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How The New EN374 for Dangerous Chemicals and Micro-Organisms Affects You
With all the talk surrounding the changes to the EN374 regarding dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms, you’re likely wondering how this will affect you. The new safety standards set forth in the EN374 pertain to, but are not limited to, new testing methods, innovative marks, and additional requirements in an effort to increase protection within the workplace.
You Must Meet Standards In more Countries
The old EN requirements were created by the European Committee, thus it was only applicable in Europe and in a select few affiliate countries like Australia. The old ISO requirements were created by Standards Organizations and it was only accepted if it complied with the local regulations in European areas.
The new requirements have combined the EN and ISO, making it applicable in all of Europe, as well as any countries that accept ISO. Previously, only a select few of affiliate countries had to follow these requirements. As such, it’s imperative to do research to determine whether you’re in an area where the new standards are now mandatory. If so, you will be required to comply with new safety standards.
Additional Testing is Required
One of the major changes to the EN374 is the increased testing required for various components, such as permeation, degradation, and protection against bacteria and fungi. These new requirements will change the way you test your safety products. We have provided a detailed article on this topic specifically but here’s a quick breakdown:
All permeation testing now includes six additional categories from M through T, as well as 12 new chemicals. The way the testing is done has also changed, as any cuffs on safety gloves that are greater or equal to 400mm must be tested.
Degradation tests are entirely new to the EN374. These tests, Puncture Degradation Resistance Test and the Weight Change Test, were implemented to ensure optimal production against chemicals that come into contact with safety gloves.
These new tests affect you, as they are not optional – you must complete these degradation tests and record the results as a percentage of any changes that occurred after exposure. This must be recorded in the ‘Instruction for Use’.
The new EN ISO 374 requires a new method for testing for micro-organisms to ensure optimal protection against fungi and bacteria. Additionally, there is “Method B” which has been added to the new standards that are supported with a new pictogram.
Restrictions on Work Gloves Claiming Protection Against Chemical Risk
Anytime you make a claim, there are many requirements to follow. The changes to the EN374 require that any work gloves claiming protection against chemical risk must include:
- Type C, B or A performance with the permeation test method
- Glove leakage proof must use the En374-2:2014 method
- Chemicals tested against in the degradation performance test must be available
- Chemicals tested against in the degradation performance test must be supplied by the manufacturer
New Markings on Protective Gloves
Once your workplace safety gloves have passed all the new requirements, the marking must be updated to meet the new EN ISO standards. Previously, there were only two markings – EN 374:2003 (AKL) and EN 374:2003.
Today, the markings are broken down into three types:
- Type A: Permeation resistance on protective glove of at least 30 minutes each for at least 6 tested chemicals
- Type B: Permeation resistance on protective glove of at least 30 minutes each for at least 3 tested chemicals
- Type C: Permeation resistance on protective glove of at least 10 minutes each for at least 1 tested chemicals
Experts agree that the new classifications aren’t likely to generate changes between product categories that are already on the market. For new products, it’s imperative to ensure they have markings specific to the new standards.
Optimal workplace safety is imperative and the new EN ISO 374 increases the standards to improve protection for workers and businesses dealing with chemicals. Please do not hesitate to contact us for Technical Advice from your independent distributor.
7 Common Workplace Hazards and How to Prevent Them
Workplace hazards happen far too often, especially considering how preventable they are. It’s imperative to take the proper actions to ensure the safety of the people who make your company whole. We’ve put together the following list of the top workplace hazards and what you can do to prevent them from disrupting the lives of your employees and the success of your business.
Slips and Falls
The most common workplace hazards fall into the category of slips and falls. These can occur for many reasons – from wet floors to uneven floor surfaces; from loose cables to an unorganized workspace; from uneven stairs to faulty railings, and many more. These types of workplace hazards pose a threat to both your employees and customers. Fortunately, they are easily avoidable.
How to Avoid Slips and Falls in the Workplace
To avoid slips and falls from occurring in your workplace, it’s imperative to put proper safety regulations in place and to reinforce them. This may be guidelines regarding putting away products, cleaning up pills and proper stacking processes, or requiring proper, slip-resistance footwear to be worn at all times.
In every business, you’ll find an abundance of electrical appliances, devices and wires. They are essential in today’s modern world but unfortunately, they are incredibly dangerous if not installed and maintained properly.
How to Prevent Electrical Hazards in the Workplace
The first step to avoiding electrical hazards from happening in your workplace is to educate your employees and to require proper workplace equipment to be worn at all times. Give your employees first aid training and a health and safety course to take. The second step is to maintain all electrical installations in a timely manner, such as replacing damaged cables as soon as you notice them. Not only can electrical hazards be extremely dangerous for your employees but they can lead to fires which leads us into the next workplace hazards.
Fires happen significantly more than many people believe. They aren’t something you just see on the news and they can happen to anyone at any time, particularly if electrical units are faulty. However, fires can also stem from poor cleaning standards and a lack of education.
How to Prevent Fires in the Workplace
One of the first steps to preventing fires in the workplace is to ensure all employees are fully aware of any flammable materials and the proper steps for using them safely. It’s also imperative to have fire alarms, extinguishers and detectors spaced throughout the building, and possibly even fire sprinkler systems installed in the case of a fire happening. Additionally, your employees will need to know how these systems work and a detailed escape plan should be practiced to ensure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire.
If your employees work around flames, fire-resistant workwear should be worn at all times to prevent injuries.
Inhalation of Dangerous Chemicals, Gases and Materials
Despite there being a vast array of face masks being on the market, illnesses linked to the inhalation of dangerous chemicals, gases and materials are still one of the top workplace hazards. This is particularly true for jobs that occur in small, poorly ventilated spaces. However, the hazard is there regardless of the ventilation system and space of the room.
How to Prevent Inhalation of Dangerous Materials
If chemicals, gases or dangerous materials are being used, protective work gear must also be used at all times. It’s also crucial to take the time to educate your employees on the importance of wearing protective masks and safety gloves, and outline rules with regards to how far away from a substance they should be before removing the safety equipment.
In addition to the inhalation of dangerous chemicals, gases and materials, every business has hazardous materials that can be dangerous to handle, such as basic cleaning supplies. Exposure to chemicals pose the risk of many potential chemical hazards which include, but are not limited to skin irritations, eye injuries, burns, blindness and even death. Unfortunately, these workplace injuries happen more than they should, especially considering how easy they are to prevent.
How to Prevent Chemical Hazards
Like most workplace hazards, education about the materials being handled by your employees is absolutely crucial. The more your employees can know about the chemicals in the products and workplace, the better. It’s just as important to then provide and enforce all employees to wear protective work gear for the specific chemicals they handle. For example, a pair of safety gloves for handling chemical A may not be as protective when handling chemical B. So, it’s imperative to know about the chemicals and to be fully aware of the protective gear that needs to be worn. It may even be required by the law in your area.
For jobs in construction, fire and rescue, trades and many others, physical harm is a prominent risk that comes with the job. These jobs put employees in dangerous situations that can lead to fatal mistakes if proper safety gear is not worn.
How to Prevent Physical Harm in the Workplace
Education is always the best way to prevent hazards in the workplace. The more your employees know about the risks, the more prepared they’ll be to prevent them from occurring. However, mistakes do happen and some things are beyond one’s control which is why it’s essential for all employees to wear protective work gear when on a job site. For some industries, this may be a full protective garment and for others, it may be a combination of safety gloves and hard hats, respiratory masks and disposable overshoes.
One of the most commonly forgot about workplace hazards is noise, which has resulted in this workplace hazard to be one of the worst yet most common occurrences in the workplace. Loud noises can cause a lot more damage than simply making your employees’ ears ring. It can result in damage to your employees hearing and even permanent hearing loss. Now, you may be thinking that your workplace isn’t loud on a regular basis but even if there is the odd loud sound, whether it’s peak sound waves from equipment or a machine that needs to be repaired, your employees should be wearing ear protection.
How to Prevent Hazards from Noise
Wearing protective ear equipment is the first step to eliminating workplace hazards caused by excessive noise. This may be as simple as requiring your employees, such as wearing industrial ear plugs or something more serious, noise-reducing headphones.
Secondly, you must take proper action to eliminate any sudden loud noises in the workplace. For example, if a machine is “acting up” and making extremely loud sounds, it should be turned off until it can be repaired.
Proper education and wearing the right protective work gear are key to ensuring the safety of your employees and business. Sentinel Laboratories manufactures and supplies laboratory equipment and disposable products that help you provide a safe work environment that reduces the risk of common workplace hazards occurring.
- Chantal McCulligh
Shocking Workplace Safety Statistics That Will Remind You To Take Proper Safety Measures
No one likes to be the barer of bad news but when it comes to workplace safety, ignorance isn’t bliss. In order to provide proper protection in the workplace, one must understand just how common workplace injuries and hazards are. After all, unless you’ve experienced a workplace hazard yourself, it seems like a foreign topic that you only hear about on the news. However, workplace injuries are happening right in your very own backyard and to prevent them from happening in your company, you must acknowledge the risks.
Unhealthy Working Conditions Contribute To The Burden of Disease
World Health Organization conducted a study to determine the health impacts associated with unhealthy work conditions. They found that at least 1.6% of the burden of disease was caused by unhealthy work conditions and although that number may seem small, it’s frightening. The same study also found that the following workplace factors that contribute to the burden of disease include:
- Injuries: 40% of the occupational burden of disease
- Noise: 22% of the occupational burden of disease
- Carcinogens: 18% of the occupational burden of disease
- Airborne Particulate Matter: 17% of the occupational burden of disease
- Ergonomic Hazards: 3% of the occupational burden of disease
Construction, Transportation and Storage, and Manufacturing Have The Highest Incidence Rate of Non-Fatal Accidents At Work
Studies have found that the three industries with the highest incidence rate of non-fatal accidents at work are in the following industries:
- Transportation and storage
- Manufacturing industries
What’s shocking is that these three industries have remained as the top industries for non-fatal accidents at work from 2010 to 2015, when the data was last updated. Thus, it’s safe to say that enough isn’t being done to prevent non-fatal accidents at work, particularly in these three industries.
62.4% of Accidents At Work Resulted in the Worker Being Unable to Work for Less Than Three Months
The same study reported that 64.4% of accidents that occurred at work in 2015 resulted in the victim being unable to work for less than three months. These accidents happened mainly in the human health and social work activities (68.9%), 71.2% were in the accommodation and food service industries and 78.8% were in the public administration and defense industries. Additionally, 8% were off work for longer periods with some experiencing permanent incapacity. 0.1% of these accidents were fatal. Aside from the morale issue of not being able to provide a safe environment for workers, having victims off work for extended periods of time can be costly and even detrimental to your business.
Mining and Quarrying Industry Results in 15.9% of Victims Being Off Work for Three Months or More
In comparison, the non-fatal accidents that required the victim to be off work for three months or more occurred in the mining and quarrying field with 15.9% of incidences requiring prolonged periods of time off.
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Mining Have The Highest Fatal Rates
Of the accidents that were recorded in the 2015 study, 0.2% resulted in death. The agriculture, forest and fishing industries accounted for 0.3% of these fatalities, and the mining and quarry industries were responsible for 0.7%.
Shoulders, Arms, Hands, Hips, Legs and Feet Are The Most Common Body Parts Injured in Non-Fatal Workplace Accidents
Studies revealed that of the non-fatal workplace accidents that occur, the most common body parts injured were the to the upper body which includes shoulders, arms and hands (39.4%), and to the lower extremities which includes hips, legs and feet (28.9%). Notably, back injuries also accounted for 12.7% of all non-fatal workplace injuries.
And that’s only to name a few of the most recent statistics pertaining to workplace injuries. Needless to say, it’s imperative that a stronger approach is taken towards providing a safe work environment for workers. Shop Sentinel Laboratories for premium safety gear for workers and together, let’s decrease the statistics.
- Chantal McCulligh
The Crucial Changes Made to EN374 for Dangerous Chemicals and Micro-OrganismsTimes have changed and so have the safety standards for safety work gloves. As of 2016, the EN ISO provides new standards for gloves that workers use to protect their hands from dangerous chemicals and/or micro-organisms. These include but are not limited to new testing methods, increased protection, innovative marks and vast requirements. Today, we discuss the most important EN374 changes and what they mean for workers and businesses operating with dangerous materials.
PureFlo Respiratory Systems - Configurable to meet your demands
PUREFLO INDUSTRIAL RESPIRATORS SUPPORT A WIDE RANGE INDUSTRIES
Used throughout the world in a wide variety of heavy and light duty industries, and by numerous multi-national organizations, our wide range of field proven PureFlo industrial respirators can be configured to match your exact needs. Our innovative design provides integrated respiratory, head, face, and eye protection against industry hazards while enhancing end user mobility, comfort, and workplace performance.
- Vicki Clare
Gentex unveil the PureFlo 3000 PAPR launching Q1 2019
A unique all-in-one respiratory, head, face, eye and hearing protection solution.
An innovative PAPR system that provides a unique all-in-one respiratory, head, face, eye and hearing protection solution. The PureFlo 3000 provides integrated protection for users with an unrivalled level of comfort. Configurable for use in multiple applications including industry, construction, pharmaceutical and welding.
- No trailing leads, hoses, or cables provides improved safety (no “snagging“).
- No belt mounted blower unit required thereby improving user comfort. Ideal for use with a range of protective workwear.
- Vicki Clare