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June 1st is the start of hurricane season. Hurricanes are a serious weather phenomenon, which can cause severe damage to the environment, infrastructure, and economy. Early hurricane preparedness is essential to minimize risk during and after a hurricane.

 

There are different hurricane categories and terms you need to be aware of during the hurricane season:

 

·        Hurricane Watch- This means that potential hurricane conditions could occur within 24-36 hours

·        Hurricane Warning- Hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours or less

·        Category 1- Winds range from 75-94 mph and some property damage can be expected.

·        Category 2- Winds range from 96-110 mph and may cause extensive damage to property and the environment. Increased danger to persons from debris that has been picked up by the wind.

·        Category 3- Winds range from 111-120 mph, and devastating damage will occur, high risk for death and property damage.

·        Category 4- Winds range from 130-156 mph, and catastrophic damage will occur to property, environment, and a high potential for loss of life

·        Category 5- Winds over 157 or higher and catastrophic damage will occur to property, environment, infrastructure, and high risk of loss of life in people and livestock.

 

In preparation for the hurricane season, you should determine the risks likely to affect you if a hurricane should strike.

 

Assess the vulnerability of your property (home, car, boats, business) and identify the areas to be strengthened. During a hurricane, the risks can include damage from high winds, flooding, and storm surges. 

 

You should also be aware of whether your home is located within an evacuation zone and secure your home accordingly.

 

If you need to evacuate your home, all members of your family should be aware of the evacuation plan. This plan should include the name of the shelter you would need to evacuate to, the route you intend to take, and contact numbers for family and close friends. Remember to include the care of your pets within your evacuation plan.

 

Keep your emergency kit packed and your home stocked with emergency supplies. These should include:

 

  • Canned Food and Drinking Water for approximately two weeks per person within the household
  • Prescription medication and dietary requirements for at least two weeks for those who need them
  • Extra Batteries
  • Portable Chargers 
  • Gas
  • Cash (do not rely on your ATM cards in case the power is down)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Rain Gear
  • Flashlights
  • Reflective Vests
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Plastic Tarp
  • Face Masks
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Personal Hygiene Products 
  • Toiletries (including sanitizer, antibacterial wipes)
  • Sleeping bag or blankets (in case you need to evacuate to a shelter)
  • Candles and matches

 

If you have infants and/or pets, include:

 

  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Bottles
  • Wipes
  • Pet Supplies (bowls, leash, etc.)
  • Pet Food

 

Part of your preparation should include ensuring that your insurance policies for your home, car, etc., are up to date and that you know what your policy covers. 

Remember, proper preparation reduces the risk to yourself, your family, your home, or your business.

 

You can visit Safety Supply Co. online at www.safetysupplyco.com to view our range of emergency supplies to help you get started or complete your hurricane supplies kit. 

While on the job, you should take precautions to protect your respiratory health, as failure to do so may lead to complications further down the line- ranging from the difficulty of breathing to possible cancer of the lungs.

 

Wearing a mask or respirator is a requirement for your health and safety when working in environments that produce large amounts of dust or dangerous vapours. Hence, choosing the correct mask or respirator is crucial to your well-being.

 

What’s the difference between a mask and a respirator? 

 

  • A mask is offers one way protection by creating a barrier around the mouth and nose to stop the user from expelling fluids or germs into the atmosphere.

  • An “air-purifying*” respirator provides a tight seal around the user’s face while filtering and purifying the air entering and leaving the respirator. 

 

(*There are also “supplied air” respirators, which provide air to the user from compressed air tanks, however, this post will not include this type of respirator.)

 

Masks are mainly effective against particles and are not effective against gases or vapours, whereas a respirator prevents particles, gases, and vapours from affecting the user.

 

A mask captures dust and particles within the material ensuring that substances and bacteria are not shared. If you find that you have difficulty breathing after wearing a mask for some time, that could be an indicator that it needs replacing- as the particles remain trapped on the surface and can stifle airflow. 

 

Masks are usually disposable, which means that they are not designed for multiple or long term uses and are most effective when they fit properly around the user’s mouth and nose.

 

A respirator can be both reusable and disposable. The reusable respirator utilizes filters and cartridges to offer protection against particles and gases. The filter traps particles from the air, while cartridges absorb any gases or vapours. With reusable respirators, you have:

 

  • Half Face Respirators: This type of respirator includes Safety Supply Co.’s 3m Double Respirator W/ 6003 Cartridge. These reusable respirators fit tightly around your mouth and nose. They are best suited for work environments where the user will be exposed to hazardous fumes or particles, such as when painting, within the agricultural sector, and construction.

  • Full Face Respirators: This type of respirator includes Safety Supply Co.’s 3M Full Face Respirator W/ 6003 Cartridge. These respirators fit around the edge of the face or the head of the user, providing eye, nose, and skin protection while filtering and purifying the air. These are best suited for persons who work within chemical environments - where they are not only exposed to dangerous fumes but potentially hazardous material that could pose a threat to the well-being of the eyes or skin.

 

Most filters and cartridges do not have a set shelf life- the need to change them depends upon how many particles or chemicals have been trapped within the material. If you have difficulty breathing or begin to smell the chemicals strongly through the respirator that is a good indicator that it is time to change your filters or cartridges.

 

Now that you know the difference, you need to know whether your mask or respirator meets the standard for your industry. 

 

The standard indicates the degree to which the mask is effective. For instance, a commonly seen standard is “N95,” which signifies that the mask effectively filters 95% of all particles which are 0.3 microns in diameter or larger.

 

You can view a list of the various standards here.

 

It’s important to note that depending on the region the product hails from, the standards written may look different but have the same efficiency-a mask that has a KN95 is a Chinese standard and is equivalent to a N95 mask which is a NIOSH USA standard, both will filter 95% of all particles.

 

It would be negligent not to mention the masks utilized for protection against the spread of Covid-19. Some masks may reach a standard such as N95 but will have a warning stating “not for medical use.” This does not mean that they will be ineffective against protecting you from the spread of Covid-19, it simply means that while they are effective at filtering particles, they are not effective against an onslaught of fluids that one may be exposed to within the medical field, such as blood. 

 

If you will be using a “not for medial use” mask in your daily life and not in a medical environment, it will offer sufficient protection against spreading Covid-19.

 

If you are looking for either a mask or respirator, 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.

As with all jobs, you need the right tools to get the job done. This also applies to extinguishing a fire.

There are various classes of fires:

  • Class A- combustible materials like paper and wood
  • Class B- flammable liquids like paint and petrol
  • Class C- flammable gases like methane
  • Class D- flammable metals like potassium
  • Electrical- electrical equipment like computers
  • Class F- deep fat fryers

Using the wrong equipment in extinguishing a fire can be detrimental and result in adding more fuel to the fire rather than diminishing the blaze. That’s why knowing the different types of extinguishers and the classes of fires they are suitable for is important, as no one fire extinguisher will cover all classes of fire.

The types of fire extinguishers are:

  • Water
  • Foam
  • Dry Powder
  • CO2

Water Extinguishers

This is the most used fire extinguisher for Class A fires and is not suitable for kitchen fires, flammable liquids, gasses, or electrical.

You may be required to have a water extinguisher if your building is constructed out of wood or organic materials, or if those materials can be found on the premises. The extinguisher should be located near the exit or where the fire risk has been identified. 

This extinguisher works by giving the fuel a cooling effect, causing it to burn slower until the flames are terminated.  In addition to the normal jet nozzle, there are also spray and mist nozzles. 

The spray nozzle covers a wider area of flames to accelerate terminating the fire and the mist nozzle releases microscopic water particles to suffocate the fire and creates a wall of mist between the fire and the operator reducing the heat exposure of the individual.

Foam Extinguishers

This type of extinguisher is used mainly for Class B fires but can also be used for Class A as the foam is water-based. It can be used for organic material such as paper, coal, and flammable liquids such as paint and petrol. However, it should not be used for kitchen fires, electrical equipment, or flammable metals.

This extinguisher has a cooling effect on fuel and with flammable liquids, and it creates a barrier between the flame and the fuel to extinguish the fire.

As with a water extinguisher, you may be required to have a foam extinguisher if the building is constructed of wood or organic materials and flammable liquids can be found on the property. These should be located near exits where the Class A or B fire risks have been identified.

Dry Powder Extinguishers

The dry powder extinguisher can tackle Class A, B, and C fires, which is why they are commonly called the ABC extinguisher.

This extinguisher can be used for fires involving organic material such as wood or paper, flammable liquids and gases like liquid petroleum gas (LPG), and some electrical hazards up to 1000v.

These extinguishers should be located between the fire risk and the exit and should be installed in places using flammable gases, such as at welding workstations, and at gas stations.

CO2 Extinguishers

These are used for electrical fires and can also extinguish Class B fires. These should not be used to put out fires involving paper, wood, kitchen fires (especially pan fires), or flammable metals.  They are also best suited for sterile locations and rooms housing sensitive equipment. Co2 is a clean gas and leaves no residue, so cleanup is easy.

These extinguishers should be found in places with electrical equipment such as server rooms, electrical panels, laboratories and offices.

Visit Safety Supply Co’s website here: https://safetysupplyco.com/shop/fire-equipment/fire-extinguishers to view our range of fire extinguishers. You can also contact us at 426-4935 to speak to our Service Department about free surveys and recommendations for equipment and servicing your fire equipment.

While the event of a fire is in most cases preventable, accidents can occur. Within every workplace, staff need to be aware of the safety procedures necessary to take should a fire take place.

Prevention is the best protection against fire. That’s why all employees should be aware of any fire hazards within their workplace environment. 

For a fire to occur, three things must be present:

  • Heat – a source of ignition
  • Fuel – anything flammable
  • Oxygen – what sustains the fire

Where these three elements are present together there is a higher risk of fire. Training employees to recognize and avoid creating conditions conducive to starting a fire is the first step towards workplace fire safety.

Once employees can recognize what constitutes a fire hazard within their environment, they should be trained on what to do if a fire occurs. While each organization will have slightly different procedures, any emergency plan should include the following basics:

  1. What to do if you see a fire-This covers actions like activating the fire alarm initiate the evacuation of the building, and calling the fire service (311 in Barbados). 
  2. When and if to use the fire extinguisher- some fire outbreaks may be caught early and provided serviceable equipment is nearby, you may be able to use the fire extinguisher to prevent further spread. If the fire is too big, or if there is any doubt, as tempted as one may be to fight it with an extinguisher, the safety of the person is paramount and they should evacuate.
  3. Evacuation routes for the building- every employee should be aware of the evacuation routes, especially the nearest exit to their workstation and from general common areas like the lunchroom or bathroom.
  4. Muster or meeting point for the organization - After evacuating a building, all staff and visitors should gather in one central location an appropriate distance from the building. This allows for a headcount of those present to ensure that no one is missing.
  5. Chain of command and communication - In emergencies, chaos can be avoided if all staff know who to report to and who is responsible for what, for example, who should do the headcount for their department or who the group should listen to for direction.

Organizations have a responsibility to ensure that their fire safety equipment is regularly and properly serviced, and that signage marking fire exits, the location of safety and fire equipment, and the meeting points are clear and visible to staff and visitors alike.

Evacuation routes need to be clear of obstacles that could hinder a swift and safe evacuation of the building and all employees should be regularly trained on firefighting procedures and evacuation plans of the company, as this will minimize confusion and save critical minutes in an emergency.

To help prevent a fire in your organization, visit our website here: https://safetysupplyco.com/shop/fire-equipment to view Safety Supply Co.’s range of fire safety equipment. We also service fire equipment and can assist with staff training. Contact our Service Department today!

 

As we are amid a national pause to slow and prevent the spread of Covid-19 on our island, we can’t forget to look out for our own health, specifically our mental health.

Since the first appearance of Covid-19 in the world, our mental well-being has been under a constant barrage of assaults from the uncertainty of the Covid-19 situation.  This encompasses the economic challenges, restricted movement and isolation. There’s also the added pressure of being hypervigilant about our own physical health wherever we go, with what we touch, in wearing our mask and even visiting our loved ones. In spite of all those things, we need to maintain a level of normalcy in our routine, family and jobs.

It is a lot to handle.

To help manage your mental health,  here are some tips for coping while you are at home:

  1. When you wake up, take a bath/shower and dress for the day - this refreshes your body and prepares your mind for a new day.
  2. Take at least 10 minutes for self-reflection at the start of the day– To do this, find a quiet space for you to explore your feelings, goals or simply take a break from worrying about the things that are stressing you out.
  3. Set boundaries between your personal and work life if you are working from home, this can be done by creating a designated area to work within your home and by having set office hours - this will help to maintain a good professional/personal balance within your life.
  4. Don’t stay cooped up in the house, take walks around your neighborhood when you can, while maintaining social distancing practices from others.
  5. While you may be physically isolated from others, do not isolate emotionally from your friends and family. Stay connected with your loved ones through regular check-ins and light, positive conversations.
  6. Avoid overindulging on unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks while at home.
  7. Be aware of the habits you develop during this time, you can create good habits by limiting tv time, adding exercise, maintaining a tidy environment, proper diet and wholesome occupation during lockdown.
  8. Deliberately set aside time to disconnect from the news and social media to give yourself a break from the constant onslaught of information.
  9. Staying together with family or roommates for several days can be stressful. Remember that everyone manages stress differently and one should communicate what affects you in a calm manner, while being considerate of their feelings.
  10. Don’t hesitate to change up your daily schedule by exploring new activities or potential hobbies to keep your mind engaged and challenged.
  11. While at home you can set a goal to tackle projects around the house which you may not have had time to complete previously- this can help you to feel productive within your personal life and help to occupy your time.
  12. Stay motivated by utilizing the time to develop or refresh your professional skills with online courses, video tutorials or webinars.

Overall, it’s important to bear in mind that a lockdown is a temporary state. Keeping occupied, staying positive and hopeful throughout this experience will contribute to maintaining your mental wellbeing.

Stay safe!

 

For persons who work at height, safety is not just a word – it is an imperative to protect your life. Therefore, regular inspection of your safety harness is essential.

Before every use, your safety harness equipment should undergo a touch and visual examination to ensure there are no issues or weaknesses with the equipment, which could contribute to placing you, the wearer, in danger.

Why do both a tactile (touch) and visual examination?

You may be able to look at your harness and make one determination, however, when you touch it, what you feel may make you think differently. Using both your sight and touch in tandem allows for a detailed examination that optimizes your chances for spotting defects or unusual wear and tear.

Remember - “Mek sure bettah dan cocksure.” i.e. it’s better to verify than to assume – nowhere is this more applicable than ensuring one’s safety while working at height.

How should the inspection be carried out?

Check the safety labels and tags first.

These should contain information such as which class of harness you have, the weight limit allowed and which safety standards your harness meets. If your harness was previously inspected, the date of that inspection should be noted on the ‘inspection grid’ tag. Information regarding the proper care reqiured for the model you are using should also be located in the labels. 

It's recommended that you perform the inspection in a well-lit area. This is conducted by holding the straps of your harness and drawing them across the palm of your hand, slowly working your way around the equipment,  gently but firmly bending the webbing on both sides to expose any damage to the weave of the fabric.

In some models, there is an “impact indicator” which indicates whether a harness was previously involved in a fall.  A harness should not be re-used after the impact of a fall-arrest

What does this inspection look for?

Other than the obvious, which would be major tears, this safety check seeks to verify the condition of the material, e.g. if there is any frayed material, how soft or loose the material feels, or if there is an excessive hardness or rigidity to the material.  and whether any foreign substances or contaminants have seeped into the material, which could compromise the integrity of the equipment.

According to OSHA, some of the defects to look for include:

  • Cuts of 1 mm or more at the edges of webbing lanyards (e.g. where the lanyard may have been choke-hitched around steelwork); 
  • Surface abrasion across the face of the webbing and at the webbing loops, particularly if localized.
  • Abrasion at the edges, particularly if localized. 
  • Damage to stitching (e.g. cuts or abrasion).
  • A knot in the lanyard, other than those intended by the manufacturer. 
  • A chemical attack, which can result in local weakening and softening – often indicated by flaking of the surface. There may also be a change in the color of the fibers.
  • Heat or friction damage indicated by fibers with a glazed appearance which may feel harder than surrounding fibers.
  • UV-degradation, which is difficult to identify, particularly visually, but there may be some loss of color (if dyed) and a powdery surface.
  • Partially deployed energy absorber (e.g. short pull-out of tear webbing).
  • Contamination (e.g. with dirt, grit, sand, etc.) which may result in internal or external abrasion.
  • Damaged or deformed fittings (e.g. carabiners, screw link connectors, scaffold hooks).
     

In addition to regular “before use” checks, an in-depth inspection should be conducted on your harness by a competent person other than yourself every six (6) months.

Safety harnesses should be retired if they have been involved in a fall. However, when you should change a harness is determined by factors should as the wear and tear, frequency of use and how it was stored. On average, a harness is usually changed between 3-5 years of light to moderate use with proper care.

If you are looking for high quality and comfortable safety harnesses, the staff at Safety Supply Co. can assist you with finding the right fit for you. Check out our harness products here: https://safetysupplyco.com/shop/climbing-fall-protection/harnesses-body-...

 

A major component of any construction project is the material. You want the best materials, but you also don’t want to break the Bank. It’s the age-old struggle. Well, there is a product that can tick both those boxes. It’s FIBERMESH

What is FIBERMESH?

FIBERMESH is a product made from virgin polypropylene fibers and used to reinforce concrete, especially for floors, driveways, and alllarge, slab-on-grade, pours. Wait... did we write that right? Polypropylene fibers? Yes, we did! FIBERMESH really does reinforce concrete, instead of using wire mesh! 

How does it work?

While the concrete is in its plastic (wet) state, the fibers are added to the mixture and tumbled until evenly distributed. This even distribution helps to reinforce the concrete in all directions and assists with crack control, reducing water loss and increasing impact resistance and compression strength.

Is it the right product for your project?

We know, it seems like FIBERMESH can do it all! As it can do all of the above, it’s both a cost-effective and labour-saving product that can help you complete your project with a long lifespan and safety in mind. With a convenient ratio of 1 bag per cubic metre*, using FIBERMESH gets you the best value for your money.

You’ll also reduce costs by eliminating the wastage factor which projects invariably can, and do, produce. FIBERMESH comes in a water-soluble bag, which you can toss directly into the mixer- the bag will dissolve, allowing for the fibers to begin mixing, hence there’s no wastage and with this feature, you’ll also play a role in saving the environment. We can’t forget the safety factor. Instead of adding wire mesh to an already potentially dangerous environment containing nails, planks, pipes, and wires, the packaging and method of use for FIBERMESH contribute to making your worksite a safer and more productive location.

So, if safety, minimum wastage, environmental protection, and cost are concerns of yours, then FIBERMESH is the product for you!

After all, FIBERMESH is all about “Making Good Concrete Better!”

Safety Supply Co. Inc. stocks four (4) types of FIBERMESH, and our knowledgeable staff would be more than happy to assist you with choosing the correct product for your project. Visit our website to see our selection. Click: https://safetysupplyco.com/shop/concrete-products/fibermesh

 

5 Tips for Working at Home

The outbreak of the coronavirus has most people working from home. If you're new to working remotely, these tips can help you stay productive and maintain balance. 

Maintain Regular Hours

Figure out what times of day you're most productive versus when you slack off, then Set a schedule, and stick to it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance. 

Create a Morning Routine (to get you in the chair)

Deciding you'll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another. Having a routine can be more powerful than a clock at helping you get started each day.

Set ground rules with people in your space

Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children, set clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Additionally, divide up the house work task fairly, so you’re not overwhelmed by being stuck with the majority of it.

Schedule breaks

Allow yourself a full lunch hour (or two), and take 15-minute breaks as needed.

Get some fresh air

To the extent that it's allowed and safe where you are during the COVID-19 outbreak, get out of the house, provided you can maintain social distancing of course. Your body needs to move. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good.

For some reason, a request for assistance is perceived as a sign of weakness, when in reality, it's a sign of strength and courage. So here are 4 instances when it's definitely time for you to bite the bullet and ask your co-worker for help.

When you have no idea what you're doing

It's ok to approach a colleague to ask for some clarification and assistance to avoid wasting time. So, take a deep breath, then approach your supervisor or one of your co-workers in order to get a better understanding of the particular task at hand.  

When you simply have too much on your plate

Your deadline is approaching and you know you're not going to meet it, request assistance from your co-workers. Be sure to repay the favor next time they need your help.

When you make a mistake

We're humans, it happens... NEVER sweep it under the rug in hopes of anyone not noticing. Instead, approach the appropriate persons in the office immediately to get the problem resolved promptly.

When you need additional expertise or insight

When a project you're working on can greatly benefit from a co-workers advice or talents, never hesitate to ask for their input. It fosters collaboration among team members, and makes your project better than it would've been.

Asking for help is sometimes more essential than it is easy. Breathe in, swallow your pride and ask; it can be that simple.

 

7 Ways to Lead a Stress Free Lifestyle

April has been deemed National Stress Awareness Month and as such we’ve put together 7 ways you can celebrate this rewarding initiative.

Take control of your health – Taking control of your personal health can make a great difference in the amount of stress you feel. Exercising, a nutritious diet or making that doctor’s appointment you’ve been pushing back, are all ways you can take charge of your body.

Do something you’ve always wanted to - Take that trip, start that creative or physical hobby, finish that book, a trip to the beach; doing something out of routine can put things in perspective and give you the direction you’ve been needing. 

Focus on now and worry about nothing - When you realize you can only control the present, you’ll worry less. Escape from the disappointment of what once was and the fear of what might be, and leave stress stuck in a time warp. 

 

Meditate and Reflect - Take 10 minutes a day to ‘zone out’ and quiet your mind. This releases the stress of the day and allows your mind to be at peace.

 

Keep a journal - For 5 minutes every day, write and reflect on the day you’ve just experienced and list 5 good things that happened today.

 

Be optimistic – No matter the challenge, think positively and put a positive spin on it; let this positive mindset become a focal point throughout your life.

 

Smile awhile and give your face a rest - Whether it’s in the form of a funny video, movie, a comedy podcast or just talking to a good friend; whatever it takes, give yourself time for laughter each and every day.

 

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