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A safety program can’t be everything to everyone, but that should still be the goal.

In most organizations, a safety program has many masters. Each silo and function have safety needs that should be addressed. Management wants results that enable the organization to compete and/or benchmark favorably. Legal wants specific rules and procedures to limit liability if serious injuries or damage occur. HR wants clear guidelines for hiring and onboarding new employees, and fair disciplinary policies for violators of safety rules. The safety professional or department wants support from leaders and cooperation from supervisors to reinforce the desired safety behaviors.

Supervisors want clear roles and responsibilities for their contribution to safety and clarity on the priority of safety in relation to productivity. Workers want sufficient training, clear expectations and available assistance in safety when needed. Many organizations have other groups with special needs and wants.

It is difficult for a safety program to be everything to everyone, but that should be the goal. A common complication to achieving this goal is that safety program modifications made for one part of the organization have negative impacts on other parts. These changes are often done with good intentions and the negative impact is not anticipated or addressed.

To avoid such complications, it is necessary to strategically design safety to anticipate how each change will impact other parts of the organization.


The most common problem leaders make for others centers around giving priority to production over safety. A major oil company had 34 production charts and one safety chart posted at locations, yet leaders regularly stated that safety was the number one priority. The charts disagreed with the dialogue.
Another manager decided he should demonstrate his dedication to safety, and one of his chosen actions was to call everyone who had an accident or near miss into his office and discuss the event and look for lessons learned. In the manager’s mind this would send a message that safety had management support and he thought he was being successful as the number of events decreased. The reality was that workers were fearful to report accidents as they viewed the interview as being “called on the carpet” and was to be avoided at all costs.


A chemical company recently had three serious injuries within six weeks. The legal department pressed the leadership team to take immediate and strong action to prevent any more serious injuries. The leaders put together a team with members from safety and legal, which decided to make rules and procedures more specific. The idea was to create clarity, but the result was just the opposite. One- and two-page procedures with common terminology were replaced with 20-40-page procedures with legal and technical terminology. The rewriting of procedures was not limited to the ones that had failed, but even the most effective procedures which had prevented injuries for years were replaced with the new, more complex procedures.

When workers in the field requested help to understand the new procedures, they were told there were not enough team members who had written the procedures to get to all the business units in a timely manner. When they then requested a one-page synopsis of each of these longer procedures, legal refused to provide them because they feared such a document could undo the protection from exposure that the longer document provided.


The VP of HR at the company with the three serious injuries decided that their contribution should be to focus on increasing the negative consequences for rule and procedure violations. They issued a communication that anyone caught in the second serious safety violation would be terminated. They thought this would put workers on guard to always be on their best behavior. Workers who were disciplined for their first violation called their experience as “being half fired.” They began to view the longer procedures as a tool to catch workers in violations rather than a tool to improve safety. Workers also ceased to view the safety department as the safety cops whose goal was to punish violators.


The safety professionals at this company had worked hard to convince workers they were friends and not foes. They learned a model for coaching performance and focusing workers on specific improvements. They had begun to build relationships and trust. The new procedures and discipline policies shattered their efforts. They set goals to regain their former progress but had little success in overcoming the impact of the other actions. The safety department implored management to moderate their efforts to address the accidents but found themselves blamed and their suggestions ignored.


Workers viewed the three serious accidents as a lack of on boarding training for new employees and didn’t think managers, legal, or HR took any responsibility for that. From a review of the accident investigations, they were right in at least two of the three cases. They also felt that they were being blamed for the accidents and their own safe performance was totally unrecognized and unappreciated. Long-tenured employees who had felt great allegiance to the company were looking for jobs at a competing company down the road and sharing information on open positions.

None of these negative impacts was deliberate but the actions that produced them were positively reinforced. Knee-jerk reactions to serious injuries can create more problems than solutions. This is especially true when leaders do not create an overarching strategy to direct the efforts. A part of such strategy development should always include an analysis of how each action can potentially impact other parts of the organization.

When managers react without thoroughly analyzing causation and influences on accidents, they can take actions that fail to address the root causes and don’t improve safety. When legal focuses on exposure versus worker usability of procedures, they can damage worker competence and performance. When HR changes disciplinary policies, they can create a culture of fear versus improvement. When an organization plans a change, they should play devil’s advocate and make sure they are not positively reinforcing something that will produce negative results.


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But CDC’s critical infrastructure worker guidance is seen limiting infected employees’ return to work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reduced the amount of time it recommends for employees to stay away from work after they have become exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Up until the CDC’s Dec. 2 announcement, the agency had advised that employers impose a blanket 14-day quarantine for those individuals who came into close contact with other individuals who tested positive or were presumed-positive.

While the agency continues to hold that the original 14-day quarantine period is best after a close contact, the revised guidelines now allow for quarantine periods it deems acceptable, if the individual remains symptom-free.

The new periods are: 10 days after close contact with the positive person; and seven days following close contact if the returning employee has a negative result for a test within 48 hours of the final day of the seven-day quarantine (that is, at least five days following close contact).

For both the 10- and seven-day alternatives, the CDC calls for daily symptom monitoring and mitigation strategies, including correct and consistent mask use, social distancing, hand and cough hygiene, environmental cleaning and disinfection, avoidance of crowds, and adequate indoor ventilation.

The CDC also says the seven-day alternative should be available only when the use of tests to discontinue a quarantine will not have an impact on community diagnostic testing. It also makes the point of emphasizing that testing for infection-evaluation should be the priority.

According to the CDC, if an individual develops symptoms during either the 14-, 10- or seven-day quarantine period, the person should be treated as a positive/presumed-positive, isolated and be subject to the associated guidelines, says Stephen R. Woods, an attorney with the law firm of Ogletree Deakins.

Generally, symptomatic individuals are able to return to work (discontinue home isolation) only after the following have occurred:
• Ten days have passed since the onset of symptoms.

• COVID-19 symptoms have ceased (except for the loss of taste or smell, which may last for some time and should not preclude the end of isolation/return to work).

• The individual is fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.

Isolation periods may be longer for individuals who are severely immuno-compromised, as determined by medical providers, Woods points out.

“Given the CDC’s continued emphasis that a 14-day quarantine period is best, employers may decide to leave that quarantine time period in place,” he suggests. “Other employers needing or desiring more operational and staffing flexibility may opt to use the 10- or seven-day quarantine periods, taking into account the availability of testing for end-of-quarantine purposes in their communities.”

As is usual when it comes to these kinds of COVID-19 recommendations, employers should watch for agency guidance, state and local public health, which can vary significantly.

Critical Worker Changes

Just before Thanksgiving the CDC issued a separate guidance dealing with when critical infrastructure workers should return to their workplaces after they have experienced symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, which the agency says should only be done as a last resort and in limited circumstances.

In contrast with the above guidance, which deals with being exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus, this one applies to workers who instead have tested positive or suffered from the disease.

“Bringing exposed workers back should not be the first or most appropriate option to pursue in managing critical work tasks,” the CDC said in its latest guidance. “Quarantine for 14 days is still the safest approach to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the chance of an outbreak among the workforce.”

The agency guidance added that “reintegrating exposed critical infrastructure workers who are not experiencing any symptoms and have not tested positive back into onsite operations should be used as a last resort and only in limited circumstances, such as when cessation of operation of a facility may cause serious harm or danger to public health or safety.”

Recent news reports have said that the CDC is considering reducing its quarantine time limit for those who return to work after being exposed to the virus as well as having suffered from symptoms of the disease, but so far no official statement has been issued.

Much of the CDC’s previous guidance addressing returning critical employees back to work after a bout with the disease remains unchanged since it was issued last spring. Employers are still expected to implement the following mitigation precautions for returning workers:

• Encourage employees to screen for symptoms prior to reporting to work.

• Symptom screen employees, including temperature checks, upon their arrival at work.

• Regularly monitor employees for symptoms while at work.

• Require employees to wear face coverings while at work.

• As job duties permit, require employees to maintain social distance while at work.

• Routinely clean and disinfect the areas accessed by employees.

The recent change discouraging routine return to work for those who have been infected was based on research that has been conducted since the previous guidance, the CDC explains. This includes increased evidence that infected people pose a transmission risk when they don’t exhibit symptoms or before the onset of recognized symptoms.

The new guidance states, “Reintegrating exposed workers who are not experiencing any symptoms and who have not tested positive back into onsite operations carries considerable risk to other workers because many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic but can still spread disease, and tests are imperfect.”

Taking note of the ongoing community transmission in many parts of the country which has led to surging infection rates, the CDC officials said that a continued need exists for communicating effectively to the general public and for a continued focus on reducing transmission through social distancing and personal prevention strategies.

State and Local Policies Vary

The new guidance also encourages all critical infrastructure employers to work with local health officials on any reintegration of exposed workers and reiterates the additional risk mitigation precautions required, including pre-screening, on-site screening with temperature checks, ongoing health monitoring, cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing, and ensuring all employees wear cloth masks.

“This new guidance follows a trend we have seen in some states,” note attorneys Francis Alvarez, Cressinda Schlag and Tara Burke of the Jackson Lewis law firm. “Since the initial CDC critical infrastructure worker guidance was issued in April, several states have adopted rules narrowing the circumstances under which critical infrastructure employers can allow asymptomatic exposed employees to continue to work.”

Examples include:

New York: Employees who are exposed to COVID-19 but remain asymptomatic can continue to work if deemed essential and critical for the operation or safety of the workplace, upon a documented determination by their supervisor and a human resources representative in consultation with appropriate state and local health authorities.

California: Critical infrastructure employers have been instructed to contact local health departments to determine if exposed asymptomatic workers can be allowed to continue working.

Wisconsin: The state Department of Health has not endorsed exposed, asymptomatic workers returning to work before a 14-day quarantine period. However, local health departments in Wisconsin are allowed to grant case-by-case exceptions.

New Mexico: If an essential business would be forced to cease operations due to the quarantine of exposed, asymptomatic workers, then such workers may continue working if they test negative for COVID-19 and certain safety measures are met. This option should be used as a last resort and only in limited circumstances, such as when cessation of operation of a facility may cause serious harm or danger to public health or safety, the CDC stresses.

In light of the new CDC guidance, critical infrastructure employers should consider reviewing their policies and procedures for returning asymptomatic exposed employees back to work, the lawyers urge. At the same time, they should keep in mind that state and local orders, and guidance from state, tribal, local and territorial health departments and safety agencies, may impose different and more restrictive requirements.

Among other things, the Jackson Lewis attorneys recommend that employers consider:

• Articulating and documenting the impact on operations such as how and why business operations might cease and, if applicable, the potential impact on health and safety if exposed, asymptomatic employees are held out of work for a 14-day quarantine period.

• Consulting with the local health departments on the reintegration of exposed workers.

• Developing plans and protocols to implement additional safety precautions, including pre-screening, health monitoring, and preventive measures.

They emphasize, “As always, employers must also continue to comply with all applicable federal OSHA and state OSHA equivalent workplace safety requirements.”

Attorney Michael Oliver Eckard of the Ogletree Deakins law firm added, “Because there may be a delay between the time a person is exposed to the virus and the time that virus can be detected by testing, early testing after exposure at a single time point may miss many infections. Thus, employers may wish to consider conducting serial testing (i.e., repeated tests at different points in time) to detect infections among exposed workers more accurately.”


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Gloves have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

A recent article from National Geographic reports that utilitarian gloves have been around since Ancient Greece. Indeed, Homer mentions characters wearing gloves to protect from brambles in his epic The Odyssey. National Geographic states that gloves became more common in Medieval times and were certainly worn by workers, with knights and warriors wearing metal gauntlets or chain-mail for battle or blacksmiths wearing leather gloves for smithing.

Gloves have been a constant throughout history, from factory workers in the Industrial Revolution to doctors and surgeons in the late 19th century.

And that’s probably for the best because, in the workplace, hands are among the body parts most at risk of injury. Indeed, workers’ hands face a number of hazards: cuts, abrasions, heat injuries, chemical burns, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.

According to 2019 statistics from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), the most common workplace injury in Ontario is to multiple body parts. (From 2007 to 2016, the most commonly injured part of the body was the lower back.)

In 2019, injuries to body parts made up 15 per cent of allowed lost-time claims (followed by the lower back at 13 per cent).

This same report indicates that sprains and strains are the most common injury for all parts of the body.

Looking at earlier reports from Statistics Canada, in 2003, the hand was the body part most frequently injured on the job, with more than one quarter (28 per cent) of work injuries being to the hand. This was followed by lower back injuries (16 per cent).

According to the 2003 data, the most frequent type of occupational injury to the hand is sprain or strain, followed by cuts and then fractures.

Looking at more recent data from Statistics Canada, the most common types of injuries sustained at work are sprains and strains (49.9 per cent), followed by cuts, punctures or bites (19.2 per cent) and broken or fractured bones (8.7 per cent).

The 2018 data from the National Work Injury/Disease Statistics Program (NWISP), shared by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), shows that the trunk (which would include the lower back) accounts for 91,415 lost time claims in Canada, followed by the upper extremities (which would include the hands), which account for 54,075 lost time claims in Canada.

While the data may be slightly confusing, it is evident that hands are among the most injured body parts in Canada.

As we can see, most occupations are affected by hand-related hazards and, as such, it is important for employers and workers to understand what hand protection is and how to correctly use it.

What is hand protection and what is it for?
We shall mainly be focusing on gloves, but hand protection can also include PPE such as finger guards, barrier creams, etc. It can also be used with arm protection such as sleeves or coverings.

A recent U.S. Department of Labor study found that injuries to fingers and hands made up 23 per cent of workplace injuries. The Department of Labor study says that hand injuries rank the highest in preventable injuries.

The study found that the majority of employees who suffered hand injuries were not wearing gloves at the time or were wearing the wrong type of glove. Backing this up, a recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) study found that 70.9 per cent of hand and arm injuries could have been prevented by using appropriate PPE — notably, safety gloves.

According to Princeton University’s Office of Environmental Safety, different types of gloves protect against different types of hazards. It identifies four main types of gloves currently available:

■ Gloves that protect against wounds such as cuts, burns or punctures. For these types of injuries, leather or canvas gloves were initially touted as a solution. Now, industry insiders say that cut-resistant gloves made of engineered yarns are the way to go.
■ Gloves that protect against dirt or rubbing wounds such as chafing and abrasions. Fabric and coated fabric gloves are a solution for this.
■ Gloves that protect against electrical hazards. For this, insulated rubber gloves are an optimal choice.
■ Gloves that protect against chemical hazards. For this, ideally, chemical- and liquid-resistant gloves would be the safest solution.

Employment and Social Development Canada points to additional hazards for which gloves would be needed, such as heat and cold (aluminized fabrics of nylon, rayon, wool or glass gloves), ionizing radiations (lead-lined gloves) or welding and rough surfaces (thick leather gloves).

For every single kind of environment, there is a type of glove, says Kwan Lo, managing director at Taste International, which owns the Aquila glove brand.

Princeton’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety also raises the issue that potential hazards are not the only thing to consider when choosing gloves. Indeed, fit and comfort are also important. Glove length or size is important, as is thickness as well as concerns around dexterity.

On that last point, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) offers more details.

For optimal protection, gloves need to be cared for and maintained, as per manufacturers’ instructions. They need to fit properly and cover the skin, making sure there is no space between glove and sleeve. Users should not wear torn or damaged gloves.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at Ryerson points out that care for PPE and safety gloves is also an essential part of hand protection.

When is hand protection required and who needs it? Occupational health and safety legislation can vary from province to province. Broadly, the right kind of glove must be worn for the type of work being performed. The Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations require that workers in Canada wear PPE when performing hazardous work.

More specific details will vary depending on whether a profession is federally regulated or not.

The Canada Labour Code, which mostly only applies to federally regulated industries, says the employer is responsible for providing prescribed safety materials, equipment, devices and clothing to every person in the workplace. Employees must use this equipment.

General PPE provisions are similar across most, if not all, provinces and territories. In Ontario for example, the Occupational Health and Safety Act says the employer must provide the PPE and maintain it in good condition.

In B.C., the Workers’ Compensation Act states that a worker is responsible for providing their own general-purpose work gloves but that an employer is responsible for providing — at no cost to the worker — all other items of PPE required by the act. Furthermore, if the PPE causes allergenic or other adverse health effects, the employer must then provide alternate equipment or safety measures.

More specifically, with regards to limb protection, the act states: “The employer must provide appropriate skin, hand, foot or body protection if a worker is exposed to a substance or condition which is likely to puncture, abrade or otherwise adversely affect the skin, or be absorbed through it.” And, “If there is a danger of injury, contamination or infection to a worker's hands, arms, legs, or torso, the worker must wear properly fitting protective equipment appropriate to the work being done and the hazards involved.”

On the manufacturer’s side, Lo says, “There are lots of standards to make sure the product is right. Within those standards, you have to make sure that all of your products are tested and respect those stringent guidelines.”

He says there are a lot of standards to make sure that the product is actually right. These standards can differ from Canada, the U.S., Europe, etc. In Europe, for example, the PPE EC directives are very stringent.

“Every single product that comes out of our factory has to be tested by a recognized or accredited laboratory. They have to conduct a test and then do a report and then issue a certificate, without which we can’t sell,” says Lo. “We’ve come a long way as a health protection industry.”

“Nowadays, everyone's wearing a pair of gloves. So that's really what helps to keep the lifespan of the hands a little bit longer. You have this barrier to protect you from hazards, environment — whether it’s work or leisure,” says Lo.

In addition to protecting the worker, there are other considerations to take into account.

“It's not just protecting the wearer, it’s also about protecting the product,” says Lo. He raises the example of people who work with glass and how gloves are important because one would not want to get fingerprints on it.

How has COVID-19 impacted hand protection?
COVID-19 has broadly impacted PPE in a number of ways. With regards to hand protection, one key piece of PPE has been dragged into the spotlight: disposable medical gloves. Disposable gloves are being used in a multitude of occupations in Canada, including (but not limited to) health care, education, hospitality and retail.

“What [manufacturers] are jumping onto now because of COVID is disposable gloves. Now when you walk in the street or go to [the] supermarket, you see people wearing disposable gloves. And, of course, there's a shortage of PPE, particularly gloves,” says Lo.

Lo says that, because of this high demand and low supply, there have been a lot of scams in recent months. Cost has also become a big concern for manufacturers and buyers alike. This issue isn’t just facing the glove sector in the current COVID climate but other key markets such as respiratory protection. Sources say that this will have a dramatic impact on glove availability and pricing well into 2021.

Broadly, there has and continues to be a huge demand for gloves. Availability is a huge concern for manufacturers. Furthermore, in ramping up production, the cost of raw materials is being driven up. This will make it difficult for factories. There are also obviously concerns over worker safety in manufacturing plants due to infection cases and, by extension, labour shortages.

Although these gloves are necessary to fight the pandemic, Lo says one negative side effect is that a higher volume of disposable gloves being made out of nitrile also means that there will be a huge impact on the environment.

“I think that, because of the pandemic, ecological and environmental concerns aren't really at the forefront anymore,” says Lo. “I think people don’t realize or forget that this is a large, unprecedented amount of waste that is being created. And some of it is actually toxic waste. And that needs to be dealt with in a specific manner. And, so, there's this massive concern.”

This is why manufacturers are now looking into cleaning and disinfecting solutions that could be used to sterilize nitrile gloves for re-use or are looking at making re-usable gloves. Hand sanitizer and soap and water work for non-sterile conditions.

“I think there's this whole separate market now being created about making reusable [gloves] or at least cleaning agents that would be used to clean [gloves],” he says. These concerns are shared by others in the industry.

How COVID-19 develops in 2021 remains to be seen, but the disposable glove market is certainly poised to dominate the safety glove conversation in the upcoming months. As stated when we first started our journey into hand protection, gloves have been a key piece of protection for workers for hundreds of years. With COVID likely to loom over worker safety for months, if not years to come, gloves won’t be going anywhere any time soon.


Comments | Posted in News & Articles By Admin
Tight-fitting respirators (such as disposable FFP3 masks and reusable half masks) rely on having a good seal with the wearer’s face.

To ensure that respiratory protective equipment (RPE) will protect the wearer:

■ a face fit test should be carried out the first time a worker uses a particular type of respirator
■ the wearer should carry out a pre-use seal check or fit check, which they should repeat every time they put a respirator on

When carrying out a face fit test during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, testers and wearers should take additional measures to minimize the risk of transmission.

Face fit test

A face fit test should be carried out before people wear RPE for the first time. Inadequate fit can reduce the protection provided and lead to immediate or long-term ill health or can even put the wearer’s life in danger.

A fit test should be repeated whenever there is a change to the RPE type, size, model or material, or whenever there is a change to the circumstances of the wearer that could alter the fit of the RPE, for example:

■ weight loss or gain
■ substantial dental work
■ any facial changes (scars, moles, effects of ageing etc) around the face seal area
■ facial piercings
■ introduction or change in other head-worn personal protective equipment (PPE)

There is no stipulated frequency for retesting, and you don’t need to retest if there are no changes in these circumstances.

Find out more about face fit testing.

Minimize the risk of transmission

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are isolating in accordance with government guidance should not attend a face fit test.

To minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during face fit testing the following additional measures should be taken:

■ fit testers should follow government advice on social distancing, as they can make observations from a distance and deliver any instructions verbally
■ those being fitted should keep their respirators on, as much as possible to minimize risk to the tester
■ both the fit tester and those being fit tested should wash their hands before and after the test
■ those being fit tested with non-disposable masks should clean the mask themselves before and immediately after the test using a suitable disinfectant cleaning wipe (check with the manufacturer to avoid damaging the mask)
■ test face pieces that cannot be adequately disinfected (for example disposable half masks) should not be used by more than one individual
■ fit testers should wear disposable gloves when cleaning tubes, hoods etc and ensure they remove gloves following the correct procedure (PDF) - Portable Document Format (PDF)- Portable Document Format
■ immediately dispose of used gloves, disposable masks, cleaning wipes etc in a waste bin

Fit testers should familiarize themselves with the following potential contact points and actions to minimize transmission:


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2020 really is the year that PPE (or, for those who don’t yet know, personal protective equipment) went mainstream. For those of us active in the safety sector, PPE has been a huge concern for years. In every issue of COS, we shine a light on a key piece of PPE. We’re lucky enough to speak with experts all over Canada for insider tips, the best of which are below.

Hearing protection

In our first PPE feature of the year, our writer Linda Johnson revealed that excessive noise can pose a hazard in occupations not generally associated with a high risk of hearing loss such as hospitality or healthcare. To prevent against this issue, hearing protection is of course essential, but Anna Van Maanen, audiologist at WorkSafeBC, also had this very simple piece of advice:

“Ideally, you do not start off with hearing protection; the first step in hearing conservation is reducing the noise at its source,” says Maanen.

Protective clothing for women

One of our more recent features concludes that one size very definitely does not fit all. Well-fitting PPE has been a struggle for many female workers for decades. Ill-fitting PPE can be hazardous for all workers leading to trips or falls for too-big shoes, hard hats falling off or large, oversized clothing getting caught or snagged.

Professor Jim Brophy, of the University of Windsor, said that in certain industries which require PPE, female voices are not being seen: “and because they’re not visible, and because of the nature and stratification of our workforce — which is reinforced by gender — their voices are lacking in power or just simply ignored.”

Heat protection

An essential article that came out during the warmer months – heat protection is key for many workers outdoors and certain indoor settings. One key piece of advice from Kelly Fernandes, occupational hygienist at Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS)?

All companies should begin planning for heat stress before temperatures climb. Many companies don’t start considering the risk of heat stress until the summer is well underway: “Seasonal organizations are probably on top of it. But newer facilities, it’s not really on their radar until it gets hot out,” she says. “That’s when assessments happen, and they start creating their heat stress program for the next year.”

Foot protection

With our feature on hand protection due in our upcoming Jan/Feb 2021 issue, we’ll have all extremities covered! Linda Johnson writes that safety footwear is getting more and more technically advanced, with footwear best suited to their task essential for workers.

How should a proper boot fit? Graeme Hill, owner of Reddhart Workwear Stores, says:

“You want your toes to be able to wiggle around freely, not touching the cap. Yet, you also want the rest of the boot to fit snugly. Snugly is the word we like to use, not tight but snug. As you wear the boots, over the first couple of weeks, the inside lining and the boot tend to mould to your own feet, and the boots will become more comfortable.”

Fall protection

According to the CCOHS, 42,000 workers get injured annually due to fall accidents in Canada. It is essential for those working at heights to have correct fall protection equipment. There is a wealth of PPE available for workers at heights.

One piece of equipment, though, that is often overlooked is dropped object prevention: “You have to think about what’s beneath you, what happens if that worker drops a wrench or a hammer. If you drop that at six foot or above height, serious injury or even a fatality could occur,” says Erica Cole, product manager at Pure Safety Group.


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The practice of culture change recognizes that everything is connected. From worker safety to your customers’ experience, your organization is an ecosystem full of variables that are difficult to measure and even more difficult to adjust.

Safety is a profession that has understood this for a while. With its emphasis on active listening, example-setting and collaboration, it teaches practitioners how to put people first. With its emphasis on design, technical specifications and systems, it teaches practitioners how to plan, do, check and act.

But others in your organization may not be as proactive about culture change or may not even see its value. That’s a problem, say researchers Mark Lundell, GSP, and Cheri Marcham, Ph.D., CSP, CIH, CHMM, FAIHA, because only leadership can drive and develop a culture in which looking out for each other is a shared priority.

“Leaders or managers who place profit and production over the safety of their employees, who are willing to overlook their faltering safety culture or bypass safeguards to get the job done, or who fail to support and follow regulatory requirements merely because they don’t have the time, can create an unsafe work environment.”

So how do you use your unique skill set to advocate for culture change and protect workers? It begins with the understanding that improving safety culture is a business skill requiring everyone’s participation — from your CEO to front-line workers. And as an initiative with personal, professional and financial implications for everyone in your organization, it is worthy of respect and attention.

If you’re struggling to stay committed to your path of safety culture improvement — or need some persuasive talking points to share with your boss — keep these five things in mind.

1. Business is about connections and relationships.

Your organization invests extensively in learning what customers need to be successful and communicating how it can help them solve problems. Getting that process right, then delivering on promises, leads to greater trust and stronger relationships.

Part of your role as a safety professional is to convince other leaders why it’s important to make the same type of investment in improving safety culture. According to Lundell and Marcham, the research is clear: Companies that create psychologically safe workplaces where workers are encouraged to raise concerns and propose solutions have stronger safety cultures and better outcomes.

“With a weak psychosocial safety climate, employees will use coping mechanisms that can lead to drug use, neglect of duties, exhaustion, post-traumatic stress and low morale.”

2. Safety management systems exist within cultures.

Occupational safety and health management system standards, such as ANSI/ASSP Z10 and ISO 45001, help establish accountability for safety and health performance throughout your organization. But while safety management systems help drive positive culture change, they also reflect cultural norms that may go back decades prior to implementation. That’s one reason keeping your leadership team aware of cultural complexities influencing safety is a critical and ongoing business function, according to Lundell and Marcham.

“The keys to safety culture within any organization are the creation of leadership and management systems that 1) specify safety objectives; 2) distribute responsibility for safety; and 3) plan, organize and control the organizational environment according to safety objectives and precautions.”

3. Strong organizations are clear about their values.

Successfully translating organizational values into budgetary, operational, product and marketing decisions is good business — but it’s also easier said than done. Unfortunately, when cuts need to be made, safety programs are often one of the first things called into question. That’s where you come in.

“Support for identifying obvious hazards and risks within an organization, the concern for equipment safety, facility safety, fire safety, PPE and the standard hierarchy of controls is common, although concern for the individual worker may be overlooked,” say Lundell and Marcham.

By working with your team to clarify and use resources according to values that keep people at the center, you will be better able to go beyond quick fixes and manage many different types of risk.

4. Safety affects your company’s financial outlook.

Improving safety culture directly affects your organization’s bottom line. By reducing costly worker injuries, illnesses and incidents, improving worker well-being, increasing operational efficiency, avoiding OSHA penalties and more, safety professionals have earned their seat at the table where financial decisions are made.

Need a refresher on how to estimate safety’s impact on profitability before an important meeting? OSHA has a free worksheet you can use as part of its $afety Pays Program.

“Safety professionals must be accepted as the experts they are and for the vast knowledge base that they offer,” say Lundell and Marcham. “They must be respected for their specialized input, analysis and evaluation of all facets of an organization’s operation.”

5. Safety culture helps attract and retain top talent.

Would you rather work for an organization in which people take care of each other and leaders exercise sound moral judgment, or one in which short-sighted corporate goals lead to an unsafe culture? When skilled workers have a choice, they seek employers with a reputation for social responsibility. When workers end up at organizations that don’t support safety and health, they are more likely to seek greener pastures.

According to Lundell and Marcham, safety culture is directly related to a safe and healthful working environment that addresses the risks of absenteeism (when workers don’t show up), presenteeism (when workers show up but aren’t able to function properly) and high turnover.

“Leadership is the most critical element in keeping pace with the changing occupational environment and the promotion of positive safety culture.”


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The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 13-1 on December 1 on the stance that healthcare workers should be the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccination upon approval by the FDA, reports CNN.

Health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities will be included in “Phase 1A” of the CDC’s coronavirus vaccination plan.

“Anybody that works within a health care institution that could have contact with an individual who has Covid should receive vaccination,” said Dr. Jose Romero, chair of ACIP. “That includes individuals such as the persons delivering food, those persons in housekeeping who rapidly turn over rooms in the emergency room or who perform cleaning in the patient’s rooms.”

According to the CDC, over 240,000 health care workers have been infected by COVID-19, while 858 have died of the virus. Efforts to reduce the number of infections among health care workers have been made by states like California, who recently mandated weekly testing for those employees.


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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued respiratory protection guidance for assisted living, nursing home, and other long-term care facilities. The guidance focuses on the use of respirators while emphasizing a primary reliance upon engineering and administrative controls for controlling exposures, consistent with good industrial hygiene practice and the agency’s traditional adherence to the “hierarchy of controls.”

The industrial hygiene “hierarchy of controls” is a series of workplace safety and health interventions that begins with elimination of hazards, followed by substitution, then engineering controls, administrative controls (including work practices), and personal protective equipment (PPE).

OSHA has instructed its compliance safety and health officers in its area offices to exercise discretion in the enforcement of the respiratory protection standard during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The agency insists that workers wear respirators when necessary, such as when in close contact with a resident of a long-term care facility with suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection. Employees then must wear an N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) or equivalent or a higher-level respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The guidance describes other source control measures, including the use of cloth face coverings, face masks, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared or -authorized surgical masks. Healthcare workers should wear such source control products or devices at all times while inside a long-term care facility, according to the agency, including in break rooms or other spaces where they might encounter other people.

OSHA told employers that they should reassess their engineering and administrative controls, such as ventilation and practices for physical distancing, hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, to identify changes that could avoid over-reliance on respirators and other PPE. OSHA reminded employers that the agency has temporarily allowed for some enforcement flexibility regarding respirators, including requirements for annual fit testing that consumes disposable respirator supplies.

However, the agency also reminded employers that when respirators must be used, employers must implement a written, worksite-specific respiratory protection program that includes medical evaluation, fit testing, training, and other elements of the agency’s respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134).

OSHA offered employers the following advice for administering a respiratory protection program during the ongoing pandemic:

● Consider alternatives to N95 FFRs, including other FFRs (for example, P100s and N99s); reusable elastomeric respirators; and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs), given shortages of N95 FFRs during the pandemic.
● Choose eye and face protection to be worn with the type of respirator used, but exercise care to ensure the eye or face protection does not interfere with the seal of the respirator.
● Consult NIOSH’s list of approved N95 FFRs and warnings about counterfeit respirators or misrepresentation of NIOSH approval.
● Assign a suitably trained program administrator to oversee all elements of the program, such as an infection prevention and control practitioner or a nurse administrator, or consider hiring a local industrial hygiene consulting service if no suitably trained administrator is available on staff.
● Conduct a risk assessment to identify which workers are at risk of exposure to any airborne hazards such as SARS-CoV-2, tuberculosis (TB), Legionella, or certain hazardous chemicals, and classify exposure risk to SARS-CoV-2, according to OSHA’s four risk exposure levels.
● Implement procedures for performing medical evaluations of workers required to use respirators to determine their ability to safely wear a respirator before needing to wear one in the workplace; identify a physician or other licensed healthcare professional who can conduct medical evaluations and maintain confidentiality.
● Ensure that any worker using a tight-fitting respirator is fit tested following OSHA-approved fit-test protocols before initial use and whenever a different respirator size, style, model, or make is used.
● Establish procedures and schedules for the maintenance and storage of any respirators used beyond a single use, including procedures for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, repairing, and discarding respirators.
● Train workers who wear respirators on how to properly put them on (donning) and take them off (doffing), as well as how to conduct proper user seal checks and recognize respiratory hazards in their workplace and the capabilities and limitations of respirators.


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An up-to-date research has been disclosed by Questale highlighting the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask segment. The report deep dives into the dynamics of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask providing useful and unique insights. The information is shared in a precise and structured manner, giving executives and leaders an accurate picture of the upcoming market movement. The document utilizes a number of monographs, pie charts and bar-graphs to provide data which can be used to derive the latest trends in the industry. The report is also divided according to usage wherever applicable, including (but not limited to) FnB, FMCG, Minerals, Electronics, Pharma, Polymers etc. All these details are available for all major countries and associations – APCA, EMEA, United States. Other locations can be included in the report on demand.

The document includes present industry magnitude of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask and the movement since past 5-10 years. Moreover, the list of major companies/competitors is also present including 3M , Honeywell , Kimberly-clark . The competition data allows users to gauge their current position against the market and take corrective measures to increase or maintain their share holds. Furthermore, details regarding the supply chain, manufacturers, distributors are also included in the report.

Research Focused on EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask Market Report 2018

The document contains a comprehensive description of all the firms in question. The necessary details for the companies in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask , such as revenue, % share, supplier information, images of products are provided as well. Some of the known key players in the market are 3M , Honeywell , Kimberly-clark . It is expected that the industry will continue to develop in a swift manner with new competition trying to capture the share of the pie. Given the industry regulations, international government policies, state-of-the-art innovations – the competition would be fierce for all the participants.

The fragmentation is provided on the basis of Mask with Exhalation Valve , Mask without Exhalation Valve , . Additionally, the application wise division provides the data according to Anticipated industry growth details are provided along with the CAGR where applicable.

The report also demonstrates region wise data for geographies like:

Key points of the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask market report:

** Proper market environment investigation
** Concrete valuation market projection
** Multi-level Industry subdivision
** Upcoming technological advancements in market
** Evolving local segments and regional markets
** Past, current, and future magnitude of the market according to net worth and total capacity
** Market shares of key competitors
** Expert advice for executives to make an impact in the industry

Following queries are addressed in the document – EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask Market Report 2018

** What is the expected industry size of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask market in 2022?
** Expected rate of growth to reach the potential?
** What are the major market trends?
** Major drivers for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask market?
** Prominent distributors/suppliers in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask market?
** Upcoming challenges for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Mask market?


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