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If someone requires emergency care, being able to provide first aid immediately can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

First aid can range from something as minor as applying a band-aid to a cut to life-saving measures such as performing CPR. It is usually performed immediately following an incident where the affected individual has sustained injury and the emergency services have not arrived yet.

With recent studies suggesting that one-quarter of Barbadian adults suffer from noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, or respiratory issues, having first aid equipment and products on hand should be a necessary function of your safety measures within the workplace.

Within the workplace, emergencies can occur at any time, and the working environment does not necessarily have to be a “high-risk” environment (i.e., filled with dangerous machinery or materials, etc.) for this to occur.

Every organization needs to have a first aid kit on hand that is situated near the working space. For example, if you have several floors in your office building, then you should have a first aid kit on each floor, for ease of access when needed.

To determine where the first aid kit should go and the type of first aid materials needed, you should conduct a First Aid Safety Assessment on your organization.

This assessment should include:

·      The potential risks of your environment- chemical risk, fall risk, etc.

·      The location of your business from the assistance of the emergency services.

·      The health needs of your employees (are any asthmatic, have diabetes, etc.)

·      The size of your organization.

·      The potential needs of non-employees (visitors to the company).

·      Whether there are trained or first aid certified members of staff (if you have shift work, there should at least be one member on each shift that is trained in first aid)

·      The number of company vehicles that need to be outfitted with a first aid kit (especially the vehicles like delivery trucks, that employees spend large amounts of time in, as the risk of needing first aid while in the vehicle would be higher.)

In addition to having the appropriate first aid equipment, employees should receive proper first aid training, as injuries can be exasperated if care is provided by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. Ideally, there should be at least one employee at each site, floor, and on each shift that oversees maintaining and distributing the first aid apparatus and care.

Health and Safety Committees in the workplace can assist in building the knowledge base of the employees by facilitating training drills and disseminating information on the first aid materials available at the workplace. Sharing this information can help reduce the time spent wondering if the care can even be provided by the available equipment or if they need to head straight to a hospital. Remember, every second counts in an emergency.

First aid is an invaluable skill for the workplace and oftentimes the difference between life and death. Do not underestimate the need for this knowledge, for as with all safety equipment and skills, you never know how important it is until it is needed.

You can visit Safety Supply Co. online to view our range of first aid kits and supplies.

With businesses on the road to recovery from Covid-19, the prediction of a 65% chance of an above-average hurricane season by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) must weigh heavily upon the minds of business owners.One way of alleviating that pressure is to ensure you properly prepare for the upcoming season. You can do this by conducting a risk assessment.

 

“A risk assessment is defined as a systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking.”

 

In this case, it’s no secret that the hurricane season occurs from June 1-Nov 30. What cannot be accurately predicted, however, is the damage you will personally incur in the event of inclement weather; therefore, your assessment needs to be comprehensive to cover all eventualities.

 

Who should conduct this assessment?

Ideally, members of your safety committee which should comprise of a cross-section of representatives from the different areas of the company. This is to ensure that there are persons who have intimate knowledge of what is needed to secure each area.

 

A comprehensive risk assessment should cover all aspects and areas of safety concern within your organization:

 

A property assessment- This involves checking the physical location of your business for areas that are vulnerable to damage or in current need of repair. It should also include determining the timeframe needed to secure the areas and at what level of bad weather would you need to do so.

 

A contingency plan to secure your data and inventory- Whether you maintain your company's data in a physical place or on the cloud, you should have a secure backup of the data. If your firm relies on inventory, you'll need a plan in place to protect it from damage, such as waterproof covering or elevation in flood-prone locations.

 

Training programs- When you develop your emergency plans, companies should facilitate training exercises so that all members of staff are aware of the procedures and can act appropriately when required.

 

An emergency communication network strategy- Do you have the most up-to-date contact information for all employees and are they aware of how they will receive information from the company in the event of an emergency? Who oversees disseminating the information? What role does each employee play in this strategy? This information is crucial to ensure timely notifications and communication between the company and it’s employees.

 

An evacuation plan- During hurricane season, bad weather is not the only concern- there are other hazards to consider. Maybe there’s a high wind and it causes a powerline to snap, leading to a fire near your warehouse. You need to have an evacuation plan that allows your employees to safely vacate the premises. This should also include a “muster point” where employees gather for a rollcall to confirm everyone who was on the premises has exited safely.

 

While the aforementioned areas should be included within your risk assessment, you can add or subtract focal points as necessary to fit the needs of organization.

Don’t wait for the emergency to happen, preparation is key to surviving an emergency with minimal impact.

 

Visit Safety Supply Co. for your hurricane preparedness safety products.

May is globally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Unlike physical ailments of the body, it may be harder to recognize when our colleagues or employees are afflicted by mental malady.

 

Why should you care about mental health within the workplace?

 

Besides looking at it from a humanitarian perspective, it’s just good economic sense. Unhappy employees are less productive, take more time off, and make for an uneasy working environment.

 

In the UK, according to The Workplace Health Report 2022, poor mental health was cited as impacting productivity in 1 of every 5 employees.

 

Employees with a healthy and balanced mental health and mindset are active and willing participants in the growth of the business. Those who believe that they are working in a positive, inclusive, open, and trustworthy environment that values their contribution are overall happier employees.

 

Within this post, we’re providing tips to help you recognize when a member of staff is struggling to cope and ways to optimize your working environment to promote good mental health.

 

Ways to recognize when someone is dealing with mental health difficulties:

 

·  Increased or prolonged periods of sadness or irritability

·  Sudden or inexplicable changes in behavior

·  Inability to make decisions, where they could before

·  Excessive nervousness

·  Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed

·  Mistakes or errors in their work

 

How can you make the workplace an environment that promotes mental health? Here are some questions (and solutions) for you to consider:

 

  1. Do your employees feel comfortable discussing their work challenges with you? For example, are your employees comfortable telling you that they have a lot on their plate or that they need help? Regularly checking in with your employees and colleagues about their well-being in the workplace, with a genuine interest in supporting a positive mindset or alleviating a negative outlook, can stimulate an optimistic mental health stance regarding their working environment.Do your employees feel heard?
  2. Do you take into account the suggestions or the voice of the employees when making decisions that affect them? Failure to include them may lead to an increase in stress among the employees if they continually have to adapt to decisions that affect their ability to do their job effectively. Creating an anonymous suggestion box or survey can help you receive input from the employees- the key is to take their valid suggestions into consideration and have a conversation with those who best know their job and all it entails on how to improve the workplace.
  3. Have you provided a satisfactory environment to work within? This includes providing the proper tools for the employees to complete their tasks, ensuring the safety risks are limited, and even providing resources and learning opportunities for growth.
  4. Is your working environment strictly a “come do the job and go home” type of environment, or do you provide opportunities for socializing and recognition of achievement among staff? These could be in the form of team building events or outings, implementing award systems, or providing welcoming spaces for employees to take a break during the day.
  5. Are you setting realistic obligations for your employees to achieve? With a target or a deadline, while they can promote productivity and focus, they can become detrimental to the mental health of an employee if you are setting your targets too high or deadlines too short. You run the risk of creating undue pressure and stress on your employees. As your business grows, you should assess where possible the existing workload of your employees to ascertain if it is manageable and make plans accordingly- such as whether or not to hire more help, implementing ways of streamlining systems or automating the processes where possible.

Ultimately, to promote an environment that encourages good mental health and positive mindsets, you should ensure that all employees feel valued, supported, heard, and safe, both from management and among their colleagues.

World Day of Safety and Health at Work is observed on April 28 annually. This year the theme is “Act together to build a positive safety and health culture.”

 

It’s a fitting theme, for as we continue to weather the global pandemic, organizations are increasingly aware that it is every member’s responsibility to assistin maintaining a safe environment for each other- no one entity can shoulder that accountability alone. It needs to stem from every level of the organization and be supported at a national level, with each entity working hand in hand to create a safety culture.

 

Before we go any further you might be wondering what is a “safety culture?”

At an organizational level, it is the collective attitude, values, and mindset of an organization’s members towards safety. At a national level, it is developed in the policies and legislations regarding safety.

 

So, how do you cultivate this type of culture?

 

Well, what is poignant about this theme is that it really does take a village (or an organization!) acting together to raise the awareness of and encapsulate the need for safety and health within the workplace.

 

At an executive managerial level, it begins with setting policies toward safety and ensuring that the physicality of the workplace, such as the building, equipment, and environment meets the required standards of use.

 

With mid-level managers, their contribution to workplace safety can be found in promoting compliance with the established policies, listening to and addressing the concerns of the employees regarding their health and safety challenges, and ensuring timely investigations into safety-related issues.

The employees play a role by adhering to the rules, taking care in their work and making regular checks of their equipment, acting mindfully within their environment and with their colleagues.

Governments can contribute to safe environments by working with organizations to implement national policies and regulations for how organizations should operate within parameters that safeguard the lives of their working citizens.

 

As each organism plays a role in developing the safety culture, the roles should be accompanied by the following characteristics:

· Open Communication- All members must feel comfortable in sharing their concerns and solutions for safety measures within the workplace. 

· Trust- Persons should be able to trust their co-workers to always practice safety measures.

· Respect- Within safety, it requires the input and effort of all employees in the organization, therefore treating others, regardless of their station in the organization, with respect can go a long way to ensuring compliance with safety measures. 

· Appreciation- Safety is a continuous battle. It must be diligently practiced and maintained to become routine, where, if it’s done correctly and no incidents have occurred, people can lose sight of the ‘why’ behind their efforts. Showing appreciation for acts of safety can ensure that staff keep up their efforts and keep 

 

Safety is in everyone’s job description- by acting together to build a positive safety and health culture, we ensure that persons not only stay alive and injury-free on the job but also thrive and enjoy their work.

 

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Safety Supply Co. Inc. is the leading supplier of safety solutions and products in Barbados. Visit www.safetysupplco.com or contact us at 246.426.4935 or info@safetysupplyco.com

There are many face masks on the market, and due to how essential they are in our lives, choosing the right one for you is important.

Let's be honest, this has become a daunting task, as the mask mandates have evolved with the emergence of new variants of coronavirus (Covid-19). 

We previously did a post about the difference between a mask and a respirator, which you can read here.

With the current variant of Covid-19, Omicron, it is recommended by the CDC that you use surgical, N95, or KN95 respirators to protect your respiratory health. This is due to their level of filtration which makes them adept at capturing the infectious particles.

What is the difference between these masks? The KN95 and the N95 masks both filter and capture up to 95% of particles. Their main difference is that N95 is the U.S. standard, while the KN95 is the Chinese standard.

Surgical masks are best used to capture droplets more so than aerosolized particles, such as droplets shared from a sneeze; hence why they are mainly utilized in hospitals where persons have a higher risk of encountering that type of transmission.

These are proven to be more effective than the regular cloth masks which, depending on their material, can offer little to no protection from aerosolized particles. Most cloth masks also do not have filters embedded between the material. 

This video can help shed some light on why cloth masks aren’t particularly effective

Another important factor to consider when choosing a mask is the fit. Even a mask that filters 95% of the particles is only as effective as its fit. 

It should fit snugly around your nose and chin to form a seal on your face. There should be no gaps and the straps should be comfortable around your ears or head.

You should also avoid using any that contain a valve, as this can defeat the purpose of sealing the fit. 

Due to the high demand for masks globally, counterfeit masks have been entering the market. These masks may look like a legitimate N95, KN95, or surgical mask, however, they may not be NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) approved.

NIOSH approval means that the brand has tested the product (masks) to meet the industry standards, and has a stamp of approval that says it does what it claims to do.

How can you avoid buying counterfeit masks? The short answer-Never buy any mask that does not have the appropriate packaging with the standards printed visibly or come from sketchy suppliers. For a more detailed answer, visit the CDC website here.

If you are looking for either a mask or respirator that meets safety standards, Safety Supply Co. has a wide range from which you can choose. Visit www.safetysupplyco.com to get a mask or respirator to protect your respiratory health.

It takes a lot of skill to drive trucks, haulers, and buses. Drivers of these vehicles spend the majority of their day (and some nights) on the road, which can be both tiring and stressful as they traverse traffic.

 

As with any job, workplace safety should be paramount, and this rule of thumb applies when your workplace is a 300-ton moving vehicle, that has a higher rate of encountering unexpected situations.

 

Below are some tips to help your truckers stay safe on the job:

 

Maintain the vehicles properly.

Safety begins before your drivers even get into the vehicle. Keep a proper servicing schedule, address issues promptly, and never drive a vehicle that has an issue that can present a risk to your driver and other motorists.

 

Wear your seat belt.

It’s not only about safety, it’s also the law. In the unlikely event of an accident, seat belts reduce the risk of serious injury; and for truck drivers in the large cabin this can be a lifesaving function.

 

Drivers should practice defensive driving.

This form of driving encourages drivers to be on the lookout for potential hazards on the road, be mindful of their blind spots, drive with enough space between themselves and the cars in front of them, and brake early.

 

Drivers should avoid being distracted while driving.

Drivers can minimize their distractions by not taking passengers and not using their cellular phones while driving.

 

Adhere to the speed limits and rules of the road.

For drivers of massive vehicles, it’s especially important to adhere to the rules to minimize the potential risk hazard for themselves and others on the road.

 

Plan your route.

This can include listening out for traffic news, avoiding areas with construction, ‘tight’ fit for the vehicle, and being mindful of the weather.

 

Drivers should never do drugs or alcohol, especially before or during the job.

Driving while impaired invites danger for themselves and others, and is frankly, just plain irresponsible.

 

Drivers should get plenty of rest.

Never let your driver get behind the wheel tired, particularly, at night. When drivers are tired, their responses are slow, and they are operating at a diminished capacity. Ensure that your drivers take frequent breaks and are well-rested.

 

Drivers should always use their signals.

This allows other drivers on the road to be guided accordingly, minimizes the risk of collisions, and be properly informed as they drive behind or attempt to maneuver around the vehicle.

 

Keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit onboard the vehicle, in case of emergency.

 

Safety signs are an important element to workplace (and general) safety. They serve as one of the first lines of defense in reducing risk by reminding staff and customers of potential dangers. Where there are busy and dangerous work conditions, signs are extremely important.

There are six major types of safety signs:

  • Danger – these are signs that are needed near areas where there is an imminent risk of serious injury or death. 
  • Warning- signs needed in areas where there is a potential risk of serious injury or death. 
  • Caution- signs needed in areas with potential for injury. 
  • Emergency- signs needed in areas to highlight emergencies such as health (first aid station or eyewash) or emergency exits.
  • Notice-for information that is important and non-hazardous. These signs are blue.
  • Prohibitory- signage which informs individuals that they are prohibited from doing something, such as no entry signs. 

Below, you can see a safety color coding chart, from Grainger KnowHow which represents the colour codes of both ANSI/NEMA Z535.1-2006 (R2017) and OSHA for safety signs:

COLOR

MEANING

APPLICATION

Red

Danger

Safety cans and signs.

Stop

Emergency stop bar or button on machinery. Identification of fire equipment.

Fluorescent Orange,
Orange-Red

Biosafety

Labels and containers for blood and infectious waste. (Warning labels must be fluorescent orange or orange-red with the biosafety symbol in a contrasting color.)

Yellow

Caution

Tripping, falling and striking hazards. “Flammable, Keep Fire Away” labels on cabinets. Safety cans and containers for explosives, corrosives, or unstable materials.

Orange

Warning

Parts of machinery or energized equipment that may cut, crush, or otherwise injure. Inside of transmission guards for pulleys, gears, etc.

Green

Safety

Location of first aid equipment. Location of safety equipment, respirators, safety showers, etc.

Blue

Information

Signs and bulletin boards. Specific railroad warnings against starting, using, or moving equipment being repaired.

Black, White, Yellow
or Combination of Black with
White or Yellow

Boundaries

Traffic or housekeeping markings. Stairways, directions, and borders.

Magenta or Purple on Yellow

Radiation Caution

X-ray, alpha, beta, gamma, neutron, and proton radiation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Source:  Grainger KnowHow -https://www.grainger.com/know-how/safety/safety-communications/use-of-si...

 

Here are some tips to maximize the effectiveness of your signs:

 

  • Signs should be placed in prominent areas, near the potential hazard and accurately represent the level of the threat- i.e the appropriate type of sign must be used in the right location and situation.

 

  • When posting your signs, persons should be able to see the heading (or signal word-DANGER, CAUTION, etc.), and the content of the sign (the instructions) from at least five (5) feet away from the potential hazard. They need to be legible and at a size which a person of normal and/or corrected vision should be able from the recommended distance. 

 

  • Signs also need to be properly lit- this may include using reflective material for low light or night-time visibility.

 

  • Choose an appropriate material for the location of the sign. For example, putting a sign on paper may not be a problem inside of an office, however, placing a paper sign outside where it may be subjected to rain or lose color from the sun will render the sign useless. Outside signs may be better suited to being printed on PVC or laminated.

 

  • Avoid posting too many signs in a singular area as that can create visual clutter, resulting in confusion while reducing the effectiveness of your signage.

 

  • The Safety Alert Symbol- which is an exclamation mark within a yellow triangle- usually precedes the heading of signs for Danger, Caution, or Warning.

 

  • Symbols or pictures representing the safety message on the sign are encouraged to be used alongside the plain text as they can help to convey the message beyond restricting language barriers. For example, a sign with text indicating a wet floor can have an accompanying image of a figure slipping to illustrate the point.

 

  • Always remember: keep your message direct and to the point, and never use complicated language.

In need of safety signs? Contact us at Safety Supply Co. to ensure you have the right safety signage for your company by calling 246.426.4935 or emailing info@safetysupplyco.com

Safety should be at the forefront of all individuals who work or interact with the warehouse. It is a hive of activity that usually involves multiple personnel, heavy machinery, stacked inventory, and environmental hazards. 

 

Your company’s warehouse is an essential area. Whether or not a warehouse is functioning properly can directly affect the efficiency, productivity, and profits of any organization that needs to utilize a warehouse.

 

OSHA identifies the warehouse as having a higher rate of workplace fatalities than any other industry. Some of the below tips for safety within the warehouse will help you to minimize the risk of accidents or injury within your warehouse.

 

· Only trained personnel should drive or operate a forklift (or any other heavy machinery) 

· Forklifts should never exceed speeds of 5mph 

· Before operating the machinery, perform daily inspections to ensure it is in working order.

· Keep walking areas and aisles clear of objects and debris.

· Paint your warehouse floors with anti-slip paint 

· Erect clear signage throughout the warehouse both identifying hazards and as reminders of safety measures.

· Ensure personnel is wearing appropriate PPE for their environment, including- hard hatshi-viz jacketsprotective footweargloves, and goggles.

· Avoid personnel lifting heavy objects solo, instead have them ask for assistance or use tools to minimize the strain of the weight on their body.

· Keep fire extinguishers in visible and unencumbered areas near potential fire hazards, where they can be easily reached in case of an emergency.

· Keep first aid kits in an accessible place and stocked.

· Ensure all staff are aware of the weight restrictions of storage shelves and safe heights at which to stack inventory.

· Ensure your warehouse is well lit and all exits are clearly marked.

· Keep your warehouse clean, this will minimize trip and fire hazards.

· Monitor your floors for cracks or damage as prolonged use of a forklift carrying heavy loads can damage the floor’s integrity.

· Be mindful of electrical cords; if they have to be stretched across the warehouse floor, tape and cover them down as much as possible to limit the risk of someone tripping.

 

With the above tips and a mindset of safety, a safer warehouse for all is possible. While the onus is on the employer to provide a safe physical environment, it is the responsibility of both management and the employees to create a safe and sustainable working environment.

 

Safety Supply Co. Inc. is the leading supplier of safety solutions and products in Barbados. Visit www.safetysupplco.com or contact us at 246.426.4935 or info@safetysupplyco.com.

 

Technology has made it easier for us to implement practical and functional safety measures within numerous industries. This however will never fully eliminate the human element in maintaining safe working environments.

There is a school of thought centered around “Behavior-based Safety” which is ‘the application of the science of behavior change to real-world safety problems.’

It essentially uses safety observations to regulate and identify the strengths and weaknesses within safety programs of any organization. In addition to the policies of the company, the safety technology, and programs, regular monitoring of the employees’ safety behavior and their integrated feedback of the policies and practices within the workplace, work in tandem to create environments that are secure, safe, and efficient for those who have to operate within them.

Behavior-based Safety involves collecting measurable data from observable behavior such as what you see, hear or experience among the employees regarding their approach to safety measures. You should focus on behavior that is within the control of the employees and has positive or corrective outcomes.

Using this data, you should then set goals that will positively impact the overall safety of the organization and the safety mentality of the employees.

Within BBS, there is the “ABC Model.” 

-Antecedent means “something that comes before” 

-Behavior is the action or pattern which comes about because of the situation 

-Consequences are the outcomes that result from the behavior.

Using this model, you can gather the data necessary to look not only at the environment and safety protocols but also the human contribution to a safe or unsafe environment. It aids in the facilitation of change by minimizing the consequences that occur and guides it from negative reinforcement towards positive outcomes.

To help you further understand the above, let’s look at two companies, one which doesn’t incorporate BBS practices and one which does:

Both are faced with the following scenario (the antecedent) - the organization has a safety policy in place regarding the use of gloves when operating the machinery, however, they observe that their employees are frequently found flouting the policies (the behavior) and not using the gloves where required. One employee already received a partial cut from nicking their hand on the edge of the machinery (the consequences). After a meeting with the safety committee of the company, the goal identified is to have the employees meeting the requirements of wearing their gloves.

In company 1, which doesn’t incorporate BBS practices, the supervisor does not hesitate to write up six employees for not wearing the gloves required in an attempt to enforce the rules. They did so indiscriminately and without discussing with the employees why there was careless behavior towards wearing the gloves.

Company 1 now has several employees who have blemishes upon their record (negative outcomes) and it has affected team morale. On top of this, the safety issue regarding the gloves remains, as employees wear the gloves after being reprimanded but their adherence to the rule only lasts a short while before offending again.

In Company 2, where they have incorporated BBS to work with their safety policies, the supervisor has noticed that six employees who operate the machinery do not wear gloves as they should. The supervisor approaches them, explains the risk and policies again, and asks the employees why they are not adhering to the safety rules. The response is that the gloves are bulky and made it awkward to operate the machinery, which in turn led to a higher safety risk when compared to not wearing the gloves at all.

With this feedback, Company 2 was able to acquire less bulky gloves that offered similar protection to the previous brand (positive outcome). This impacts the behavior of the six employees moving forward, as the employees felt heard and involved with maintaining safety practices which directly impacted their job. They made a point of ensuring they wore the gloves and even reminded others if they saw slips in this safety procedure. 

In summary, after observing the negative behavior of not wearing the gloves and seeking to address the reason behind the behavior, rather than focusing only on enforcing safety policies by hook or crook, Company 2 was able to moderate the risk of the human behavior thwarting the safety practices and standards of the company. 

It is important to note that BBS is not about seeking out who to blame nor is it about placing sole responsibility for safety incidents upon the shoulders of the employees. Rather, it can be argued that it is about creating an environment of open communication, where all members are safety aware and working together to reduce risks.

Behavior-based Safety is adaptable to each company to work concurrently with your organization’s safety measures - it incorporates understanding your company structure, culture, and specific needs.

To learn more about Behavior-based Safety, check here: https://bit.ly/3yZEcZX

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Safety Supply Co. Inc. is the leading supplier of safety solutions and products in Barbados. Visit www.safetysupplco.com or contact us at 246.426.4935 or info@safetysupplyco.com.

 

Our eyes are exceedingly delicate and susceptible to injury while on the job. As a result, they require the same level of care and protection as our hands and feet when on the job.

Your eyes are susceptible to injury such as: 

  • Irritation
  • Abrasions, cuts, and punctures
  • Burns
  • Eye strain and fatigue
  • Dryness

These injuries can be caused by a variety of threats, depending on your environment. These threats may include:

  • Chemicals
  • Dirt and debris
  • Chips and shavings
  • Compressed air
  • Bright lights 
  • Screen glare

Safety specs/glasses, goggles, face shields, and full-face helmets are all examples of eye protection. Each of these can be categorized for use into three categories of impact- low, medium, and high.

Low impact environments have risks for injuries such as irritation, abrasions, and eye strain. These types of environments may contain dust, debris, the opportunity to be hit in the eye, or poor lighting. You should use safety specs, goggles, and shields within this environment.

Medium impact environments have a higher chance of risk for the same injuries as the low impact environments, as well as punctures. These environments include tasks where you may be dealing with electrical, grinding, construction, or metalwork. You should use safety specs with side shields, goggles (eyecup and wide vision), and face shields.

High impact environments include the use of explosive power tools and chemicals. You should use full-face protection and goggles.

Some basic emergency first aid tips for dealing with eye injuries include:

  • If you get a cut or puncture, do not rub, wash or flush the eye. Just gently cover it with an eye pad and secure it with tape, before going to the hospital.
  • If you get dust or particles in your eye, do not rub your eye, simply flush it with clean water.
  • If you get a chemical splash within your eye, continually flush the eye out with clean water for 15 minutes. You may need to hold the eye open with clean fingers to ensure you flush the eye properly. (For workplaces that deal with chemicals, you should have an eyewash station in the event of any emergency.)

Office workplaces, unlike manufacturing and technical vocations, may not always demand or require eye safety equipment such as safety specs or goggles; yet this type of environment poses its own set of hazards for your eyes. For example, you are susceptible to eye strain from the lighting of your office and even the glare from your digital devices.

Here are some best practices you can utilize to reduce the risk to your eyes in the office.

  • Make sure your office has adequate lighting. Instead of fluorescent lighting, use natural illumination whenever possible.
  • If you are unable to control the type of lighting in your office, you can get a desk lamp with a natural lightbulb and turn off some of the overhead lightings. 
  • Cut the glare from your computer/laptop screens by adjusting the brightness. Ideally, if possible, adjust it to the same level as the lighting in your surroundings.
  • Keep your computer screen at least 20-26 inches away from your face and below eye level.
  • Practice the 20-20-20 rule, where every 20 minutes you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Don't use your computer with your screen facing a window because the light from the outside will cause glare on your screen, and don't use it backing a window since your eyes will have to deal with two types of light – your screen and the light from the window, making your eyes work overtime to constantly adjust between the two. Your workstation should be parallel to the windows for the best results.
  • Don’t forget to blink. As funny as it sounds, we tend to blink less when staring at the computer and this can lead to dry eyes which can cause irritation, as blinking helps to moisten your eyes. You can avoid this by blinking 10 times slowly every 20 minutes to moisten your eyes.

Remember to protect your future by protecting your eyes (and other extremities!) 

Safety Supply Co. has a range of safety specs, goggles, face protection, and eyewash stations. Visit www.safetysupplco.com or our Hartsdale House location in Whitepark Road, St. Michael to get the right eye protection equipment for you.

 

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