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Monthly Archives: August 2018

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  • Hearing protection in the workplace

    Senior engineer man, construction worker covering ears ignoring

    Excessive noise at work causes around 17,000 workers each year to suffer deafness or ear conditions such as ringing in the ears. The good news is that with the right measures and Personal Protective Equipment, hearing damage caused by work is preventable, but sadly, once hearing has been damaged or lost, it can be impossible to restore.

    You can get lots of information about risks from noise at this special HSE website.

    Are you or your workers at risk?

    You are at risk if you can answer 'yes' to any of these questions about the noise where you work:

    • Is the noise intrusive for most of the working day?
    • Do you have to raise your voice to have a normal conversation when about 2m apart for at least part of the day?
    • Do you use noisy powered tools or machinery for over 30 minutes each day?
    • Do you work in a noisy industry, eg construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging, pressing or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries?
    • Are there noises because of impacts or explosive sources?
    • Do you have muffled hearing at the end of the day?

    Symptoms and early signs of hearing loss

    • Conversation becomes difficult or impossible
    • Your family complains about the television being too loud
    • You have trouble using the telephone
    • You find it difficult to catch sounds like 't', 'd' and 's', so you confuse similar words
    • Permanent tinnitus (ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming in the ears) is present.

    Click here for HSE calculators to help you assess your level of hearing risk.

     

    WHAT THE LAW SAYS

    The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) came into force for all industry sectors (bar music and entertainment) in Great Britain on 6 April 2006.

    The aim of the Noise Regulations is to ensure that workers' hearing is protected from excessive noise at their place of work, which could cause them to lose their hearing and/or to suffer from tinnitus.

    Employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones when noise reaches 85 decibels (daily or weekly average exposure) and employers must assess the risk to workers' health and provide them with information and training when daily or weekly average noise is 80 decibels.

    There are also levels of noise exposure which must not be exceeded. These are called exposure limit values:

    • daily or weekly exposure of 87 dB;
    • peak sound pressure of 140 dB.

     

    This graph illustrates common noise levels in different working environments.

    examples_of_noise_levels.420w

    Guidance on the 2005 Regulations can be found in the HSE publications Noise at work: A brief guide to controlling the risks and Controlling Noise at Work

     

     

    The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (Noise Regulations 2005) require employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. Employees have duties under the Regulations too.

    Employers must:

    • Assess the risks to your employees from noise at work;
    • Take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks;
    • Provide your employees with hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure enough by using other methods;
    • Make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded;
    • Provide your employees with information, instruction and training;
    • Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.

     

    This Flowchart gives more detailed guidance on the steps to take to ensure you are adequately protecting workersl

     

    Hearing protection should not be used as an alternative to controlling noise by technical and organisational means, for example, buying quieter machinery.

    Give HSE's pocket card Noise: Don't lose your hearing to your employees to remind them to wear their hearing protection.

    WHAT PPE SHOULD YOU USE?

     

    Provide the right hearing protectors for the type of work, and make sure workers know how to fit them

    Choose protectors that reduce noise to an acceptable level, while allowing for safety and communication -- aim to reduce noise levels to below 85dB at the ear at the very least. For very noisy environments or situations where high level bangs or explosions are present, heavy duty ear defenders may be the best choice.

     PREMIUM HEAVY DUTY FOLDING EAR DEFENDER, £9.18

    PREMIUM HEAVY DUTY FOLDING EAR DEFENDER, £9.18 Heavy duty ear defender with strong metal folding sidearms, extra soft foam ear cushions and comfortable padded headband. High attenuation to 32 snr, adjustable for perfect fit. Folding design makes these compact for storage whilst the heavy duty design is suitable for all industrial uses. Hi-vis colour is easy to see and helps prevent damage and neglect. PREMIUM HEAVY DUTY FOLDING EAR DEFENDER, £9.18
    Heavy duty ear defender with strong metal folding sidearms, extra soft foam ear cushions and comfortable padded headband. High attenuation to 32 snr, adjustable for perfect fit. Folding design makes these compact for storage whilst the heavy duty design is suitable for all industrial uses. Hi-vis colour is easy to see and helps prevent damage and neglect.

     

    However, also ensure that protectors do not cut out too much noise - this can cause isolation, problems communicating with other team members (which can affect safety) and mean workers are unwilling to wear them. Consider how comfortable and hygienic the products are too. In some cases where you want to reduce noise slightly ear plugs may be beneficial.

    Spark Plugs® Ear Plugs 200 pairs, bagged individually, £23.96 

    Spark Plugs® Ear Plugs 200 pairs, bagged individually, £23.96 Appealing colours, tapered design Made of soft PU-foam Packed in pairs Also available corded Also available in the handy PocketPak container [2 pairs] Also available in blister packs [5 pairs and a PocketPak] Also available in the hygienic dispenser system MoldexStation Tested and certified to EN 352-2:2002 Spark Plugs® Ear Plugs 200 pairs, bagged individually, £23.96
    Appealing colours, tapered design Made of soft PU-foam Packed in pairs Also available corded Also available in the handy PocketPak container [2 pairs] Also available in blister packs [5 pairs and a PocketPak] Also available in the hygienic dispenser system MoldexStation Tested and certified to EN 352-2:2002

     

    Think about how they will be worn with other protective equipment (eg hard hats, dust masks and eye protection);

    Provide a range of protectors so that employees can choose ones which suit them.

    Click here to see our full range of ear protection

    Set hearing protection zones and ensure only people who need to be there enter hearing protection zones and do not stay longer than they need to.

     

    For more advice, please do get in touch with our sales team. Call 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com

     

  • Choosing the right headgear for your workplace

     

    bigstock--219371332

     

    It’s well understood that head injuries can be serious causing everything from memory problems, fatigue and dizziness to fatal injuries. Statistics from the UK workplace support this. Between 2015 and 2016, 15 workers were killed in the UK when being hit by a moving, falling or flying object. Head injuries also accounted for 10 percent of non-fatal injuries reported in the workplace.

    Providing good head protection for workers and visitors can prevent or reduce the damage caused by falling objects, as well as offering protection from bumps, caused for example, by walking into something.

    The following types of work might require protective headgear to ensure safety:

    • construction and building work
    • tree-felling
    • work where there is potential for objects falling from height
    • blasting work, eg in quarries, open cast mining, etc
    • low-level fixed objects, eg scaffolding where there is a risk of collision

    WHAT THE REGULATIONS SAY

    The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (as amended) give the main requirements.

    You can download a guide to these regulations from the HSE here.

    Under these regulations, employers assess and manage risks in the workplace to the best of their ability, for example, by roping off areas where there is heavy lifting overhead or risk of falling objects, and only provide PPE as a back-up measure and if potential causes of harm to health and safety cannot be controlled in other ways.

     

    If using PPE you must also ensure the following:

    • Items are checked and fit for purpose
    • Maintained and stored properly
    • Employees and visitors are given instruction on how to use it safely
    • Used correctly by employees

     

    PPE including head protection must:

    • Be appropriate for the risks and for the working environment
    • Take account of the user’s health, ergonomics, fit factors and be compatible with other items of PPE required to be worn
    • Adequately control the risk presented by the hazard without increasing overall risk experienced by the worker.
    • Be supplied free of charge.
    • Comply with relevant legislation concerning the design and manufacture.

     

    Self-employed individuals should provide their own hard hats and ensure they wear them.

     

    It is also important that head protection is correctly fitted and has an adjustable headband and chin strap where appropriate. Chin straps or a ratchet mechanism to adjust the headgear to fit correctly are important because headgear can be knocked off by a blow or fall. It’s worth considering ratchet wheel mechanisms to secure the hard hat as many workers do not use chin straps, due to comfort and because they can pose risk of snagging.

     

    The relevant standards are BS EN 397 and BS EN 14052.

     

    DIFFERENT KINDS OF HEADGEAR

     

    BUMP CAPS

     

    These won’t protect the wearer from heaving falling objects or items moving at speed, but they are suitable for workers likely to bang their heads against something, for example, a mechanic working underneath a car.  The main purpose of bump caps, as the name suggests, is to prevent bumps and grazes.

     

    VENTED SAFETY HELMETS

    These are useful for hot working environments, and liners can be worn in colder weather.

    Vented Safety helmet £6.95

    Vented Safety helmet £6.95  The Style 300 is a stylish and comfortable safety helmet design weighing just 310g. Manufactured from high-density polyethylene, the helmet has an eight point Terylene head gear and terry towel sweatband. The helmet is durable, well balanced and has an extensive range of accessories, such as face protection and hearing protection that easily connect to the helmet shell maintaining comfort and maximising protection for the wearer. The design also provides a rain gutter, making it well suited to applications in exposed environments. Style 300 provides multiple branding areas where a corporate logo can be applied. Vented Safety helmet £6.95
    The Style 300 is a stylish and comfortable safety helmet design weighing just 310g. Manufactured from high-density polyethylene, the helmet has an eight point Terylene head gear and terry towel sweatband. The helmet is durable, well balanced and has an extensive range of accessories, such as face protection and hearing protection that easily connect to the helmet shell maintaining comfort and maximising protection for the wearer. The design also provides a rain gutter, making it well suited to applications in exposed environments. Style 300 provides multiple branding areas where a corporate logo can be applied.

     

    Unvented safety helmets are best suited from areas where a worker requires protection from chemicals, electric shocks or hot liquids

     

    OTHER FORMS OF HEAD PROTECTION

    Other forms of PPE such as respiratory protective equipment (RPE), eye protection, face shields and hearing protection may also be required.

     

    Click here to see our range of visors and face protection.

     

    Click here to see our range of respiratory masks

     

    Click here to see our range of eye protection

     

    Click here to see our range of ear protection

    CHECKLIST FOR EMPLOYERS

    • Have the hazards present in the environment been reduced, isolated and controlled as far as reasonably practicable?
    • Is the head protection suitable for the task you are going to undertake? For example, if the employee will be bending forward, ensure there is a chin strap or ratchet wheel to keep it in place, and check if there is sufficient electrical protection.
    • Is the safety helmet free from damage such as cracks, scratches or impact strikes?
    • Is the safety helmet free from chemicals and solvent-based paint?
    • Has the helmet been stored correctly?
    • Has the helmet been used to carry items in it?
    • Does the helmet fit properly?
    • Has the helmet to be adjusted to ensure it stays on your head?
    • Have any accessories to the helmet been adjusted?
    • Do you know what the colour of the other hard hats being worn on site mean?

    BUYING GUIDE

    Remember that the longevity of PPE plays a key role in your purchasing decision, ensuring you don’t have to buy equipment at a faster-than-expected rate.

    Purchase a range of sizes and enough spares to cover any damaged or lost equipment.

    Ensure the headgear you buy is compatible with other personal protective equipment that may be required by workers, such as respirators, goggles or ear defenders. Please feel free to ask our sales team for more advice and information on available products. Email sales@cissafety.com or call 01726 74264

Buyer, Cornwall Glass Group
Shortly after Cornwall Glass was formed some 15 years ago I started dealing with yourselves as a Supplier I don't believe in all those years whatever I have asked for - however obscure! you have never let me down - I'd like to think that we have quite a unique relationship thank you very much
Site Manager, International Minerals company
Special note - Amelia has done a great job this year for our site, quick, efficient, good follow-up and courteous, everything you need at the customer interface.
Purchasing, Food Manufacturer
After our BRC audit we received grade : A . I`m really happy, thank you for you and all the CIS team for your help.
Manager, Food wholesaler

You are amazing!!!!

Technical Manager, Seafood
A very good local company delivering a prompt and informative service. Excellent!
Health & Safety Manager, Waste Cleansing & Drain Clearing co
A company that always performs to the word "quality", helpful with innovations in PPE, guidance and support. A company that is a valuable asset to us as a supplier.

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