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Understanding the different types of hard hats

Har hats are designed to protect one of the most important parts of the human body. But did you know that there are different types and classes of hard hats. Make sure that you are using the right class of hard hat for the job.

The American National Standards Institute ANSI has put together a list to help ensure you have the right protection for the job.

ANSI Types of Hard Hats

According to ANSI Z89.1 all hard hats can be divided into two types. Type I and Type II.

  • Type I: Have a full brim around the entire hat. These are only mean to to protect workers from object blows that come from above and strike the top of the helmet.
  • Type II Have a short brim only in front. These hard hats are designed to offer protection from lateral blows and objects. This includes front and back, and side as well as top. These hard hats are also test for off-center penetration resistance and chin strap retention. Type II are the most commonly found hard hat in use.

ANSI Classes of Hard Hats

Hard Hats are also divided into classes to indicate how well they protect against shock.

  • Class E (Electrical) Can withstand up to 20,000 volts of electricity
  • Class G (General) Can withstand up to 2,200 colts of electricity
  • Class C (Conductive) These offer no protection from electric shock

Materials & Suspension

Most hard hats are made of non-conductive, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and come equipped with a suspension that can be adjusted for a custom fit. Suspensions are available with 4, 6, or 8 load-bearing points and can be fitted using several different types of adjustments. The most common are pinlock, where the hard hat is removed and a pin is matched to a corresponding hole, and ratchet, which uses a knob to tighten or loosen the suspension’s fit around the head while wearing the hard hat.

Styles

When considering tasks and situations, hard hats are available in different styles. Cap hard hats have a short front brim that helps to shade the face from the sun and keeps rain away from the eyes. Some cap hard hats can also be worn backwards so the front brim is over the back of the neck. Full brim styles feature a brim that goes around the entire cap and shades the face, back of the neck, and ears. The full brim can also help to channel rain and snow away from the face and head.


Avoid Occupational Back Injuries

Safety First

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers experience back injuries each year. One fourth of all workers compensation indemnity claims are a result of back injuries. Low back pain is one of the most common reason that people miss work, second only to the common cold. In America, we spend more than $100 billion annually in medical bills, disability and lost productivity at work from back injuries and illnesses. More importantly, this problem causes unnecessary discomfort and pain to workers which can have a devastating effect on their lifestyle and ability to work. A BLS survey shows that 75% of back injuries occurred while performing lifting tasks, which underscores the importance of reducing back injuries caused by lifting.

Work Smart

Always warm – Up your back and legs before performing any lifting task! We are ALL athletes in life, so we need to warm-up our body to improve performance and to reduce risk of injury. It’s important to prepare your body for work.

Low Back Rotation Stretch – Stand with hands on hips. Stabilizing the hips and legs, gently roll your upper body forward, right, backward, and left to stretch your lower back. Perform 5 slow circles gradually expanding the circle each time. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Hamstring & Achilles Stretch – Position your body with one leg forward and the toes of that foot raised up. Keep your back straight while you bend forward at the waist. You should feel a stretch in the back of your thigh and knee. Then shift your weight onto your forward leg and bend knee, keep the back leg straight and heel on floor. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds. Perform each stretch 2 times for each leg.

Before You Lift

  • Know what you are lifting and how you will lift it.
  • Be aware of the weight of the object.
  • Determine whether or not it’s safe to lift on your own.
  • Make sure the work area is flat, dry and clear of debris. CHECK YOUR PATHWAY
  • Make sure the lift pathway is clear .
  • Remove any tripping hazards or debris.
  • Check for any wet or slick surfaces.

USE ERGONOMIC EQUIPMENT

  • Use lift assists, forklift, dolly, cart, hand truck or hoist .
  • Make sure you are trained before using the equipment.

GET HELP WHEN NEEDED

  • When lifting awkward or heavy loads, utilize a two person lift .
  • Make sure you lift at the same time and keep the load level. WEAR PROPER PPE
  • Wear proper required protective shoes and gloves.

Contact Green Guard today to help you with you safety and PPE needs.


5 tips to keep your eyes safe!

As reported by Niosh, 2000 eye injuries occur everyday at work in the U.S.

Construction workers have one of the highest eye injury rates.

Most common are particles of dust, metal, wood, slag, drywall, cement etc. are the most common source of eye injury to carpenters.

Even “minor” eye injuries can cause life-long vision problems and suffering–a simple scratch from sawdust, cement, or drywall can cause corneal erosion that is recurrenly painful.

Hammering on metal which gives off metal slivers and the rebounding of the ordinary nail are two of the most common causes of vision loss in construction workers.

1. Understand Potential Eye Hazard Examples

  • Hammering, grinding, sanding, and masonry work that may produce particles
  • Handling chemicals may lead to splashes in the eye
  • Wet or powdered cement in the eye can cause a chemical burn.
  • Welding leads to exposure to arcs and flashes (intense UV radiation) for welders, helpers, and bystanders
  • Dusty or windy conditions can lead to particles in the eye
  • Eye injuries can result from simply passing through an area where work is being performed
  • Coworkers around or above you may generate the hazard

2. Find the Z87 marking on your safety glasses.

 

Safety eye and face protection includes non-prescription and prescription safety glasses, clear or tinted goggles, faceshields, welding helmets, and some full-face type respirators that meet the ANSI Z87.1 Eye and Face Protection Standard

The safety eyewear must have “Z87” or “Z87+” marked on the frame and in some cases the lens

Goggles are stronger than safety glasses

Goggles are used for higher impact protection, greater particle protection, chemical splashes, and welding light protection

Goggles for splash or high dust protection should have indirect venting

Goggles with direct venting (a mesh of small holes around the sides) tend to fog less, but should not be used with liquid or fine dust hazards

Common tasks: sawing, chipping, grinding, masonry work, using a nail gun, pouring cement, and working with chemicals

When goggles are used for welding make sure they are the proper shade # (the shade number is marked on the lens and shows how dark the lens is)

3. When should you use a face shield?

Faceshields are used for even higher impact protection and to protect the wearer’s face in addition to the eyes

Faceshields should always be used over safety glasses or goggles

Particles or chemicals can easily go around a faceshield and the curve of the faceshield can direct them into the eye

Faceshields are frequently lifted leaving the eyes unprotected without the safety glasses or goggles

Common tasks: spraying, chipping, grinding

4. If safety glasses look, cool people are more likely to wear them.

Safety glasses have hard or soft nose pieces, padded temples, and a variety of other features that improve comfort without adding great cost

Safety glasses come in many styles from the Buddy Holly heavy frames, to the old visitor specs, frameless lens, frames with football logos, aviator metal frames, and the most stylish wraparound glasses

Tinted safety glasses are now common that rival the most expensive commercial sunglasses but cost much less and are safer

What are the lenses made of in your safety glasses?

Most non-prescription ( plano ) safety glasses have polycarbonate lenses

The non-prescription safety glasses are tested by shooting a 1/4″ BB at 100mph at the lens and dropping a 1 lb pointed weight from 4′ on the lens–if it breaks in either test it won’t have the Z87 mark

Prescription safety glasses may have polycarbonate, glass, or a plastic called CR39 but these glasses only have to pass a test of dropping a 2oz steel ball from 4′ unless they are marked Z87+; then they must pass the high velocity/impact tests

Polycarbonate lenses are much more impact resistant than glass or plastic lenses. Glass and plastic lenses usually shatter into small sharp pieces, but polycarbonate usually just cracks

Are your safety glasses scratched?

Polycarbonate lenses scratch easier than other lenses, but new anti-scratch coatings help if the glasses are cared for properly

Wear an eyewear retainer strap that will let the glasses hang around your neck when not in use instead of laying them down on the job

Store them in an old sock before they are tossed into a tool chest or the seat of a car or pickup

Use a glasses cleaning station or wash and wipe with a soft clean cloth (old T-shirts work fine, but the sweaty shirt that you’re wearing may have as much drywall dust as your safety glasses, creating a muddy mess on the lenses by day’s end)

When do you take your safety glasses off?

When finished with a tool or specific task–but what’s going on around you?

At your break–but are there still hazards around you from other workers?

At the end of the day, but while still on the job site–a carpenter took his glasses and tool belt off and left them on the roof at the end of the day; while climbing down the ladder he lost an eye from a coworker dropping pliers on him from above

As you leave the site and are out of the hazard zone

5. What do you do to stop your safety glasses from fogging?

Buy safety glasses that have anti-fog coatings put on during manufacturing

Use anti-fog solutions on the lenses regularly, if needed

Wear a sweat band on your forehead or a cool rag in your hard hat

Keep the lenses clean and unscratched.

If you need help deciding, contact Green Guard today!

 

 

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Importance of Gloves in the Workplace

Hand injuries, including injury to fingernails and fingers, are often written off as first-aid usage and near-misses. Many workers consider the use of gloves hard to comply with and unnecessary. Yet, more varieties of gloves for broader purposes exist than ever before – cut-resistant, chemical protective, electrically-rated, infection control, just to name a few. Carefully identifying the need, then selecting a glove with the appropriate performance parameters can prevent many injuries.

Back in the ‘old days’ People considered it a sign of toughness not to wear gloves. Most never considered wearing gloves to keep a better grip on tools, prevent knuckle busters and burns, or just keep my hands clean. In my teens and twenties, I would have been laughed at for wearing gloves. Now watching shows like Orange County Chopper, Monster Garage, and Pimp My Ride you see these master mechanics wearing gloves.

Gloves can make your job easier and safer. Choosing the correct glove for the job is a critical decision in preventing injuries while maintaining a grip on the situation. Identify the hazard and then evaluate the required characteristics for a glove. Hazards can range from heat, flames, sparks, sharp object electrical energy, and chemicals.

Identify the hazards that could injure hands in this week’s discussion. List the characteristics required in each case and check your inventory to see if you have the proper gloves. Gloves are considered PPE and are the last line of defense in preventing injuries. Wear them every time. Remember that prevention is the key to a workplace where Nobody Gets Hurt.

OSHA 1910.138(a)

General requirements. Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees’ hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.

OSHA 1910.138(b)

Selection. Employers shall base the selection of the appropriate hand protection on an evaluation of the performance characteristics of the hand protection relative to the task(s) to be performed, conditions present, duration of use, and the hazards and potential hazards identified.

Contact Green Guard for a free consultation.