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Safer Healthier Workers

Selected Category: Personal Protective Equipment

PPE-Info Database

Categories: Personal Protective Equipment, Respirators

 

“When you purchase a product, you expect it to work. Construction workers on high-rise buildings need to be confident that their safety harnesses will protect them in a fall. Firefighters need to know that their gloves and other protective equipment can withstand high temperatures. Healthcare workers administering highly toxic chemotherapy agents need to know that their gloves will withstand penetration.” [H. Cohen and C. Liverman, Editors, Certifying Personal Protective Technologies Improving Worker Safety, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2011].

How do you know if your personal protective equipment (PPE) will protect you or your workers? To help employers, users of PPE, and others determine which PPE standards must be met by their equipment, NIOSH in collaboration with key partners including the International Safety Equipment Association, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and other members of the PPE Conformity Assessment Working Group[1] developed the PPE-INFO database.

Healthy Vision Month

Categories: Observances, Personal Protective Equipment

 

visionNIOSH is excited to partner with the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute (NEI) to help promote Healthy Vision Month! Every May, the NEI empowers Americans to make their eye health a priority and educates them about steps they can take to protect their vision. For more on NEI’s Healthy Vision Month campaign, visit their website.

Safe and healthy vision is an important topic for just about everyone, but has particular significance in the context of work. The workplace and the type of work we do have a critical influence on eye safety and overall health. While workers have a vested interest in safeguarding their eyes, employers have a legal and ethical responsibility to keep workers safe from hazards, including those that may impact vision. Every day, about 2,000 US workers receive medical treatment because of eye injuries sustained at work. The most common causes of these injuries include: small particles or objects striking the eye, blunt force trauma, chemical burns, and thermal burns. Some workers are at an additional risk of exposure to infectious disease transmissible through the mucous membranes of the eye as a result of exposure to droplets of blood and other body fluids or other contact. Poorly organized, designed or maintained workplaces can also put workers at risk of eye injury. Inadequate lighting that impacts sight and poor or declining vision can also contribute to many types of work-related injuries, including traffic incidents and slips, trips, or falls.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Personal Protective Equipment, Transportation

 

When your safety and your life depends on it, you need your equipment to fit properly. This is especially true in the workplace. Improper fit may prevent workers from performing their job duties safely and effectively. If your respirator does not seal properly to your face, if your gloves are too big, if your seatbelt cannot buckle with your safety gear on . . . you get the picture.

Anthropometry is the science of defining human body dimensions and physical characteristics. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts anthropometric research to prevent work-related injuries and deaths by studying how work spaces and equipment fit today’s diverse worker population. This includes the fit of machines, vehicles, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Much of the available data were collected in the 1950s and 1970s from military personnel and the general population from that era. These decades-old data do not represent, on average and collectively, the sizes and body types of today’s workers, who are much more diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity. NIOSH research has shown workers have unique shapes and sizes for specific occupations.

N95 Day 2015: The tools to build a culture of proper respiratory protection practices

Categories: Healthcare, Observances, Personal Protective Equipment, Respirators

 

Every day is a day to think about worker safety. But today, on our annual N95 Day (09/04/2015), we embrace our dedication to proper respiratory protection practices, shining it with a bit of elbow grease, and displaying it at the very front line of our priorities. Today we find the time necessary to focus on respiratory protection and make sure that we are tuned into the best resources available. Whether you are participating today as an N95 user who understands the benefit of learning about your respirator, as a dedicated respiratory protection program manager, or safety manager determined to create a workplace culture that embraces proper respiratory protection practices – we are here to provide you with the tools you need.

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