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September, 2013

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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.

Some of the downloads are in PDF format which requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get Adobe Acrobat Reader


US Department of Labor 2014-2018 Strategic Plan Requests Stakeholder Input
     The development and implementation of the Strategic Plan will reinforce the priorities and reaffirm and hone the Department of Labor's mission to ensure access to opportunity for all. The Secretary of Labor believes that the best way to promote and protect opportunity is through collaboration, consensus-building and pragmatic problem-solving.  All DOL stakeholders are urged to actively participate in the development of the Department's Strategic Plan by reviewing the proposed strategies and providing feedback and comments about the direction the department is taking.

For more information.

Download the draft OSHA Strategic Plan

Submit Comments

OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign
     Falls are the leading cause of death in construction.  In addition, OSHA's Fall Protection Standard (1926.501) was the most frequently cited standard in fiscal year 2012 with 7,250 citations.  In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities (255 falls to lower level) out of 774 total fatalities in construction alone. These deaths are preventable. Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: Plan  Provide  and Train.  OSHA has developed a nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. The educational resources available give workers and employers information about falls and how to prevent them. There are also training tools for employers to use and posters to display at their worksites. Many of the new resources target vulnerable workers with limited English proficiency.  OSHA has provided numerous materials and resources that employers can use during toolbox talks to train workers on safe practices to avoid falls in construction. Falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: Plan, Provide and Train.

For more information.


Additional Downloads Available:

OSHA Proposes Rule To Protect Workers Exposed To Crystalline Silica
     The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a proposed rule aimed at curbing lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers. The proposal seeks to lower worker exposure to crystalline silica, which kills hundreds of workers and sickens thousands more each year. After publication of the proposal, the public will have 90 days to submit written comments, followed by public hearings. Once the full effects of the rule are realized, OSHA estimates that the proposed rule would result in saving nearly 700 lives per year and prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis annually. Exposure to airborne silica dust occurs in operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, block and other stone products and in operations using sand products, such as in glass manufacturing, foundries and sand blasting.  The proposal is based on extensive review of scientific and technical evidence, consideration of current industry consensus standards and outreach by OSHA to stakeholders, including public stakeholder meetings, conferences and meetings with employer and employee organizations.

For more information.

Statistics Show Reduction in Fatal Work Injuries
     Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries show a reduction in the number of fatal work injuries in 2012 compared with 2011. Last year, 4,383 workers died from work-related injuries, down from a final count of 4,693 fatal work injuries in 2011. Based on preliminary counts, the rate of fatal workplace injuries in 2012 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, down from a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in 2011.  This is the second lowest preliminary total since it was first conducted in 1992.

See the data.

Hurricane Preparedness and Response
     Hurricanes are a form of tropical cyclones that are capable of causing devastating damage to communities. Hurricanes are storm systems with circulating air and sustained wind speeds of 74 miles per hour or higher. The strongest hurricanes can have wind speeds exceeding 155 miles per hour. Areas on the Atlantic Coast, near the Gulf of Mexico, as well as parts of the Southwestern United States are vulnerable to hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November and peaks between August and October. OSHA has compiled important and useful information on hurricane warnings, hazards that hurricanes cause, and precautions that workers and employers should take after a hurricane has occurred.

For more information.

From The NIOSH Science Blog - The Importance of Occupational Safety and Health: Making for a “Super” Workplace
     There’s just something about superhero movie summer releases that gets us here at NIOSH excited about safety. This summer the source of our inspiration came from this summer's Superman movie.  In the film, pre-Superman Clark Kent is working as a commercial fisherman (a hazardous job if you’re not a man of steel). He risks exposing his amazing abilities when he swoops in to save the workers on a nearby oil rig who are in great danger as the rig implodes around them. The scene is reminiscent of one of the original comic book stories from 1938 when Superman is in the right place at the right time to save a coal miner, as well as his rescue crew, from an unsafe mine filled with toxic gas. We see instances such as these riddled throughout comic books and superhero movies. There’s always a hero around to save the day.
     Unfortunately, in real life we can’t rely on the Superman – but we can rely on the many super men and women in the occupational health and safety field who are always striving to improve working conditions to keep workers out of harm’s way long before they need saving. When it comes to research, regulations, and recommendations for improving workplace safety, a lot has changed since 1938.

For the full report.

OSHA Focus On Women In Construction
     OSHA, in conjunction with the National Association of Women in Construction, is developing training resources to protect women in the construction industry. The alliance will focus on musculoskeletal and sanitation hazards and issues related to poorly-fitting personal protective equipment. During the two-year agreement, the alliance intends to develop training programs, fact sheets and other outreach resources on musculoskeletal hazards, sanitation and PPE selection. The alliance will focus on these and other safety and health issues specific to female construction workers. Based on a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, OSHA this week also unveiled its new Women in Construction Web page, a site that outlines and addresses safety and health issues specific to female construction workers, including PPE, sanitary facilities and other resources.

For more information.

For the OSHA resources on Women in Construction


     Requirements for Fall Protection

     "What is the threshold height above which employees must be furnished with fall protection equipment?

     The threshold height is 6 feet, as per the following excerpts from 29CFR1926.501

"Each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal and vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.

Each employee on a walking/working surface 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level where leading edges are under construction, but who is not engaged in the leading edge work, shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system. If a guardrail system is chosen to provide the fall protection, and a controlled access zone has already been established for leading edge work, the control line may be used in lieu of a guardrail along the edge that parallels the leading edge.

"Walking/working surfaces not otherwise addressed." Except as provided in 1926.500(a)(2) or in 1926.501 (b)(1) through (b)(14), each employee on a walking/working surface 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system.


OSHA Publication Download
 Working Safely with Electricity

Click here to download


New 2013 Saf-T-Gard Facility Identification Catalog

With more than 1,100 pages, the new catalog is packed with innovative Facility Safety Identification Solutions.

Solutions that INFORM - like the unique Store-Boards™; solutions that PROTECT - like STOPOUT™ Lockout Devices and GHS solutions; and solutions that MOTIVATE - like the updated line of Digi-Day® Electronic Scoreboards, posters and banners.

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Order free copies today for your purchasing, safety, and maintenance departments. U.S. customers only, please.


New Products  

Most States Now Have "Concealed Carry" Laws

And Employers Prohibiting Firearms On The Premises Should Post Signs Accordingly

Select from a variety of materials including aluminum, fiberglass, plastic, and adhesive-backed vinyl.

Order now for immediate shipment

News You Can Use

Be our guest at

Saf-T-Gard International invites you to visit the 2013 National Safety Council Congress & Expo with a one day expo hall pass on the day of their choice (a $100 dollar value) September 30, October 1 or October 2. Visit Saf-T-Gard in booth #4100.

For a complimentary one day expo hall pass.

Construction Workers Explain Why Workplace Injuries Go Unreported
     Previous research has established that construction workers often fail to report injuries incurred on the job, despite the possible benefits of treatment available through workers’ compensation.  In a recent survey involving focus groups and mail-in surveys, more than one-fourth indicated that they had failed to report a work-related injury. Workers frequently reported that they did not report injuries because they perceived these injuries as “small” and “part of the job” or because they feared negative consequences from their employer or peers.

For the full report.

Source: The Center for Construction Research and Training

Combination of Long Hours and Overwork Increases Depression Risk
     Employees who work long hours with high job demands are more likely to develop depression, suggests a study in the August Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).  The researchers analyzed job and workplace factors affecting depression risk in a group of 218 Japanese clerical workers. They found that employees who worked long hours (at least 60 per week) and had high job demands (defined as "usually" having too much work) were at higher risk of depression. Workers who initially had the LHO combination were 15 times more likely to have depression when re-evaluated one to three years later.

For more information.

Source: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Free Hearing Protection Seminar in the Midwest - HearForever: Best Practices in Effective Hearing Conservation
     Noise-induced hearing loss has been described as the world’s most prevalent occupational injury. With the proper education, motivation, and protection, it’s also 100% preventable! Learn more about how you can prevent noise-induced hearing loss and implement an industry-leading hearing conservation program from Howard Leight by Honeywell.  Seminar is approved for continuing education credit by ABJIH.  Half day program (9:00 am - noon).

  • Milwaukee WI Monday, Oct. 14, 2013
  • Merrillville IN Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
  • Grand Rapids MI Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013
  • Novi (Detroit) MI Thursday Oct. 17, 2013

For more information.

To register

Oil and Gas Extraction Workers Exposed To Respirable Crystalline Silica
A recent report published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) found respirable crystalline silica, a human lung carcinogen, to be an occupational exposure hazard for oil and gas extraction workers. The study is the first systematic investigation of worker exposure to crystalline silica during directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, a process used to stimulate well production in the oil and gas industry. Field researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Western States Office (WSO) and the Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART) collected 111 personal breathing zone samples at 11 sites in five states over a 15-month period to evaluate exposures to respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing. Respirable silica is the portion of crystalline silica that is small enough to enter the gas-exchange regions of the lungs if inhaled and includes particles with aerodynamic diameters less than approximately 10 micrometers (μm).

For more information.

Source: American Industrial Hygiene Association

Industrial Therapists Called Upon to Determine the True Medical Causation of Many Claimed Workplace Injuries
     In many work-related injury claims, the prevailing cause of the injury is called into question by healthcare professionals who commonly help determine if a claimed injury was truly the result of a task performed on the job, or factors such as existing medical conditions or lifestyle habits are to blame. Ergonomic Analysis – Its Use in Medical Causation Cases, is a peer-reviewed feature in a recent issue of Professional Safety the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) journal. Medical causation is a medical/legal process in which a set of elements is examined to determine whether they resulted in a work related injury. During an ergonomic analysis, a healthcare professional examines the risks involved in a particular job, and evaluates them against a medical condition that may make a claimant more prone to a certain condition.

For the full report.

Source: American Society of Safety Engineers

Electricity Remains a Serious Workplace Hazard
Electric shock in the workplace can take many forms, but it is always serious. A worker is servicing a piece of machinery in a factory when he or she accidentally contacts an energized buss and suffers severe shock. In another incident, an electrician is electrocuted while repairing a heating and air conditioning unit located on a commercial building's roof.  Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard, with the first fatality recorded in 1879. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 171 worker deaths resulting from electric shock in 2011.  Among the 1 million electricians employed in North America, 97 percent have experienced electric shock or injury while on the job. Even though workers in other job categories may not consider "electrical work" a standard part of their jobs, many change light bulbs and perform other maintenance tasks, energize and de-energize machines, and operate power tools. Workers in the utility, mass transit, industrial goods manufacturing, and telecommunications industries, as well as first responders, are especially at risk for electric shock.

For the full report.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety Magazine

Four Simple Ergonomic Steps to a More Productive Workplace
     Workplace ergonomics is getting a lot of attention nationwide in response to a sharp increase in musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. These occupational injuries often mean repeated surgery, intractable pain, inability to work, time off for the affected employee and ultimately, higher costs for the employer.  Factors such as work surfaces at the wrong height, uncomfortable chairs, shelves and bins that are too high or out of reach and awkward hand tools all contribute to increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries and negatively can impact productivity.  Paying attention to ergonomics means removing barriers to work productivity. There is a wealth of options available to adjust the workspace to meet employees' ergonomic needs, and selecting the right options can help employees reap significant bottom line rewards. Comfortable employees stay at their desks or workstations longer, and complete more work in a given shift. Employers who pay attention to these four simple steps are well on their way to gaining these rewards.

For the full report.

Source: EHS Today Magazine

OSHA Construction Safety Video:
OSHA Fall Protection Standard


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.

  • Industry accredited for testing of all rubber insulating products and related tools and accessories
  • 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.

International News

From Canada - Sprains and Strains: Spot it. Fix it. 
     Stiff backs, sore wrists, and shoulder pain; symptoms such as these, if left unchecked, over time, can develop into injury. Musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) or sprains and strains, make up 60 per cent of all time-loss injuries in Nova Scotia, and they are caused by hazards associated with the way work is designed and carried out.
     These hazards could include workers doing work that doesn't fit, work tables that are too high or too low, tools that are not easily accessible, or work that involves a lot of heavy lifting or carrying.
     The Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) of Nova Scotia has developed a free online interactive tool - Sprains and Strains: Spot it. Fix it. - that challenges you to identify the hazards in depicted work scenarios and to find ways to minimize the risk. The tool has you spot the hazard and then drag and drop solutions to the problems and improve the work design.
     It is expected that once you learn to spot these hazards and the warning signs, you will have the knowledge you need to take action. Often a few simple changes can reduce the risk of injury. A proactive approach will prevent many injuries, and reduce the severity of injuries that do occur.

For more information and to access the interactive tool.

Did You Know?

Confined Space Is In Our Space

     Blowers, ducting, manhole covers, signage, work tests, heaters, and retrieval systems help make working underground safe.  You've got challenges, we've got solutions.

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

For more product information.

As I see it ...

It is September 2013, the unofficial start of fall.  Labor Day, the first Monday in September, marks the end of the summer season.  Labor Day is a good time to honor the working men and women who are the engine that drives our economy.  The concept of worthy work is thousands of years old and gives rise to the question of whether we live to work, or work to live (I believe we work to live).  Working gives us not only the opportunity for security and self-sufficiency to financially support ourselves and our family, but can, and should, provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as well.  To the workers whose employers put their safety in our hands, we tip our safety caps to you and thank you for all you do.  One of my grandfathers used to say that Labor Day was not just a holiday; every working day is Labor Day.  And since Labor Day marks the start of fall, it is as good a time as any to remind employers and workers that OSHA's Fall Protection Standard continues to be the most frequently cited standard measured first and foremost in the fact that in 2010 there were 264 fall fatalities in construction alone, over 34% of the total fatalities in construction.  Fall protection products continue to feature newly improved technology and comfort and I cannot think of a reason why anyone working at any height would object to using (and being trained to use) fall protection systems.  And to be sure that the Saf-T-Gard sales team is up to date on both the basics of fall protection as well as the evolution of products and technology, we invited MSA, a leading global manufacturer of fall protection, to demonstrate the proper (and improper) use of fall protection products with their demo trailer in our parking lot.  Woody (the wooden mannequin) took a couple of beatings to prove the point.  Then the Saf-T-Gard team "harnessed-up" - see Mary's picture below.  Happy autumn, we want to prevent falls!  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. SIGN HERE - OSHA and ANSI require the use of safety signs to indicate and define specific hazards.
  2. SIGN HERE - Signs must have color-coded headers, text, and symbols or pictograms.
  3. SIGN HERE - Use bilingual signs where appropriate to ensure worker understanding and compliance.
  4. SIGN HERE - Emergency signs should be "glow-in-the-dark" for location of exits and fire extinguishers.
  5. SIGN HERE - New technology now enables users to custom-design their own signs.

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

Tuesday September 24, 2013

Sponsored by

NFPA 70E 2012 - 110.3 States that Qualified Workers shall be retrained in intervals not to exceed 3 years.  Sign up now for a practical, engaging one-day seminar on NFPA 70E and other electrical safety standards.   Our training provides a thorough knowledge of the dangers and recommended safe behaviors for those who work daily around electrical hazards. This course goes beyond the theoretical to give attendees a complete understanding of regulations regarding electrical and arc flash safety and how to apply them in real-world situations. Tuesday, September 24 2013, at the Marriott Courtyard-Deerfield (IL) and Voltgard Test Labs of Saf-T-Gard International in Northbrook Illinois. 

Who Should Attend
  • Safety directors

  • Electrical contractors

  • Maintenance electricians

  • Linemen

  • Owners

  • Managers

  • Supervisors who work directly with 480V or greater voltage equipment or oversee those who do



What You Will Learn
  • One NFPA 70E page cuts your PPE training by 75%. This one concept can fool-proof and simplify your PPE approach

  • Two Common places for an Arc Flash

  • Three misunderstood NFPA 70E concepts

  • Four fixable things you don’t know about your electrical system that could wreck your plant

  • Seven Habits of Highly Safe Electricians

  • Full, practical understanding of the NFPA 70E and great ideas from trainers who have implemented it!

Tuition - One day Seminar tuition is $350/person. If registering 5 or more individuals from the same company, a $50 / person discount applies. Contact us at register@e-hazard.com or 502-716-7073 for group reservations.


  • Expert instruction

  • NFPA 70E-2012 Standard ($52.00 value)

  • e-Hazard student manual ($40.00 value)

  • Certificate of Completion - 8 hour**

  • Demonstrations and samples of PPE from the industry's leading manufacturers (when available)

  • Lunch

** Certain courses are approved for credit for electricians in AK, DE, FL, ID, KY, LA, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, OH, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI and WY, and are accepted by most states for PDH's for electrical engineers' CSP's. Contact e-hazard for more details.

For more information and to register.

Question and Answer

Question - (from Canada) We test electrical wire at 3000V AC 60Hz. The tester is capable of putting out 95mA. What is deemed the maximum safe current at this voltage that an operator can work with safely? Is their a OSHA or NEC specified max. allowable current? What protective equipment should a person be wearing (i.e. gloves, apron,.etc)  

Answer -  First the hazards - Based on OSHA regulations and NFPA 70E standard the safe voltage is below 50V.
Based on the studies done the following is the effect of current.

mA current Effect on Person
0.5 - 3 Tingling sensations
3+ Shock
10+ Muscle contractions and pain
30+ Respiratory paralysis
60+ Heart Paralysis (may be fatal)
100+ Ventricular fibrillation (usually fatal)
4+ Amps Heart Paralysis
5+ Amps Tissue and Organs start to burn

Second the protective equipment - The individual will need at a minimum Class 1 rubber insulating gloves (and leather protectors) and more than likely a HRC 4 clothing per NFPA 70E when testing voltage.

Thanks to for the technical assistance.

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

Special Offers

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The 8200 lightweight, disposable N95 particulate respirator is designed to help provide quality, reliable worker respiratory protection. 3M uses a variety of innovative technologies and features to help you meet your respiratory protection and comfort needs. The 3M proprietary filter media filters dust and other particles, while allowing for easy breathing.

This economical N95 respirator has the following features:

  • N95 Approved
  • Economical filtering facepiece particulate respirator
  • Compatible with a variety of protective eyewear and hearing protection
  • Adjustable noseclip and soft nose foam reduces potential for eyewear fogging and helps ensure a better seal and fit
  • Two-strap design with four point staple attachment helps provide a secure fit
  • Suggested applications: Grinding, Sanding, Sweeping, Bagging and other dusty operations
  • Can also be used to help reduce inhalation of certain airborne biological particles like mold, Bacillus anthracis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, etc. Example applications include emergency or pandemic preparedness planning, stockpiling, etc.

Order now for immediate shipment.

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

Mary Parsley is a member of the Saf-T-Gard Sales Team and joined Saf-T-Gard over 3 years ago.

  • What Mary likes about Saf-T-Gard: "We have a great mix of people with various levels of knowledge within the industry - so you learn something new every day.  Everyone is very helpful."
  • What makes Mary's day: "Taking care of the customer and knowing we provide products and services that help to keep them safe."
  • Mary's outside interests are: "Spending time with family and friends - reading, walking, bike riding."
  • Anything else: "Being a grandparent has been wonderful and at this time I have 2 beautiful grandchildren!"


The Saf-T-Gard sales team recently had hands-on fall protection training from MSA, and Mary was willing to step up! ---->


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