose it could still get caught. Instead the operator should wear longer sleeves or use a protecting guard for their forearms.

7.  EAR PROTECTION

The operator isn’t wearing any kind of ear protection. According to OSHA 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Last year, U.S. business paid more than $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers from noise.

While it's impossible to put a number to the human toll of hearing loss, an estimated $242 million is spent annually on workers' compensation for hearing loss disability.

Looking for a detailed safety assessment for your workplace? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

 

Have a safe day!

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Ask The Expert - Who Needs DOT HazMat

A new feature of our blog is our “Ask the Expert” column. Each column will feature a frequently asked safety question, and one of our safety experts will provide an answer. 

This week's question will be answered by Chris Fulmer a certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer (CET) through NESHTA and The Board of Safety Professionals, and Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP) with IHMM.  Mr. Fulmer has over 25 years of experience in hazardous materials emergency response, hazardous waste remediation, EHS consulting and Project Management. 

Question:

As an employer, which of my employees need Department of Transportation Training (DOT) in Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving and Transporting?


Answer:

Over the course of many years of training companies and employees on Department of Transportation Training (DOT) Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving and Transporting, one consistent question has always been asked; “who actually needs DOT Training?”

This question arises because it can be confusing, and the regulations can seem vague depending on what the employee’s job task may actually be. We all know that the person that signs the manifest should be trained and certified, and usually most know the forklift driver loading the truck should be as well. But who else?

The regulation basically says that any hazardous materials employee that directly affects the safe shipping, receiving, or transporting of hazardous materials and waste requires training. So that can include a vast array of employees.

To help clarify, below are some examples of who should be DOT certified:

  • The signer of a bill of lading or manifest shipping AND receiving the hazardous materials
  • Any employee that may fill out a manifest or bill of lading, even if they do not sign it
  • The forklift operator that loads or unloads a vehicle with hazardous materials or waste
  • Any employee that determines what hazardous material goes into or on a specific transport vehicle
  • Any operator of a transport vehicle that will go onto public transport
  • Any employee that puts DOT labels onto containers to be shipped
  • Any employee that packages hazardous materials for shipping. Be it drums, boxes, buckets, etc.
  • Any employee that may purchase containers for shipping hazardous materials, if they are the one deciding what container is required for safe shipping.
  • Any employee that inspects containers for use in hazardous materials shipping.

It basically comes down to any employee or individual that may directly interact with a hazardous material that is being offered for shipment on public transport (highway, air, rail and vessel). And DOT states that any HazMat employee must be trained and certified in:

  • General awareness and familiarization of the regulations
  • Function specific training – proper shipping, manifests, labels and placards, proper containers, etc.
  • Safety training - loading and unloading risks, emergency response, etc.
  • Security awareness
  • Any job specific training required

Once an employee is certified, then they must be re-certified every 3 years (at minimum) to ensure they are updated on any regulatory changes, current on specific company policies and regulations and are current on relative information.

The best way to determine which of your employees may be considered a hazmat employee per DOT and require certification, is to ask these questions:

  • Am I a shipper or receiver of hazardous materials by public transport?
  • Do I directly interact with hazardous materials being shipped, received or transported?
  • Do my actions with this hazardous material affect the safety of the public in transport?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you or that employee may need to be DOT Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving or Transporting certified.

If you still have questions or concerns as to if you or any of your employees should be certified, or what qualifies as a hazardous material being shipped or received, you can contact your Arbill Representative for further information.

Looking for additional training for your employees? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

Have a safe day!

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Lock Out / Tag Out (LOTO) Saves Lives

This past week, an employee at the Kraft Heinz Food Company facility in Mason, OH suffered a partial finger amputation while clearing a machine jam.

According to OSHA inspectors, the reason the employee lost a part of his finger was because the company failed to:

  • Implement energy control procedures to prevent equipment from accidentally starting
  • Install adequate machine guards
  • Train employees on the use of energy control procedures

In addition to having a valued worker severely injured on the job, Kraft Heinz is facing an OSHA fine of more than $100,000.

The tragic part of this story is that this injury could have been prevented had the correct Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures been in place, and followed.

Avoiding Hazardous Energy

When a machine or other piece of equipment runs, it builds up different types of energy such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal. Even when a machine stops or is “turned off” this energy can be trapped in the machine, waiting to be released.

OSHA provides three examples of ways that employees can be injured by hazardous energy:

  • A steam valve is automatically turned on burning workers who are repairing a downstream connection in the piping.
  • A jammed conveyor system suddenly releases, crushing a worker who is trying to clear the jam.
  • Internal wiring on a piece of factory equipment electrically shorts, shocking a worker who is repairing the equipment.

And these types of injuries are far too common. In fact, failure to control hazardous energy accounts for nearly 10% of serious accidents in many industries.

Winning the LOTO

 The good news is that it is possible to avoid these injuries. Below we have outlined some tips to help you develop a comprehensive lockout/tagout program.

  • Develop and document an energy control/policy that includes OSHA guidelines and custom elements unique to your workplace. This document should be reviewed annually, and updates should be made where needed.
  • Machine-specific procedures should be outlined that identify the equipment covered and the detailed steps to follow in order to shut down, isolate, block and secure the equipment. Instructions on how to install and transfer lockout tagout devices should be included as well.
  • Perform a walkthrough of your facility and identify energy control points such as valves, switches, breakers and plugs. From there clearly mark and label these points so that they are clearly identifiable for employees.
  • Train employees on specific elements and machine-specific procedures. The training should cover authorized employees who perform the lockout on machinery, affected employees who do not perform lockout but use the machinery and other employees who may be in the area of the machines.
  • Research and review your facility to make sure you choose the best lockout tagout device that fit your equipment and align with your needs.
  • Continuously review your program to ensure it is up to date with changing regulations and new equipment. Perform audits of your program and provide training for new employees or employees who are using new equipment. 

Establishing a proper lockout tagout program and ensuring your employees understand how to operate it can reduce injuries and save lives.

Looking to improve your LOTO procedures, but don’t know how to get started? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

Have a safe day!

Read The Full Blog Post

Electrical Linemen – America’s Unsung Heroes

When a storm or disaster hits, we praise our first responders, the police, fire and rescue crews, health care workers and emergency management professionals who help keep us safe.

However, there is one team of heroes, who are often overlooked, the electrical and cable linemen who work to restore vital services like electricity and internet to homes and businesses.

 

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

These unsung heroes are called out after (and sometimes during) a major storm. Because of the need to restore power, they must quickly go out to make repairs, often in dangerous conditions while working on high towers, in crane buckets, on poles, or in confined spaces. Then consider that they’re working with power lines carrying an average of up to 345,000 volts or more of electricity on a daily basis. This has consistently made electrical linemen one of the highest risk professions in the U.S.

Need proof? In past years, electrical line workers have had an annual fatality rate of roughly 20 per 100,000, often putting them on the list of the ten most dangerous jobs in America. While the industry has worked to improve its safety record over the past few years the 2016 fatality rate was still hovering at 14.6 per 100,000. That’s the same rate as Police and sheriff’s patrol officers.

More than that, non-fatal injuries average around 2,500 each year, and almost 45% of those injuries keep them off the job for 31 days or more.

 

PUTTING SAFETY ON THE LINE

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these fatalities and injuries are due to:

  • Electrocution
  • Falls
  • Confined spaces
  • Fires and explosions
  • Sprains, strains, and fractures
  • Environmental Stress

Linemen take safety seriously. The problem is that often the steps required to stay safe are often at odds with the conditions they work under.

Linemen are instructed to always be aware of their surroundings, to work in teams and take their time. These simple steps can often mean the difference between coming home safely and getting injured or worse on the job.

The problem is that when crews are stretched thin, need to work long hours in difficult conditions and face demands from their supervisors and the public to restore power as quickly as possible, basic safety protocols can fall by the wayside.

For this reason, having the right safety gear is critical. Gear should always include:

  • Insulated gloves
  • Boots with insulation and good treads
  • Insulated tools
  • Climbing and fall prevention gear

Even something as simple as having a drink that replenishes electrolytes in hot weather can make all the difference.

So, the next time you face a power outage, remember the brave linemen who are out there working hard so that you can get your power back.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are proud to serve as a supplier to America’s linemen and strive to provide them with the right equipment, when they need it. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

Have a safe day!

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How Kimberly-Clark Is Helping to Create a Sustainable Future

At Arbill, we’re proud to include Kimberly-Clark products among the 200,000 work and safety products that we offer to our customers.

What many people don’t know, is that in addition to being behind Kleenex, Huggies and countless other products that we use on a daily basis, Kimberly-Clark has a tradition of promoting sustainability through its 150-year history.

And in the past ten years, Kimberly-Clark has been working to take this history to the next level.

Sustainable Goals

 

 Kimberly-Clark has created an audacious set of goals for their Sustainability 2022 project.

  • Improve the well-being of 25 million people in need
  • Reduce their natural forest footprint by 50% through a combination of innovation and sustainable best practices
  • Reduce their greenhouse gasses by 20%

With the commitment of their 43,000-strong team and global partnerships, they hope to make these goals a reality.

 

Sustainable Products

 

One way they’re working to reach these goals is by constantly working to make its products more sustainable. For example, over the past ten years, they’ve already increased their use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved fibers from 7% to 80%.

Another example is their WypAll Wipers. Compared to a box rags, a package of WypAll Wipers is 2X more absorbent and absorb water 2X faster. WypAll Wipers also leave 3X less lint behind. Compared with rags, this reduces mess and repetitive work that can require the use of more rags. That means you get more done with less.

Because of Kimberly-Clark’s commitment to sustainability, using WypAll Wipers reduces waste to landfill by 92%, reduces storage needs by 68% and costs 26% less compared to traditional rags.

At Arbill, we applaud Kimberly-Clark’s efforts and are proud to continue to offer their products to our customers. In the months to come, we will continue to feature Kimberly-Clark products and practices that are promoting sustainability.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day  the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

Have a safe day!

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The Dangers of Daylight Savings Time

For some, daylight’s savings time is a benefit, for others an inconvenience. Most of us groan about losing an hour, yawn, shrug it off and go on with our lives.

However, the Monday after daylight savings can be more dangerous than many of us realize.

Studies have shown that the sleep deprivation caused by the Spring shift to daylight savings results in a small increase in fatal workplace accidents on the following Monday. It is believed that this increase is due to misalignment of our natural circadian rhythms, which occur when we force ourselves to stay awake at hours when our bodies believe we should be sleeping.

According to the National Safety Council, the following types of employees are most susceptible to these circadian rhythm disruptions:

  • Shift workers
  • Medical staff
  • Emergency responders
  • Military personnel
  • Workers over age 40
  • Transportation professionals

This is especially true for those who work rotating or night shifts.

If you’re responsible for the safety of employees in any of these categories, or any employee who works in potentially dangerous situations, it’s never a bad idea to:

  • Issue warnings about the effects of sleep loss.
  • Give your employees the option to sleep a little later or catch a quick nap during the day.
  • Encourage your employees to exercise and avoid alcohol the night before.
  • Be on the lookout for employees who may be showing signs of excessive such as yawning, head dropping, and difficulty remembering or concentrating.

These are small steps that may help avoid injuries and save lives.

Looking for more ways to protect your employees? Consider a safety audit or learn more about our Vantage Predictive Analytics which can help you to target at-risk employees and prevent accidents before they happen.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day  the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

Have a safe day!

Read The Full Blog Post
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