Monday, July 27, 2015

Top 5 Ways FR Clothing Is Improperly Worn

Flame resistant clothing can protect the wearer from a number of workplace hazards including arc flash, flash fires and molten metal splatter, provided it is worn correctly. Worn incorrectly, these garments lose their effectiveness. Workrite Uniform Co. identifies the top five mistakes workers make in the way they wear FR clothing:

  1. Wearing it with a non-FR outer layer. Even if you are wearing FR clothing, a non-FR outer layer can still ignite and burn. In cold weather conditions, workers should wear FR outerwear as well.
  2. Wearing it with a non-FR synthetic under layer. T-shirts worn to help with moisture management may be made from synthetic materials that are not flame resistant. These materials can actually melt to the skin.
  3. Rolling up sleeves. This should be avoided because it leaves arms exposed. Instead, workers should wear FR clothing made from lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric.
  4. Unzipping coveralls or unbuttoning shirts. Like rolling up sleeves, this practice also leaves the skin unprotected.
  5. Not tucking in shirttail. Heat and flames can travel under the shirt. Workers should look for FR clothing that has long shirttails to prevent this from occurring.

Friday, July 24, 2015

FHWA Launches New Tunnel Inspection Program

Just like bridges, no two tunnels are exactly the same. In an effort to standardize inspections across those environments, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is implementing a program that creates tunnel inspection standards to match those of bridge inspections.

The tunnel inspection program is modeled after FHWA's national bridge inspection program. The agency will also compile an inventory of the nation’s tunnels and develop a database much like the national bridge inventory.

FHWA has provided tunnel inspection guidance before, but the agency had no means to require tunnel owners—such as state transportation departments or other agencies—to inspect tunnels. Inspection methods have also varied widely. New standards will include revamped inspection requirements, as well as annual reports of tunnel conditions and inspection findings.

Listen to Safety Lately 7/24/15

Safety Lately is a look at the past week in the world of OSH. This week’s show covers the proposed ISO 45001 standard, rethinking parking signs, and standardizing tunnel inspections.

You can download the podcast here.

Like what you heard? Look for more podcasts at our multimedia page. You can also connect with ASSE on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Speaking the Language of Business: Make Data Points Salient Points

Speaking the language of business. That's a phrase you probably have heard numerous times at ASSE's recent professional development conferences, whether from corporate leaders during the Executive Summit sessions, from Society leaders at the general sessions or expert presenters during the concurrent sessions. It's a message that reflects an ongoing knowledge need within the OSH community.

One part of that is knowing how to present data so it's meaningful. Humantech's Executive Vice President James Mallon, CPE, offers an interesting way to make your data point a salient point to executives and other key stakeholders. Take a look.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Proposed ISO 45001 Standard Moving Forward

The buzz continues to build around ISO 45001, the proposed international standard for occupational health and safety management systems. The ISO PC283 Committee recently agreed to move the standard to the next stage--as a DIS (draft international standard). This means the standard has now surmounted a major standards development step and will continue to advance. Once the DIS is submitted to the ISO Secretariat, it will be circulated to all ISO members, who get three months to vote and comment on it. From here it can either go straight to publication or go to the final draft international standard stage.

ASSE's latest Tech Brief notes that the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) submitted its vote, “no with comments,” to ISO via ANSI, which is the voting organization for the U.S. at ISO. "The TAG ratified the ongoing American position of supporting the project and wanting to see the standard move forward. . . . The TAG did not want to see the current draft move to a finalization process since the consensus is that additional work still needs to take place." ISO has also posted a briefing note on the standard.

Overall, U.S. TAG members agree that this project presents a "real opportunity for standards to play an important role in addressing compelling global occupational safety and health issues. This new standard can help us create a necessary global foundation of worker safety standards and inspections that can be used by all global supply chains, for all industries, and cover all contractors and subcontractors in all countries supplying products into these supply chains."

For technical information about this standards project or for more information about membership on the TAG, contact ASSE's Tim Fisher.