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Protect While You Paint

DIY Paint Jobs

If you’ve ever taken on a large painting job you’ll know that it’s messy work. So in order to protect your home, surroundings, and yourself you’ll need to prepare ahead of time. Here are some steps to take when tackling your DIY paint job project.

Exterior and Interior

In order to paint your home it first must be cleaned. Depending on the type of exterior siding your home has you should pressure wash, scrape, sand, or use any other safe method of removing dirt and grime from your home. The same holds true for the interior though it probably just requires a dusting or wipe-down. You’ll also want to fix any damage that may exist on the siding or walls. Do a thorough job without cutting corners, this will make your paint job look better and last longer. As for your surroundings cover anything that would be damaged if paint were to fall on it. Your car, rose bushes, carpet, furniture. The more you prepare ahead of time the less messy cleanup you will have to deal with later.

Paint Coveralls

Paint is extremely hard and sometimes even impossible to remove from clothing. Also, depending on what you’re painting and the kind you’re using, getting paint on your skin could be dangerous. That’s why the smart thing to do is to get a pair of painter’s coveralls to protect your clothes and skin from damage. Fortunately, painter’s coveralls are an affordable, easy to use alternative to damaging your clothing and skin.

Disposable Garments

Disposable Garments Protective Clothing offers several different kinds of painter’s coveralls to keep you clean and protected from paint stains and chemicals. Our Tyvek® suits are resistant to paint, aerosols, blood borne pathogens, and much more. Comfortable, breathable, and durable these paint suits provide the perfect barrier between you and your job.

For a little more protection try our Maxshield suits, which are constructed using two layers of protective material making them even more durable and resistant. With both types of suits you can also chose the extent of coverage you want. From painter’s coveralls, to hooded suits, to aprons, we’ve got you covered.

Order online today to get your disposable garments!

How to Get Your Staff to Wear Protective Clothing

Employees & Protective Clothing

Let’s face it. As much as managers and safety professionals know the importance of protective clothing in dangerous work environments, not all employees quite agree. They may think it’s too uncomfortable, not stylish, or not necessary for the task at hand. Not only is this frustrating as a boss, it can pose serious safety and financial risk. If an employee gets injured in some way on the job, the company will be held liable. Making sure that employees wear the proper protective clothing is just as much for their safety as it is for management’s. Below are some of the best ways to ensure your employees wear the proper protective clothing and equipment on dangerous work sites.

Make it Mandatory

Setting a precedent of mandatory PPE is the single best way to ensure your employees wear what they need to on the job. Don’t give them the option whether to wear it or not. They should not be allowed on site until they are fully and properly geared-up. Put the rules in writing and make sure everyone is explicitly aware of what gear and equipment is necessary in which locations and for which tasks.

Stand by Your Policies

Discipline those who do not wear the proper gear or protective clothing. This isn’t fun for anyone, but unfortunately, it might be necessary. Making a policy and sticking to it is going to be one of the most effective ways of maintaining properly dressed and equipped workers on your job site. The consequences for not wearing the proper gear is up to you, but understand that it should be severe enough to coerce them to wear the equipment. Stay credible as a boss by adhering to your policies and following through with disciplinary action. Don’t let anyone off the hook—no exceptions.

Continuing Training

Safety training is a must for all employees on dangerous worksites. However, shouldn’t end with a single session. Make safety a part of the culture of your work site. Have frequent safety refreshers and meetings. Educate and remind employees of the necessity of the proper equipment for certain jobs as often as you can. Demonstrate how to wear and use equipment and protective clothing properly. Show people why wearing protective clothing properly is a good choice and also clearly demonstrate the dangers and consequences of inadequate safety practices.

3 Good Reasons to Choose Flame Resistant Coveralls

You know what they say—if you can’t take the heat, buy flame resistant coveralls! Before you buy another pair of fire resistant pants, consider choosing flame resistant (FR) coveralls. FR coveralls offer a slew of benefits compared to FR pants (like how they are on SALE for super low prices right now). Look hot but stay cool with superior protection and other benefits that pants alone simply cannot bring to the table. There are 3 good reasons that you should be using coveralls instead of pants and shirts.

1. Easier fit
2. Better coverage
3. One garment to keep up with

Easier Fit

Have you ever had to deal with a shirt that keeps riding up? No thank you! It can be very annoying and distracting which is bad enough, but worst of all, it can leave you vulnerable to fire. Fiddling with your clothing to ensure that you are covered up can take away from the focus that you need for the task at hand. It only takes a second to make a mistake. Having an option for an easier fit that you do not have to worry about is simply a better way of protecting yourself. You can wear coveralls right over your clothing. They slip right on and you can slip right out of them whenever you are out of danger from the hazard. They are a safer option when you need to focus on the job and not on your clothing.

Better Coverage

You never have to worry about any part of your body being exposed. Coveralls “cover it all”. There are even hooded styles that can cover the back of your neck and head so you are completely protected. You never have to worry about lower back exposure or torso exposure. You step into the garment, close it up and you are wrapped in protection. Pants alone or a pant shirt combo cannot give you that type of coverage without the risk of skin being exposed.

One Garment to Keep Up With

Coveralls are ideal for anyone that hates to have to keep track of their FR gear. It is one garment that does double duty so you do not have to search around for pants and shirts. They make life easier and safer, and reduce clutter!

Don’t Get Burned!

Don’t get burned, whether it’s by flames on the job, or by companies trying to sell you inferior or overpriced products. MPE offers FR overalls at a fair price. They are high quality coveralls that offer the flame resistant protection that you need—much better than fire resistant pants alone—and did we mention? There just so happens to be a SALE on fire resistant coveralls that you can check out here! Check out your options at MPE and consider coveralls instead of separate pieces. They are a better option for safety protection.

Tips for Choosing Flame Resistant Jackets

Why You Need FR Jackets

Flame resistant jackets can be a life saver. If you work in a dangerous field that exposes you to high temperatures or flames, one of the most important things you can do is to add an FR jacket to your work gear. A lot of people overlook these types of jackets for work or when they are in an environment where there is a fire hazard. You might be surprised at the options for flame resistant jackets. They do not have to be bulky coats that weigh you down.

The truth is, accidents happen all the time on work sites that result in serious injury or death that start—and they can start with just a little spark. Anything that you can do to reduce the risk of injury is always a good choice. That’s why you should add a flame resistant jacket to your work attire. But shopping for flame resistant jackets can seem like a daunting task. Below are some tips for purchasing flame resistant jackets.

Avoid Bulky Garments

Bulky garments do not provide better protection. It may sound counterintuitive but more material doesn’t necessarily mean more protection when it comes to fire resistance. The reason that you should avoid bulky jackets is because they are hard to move freely in. If you work outdoors and work with risky materials, you want a jacket that fits comfortably so that you will be more inclined to actually wear it. Far too many times someone has been hurt because they could not move around in their jacket and they took it off.

Go Up a Size

To be on the safe side go a size up in the jacket so that you will be guaranteed free movement, and you will be able to layer comfortably underneath. One size up can make a huge difference in your comfort level and remember the goal is to keep the jacket comfortable so you can wear it while you work.

The right jacket will make all the difference in your level of safety when you are working in hazardous conditions.

Lab Safety

Laboratories

One environment where it pays to have the proper protective clothing is a laboratory. Labs are full of safety hazards ranging from mild to life-threatening. Safety should be at the top of the list of priorities for lab workers. Depending on the type of lab, workers may be exposed to certain chemicals, bacteria, airborne or blood borne pathogens, and a variety of other health risks. Protective eye wear, respirators, and clothing all help keep lab workers safe. Below are some of the pinnacles of lab safety that all lab workers should keep in mind while on the job.

Proper PPE

Of course the first piece of lab safety we have to mention is having the right clothing and equipment for the job. Different hazards require different safeguards. If you are working with dangerous chemicals which could damage or burn your skin, make sure to have clothing which will protect your hands, arms, and torso from splashing chemicals. If you are working around flames, make sure your clothing is fire-resistant. Also be sure not to wear open-toed shoes in a lab setting to protect your feet.

Stay Tidy

Keeping a clean and tidy workplace is incredibly important in a laboratory setting. Making sure equipment is properly cleaned, wiping up spills as soon as they occur, and scrubbing surfaces after they have come into contact with harsh or dangerous substances are all paramount in minimizing the chance you come into contact with something that could harm you.

Understand Labeling

There are a variety of symbols used in labeling for equipment, chemicals, and other items found in a laboratory. Familiarize yourself with the meaning of these symbols so you can recognize and understand the dangers each item may present. Knowing safety labeling is necessary to work in a lab environment.

First Aid

First aid should be readily available and clearly labeled in any lab setting. First aid can help with minor cuts, burns, bruises, and the like. It can also help with more serious injuries until medical personnel arrive. Labs should also have emergency eye washing stations or showers to help those who have come into contact with harmful substances.

Proper Disposal

Make sure that you are disposing of waste properly in your laboratory. There are a variety of different categories of waste and each needs to be properly discarded. Hazardous glass and plastic for example should be put into a sturdy, leak-proof container and properly labeled. Biohazards suits should be similarly disposed of in a container which is appropriately marked. Some chemicals cannot go down a sink drain and should be thrown out separately. Each lab should have guidelines and policies for waste disposal.

The Importance of Protective Clothing

Certain sites present dangers to workers. Sites like laboratories, construction sites, oil & gas fields, factories, and many more are home to a variety of hazards. Luckily, there is disposable protective clothing and equipment that can help mitigate these risks. Protective garments shield workers from chemicals, toxins, bacteria, and even flames. Using protective clothing and equipment is necessary for those working under dangerous conditions like the following:

Chemicals and Toxins

Protective clothing and equipment helps those who work around harmful chemicals or toxins. Different substances require different sorts of protection. Airborne hazards may require workers to wear protective eye gear or respirators. Chemicals that may burn or harm the skin may require workers to wear coveralls, gloves, or jackets.

Fire

Worksites where fire is an eminent danger require fire-resistant clothing or “FR Clothing”. There are all types of articles of clothing that can be fire-resistant such as pants, shirts, jackets, and coveralls. FR clothing protects against flames while remaining not-too-bulky or heavy and still being breathable.

Bacteria

Certain worksites cause people to be in the presence of or handle deadly bacteria or viruses. These sited require some of the highest levels of protection available to ensure that workers do not come into direct contact with the bacteria or virus. Clothing needs to be tear-proof and encompass the whole body. Sites like this are where hazmat suits are often worn. Doctors are also in need of protective clothing so that they do not come into contact with bacteria or viruses.

Heavy Machinery

Some jobs like garages and construction sites require a different type of protection. Hard hats and steel-toe boots are often necessary on these sites because physical hazards are prevalent. On construction sites, it’s often mandated that workers wear brightly colored or reflective vests to indicate their position to other workers.

Hard Hat Classifications

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration requires hard hats to be worn on any worksite where there is potential for falling objects, debris, or hazards to injure workers, or where electrical conductors may make contact with a worker’s head. OSHA-approved hard hats have specific qualities that protect workers from such harm. Different worksites lend themselves to different hard hat specifications. Certain helmets are made to resist higher levels of impact or electricity than others, and these must be worn in areas with higher presences of danger.

Classifications

The American National Standards Institute classifies hard hats by both type and class. The following are classifications for hard hats according to the ANSI:

ANSI Type I hard hats protect from impact of falling objects from above. These hats are often made from high density polyethylene which has a high strength-to-density ratio.

ANSI Type II hard hats protect against both vertical and lateral hazards, meaning these helmets defend workers from impact and penetration from both falling objects as well as hazards which workers may walk into such as beams, corners, and low-hanging objects. These helmets are also lined with interior foam made usually of expanded polystyrene.

Class C hats provide no electrical protection whatsoever. They are meant only to protect against impact.

Class G or general, helmets protect against low-voltage exposure. They are tested at 2,200 volts.

Class E hard hats are designed for high voltage exposure and are meant to protect against 20,000 volts of electricity.

Product Lifetime

Daily inspection of hard hats is necessary to ensure they are intact and functional. Any blemishes or flaws as a result of impact such as cracks, dents, and holes render them useless. Additionally, UV radiation may damage hard hats. This damage will be evident by the loss of shine on the helmet. Many hard hats have an expiration date displayed somewhere on the product. Check to make certain the hat you are using is not past its manufacturer-set lifespan.

Hard hats are an essential piece of personal protective equipment for industries across the board. Finding the right hard hat for the job ensures safety and wellness for all workers. However, safety shouldn’t cost a fortune. Hard hats at MPE are affordable without sacrificing quality. Visit the shop to see what options are available to you.

Courtesy of OSHA

Fire Resistant Clothing in the Oil & Gas Industry

Jobs in Oil and Gas

The oil and gas industry is a dangerous field. The industry involves either operating or developing gas and oil field properties. Jobs may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  • Exploration for crude petroleum
  • Exploration for crude natural gas
  • Drilling wells
  • Completing & equipping wells
  • Operating separators
  • Operating emulsion breakers
  • Operating desilting equipment
  • Pipeline Construction
  • Pipeline Maintenance

Workers are exposed to a variety of hazards including fire, explosions, falls, confined spaces, exposure to chemicals, and getting caught in large machinery to name a few. Safety training is the number one most important element of work site safety, but personal protective equipment plays a paramount role in the safety and health of oil and gas workers. Below are some of the most crucial safety points regarding PPE for oil and gas workers.

Flame Resistance

The most important characteristic of oil and gas industry clothing is flame-resistance. The extensive risk of fires and explosions on worksites lends itself to the need for flame-resistant (FR) apparel. FR clothing is tested under critical conditions to comply with National Fire Protection Association specific performance requirements 70 E and 2112. Available flame-resistant apparel may span from vests to coveralls and everywhere in between.

Necessary Equipment

Oil and gas industry workers also need to wear the proper personal protective equipment on-site. The equipment necessary for each worksite may vary due to the circumstances. This might include safety goggles, masks, gloves, earplugs, hoods, and boots.
This clothing and equipment is essential for most jobs in the oil and gas industry. But just because they are necessities doesn’t mean that they should cost an arm and a leg. Worker protection should be affordable to encourage the safety of all workers. MPE offers disposable worksite garments that don’t sacrifice quality for low prices. Visit the shop to see top-of-the-line flame resistant apparel as well as personal protective equipment used in the oil and gas industry. Save lives with the correct equipment for the job, and save money in the process.

Avoiding the Flu

Influenza, commonly called the “flu”, is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus that attacks the respiratory system. Symptoms of the flu include muscle achiness, soreness, headache, high fever, sore nose or throat, coughing, and being lethargic (among others). Gastric issues may also be associated with the flu such as vomiting, queasiness, or nausea. Often, people are disabled from the flu for several days. It is extremely contagious and can lead to hospitalization or even death.

Especially during the winter months in cold climates, the flu can be a threat to occupational health and safety. Because it is so very contagious, those with the flu should stay home from work to avoid spreading the virus. However, it is in everyone’s best interest to prevent the flu in the first place. Here are some helpful hints for fighting the flu.

Flu Vaccines

First and foremost, get vaccinated! One of the best ways to prevent the flu is by going and getting the flu vaccine. Vaccines protect against the most common types of flu viruses, and are available at the beginning of flu season, which is generally around October. It is especially important for those handling children, the elderly, and those in the healthcare field to get flu vaccines to prevent the spread of the flu among those demographics which are more susceptible to infection.

Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands until you think you’ve washed them too much, and then wash them some more. Your hands touch so many surfaces throughout a day and collect germs with every point of contact. Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently with antibacterial soap helps you as well as those you come in contact with stay clean and healthy.

Avoid Contact With Others

During flu season, try your best to avoid contact with those who are exhibiting symptoms of the flu. Similarly, if you begin to exhibit symptoms, make sure that you keep clear of others so you don’t infect them. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or shirt should you feel the onset of symptoms while at work, and just stay home if you are starting to get sick outside of work.

Avoid Contact with Yourself

Hands off! Keep you hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth if you can help it. Touching your face can lead to the spread of germs and make you sick. Keep your hands away from your face to stay healthy.

Go to the Doctor

Don’t wait until symptoms progress and you become miserable. Go to the doctor at the first sign of the flu and take their recommendations! If the doctor prescribes anti-viral medicine, make sure to actually take it! You’ll thank yourself in the long-run for tackling your flu head-on.

Courtesy of the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

Occupational Respiratory Problems

A wide range of workers suffer from respiratory problems that occur as a direct result of their work environment. Workplaces from construction sites to bakeries may contaminate the air that workers breathe. Respiratory issues affect the productivity of workers, making occupational respiratory problems not only a safety concern, but a business problem. The most among these issues is work-related asthma, or occupational asthma. Occupational asthma’s symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. All sorts of airborne substances can lead to occupational asthma.

In order to mitigate the risk of occupational asthma, employers and employees alike must take preventative measures. Following OSHA guidelines to address hazardous work environments is the first step. The Occupational Safety and Health Act clearly spells out what businesses need to do to keep their workers free of harm. Make sure that your business adheres to these guidelines and don’t be afraid to supplement safety measures with your own rules.

The best way to ensure occupational health and safety is through proper training. Early and thorough safety training sessions and frequent refreshers are an essential piece to any workplace that may be hazardous to the health or safety of workers. Make sure your employees or coworkers are educated about the risks associated with the workplace, and are taking the necessary steps to prevent exposure to hazards.

Enforce the use of proper safety equipment such as masks and hoods to deter inhalation of hazardous substances. Make sure that employees are aware of the importance and the proper use of the equipment in the training mentioned above. Maintain the equipment and replace it when necessary. Also, keep up on maintenance of ventilation systems. Poor ventilation escalates the risk of occupational respiratory problems.

Reduce exposure as much as possible. Minimize the time spent in toxic environments to decrease the likelihood of occupational respiratory problems. Of course, this may be difficult given the field or job, but try to be as efficient as possible in the time you must be exposed so that you can get away from the hazard.

Should you begin to notice respiratory issues, do not wait to seek medical attention or advice. Catching the problem early will optimize the chances of recovery. If you work in an environment that is known to be linked to occupational respiratory problems, consider regular checkups to make sure your lungs are not being affected.

For some, the damage is already done. If this is unfortunately the case, take care of your respiratory issues. Take physician recommendations or medications and visit your doctor regularly so that the condition does not get worse. With careful monitoring and proactive habits, symptoms can be reduced and, in some cases, eliminated.

Finally, don’t smoke! Avoid tobacco smoke as much as possible, and make sure that it is not allowed in the workplace!

Courtesy of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute