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February, 2011

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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


Green Jobs . . . Green Job Hazards
     Green jobs are being defined broadly as jobs that help to improve the environment, such as in the wind and solar energy, recycling and biofuels industries. However, green jobs are not necessarily safe jobs. Workers in the green industries may face hazards that are commonly known in workplaces -- such as falls, confined spaces, electrical, fire, and other similar hazards. Additionally, workers may be exposed to new hazards which may not have been previously identified. For example, workers in the solar energy industry may be exposed to Cadmium Telluride, a known carcinogen, if adequate controls are not implemented. The information now available online is part of OSHA’s commitment to helping workers and employers ensure that green jobs are safe jobs.

For more information.

OSHA Withdraws Proposed Interpretation on Occupational Noise
     OSHA announced Jan. 19 that it is withdrawing its proposed interpretation titled "Interpretation of OSHA's Provisions for Feasible Administrative or Engineering Controls of Occupational Noise." The interpretation would have clarified the term "feasible administrative or engineering controls" as used in OSHA's noise standard. The proposed interpretation was published in the Federal Register Oct. 19, 2010.
     These efforts include conducting a thorough review of submitted comments and any other information OSHA receives on this issue; holding a meeting on preventing occupational hearing loss open to employers, workers, and noise control and public health professionals; consulting with experts from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Academy of Engineering; and initiating a vigorous effort to provide enhanced technical information and guidance on the many inexpensive, effective engineering controls for dangerous noise levels.

For more information.

Are Your Ears Really Protected? Find Out with NIOSH's QuickFitWeb
     Approximately 30 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise on the job. While we would prefer to eliminate noise through engineering controls or reduce exposure to noise through administrative controls, hearing protectors are critical when noise is unavoidable. Hearing protectors only work if they fit your ears and you wear them properly. An earplug that doesn't quite fill your ear canal or an earmuff with a small crack in the padding will let lots of noise into the ears through any gaps, even tiny ones.
     To help you get the most from your hearing protectors, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Pittsburgh Research Laboratory developed QuickFitWeb, an online tool to check your hearing protection in a minute or less.
     Poor Fit = Poor Protection - Studies of hearing protector users have shown repeatedly that average protection values in the real world are much lower than the labeled Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) determined in laboratories with trained and motivated subjects. Even worse, many hearing protector users get virtually no protection at all because of poor fit. It's hard to tell if your hearing protectors are working well just by looking at them. A more accurate approach is to check how much they block or "attenuate" noise. Hearing protectors vary in their attenuation characteristics, with most providing a maximum of 20 to 35 decibels of noise reduction when worn correctly. Any hearing protector that's suitable for use in noisy settings will attenuate noise by at least 15 decibels.
     How QuickFitWeb Checks Hearing Protectors - The NIOSH QuickFitWeb helps you determine if your hearing protection is giving you at least 15 decibels of attenuation by comparing two "threshold" tests—one without hearing protection and one with the devices on or in your ears.

For the full report and to try the QuickFitWeb

OSHA Temporarily Withdraws Proposal to Report Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders
     OSHA announced last month that it has temporarily withdrawn from review by the Office of Management and Budget its proposal to restore a column for work-related musculoskeletal disorders on employer injury and illness logs. OSHA has taken this action to seek greater input from small businesses on the impact of the proposal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MSDs accounted for 28 percent of all reported workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work in 2009. OSHA and the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy will jointly hold a meeting to engage and listen to small businesses about the agency's proposal.

For more information.

Reminder to Employers: Posting Injury/Illness Summaries Begins February 1

     Beginning February 1, employers must post a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred last year. Employers are only required to post the Summary (OSHA Form 300A) -- not the OSHA 300 Log -- from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2011. Copies of OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301 are available on the OSHA Recordkeeping Web page.

For more information and to download the forms.

What is OSHA's position on providing a drug-free workplace?

     "OSHA strongly supports measures that contribute to a drug-free environment and reasonable programs of drug testing within a comprehensive workplace program for certain workplace environments, such as those involving safety-sensitive duties like operating machinery. Such programs, however, need to also take into consideration employee rights to privacy.
Although OSHA supports workplace drug and alcohol programs, at this time OSHA does not have a standard. In some situations, however, OSHA's General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, may be applicable where a particular hazard is not addressed by any OSHA standard.
     Citations for violation of the General Duty Clause are issued to employers when the four components of this provision are present, and when no specific OSHA standard has been promulgated to address the recognized hazard. The four components are: (1) the employer failed to keep its workplace free of a "hazard;" (2) the hazard was "recognized" either by the cited employer individually or by the employer's industry generally; (3) the recognized hazard was causing or was likely to cause death or serious physical harm; and (4) there was a feasible means available that would eliminate or materially reduce the hazard. An employer's duty will arise only when all four elements are present."


OSHA Downloads -
"Cold Stress (English)"

"La Ecuación Del Frío (Espanol)"


Visit the all-new Saf-T-Gard web-site for valuable information, news, and product resources.



Mark Your Calendar

March 28-29, 2011 - Texas Safety Conference & Expo, The Woodlands, TX, sponsored by National Safety Council

OSHA's calendar of events.

Other upcoming conferences.

New Products  


  Arc Flash Protective Faceshield Features Superior Color Definition

  • Provides low level arc flash hazard protection for NFPA 70E-2009 PPE Category Level 0 and 1 (9.9 cal/cm2 arc rating).
  • Meets ANSI Z87.1+ High Impact Standards and ASTM F-2178-06 Standards.
  • Molded polycarbonate window provides complete panoramic vision with the best possible clarity with absolutely no distortion.
  • Specially formulated anti-fog window is impact and splash resistant.
  • Excellent color definition - the best in the industry.
  • Shipped complete with white safety cap and comfortable, durable ratchet headgear.
  • Satisfaction guaranteed - see fact sheet for details.

For a complete fact sheet and to order for immediate shipment.

News You Can Use

State Funding for Electrical Safety Training
     Did you know that almost every state has a reimbursement/grant program that your facility can be utilizing for safety training? e-Hazard has started a new website page to assist you in finding this training money. You do not have to use e-Hazard training in order to use the money, and the money can be used for many types of training.
     In 1998, Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to reform federal job training programs and create a new, comprehensive workforce investment system. The reformed system is intended to be customer-focused, to help Americans access the tools they need to manage their careers through information and high quality services, and to help U.S. companies find skilled workers. e-Hazard has put together a list of state programs designed to help employer's cut the cost of training for their workers.

For more information.

Source: e_hazard.com

AED Mandates Continue to Rise
     Oregon requires them for every business of 50,000 square feet or more where the public congregates if it has more than 50 visitors per day. Legislation may be introduced soon in Congress to mandate AEDs in all schools. The evidence is clear: AEDs increase the chance of surviving SCA by 70 percent. For that reason, AEDs are becoming more and more common in our daily travels and in the workplace. These small, portable devices save lives by delivering an electric shock to the heart in those crucial few minutes when someone experiences SCA. AEDs are lifesaving devices that can mean the difference between life and death for a victim of SCA.
     The fact is that more than 365,000 people in North America die each year from SCA. Fewer than 5 percent of people who suffer SCA survive unless an AED is used to provide an electric shock to get the heart beating again. In some places where AEDs are deployed, survival rates from SCA are reported above 70 percent. Because SCA is most effectively treated within the first few seconds or minutes of a sudden collapse, AEDs have the potential to save lives that could be lost if treatment is delayed until paramedics arrive on the scene of a cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association's Early Defibrillation movement aims to put AEDs in the hands of all first responders in places where people live, work, and play.

For the full report.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety Magazine.

Analyze This!
     Performing a job hazard analysis is an effective tool to minimize or eliminate hazards and reduce accidents. Make sure your employees don't look at just the obvious dangers; train them to look for simple, everyday things that can go wrong, too. Each job in the workplace should be examined in detail so that risks can be found in the job process step-by-step. Instruct your workers to ask specific questions about the jobs they do. For example:

  • Are any hazardous materials involved, and do I know the proper precautions for protecting myself and co-workers?
  • Do I always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE)?
  • Is machinery adequately guarded to protect me from injury?
  • Are the guards in place and in good working order?
  • Are there factors that could cause ergonomic injuries, such as heavy lifting, excessive reaching and twisting, or awkward postures?
  • Are there environmental factors, such as hot or cold temperatures or inadequate lighting or ventilation, which could cause injuries or illnesses?
  • Are floors clean and dry?
  • Is my work area kept tidy to prevent falls?
  • Is my work area dangerously noisy? Have sound-level measurements been taken to prevent hearing loss? Do I need hearing protection?
  • Have there been any changes in methods, materials, or equipment for which I need more training?
  • Am I aware of and following all the safety rules?

Source: BLR - Business & Legal Resources

Hands-On Training Effective in Dangerous Work Environments
     Hands-on safety training for workers in highly hazardous jobs is most effective at improving safe work behavior, according to psychologists who analyzed close to 40 years of research. However, less engaging training can be just as effective in preparing workers to avoid accidents when jobs are less dangerous. More interactive types of safety training may help employees become more aware of the threats they face on the job and avoid making deadly mistakes, according to the findings in the January issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association.
     Researchers analyzed results from 113 safety training studies conducted since the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1971. The analysis included a total sample of 24,694 workers in 16 countries. The researchers used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System to sort hazards into hierarchical categories that reflected the increasing potential for severe illness, injury or death. The hazards ranged from simple falls to fires, explosions and physical assaults.

For the full report.

Source: EHS Today

Electric Vehicle Noise - Are They Too Quiet?
     From golf courses to city streets and college campuses, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming popular. They offer an economical way to transport people and move equipment. But do they create a hazard because they emit little noise, leaving pedestrians unaware of their approach? Much research has focused on EVs that travel at highway speeds. But what about those designed to operate at low speeds and over short distances, such as those found on campuses like Murray State University? A team of students and their professor conducted several experiments to test pedestrian reactions to the campus EVs.

For the full report.

Source: Professional Safety Journal and ASSE

Prescription Management for Older Adults
     Prescription medication can be a great benefit to your health as you age, but it is important to follow instructions carefully. Medicine can quickly become harmful if not taken in the correct amounts and in the right way. Sometimes taking different medications can cause a bad reaction. If you or a loved one take prescription medications, it is very important to carefully keep track of which medications you take and when.
     The Home Safety Council has simple steps to help you organize and safely store your medications. This can keep you from mixing up medications and will help keep your whole family safe from accidental poisoning.

For the full report.

Source: Home Safety Council

Quite Possibly The Most
Comfortable Winter Work Glove

Warmth, comfort, grip and high-visibility all in the Versa-Gard XG winter work glove.  Lime yellow acrylic seamless knit glove with a warm fleecy lining has a palm coated reinforcement of black natural rubber for a safe, sure grip.  Stays flexible in cold temperatures.  Extended continuous elastic wrist keeps out the cold, too.

For immediate shipment.

International News

From Canada - Working in the Cold
     Along with the shortened days and snow, Canadian winter months can bring frigid, sub-zero temperatures. For those who work outdoors without the comfort and protection of a toasty warm building, exposure to the cold can be hazardous and put them at risk for injury.
     How do you beat the cold when you work outside? Aside from several layers of protective, dry clothing, and a healthy mix of physical activity, regular warm up periods can help you work safely in, and defend yourself from the cold. Workers who are cold are more prone to injury because the temperature impacts their performance of complex mental tasks and reduces the sensitivity and dexterity of their fingers. As well, the cold carries its own potentially dangerous side effects. It is critical that workers and supervisors know the symptoms of over exposure to cold, proper clothing requirements, safe work practices, and physical fitness requirements for work in cold as well as emergency procedures in the event of cold injury. Information is the first defense.

For the full report.

Get the new


For your copy

As I see it ...

It is February 2011 and as I write this, the Chicago and much of the central and northeast parts of the country have been blanketed, or smothered, with a major snowstorm.  As beautiful as that fluffy white stuff may look, beneath it lurk safety hazards ranging from cold and hypothermia to slips and trips to heart attacks from stressful shoveling to dangerous driving.  Enter "Chicago snowstorm" in your favorite web search site to see some amazing pictures - and in the words of that old TV police sergeant, "Let's be careful out there." 

February also marks the end of the 2010-2011 football season, so for my last analogy of the season, remember that the most penalized team in the NFL (the Oakland Raiders) did not make the playoffs.  Penalties are not good, and when the penalties affect your safety and your company's safety program, the impact is much more than the financial impact of the fine - people can get hurt, often seriously.  Safe working conditions, including an up-to-date hazard analysis coupled with a fresh approach to PPE are the goal line.  Want to learn more?

Here is how to get started.

Richard Rivkin, President



  1. WINTER WEATHER WARNING - Sunlight reflecting off snow and ice is a visual hazard - use appropriate safety eyewear.
  2. WINTER WEATHER WARNING - Wear a winter liner under your safety cap - available in fleece, Sherpa, and Thinsulate (r) materials.
  3. WINTER WEATHER WARNING - Dress for the task with insulated duck fabric jackets, chore coats, overalls and coveralls.  Arc flash rated garments also available.
  4. WINTER WEATHER WARNING - It is better to be seen and not hurt - with high-visibility cold weather outerwear rated ANSI/ISEA-107 class 3.
  5. WINTER WEATHER WARNING - Polar*Gard (r) cold temperature leather work gloves keep hands warm and dry.

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

Sign up now for a practical, engaging one-day seminar on NFPA 70E and other electrical safety standards.   Tuesday, February 22, 2011, at the Voltgard Test Labs of Saf-T-Gard International in Northbrook Illinois.  Sponsored by Saf-T-Gard International, Inc.

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

For more information and to register.

Question and Answer

Question -  Norman from Texas asks "Are switchboard mats recommended or required by OSHA for use in commercial office building electrical rooms?"

Answer -  The OSHA standard makes no reference to commercial office building electrical rooms.  However, OSHA does incorporate specific references to the  ASTM D178 specification for Rubber Insulating Matting in 29CFR1910.137 (Electrical Protective Devices) and 29CFR1926.951 (Tools and Protective Equipment).  ASTM D178 is the Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Matting.  Where there is a risk of exposure to energized circuits in a commercial office building electrical room, appropriate protective equipment is required under the General Duty Clause and other references.  At a minimum, we recommend switchboard matting, rubber insulating gloves, and NFPA 70E arc flash clothing and equipment for the appropriate hazard rating.

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

Special Offers


Squids - Tie Hooks for Nearly Anything

Super duty, reusable tie hook for organizing and cinching hoses, cords, pipe and almost anything else.

  • Large hook attachment with 360° swivel (2"/50mm)
  • Reusable sliding belt lock mechanism
  • High tensile strength, weather resistant Nylon 66
  • Hi vis orange color
  • Excellent resistance to oil, salt, solvents, and alkali
  • Temp range: -40°F - 176°F (-40°C - 80°C)
  • Recommended load limit: 22 lbs. (10kg)
  • 2 sizes available.

For immediate shipment.

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

John Solon is the member of the Saf-T-Gard sales team responsible for distributor sales and has been with Saf-T-Gard just about a year.

  • What John likes about Saf-T-Gard: "As a 20+ year veteran in the safety/PPE industry, I am most impressed with Saf-T-Gard's dedication to that industry and safety in general."
  • What makes John's day: "Satisfying customers' needs and knowing that they get what is needed and they understand my answers to their questions."
  • John's outside interests are: "Family. Nothing better than the support from my wife, the smile from my 9-year-old son, and the rare hug from my 13-year-old son."

PRIVACY POLICY - We do not and will not exchange lists or other information with any outside organizations.  Your data is secure and private within Saf-T-Gard International.

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Fax: USA  1-888-548-4273 / 1-847-291-1610
safety@saftgard.com  *  www.saftgard.com

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