Beards and Respiratory Protection: A Tricky Mix
Respiratory equipment is necessary for work sites that deal with hazardous air conditions and harmful airborne chemicals, especially in projects like asbestos removals or underground construction projects. As with all personal protective equipment (PPE), proper use of respiratory equipment involves undergoing the complete process of hazard identification, risk assessment and control measure implementation.
Knowledge of the respiratory equipment, how it works and how it is worn are all mandatory to ensure safety in the workplace. However, there are still other conditions that can hinder the effectiveness of the equipment. Interestingly, one of these factors is the presence of facial hair and beards.
Why Do Beards and Facial Hair Matter?
Respiratory safety equipment like masks and respirators prevent the inhalation of particles and gases that can cause small triggers like allergic reactions or severe hazards like chemical poisoning. To ensure closed systems where only air passing through the purifying filter can reach the nose and mouth, workers need to undergo proper face fit testing.
While most respiratory equipment can accommodate varying facial shapes and contours, the presence of beards and facial hair might present irregularities that can cause gaps and incomplete seals in the air system, causing leakage of contaminants. In New Zealand, for example, beards, moustaches, sideburns and stubble are identified as potential obstructions for satisfactory sealing.
Fashion Trend, Workplace Hazard
Ideally, the mismatch of beards and respiratory equipment should apply only to the hyper-specific demographic of bearded men working in sites that deal with hazardous air conditions. However, the trend of beards and facial hair in the last few years, which has contributed to a grooming industry worth $500m annually, has made matters more complicated and more urgent.
In the UK, for example, a construction firm last year enforced a ban against beards and other facial hair inciting immediate criticism from within its employee base and workers’ unions. While the company anchored its stance on the effectiveness of tight-fitting dust masks, complaints were made on the basis of personal, religious and cultural reasons.
The Need for Ergonomic Safety Equipment
The case of beards and facial hair points to the importance of well-designed, ergonomic safety equipment that can accommodate a diverse range of users and workers. Whether for disposable masks or heavy-duty respiratory kits, all safety measures need to strike a balance between performance and comfort, ensuring that workers can perform their tasks without sacrificing safety or impinging on their personal preferences. This balance allows companies and businesses to comply with nation-wide safety standards without alienating their employees.
Trusted Suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment
At Maxisafe, we offer a comprehensive catalogue of ergonomic PPE that can match a wide range of industrial applications and needs. We are a highly reputable and trusted supplier of protection solutions, catering to industries such as agriculture, mechanical engineering and chemical manufacturing. We meet the quality standards of multiple countries, allowing us to have a global distribution market for our safety products. Our catalogue includes equipment for hand protection, face protection, hearing protection, footwear, and back support. With Maxisafe, you can count on performance paired with an adherence to health and safety regulations.
Invest in safety now. Call us on 1300 062 947 or send us an enquiry at https://maxisafe.com.au/contact-us/.
4 Types of Safety Gloves That Have a Special Coating
Hand and wrist injuries are the most common work-related injury in Australia. A 2017 Hand Safety Report by The National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA) states that one in five work-related injuries happen to hands. Cut injuries were seen to be the most common in the construction, manufacturing and the food and beverage industry. In mining and logistics companies, crush and impact injuries were more common.
Based on the report, 76 per cent of Australian industries believe that safety gloves are considered the most effective way to reduce hand injuries in the workplace. The coating of safety gloves offers an extra layer of protection for hazards in the workplace. Whether it’s an improved grip or chemical-resistance, using the right safety gloves for particular jobs helps prevent injuries. Here are four types of safety gloves that have a special coating.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) safety gloves are versatile and inexpensive. They are one of the most commonly used coatings for safety gloves in many industries. Since they are 100
synthetic, they do not cause allergic reactions, making them a popular alternative to latex gloves in for workers who may have allergies.
Although PVC gloves are not suitable for cut and puncture hazards, they offer exceptional abrasion resistance. They are suitable for applications in automotive assembly and woodworking due to their resistance to adhesives. The gloves do not lose their flexibility in cold temperatures, making them a good option for palm-coated winter gloves.
Latex gloves do not offer that much protection against cuts or puncture hazards, but they provide improved grip and can withstand extreme temperatures. These gloves are also chemical-resistant to alcohols and some ketones. However, they do not perform well in the presence of organic solvents and hydrocarbons.
Nitrile gloves have a synthetic coating that consists of a combination of butadiene and a co-polymer of acrylonitrile. Due to their synthetic coating, they are three times more durable than rubber. Although they are not flame-resistant, they perform well in -4˚C to 149˚C temperatures. The gloves are a good choice for metal stamping and handling oily materials or machinery, making them suitable for factory workers or workers in the mining and oil industries.
Polyurethane (PU) gloves are extremely flexible and have a low particulate shed. They do not have the most durable coating, but they provide a phenomenal grip without the sticky feeling. This means that you do not have to worry about using finishing substances or processes such as powder or chlorination to remove the stickiness. Though PU gloves have poor resistance to heat and water, they provide excellent protection against grease and oil.
Safety Gloves from Maxisafe
Maxisafe supplies these four types of safety gloves in their range of hand protection gloves. All of our hand protection products are engineered to meet global safety standards. Our comprehensive range of gloves are suitable for all markets including industrial, construction, agriculture etc.
We offer the Black Knight product line that features our Gripmaster technology. These gloves allow the wearer to work easily and safely in wet, dry and oily workplaces. We also supply gloves from the Black Shield range. They offer high puncture resistance with comfort and excellent dexterity, allowing the wearer to work easily while maintaining full protection.
Call us on 1300 062 947 for any enquiries about our safety gloves.
As Road Accidents Increase, the Call for Better Safety Measures Intensifies
Road accidents in Australia have been on the rise over the last few years. In 2015, the number of road accidents was estimated to be at 1,205, which rose by 7.5 percent the year after. By 2017, the number had reached 1,225.
As 2018 opened, the average total of road deaths in March grew by 8.3 per cent from March figures of previous years. Road trauma is the ninth biggest killer worldwide and is estimated to rise to the top five by 2030.
As the rate of road fatalities continues to become a problem, an increasing number of people are calling for improved road safety measures. In Queensland, the local government has implemented enforcement and educational campaigns to prevent what is termed the ‘fatal five’ driving behaviours, including drunk driving, inattention and distraction, failure to wear a seatbelt, fatigue, and speeding.
The worldwide road safety community has also been quick to respond. At the 25th United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) meeting, numerous experts banded together to promote ‘safe systems’ methods. Their goals include improved road safety management, safer vehicles and roads, informed road users and better post-crash response systems.
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has decided to take action in response to the crisis. In March 2018, the ATA submitted a list of 19 road safety recommendations aimed at bringing down the number of fatalities. The recommendations include investing in road safety infrastructure using data from crash investigations as a basis and bettering overall road safety standards. The report calls on the Australian Government to approve the fitting of electronic stability control for any new trucks.
Also included in the report are methods to ensure a high level of safety standards in road construction, including obtaining TruckSafe accreditation for project subcontractors and having durable and secure safety systems.
Certified Road Safety Solutions from Maxisafe
At Maxisafe, we are fully committed to ensuring better and safer roads throughout Australia. All products in our rage comply with Australian safety standards.
We provide a range of road safety and civil engineering equipment for a wide variety of industries. Our products are designed to keep the roads safe and secure at all times by drawing attention to roadside hazards and helping drivers and pedestrians avoid them.
Products come with medical kits to contribute to the safety of on-site construction workers. We also manufacture a range of protective construction gear, such as hi-vis vests, respirators, and gloves, among other items.
Our road safety equipment includes products ranging from traffic cones and bollards to plastic safety chains. Our traffic cones are manufactured using durable and flexible PVC for the body and painted in bright, fluorescent orange for increased visibility. For road closures, we provide extruded barrier mesh, safety chains and bollards with reflective surfaces.
Maxisafe manufactures a wide range of protective gear suited for a wide variety of industrial operations. Our products include hand safety gear, eye safety gear, knee pads and back support and site protection equipment.
Contact us today for more information.
Protecting the Eyes from Harmful Chemicals in the Workplace
For years, authorities have been unable to easily identify occupations that carry the highest risk of eye injuries. This is because the eyes are extremely sensitive and highly susceptible to injuries if not properly protected.
According to a report by Safe Work Australia, a total of 835 eye-related injuries were recorded from 2015 to 2016. One of the main causes of occupational ocular injuries were chemicals and other hazardous substances, the report cited.
Identifying Harmful Chemicals and Their Risks
Both highly acidic (pH levels less than four) and highly alkaline substances (pH levels greater than 10) are harmful to the eyes and may cause irritation, burns, or worse, loss of sight.
Alkali substances present the highest risk because they can penetrate the surface of the eye and damage both its external and internal structures.
The most common alkali substances contain ammonia, caustic soda and potassium hydroxide, which are prevalent in household cleaning products like drain and toilet cleaners.
Acidic substances, on the other hand, cause less serious damage but can still lead to major problems when eye exposure to such substances doesn’t receive immediate care. Common acids that can cause eye burns are sulphuric acid, nitric acid and acetic acid. Hydrofluoric acid is a strong acidic substance that can cause as much damage as alkalines.
Other Hazardous Chemicals to Consider
Apart from acids and alkalis, other dangerous chemicals can cause serious damage to the eyes. These include organic solvents and corrosive chemicals like phenols and ferric chloride, to name a few.
Organic solvents are substances that dissolve another substance and include thinners, kerosene and paint solvents. Splashes or long periods of exposure to the explosive and flammable vapours and solvents may irritate the eye.
One should also be wary of corrosive chemicals like phenols and ferric chloride. Direct eye contact with phenols causes severe pain and redness, and requires immediate medical attention. Ferric chloride causes the same hazards along with blurred vision and also requires urgent hospital care.
Mandated Occupational Safety Measures
Following the identification of chemical hazards in the workplace, strict compliance with the state’s safety standards must be implemented. Safe Work Australia also recommends critical analysis of the working environment, including containment and enclosure of dangerous chemicals.
Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety legislation requires employers to provide protective eyewear to their employees to prevent occupational hazards and reduce eye health risks in the workplace. This joint legislation of Australia and New Zealand states that protective eyewear must comply with the specified frame, lens material, thickness and fit.
Innovative and Precise Protective Eyewear
Maxisafe’s eye and face protection gear adheres to the relevant standards and combines innovative and precise engineering in safety design.
Our range of industrial protective eyewear comes with durable, anti-scratch lenses coupled with a lightweight and ergonomic construction for maximum comfort.
Our line of protective eye gear is impact-resistant and keeps the eyes safe from harmful projectiles and foreign bodies. Some lenses are also polarised to protect against harsh light and potential damage caused by ultraviolet exposure.
Enhance your workplace’s safety with our durable, comfortable and ergonomic eyewear.
Contact us today for more information and we will respond to your enquiries.
Workplace Eye Injuries are Common – but can be Prevented
Any occupation that involves hazardous substances and airborne particles carry a risk of eye injury. While most eye injuries in Australia are minor, some workplace accidents can lead to serious injuries, such as chemical burns and punctures.
The eye is an extremely delicate organ, and even a minor injury can result in permanent vision loss or blindness. Despite the grave consequences, some business administrators turn a blind eye to the importance of eye protection.
Workplace Eye Injury is Common
Eye injuries resulting from workplace accidents are quite common. According to one of the latest reports from Safe Work Australia, more than 840 people made an eye injury claim in 2014-2015. Meanwhile, a report from Comcare states that seven in 1000 workers sustain an eye injury each year.
Eye injuries often occur in jobs that involve working with metal fragments, such as welding and grinding. Any tool or piece of equipment that can cut, chisel, chip, drill, hammer, sand or spray poses a high risk of hurting the eye.
Injuries are also likely to happen in workplaces involving chemicals, compressed air, extremely bright lights and dusty environments.
Using the Correct Eye Protection Makes the Difference
Business owners have an overall responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their workers. Regarding eye injuries, wearing the appropriate eye protection for the task, in addition to receiving the proper training, can prevent or lower the severity of eye injuries.
Protecting workers is best achieved with an approach that focuses on identifying, assessing and controlling hazards.
Start by assessing all work areas and equipment, as well as previous eye accidents and injury reports. Provide a vision test for your employees to address problems, as poor eyesight, to begin with, could cause accidents.
Choose protective eyewear designed specifically for the task or hazard. It should also meet the current Australian Standards and offer a snug and comfortable fit.
Administrators should also conduct a mandatory eye protection program in all areas that have been identified as a risk.
At Maxisafe, workplace safety is at the heart of our business. We provide ergonomic and comfortable protective eyewear designed to meet Australian and New Zealand safety standards.
Contact us today for any enquiries.
Techware attended the Queensland Safety Show in April 2015, exhibiting a large portion of the Maxisafe vast range of personal safety products.
We received overwhelming response with many productive discussions to help resolve safety issues that are in the market place. These forums also give us feedback from the ‘end-user’ on what they need and require as solutions to their work place challenges, we then feed this information back through to our Research and Development team in view of developing new and innovative product that will solve problems!