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November, 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.

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OSHA's New Top 10 List

     OSHA's Fall Protection Standard (1926.501) was the most frequently cited standard in fiscal year 2012, OSHA and Safety+Health magazine announced last month at the 2012 National Safety Council Congress & Expo. The full preliminary list is as follows.

  1. Fall Protection (1926.501) – 7,250 citations
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 4,696
  3. Scaffolds (1926.451) – 3,814
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 2,371
  5. Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,310
  6. Machinery and Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,097
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 1,993
  8. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 1,744
  9. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 1,572
  10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 1,332

Government Report Shows 2011 Less Fatal (Industrially) Than 2010
     The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the preliminary results of its National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Findings show that the number of fatal work injuries in 2011 was slightly lower than final results from 2010. Last year, 4,609 workers died from work-related injuries, down from a final count of 4,690 in 2010. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, as compared to a final rate of 3.6 per 100,000 for 2010. Final 2011 data from the CFOI program will be released in spring 2013.

For more information.

OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign Update - More Resource Materials Now Available
     Plan. Provide. Train. These three simple steps can prevent falls and save lives. OSHA's fall prevention campaign website provides several training resources and educational resources to assist workers and employers in preventing falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. These pages have been updated with additional materials from OSHA's campaign partners, including new Spanish-language resources on ladders and other equipment.

For more information.                      For training resources.                                    For educational resources.

Two OSHA Advisory Committee Meetings Scheduled For November - Open To The Public
     The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Health and the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health will both meet in Washington, D.C., this month. NACOSH will meet Nov. 14-15, 2012, with meetings of the NACOSH Effectiveness Measures Work Group scheduled for Nov. 14, and the full committee meeting taking place Nov. 15. The work group and committee meetings will be held in Room S-4215 A-C, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. The NACOSH work group will meet from 1 - 4 p.m., Nov. 14. The committee will meet 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Nov. 15.
     ACCSH work group and committee meetings will be held in Room N-3437 A-C, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20210. The full committee will meet 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., Nov. 29, and 8 a.m. - noon, Nov. 30. Two ACCSH work groups will meet November 27: Health Hazards, Emerging Issues and Prevention through Design, noon - 2 p.m.; and Diversity, 2:15 - 4:15 p.m. Three work groups will meet Nov. 28: Training and Outreach, 8 - 10 a.m.; Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, 10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.; and Backing Operations, 1:15 - 3:15 p.m.
     Committee and work group meetings are open to the public. Individuals may submit comments and requests to speak at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submissions may also be sent by mail or facsimile. Comments for NACOSH must be submitted by Nov. 2, 2012. Comments and requests to speak for ACCSH must be submitted by Nov. 16, 2012.

For more information on NACOSH.

For more information on ACCSH.

From the NIOSH Science Blog - Joint Pain in the Workplace
     Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) include a number of physical conditions affecting muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues that can be caused, or exacerbated, by work. It is estimated that MSDs account for approximately one-third of injury and illness costs in U.S. industry. Many musculoskeletal conditions can result specifically in chronic or short-term joint pain. One example of joint pain is arthritis, which is the leading cause of work disability, according to the CDC. Arthritis is a condition in which the cartilage surfaces between bones wears away resulting in bone rubbing on bone. In 2007, the annual cost of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions was reported to be $128 billion. This total included an estimated $47 billion in lost earnings. The prevalence of arthritis in the U.S. is projected to increase to nearly 67 million (25% of the adult population) by the year 2030 with 25 million (9.3% of the adult population) projected to be limited in their physical activity because of the condition. Working-age adults (45-64 years) will account for almost one-third of arthritis cases. Workplace programs in the areas of safety, ergonomics, wellness, and disability management can all play a role in preventing joint pain and preserving joint health in working individuals of all ages.
     Aging is a natural process that encompasses biological changes that tend to be associated with the development of joint pain or that may limit the ability to work with joint pain. In addition to arthritic joint degeneration, aging is associated with loss of muscle mass and muscle function. Functional loss is influenced by changes at the cellular and molecular physiology level. These changes may reduce joint stability and impair normal joint motion that affect the ability to tolerate specific work postures and repetitive motion. With a loss in muscle strength, the same level of physical effort places a greater demand on an individual relative to her/his capabilities.

For the full report.

Take the Worker Safety & Health Challenge before November 30
     The deadline for submissions to the Department of Labor's Worker Safety and Health challenge has been extended until November 30. The challenge is to develop tools to educate young workers on safety and health hazards, what they can do to protect themselves and their rights in the workplace. Successful entries could take many different forms: interactive and informative games, social or professional networking sites, or data visualization tools that teach young people about safety and health hazards. Submissions may be designed for Internet browsers, smartphones, feature phones, social media platforms, or as native Windows or Macintosh applications.
     A panel of judges that includes Secretary Hilda Solis, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, co-hosts of the popular Discovery Channel show "Myth Busters," will award $15,000 for the "Safety in the Workplace Innovator Award," $6,000 for the "Safety and Health Data Award" and $6,000 for the "Workers' Rights Award." There is also a "People's Choice Award" of $3,000 for the developer of the app that receives the most public votes on the website.

For more information and to watch the video.



     When employees are required to attend the refresher training course required under 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(8) and the OSHA 10-hour construction industry outreach training program, a total of 18 training hours is required, 8 hours for the HAZWOPER refresher training and 10 hours for the construction industry outreach training course. Since there is some redundancy in these two training programs, would a single 12-hour combination class that meets both the HAZWOPER refresher training requirement under 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(8) and the OSHA 10-hour construction industry outreach training program allow employees to receive credit for both training courses?

     OSHA does not intend for the employer to duplicate efforts in complying with our standards. Instruction provided to employees in order to comply with the training requirements of both the HAZWOPER standard and the 10-hour construction industry outreach course may be considered "equivalent training" as long as all of the applicable training subjects or topics are addressed. OSHA does not certify individuals as properly or equivalently trained. Rather, the employer must show by documentation or certification that an employee's work experience and/or training have resulted in training equivalency.
     Therefore, a 12-hour combination-training program may be offered, provided the appropriate subjects or topics for the HAZWOPER refresher training and also those subjects or topics required in the OSHA guidelines for the 10-hour construction industry outreach training are both satisfied. The employer must retain a written document which clearly identifies the employee who was trained, the person who certified the employee as equivalently trained, the certifier's qualifications, and the training materials which demonstrate that the training requirements for both courses have been met.


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News You Can Use

Plan Ahead to Prevent Slips and Falls
     Falls from height and same-level falls are costly throughout the year. Both types occur frequently in winter, and as a rule OSHA and other safety authorities issue reminders about these hazards and best practices -– including diligent housekeeping and better lighting. For example, OSHA has reported on its investigations of incidents where workers fell while removing snow or ice from roofs or decks. The workers may be standing on the elevated surface to clear it or may be using an aerial lift. They "may have little experience or training on the hazards of such operations or work," according to the agency, which warns of the hazards of falling over roof edges, through skylights, and from ladders and aerial lifts. And fall protection violations still lead OSHA's top 10 list.

For the full report.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Magazine

The Dangers of Arc Flash to Unqualified Personnel
     Allowing unqualified plant personnel to stand or work near exposed energized electrical conductors is an accident waiting to happen. Every year some 2,000 workers are admitted to burn centers because of arc flash injuries. While injuries to qualified personnel have decreased since 2005, many unqualified people are still suffering severe injuries or death. Some improved safety is because of better electrical system and equipment design, but much is because of increased personal protective equipment (PPE) use and making safe, informed decisions. The arc flash/arc blast is the uncontrolled release of energy produced when a short circuit electrical current occurs in electrical systems. This flash includes extreme heat, molten metals, shrapnel, bright light, loud sound and percussive force. During arc flash, components fail and become heated to some 35,000F, then vaporize and expand. An arc blast is the ejection of the failed component's molten metal. Arc blast splatters this material on surrounding equipment and personnel. Equipment can be damaged, and people can be injured or killed by contact with the molten material and the accompanying effects.

For the full report.

Source: Utility Products

Nine Steps and Three Rules to Help Prevent Back Injuries

     Sitting slouched at your desk, holding the computer mouse away from your body for hours at a time and lifting with your back while twisting are workday activities that could lead to back sprains, strains or injuries.  Up to 80 percent of all people will experience a back injury in their lifetime. In some industries, musculoskeletal injuries account for 50-70 percent of workers’ compensation costs and lost workdays. Most back-related sprains and strains are caused by  “micro trauma,” things like lifting children, lifting laundry, children lifting backpacks, getting in and out of vehicles, yard work and incorrect posture at computers. Innocent stresses over time can lead to discomfort, pain, joint fatigue and injury.

Follow these three rules to protect your back:

  1. Keep the load close to the body. This prevents micro trauma and stress.
  2. Keep your head neutral. When lifting something, lift with the legs and keep the head in a neutral position instead of bending the neck down.
  3. Keep your nose between your toes. Translation? Don’t twist when lifting. To hand something, turn and move your feet and keep your nose in the middle. Take a step and turn to face the person.

Consider this nine-step plan to help promote spine and back health at work:

  1. Risk assessment. Identify the causes of back pain, strains, strains and injuries at work.
  2. Customize the program. Make your training and education program meaningful to employees.
  3. Use an introduction to secure employee buy-in. Create an 8-10 minute introduction to help employees understand that this program will help them avoid pain and feel healthy. After the brief introduction, encourage interaction to continue holding their interest.
  4. Develop you theory module. Use video, lectures, slides, photos, etc., to communicate your theory, but be sure to incorporate plenty of interaction.
  5. Create a customized stretching routine. Stretching can prepare the body for physical stress and relieve the body of accumulated stress. “Convince [workers] they can have control over what they feel,” said Downing, who then led the NSC attendees through some simple neck, arm and finger stretches.
  6. Use a kinetic learning module. At this point in the training, take employees to a space where they can do their work while applying the rules. “That’s how to delegate safety – by letting them do it,” Downing explained. “It’s got to be their own decision, and they learn by doing.”
  7. Question and answer. Allow employees to ask questions and feel free to question them about what they have just learned.
  8. Course critique. Learn what has worked and what hasn’t for employees during this training, and then modify the program base on their feedback.
  9. Get a commitment. Ask your workers, “Would you commit to doing at least something that you learned today for the rest of your life? Would you share something you learned today with a loved one?” Employees who make self-determined decisions will be more likely to make these positive changes.

For the full report.

Source: EHS Today Magazine

Safety Industry Expert Panels to Continue at Safety Congresses
     At the recent National Safety Congress, a quartet of safety industry experts discussed the value of prescription safety glasses, elements of a quality respiratory program, the new ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2012 standard for self-retracting devices, and the added value of buying PPE from a Qualified Safety Sales Professional. Sponsored by the International Safety Equipment Association, the four experts from ISEA member companies gave presentations on topics that reflected the top 10 list of most frequently violated OSHA standards during the most recent federal fiscal year making them useful and timely for attendees. The Solutions from ISEA Experts program was developed by ISEA and the National Safety Council as a way to bring practical training to the trade show floor at the annual expo. The NSC plans to continue the program as a regular feature of the event, tied in to the OSHA top 10 presentation.

View or download the presentations.

Occupational Health and Safety of Students who Hold Jobs during the School Year: Effects of Concurrent School Activity and Work Constraints
     A new study published by the IRSST found that students who held a job or jobs during their studies faced a range of health risks and that job characteristics, working hours and career paths had an impact on various health indicators. In particular, researchers found that two out of five women and nearly one in five men reported an overall level of fatigue deemed to require medical attention. Specifically, the analyses identified the accumulation of organizational work constraints, in addition to psychological pressures, social support at work, and the fact of having held a large number of jobs since the age of 15 as factors associated with the severity of the work-related chronic fatigue. Although the majority of these working students did not view their workload as too high, one in five still perceived his or her paid work as difficult, tiring, demanding or stressful. The findings also show that about half of the working students had sleep problems.
     The study shows that the young people often reported discomfort, injury or other difficulties following an accident. In many cases, these short-term effects did not translate into workplace absenteeism, since in part-time work (PTW) the period between two workdays often provides enough time to recover from these effects. Thus, one can readily understand the potential limits of an indicator judging the severity of an occupational injury based on the length of the absence when PTW is involved. Furthermore, the report’s findings suggest that the occurrence of an initial work-related accident early in the young person’s career, often during adolescence, increases the risk of having another accident later. The report terminates with the presentation of several avenues for intervention and research.

For the full report.

Source: IRSST

click for more 5S posters for your workplace
5S: The Unsung Hero of Operational and Safety Excellence

     At Milliken & Company plants, 5S has become a foundational pillar within the company’s operating system. However, the key to success for a change of process like 5S is a deep regard and respect for the people involved. When this value has substance among the leadership and flows through the organization, the following “Absolutes of 5S Implementation” will greatly improve your chances of sustaining the process. By now, most people in industry can describe the technical aspects of 5S. However, a vast majority of implementations end in a vicious DO cycle without ever getting it to “stick” because they never make it past the first three Ss—Sorting, Straightening, and Shining. Without the last 2 Ss, companies lose the benefit of the process. For instance, Milliken identified opportunities for improvements in safety and waste elimination while the organization completed activities surrounding Standardization and Sustainment. Working through 5S increased morale, led to higher associate engagement, and was a trust-building activity that solidified the credibility of those leading the change. In the end, everyone at Milliken plants had responsibility for the process and was able to acknowledge its success.
     So how do you go about either starting or correcting your 5S journey?

For the full report.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety Magazine


Solving Worker Resistance Toward Fall Protection
     Safety complacency is a huge issue within all industries. The realm of industrial safety holds concerns about fall protection systems. The 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey revealed that falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities in industrial settings. OSHA requires employees to be protected from falls via a fall protection system; unfortunately, it can be difficult to enforce such safety measures. Company executives need to be persistent about instilling safe and healthy habits in their employees. Given the dangerous nature of performing industrial tasks, it is concerning to hear that many workers will bypass safety equipment that is designed to protect them. The best way to change worker apathy toward fall protection systems is through the use of a well-designed training program. Even though workers will be the most directly influenced by falling at work, it is also important for the corporate side of an industrial company to be safety conscious.

For the full report.

Source: Industrial Safety and Hygiene News



Chemical Spill Response and Clean-Up

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  • reversible to fit either hand 
  • textured finger-tip grip 
  • totally powder-free 
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  • black color  
  • no natural rubber latex  

Ideal for auto service, law enforcement and public safety, janitorial and maintenance work, and anywhere that superior, disposable hand protection is needed.

To order for immediate shipment.

International News

From Europe - Older Workers in the Workplace

     As the number of young people entering employment falls in the coming years, there will be a significant increase in the proportion of older people in the workforce. Employers will have to rely increasingly on ageing workers, and this could be to their advantage. Some studies show that older workers are more dedicated to the workplace, have fewer sickness absences and stay in jobs longer. The skills, experience and maturity of older workers generally outweigh potential problems such as increasing, age-related ill health. 
     Increasing employment levels and prolonging people’s working lives have been important objectives of national and European policies since the late 1990s. The EU27 employment rate for people aged 55–64 rose from 36.9% in 2000 to 46% in 2009. However, this is still far below the general employment rate of the age group 20–64, which was 69% in 2009. The EU27 average exit age from the labour market also increased steadily, from 59.9 in 2001 to 61.2 years in 2007.

For more information.


Did You Know?

Saf-T-Gard Supplies
Safety Products for Storm Cleanup

     Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, fire, and tornados often leave unbelievable and unimaginable damage and destruction in their wake.  The aftermath poses safety hazards that can be outside the scope of normal industrial safety.

  • first aid kits and supplies

  • hand protection

  • respiratory protection

  • eye protection

  • safety helmets

  • sorbents

  • electrical safety products for working with energized wires and equipment

  • emergency lighting including flashlights and batteries

  • high-visibility outerwear

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

For more product information.


As I see it ...

It is November, 2012.  At first, I was going to write about Thanksgiving - the American holiday that gives us each pause to reflect on how fortunate we are.  But then Super Storm Sandy hit the U.S. mainland right in our mid-section.  I will write about being thankful - no puns or metaphors here.  In spite of the storm we as a nation really have a lot to be thankful for.  In the midst of the devastation and the death toll, the television screens and newspapers have been filled with accounts of bravery, heroism, and communities and states coming together.  Political parties and partisanship have been temporarily disregarded to meet the common challenges, and for this we should also be grateful.  It will take some time, if ever, to fully recover and the scars will probably remain.  There will be the stories told to children in years to come.  And for those memories we should be thankful as well.  And our economy is improving, slowly for sure but improving, and for this we should be thankful.

And personally, I want to express my thanks as well.  For the tens of thousands of customers that we have served over 76 years - thank you for your business.  We do appreciate it.  We also appreciate the opportunities presented to us by companies who are not yet our regular customers.  And finally, thanks to the Saf-T-Gard family - the Saf-T-Gard team who work together with the common goal of helping our customers' employees go home safe, sound, and healthy at the end of their work shift.  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. COLD WEATHER IS HERE - And that means hand protection for outdoor workers should have warm linings.

  2. COLD WEATHER IS HERE - And that means head protection for outdoor workers must include warm helmet liners.

  3. COLD WEATHER IS HERE - And that means fewer hours of daylight and reduced visibility - another reason for Hi-Visibility reflective clothing.

  4. COLD WEATHER IS HERE - And that often means icy, slippery walkways and driveways - tungsten-carbide tipped rubber pullovers fit over any shoes or boots for superb traction.

  5. COLD WEATHER IS HERE - And yes, that means colds are coming, too.  Be sure you have enough industrial-pack cold remedy medicines on hand.

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 - What is the difference between medical or medical-grade disposable exam gloves and non-medical or industrial grade disposable gloves?

Answer - Disposable gloves made of natural latex, nitrile, vinyl, or other synthetic materials are classified according to their quality level (AQL by statistical sampling for defects found).  If the word "exam" or "examination" glove appears in the product packaging to describe the gloves, they must meet the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patient examination gloves.  The FDA minimum AQL is 2.5.  Sampled shipments with a higher level of defects are rejected and cannot be sold as medical or medical-grade exam gloves.  The FDA recommends that exam gloves also meet applicable ASTM standard specifications which cover thickness, length, size, and other attributes.  There are other regulatory requirements for medical or medical-grade exam gloves as well including the filing of FDA pre-market notification forms [510(k)], registration of the manufacturer or importer as an FDA medical device establishment, random inspections of manufacturing facilities, and random sampling of shipments of imported gloves.  Non-medical or industrial grade disposable gloves are generally manufactured as medical gloves but were identified and segregated during post-production testing as having a higher AQL meaning a higher level of defects.  Thee are no minimum AQL requirements for non-medical disposable gloves.  [ed. note Ambi-Gard® brand exam gloves are manufactured, sampled, and tested to a higher AQL than the FDA minimum and Ambi-Gard non-medical disposable gloves are also sampled and tested to a specific AQL level to assure consistent quality.]

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

Tanaina Santa is Key Account Administrator and joined Saf-T-Gard over 4 years ago.
  • What Tanaina likes about Saf-T-Gard: "I like the working environment; my co-workers are very friendly and helpful."
  • What makes Tanaina's day: "Being able to help others  Providing the best customer service I can; it is very important to me professionally and personally."
  • Tanaina's outside interests: "I enjoy spending time with my family, especially with my 2 children Diego and Giuliana."
  • Anything else? "Happiness is inward, not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have but on what we are." -- by Henry Van Dyke


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