Are you ready for new OSHA crystal silica exposure rules?
Changes aim to protect 2.2 million workers, save hundreds of lives
OSHA has recently proposed new standards for worker exposure to crystalline silica. Breathing in the dust particles can cause silicosis, an incurable lung disease, as well as lung cancer, COPD, and kidney disease.
Why the change? The methods of measuring exposure and the threshold exposure levels date back 40 years, and new data suggests they don’t properly protect workers. These changes will expand protection to cover more at-risk workers.
Who’s affected? OSHA lists all these industries as having silica risk: asphalt roofing materials, concrete products, cut stone, dental laboratories, foundries, jewelry, porcelain enameling, pottery, railroads, ready-mix concrete, shipyards, structural clay products, and support activities for oil and gas operations.
Construction and fracking are likely to see the most changes
Of the 2.2 million exposed workers, about 1.85 million are in construction and related fields. While common sense precautions have long been in place, more efforts are likely to be mandatory. On the building site, there’s going to be more oversight of workers who are cutting, grinding, crushing, or drilling into concrete, masonry, tile and rock.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which requires drilling into shale and rock to tap into oil and gas deposits, is also under scrutiny. It is, quite literally, a new industry, so oversight protocols are just being developed.
What are the changes? Additional respirators and more.
The new OSHA rules include a number of changes. It starts with changes in the way exposure is measured, which is likely to have the effect of reducing limits. The bottom line? More workers will need protection, including:
- Limiting access to areas of exposure
- Dust controls – like specialized vacuum ventilation systems, water sprays or enclosure
- Respirators when dust controls don’t provide adequate protection
- Training for workers and records of exposure
Adding respirators? Test Defog It anti-fog for fog prevention.
It’s no secret fogging is an issue – both for respirators and eyewear worn under it. The new workers OSHA will be covering, oil and gas and construction workers, are at particular risk because they’re outdoors in heat, cold, changing temperatures and high humidity.
Test Defog It in your toughest workplace conditions. Defog It is the first choice in workplaces around the world – see what it can do for you. And download our free whitepaper, Five Fogging Danger Zones, to help you pinpoint and address problems in your workplace.
Follow the new rules and more at the very thorough OSHA crystalline silica portal.
Find out about the future, his plans, and one thing he’ll never change.
Dr. Krish Rao took the reins as Nanofilm’s President this past December, but he brings a long history of success from his previous role as the company’s Vice President of Technology and Commercialization. He’s been the motivating force behind the introduction of new lens care and anti-fog products and the company’s nano-coatings for the past seven years. His prior background includes a variety of organizations, both large and small, with a track record of successfully managing diverse functions and rebuilding organizations for customer focus and innovation.
What do you envision for Nanofilm in the next year? Next 3-5 years?
Firstly, I want to reassure all our customers that our commitment to delivering Quality and Service remains unchanged. For the past two decades, Nanofilm has worked hard to deliver value and innovation in all our products, and we shall continue to find new ways to exceed expectations.
Nanofilm has consistently led in our industry with significant investments in R&D, manufacturing capabilities and our strength in artwork and design. We will continue to invest in these areas to bring game-changing products to re-energize and refresh our product lines. Furthermore, we expect to bring exciting new nanotechnologies to market in the next 5 years. All of these will directly benefit our customers and their customers.
In our manufacturing operations, we are implementing programs to enhance production capacities and broaden our ability to offer new product formats. This is something that we do constantly.
You’re making a point to meet with more customers in your new role, is that right?
I think it’s important to take the opportunity to meet – or meet again – with customers in this new role. I want to shake their hands, say thank you, and find out how Nanofilm can do more for them.
How do you see the global marketplace for Nanofilm?
We are already a global player. We’re planning to take our products further into Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In many ways the markets in those regions are at the stage the U.S. and European markets were 10 years ago and are ready for professional lens care products. We are confident that Nanofilm’s product technology and expertise in packaging design will be greatly appreciated by customers there. At the same time we will continue our focus in Europe and South America to forge new partnerships.
What are three phrases that describe the Nanofilm you envision?
A leader through technology and customer focus.
Constantly evolving and adapting.
A challenging yet fun place to work. I have been lucky that in my career, in all my jobs, I’ve always jumped out of bed each morning eager to get to work, because it’s been fun and rewarding.
What about the phrase you’ve been using around the office: Work smart, work together?
That’s the way any company succeeds. It’s the way Nanofilm works, and I want us to remember it and continue to reinforce it. It’s the way Nanofilm is always going to stay a leader – working as a team to provide an unmatched pool of talent and skills to our customers. By working smarter, we minimize time and efforts to reach our goals.
Where do you find ideas or inspiration for new products and product improvements?
Great product ideas start with customers’ needs articulated in many different ways. But the reality is that some product ideas can and should be generated internally within the company. All ideas at some stage or the other have to be vetted by the customer before we go too far down the path. Over the years I’ve learned to take customers’ inputs expressed in their language, including some of the intangibles, truly understand the requirements, and then internalize it into terms that are tangible and easily recognized by the organization. Sometimes you might end up with something different from where you thought you started, but in the end, it delights the customer.
Good product ideas can also come from failure. You start by going after some set of attributes, but end up with very different characteristics that deliver even better performance.
What are three phrases that describe you?
I tend to be direct and frank in all my dealings. You get what you see.
I truly believe I’m always learning…every single day, whether at work or at home.
I enjoy humor. I feel I have a good sense of humor and employ it at work whenever appropriate. In addition to breaking the ice, it relaxes people and puts them at ease, and can defuse an awkward or tense moment. Most importantly, it makes us smile, which is good for health!
Do you have a favorite quote or guiding principal?
I have two.
One is from Gandhi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow and learn as if you were to live forever.”
The other is by Thomas Jefferson: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
Do you have a favorite hobby?
I love to golf. I’m terrible at it, but love to play. I haven’t played famous courses, but I’ve played many courses. I always carry my clubs in car, so I’m ready to play if an opportunity comes up.
You travel a good bit for business and for pleasure. Do you have a favorite destination?
I love to travel and sightsee. My most recent game-viewing trip to Tanzania is now my all-time favorite. It was incredible to observe many different animals, both predators and prey, at such close proximity and in such abundance all around us!
Help! I’m out of Defog It.
Set up an auto-ship program so you’re never out of inventory.
We’re getting last-minute calls from customers fogged up by the freaky late winter weather. Surprise snowstorms and sub-zero temps in one part of the country…summery heat waves in others. Now the real change of season is coming on. And fog may be the only reliable prediction for an in-like-a-lion-and-out-like-a-lamb Spring.
We’re happy to send you rush shipments, but an auto-ship program could simplify your life. Monthly, quarterly, biannually – whatever you need to protect your workers vision and safety.
Just contact Gina Montello, Defog It Specialist, to work out a plan at 888-ENDS FOG or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workplace Safety Magazine spotlights vision protection.
Includes Defog It tips for a safer 2014.
A tip of the hardhat to Workplace Safety Magazine for sharing a few of our tips on including vision safety in your workplace New Year’s resolutions. We’re proud to be featured in this new monthly publication that has a lot of useful content for Safety and HR professionals. They post some helpful safety videos on their website, too.
Why not download our full list of 10 New Year’s Eye Health Resolutions for work and home? It’s still not too late to see a healthier 2014!
Read our Top Ten Testimonials
For work, play and everyday, people reach for Defog It anti-fog for fog-free vision. From military personnel around the globe to manufacturing plants in Australia to folks in all 50 states. Why do they love it? Read their own words – we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
“Heat and humidity are usually the problem. In the summer it’ll get up to 100% humidity sometimes. I received word this morning that the [Defog It anti fog] wipes came in, and everyone is using them. And they really work great.”
— Josh Hollingshead, Project Cost Controller, San Juan, Construction
“Defog It is truly amazing. I selected some of the more arduous tasks and skeptical workers for a trial, and they were amazed at how effective the Defog It wipes actually keep the glasses clear…or only momentary fogging occurs.”
— Peter Whelan, Workplace Health and Safety Officer, Isis Sugar Company, Childers, Australia
“PECO Energy Company uses the Clarity Defog It towelettes on our safety glasses and shields for the purpose of preventing fogging, and has been pleased with the performance of the product.”
— Mark M. Green, Sr. Electric Methods Specialist, PECO Pennsylvania, electric & natural gas utility
"I used one cloth yesterday at a surface open pit dimension stone quarry in Georgia. One cloth for five men, and they too became convinced. The temp was 92 degrees with high humidity. Hours later, I went back and checked on them. They were very pleased with the fact they did not have to remove their glasses repeatedly on account of the constant fogging of the lenses."
— Jerry Daniels, OSHA general safety and MSHA mine safety training consultant
“I tested these out in the extreme conditions. I work in a freezer, going in and out, and my glasses are fairly thick so they fog up easily and these wipes worked great.”
— Zachary A Bracken, Edinburg, Virginia
“I have been using Defog It over the last few weeks on a half-dozen different face shields, and we're amazed at how well it works.”
— WebBikeWorld Motorcycle Magazine
“I believe I can patrol in some of the worst conditions with goggles now.”
— Ski Patrol Officer, Helena, Montana
“I wear glasses and have a problem with fog-overs when hunting. With this product I was able to hunt without constantly wiping my glasses, therefore I highly recommend this product to anyone who hunts with glasses.”
— Dwight Burdine, hunter
“I ride a bike to work and in the morning my glasses fog up at every stop. But with this defog on my glasses I can see very clear at all times. I trust this product on all eyewear.”
— Kevin Mendoza, cyclist
“BMX racing requires quick reflexes. Fogged goggles reduce (drastically) the field of vision. [Defog It anti-fog towelettes] work perfectly, with no issues. Normally we use the wipes when we arrive at the track, and haven’t had any need to re-apply during races or practices.”
— Cory Taylor, BMX Bike champ
Nanofilm has named Krish Rao as President of the company. He succeeds Scott Rickert, company founder, who retains his role as Chief Executive Officer.
Dr. Rao has been Nanofilm’s Vice President of Technology since joining the organization in 2006. “Krish Rao has a track record of product development success at Nanofilm,” said Rickert. “His ability to blend research and development expertise with an understanding of the realities of commercialization makes him ideal for a leadership position for a future of growth.”
“With a portfolio of products enabled by nanotechnology and an expanding global reach, it’s an exciting time to for me to lead the Nanofilm team and help continue the momentum,” noted Rao.
Rao brings over thirty years’ experience in new product development and commercialization in fibers, plastics, and film industries, for diverse end use market such as aerospace, automotive, power tools and construction. His previous experience encompasses rebuilding organizations for customer focus and speed and managing diverse functions such as R&D, Manufacturing, Quality Control, Technical Service and Materials Management groups. The holder of four patents and author of a variety of technical publications, Dr. Rao holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Masters Degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Engineering Administration, and a Ph.D., from the University of Utah in Materials Science and Engineering.
Hurry,offer expires Jan 31, 2014
It’s almost New Year’s. And if you want it to be a happy one, start out by making it a safe one. Here are some suggestions we’ve gathered from other professionals. Add yours in the comments below or email them to us.
- I’ll put my best people into safety leadership. Safety is a strategic advantage for a company. Hire, train, and promote the best people. Are they ready to advise C-level executives? They should be!
- I’ll look for “near misses” to prevent major injuries. When the same small problems occur regularly, they can be predictors of disaster. Watch for patterns that need to be addressed.
- I’ll do a thorough review of the safety policies. When was the last time you did an analysis, a walk-through, or an employee input session? Our workplaces change all the time, so be sure the guidelines have kept pace. To evaluate vision safety, download 5 Fogging Safety Zones as a first step.
- I’ll revitalize the safety committee. Is it time for you to volunteer to join? If you’re a supervisor, is it time to seek out new blood? Fresh points of view can be transformative.
- I’ll take my safety culture home. As many injuries happen at home as at work – generally because we’re not as safety conscious there. Are your tools in good condition? Are chemicals stored and handled safely? Do you wear proper eye, ear and hand protection for projects? Remember sports safety gear, too.
- I’ll learn a new safety skill. Think about taking a first aid course. Learn CPR. Consider a class in emergency preparedness or using an automated external defibrillator (AED).
- I’ll keep PPE inspection a top priority. It’s the first line of defense for every worker.
- I won’t take shortcuts. Ever. It protects me and makes me a good role model for everyone around me.
- I will start updating labels and Safety Data Sheets to comply with the new OSHA hazard communication standard. These changes to be in place by June 1, 2015.
- I will attend my company’s safety training without grumbling. I’ll remember it’s time well spent – and focus on the material!
Who knew? For the costumed characters at amusement parks, fogged vision can be a real problem. With all that hugging and waving and dancing, it can get hot and sweaty inside those adorable, but bulky, outfits. And that means fog when wearing some sort of eyewear.
In fact, we recently got a rush request for an overnight order of Defog It anti-fog so park mascots could be sure to safely see – and delight – children (of all ages!) the next day.
That got us to thinking about all the areas of amusement parks where Defog It anti-fog is helping workers keep fun – and safety – in sight.
Watch this stunt! Stunt people and show performers who do live reenactments of your favorite movies and T.V. shows are also prone to fogged eyewear from activity in hot and humid conditions. And don’t forget the dancers and gymnasts in park parades or the trainers in animal shows.
Landscaping visionaries. Beautifully manicured landscaping is always part of the amusement park experience. There are small armies of caretakers lovingly mowing, trimming and cleaning – and fog-free protective eyewear is part of the job.
Eyes open on rides. Ride operators are often working in high heat and humidity. Glasses or sunglasses that fog up are annoying and can be unsafe. And anyone who’s moving in out of air conditioned buildings – from restaurants to shops to management offices – can find themselves in a foggy haze.
Workers should be the first line of defense against injuries and hazards. After all, they’re the ones immersed in a job every day, all day. But two recent studies found workers are hesitant to speak up – and that can create a serious gap in your safety plan.
The first study, done with teenage workers in Canada, found that most young workers play a waiting game when it comes to safety concerns. Why? Among the reasons they gave were:
- fear of being fired
- too inexperienced
- supervisors would be indifferent
- felt powerless
Another study found that one in four adult workers, or 27%, failed to report injuries. The research participants could choose from 21 reasons for their silence. 72% said the injury was “too small” to report. Other top responses were similar:
- Accepting pain as part of the job
- Not wanting to be labeled a “complainer”
- Fearing the loss of future or current jobs
- Not being able to afford time off without pay to see a doctor
- Not wanting to lose out on the safety incentive for no lost work time
How can supervisors get the honest safety input they need?
The authors of the studies suggested some remedies for the issues their research discovered. They all center on the power of supervisors to shape the culture. Here are some of the suggestions:
- Speak with subordinates daily, and it doesn’t need to be about safety. A more personal relationship will help workers understand they can take issues to you as someone who cares about their safety.
- Define “near misses” and “small injuries” as learning experiences and a chance to prevent future problems – not a cause for punishment.
- Actively listen to worker concerns. If you want people to speak up, take every conversation seriously.
For more information, please visit www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com