You have no items in your shopping cart.

Set Descending Direction
Choosing effective and energy-efficient LED lighting for construction sites can help ensure workers stay safe and well, day and night, and can save money at the same time, says OnSite Support Director Damian Lynes.

Providing adequate lighting is a key consideration for the construction industry, particularly at this time of year. Aside from increasing the risk of accidents, poor lighting can cause eye strain, migraines and headaches, all of which can affect productivity and the bottom line.

Choosing the correct lighting for site goes beyond the fairly straightforward choice of light towers for outside areas, lights on tripods, small, portable task lights and so on, and into the more complex choice of the light source.

This is because different light sources (ie halogen bulbs, fluorescent tubes or LEDs) have varying characteristics, which include the colour and shape of the light cast, energy efficiency, lifespan and cost.

Bearing all these factors in mind, there is a strong argument for switching to LEDs.

Light colour

As well as the brightness of the light, it is also important to consider the colour (ie the temperature) of the light being produced.
Generally, the more yellow the light, the more comfortable it is to work in over long periods. The closer to the red end of the spectrum, the more light is absorbed by the eye, so therefore the dimmer it appears.

The higher the temperature, the whiter and brighter the light produced. At around 8,000K light becomes painfully blue and at 12,000K it begins to become purple. Output temperatures of commercially available lighting are:

  • 2,700K: Incandescent bulb;
  • 3,000K: Halogen floodlight;
  • 5,000K: Daylight;
  • 5,500K: LED cool white (high contrast);
  • 6,500K: LED bright/pure white (very high contrast).

    For detail work, 5,500K-6,500K is usually most helpful, since it provides the highest contrast – hence making LEDs perfect for these tasks.

    How the light is cast

    A halogen bulb emits light in all directions, with some of that light reflected out of the back of the housing, while the light from an LED unit is more focused, typically within 120°, and therefore can appear much brighter (another reason why LEDs are ideal for detail work).

    However, this means that, while replacing a halogen spotlight with an LED is perfectly acceptable (and requires lower wattage, because an LED is more efficient), if a fluorescent lamp is being replaced, more care is needed, as spotlights and floodlights offer a very different light spreads.

    In these cases, LED lights must be positioned so that a similar spread of light is created or, when directly substituting a fluorescent tube light with an LED of similar design, it must cast light in the same way.


    Despite producing high temperature light (typically between 5,500K and 6,500K, compared with 2,700K for incandescent bulbs), LEDs do not get hot, as almost all the energy is converted to light. This makes them much safer – in fact, some construction sites have banned high wattage halogen lights due the risk of fire and burns to workers.

    Energy efficiency

    LEDs are 95% efficient, compared with 5% for tungsten halogen bulbs and 85% for fluorescent tubes, which means they consume far less energy. And, while lighting plays a small role in an organisation’s overall emissions (between 5% and 10%), switching to LED lighting is easy and a ‘quick win’ for carbon savings.

    Whole life costs

    While the purchase price of an LED light may be higher than one using a conventional bulb, the whole-life costs are far lower. This is because conventional tungsten halogen lamps last between 2,000 and 4,000 hours; whereas LEDs can last up to 11,000 hours (depending on usage) and are more robust. As there are no bulbs to break, LEDs require less maintenance and there is less chance of damage.

    The case for LEDs

    LED lighting offers a number of advantages over conventional systems but this choice is made more difficult by the complex factors at play and the wide range of lighting sources and products available.

    For the construction industry, considering the correct level of light, its colour and how it is cast can reduce accidents on site, make workers more efficient and minimise costs.

    And, while there are no statutory requirements for employers to provide adequate lighting in the workplace, construction health and safety managers should look to the HSE’s Lighting at work (HG38), which is probably the most helpful as, along with general guidance, it gives minimum lighting levels for different construction activities.

    It is also advisable to speak to lighting manufacturers and suppliers, who will be able to help construction companies plan and specify lighting, to ensure teams remain safe and well, wherever and whenever they are working.



  • Don’t neglect your feet when choosing safety footwear.

    Safety boots have come a long way in the last few years, and the availability of choices in safety footwear is staggering. Safety boots can vary widely in quality and features. When considering safety footwear, certainly you want to consider the level of protection your boots are going to provide given your work environment, but you also want to take into consideration the features they offer with regard to comfort and overall foot health.

    Let’s face it, when you’re on the job, and potentially on your feet for hours at a time, you don’t want to be distracted by your feet. So, what do you want to consider when choosing safety footwear?


    Certainly, one of the first things you want to look for is a boot that is certified to ASTM F2413 for toe protection. Back in the day, there was ANSI Z41, but ASTM F2413 superseded that standard back in 2005. Most modern-day shoes are now certified to the ASTM standard. The most current edition is the ASTM F2413-2018 edition (meaning the edition was revised in 2018), replacing ASTM F2413-2011 edition. Since it takes a bit of time for manufacturers to go through a third-party certification process, especially when a new version of a standard comes out, boots certified to the new 2018 edition will just be hitting the market.

    Boots can be certified just for the basic impact (I) and compression (C) for the toe caps, or manufacturers can choose to get additional optional certifications as well. Optional add on certifications are metatarsal protection (Mt), Conductive protection (Cd), Electrical hazard protection (EH), Static Dissipative protection (SD) and Puncture resistance (PR). All certified boots will have a combination of these abbreviations on the inside label of the boot, depending on what it is certified for.

    Take into consideration what you need for working at your particular job, such as the need for electrical hazard protection or puncture resistance in the sole. Bear in mind that electrical hazard protection and static dissipative features are mutually exclusive. A boot can only be one or the other, but not both. Think of it this way, one helps to prevent electricity from coming into the body (EH), the other helps to prevent you from emitting static electricity (SD). Boots that are certified conductive (Cd) are similar to static dissipative boots; conductive boots just “conduct” the static electricity faster and more completely than static dissipative boots. Also be aware that in the case of EH rated boots, they are not meant to be the primary source of protection, but only a secondary source of protection.

    Alignment and Support

    Besides looking for footwear that is certified to the safety standard, other factors should come into play when deciding on your footwear because your feet are the foundation on which your body rests. The muscle chains that hold our body upright and permit us to stand, run, carry heavy objects and much more, all have their origins in the feet. The foot contains 26 different bones. The shape of these, and the muscle and ligaments to which they are attached, are precisely aligned so that you can withstand the stresses of everyday life without any issues.

    Did you know that during the course of an average lifetime, your feet will transport you a distance equivalent to going around the world up to four times? That’s a lot of work for your feet, especially while having to carry the weight of your body. And if you pick incorrect footwear, you can place additional burdens on to your feet.

    The foot and the boot must form a functional unit. The main tasks of the boot are to not only provide protection from work hazards, but also provide any support necessary to meet the specific demands placed on it without affecting the foot’s bio-mechanical properties. For example, having adequate cushioning and shock absorption, keeping the foot aligned in the correct position for muscle balance, and to prevent malpositions of the feet.

    Currently 65 percent of people between the age of 19 to 34 are already suffering from irreparable malposition to the feet and suffering from the resultant changes to their musculoskeletal system. Symptoms resulting from foot problems can manifest itself into unexplained aches and pains to the back, head, knees, or feet. Incorrect foot positions can ultimately lead to incorrect posture. Boots are actually made on foot “lasts.” These are foot forms, and ultimately determine the final fit of a boot or shoe, because the shoe is built and molded based around the foot last. Manufacturers will generally have their own lasts, and these can vary widely between manufacturers. The best lasts are those that are built anatomically correct based on orthopedic parameters. These types of lasts will result in a boot that will follow the form of your foot, and ultimately provide footwear that will be more comfortable.

    Anatomically correct lasts will have a more pronounced arch and provide more arch support, especially for those who have flatter feet. Good arch support will support the natural curvature of the foot and helps to keep the foot in the best position for optimal foot health. Look for boots that mention arch support, especially if you will be standing on the job for long periods of time.


    Since we are talking about safety boots, toe protection certainly is the biggest player here. Your toe cap needs to protect you from impact and compression, and if certified, the toe already meets the ASTM testing standard. The question then becomes, whether the toe caps should be steel or composite. Composite toe caps are becoming more and more popular as they can help reduce the weight of a boot.

    Manufacturers are designing boots using newer, more modern technologies to make boots lighter and more comfortable. One thing to note with composite toe caps, you may have a smaller toe box than with a steel toe. This is because the thickness of the toe cap must be thicker in a composite toe than a steel toe in order to provide enough protection from the impact and compression as dictated by ASTM. In the end, it is more a matter of personal preference whether to go with a composite or a steel toe.


    Other factors to consider when choosing quality safety boots is whether you would like leather or fabric. Good quality leather will be more durable, and some leathers are breathable as well. If you need a waterproof boot, look for a waterproof inner liner that will also wick moisture and allow your feet to breathe. This will help prevent your feet from getting too hot and sweaty, and moisture wicking properties will help keep your feet dry.

    As a tip, a good quality wool blend sock will help keep your feet warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer by helping to keep foot temperature regulated and aids in wicking moisture. Cotton socks will just absorb foot sweat, keep your feet damp, and lead to the possibility of blisters. Cotton socks can also interfere with the moisture wicking properties and breathability of a boot. Feet that are too hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable can be a distraction from the job at hand.


    Not to be left out, consider what type of sole you need for the job that you do. Slip resistance can certainly be a factor in a lot of jobs, look for a sole that mentions it offers slip resistance. Oil and fuel resistance may be needed in some environments, and there are soles that are able to withstand exposure to these chemicals over time better than others; look for a sole that mentions it is oil and fuel resistant.

    If you are you outdoors in cold weather, you may need to consider a softer sole that won’t harden in colder temperatures, which could certainly be a hazard for slip and falls. On the flip side, however, maybe you have exposure to higher temperature surfaces and need a sole that is heat resistant. Also consider whether you need to have puncture protection in your soles, ASTM does offer puncture resistance (PR) as part of its optional testing, so be sure to look for that to be mentioned on the label.

    As mentioned, there is a wide array of safety shoe models on the market to choose from. You want to protect your feet, not only from hazards in the workplace, but you want to protect the health of your feet as well. Invest in a good quality pair of boots that will take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you. A good pair of quality boots will last longer and treat you better in the long run. Do some research and get what’s best for you, and not just what looks eye-catching on the shelf.


    It’s time for action on hand-impact injuries. Employers and workers alike need to use their heads and start protecting their hands.

    It’s time for action on hand-impact injuries. Employers and workers alike need to use their heads and start protecting their hands. And the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) should reference the American National Standard for Performance and Classification for Impact Resistant Hand Protection (ANSI/ISEA 138-2019) in federal workplace safety regulations.

    More than 42% of nonfatal occupational injuries to upper extremities in 2017 involving days away from work in private industry involved hands. Of the 286,150 nonfatal occupational injuries to upper extremities in 2017 involving days away from work in private industry, 121,860 involved hands, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

    Offshore oil and gas, construction, mining, manufacturing, warehousing and transport industries are particularly susceptible to hand-impact injuries. The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) 2018 Summary of Occupational Incidents (published in June 2019) revealed that 29.47% of total industry lost-time incidents by body part involved fingers (20.26%) and hands/wrists (9.21%), and that 41.41% of total industry recordable incidents by body part involved fingers (31.12%) and hands/wrists (10.29%).

    Moreover, hand injuries are expensive, costing from $540 to $26,000, according to the National Safety Council — with certain types of damage being far more. And because injuries to the hand are the second-most common type of workplace injury, they have a significant impact on workers compensation claims. The National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc., found that “the preliminary 2018 average indemnity accident year claim severity increased by 3% relative to the corresponding 2017 value. Medical lost-time claim severity increased by 1%.”

    Hand-impact injuries can be especially difficult to treat and recover from, particularly if any of a hand’s 27 bones are crushed instead of cleanly broken. In addition to bone injuries, hand-impact accidents can also damage muscles, tendons and ligaments. Since healthy hand function is so essential to many tasks, the stakes are high for both employees and employers.

    The problem is not only tragic and expensive, it’s very preventable. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 70.9 percent of hand and arm injuries could have been prevented with personal protective equipment, specifically safety gloves. Ironically, however, 70% of workers don’t wear hand protection. And of those who do, 30% don’t wear the right kind of glove for the task.

    The biggest injury risks have been dorsal or back-of-hand injuries such as bone breakage and fractures, as well as bruising and finger pinching. Up until this year, though, there was no standardized approach for protecting against those injuries, although standards and guidance were in place for certain types of hand injuries such as those caused by cuts, punctures and chemical exposure.

    The need for standards was all the more urgent, given the wide availability of glove designs with varying performance claims, and employers’ reliance on trial and error to figure out which gloves worked best in protecting against various hand-impact risk exposures.

    That’s why the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) worked with industry experts to create a standard designed for industrial gloves to protect workers. The new standard — ANSI/ISEA 138-2019, American National Standard for Performance and Classification for Impact Resistant Hand Protection — built upon the widely used ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification.

    The U.S. and Europe have long had standards for industrial gloves that protect hands from cuts, punctures, abrasion and chemical exposure, but ANSI/ISEA 138 is the first standard to address the risk from impact injuries in North America. ANSI/ISEA 138 defines an agreed test method, includes three defined performance levels, specifies a pictogram mark for each of the levels for compliant gloves, and requires products be tested in a laboratory with a certificate of accreditation meeting the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories).

    ISEA’s new industrial-glove standard is a vital step toward improved hand safety, and will help employers and workers make better-informed decisions about glove selection. Copies of ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 and ANSI/ISEA 138-2019 can be purchased online from ISEA and from ANSI’s licensed resellers.

    However, the standard is only one part of the answer. ISEA also launched a #SafeHands awareness and education campaign this year, in partnership with the National Waste & Recycling Association and the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association, to help workers and employers grasp the importance of using hand protection. Our special SafeHandsAtWork.org webpage includes an informative hand safety infographic and helpful tips.

    While I hate to say accidents are inevitable, to some extent they are. Training and awareness campaigns are helpful, but they don’t entirely eliminate workplace distractions, employee fatigue or other factors that — despite everyone’s best intentions — contribute to safety lapses.

    That’s why hand protection is vital for a safe workplace. The goal is prevention, but the vital safety step — based on the reality that the goal won’t be met 100% of the time — involves providing and using proper hand protection.


    Changes said to save employers millions of dollars.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Sept. 25 issued a final rule approving two additional quantitative fit testing protocols for inclusion in its Respiratory Protection Standard.

    Effective on Sept. 26, the day after they were issued, these new protocols represent an addition to Appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard. They are:

    ● The modified ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit testing protocol for full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators.

    ● The modified ambient aerosol CNC quantitative fit testing protocol for filtering facepiece respirators.

    Both protocols are variations of the original OSHA-approved CNC protocol, but have fewer test exercises, shorter exercise duration and a more streamlined sampling sequence, according to attorney Megan E. Baroni of the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP.

    The protocols apply to employers in general industry, shipyard employment and the construction industry. “OSHA’s goal in approving these protocols is to provide employers with additional procedures to protect the safety and health of employees who use respirators against hazardous airborne substances in their workplace,” Baroni points out.

    OSHA concludes that the new rule will end up saving employers considerable money in the long run. While the information necessary for employers to document and maintain on the fit test record remains the same, the time it takes to obtain it is reduced because the additional PortaCount protocols will take an employer less time to administer, the agency says.

    As a result, OSHA estimates that the total burden hours decrease for employers will be 201,640 hours, down from 7,622,100 to 7,420,460 hours. Additional savings could result from the more efficient protocols established under the final rule, the agency states. OSHA also argues that the new protocols could result in a cost savings of more than $4 million per year to regulated entities.

    Both protocols are abbreviated variations of the original OSHA approved ambient aerosol CNC quantitative fit testing protocol (often referred to as the PortaCount protocol), but differ from the test by the exercise sets, exercise duration and sampling sequence.

    These protocols will serve as alternatives to the four existing quantitative fit testing protocols already listed in Appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard. OSHA says that it found that these protocols “will maintain safety and health protections for workers while providing additional flexibility and reducing compliance burdens.”

    The original ambient aerosol CNC protocol uses a sample device installed on the respirator to quantitatively test the respirator’s fit. The probed respirator is used only for the fit test. The PortaCount protocol employs a series of eight test exercises, performed in the following order: normal breathing, deep breathing, turning head side to side, moving head up and down, talking, grimacing, bending over and then normal breathing again.

    The new quantitative fit testing (QNFT) protocols will provide employers additional options to fit test their employees for respirator use, Baroni explains. OSHA issued the rule with the expectation that it will increase employers’ flexibility in choosing fit testing methods for employees.

    Baroni notes that the new rule does not require an employer to update or replace its current fit testing methods if those fit testing methods that are currently in use meet existing standards.

    In addition, states with OSHA-approved state plans are not obligated to adopt the additional fit testing protocols. Nevertheless, the agency is strongly encouraging them to adopt the final provisions to provide additional compliance options to employers in their states.

    In this regard, OSHA concludes that the new fit testing protocols provide employers in the State Plan states with procedures that protect the safety and health of employees who use respirators against hazardous airborne substances in their workplace at least as well as the quantitative fit testing protocols in Appendix A of the standard.


    There are additional steps companies can take to mitigate arc flash hazards and remove workers from harm’s way

    An arc flash is defined as a hazardous explosion of energy from an electrical circuit, or a type of discharge that results from a low-impedance connection through air to ground or to another voltage phase in an electrical system.

    In the United States, arc flashes occur as often as five to 10 times per day. Many of these incidents result in injuries, and some are even deadly.

    Creating a heat blast of up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit, arc flash incidents can also damage equipment and interrupt business operations, leading to significant economic losses. The cause can be as simple as a rodent, a misplaced tool, humidity issues, or another element in the breaker area that compromises the electrical “spacing” between energized components. Essentially all electrical systems of voltages 200V or greater are susceptible to arc flash incidents.

    To protect electrical systems from these disastrous effects, electrical professionals must comply with OSHA enforced electrical safety standards in their state and local jurisdiction. The National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 70E1, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, outlines a six-step process for the proper design and installation of electrical systems: develop and audit electrical safe work practices policy, conduct an arc flash risk assessment to evaluate the likelihood of occurrence and severity of arc flash hazards, follow strategies to mitigate and control arc flash hazards, conduct regularly scheduled safety training and audits for all electrical workers, maintain electrical distribution system components and ensure adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper tools that act as the “last line of defense” for exposed workers.

    However, there are additional steps companies can take. Incorporating a “safety by design” approach through the engineering controls helps mitigate arc flash hazards by significantly reducing the arc flash energy levels and removing workers from harm’s way.

    Safety by Design

    The amount of arc flash energy reduction will be determined by an engineering analyses, which will always be a function of the upstream circuit breaker or fuse. This is because arcing time is the key determining factor for arc flash energy. Since incident energy is proportional to arcing time, the use of a faster-acting devices is key. As a result, proper selection of overcurrent protective devices and systems—in particular, selecting control devices that will quickly clear arcing faults from the power system—is a powerful mitigation strategy.

    There are choices for retrofitting a “safety by design” approach into switchgear, even if the system is decades old. For example, digital relays with overcurrent sensing can now be added to the low-voltage side of a service transformer designed to trip an existing upstream device. Or, light sensors capable of detecting arcs in just a millisecond can be installed within switchgear compartments. A comprehensive look at the system through a safety lens can identify the right options for almost any installation.

    Selecting an arc flash mitigation method is a challenging task for many facilities. A simple, reliable and affordable design is expected. In order to achieve this challenging task, here are a few critical questions to ask in the early stage of the system design:

    1. How can I reduce the hazard risk?

    2. What is my PPE goal?

    3. Which operations do I need a PPE, maintenance, troubleshooting?

    4. Is service continuity or equipment damage a concern for my system and process?

    5. What is my budget to achieve the goal?

    6. What is the restriction for additional construction like exhaust plenums?

    The answers to these questions will shape the system design.

    Consider these recommendations while selecting arc flash mitigation techniques: reduce AFIE (Arc Fault Incident Energy) level, or PPE, as much as possible, improve service continuity, reduce exposure to live parts, simplify commissioning and usage to reduce human risk factor, optimize cost for Capex and Opex and save space with the minimum footprint and less construction.

    Arc Flash Assessments

    Within electrical equipment, the arc flash risk can vary dramatically, and this typically results in a maximum “zone” of risk associated with the line-side of the main circuit breaker. Another zone of risk, typically an order of magnitude less, exists on the load side of the main circuit breaker. The question is, what is the sufficient isolation in between line side and load side of an electrical enclosure?

    A risk assessment should include evaluating the incident energy in each of these zones and creating an understanding of proximity risk, that is, what is the chance that an arc, created downstream of the main circuit breaker, could transfer to the line-side of the main circuit breaker? Serious consequences would result if this were to happen and the worker was wearing PPE appropriate only for the load side risk or vice versa.


    OSHA knows many factors impact workplace safety. Starting today, OSHA will put into effect its new weighting system for workplace safety and health inspections.

    OSHA inspections are getting a makeover; now, they will consider other factors outside of just a time-weighted basis. The OSHA Weighting System (OWS) will go into effect October 1, 2019, and will replace the current weighting system initiated in FY 2015.

    A new weighted inspection system comes from the growing concern that the current reliance on the factor of time does not provide a holistic evaluation of a workplace’s safety and health. OSHA understands time is not the only factor to assess when considering the potential impact of an inspection. Other factors—like types of hazards inspected and abated and effective targeting—also influence the impact on workplace safety and health. The new system includes enforcement initiatives like Site-Specific Targeting to the weighting system.

    OSHA’s new weighting system will incorporate the three major work elements performed by the field: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution), and compliance assistance efforts. OHSA has been running the new weighting system to confirm data integrity.


    Andrew Sharman has become the President of his field’s professional bodyRead More
    Teledyne Technologies Incorporated announced today the successful completion of the previously announced acquisition by Teledyne of the gas and flame detection business of 3M for $230 million in cash. The gas and flame detection business includes Oldham, Simtronics, Gas Measurement Instruments (GMI), Detcon and select Scott Safety products.

    “We have now completed two corporate carve-out acquisitions in 2019, and we closed each transaction within two months of announcement.”

    "The gas and flame detection business provides a portfolio of fixed and portable industrial gas and flame detection instruments used in a variety of industries including petrochemical, power generation, oil & gas, food & beverage, mining and waste water treatment"

    The Oldham, Simtronics, GMI and Detcon brands bring together over 100 years of industry experience across a wide range of standard products and customized solutions. These rugged trace gas analyzers feature fast response time, intrinsically-safe sensors and satisfy multiple international certification standards.

    “We are excited to welcome this new core business and its employees to Teledyne. The gas and flame detection business utilizes similar technology and serves related markets as our portfolio of environmental instrumentation businesses. However, our respective products do not compete and we generally serve customers in complementary geographies,” said Robert Mehrabian, Executive Chairman of Teledyne. “We have now completed two corporate carve-out acquisitions in 2019, and we closed each transaction within two months of announcement.”

    Teledyne management expects the transaction to be accretive to GAAP earnings per share in the first year after the acquisition.


    Under OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping rule at 29 CFR Part 1904, most employers are required to maintain records of work-related injuries and illnesses their employees incur. (Very small employers and employers in certain low-hazard industries are exempt.) These requirements are not new; however, many organizations struggle to understand and apply all the nuances of the standard when it comes to determining whether a case is recordable, how to record injuries and illnesses that affect contractors and temporary workers, and how OSHA’s requirements overlap with and diverge from state workers’ compensation laws, to name just a few of the many common points of confusion. And with recent developments around severe injury reporting and electronic record-keeping, mistakes can be more costly than ever for employers.

    More Information Flowing to OSHA

    Historically, injury and illness records have been primarily internal documents. OSHA compliance officers would review them at individual establishments as part of the inspection process, and some employers were periodically asked to submit them to the government for research purposes, but OSHA did not receive the vast majority of employers’ injury and illness data. But beginning in 2015, a series of revisions to Part 1904 steadily increased the flow of information on workplace injuries and illnesses to OSHA.

    First, in 2015, a rule took effect that imposed stricter requirements for the reporting of fatalities and serious injuries. Under the previous rule, employers were required to report both fatalities and incidents resulting in the inpatient hospitalization of 3 or more workers to OSHA within 8 hours. Under the revised standard, the fatality reporting requirement remained unchanged, but employers were newly required to report all inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees, amputations, and eye-loss incidents to OSHA within 24 hours.

    The new requirements dramatically increased the number of severe injury reports OSHA received. In just the first year of the new reporting requirements, federal OSHA received more than 10,000 reports of severe injuries. Responding to the influx, the agency created a new inspection method called the Rapid Response Investigation protocol. Under this strategy, rather than sending a compliance officer to investigate every severe injury report in person, a triage system was implemented that allowed certain cases to be handled by directing an employer to conduct a root cause analysis of the incident that led to a severe injury and submit the results, including evidence of corrective actions, to OSHA. An inadequate response could open the door to a full in-person inspection.

    OSHA hailed the rule change as a success, stating that the new reporting requirements gave the agency timely information about where and how severe workplace injuries were occurring, allowing it to better target its enforcement and outreach efforts, and created opportunities for employers to work with the agency to prevent future incidents.

    Electronic Recordkeeping

    If the severe injury reporting changes started the flow of workplace injury information to OSHA, the electronic recordkeeping requirements that were finalized the following year opened the floodgates. The 2016 rule required establishments with 250 or more workers to submit all three OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping forms—the 300 log, the 301 incident report, and the 300A annual summary—to OSHA electronically each year. Establishments in certain high-hazard industries with 20–249 employees were required to submit the 300A summary form only.

    OSHA stated that it planned to post the injury and illness data, stripped of personally identifiable information, on its website in an attempt to shame employers into improving their safety performance. The agency also said data received under the rule would be used to help the agency more effectively target its enforcement resources.

    The rule was controversial from its start, with safety professionals and industry groups alike claiming it would lead to underreporting of injuries and an overemphasis on lagging indicators, considered by many safety professionals to offer a view of safety performance that is incomplete at best. Stakeholders also claimed the public shaming and enforcement targeting OSHA promised were contrary to the agency’s longstanding characterization of the injury and illness recordkeeping rule as a no-fault system.

    By the time the first electronic submission deadline rolled around, in 2017, the new presidential administration had reconsidered some of the rule’s provisions. The requirement for large establishments to submit OSHA 300 logs and 301 incident reports was never enforced. In January 2019, OSHA published a final rule officially rescinding those requirements. However, affected establishments are still required to submit data from their 300A annual summary forms by March 2 each year, and those requirements appear to be here to stay.

    Impact for Employers

    At the end of 2018, OSHA announced its new Site-Specific Targeting program, which drew upon calendar year 2016 data OSHA received under the electronic recordkeeping rule to identify establishments for comprehensive inspections.

    Employers with higher than average rates of injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work, or job transfer (DART rates) comprise the primary group of targeted establishments. OSHA also plans to inspect some establishments that were required to submit injury and illness data electronically but failed to do so, as well as a smaller group of establishments with below-average DART rates as a statistical check on the validity of the data.

    With civil penalties for OSHA violations now topping out at $132,598 for a single violation, and with OSHA’s new expansive access to businesses’ injury and illness records, the stakes and potential consequences of injury and illness recordkeeping mistakes are higher than ever. OSHA has indicated that it intends to continue to use the data it receives under the electronic recordkeeping rule, combined with severe injury reports, to develop and refine its enforcement strategies. Recordkeeping mistakes or red flags in an employer’s injury and illness data can now lead OSHA right to your door.


    Natural gas and LPG (liquid petroleum gas) are commonly used as fuels for heating, cooking, cutting, welding and often in the processing of products. While the majority of us will use gas in some form every day of our personal and professional lives, far too many are unaware of how dangerous it can be if not handled correctly.

    In support of this year’s Gas Safety Week (which falls between 16-22 September), David Holmes, founder at Boiler Guide, outlines the serious dangers associated with unsafe gas appliances and how health and safety practitioners can minimise those risks in the workplace.

    Gas safety: what are the potential risks?

    Employers are legally required to comply with the relevant Gas Safety regulations to help ensure worker and public safety. If your organisation does not have a secure and safe gas supply with properly functioning appliances, you are putting the safety of your personnel at risk, not to mention the potential reputational and financial damage a gas leak could cause. In addition, a business which fails to carry out important checks on gas appliances could invalidate their property’s insurance arrangements.

    There are several risks associated with the usage of poorly maintained, damaged or malfunctioning gas appliances, pipes or storage cylinders. From burns caused by direct contact with overheating appliances to fires, explosions and potentially lethal carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, the consequences can be catastrophic.

    Gas leaks

    Poor maintenance of gas pipes, cylinders or appliances can cause gas leaks. Gas is highly flammable and as such the smallest flame or spark of static electricity could lead to fires or, in extreme cases, explosions.

    Carbon monoxide poisoning

    BoilerOn average, carbon monoxide poisoning causes 50 deaths each year as well as up to 4,000 medical visits. Carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas which is produced when gas does not burn properly or when there is not adequate ventilation. Improperly maintained or poorly fitted gas appliances may emit carbon monoxide which is why it’s essential to have all gas work carried out and checked regularly by a competent person.

    When we inhale carbon monoxide it attaches to the haemoglobin in our bloodstream which reduces how much oxygen the blood can carry. This can have serious consequences within a matter of hours including brain damage or even death.

    Because carbon monoxide is colourless and odourless many people are unaware that there is a leak unless they are vigilant and can recognise the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Tiredness/drowsiness;
  • Headaches;
  • Nausea;
  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Chest and stomach pains.

    Carbon monoxide leaks can also be detected by a carbon monoxide detector which will sound an alarm when carbon monoxide is in the air.

    If you suspect you have a gas or carbon monoxide leak…

  • Open all windows and doors;
  • Shut off the gas supply at the meter;
  • Evacuate everyone from the building;
  • Call the Gas Emergency Freephone Number 0800 111 999;
  • Ensure that investigations and repair work is carried out by a competent Gas Safe engineer.

    If you have any suspicion that an employee or employees have been exposed to carbon monoxide, turn off all gas appliances, take the affected staff to a well-ventilated area and call 999.

    DO NOT:

  • Use electrical equipment;
  • Switch lights on/off;
  • Enter cellars or go into confined spaces below ground;
  • Light matches or any naked flames.

    Finding a competent Gas Safe engineer

    Thermostatic Valve And Plumber Tools On Wooden BackgroundIn order to install, service or fix a gas appliance, a person must be competent. In the UK, this means that they must be on the Gas Safe Register. In some cases, they may also need to have additional qualifications to enable them to work on specific appliances or in commercial settings.

    Every Gas Safe registered person is issued with a unique ID card featuring their photo, company name, their business registration number and personal licence number, a security hologram and start/expiry dates so you can check the ID is currently valid. You can check the type of work they are qualified to do by looking on the back of the card.

    Alternatively, check the Gas Safe Register.

    If the Gas Safe engineer finds an issue during a safety check you will be unable to use the equipment until it has been fixed and declared safe by a Gas Safe engineer. Using or reconnect an appliance that you have been informed is unsafe is against the law and incredibly dangerous.

    Responsibilities of health and safety practitioners

  • Make sure that every gas appliance and flue is safety checked and serviced annually. If you are starting a lease on new premises, check when gas appliances were installed and when the last safety checks were carried out.
  • Ensure that all installation, maintenance and safety checks are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer and that records of each check are kept for at least two years.
  • Ensure a carbon monoxide detector is installed on every floor of your workplace and check batteries regularly.
  • Before an engineer carries out any gas work, check their ID card AND that they are currently on the Gas Safe Register.
  • Ensure air vents on gas appliances are unblocked and well ventilated.
  • Carry out a risk assessment for any gas usage and storage appliances to identify potential hazards, controls and policies that are needed.
  • Educate all employees about the signs, symptoms and risks associated with gas and carbon monoxide leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.

    For example:

  • Staining or discolouration around gas appliances;
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms (e.g. headaches, nausea, tiredness) when at work but not when they leave;
  • Gas appliances should always burn with a blue flame; an orange, yellow or red flame is a cause for concer.



  • Set Descending Direction
    UAE Free Delivery on AED 100
    GCC Free Delivery on AED 300
    How we can assist you?
    contact us for specialist advice
    Money back guarantee!
    send within 14 days