Archive for November, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Compliance, now that’s what we’re talkin’ about! – Guest Post

Most successful companies understand that the best way to meet compliance standards in regard to employees wearing their personal protective equipment is to furnish them some really “cool” products.  Products such as gloves, safety glasses, and hardhats that keep them safe while bringing out their personalities at the same time!

We recently received the following note, which sets the example:   “I received the hardhat yesterday and I love it. It’s been the talk of the town here for the past two days in my motor pool in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. My 1stSgt, Co Gunny, and my CO all think it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread. It has not only provided my cranium protection, it’s given a sizable morale boost too to the Marines I work with. I wish to thank you one last time for ensuring its delivery here. I’d also like to thank your company for making the ordering process so easy and the site easy to navigate. Take care.”  (Goodness knows -  if anyone could use a lift, it’s our service personnel.)

Many workers complain that their P.P.E. just doesn’t fit or look right.  Now, women’s products come in smaller sizes, from safety glasses to gloves and hardhats made just for them, some even in pink!  There are coveralls and other protective outerwear that is not just “one size fits all.”  Because people come in all sizes, companies should have their safety leaders include part of the workforce to make the decisions in the products they select.  It is unsafe for workers to have to perform their jobs in clothing that doesn’t fit.  Loose gloves and clothing can become caught in moving equipment.

If companies allow their employees to wear, for example, say, hardhats that have sports team logos on them, it lets workers show support for their team, which in turn, might cause a little competition, along with a winning spirit.  We hope this encourages others to be aware that all safety glasses are not “Plain Janes.”  There are so many cool styles of glasses that surpass those found in optical stores, because not only do they look good, but furnish UV safety, as well as protect the eyes from foreign objects.  The look of safety equipment depends on the materials it is made from.  Therefore, many types of gloves and goggles or glasses are designed for protection and not style.  Whether they are industrial grade or medical grade gloves or outer clothing, chemists, medical personnel, food handling workers, and others who are engaged in types of work that require these special protective barriers are happy to wear them, knowing they are protected.

The main concern toward keeping employees safe is to ensure they are compliant with safety rules.  PPE is the last line of defense when it comes to protection.  However, it won’t protect them if they don’t wear it!  The employee is responsible to know how to use this PPE for the particular purpose it was designed.  It is the responsibility of the company’s safety leader to ensure that they are trained and understand how to take care of their PPE, knowing when it is damaged and how it can be repaired if possible, or replaced when necessary.  It can be much more fun when workers to get to wear some type of PPE that puts a smile on everyone’s face.

We thank our Marine for the kind words regarding the hardhat he ordered.  It is our hope that he and his buddies remain safe and return home soon!

This article was written by our Texan Health and Safety friend , Pat Brownlee, America Safety Company (

PostHeaderIcon How small businesses should prepare for winter

Winter is just around the corner, so it’s essential for small businesses to take safety precautions. Many employers fail to safeguard their premises before the dark months arrive and end up with a lawsuit on their hands.

Here’s how to secure your workplace this winter:

  1. 1. Stock up on essentials

Before the cold spell hits, it’s really important to stock up on essential products. A snow shovel is a must-have and it’s wise to have a grit spreader and de-icer lying around. You can find many winter items online, so simple browse the web and get buying.

  1. 2. Carry out a risk assessment

In preparation for the nippy spell it’s a good idea to carry out a risk assessment. Walk around your workplace and keep a record of any hazards. Look out for places that could become icy or flood and have any problems fixed quickly.

  1. 3. Safety signs

Following a risk assessment, why not invest in some well-priced safety signs? Inform people that there is hot water, or point out a high step. Employers are required to protect their workforce by law so don’t put anyone in danger – especially during winter. You really don’t want your staff slipping over and suing you for negligence.

  1. 4. First aid kit

The Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (UK) code of practice, explains that all employers must “provide, or ensure that there are provided, such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first-aid to be rendered to his employees if they are injured or become ill at work.” People can slip over during winter so make sure you have more than a few grotty plasters.

  1. 5. Health and safety training

It’s every employer’s responsibility to make sure all employees have received health and safety training. Everyone should know how to leave the building in the event of a fire and there should be strict rules in place. All information should be delivered in a clear, concise way and each member of staff should know their workplace rights.

Don’t abandon your employees this winter and keep everyone safe.

PostHeaderIcon How to prepare for the nippy spell

Are you prepared for the nippy spell? If not, it’s time to switch on the heating, stock up on thermals and buy a good snow shovel. Every year people are caught out by ice, sleet and snow, so take the time to stock up on essentials.

Here’s how to keep safe this winter:

  1. 1. Think health and safety

It’s easy to slip and slide during winter – so think health and safety. Spread grit on your driveway to stop you falling over and invest in a pair of snow boots with deep treads and a gripping soul. You might also want to fill your cupboards with plasters, antiseptic and bandages – just in case. Snow, ice and sleet can catch you off guard, so always be ready for bad weather.

  1. 2. Buy a snow shovel

A good snow shovel can dig your car out of several feet of snow – so pop online and order one. They come in all different shapes and sizes and are available at affordable prices. There’s nothing worse than being stranded at home, so what you waiting for?

  1. 3. Test your heating

To avoid hyperthermia throughout the dark months it’s essential to test your heating. Have an engineer check over your boiler – but make sure they’re on the Gas Safe Register. You certainly don’t want your house to be cold during winter, so call in a professional sooner rather than later.

  1. 4. Seal up drafts

Chilly drafts are extremely unpleasant, especially when it’s freezing outside. So, walk around your house and seal up any holes or gaps. Fix any broken glass and maybe consider getting double glazing for extra protection. Drafts excluders are also extremely useful and help keep cold winds from blowing underneath doors and through the sides of windows.

  1. 5. Wrap up warm

Whether you’re in or out it’s essential to wrap up warm. Throw on several extra layers and snuggle under a duvet. You really don’t want to catch a cold, so make sure you’re toasty at all times. Hot water bottles and electric blankets can also help you to stay warm while in the house. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and will help you save money on electricity.

So there you have it, 5 ways to stay safe, healthy and warm this winter.


PostHeaderIcon Organising a safe fireworks display

Bonfire night is almost upon us, which means that as the general public prepares for a night of excitement and joy, the emergency services and health and safety inspectors prepare for a night full of a very different kind of excitement.

Every year without fail, there are incidents and injuries on and around the night itself because of poor preparation or reckless behaviour with fireworks and fire. This is exactly why there are so many ‘fireworks safety’ advertising campaigns at this time of year, to try to give the emergency services a much less eventful night.

The first thing you need to think about if you are organising a public fireworks display is public liability insurance. This is something that a website like can help you with – you can find the deal that best matches your requirements in a matter of minutes. No public display should go ahead without public liability insurance to cover it against every eventuality, because if something did happen then there would likely be a pretty hefty fee to pay out.

When it comes to buying the fireworks for the display, you will need to think of the different grades that are available. Categories 1, 2 and 3 are all available to the general public for private displays, but category 4 fireworks are only available to professionals and can be lethal if they get into the wrong hands. Where you buy your fireworks from is also very important. If you buy them from a backstreet vendor, then the chances are you are heading towards disaster, but if you get them from a trustworthy and established supplier, then you can at least use them in confidence.

The size of the venue is also another vital consideration. Depending on how many people you want or are expecting to attend, it is important that you hire sufficient space for the crowd as well as the display. There needs to be enough space between the crowd and the place where the fireworks are due to be set off so they have enough room to fall back down to the ground without injuring anybody.

On the day of the event, the weather will play a big factor in your decision on the likelihood of it actually going ahead, so check the weather forecast the night before and make sure you have a way of informing everybody that is due to attend that it has had to be postponed. There is no point in risking it in bad weather – simply reorganise it for the following night if possible.

Before the event goes ahead, do a full check of the venue and surroundings to make sure everything and everyone is safe. If you can, keep checking this throughout the event, especially if you plan on having a bonfire as well as fireworks.

As for the clean-up operation in the morning, just be sure to dispose of all fireworks safely and the whole event will have been a resounding success.