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The Importance of 72-hour Kits

The Importance of 72-hour Kits

Remember the 5.7 magnitude Magna earthquake last year right during the pandemic peak? Many of us were awoken at 7am on March 18 with shaking, rumbling, and some damage to our belongings. With covid concerns, too, the timing could not have been worse. Luckily, damage throughout the Salt Lake valley wasn’t extensive and there were no serious injuries or deaths recorded. But for many of us, it got us thinking about emergency preparedness. The first 72 hours after a disaster is critical to survival. Having a well-stocked kit for each member of the family is a smart move for everyone, not matter how much food storage or other supplies you have in a storage room.

Basic 72-hour kits are best in a durable backpack or duffel bag that’s easy to grab and carry. Ready.gov recommends the following items for a basic 72-hour disaster supply kit:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day – drinking and sanitation)
  • Food for three days (non-perishable)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (and a NOAA Weather Radio)
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (for shelter-in-place needs)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties (personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (for turning of utilities if necessary)
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and backup batteries.

It’s important to add to these basics based on your and your family’s individual needs. Think about what your family cannot live without and make sure you have that in your kits. Common items think about adding include:

  • Surgical masks (we should all have plenty of these now)
  • Disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and/or soap
  • Any prescription items such as medications, glasses, or contacts
  • Non-prescription medications such as ibuprofen, laxatives, and anti-diarrheal medications
  • Necessary items for a pet
  • Cash and copies of important family documents
  • Blankets, gloves, and a change of clothing
  • Matches or lighters (in waterproof containers)
  • Feminine hygiene supplies or personal hygiene products
  • Utility knife and a durable chord

Maintaining and Storage

A quality 72-hour kit’s food should stay good for a long time, but you still need to check it from time to time. If something expires, you’ll want to replace it. And be grateful you didn’t need to use the kit yet. In addition to checking food expiration dates, you’ll want to update your kit based on your changing needs. Check the kit each year and add or remove items as needed as your lifestyle grows and shifts. Be sure to store kits in a dry location that is easy to access. Hallway closets by the front door are good options inside the home. If you spend a lot of time at the office, one by your desk may be your best choice. And if you spend a lot of time in your car, keeping one in the trunk is also a great place for a 72-hour kit.

Shield-Safety has a lot of options for you, including the Mayday Survival Kit or the Roll and Go 72 Hour Kit. Both are packed and ready to go, one-person kits. We can also work with you to customize a kit for whatever your needs are.

Safety in the Workplace for Different Personalities

Safety in the Workplace for Different Personalities

Workplace safety can mean something different to each employee. Requirements for some may be overkill for others. But the fact remains: you as the employer need to ensure your employees are safe while on the job. Varying opinions, ideas, and personalities can make for tricky conversations about what the company as a whole needs to be doing. Take into consideration that everyone has different experiences and perceptions and approach the subject in a way that speak your employee’s languages as much as possible.

The organized and analytical personality: These folks like order and structure. They are probably very dedicated, have a clean workspace, are maybe a bit too honest, and work hard. They like to get the job done, but often like the control of managing it themselves. Personalities like these need direct conversation without all the small talk. Go into their office and be frank and honest about what needs to be done. Give them their space and be respectful of their time.

The perfectionist with a bit of a temper: These personalities like to make sure everything is done right (their way). Multi-tasking is probably a good quality of theirs and they may be a little obsessive about something until it’s done to their specifications. They can be avid workers, paying attention to details of every project. For these personalities, being in control is important. Provide information accurately and without fluff to speak their language best.

The social motivator: Ah, the peacemaker and life of the party. These guys like to talk and usually are great collaborators and team members. They like to take on projects to ensure everyone gets along and gets things done. Their optimistic temperament can bring a friendly openness to the workplace. Employees with this personality want you to take time to have a conversation. Small talk is okay, and they like to get to a place of understanding with their fellow coworkers. They may overshare, but their goal is to work together for the good of the company.

The creative thinker: These dedicated employees are visionaries, looking to do things in a new way for maximum effectiveness. They may be funny and try to make people laugh, but they’re wise and innovative. To talk with these guys, you need to be approachable and light. You’ll need to prove that you’ve thought options through to ensure you have the best solution to whatever problem or issue the company is facing.

Naturally, many of us have multiple traits within us. In the workplace, it’s important to take into consideration the needs and feelings of your staff, while also knowing your decisions are what everyone is going to need to work with. When talking about safety measures, it is important to be firm while also showing care for everyone’s different points of view. Bringing in a third-party company for important trainings can relieve a lot of pressure from owners and managers, and you can be sure trainings are accurate and current.

Your Employees Need and Deserve Safety Training

A safe workspace starts with proper employee training. This is not an area to gloss over at staff meetings. Safety needs to be taken seriously for the well-being of your employees and to be OSHA compliant. In fact, one of OSHA’s first sentences in their workplace safety training handbook says: “employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. No person should ever have to be injured, become ill, or die for a paycheck.” This shows the emphasis they put on employer responsibility and employee expectations. At a minimum, your business needs an action plan for basic emergencies and workplace hazards and a fire prevention plan and exit strategy. Any safety and health training you provide should be well documented, noting each employee that completes training, to cover yourself in the event of an unfortunate workplace accident.

CPR and AED Certification 

It is recommended by OSHA for employees to be trained in first aid response, including CPR. This is not a requirement for all businesses and employees, but the list of who is required is getting longer every year. Careers such as fitness professionals, childcare providers, school personnel, and flight attendants are on the must-have list for CPR training. Employees should get recertified annually to perform CPR safely, and first aid training should be revisited about every three years. For added security at your workplace, training a percentage of your employees in AED use will be beneficial. This one requires a bit more time, so you’ll want to be sure to have a reliable, long-term employee(s) go through this training. A defibrillator can be easy to use and even untrained users may be able to place the pads and provide a shock, however, a shock is not always needed, and training of when and how to correctly apply the AED is crucial. It takes an average of 7-8 minutes for an ambulance to arrive after 911 has been called, and a heart attack can kill someone in just 4 minutes. CPR administration and AED knowledge can literally be the difference between life and death for your employee. 

Injury Treatment and First Aid

Minimize downtime, lower workers comp claims, and provide your employees with peace of mind by providing current first aid training. Go a step further by adding specialized injury treatment training for a portion of your employees. Your employees will feel more confident knowing someone on site has learned skills such as stopping bleeding, minimizing swelling, and wrapping sprains. Choking hazards can be just as serious as a heart attack, with a blocked airway being fatal in about 4-7 minutes. 

Each business runs a little differently, which means your training will need to be unique to you and your employees. A customized, current training program will give your employees the right tools to handle hazards or accidents that may come their way. Safety should always be first, and the more practice and knowledge you give your employees, the more confident and productive your team will be.

General Contractors and Safety on the Construction Site

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that every year there are nearly 1,000 fatal occupational injuries on construction sites—that doesn’t include the many non-deadly incidents. It is absolutely critical for general contractors to ensure the optimal safety of their crew, and Shield-Safety offers a number of supplies to enhance safety on all types of job sites. However, the first step is making sure comprehensive safety policies are in place, routinely updated, and regularly visited. This is the number-one way to mitigate any risks on dangerous job sites.

Most general contractors manage teams that work with heavy machinery, equipment, and potentially dangerous tools. It’s the job of a general contractor to do everything possible to make sure their crew is safe, and if this doesn’t happen you may be subject to fines and possibly jail. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posts safety procedures specific to various industries including construction. This can be a great tool when revisiting and/or drafting your safety policies.

Who’s in Charge of Construction Safety?

OSHA states that the primary contractor is in charge of all on-site safety, adding that, “to the extent that a subcontractor of any tier agrees to perform any part of the contract, he also assumes responsibility for complying with the standards.” Some of the primary rules OSHA offers specifically for contractors include management leadership and declaring that “management” is responsible for not only maintaining workplace safety but improving it.

OSHA dictates that every worker has to understand their role as it applies to safety, as well as pinpoint any flaws in regards to the current workplace safety situation. Hazard identification is also covered by OSHA, which calls for “proper procedures” to identify, investigate, and report possible hazards. This segues into hazard prevention and management, which OSHA demands an ongoing identification and removal of any workplace hazards that might be found.

Help for General Contractors & Safety Training

OSHA and Shield-Safety are two key partners every general contractor should have on their side. OSHA requires all workers to be routinely trained in safety protocols, including undergoing education on recognizing hazards. Additionally, both general contractors and subcontractors are required to be dedicated to promoting worker safety. How can you do this? Proper program evaluation, updates, and communication are key. 

It’s a must for contractors to be always aware of potential hazards on their site. Knowing the full risks connected to each hazard and keeping a watch on workers needs to be the underlying “flow” of the workday. Comprehensively training employees is also necessary not just to further reduce the risk of injury and/or death, but also to increase your peace of mind as a contractor. Everyone should know the latest OSHA standards prior to starting work, and regular training sessions are great refreshers. 

When you have the right safety tool on-site, that’s yet another way to reduce risks and injuries. Shield-Safety supplies professional-grade tools to help keep you, your worksite, and your workers safe. Contact us today to customize an order specific to your needs and industry.

Employee Safety in Manufacturing Facilities

The manufacturing industry is an inherently dangerous one, but there are things you can do to mitigate risk and optimize safety. From metal cutting to heavy lifting, soldering, raw material assembling, and welding, there are countless opportunities for workers to get hurt on the job. On average, workplace hazards cause 150 deaths every day in the United States, and this also includes fewer overt causes of death such as radiation and compressed gases. Shield-Safety supplies the manufacturing industry with must-have tools to drastically reduce the risk of injury while optimizing employee safety. 

Manufacturing Facility Employee Safety

Your worker’s well-being is top priority, but bear in mind that injuries can also cause losses to machinery as well as the environment (depending on your exact industry). Knowing what all of your possible hazards are and taking action to reduce them is an absolute must. The truth is that the majority of accidents are preventable. They occur because of subpar training or lack of safety equipment. At Shield-Safety, we’ll work with you to make your workplace as safe as possible.

Employee Risk Management Training

It’s completely possible to achieve total workplace safety in manufacturing. Risk assessment should be ongoing because it helps you pinpoint equipment maintenance and repair needs. A plant assessor can help by creating a risk assessment plan, which also evaluates the hazard level. This expert can review the condition of various equipment with you and recommend measures to control it.

The Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a great tool to predict the likelihood of production and safety issues specific to the manufacturing field. This particular assessment considers things like the occurrence of an issue, severity, and how easy it is to detect. No matter which approach you take, every manufacturing facility needs to have a full risk assessment completed on a regular basis. 

OSHA Training

You already know that manufacturing facilities are often unorganized. However, clutter leads to accidents. Simple “housekeeping” is a must for reducing risk of injury. Slip and falls remain the leading cause of workers’ comp claims overall, and it’s also prevalent in manufacturing plants due to wet, greasy floors, cylinder hoses in walkways, and other common concerns.

Lack of safety gear (or workers not wearing it correctly) is also a primary cause for accidents. OSHA provides a number of regulations for manufacturing workers, such as dictating that metal workers have to wear certain PPE. Something as seemingly simple as wearing a hard hat when working with heavy sheet metal moving overhead can save lives and seriously reduces risk of injury. Every manufacturing facility is different and has different risks, which will require customized PPE gear and other safety tools.

Shield-Safety is dedicated to helping manufacturing facilities like yours optimize safety in the workplace. Alongside training and routine assessments, making sure you have the right PPE and other gear is one of the best ways to create a safe site for you and all your workers.

Hearing Conservation – how to protect your ears from damage

Hearing conservation should be a top priority for everyone, but particularly for those who are in loud environments. Hearing loss can be cumulative (from routine or prolonged periods in loud environments) or acute and happen suddenly. Whether you live, work, or play in environments that are likely to be loud and potentially cause hearing loss, there are steps you can take to protect your hearing.

Ear Protection Supplies for Hearing Safety at Home, Work, and Recreation
Hearing Protection Products

Hearing Safety Training

Some of the most common occupations that are at high risk of hearing loss include construction, anyone working as or with musicians, and those working in nightclub environments. However, any environment has the potential to cause hearing loss depending on various factors. Everyone experiences some degree of hearing loss due to age, so it is critical to conserve what you can. Here are a few steps to do so:

  • Use earplugs when you know you’ll be around loud noises. On average, 15 percent of Americans have some amount of hearing loss because of loud environments—and that loss is 100 percent preventable. Whether you do gardening with loud machinery or blast the music while you work, using high-quality earplugs or protective ear muffs is one of the most affordable and easiest ways to conserve your hearing.
  • Turn down the volume. Sometimes it’s really that simple. The World Health Organization reports that 1.1 billion people (usually teens and young adults) are at high risk for hearing loss simply from listening to music too loudly. If you use headphones, stick with those instead of earbuds (the latter having a higher chance of causing hearing loss).
  • Rest your ears. If you can’t control the volume in your immediate environment, give your ears a break for at least five minutes every hour. Research has shown that your ears need about 16 hours of relative quiet time in order to really recover from a (loud) night out.
  • Don’t swab your ears. If you’re in the habit of using cotton swabs inside the ears, stop (the crevices on the outside of the ears are fine). Some amount of wax is normal and healthy, and it’s easy to accidentally burst an eardrum with a swab. If you think you have excess wax, talk to your doctor. 
  • Be careful with medications. Did you know that some common drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen have been linked to hearing loss? Use them only as directed and discuss the reasons why you’re depending on these medications if you seem to be using them to excess.
  • Aim for dry ears. It’s not just loud noises that can cause hearing loss. Too much moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, which can impact the ear canal and cause infections and swimmer’s ear. If you’re often in the water, pick up a pair of swimmer’s earplugs.

Hearing is something we take for granted, but it’s very easy to practice some basic conservation measures. Even if you don’t have an occupation that’s routinely loud, it’s a good idea to have a few pairs of earplugs handy just in case. Shop Shield-Safety today to add these items to your toolkit.

Bloodborne Pathogens – the dangers and what to do

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are types of infectious microorganisms in human blood that can spread and cause disease to other humans. There are a number of bloodborne pathogens, but some of the most common include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The most common way to spread bloodborne pathogens in the United States is by a needlestick, such as sharing needles for recreational drug use or unsanitary tattooing. It is also possible to accidentally prick yourself with a used needle, for example, while taking out the trash or picking up litter.

First responders, cleaning crews, and others whose professions regularly expose them to needles are inherently at a higher risk of contracting bloodborne pathogens. Healthcare personnel are also at an increased risk of exposure. If you are pricked by a needle or otherwise “mix” your blood with another’s, the first thing to do is immediately flush the area with water. Clean the area with soap and warm water, followed by a skin disinfectant. Next, immediately seek medical attention. If this occurs at work or while performing a job-related duty, you should also report the incident to your supervisor soon after you are treated by a professional.

Minimize Exposure

The best way to minimize your exposure is to either eliminate or reduce any hazards of bloodborne pathogens. Having strict employee protection measures in place should be a top concern for any employer, but particularly those who are already working in high-risk fields. Such a plan should include having nitrile gloves, personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE) on-site, fluid control solidifier, or a bodily fluid disposal kit. Other things to do are ongoing employee training, best practices, medical surveillance, and in some cases requiring certain vaccinations (such as hepatitis B) for at-risk employees. 

Understanding the common symptoms of bloodborne pathogens is also important but bear in mind that these symptoms can vary person to person. However, some common symptoms include jaundice of the skin and eyes, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, severe fatigue, loss of appetite, and dark urine. Only a medical professional can diagnose bloodborne pathogens.

Safety Measures

One of the most important parts of a safety plan that minimizes the spread of bloodborne pathogens is having a strategy to safely collect and dispose of used needles while ensuring a new needle is used for every patient or client. This strategy should be clearly delineated in the safe work best practices manual and revisited on a regular basis. Having the right equipment, including PPE gear and toxic product bins, can do a lot to keep your employees, clients, and patients safe.

It does not take much for bloodborne pathogens to spread, and even a small stick from a used needle can spread these dangerous microorganisms. As an employer (or a self-employed person) it is your responsibility to put safety first. Fortunately, there are tools and materials readily available to help you achieve this. Contact Shield-Safety today or shop online to ensure you have everything you need to create and keep a safe and secure workplace.

KN95 Protective Face Masks

KN95 Respiratory Masks
KN95 Respiratory mask

KN95 Face Masks in the Medical Field

The FDA has approved the KN95 respirator masks to be used by hospitals and medical staff in April of 2020. The K95 is the preferred mask for a hospital and the N95 is the most often used surgical mask, but supplies can be low, and using a KN95 mask is better than no face covering. All masks are designed to protect the face and nose with a tight seal and offer the best protection when working within 6 feet of others. With a proper seal, they can effectively filter inhaled air and stop possible virus-carrying droplets from entering your respiratory system.

Construction and Industrial KN95 Masks

The construction industry has many uses for the KN95 mask to protect against harmful particles in the air on a job site. Many employers are required to provide their workers with KN95 or N95 respirators to meet OSHA safety requirements for working conditions. They are rated to capture 95% of tiny particles down to 0.3 microns in size like pollen, bacteria, asphalt paving, fertilizer dust, cement dust, smoke, insecticides, fumes, and more. KN95 respiratory masks are designed to be disposable but can be used for hours at a time. Depending on the environment they may even be used multiple times, if they become difficult to breathe in then it is time to dispose of it and get a new one. With the high demand for masks and respiratory protection products, there has been a growing concern among industrial and construction workers. It is always a good idea to keep enough stock on hand for your employees to use.

KN95 Respirator Use for in Public Places and at Home

With the pandemic situation and a lot of states, cities and counties requiring masks there has been a big boost in mask sales to the general public. While most of us do not need to have a KN95 mask or similar there are those that are at a higher risk and need better protection. Using a KN95 respiratory mask while out in public if you have underlying conditions or are of elderly age can provide multiple layers of protection to your respiratory system. According to the WHO these masks should be effective against infection and virus transmission. 

There are plenty of home projects that a KN95 mask would be appropriate for like cleaning with chemical products, sanding, deck staining, painting, fertilizing, etc. When performing tasks around the home that could affect your breathing from debris or fumes it is recommended to use a respiratory mask for your protection. 

KN95 and N95 masks are made from multiple layers of materials designed to protect from water droplets, provide cool airflow, ensure particle filtration, and not irritate your skin. They have a flexible nose bridge to create a firmer sealed fit to the face. If you are in need of KN95 respiratory masks for medical, industrial, commercial, or general use Shield-Safety has them available for online purchase.

MSM Cream and how it can help you

MSM Loition Unscented 32oz
MSM Skin Lotion

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is most well-known as a dietary supplement, but the cream form boasts a variety of benefits. It’s made of a type of sulfur compound that already occurs naturally in animals, plants—and even humans. It’s been very popular in the alternative medicine world for years and can be a great option for those looking for a natural solution to ailments from pain to inflammation. 

One of the most common reasons to use MSM cream is to help with joint pain and muscle pain. For those with joint degeneration (which is just about everyone at a certain age), you might experience pain in the knees, hands, hips, and back. Joint degeneration can be debilitating in severe cases, dramatically decreasing mobility and movement. However, studies have shown that MSM can drastically reduce inflammation, slow down cartilage breakdown, and increase mobility while minimizing pain. One study of 100 people aged 50+ showed that MSM decreased pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints after 12 weeks of use.

Why to Use MSM Cream

MSM is naturally anti-inflammatory by increasing the levels of glutathione in the body. MSM also inhibits the protein complex NF-kB, which is part of the body’s inflammatory response. Plus, MSM also minimizes the cytokine production which plays a role in inflammation. One study of 40 active men showed that MSM reduced cytokine release and in turn stopped immune cells from being over-stressed.

Some use MSM cream to help speed up recovery after a workout by reducing muscle damage and fatigue. When we work out, muscles are damaged—that’s what makes them bigger and stronger. MSM is a natural way to help the body heal faster by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Another study has shown that using MSM for 10 days dramatically reduced muscle damage from exercise while increasing antioxidants.

Putting MSM to Work

The symptoms of arthritis can also be alleviated with MSM cream because it reduces stiffness and pain. Arthritis is a very common inflammatory condition, and there are over 100 types of arthritis (rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are the most common). Many arthritis patients count on MSM as an alternative to arthritis medication. Others use MSM to boost the effects of supplements, such as boswellic acid, for arthritis. 

Some studies have shown that MSM can even help with allergy symptoms since it reduces inflammation. One common allergic reaction is “rhinitis,” which is what causes watery eyes, congestion, itching, and sneezing. All types of triggers cause allergic reactions, and those reactions cause the release of prostaglandins and cytokines in the body. Using MSM decreases these reactions by blocking their release.

Some people use MSM to boost their immunity and simply stay healthier. A poor diet, lack of sleep, illness, stress, and just about anything else can negatively affect our immune system, but MSM can help keep it on track. MSM cream can even keep skin healthy by increasing keratin production, helping to treat rosacea, eczema, and a variety of skin conditions. Try MSM out for yourself today, available at Shield-Safety.

Why you should have high-calorie food when backpacking or hiking

survival food bars
MAYDAY HIGH CALORIE SURVIVAL FOOD BAR

Approximately 2,000 people get lost while hiking every year. The first 72 hours after becoming lost are critical because your chances of surviving and being located are most likely in this timeframe. You’re going to be scared, perhaps dealing with extreme temperatures, and it might be getting dark soon. Even the most avid and well-prepared hikers can get lost while backpacking, and that’s why it’s essential to always be prepared even if you’re going for a short hike in familiar territory.

You surely packed food and snacks for your hike, but did you pack the right food? A lot of backpackers put together a lavish meal to enjoy when they reach the summit, and while that can certainly be enjoyable, it’s not survival food. It’s important to always have high-calorie, easy-to-pack food that can stand up against getting crushed. 

The role of calories is to provide energy, and that’s something you’re going to need if you want to safely survive getting lost in the woods. A good high-calorie camping food is also going to be rich in protein to help you feel full longer. If you do get lost for a long period of time, protein can also help prevent muscle waste. The average adult male needs about 2,500 calories per day and women around 2,000 calories. A quality high-calorie bar of 3,600 calories will give you the energy and nutrients you need for a full day when stress levels are running high.

Survival Tips

Hopefully you told someone where you’re going, how long you expect to be hiking, and that you will check in with them when you’re due to return. That’s a must for preventing unnecessarily long instances of getting lost while hiking. You should also have enough water, waterproof matches, a watch, a flashlight, and a knife with you every time you go hiking. This is the bare minimum for day hiking. 

If you do realize you’re lost, immediately sit down. Try to calm yourself. This is the time when people are most likely to make poor, rash decisions. Consider how much time you have before sunset and mentally retrace your steps. If you don’t have a way of telling time, comparing the sun’s distance from the horizon with your hand is an easy trick. Every finger represents about 15 minutes. 

Back from the Land of the Lost

When you’ve calmed down, you can start looking at nearby landmarks. Specific mountains, sounds (like traffic!), or other visuals might help you reorient yourself so that you can get back on track. 

In many situations where hikers get lost, they’re actually not far from a known trail or familiar terrain. It’s the panic that causes us to make wrong decisions. Simply sitting, calming ourselves, and taking note of the area is the best way to get back on track. However, you do always need to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. Food, water, and shelter (a means of keeping warm) are the absolute essentials you cannot do without. Let Shield-Safety be your go-to source for safe hiking.

Water purification for emergency preparedness

Potable Aqua Water Purification

Just because you don’t consider yourself an outdoor adventurer doesn’t mean you won’t need to purify water in the future. It’s important to be prepared for emergencies, and the good news is that it’s fairly easy to purify water for drinking with a few key tools. The fastest and easiest way to sterilize water is with Potable Aqua Purification Tablets. Simply drop the tablets into the water and you’ll have safe drinking water in seconds. However, a lot of people don’t think ahead and they’re already in a tough situation with unsafe water by the time they start shopping for potable tablets. These tablets are affordable, ship quickly, and have a long shelf life so you never have to worry about contaminated water.

Otherwise, boiling water is a standard way to sterilize water. Boiling kills viruses, parasites, and bacteria. Some people don’t like the taste of boiled water, but transferring it from one container to another and allowing it to rest overnight can improve the taste. A little pinch of salt can also help. Remember that boiling does not remove toxic chemicals or fuel. If boiling is a reasonable option and the water turns out cloudy, it can still be made safe to drink. Filter it through a coffee filter, paper towel, or cloth. The cloudiness isn’t unsafe, but it can affect appearance and taste. Make sure to store your boiled water in a sterile container with a tight lid. 

Other ways to make water safe

If you need safe water fast and don’t have potable tablets or the ability to boil water, small amounts of water can be made safe with a chemical disinfectant. Bleach kills the majority of viruses and bacteria but isn’t as tough on parasites. Plus, too much bleach can of course be harmful for human consumption. Disinfecting water should only be an absolute last resort. When doing this, only use unscented bleach and use 10 drops (from a dropper) of bleach for every liter of water. That’s 40 drops for 1 gallon. That translates to 0.5 ml of bleach for one liter or 2.5 ml for 1 gallon. You can also follow the same instructions to treat cloudiness as you do with boiling water.

Water filters can also help, particularly in removing parasites. When researching water filters, choose one with the smallest pore size. Keep in mind that most filters can’t remove viruses or bacteria. Distilling water, or capturing the steam from boiling, is another method that can be used but is very time-consuming.

Unless you’re an avid outdoor person, you might never think about how you’d disinfect water. Most people don’t—until it’s too late. Boiling can certainly be one approach, but it isn’t completely effective, and you might not have access to heat water. Potable tablets are by far the most cost-effective, simple, and fast solution, and it’s always a good idea to have them on hand. A little preparation now can go a long way, and you’ll thank yourself if a water emergency does happen.

How to stop bleeding from a severe cut or wound

WoundSeal Vial
WoundSeal Stop Bleeding Instantly

The definition of a “severe” cut can vary for non-medical professionals, and it can be difficult to gauge just how deep or severe a cut is when it’s actively bleeding. If you’re concerned that a wound is life-threatening, it’s important to call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately. Generally, a wound is truly considered severe if the bleeding cannot be stopped after applying steady pressure for 10 minutes. However, while you’re waiting for medical care or if you don’t think a wound is quite severe enough for immediate medical attention, there are a few things you can do to slow down and even stop the bleeding. 

The most immediate way to slow down bleeding is to apply firm and steady pressure with a clean piece of cloth. This will give you time to get your WoundSeal items that will instantly stop bleeding for even the more serious cuts. It’s a good idea to keep WoundSeal kits and clean cloths readily available in your home, work, and all vehicles. However, if you notice that the blood has started to soak through the cloth before getting your WoundSeal kit, don’t remove it. Instead, put more cloth or gauze on top and keep applying pressure. If the injured area is on the arm or leg, raising the limb can help slow down blood loss. In most cases, a tourniquet isn’t necessary. It’s also important to keep in mind that tourniquets can easily be wrongly applied. Only consider a tourniquet if the bleeding does not slow down, and also seek immediate medical attention.

What about when bleeding stops?

As soon as the bleeding has stopped, it’s time to clean the wound. This can be done simply with warm water and soap. Make sure all soap is removed from the wound to avoid irritation. Do not use iodine or hydrogen peroxide, as they can cause tissue damage. At this point, you can either apply WoundSeal or a sterile bandage. The WoundSeal home application pack can be a supplement to any first aid kit and comes with a tool to remove foreign objects, WoundSeal with two applicators and powders, a Wrap It Cool, and special treatments for burns.

If you decide to not see a doctor immediately, keep an eye on the healing process. If you notice that the wound is particularly deep and has an opening one day after the injury, see a doctor. You might also have trouble getting out dirt and debris. If you notice signs of infection like tenderness, discharge, redness, or a fever, see a doctor immediately. Any feeling of numbness or red streaks near the wound are red flags that something’s wrong.

It’s generally better to be safe than sorry, but these are unprecedented times and it’s understandable to want to avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor (and especially the ER) during a pandemic. Be prepared for emergencies with WoundSeal, capable of stopping bleeding in an instant.

Workplace and Job Site Injury Prevention Training

Injury Prevention Training

Would you know what to do if you or one of your coworkers got hurt on the job? If you own your own business, are you confident that you and all of your employees are equipped to handle a job site injury? Too often, the answer is no. Even if the company you work for (or own) does offer workplace injury prevention training, it’s very easy for attendees to forget their training. When an injury occurs, adrenaline is running high and it’s easier than ever to forget a training from months or years ago. It’s important for all businesses to offer initial and ongoing trainings for job site injury prevention and proper safety products use, in some industries it’s even required by law. 

OSHA provides guidance on these types of trainings to help employers identify and address hazards before an injury occurs. Studies have found that employers who adopt these trainings enjoy a “dramatic decrease” in job site injuries, but there’s also a transformation of the workplace culture. Trainings lead to more productivity, a higher quality output, minimized costs, better employee satisfaction, and a smaller turnover rate. Today, 34 states either require or promote employers to have such training programs, and at the heart of all of these programs are six key facets: worker participation, hazard identification, management leadership, hazard prevention, training and education, and program evaluation. 

What Can these Injury Prevention Programs Do for You?

According to OSHA, injury prevention training programs change for the better how hazards are identified and addressed. This leads to a safer environment and better “workplace health.” Workers are understandably injured less and there are fewer illnesses and fatalities associated with the job site. Plus, employers better their compliance with current regulations and enjoy a financial benefit of a safer, healthier job site. Numerous reports and studies have backed up these claims. 

Since OSHA’s injury prevention training recommendations were adopted 40 years ago, the US has reported a significant decrease in workplace deaths and injuries. In fact, there has been a 60 percent drop. However, there are still work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Most of them are preventable. In fact, every day 12+ people die on the job, totaling over 4,500 deaths per year. Annually, over 4.1 million workers have a “serious” job-related illness or injury.

Getting on Board with Safety Training

In order to further decrease these numbers, employers need to focus on prevention. This requires a training that’s continuous, effective, flexible, and makes sense. These programs help employers to identify the hazards before an injury (or worse) occurs. Trainings also help employers to abide by OSHA standards based on their industry and state. OSHA’s aim is to help employers “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every business. Your company is unique, and it deserves a unique injury prevention program. Contact Shield-Safety to learn about various programs that can be customized to suit your needs.

OSHA Health and Safety Training for Industrial Companies

OSHA Compliance Training & Education

The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) has developed a wide range of health and safety training materials and best practices for every industry, including various industrial companies. You can search your exact type of company on the OSHA website. Exact regulations can vary even within industrial companies, so let’s take a look at a singular example. The semiconductor industry has enjoyed great growth in recent decades with advanced manufacturing processes and rules for dealing with industry hazards potentially changing every few years. Like many OSHA standards, the demand to conduct more hazard assessments more often has affected the semiconductor industry and many other industrial types of companies. 

In the past 60 years, the semiconductor industry has expanded greatly. Due to rapid changes in this industry, manufacturing processes and their associated hazards may change completely every few years. These changes make hazard assessments more difficult to complete and require that they be conducted more often. Common hazards may include exposure to solvents, acid and caustic solutions, toxic metals, and radiation.

Following OSHA Rules

As you can imagine, the exact standards and hazard assessments per industry are vast. They include identifying hazardous materials, the requirements for semiconductor “dipping and coating,” an overview of required personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protection regulations, handling and disposing of toxic substances, addressing inorganic arsenic and lead, and rules about accessing employee medical records particularly as it relates to exposure. Specific safety guidelines are laid out in OSHA documents, including the environment, health, and safety regulations for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, guidelines for identifying flow-limiting devices for gas cylinder valves, exhaust ventilation, and much more. 

Although the specific rules and practices identified by OSHA are different in each industry and always changing, one thing remains constant. OSHA was created to help protect workers and their rights. OSHA dictates that all workers have a right to work in conditions where they aren’t exposed to a serious risk of harm. Workers have a right to information and training about various hazards, prevention methods, and OSHA standards for their specific workplace in a language and verbiage they can understand.

Workers also have a right to look at a company’s records of work-related illnesses and injuries. They can file a complaint to OSHA asking for the Association to inspect their work site if the worker suspects their employer isn’t following OSHA rules or if there are serious hazards. Workers can trust that the complaint will be kept confidential. Finally, workers have a right to exercise these rights without fearing retaliation or to report an injury or notify OSHA about their concerns. Workers have 30 days to file a complaint with OSHA if they think they’re being retaliated against. 

OSHA was established in 1970 to keep workers and their job sites safe. OSHA provides training, assistance, and education to keep and uphold standards. Shield-Safety helps workers and employers alike increase safety on the job site by offering training and products for added security and peace of mind.

Cool Blaze to Soothe Burns

Cool Blaze Burn & Sunburn Pain Relief Gel

Every year approximately 486,000 people receive medical treatment for a burn, and this does not include the many more who go without treatment or self-treat at home. Minor burns often don’t require medical intervention, but in order to minimize discomfort and speed up healing, you need the right products readily available. Cool Blaze Burn Gel is a product designed for minor burns, and it provides instant relief, optimizes healing, and helps to prevent scarring. 

More than twice as many men than women will suffer from a burn in a given year. The majority of burns are caused by direct contact with a fire or flame (43 percent), although 34 percent of burns are caused by scalding. A much smaller percentage of burns are caused by electricity or chemicals. Most burns (73 percent) occur in the home, with only 8 percent occurring in the workplace. 

A burn occurs when there’s damage to the skin caused by anything including fire, hot liquids, and even the sun (in some instances, sunburns are severe enough to require medical attention, but are usually treatable at home). The severity of a burn depends on the size and depth of the injury. In most cases, it’s easy to tell how severe a burn is simply by looking at it. If you have a sunburn or a scald burn, there’s a good chance you can treat it at home.

Forget the Cocoa Butter and Get Cool Blaze

For years, home remedies for burns prioritized cocoa butter (which can help, but isn’t nearly as effective as today’s options). What you really need is a specialized gel designed specifically for treating minor burns and sunburns. Cool Blaze immediately reduces pain by removing the heat from the skin. At the same time, this reduces the amount of burn damage. Cool Blaze also provides much-needed moisture to the skin, which can minimize or even eliminate peeling. 

Cool Blaze ingredients include special nutrients to rejuvenate the skin as well as a disinfectant to help keep any risk of infection at bay. Available in convenient two-ounce bottles, Cool Blaze is non-toxic and non-adherent for maximum comfort. It fits easily into nearly any bag. Keep Cool Blaze in your home, car, and take it with you wherever you go.

Best Practices for Treating Burns

If you’re unsure whether or not to seek medical attention for a burn, it’s always best to be extra-cautious. However, if you know the burn is mild enough to be treated at home, make sure you have the best possible products available. Burns can be irritating, and without proper products they can become itchy and lead to scratching—and permanent scarring. Cool Blaze was created to soothe and protect so that you can heal quickly and avoid unnecessary lingering scars.

Keep in mind that while sunburns are painful, they are also the leading cause of skin cancer. Mistakes happen, and when a sunburn occurs, you always have Cool Blaze. It’s best to prevent sunburns, to begin with by always wearing sunscreen when you go outside or are exposed to UV rays. Shop Cool Blaze and sunscreens now at Shield-Safety.

Cold Fire Tactical Fire Extinguishers

fire extinguisher

Every home and business should have at least one fire extinguisher readily available. Did you know that 27 percent of reported fires happen in homes? Unfortunately, 79 percent of death by fire and 73 percent of all fire-related injuries are caused by home fires—not wildfires. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that there are over 350,000 home fires on average per year, resulting in about 2,620 civilian deaths. There are also about 11,200 civilian injuries related to fires every year and an incredible $6.9 billion in property damage.

The majority of home fires are caused by cooking, electrical issues, heating appliances, lighting equipment, smoking, and, in rare cases, arson. Cooking is by far the most common cause of a house fire and a fire’s resulting injuries and deaths, with smoking a close second. It’s equally important to prevent fires and have the necessary equipment on hand to quickly and safely put out fires. However, not every home is equipped with a fire extinguisher. Fires can spread rapidly, especially grease fires, and without a fire extinguisher, the average person is not capable of putting out flames. 

What You Can Do In An Emergency Fire Situation

There are many types of fire extinguishers on the market, and it can be overwhelming when you start shopping. Cold Fire Extinguishers are the best for putting out fires because they actually remove the heat and don’t simply smother flames. Most fire extinguishers you’ll find work by the smothering method, but that is far from the best and safest approach. Cold Fire Tactical Extinguishers are especially effective at putting out grease fires as well as fires caused by chemicals, fuel, and fabrics. Plus, Cold Fire Extinguishers are safe. You can even spray a person directly without causing any harm.

Cold Fire Extinguishers should be placed in the home, car, boat, and RV—anywhere a fire might break out. These extinguishers are well-established as the premium choice and are used by firefighters, police officers, and those in the car racing industry. They can save lives, save property, and provide you with peace of mind. With so many fires happening every year, it’s important that you have the right fire extinguishing products readily available. Make sure to store Cold Fire Extinguishers in moderate temperatures (above freezing levels and not hotter than 120 degrees).

Benefits of Cold Fire Extinguishers

These fire extinguishers are biodegradable and non-toxic. They are suitable for all seasons and nearly all temperatures, featuring a loop handle for easy manageability. You can use them on all types of fires and there’s no messy cleanup (unlike more traditional smothering fire extinguishers). They are relatively lightweight and come in 20-ounce units so that virtually anyone can effectively handle them—including children. Having a proper fire extinguisher in your home, business, or mode of transportation is an important part of taking a proactive step in safety. 

To learn more about Cold Fire Extinguishers or to shop complementary products, take a look at Shield-Safety’s full inventory today.

Treat Strains, Sprains, and More with Wrap-It-Cool

Wrap-It-Cool, 2 Meter Wrap For Sprains and Strains

Strains and sprains are the most common workplace injury, making up a whopping 43 percent of all injuries on an annual basis. Every year, there are about 1.3 million injuries and illnesses reported in the private sector that are severe enough to require home recuperation past the day of the injury. Following sprains and strains, bruises are the second most common workplace injury and inflammation can occur along with any of these injuries. Helping your body to heal so you can get back to work and your other activities is essential—and a lot faster with Wrap-It-Cool.

A sprain occurs when a ligament (the connective tissue between bones) is overstretched or torn. Ligaments are made of fibrous tissue, and they aren’t designed to be stretched too far. Strains are over-stretching or tearing that occurs in the muscles. It’s easy for anyone to confuse strains or sprains, especially when both can happen at the same time. A bruise occurs when little veins and capillaries below the skin’s surface break due to trauma. When red blood cells gather right below the skin, they can look red, blue, purple, or even black. 

Inflammation is what happens when the body is responding to an injury or infection. It’s an important part of our immune system, and it’s our body’s signal to start the healing and repair process. Inflammation also helps our body stay safe from “invaders” like bacteria and viruses.

Sprains Get Better Faster

You’ve probably heard that the best way to heal from these injuries is with RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. But what if you had super RICE? That’s what you get with the Wrap-It-Cool and recharge bottle. It’s a two-meter wrap that has been shown to be more effective than ice and can speed up the healing of sprains, strains, bruises, and inflammation. The recharge bottle recharges the wrap 4 – 8 times. Simply pour Liquid Recharge into the Wrap-It-Cool bar and enjoy a fully re-saturated wrap. 

The fabric is breathable and stretchy, and the liquid is designed to minimize pain and inflammation as well as bruising and stretching. Menthol helps with pain relief, Ethyl alcohol helps to minimize heat via evaporation, and Arnica and Calendula oil are established anti-inflammatory properties. Arnica also helps minimize bruising. 

One hour wearing the wrap is the same as six hours of using ice for cooling. The Wrap-It-Cool also compresses the injured area to further speed up healing. You can maximize your recovery by taking it easy on the injured area (rest) and keep the injured area lifted (elevation). With Wrap-It-Cool, you can enjoy a speedier recovery and continue more of your daily activities in the process if necessary. Get instant relief with Wrap-It-Cool, and know that as soon as it dries out, you can “recharge” it again.

These injuries aren’t just common at work. Runners, yogis, hikers, and others who are active are prone to small traumas. When injuries happen, it’s important to act fast. Learn more about Wrap-It-Cool and other products at Shield-Safety today.

Las Vegas Shooting – What Can Be Done In A Nightmare Situation

The Event

Las Vegas outdoor concert festival turned into a nightmare in seconds after a gunman opened fire on 22,000 people attending. The shooter rained down bullets from a nearby hotel on the 31st floor and left no options to the large crowd but to duck and run. Currently at least 58 dead and more than 515 people taken to area hospitals.

Videos and photos of the event shock any and all who watch the terrifying scene that President Trump called “an act of pure evil”.

No one could have predicted such an event. Safety tends to come first at work but what level of importance is safety at home or on vacation?

Here are a few things that you should know if you ever find yourself in a gunner or emergency situation.

What to do before…

1) Be aware.

Trusting your instincts and in such an emergency situation can save your life. Know that everywhere you go disaster can strike. Know your emergency exits in any place. Whether it be a natural disaster or other terror most cases you want a place to take cover or somewhere to hide.

Practice out situations at home with your family and make sure that kids and adults are aware of the emergency plan for a robber, a fire, an earthquake, if they are separated in a public place, a school shooting, etc.

2) Be prepared.

Preparing yourself with emergency supplies AND training can make the real difference. If you buy an emergency kit and throw it on a shelf in your garage how likely are you to remember it in an emergency?

A young woman quoted to us, after a friends passing away because of hitting his head on the sidewalk several years ago, “After sitting there in a hopeless situation and watching him pass because of loss of blood I found out that I could have saved his life if I had a simple Israeli Bandage…”

To this day, she carries one. Such a simple preparedness item but just having one isn’t enough. She learned how to apply it and what situations to use it in.

A trauma bag is great to have on hand but it’s the education that makes the difference.

What do to if you’re caught unprepared

It’s understandable that is the biggest need after such a tragedy. Our question, that will probably never officially be answered by the media, is “How many people in the crowd could have saved themselves and others with knowledge of how to apply a compress or a tourniquet?”

If you are in a situation with someone or yourself who has a life-threatening bleeding wound…

  1. Protect yourself from exposure to others’ blood. You are in danger of exposure to disease so keep in mind that you are at risk when dealing with the blood of another person. Just like responders keep CPR masks and gloves on them at all times, we can do the same.  Keep a pair or two of rubber gloves in your purse or pocket.
  2. Apply a compress and pressure. A tee shirt is better than nothing.  Anything to slow down the bleeding and apply pressure. Socks and shirts are commonly available in any situation.
  3. If the wound is in the leg or arm a tourniquet is an option.   A few options to use as a tourniquet are a belt, bandana, scarf, long sleeve shirt,  a long shoelace, etc.  Make sure to tie it 3-4 inches above the injury between the injury and the heart. Wrap tightly. If applied properly the bleeding of the extremity will cease.  With an amputation, do not remove the tourniquet at any time.  With a proper tourniquet, it is recommended to release the pressure of the tool to allow for circulation to the extremity.
  4. Seek medical attention. 

If you find yourself in a live shooter situation be sure to…

  1. Evacuate. Have a plan in mind for how to get away.
  2. Leave belongings behind. Your life is priceless.
  3. Help others escape if possible. Don’t prevent others from getting to safety.
  4. Call 911 soon as possible. 

Good Better Best

Here at Shield-Safety, we pray for the people in Las Vegas and their families. We are grateful for the quick response of medics and for those who worked to get people to safety. Share to better prepare the world for the unexpected.

There was no way to predict such a terrible event could occur. School shootings, public bombings, natural disasters cannot be ignored.  Take the time to sit with your family and discuss what you can better do to prepare yourselves. We advise every public location or place where groups gather to have trauma bags that carry those emergency items.

There are proper items and training on the market that can help keep prepared for such events.  Plan ahead for any situation and keep a mobile-first aid kit with you that can provide you with simple things such as a compress or tourniquet. There is even technology available that stops life-threatening bleeding wounds for bullets or knives called Quikclot. Someone’s life could depend on you and your training.

The saying should no longer be IF an emergency occurs but WHEN an emergency occurs.  Seconds safe lives if properly prepared.

Natural Disaster Trauma

Natural Disaster Trauma Turned Into Lesson

With the latest natural disasters, Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria, earthquakes in Mexico, everyone should be thinking of what will they do in such an emergency.

The death count was at least 70 after Hurricane Harvey. At least 22 deaths have been caused by Hurricane Irma in the US. Not to mention over 2 million people were without power.

Relief efforts are being made underway by several companies including, Apple which recently gave 10 million dollars to help the states under such trauma.  When we hear the word trauma what’s the first word to your mind; Traumatic? Devastation?  Wounded? Perhaps you think first aid or medical terminology.

When a natural disaster occurs, it can take hours or even days before emergency personnel can reach your location. Safety should be our first priority for our home, family, business. Let’s make a shortlist of stuff today that you should have available in your first aid trauma kits so that you can be prepared for such events.

What Should Be In Your Trauma Kit?

Today you will learn what types of trauma kits there are and what makes it a good one for you.

For easy understanding, there are two types of trauma kits on the market.

Firstly, there are the cheap trauma kits that you can find in most online stores such as Amazon, Walmart, Costco. These can range from $20 to $200. What is normally included in them are plastic tools and lots of gauze.  If this is what you’re looking for then be sure you know what it is your buying and don’t be surprised if the bag or kit you buy is half the size you thought it was.

Secondly, there are the trauma kits that are used in the EMS industry and they can go for $600 and up. These kits have lots of objects/devices that you won’t typically use in the home and business, such as things to open up the airway or more and more gauze.  They have great things in them as well but often need proper training to operate such devices.

Problems with these?

The biggest issue is too much gauze and not enough things that you actually need in a first aid kit. Most people are not trained on things you will find inside the kits which makes it hard for a person who actually cares about safety to be prepared.

If you’re going to build your own first aid kit there are a few things that should take priority in your kit.

Top Three Injuries That Occur At Home and Work.

Think of these things when building your trauma kit: What are the potential injuries that could occur during a normal day scenario? What would I need if this (natural disaster) occurred?

1. Sprains and Strains 

Sprains and strains makeup 40% of home and work injuries. Most trauma kits come with some sort of ice pack. They work decently but only last a short period and you need to be careful not to leave them on too long. Make sure your kit has something that can deal with the swelling, inflammation, and bruising. It’s also advisable to have something to keep a fracture from moving such as a moldable brace.

2. Bleeding

Have you gotten a paper cut? Even that tiny injury can create lots of pain for a person. Larger cuts and wounds occur every day and in your kit, there should be some sort of compress but not just gauze. Have I mentioned that EMS and first aid kits use way too much gauze? The issue is that it sticks to the wound and doesn’t promote healing. It’s much better to use non-adherent pads. They absorb blood better and it doesn’t peel off your scab every time you go to change the bandage. There are other products as well that can stop bleeding instantly. For more info click here.

3. Burns

Burns can really be a burden whether they are from the sun or from getting up close and personal with a fire. Most people place their burns underwater but it induces the risk of infection since tap water isn’t sterile. Is it better than nothing? yes, but we want the best. When looking through burn sprays and ointments realize that they typically just trap in the heat creating more damage. You need something that can pull out the heat. After testing dozens of sprays and gels we suggest Cool Blaze Burn Gel.

4. CPR

A fourth option we suggest in your kit (if you have had the proper training) is a good CPR mask. Some kits just come with mouth shields which don’t give you much protection when it comes to vomit and other such things. A good CPR mask is also helpful because when the EMS arrives they can take over right away with no delay by hooking their pump to your mask.

In Conclusion

Know what you are buying and why you are buying it. Don’t waste money on areas that aren’t necessary but don’t cheat yourself by paying for things cheap things that won’t actually help in an emergency situation. You may even consider getting a nice organized bag that is easily accessible through various pockets vs a backpack with everything just mixed together and hard to find.

Remember that it’s your training that will make the difference in any emergency situation. Disasters strike every day and it is up to you how much trauma it will cause in your life by being prepared or not.

Fall Protection Training: Educate Your Employees

Workplace fall protection should be at the top of your safety training priority list. Why?

workplace fall safety Utah

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) names falls as one of the top four construction hazards. Fall protection training can identify the risks to your employees, provide hands-on practice for preventing falls, and show employees how to rescue themselves or co-workers on the job.

It’s a Real Threat

In 2014, 261,930 workers missed one or more days of work due to injuries from falls that occurred on the job. Moreover, 798 workers died from workplace fall injuries. Fall injuries plague many types of industries, but especially construction, transportation, building maintenance, and material moving industries.

An estimated $70 billion is spent annually on medical costs and workers’ compensation as a result of fall injuries. Fall protection training is the first step toward reducing injury risks for your employees.

The ABCs of Fall Protection

Fall protection training includes intensive employee instruction on how to use a personal fall arrest system (PFAS). This system has three components that make up the ABCs of personal fall protection:

  • The anchorage connector
  • Body support
  • Connecting device

The anchor type used for your workers will vary based on industry and type of job site. The anchorage connector must be securely attached and capable of holding a sufficient amount of weight.

The body support system usually used in a PFAS is a harness. The harness is attached to the worker’s body and evenly distributes weight across the chest and thighs.

The connective device is usually a high-strength or retractable lanyard that connects to both the anchor and the body harness.

Learning how to install and use a PFAS is one of the key components of an effective training course.

Identify the Hazards

Every training program should also include an in-depth examination of the job site in question. Your company’s training team will identify the hazards your workers face when using equipment and carrying out their duties.

While some fall hazards may be obvious, sometimes only professionals can spot serious risks, such as assessing how other factors like scaffolding and ladders place your employees in danger.

Form a Plan — Save Lives

Once workers are fully trained and all hazards are addressed, a comprehensive fall protection plan will be instituted. Your employees will know how to execute procedures that mitigate risk and respond appropriately in the event of a fall.

It’s Your Legal Obligation

Taking steps to preventing falls makes your worksite safer, minimizes financial burden in the form of workers’ compensation and insurance claims, and fulfills your legal obligations. Whenever an employee’s working routine or the equipment used on the job site changes, make updates to the prevention plan and fill in the gaps with the right training.

You can depend on Shield-Safety for up-to-date information on actively preventing workplace injuries through fall protection training and response management plans. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for your business.

Do You Have a Family Emergency Plan?

A family emergency plan could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

family emergency plan

If you don’t have an official emergency response plan in place, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do all members of your family know what to do in the event of a fire or other natural disaster?
  • Does your family know where to meet outside the home if evacuation is necessary?
  • Do you know how you will communicate with your family if you are separated?

These are just a few of the questions your family emergency plan will answer. It’s time to start planning.

Assess the Risks

While everyone needs to prepare for certain emergencies, such as house fires, where you live will dictate your risk level for other types of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, wildfires, mudslides, tornadoes, hurricanes, and more.

It’s smart to form a family emergency plan tailored to the top three most likely disasters that could happen where you live.

Name an Out-of-Town Emergency Contact

First, it’s important to choose an out-of-town emergency contact person who is unlikely to be affected by the same natural disaster. Tell them you are using them for this role. Get their home and cell phone numbers and email address. If a natural disaster affects your region, local telephone lines will likely be tied up, but long-distance calls may go through. Or, email may be the best way to get in touch.

If your family members are separated in a disaster, they should each contact this person as soon as they can to confirm their safety.

Designate Two Meeting Places

You should designate one area close to your home or in your neighborhood for your family to meet in the event of a house fire. If the disaster has affected the entire neighborhood and you are forced to evacuate, make sure you have another local meeting place you can use as a backup option.

Learn How to Shut Off Utilities

Every responsible family member should know how to shut off the water, gas, and electricity to the entire home. Practice this task and keep tools near each switch if necessary.

Practice Evacuating Quickly

Each family member should know the procedure for leaving the home quickly. Practice fire drills and make sure each family member knows how to escape their bedroom and avoid smoke inhalation.

Practice your family’s disaster response evacuation plan — grab the emergency kit and drive your evacuation route. Make sure you have a backup route plotted on a map in case roads are blocked off.

Run through these drills at least twice per year to ensure your family’s preparedness.

Assemble an Emergency Kit

Make sure you have a family emergency kit to go along with each disaster scenario. Water, non-perishable food, flashlights, and a first-aid kit are just some of the items that should be included.

Interested in learning more about creating a family emergency plan? Trust Shield-Safety for guidance and find the supplies you need at our online store.

Protective Eyewear for the Workplace

Protective eyewear isn’t a fun accessory — it’s a necessity in some jobs. In industries like construction, manufacturing, mining, health care, and food service, protective eyewear prevents injury, keeping workers safe and on the job.

protective eyewear

Don’t underestimate the importance of outfitting your workers with the right gear — it benefits your entire company.

Eye Injuries Hurt Workers and Productivity

Every year, 300,000 Americans visit the emergency room because of a work-related eye injury. While the injury may be as mild as eye strain, it could also be the result of severe trauma.

Altogether, these eye injuries contribute to many lost workdays and significant financial payouts on the part of the employers for worker’s compensation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that businesses lose $300 million every year as a result of eye injuries.

So you can see that not using protective eyewear can be costly.

The Right Gear Can Help

The first step in a workplace prone to eye injury risk is to assess business practices. Identify the hazards that are causing the injuries, and try to eliminate as many risks as possible.

While risk mitigation is a key part of reducing the instance of all workplace injuries, the next step is to outfit all workers with the right protective eyewear. Also, keep the appropriate eyewash treatment on hand for emergencies.

Construction workers and auto technicians face dangers from flying metal shards, dust, nails, staples, and other debris. Welders could be exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Manufacturing workers may come into contact with dangerous chemicals. Health care workers may be exposed to infectious diseases.

The risks are many, but using protective eyewear such as safety goggles or eye shields can significantly reduce the chances of injury.

Promote a Culture of Safety

Even though it’s in their best interests, workers may not always use protective eye gear when it’s provided. The reasons may range from an uncomfortable fit to interference with regular eyeglasses. Also, workers may not realize the risks certain activities pose to their vision.

Beyond simply providing the right gear, employers must focus on creating a culture of workplace safety, which starts with information.

Teach your workers about the risks so they understand the reasons behind the need for using protective eyewear. Train them to reduce hazards on their own. Supervisors may also need to follow through and ensure each employee is using the appropriate eyewear for every task.

When employees are trained and responsible for their safety and the safety of their co-workers, you’ll see a reduction in eye injuries, and you’ll achieve an overall safer workplace.

Get the protective eyewear and the proper training from Shield-Safety — we can help with your effort to prevent workplace injuries.

Choosing an AED: What You Need to Know

Choosing an AED for your home or business is a big decision. You need to know which model is best suited for your purposes before you invest in one. Educate yourself first so you can save more lives.

AED

What Is an AED?

An automated external defibrillator administers electric shocks to a person’s heart when they have gone into cardiac arrest. It measures the heart’s rhythm and revives the muscle if needed.

During cardiac arrest, the heart is beating ineffectively and erratically. The organs quickly become deprived of blood and begin to shut down. Unless the heart’s rhythm is restored to normal, severe organ damage or death will occur.

By administering both CPR and attaching an AED to the victim’s chest, bystanders or emergency professionals can keep blood pumping to the vital organs, saving the person’s life.

Basic Modes and Features

Knowing what AED to get involves getting to know all the different types available, and which model has the modes and features you’re looking for.

AEDs come as either automatic or semiautomatic. With an automatic model, the unit senses when the electrical shock is needed and delivers it without any initiation from the bystander. A semiautomatic requires the bystander to press a button to administer the shock.

While each type has its advantages, if you’re looking for an option for a business or a home where emergency medical technicians with years of training aren’t going to be on hand, you’re probably better off choosing an AED that’s automatic.

Also, consider who will be using the AED. Some models come with adult-sized pads, but give you an option to purchase pads sized for children after the fact. If you aren’t likely to administer treatment to a child, this may not be a concern, but for schools, it’s definitely necessary.

Finally, consider where you’ll be using the AED. If you will be outdoors where the unit may be exposed to or have to operate in rough weather, consider purchasing a water-resistant machine.

Easy Operation Is Key

Regardless of which model you get, make sure that you can easily operate the AED. A complex process will only seem more difficult in times of stress and urgency. Some AED models will monitor your compressions and give you feedback on whether you are pushing hard and fast enough based on its readings of the heart rhythms, but consider getting official CPR training as well.

Battery Type and Maintenance

AEDs use different types of batteries, all with varied life expectancies. While emergency medical responders typically have rechargeable systems because they anticipate using them quite often, your model likely will have lithium-ion batteries that must be checked and replaced on a regular basis to ensure they’ll work when you need them to.

Choosing an AED isn’t the easiest task, but once you’ve found an option that is suited to your home or office, you’ll be satisfied you took the time and money to purchase a product that’s going to last and potentially save the lives of your co-workers, your loved ones or even you.

Safety Supplies You Need in the Office

Safety supplies help prevent and reduce the extent of injuries. They’re an essential component of any office, especially if your workplace activities put employees at risk of injury.

office safety kit

Here are five items to keep on hand in the workplace:

1. Flashlights

When you have a power outage at home, you can light candles or rely on your basement generator to kick in. In the office, you may not have a generator, and lighting candles is just another safety hazard that’s likely prohibited.

You need a large store of high-powered flashlights. Your phone’s flashlight won’t do for every occasion. When you’re gathering quality flashlights to add to your office safety supplies, don’t forget backup batteries if they’re not rechargeable.

2. First-Aid Kits

No matter what types of risks, if any, employees face while carrying out their day-to-day tasks, safety supplies should include multiple first aid kits.

First, make sure office first-aid kits have the components needed to deal with typical cuts and bruises. This might include bandages and cold packs.

Then consider compiling first-aid kits specifically designed to be useful in the event of more serious emergencies like tornadoes or fires. Burn dressings and splints may be smart additions.

3. Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is necessary for an office setting. Even if a microwave or coffee maker malfunction is the only fire threat, just a few sparks can translate to a whole-building fire.

Make sure all fire extinguishers are fully charged, and employees know where they are and how to use them.

4. Biohazard Kit

Biohazard cleanup kits include safety supplies needed to deal with blood-borne pathogens and bodily fluids. Disposing of this type of waste safely is key to keeping all employees safe from disease.

5. Safety Cones

Safety cones are helpful to warn people away from a spill or direct them around a cleaning project. They help mitigate slip hazards when they are effectively placed around the area in question.

Using safety cones is a good way to protect against employee injury and reduce the chances of worker’s compensation claims.

Why Are Safety Supplies Important?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict requirements for all employers when it comes to engendering a safe environment for workers.

Besides providing the proper training and education on injury prevention and emergency response, you must provide the right equipment for employees so they can follow the correct response tactics and guidelines.

Shield-Safety provides specialized training based on your industry and OSHA requirements and also offers a wide selection of safety supplies to outfit your office. View our online store today to purchase all the items you’re missing.