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December, 2012

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Welcome to the SAF-T-GARDIAN, a monthly e-mail newsletter from Saf-T-Gard International.  We designed the SAF-T-GARDIAN to be timely and useful.  You are receiving this newsletter either as a valued Saf-T-Gard customer, company associate or supplier, or you have visited our website at www.saftgard.com.  Some of the links are time-sensitive and may move or expire as the news changes.  Some sources may also require registration.

You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety to others in your organization or encourage them to subscribe themselves.  If you have questions or suggestions for topics you would like to see included in the SAF-T-GARDIAN, please let us know by e-mail to saf-t-gardian@saftgard.com.

Previous issues of the Saf-T-Gardian are available.

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PRIVACY POLICY - We do not and will not exchange lists or other information with any outside organizations.  Your information is secure and private within Saf-T-Gard International.

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Releases Fact Sheet on Internal Combustion Engines as Ignition Sources
     Investigations by OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) have documented a history of fires and explosions at workplaces (oilfields, refineries, chemical plants, and other facilities) where an internal combustion engine was identified as or suspected to be the source of ignition. Internal combustion engines present an ignition hazard when used in facilities processing flammable liquids and gases. If flammable vapors or gases are released in these facilities, an internal combustion engine could ignite the flammable materials with catastrophic consequences. OSHA’s new Internal Combustion Engines as Ignition Sources Fact Sheet helps employers and workers understand the risks involved in the use of internal combustion engines, as well as some of the control strategies that should be used to prevent such catastrophic events.

Download the fact sheet.

Study Reveals Risks for Low-wage Workers
     A new obesity study uncovers risks for low-wage workers. Rather than focusing on sedentary lifestyles, a New England community partnership study, funded by NIOSH and the National Institutes of Health, on obesity/overweight and the role of working conditions looks at low-wage workers toiling in heavy labor and how their work conditions contribute to weight gain and obesity.

For the full report.

OSHA Now Incorporates Updated ANSI Standards in OSHA Head Protection Regulations

     OSHA has published a notice confirming the effective date of the direct final rule for OSHA's head protection standards. This final rule updates the incorporation by reference of national consensus standards to include the latest edition of the consensus standard. It updates references in OSHA's standards to recognize the 2009 edition of the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, and deletes the 1986 edition of that national consensus standard because it is out of date. The final rule applies to the personal protective equipment provisions of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, marine terminals, and construction standards that detail requirements for head protection. OSHA included the construction industry in this rulemaking to ensure consistency among the agency's standards.

For more information about ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2009.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Exposures Caused by Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools, and Other Nonindustrial Buildings
     Office buildings, schools, and other nonindustrial buildings may develop moisture and dampness problems from roof and window leaks, high indoor humidity, and flooding events, among other things. For this Alert, we define "dampness" as the presence of unwanted and excessive moisture in buildings [AIHA 2008]. This can lead to the growth of mold, fungi, and bacteria; the release of volatile organic compounds; and the breakdown of building materials. We use the term "mold" for a group of fungi that are common on wet materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. There are thousands of species of molds and they can be any color. Different mold species can adapt to different moisture conditions. Research studies have shown that dampness-related exposures from building dampness and mold have been associated with respiratory symptoms, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and respiratory infections in research studies. Individuals with asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis may be at risk for progression to more severe disease if the relationship between illness and exposure to the damp building is not recognized and exposures continue.

Download the report.

Center For Construction Research and Training Launches Online Resource to Help Workers and Employers Identify and Control Silica Dust
     A new online resource from the Center for Construction Research and Training provides information and tools to help identify silica hazards, understand the health risk, and easily find equipment and methods to control the dust. The site also features a “Create a Plan” tool that generates job-specific silica control plans based on user responses to a series of questions about the tasks that will be performed and the materials that will be used.
     Common workplace operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock, and stone products (such as in construction operations), and operations using sand products (such as in glass manufacturing, foundries, and sand blasting), can result in worker inhalation of small silica particles in the air. Inhalation of these particles has long been known to cause silicosis, a disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease.

Access Working Safely With Silica Resources.

More information is available at OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Safety and Health Topics page.


Hearing Protection

Employers shall make hearing protectors available to all employees exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater at no cost to the employees. Hearing protectors shall be replaced as necessary.

  • Employers shall ensure that hearing protectors are worn:
  • By an employee who is required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section to wear personal protective equipment; and
  • By any employee who is exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater, and who:
  • Has not yet had a baseline audiogram established pursuant to paragraph (g)(5)(ii); or
  • Has experienced a standard threshold shift.
  • Employees shall be given the opportunity to select their hearing protectors from a variety of suitable hearing protectors provided by the employer.
  • The employer shall provide training in the use and care of all hearing protectors provided to employees.
  • The employer shall ensure proper initial fitting and supervise the correct use of all hearing protectors

Reference :29CFR1910.95

OSHA Publication Download
Newly Revised


Visit the Saf-T-Gard web-site for valuable information, news, and product resources.


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News You Can Use

Is Your Home Ready, and Safe, For Winter?
Heavy accumulations of ice and snow coupled with fluctuating winter temperatures can bring down utility poles, trees and limbs with the ability to disrupt power for days on end. With this comes a threat to property and also to life itself.  In a winter storm emergency, restoring power and heat to consumers is the highest priority, and electric utility crews work around the clock to restore service. Severe damage to power lines and distribution systems may take days to repair, especially if the icing conditions are ongoing.  Avoid going outside if possible. Downed power lines could be submerged in snow and ice and difficult to identify. When outside, treat all downed and hanging lines as if they are energized electric lines: Stay away, warn others to stay away and immediately contact your utility company. Remember that downed power lines do NOT have to be arcing, sparking or moving to be live and deadly.
     Safe Electricity stresses the importance of being prepared for dangerous winter storms and the power outages they may cause. Preparing ahead of time in order to have the right supplies and the knowledge to stay warm safely are keys to weathering a winter storm emergency.

For more information.

Source: Energy Education Council

NFPA 70E: A Roadmap to Compliance - Six Steps Can Reduce Arc Flash Hazard and Protect Workers and Equipment
     There are five important steps that companies should take to reduce the occurrence of electrical accidents and better protect workers and employers from the physical, financial, and statutory consequences of electrical accidents. These steps are required as part of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 70E-2012, which provides a detailed reference for facilities to meet the requirements of electrical workplace safety. A sixth step assists the facility owners with fine-tuning the electrical system for safety and operability.

  • Step 1: Establish and audit an electrical safety policy with defined responsibilities
  • Step 2: Perform an arc flash hazard analysis and label the electrical equipment
  • Step 3: Provide adequate supplies of PPE and insulated tools
  • Step 4: Train and retrain all workers
  • Step 5: Maintain equipment for personnel safety
  • Step 6: Develop solutions to the arc flash problem

For the full report.

Source: Plant Engineering Magazine

Effectiveness of N95 Respirator Filters Against Nanoparticles
     With the exponential growth of the nano-technological products and their potential impact on the workers' health and safety, the N95 filtering face-piece respirators (FFRs) are commonly recommended to protect them from the exposure to nano-particles in workplaces. This publication reports the outcomes of a series of experiments carried out to characterize the performance of NIOSH approved N95 filtering face-piece respirators against particles in nano-range.

Download the report.

Source: Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST)

ASSE Joins 85-3 Coalition For Increased Worker Hearing Protection
     In its efforts to encourage increased hearing protection for workers, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) announced that it has joined the 85-3 Campaign to confront the “silent epidemic” of occupational hearing loss in the U.S. The 85-3 Campaign recognizes organizations and employers that, as part of their hearing protective strategy for workers, have adopted the 85 dBA (decibel) noise protection level.  Earlier this year, ASSE urged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to focus its efforts to improve hearing protection on lowering OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) for noise from the current 90 dBA (decibel) to 85 dBA. Noise intensity is measured in dBA and time of exposure to noise is measured in hours and minutes.  Hearing loss is a serious problem. According to NIOSH, when people are exposed to harmful noise—sounds that are too loud or loud sounds that last a long time—sensitive structures in the inner ear can be damaged, causing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). These sensitive structures, called hair cells, are small sensory cells that convert sound energy into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, hair cells cannot grow back.

Read the full ASSE statement.

For more information about the 85-3 Coalition


Fighting the Cold Indoors Can Ignite Home Safety Hazards
     During the winter months, heating equipment is responsible for the majority of residential fires, notably space heaters which pose the greatest risk. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2004-2008, most home heating fire deaths (82%) and injuries (64%) and half (51%) of associated direct property damage involved stationary or portable space heaters. That’s why UL (Underwriters Laboratories) warns it’s important to safeguard against possible fire and carbon monoxide dangers.

For the full report.


Flu in the Workplace: Why Should You Care?
     Every year, between 5 percent and 20 percent of the United States population gets the flu. Estimates of the effects of the common flu strain on productivity vary, but most statistics indicate that absenteeism, healthcare costs and presenteeism are costly for business. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average employee is off work 2.8 days with a case of the flu. If 15 million workers get the flu in a winter, that translates into a cost of nearly $20 billion for U.S. employees. This figure doesn't even include the cost incurred when employees go to work sick and can't perform at their peak. It is estimated that these employees who come to work with the flu increase lost workdays by 10 percent to 30 percent. The Center for Health Research Rural Advocacy at Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa., calculated the total cost of presenteeism in the United States to be more than $150 billion per year. Sick workers are less productive, take longer to get better and often infect their colleagues. In a typical year, it is estimated that flu alone can result in as much as $10 billion in lost productivity.

For the full report.

Source: EHS Today Magazine

It Only Takes A Second

Warning - some scenes are very graphic

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International News

From Canada - Breast Cancer Risk and Your Job
     Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in industrialized countries; in North America, the rates are amongst the highest in the world. Some of these cancers will be related to work, but very little research has been done in this area. A recent Canadian study set out to identify occupations associated with elevated rates of breast cancer. This new study identifies occupations linked to higher rates of breast cancer.

For more information.

Download the complete report.


Did You Know?

Saf-T-Gard Unlocks
The Alphabet of Respiratory Safety

     APR, MFR, FFR, PAPR, IDLH, SCBA, SAR, NIOSH 42CFR84, N95, P100, OV, AG, EEBA.  We understand respiratory protection starting with the hazard analysis to selection of products to fit-testing and recordkeeping requirements for your employees.  We partner with industry-leading brand names including North, 3M, Moldex, and MSA to offer the widest selection of superior products and leading respiratory protection technology.

Saf-T-Gard has the expertise and the products you need.

For more product information.


As I see it ...

It is December, 2012.  The year 2012 is winding down, and thoughts turn to seasonal holidays and traditions spanning the religious to the secular.  And similarly, personal safety awareness must span from the workplace to the home, from employer to family, and of course to travel which has its own safety hazards at this time of year.  As we all gather with friends and family at this time of year, we look around to see the other "stakeholders" in each of our personal commitments to safety.  In the words of one of our vendor partners, "Safety Is A Family Value".  [Click here to order a 24x28 inch poster that brings home this message very clearly.]  We think that we are stakeholders, too - doing our part to provide the product and services, experience and expertise, to help ensure that workers go home safe and sound to their families after every work day.  Many traditions of the season involve gift-giving, and a very wise person once stated quite clearly that the greatest gift one can give is the gift of time - especially time with family.  And a culture of and commitment to safety, on and off the job, enables each of us to enjoy the gift of time. 

From the Saf-T-Gard family to you and yours, best wishes for a joyous, healthy, happy, and safe holiday season.  We are Saf-T-Gard,  - passionate about industrial safety for 4 generations.

Want to learn more?

Here is how to get started.

Richard Rivkin, President and CEO



  1. FASHIONABLE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING - Enviro-Gard (R) polypropylene coveralls and garments provide low cost disposable protection for non-hazardous but dirty work environments.
  2. FASHIONABLE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING - Arc-rated flame-resistant clothing available in a wide range of protection levels and materials.
  3. FASHIONABLE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING - Fight foul weather with rainsuits made from PVC-reinforced fabric or single-ply PVC splash suits.
  4. FASHIONABLE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING -  Outdoor workers need high-visibility protective apparel that meets ANSI/ISEA 107 requirements - traffic vests, rainwear, etc.
  5. FASHIONABLE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING - Level A suits provide total encapsulation in a vapor tight chemical suit with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or supplied air and appropriate accessories

Want more information on any of this month's Saf-T-Tips?  E-mail us for a prompt reply.

Warning - Your Electrical Gloves May Not Be Safe Now!

All rubber insulating products must be subjected to periodic electrical tests as required by OSHA 29CFR1910.137(b)(2).  The Voltgard Test Lab is uniquely qualified to perform this service.

  • All testing is in full compliance with applicable ASTM specifications and OSHA regulations.
  • All rubber insulating gloves and sleeves are cleaned, then visually inspected inside and out.  Other rubber insulating products are cleaned, then inspected on all outer surfaces.
  • Quick turn-around.
  • Replacement service.

For more information and a testing service order form.


Question and Answer

Question - Are adhesive stickers or paints allowed on protective helmets?

Answer -  OSHA's general requirements for PPE are set forth in 29 CFR 1910.132. The specific requirements for head protection (protective helmets) are outlined in 29 CFR 1910.135, which incorporates by reference American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z89.1-2009. Both 29 CFR 1910.132 and 1910.135 do not contain provisions that explicitly prohibit painting or the placement of adhesive stickers on helmet shells. However, the employer's ability to comply with the existing requirements of these standards may be adversely affected by the painting or placement of adhesive stickers on the helmet's shell.  
     For instance, OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.132(a) requires that PPE be "...maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition..." [Emphasis added.] To ensure a helmet is and remains in a "reliable" condition, the helmet must be inspected prior to use for signs of dents, cracks, penetration, and any damage due to impact, rough treatment, or wear that might reduce the degree of protection originally provided and used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Paints and stickers may eliminate electrical resistance and – depending on the location and quantity – conceal defects, cracks, penetration, and any damage that would be otherwise readily identifiable during the employee's inspection to ensure reliability. Another concern is that paints, thinners, and solvents, as discussed in Appendix A of ANSI Z89.1-2003 and the appendices of the 1986 and 1997 versions, can also attack or damage the shell of a helmet and reduce protection.
     For these reasons, painting or applying stickers must be performed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, unless the employer can demonstrate that the altered protective helmet is equally as effective and protective as those meeting the requirements of Z89.1. Protective helmet manufacturers usually provide very specific instructions regarding paints, stickers, or decals that will not negatively affect the performance of a protective helmet. OSHA would consider painting or placing adhesive stickers acceptable if the manufacturer authorizes the alteration or the employer can demonstrate that the reliability of the helmet is not affected by the paint or the adhesive on the stickers; and the paint or placement of stickers would not reduce the ability to identify defects (i.e., use of see-through stickers) or other conditions that would indicate a reduced reliability.

If you have an industrial safety question you'd like answered, email saf-t-gardian@saftgard.com

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Saf-T-Gard Spotlight  Saf-T-Gard Spotlight

Chris Scearce is our warehouse receiving manager and has been with Saf-T-Gard over 6 years.
  • What Chris likes about Saf-T-Gard: "The family atmosphere.  We are kept informed about all aspects of Saf-T-Gard and treated like family members, which is a rarity these days."
  • What makes Chris' day: "When a day goes smoothly and things get accomplished."
  • Chris' outside interests: "Music, a good book."
  • Anything else? "Saf-T-Gard is a great place to work."


PRIVACY POLICY - We do not and will not exchange lists or other information with any outside organizations.  Your data is secure and private within Saf-T-Gard International.
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Fax: USA  1-888-548-4273 / 1-847-291-1610
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