Category Archives: Our Blogs

Vehicle Safety Tips

Vehicle Safety Tips

Its road trip season! The Utah Department of Transportation considers the time between Memorial Day and Labor the most dangerous time to be on the roads because many of us are heading out for vacations, activities, long weekends, and fun. Stay safe out there with the following tips:

  1. Drive aware and offensively: We may sound like your driving instructor here but we’re going to say it anyway – keep your eyes on the road at all times. If you need to pull over to handle something, do that. Be prepared for issues and be aware of what’s going on the road. Watch signs and drive alert. Don’t drive drowsy or intoxicated.
  2. Keep your speed down: You’ve heard the phrase “arrive alive” and this means slowing down. We’re all anxious to get to our destinations and it’s tempting to speed. Avoid this, especially at rush hour times where emotions are tense for most drivers. Set a cruise control on long trips if that helps you maintain your speed.
  3. Have an escape route: When traffic is tight, try to have an out in case of an emergency. This may not always be possible, but it’s a goal to keep in mind and something to watch out for. Don’t get stuck between semitrucks, and don’t sit a car’s blind spot.
  4. Limit distractions: This one you already know, but it’s so important, it’s good to get a reminder. Don’t text and drive and don’t mess with the radio or reach around in the back seat for a lost binky or toy. Hang up the phone and keep focused on the important task of driving.
  5. Be aware of surroundings: This goes along with being alert, but take it a step further by paying special attention to your surroundings. Did the people pull over and you can’t figure out why? Look around, maybe an emergency vehicle is coming and you didn’t hear it. Maybe everyone stayed stopped at a light when it turned green. Be alert, maybe they see someone is flying through the intersection’s red light.
  6. Keep a first aid kit in the vehicle: You never know when an emergency will happen but it’s always good to be prepared. A vehicle-specific first aid kit will come in handy at some point, and when that moment arrives, you’ll be glad you have it.
  7. Keep an emergency kit in the vehicle: Like a first aid kit, a vehicle emergency kit will come in handy at some point. This kit should have jumper cables, basic tools, a flashlight, reflective triangles, and extra batteries at a minimum.
  8. Always wear a seatbelt and have children secured properly: Many deaths from car accidents occur because people were not properly restrained. Keep your seatbelt on and make sure your children have the proper restraint systems as well.
  9. Inspect equipment and tools and keep up on car maintenance: Invest in your car in a way that keeps you safe on the road. Keep current on oil changes, tire rotations, and other maintenance issues.

Stay safe on the road this summer and stop in to Shield-Safety for first aid and vehicle safety kits.

Medication Safety Basics

Medication Safety Basics

With so many medications available, it’s important to be aware of the risks of overdosing or harmful side effects. The CDC reports that about 82% of American adults take at least one medication daily. They estimate that about 1.3 million emergency department visits and 350,000 hospitalizations take place each year in the US due to adverse drug effects (ADEs). Americans also spend about $3.5 billion dollars on medical costs due to ADEs, and about 40% of those costs are thought to be preventable with proper drug administration practices. However, it’s likely ADEs will grow in the coming years because of the many new developments with medicines, the discovery of new uses for older medications, the increased use of medications for disease prevention and treatments, and the expansion of insurance coverage for prescription medications. While there is a lot of good that comes from proper medications, we still need to be careful and make sure we’re taking them as our doctor prescribes. This is especially true with opioids or narcotics. These may be necessary after a surgery or major injury, but they should never be prescribed or used for a long period of time due to dependence, addiction, and overdose risks. If you or someone you know has been taking a narcotic and you notice shifts in mood, that you’re taking more than you were prescribed, that you’re feeling sedated or high, or need too much or too little sleep, reach out to your doctor right away.

FDA Monitoring

The FDA has to approve any drugs sold in the US, and this includes over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs. The FDA evaluates the safety of a drug in addition to its effectiveness. The way they assess these factors is by looking at side effects, how the drug affects a medical condition, the way the drug is manufactured, and what the label says. This thorough check tells us that we can trust the drug will do what we want it to do but also provides us warnings and what to look for in case there’s a problem. The FDA also monitors the drug after the approval has taken place. When someone reports an ADE, health care providers and patients can report it on the FDA’s MedWatch website. Be sure you’re buying medications only from licensed pharmacies in the US and that you know how and to take your medications correctly.

Storing and Disposing of Medications

Always store medications appropriately and out of reach from little kids or from those that may take advantage of them. Some medications may even need to be locked away. If you have unused medicines at the end of your treatment, there are usually local places you can take them to for proper disposal. Some pharmacies have a mail-back program, but if you’re unsure, give your local police department a call and they’ll know how to handle is appropriately. Never sell your medications, and if you think you’ve had a narcotic or other potentially dangerous medication stolen, report it to your local police.

Safety First

Shield-Safety may not be a pharmacy, but we take safety seriously. We put educating the public about best practices on the top of our priority list. For the best in safety training and products, contact us today.

Safety at Home

Safety at Home

Our goal is to provide people with the confidence to respond to injuries effectively in the workplace and at home. Through our training programs and our wide range of products, our clients and customers walk away with valuable knowledge to get through emergency situations. Our workplace trainings include information on how to think safely outside of work as well as on the job, making us a critical resource for your employees and their families.

Home Safety Tips

There are few basics safety items to be aware of that often get overlooked in our busy day-to-day lives. Prevention is key. We recommend you check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors about one a month. Test them by holding down the test button for a few seconds, then wait for the alarm. If it doesn’t sound or it’s too quiet, replace the batteries and try again. You should have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and garage or next to a fireplace. We also recommend being ready for climate disasters. Have some ice melt tucked away to tackle slick spots and prevent falls, clear gutters in preparation for heavy rainfall and to avoid leaks in the home, and invest in a generator in the event of a long-term power failure.

For home structure safety, ensure you have handrails that are up to code, especially if you have small children or elderly people in the home or as frequent visitors. Add grip products to slippery surfaces for added security, and consider motion-sensor lighting for especially dark areas. Falls are common injuries, and you can help prevent them by removing hazards and providing these helpful tools. Also consider anchoring furniture that could topple over onto a child. Bookcases, dressers, and entertainment centers can be top heavy, and with the right leverage they can come down on a child easily. Avoid this by anchoring it to the wall right as you set it up.

We’ve heard many firefighters say that home fires frequently start with lint-filled dryer vents. Clean this about once a year and make sure you’re cleaning out the dryer lint trap every time you use it. Also avoid calling 911 by clearly marking toxic products such as cleaning supplies and paint products as well as medications. Keep hazardous products out of reach, and make sure your medicines are stored and labeled so that mistakenly taking the wrong item is not going to occur.

Prevention is the best practice, but since we’re only human, there are bound to be mistakes. Keep first aid kits stocked, current, and handy for a quick response to bodily injuries. Shield-Safety carries an impressive selection of first aid products, and we can help set up the best kit for your needs.

Proactive businesses owners will benefit by bringing us in for training of employees to provide invaluable information for your team. We discuss the importance of and provide the support tools necessary for safety at home in addition the safety on the job. This added attention shows each employee that you care about them even when they’re off the clock.

Safe Work Environments

Safe Work Environments

Create a safe work environment by providing your employees with important knowledge of safe practices and safe responses. Sometimes a person’s intervention is not the best choice in an emergency. Training your employees how to respond is critical, but when to respond is just as important. Your employees need to know how to administer basic first aid and the primary goals of first aid.

Goals of First Aid

The primary goals of first aid are to preserve life, prevent further injury, and promote recovery. It is NOT a medical treatment but rather a way to support an injured individual until professionals can arrive. Untrained employees should not attempt to do more than they know in an effort to help. Employees need to know how to assess the situation and know what to do in the moment. They will need to survey the situation for danger around the injured person as well as themselves or other staff members. If the scene is dangerous, it will not help to rush in and make rash decisions. They also need to be able to see the cause of the injury before they start to act. They should know when to move an injured person and when not to. Once they have assessed all these factors, then they can prepare to administer the basic first aid requirements. Part of first aid is trying to keep the injured person calm, which can’t be done if the first aid responder is not calm. Calling 911 needs to be done even if the employee thinks they can help. A bystander can call if they know what’s going on while another person administers the necessary first aid treatments. Some cases may not require 911 and basic first aid can handle the issue at hand, but when in doubt, don’t wait and don’t risk it.

Know Common Medical Conditions

Our training will help employees be able to recognize common medical conditions. These include seizures, shock, stroke, heart attacks, choking, and respiratory distress. Recognizing and understanding these different medical episodes will provide employees will important knowledge that will help them better assess how to respond.

Always be Proactive and Protect Yourself

In emergency situations, it’s easy for emotions to take over and for people to make rash decisions. Take a deep breath and remain calm. In some cases, you may need to wear protective equipment such as gloves, masks, face shields or goggles, or maybe even a disposable gown. If the scene is unsafe, don’t play the hero. This makes it harder for first responders, even if your intentions are good. Also, don’t let pride get in in the way. If someone on scene has more medical training than you do, let them take over. Keep the area clear instead and be the one that stays on the phone with emergency responders.

There are many ways to handle emergency situations. The more you know, the better you can respond. Provide your employees with as many beneficial tools as possible by implementing thorough, high-quality training. Contact Shield-Safety for all your training questions for the best selection of emergency products on the market.

Workplace Disasters Throughout US History – Part 2

Workplace Disasters Throughout US History – Part 2

If you thought our previous blog was interesting, keep on reading. Here are some more workplace disaster stories that have occurred throughout the US:

Scofield, Utah Mine Disaster

This story is likely one you’ve already heard before since it happened here in our backyard. The first day of May in 1900 was a terrible one for Winter Quarters coal mine and all of Carbon County. Black powder exploded unexpectedly in the No. 4 mine shaft. It ignited coal dust which helped spread the fire quickly to other parts of the mine. Some miners died immediately from the blast, many with their tools still in their hands when they were discovered. Many others died from asphyxiation from the toxic fumes. Some miners headed toward the source as a rescue effort and died from the gases, and others were stuck deep in the mine and couldn’t escape. Over 200 men were killed, and it took almost 20 minutes to get through the debris just to reach the entrance. One miner was blasted 820 feet away from the mine opening, showing how massive the impact was. Safety wasn’t a top priority at this time for coal mining, luckily this is no longer the case.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Another story you probably remember is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. In April 2010, a natural gas surge sparked an explosion in a newly installed concrete core. The natural gas traveled up to the platform and ignited, killing 11 people and injuring 17. Shortly after, on April 22, the rig capsized and sank. The result was the creation of the largest marine oil spill in history. US government officials estimated the leak to have peaked at about 60,000 barrels of spilled oil each day, forming a slick that extended over 57,000 square miles and polluting over 1,100 miles of shoreline. It took about 3 months to stop the flow of oil.

Collapse of Pemberton Mill

January of 1860 was devastating for Lawrence, Massachusetts residents. The tragedy started off with textile workers at the Pemberton Mill hearing odd rattling noises then a massive and long crashing sound. A part of the building’s wall buckled and exploded causing the mill to collapse in seconds. Machinery weighing tons fell through the floors, bringing terrified workers with it. The Boston Journal reported that the collapse formed at 50-foot-high pyramid of debris. Almost the entire community rushed to the site to help the hundreds of workers, which included many women and children. Over 140 people were killed and about 300 more were severely injured. The mill has been completely rebuilt and still stands today.

Accidents on the job can and do happen. Tragedies like these are not common occurrences, but our goal is to prevent them at all costs. Proper training for your employees and keeping in compliance with rules and regulations are must-dos for all businesses in order to stay as safe as possible. Shield-Safety is Utah’s leading resource for the most up-to-date and applicable workplace training.

Workplace Disasters Throughout US History – Part 1

Workplace Disasters Throughout US History – Part 1

Feeling safe on the job is critical, and it’s an employer’s responsibility to ensure their employees are up to date on applicable trainings for their position and duties. Today, safety is generally taken seriously in the country and most businesses do a great job to keep their staff safe. If your business needs safety training or assistance related to safety in the workplace, Shield-Safety is ready to deliver. Accidents unfortunately do happen, no matter how much training we do. Here are some of the most tragic workplace disasters that have happened in the US:

Explosion at a Texas Fertilizer Company

In April of 2013, West Fertilizer Company reported a fire inside their West, Texas plant. Emergency crews showed up and as they frantically fought to contain the flames, the unit exploded. The ammonium nitrate explosion killed 15 people, including first responders and volunteers. More than 200 people were injured and hundreds of buildings and homes were damaged or destroyed. The blast also left a 93-foot-wide crater. Experts said the explosive force was equivalent to about 8 tons of TNT and a magnitude 2.1 earthquake. About a month later, investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives showed the fire was deliberately set as a “criminal act.” The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board called it “one of the most destructive incidents ever investigated” by the board.

SS Grandcamp Explosion and Fire

It seems fertilizer in April in Texas was a bad combination. In April of 1947, an explosion in Texas City that was sparked by a fire on the SS Grandcamp, a French-owned ship, rocked the area. Crews were finishing loading ammonium nitrate fertilizer when they noticed smoke in the cargo area where 2,300 tons of fertilizer was stored. Crews attempted to snuff out the fire, but they were unsuccessful. The massive explosion was heard over 150 miles away, and a mushroom cloud shot up 2,000 feet in the sky, destroying two small planes passing over. The SS High Flyer, a nearby ship carrying sulfur, also caught fire and exploded. The chain of fires caused crude oil tankers to burn for days. More than 2,000 homes were destroyed, a 15-foot tidal wave was set off, and between 400 and 600 people were killed with more than 4,000 injured.

Molasses Flood in Massachusetts

Slow as molasses was not applicable to this event. In January of 1919, a giant tank of molasses broke open in northern Boston. Over two million gallons came gushing down the streets at 35 miles per hour like a huge sticky tsunami wave. Twenty-one people were killed and over 150 more were injured. It may seem like a silly story at first, but the results were devastating. Theories about how the tank burst started circulating, some thought the molasses fermented and caused too much pressure. Some thought anarchists set up a bomb. The trial lasted for years and included thousands of witnesses, creating over 20,000 pages of conflicting statements. More recent investigations, however, discovered the tank was flawed. It took decades for the smell of molasses to dissipate.

Check out our next blog for more interesting stories.

4 Ways MSM Can Help You

4 Ways MSM Can Help You

Many Americans suffer from consistent ailments throughout their lifetime. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a chemical found naturally throughout the planet that can be used for a number of troublesome issues. Organosulfur compounds are found in the foods we eat, but it’s rarely enough to give us what we need. Here are four big reasons we suggest getting some of this creamy golden goodness:

Arthritic Relief

MSM has an anti-inflammatory effect and is full of antioxidants. Sulphur is a main component of the cream, and it plays an important role in the making of glucosamine and collagen—both of which are crucial for healthy joints and bones. Sulphur also aids in the production of immunoglobulins, which support your body’s immune system. This cream can be a dream for those suffering from arthritic pain. Apply the oil-free lotion to your joints throughout the day and/or you can add tablets to you supplement regimen.

Smooth Out Dry Skin

Dry skin may not necessarily be painful, but MSM can still help out with the effects of dry skin. Wrinkles and other signs of aging are typically caused by dry skin, which is where MSM comes in. MSM improves skin elasticity and hydration, resulting in smoother, firmer skin. This is a plus for anyone of any age. MSM is so effective, it soothes excessively dry skin that is irritating and itchy. It also decreases the breakdown of collage beneath the skin, helping your skin stay healthy for longer. If your feet or fingers crack in the cold winter months, you’ll want to try out our MSM lotion.

Tackle Uncomfortable Eczema

MSM is often called a skincare miracle. If you suffer for eczema, it’s worth it to give MSM a try. It’s common for eczema to flare up in the winter around Utah when it’s especially dry and cold, so strengthen your skin barrier with MSM cream particularly right now. The ingredients in this cream physically locks in the moisture that your skin desperately needs, creating a better natural barrier from the harsh winter cold. If you have sensitive skin or eczema on your face, this product is completely free of harmful ingredients and safe for application on your face and neck and around your eyes.

Treat Painful Shingles

Shingles can be extremely painful. With MSM lotions and/or tablets, you can alleviate the symptoms of shingles with their healing effects. You don’t have to worry about applying too much, studies have not shown any detrimental effects of MSM even when applied liberally. For tablets, be sure to read the label to ensure you’re taking the correct amount. Many people suffering from shingles struggled to find any relief from the painful rash until they tried MSM.

The FDA has placed MSM into the GRAS category meaning it’s “generally recognized as safe.” Many people use MSM to help with sunburns, stretch marks, gout, muscle cramps, and even PMS symptoms in addition to the ailments mentioned above. We carry MSM tablets, water drops, creams, and lotions, and our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may have regarding MSM products.

New Year, New Skills

New Year, New Skills

This time of year is filled with motivation for progress and improvement. Training in important life-saving measures is a great addition to you 2022 goal setting session for your business. If safety and injury training has been on your to-do list, don’t wait any longer to check it off. Shield-Safety is the best resource for safety courses to meet and exceed business standards.

Injury Treatment and First Aid Training

Sign up for our Injury Treatment training course for the most up to date training available in Utah. This class goes beyond the basics and includes valuable information on how to apply first aid care outside the workplace as well as inside. You can cut back on downtime at the workplace with the knowledge gained from this class, and your employees will be additionally protected with the useful skills learned for outside the office. You can customize a class to include workers’ families to optimize safety for your employees and show them you care about them even when they’re not on the clock.

We often hear employees groan about safety trainings, but with our programs, our expertise and no-fluff information is so valuable, employees quickly change their tune and are eager to attend the classes. Learn how to stop bleeding, minimize swelling from sprains, wrap injuries correctly, detect fractures without an X-ray and much more at our unique classes. Often, the skills gained in our trainings is so extensive, you can skip ER visits and save thousands of dollars.

CPR/AED/Choking Training

CPR and AED Training is indispensable for most businesses. These courses are taught through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association and will teach your employees how to recognize breathing and cardiac emergencies as well as a variety of basic first aid care. You can gear the class toward adults only or add in care and emergency response for babies and children as well. Choking training will also be addressed with these trainings. AED certification is more specialized and should only be handled by a responsible, committed employee that will stay up on the trainings and know how to operate AED machines. Here at Shield-Safety, we take AED machines seriously and have options for your specific needs, so be sure to ask us questions on which machine is the best for your office.

OSHA Required Training

OSHA regulations are strict, so you need to ensure your business is compliant. We offer all the required training courses and encourage businesses to assess the safety of their workplace and possibly get a free consultation with OSHA to make sure you’re being thorough. It’s a business owners’ job to be aware of any risks or hazards at the workplace and to provide the necessary training for their employees.

Customized Training

Shield-Safety offers customized trainings to meet any need of any business. It’s important to tailor your safety trainings to your specific workplace, and it’s important to make sure what you’re teaching is accurate and current information. If your business needs a refresher on any safety topic, call us today to get started.

4 Tips for Safety in the Backcountry

4 Tips for Safety in the Backcountry

Winter sports are popular in Utah—after all, we do have the greatest snow on Earth (once it finally arrives). When our beautiful mountains show off their incredible blankets of white, powdery snow, it’s hard for anyone to resist going up there to explore. Whether you ski, snowboard, snowshoe, snowmobile, or ice fish, being safe in the snow is crucial. Avalanches are a real danger throughout the state, and you must be prepared. Here are four safety precautions we recommend for anyone planning to adventure the great outdoors in Utah’s incredible backcountry.

Check the Forecast

First and foremost, you want to stay on top of the weather forecast. Check snow reports and avalanche danger ratings where you are headed before you go out. And don’t let your bravery push you to do something hazardous. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a good place to check for accurate forecasts. In the winter of 2020-2021, there were 37 avalanche-related deaths in the U.S., which was the deadliest in a decade. Avalanche warning signs include evidence of previous slides, cracks forming in the snow around you, strong winds or blowing snow, heavy snowfall (or rainfall) in the last 24 hours, and rapidly increasing temperatures.

Arm Yourself with the Proper Gear

We know it’s expensive, but quality gear is the only way to go when your life is on the line. Exploring back country terrain requires a pack with a beacon, shovel, probe, avalanche airbag, first aid kit, and an emergency communication device. Prepare yourself with the right tools in case an accident does occur. The right tools truly can save your life.

Train Yourself

For hard-core backcountry lovers, proper training is a must. You’ll need to know the technical skills required to navigate intense conditions. You’ll need to be prepared with quick decision-making skills in an emergency situation, how to administer first-aid on yourself and others, danger zones to look out for, and how to assess varying risks. Even the most confident of explorers need safety trainings and refreshers on proper response methods.

Map it Out and Communicate

Before your adventure, chart out your terrain with a GPS device or a map. A great mapping resource is CalTopo which allows you to personalize and categorize the different paths you plan to take. Tell someone where you are planning to be, or even better, give them a map with your written path to be extra safe. Plan out an estimated timeframe so they know when to watch for your arrival. This step may seem overkill, but by providing these details, search and rescue teams can be far more effective if they’re needed.

It’s fun to live life with a bit of a risk, but only if it’s not life threatening. Excitement comes in all forms, and you can still have a thrilling time while being safe. In the winter backcountry of Utah, stay out of harms way and follow the rules. On the ski slopes, stay in bounds, and remember not to put any one in danger by being careless.

Continuing Covid Care

Continuing Covid Care

Like you, we were hoping to be done talking about Covid concerns at this point in time. But with variants and concerns still out there, it’s something we’ll likely need to be aware of for a very long time. To navigate Covid realistically, you need to be proactive, have effective products and options, and be mindful of safety practices. We already are familiar with many of the procedures for handling Covid safely on our own, but with winter arriving, a refresher is probably a good idea.

Face coverings

The best defense from Covid-19, and other air-borne viruses/diseases is a proper face mask. N95 masks are still considered the best option for preventing contraction of covid, and you can find them at Shield-Safety. Surgical masks are also great options for daily use, and so are face shields when paired with a mask of any kind. If you opt for reusable, cloth masks make sure they are multi layered and you keep on top of daily washings. If you need a mask all day and want to stick with cloth, bring a few with you and switch them out every few hours, then wash them all when you get home. It’s important not to touch your masks and reuse them throughout the day because covid particles can sit on mask surfaces for hours.

Sanitization

Last year at this time, sanitizing wipes, sprays, and gels were hard to find. This year, they’re more easily accessible but just as important to get. Wipes are great to have in the home to help prevent Covid and other sicknesses that are prevalent in the winter in Utah. It’s a good idea to routinely wipe down doorknobs, light switches, railings, cabinet pulls, and any other areas in your home that gets constant touching. You may also want to keep a sanitizer spray in common areas of your home and give it a spray down from time to time.

Sanitization should also be done on the go. Get hand sanitizers and sanitizing gels for after visiting public spaces, keeping them in convenient spaces in the car or a purse. Hand sanitizers are found at our store, and you can get sprays or wipes from us as well.

Check Temperatures

A common sign of Covid, and other illnesses, is a fever. There are a lot of thermometers on the market, but they’re no good if they’re not accurate and reliable. Opting for a quality no-contact infrared thermometer is a good solution for the home or for a business that requires temperature checks on employees or clients.

This winter with family gatherings and fun events, monitor your health and be aware of your surroundings. Stay home if you’re feeling sick and take whatever precautions you can to maintain your safety. Here at Shield-Safety, your well being is our top priority. Come in today to see a wide variety of products to keep you and your family safe. We also offer training and specialized first-aid kits for any need. Don’t put your safety in anyone’s hands; visit Shield-Safety today.

Winter Safety Concerns – Part 2

Winter Safety Concerns

Hopefully you read our previous blog about winter safety tips. This blog continues the discussion on enjoying the holidays to the fullest. Here are some more recommendations for being prepared for anything this winter in Utah:

Sledding, Skiing, Snowboarding

These activities are amazing in Utah—after all, we have the greatest snow on earth. Enjoy your powdery playground by always wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding, staying on the trails, and having a first-aid kit in your pack. If you’re a backcountry skier, you will want added protections such as an avalanche beacon and airbag, and a small shovel and probe. If you’re stuck in an avalanche, ditch your gear and try to “swim” to the surface. If you’re sledding, do so in an open space away from cars. Make sure nobody is standing at the bottom of the hill where you will be coming down and be aware of your surroundings.

Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow is actually a really decent workout. The National Safety Council states: “high levels of activity in cold temperatures put many people at risk of heart attack, especially those that have inactive lifestyles.” Take it easy, and if you get winded, take a break. You’ll also want a quick stretch before you shovel and push the snow rather than lift it. If you have a snowblower, make sure you keep your hands away from moving parts, be aware of carbon monoxide if you’re in an enclosed space, and never leave it unattended. Watch your step at all times—trips and slips can lead to a holiday-wrecking fall.

Illnesses

‘Tis the season for colds and flus. We’re already maxed out with concern about covid, but the wintertime also a concern for the seasonal flu. Get your flu shot and take care of your immune system with supplements and eating healthy. If you’re sick, stay home, and wear a mask whenever possible. N95 masks are still considered the most effective, so if you’re higher risk or just want some added protection, keep some on hand for potential high-traffic settings.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is a risk at any time, but it’s amped up a little in the winter because many people may bring outside cooking or warming sources inside. The best thing to do is to get carbon monoxide detectors and install them low to the floor by bedrooms or main living areas. During power outages, it’s especially important to watch carbon monoxide levels in your home if you’re trying to keep it warm in other ways. You’ll also want to check your furnace to ensure it’s working optimally.

Slips and Falls

Ice and people don’t mix unless you are Michelle Kwan. Be aware of where you are stepping and steer clear of shiny areas on the ground. Seek out handrails on steps and wear appropriate footwear for the weather. If you do slip or fall, try to roll with the fall and relax as much as possible.

Winter is a magical time in Utah. Our state is covered in a sparkly white layer that creates a beautiful brightness for much of the season. Enjoy it by visiting Shield-Safety today to get all your emergency supplies so that you’re prepared with a less-stressed holiday season.

Winter Safety Concerns – Part 1

Winter Safety Concerns – Part 1

As the cold weather approaches, there are some risks we all need to be aware of. To enjoy the holidays to the fullest, we need to be a little extra mindful about a few things. Be prepared for the winter season with the following recommendations:

Safe Driving

Driving on slick roads is hazardous. Utah sees the highest number of crashes on average between the months of October and December, but December is notably the highest. Stay safe by slowing down and being patient while in traffic. Check your tires and ensure you have plenty of tread for the entire season. Drive without distractions (put away that phone) and be sure to pay extra attention to the shoulders and emergency lanes. Only pass other drivers with precaution and when it’s safe, and never pass snowplows on the freeways. It’s also a good idea to always keep your vehicle’s gas above a quarter tank and to have an emergency kit with blankets, food, first aid, and road assistance items in your vehicle.

Frostbite and Hypothermia

Frostbite and hypothermia need immediate treatment. Mild frostbite can be treated on the spot or at home with proper first-aid care. Quickly warm the skin in warm water for about 20 minutes, and you can offer oral pain medications if the rewarming is painful. Protect any damaged areas by lightly wrapping them with gauze. If it’s extensive or severe, you should take the person to the emergency room.

If you suspect someone has hypothermia, treat them quickly but very gently. If the hypothermia is extreme or they’re in shock, call on emergency services. While you’re waiting for medical care to arrive of if it’s mild, carefully move them out of the cold, remove any wet clothing, cover them with blankets, and monitor their breathing. If you have a warm drink, try to get them to take a little.

Holiday Safety Concerns

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there is a lot that goes on. From parties to traveling to ski vacations, risks are all over. You also have mental health to consider. The holidays can be hard for people who have family or friends all around and for those that are alone. Come up with a list of supportive and healthy practices to ensure you have a positive holiday, whatever that looks like for you.

When it comes to travel, allow for extra time, and be prepared for delays. Don’t drink and drive, no matter how important it is to get to the next party or event—this is never worth the risk. One hazard people may not think about with the holidays is decorating. You may be surprised to hear that well over 12,000 people get injured each year in the US putting up Christmas decorations. Ladders, attics, fireplaces, and live trees can be recipes for disaster if we’re not being mindful. Watch those fires and candles, don’t put up lights in the freezing cold on icy ground, and make sure your live tree is well watered so it doesn’t become a fire hazard.

Check out our next blog for other winter safety recommendations.

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.