What are ASTM Standards?

What are ASTM Standards?

ASTM- American Society for Testing and Materials. In short, ASTM is one of the largest voluntary standards developing organizations in the world. Meaning they create Standards, which are documents that give manufacturers information about procedures and regulations in their specific industry. They provide guidance for individuals, companies and other institutions around the world.

Who uses ASTM Standards?

Many members of the scientific community have been using ASTM standards to guide them in their research and development in their laboratories and offices. Alongside them, architects, government agencies and many others have used ASTM standards to reference plans, regulations, laws and other useful information.

Saf-GardTM complies with all regulations set forth and with the help of ASTM and ANSI collaborate on the “American National Standard for Personal Protective Footwear” which sets clear specifications and performance requirements for all protective footwear.

Our Standards:

STEEL TOE

In 1995 OSHA began enforcing a new standard for personal protective equipment (PPE). As part of this standard, employers now require ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) rated safety footwear (steel toe boots, etc.) in areas where employees are exposed to injury as a result of falling or rolling objects. All steel toe shoes meet or exceed ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 C/75 standards.

METATARSAL GUARD (MG)

Metatarsal guard footwear protects both the toes and the metatarsal bone behind the toes. Metatarsal guard shoes are required in any environment where injuries can occur to the metatarsal bone. They are most commonly used in foundries,  air product distribution, and other heavy manufacturing. All styles marked with the “MG” icon meet the ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 C/75 standards.

STATIC DISSIPATIVE (SD)

SD shoes regulate the build-up of electrical charge in a person’s body. Electrostatic dissipative shoes are commonly used for those who work in the manufacturing of computer components, solvent-based paints, explosives, and plastics. SD products reduce the risk of static shock to people and to the manufactured product. All safety shoes marked with the “SD” icon meet the ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 C/75 SD.

CONDUCTIVE (CD)

Conductive shoes protect against the hazards of static electricity build-up. They are intended to protect the wearer in an environment where the accumulations of static electricity on the body is a hazard. These shoes should not be worn by people working near open electrical circuits. All styles marked with the “CD” icon meet the ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 C/75 CD.

COMPOSITE TOE

Compared to their steel toe counterparts the composite toes are manufactured using lightweight materials to make the shoe weigh less while meeting SEMC® safety-toes exceed both ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 and C/75 standards. The SEMC® safety-toes retain heat in severe cold, are 30% lighter than steel and are non-metallic for electronic security work environments.

ELECTRICAL HAZARD (EH)

ASTM F2413-05 Electrical Hazard safety footwear provides workers with a secondary source of protection from live circuits, wires or highly charged electrical equipment. The insulating properties of such footwear are measured under dry conditions and may deteriorate in wet environments with wear.

SLIP RESISTANT (SR)

Slip resistant safety footwear is the fastest-growing segment of the safety footwear industry. The reason: today’s slip resistant shoes work. For many employers with wet, oily, and/or greasy floors, it is common sense to require slip resistant safety footwear. Slip related injuries can be extremely costly. Employers who require slip resistant boots and shoes reduce workers’ compensation claims. This is good news for everyone.

 

Want to learn more about these standards, or the services we offer? Check us out at www.safgard.com today!

Factory Safety

Working in a factory, warehouse, or any other type of industrial manufacturing setting is obviously much different than an office job. And while these challenging but exciting positions are extremely rewarding, there are potential hazards almost everywhere while on the job.

That means it’s your job to take all of the extra precautions and time to ensure that you and your coworkers remain safe every day. So strap in, tighten your laces, double-check that the forklift is parked, and let’s take a trip through Factory Safety 101!

Use all equipment properly, and wear the required safety attire

When working in factories or any manufacturing setting, you’re almost guaranteed to have to use some type of machinery, tools, or other equipment. These machines are usually a lot stronger and more powerful than we are, so make sure that you actually take the time to learn how to use it properly.

Hint hint: As lame as it is, take the time to read the instruction manual thoroughly. Don’t just assume that the way your coworker does it is correct.

And don’t forget about the required equipment to keep you safe either. Whether this is a pair of safety goggles, a mandatory hard hat, or your own pair of steel-toed boots, make sure that you have all of your PPE (personal protective equipment) on and take care of it as well. Damaged safety equipment is as effective as a leaky roof during a thunderstorm. Neither gets the job done, so take care of your equipment!

Keep work areas and emergency exits clear

Emergencies can arise at any time and are typically never expected. No one checks their daily calendar after arriving at work and sees: “Large factory fire, 2 p.m. today.” Therefore, it’s your job to ensure that all work areas and emergency exits are clear at all times during the day.

A cluttered work area can mean that you don’t have the space to do your job or use large machinery and tools. So make sure that everything is put on its proper shelf as soon as possible, and make sure that it’s secure up there. You’d hate to be walking next to a shelf and get crushed by a stocked dishwasher plummeting toward the earth. Besides, heavier objects should be kept on lower shelves anyway.

And never leave large objects or machines in front of emergency exits. Remember, you have that large fire scheduled for today at 2.

Now, let’s prevent that fire!

After you see a fire on your calendar, you decide that you’re just not feeling like running from the building today, so let’s prevent it from happening. To eliminate fire hazards, you need to use caution with all combustible materials in your workplace. If you are using these materials, only keep the amount that you need for the task at hand. When you aren’t using these materials, store them in assigned storage spaces away from all possible points of ignition

If you’ve worked in a factory long enough, you know that dust is everywhere. All it takes is a single spark to turn this dust into a fire-breathing monster, so use industrial vacuums to frequently clean areas that accumulate dust. Your lungs will thank you, too!

Lift correctly, take breaks, and if you see something…say something

No one wants a back injury, so keep your back straight when picking up a heavy item. No twisting, turning or stooping while lifting. And you can always make life easier on yourself by using a machine or forklift to do the work for you.

When you feel tired, take a short break. If you were alert earlier, you would have noticed that dishwasher hurtling down toward you at light speed. Most workplace injuries occur because the employee is too tired to adequately get the job done in a safe manner.

And lastly, if you see an unsafe condition anywhere that you are unable to clear safely, inform your supervisor. They’re legally obligated to keep you and your coworkers safe, so they’ll take care of it!

Looking for more info on how to protect yourself on the job? Check us out at www.safgard.com to learn more!

12 Safety Tips for Any Industry

Warehouses, foundries, construction sites and factories can be some of the most dangerous places to work when it comes to accidents and injury: large and moving machinery such as forklifts, carrying heavy loads such as pallets and heavy equipment can be hazardous for you and your workers.

With the holidays approaching, we decided it was time to create our own little holiday. Check out our 12 Tips for Safety and get inspired to help make your own work environments safer and more productive:

Day 1. Know your safety protocols– Make sure emergency exits are clearly marked and you know the quickest route to safety from any location in the facility. In addition to knowing where your emergency exits are located, it is important to know where first-aid kits and supplies are kept. In an emergency, you don’t want to be faced with the task of locating the first aid kit.

Day 2. Perfect Posture – If you work at a desk, make sure that your shoulders are in line with your hips to avoid back problems. When picking things up, use correct form so your back doesn’t get hurt, and whatever you do, avoid stooping and twisting. If you have access to ergonomically designed furniture and safety equipment so that everything you need is comfortably within reach.

Day 3. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings – This tip requires that you first know what particular hazards your job or workplace can entail. Once you’ve learned about the risks, you will be able to steer clear of any potentially hazardous areas or situations.

 

Day 4. Take regular breaks – There are many work-related injuries and illnesses that occur because of fatigue. Taking regular breaks helps you stay fresh and alert on the job. One useful tip for staying alert is to schedule the most difficult tasks when your concentration is at it’s best, like first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon depending on your own workflow.

Day 5. Report Unsafe Conditions to Your Supervisor – It’s your job to make sure that your work environment stays safe for you and your fellow employees. It’s your supervisor’s job to provide you with the resources and materials to make that happen. They need to be informed about any workplace safety hazards or risks. Your supervisor is legally obligated to ensure that employees have a safe working environment. Help keep them informed and keep your work environment safe!

Day 6. Keep Emergency Exits Easily Accessible – Quick, easy access to exits are necessary for any work environment. Keep the pathways to these exits clear and free of debris in order to ensure a quick and hasty escape, should you need one. It’s also recommended to keep clear access to equipment shutoffs in case you need to quickly stop them from functioning.

Day 7. Don’t Try to Impress – We can’t stress this enough, use mechanical aids whenever possible. If you are faced with lifting and moving heavy objects all day long, don’t try and show off in front of your coworkers by lifting heavy materials improperly, or by trying to lift something that you shouldn’t be lifting in the first place. Use the dollies, forklifts and hand trucks that you have available to make your job easier and prevent injuries. Also remember to wear protective clothing including hard hats, gloves, vests, masks, belts, eyewear and proper safety footwear.

Day 8. Reduce stress in the workplace – Stress can lead to depression and concentration problems. Common causes of workplace stress include long hours, heavy workload, job insecurity and conflicts with coworkers or managers. Take your concerns about workplace stress to your supervisor to see how they might help you address them.

Day 9. Dress for Safety and Success– Avoid wearing baggy or excessively loose-fitting clothing. As with any job, it is important to dress the part. That means wearing comfortable clothing that is not too baggy. This will help protect you from getting caught anything that might be on the side of your path or line of walking. Proper safety toe footwear is also important in your line of work.

Day 10. Use Tools and Machines Properly – Take the proper precautions when using tools, and never take shortcuts. Taking shortcuts is the leading cause of workplace injury. It’s a huge safety risk to use scaffolding as a ladder or one tool in place of another for a specific job. Using tools the right way greatly reduces the chance of workplace injury.

Day 11. Stay Sober–  This one seems like a no-brainer, yet around three percent of workplace fatalities occur due to alcohol and drugs. When a worker’s ability to exercise judgment, coordination, motor control, concentration or alertness is compromised, this leads to any number of risks for workplace injury and fatalities.

Day 12. Keep the Lines of Communication Open – It’s important to be aware of the government and company safety regulations that your company and industry need to abide by. However, it is just as important to create and foster clear lines of communication when it comes to the details surrounding the implementation of these rules and regulations within your company. This includes taking the time to properly train new hires, as well as communicate up to date information regarding safety protocols and plans of action.

Hopefully, the 12 Tips for Safety gave you some ideas and inspiration on how to improve your own company’s safety culture. For more tips, tricks, and other questions check us out at www.safgard.com