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7 stress management tips for a happier and healthier life

November 27, 2017, Posted in Blog Posts

Mary E. PadronBY MARY E. PADRON

Radians Marketing Communications & Event Specialist

World Health Organization says stress is “the health epidemic of the 21st century”

Stress is a common thread that intricately weaves its way through the lives of most people often leaving a wake of emotional and physical turmoil. The stress beast can dig its claws into you at work, at home, in your social life and in your relationships, or while watching headline news about the latest terrorist attack. Plus, the holidays can aggravate stress by imploding “to-do” lists, jammed-pack social calendars with numerous family gatherings, and the worry over money to pay for it all.

The World Health Organization says stress is “the health epidemic of the 21st century,” a real “worldwide health epidemic,” so you are not alone if you have experienced chronic stress. Four great stressors in today’s world revolve around money, work, poor health, and increasingly negative headlines concerning world events.

What are the physical and emotional side-effects of too much stress?

Not all stress is bad. Healthy stress can help you face challenges, stay focused, or provide energy to tackle important projects. Healthy stress can help keep you alert at work to prevent accidents or costly mistakes. However, when stress becomes overwhelming and excessive, it can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional well being.

Some of the physical symptoms of excessive stress include:

  • Insomnia—a double whammy because sleeping issues affect your ability to perform the next day, thereby increasing stress levels and fatigue
  • Stomach problems, nausea, and lack of appetite
  • Muscle tension in neck and lower back and teeth grinding
  • Headaches, including debilitating migraine headaches
  • High blood pressure or racing heart

Some of the emotional symptoms of excessive stress include:

  • Feelings of anger, depression, irritability, helplessness, and anxiousness
  • Short-tempered behavior
  • Lack of confidence in one’s ability and talents · Declining mental focus, which can lead to poor safety compliance, increased risk of injury on the job, and impaired decision making
  • Negative outlook for the future

If stress is continuous and becomes chronic, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, psychological disorders, workplace injury, diabetes, obesity, and impaired immune function.

10 Common Stressors

Because of technological advances, globalization, sensory overload, and the repercussions of the 2008 recession, our lives have changed at breakneck speed. Although many situations can lead to stress, here are ten common stressors:

  1. Lack of money and floundering finances
  2. Death of a loved one
  3. Divorce or breakup with significant other or BFF
  4. Moving
  5. Major illness, injury or poor health condition (yourself or an aging parent)
  6. Job loss and insecurity
  7. Work-related stress from demanding jobs and excessive overtime
  8. The “always on” email and social media culture
  9. Childhood trauma
  10. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, etc. Even if you are not a victim of the disaster, the news about it can cause anxiety and uncertainty.

7 tips to successfully manage stress

As in any problematic situation, denial of the problem leads to more stress. In the workplace, it’s easy to see when people are not wearing hard hats, Hi-Viz vests, or hand protection, so the unsafe behavior can be easily identified and rectified. However, stress is intangible and is often difficult to identify.

Here are 7 tips for successfully managing stress at work and in your personal life:

1. Engage in open and honest discussions about your stress with your boss and your family. During this conversation, share possible solutions that would help alleviate the stress, such as an alternative work schedule, compressed workweeks, job-sharing, etc.

2. Let go of things over which you have no control and stop railing against situations you can’t truly change. (This is easier said than done!)

3. Relax, meditate, or listen to soothing music at least 20 minutes every day. Relaxation practices, such as deep breathing, yoga, bubble baths, and meditation dramatically decrease stress levels calming your mind and body.

4. Exercise on a regular basis, eat healthy, whole foods most of the time, and get eight hours of sleep.

5. Set aside leisure time to do something you truly enjoy every day. Whether it’s walking your pet, curling up with your favorite book, or going to the movies and eating popcorn, choose activities that make you smile and laugh.

6. Stop demanding perfectionism from yourself and others. Perfectionism is a self-defeating, self-sabotaging behavior that sets people up for failure.

7. Practice gratitude every day. Giving thanks goes a long way to decreasing stress and improving your life in general.

According to Gina Soleil, the author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit, “work-life balance is needed more today than in the past 30-years. For the sake of both human health and business productivity, we need businesses throughout the nation to actively support people in their effort to reduce stress and find a healthy ‘balance’ in their lives.”

In addition to work-life balance, another way to help reduce stress in the workplace is to outfit your workers with the proper safety gear. Providing workers with quality personal protective equipment (PPE) not only helps meet OSHA requirements and ANSI standards, it also relieves stress because it sends a positive message that the company cares about the protection, health and well-being of workers, and that’s a good thing.


 

Mary Padron is a Marketing Communications Specialist at Radians, a market leader in the development and manufacturing of safety products to help keep workers safe, which in turn, helps reduce job stress. For more information about Radians’ comprehensive line of personal protective equipment, visit www.radians.com or call toll-free 1-877-723-4267.

Does your winter glove perform like a superstar?

November 16, 2017, Posted in Blog Posts

Mary E. PadronBY MARY E. PADRON

Radians Marketing Communications & Event Specialist



Whether you’re a construction worker in Canada, a power-line technician in New York, or a commercial fisherman in Dutch Harbor Alaska, all outdoor workers must be aware of the risks and dangers associated with cold weather, especially those who work in sub-arctic temperatures.

One winter culprit is frostbite, which can seriously damage your hands and fingers within five minutes in subzero temperatures. Wearing proper winter gloves is one preventative measure that can help you keep your hands warm and safe from the perils of winter weather.

Frostbite can leave its mark forever

According to the National Safety Council, frostbite is “the most common injury resulting from exposure to severe cold, and it usually occurs on fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin.” Frostbite is not pretty and can cause permanent damage to a workers’ hands or fingers, including amputation. As a cold injury to the skin, frostbite damages fingers and hands similar to the way burns do. It causes discoloration, swelling, numbness and a prickling sensation, blisters, and in severe cases, tissue death, which is called necrosis.

It can appear white and waxy on the affected areas, or in severe cases, the skin and deeper tissues may become gangrenous, which turns the skin into an inky black or green color as the tissue dies. Frostbite is worse in areas of the body that have restricted blood flow, such as the fingertips.

WebMD, says, “Frostbite is a treatable but potentially serious condition that affects the skin. It happens when a body part isn't properly covered when you’re outside in freezing temperatures.”

Anatomy of a superstar winter glove

One of the best types of hand protection to keep hands warm in the winter are mittens. Unfortunately, mittens don’t allow for dexterous hand movements, so mittens are typically not a practical safety solution for most outdoor workers. However, a good winter work glove is a powerful tool in your safety program and cold prevention efforts.

Here are three key features you’ll appreciate:

  • A water-repellant outer coating or material that provides water resistance and wind repellence
  • An insulating liner that traps air for warmth and offers moisture-wicking capabilities
  • Comfort and a good fit

Insulating materials used in winter gloves

Radians offers several gloves with 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation to help keep you warm when it’s cold outside. The unique microfibers that make up Thinsulate help trap body heat, while allowing moisture to escape. The material is a matted piece of insulation that allows manufacturers to remove the bulk out of gloves, thus improving dexterity, which is always an important feature of a good work glove.

Other insulating materials used in winter work gloves include thermal liners, quad layers, 100 gram micro fleece liner, 7 gauge acrylic terry liners and inner shells, acrylic thermal liners, fleece, and more. The choice of liners is dependent upon the temperature outside, the intended application of the glove, and the comfort, fit, and feel required of the glove.

A superstar winter glove is one that fits “just right”

We learned from the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears the importance of “just right.” Your winter glove should fit your hand “just right” as tight gloves can compromise circulation and increase sweating, which makes your hands colder not to mention uncomfortable. Gloves that are too loose can get caught in machinery and are just as uncomfortable as gloves that are too tight. Plus, poorly fitted gloves reduce your dexterity and grip strength, which is never a good thing.

If you work outdoors in environments with snow, your winter glove should also have a good cuff that can fit over your jacket sleeve. An extended gauntlet cuff with hook and loop closure offers additional protection to keep snow from creeping into your glove. Make sure the winter glove you choose for your safety program is comfortable and is offered in a variety of sizes to fit workers’ hands.

Multiple function winter gloves

The market place has a wide selection of winter work gloves to meet a variety of jobsite applications. In addition to helping you combat the cold in mild and extreme conditions, winter work gloves often serve other protective functions, including:

Your hands are amazing—protect them with a Radians winter glove

Your hands and their anatomy are truly amazing. According to Healthline.com, “The complex abilities of the hand are part of what make humans unique. Only humans have the ability to bring our thumbs across the hand to connect with our ring and pinkie fingers. This ability provides us with the dexterity to use tools. It also gives us a forceful grip. . . . It is one means by which humans have changed the world by creating gigantic buildings and machines, tiny electronics, and high-fived each other at those accomplishments.”

Are you equipped with the right winter glove to protect your hands from cold temperatures, frostbite, cuts, abrasions, and punctures? If you need help, Radians has experienced safety specialists who can help you choose your next superstar glove.

For more information, visit us at www.radians.com, download our glove catalog, or give us a call at 877-723-4267.

Millennials Trust Technology to Keep Them Safe

November 14, 2017, Posted in Blog Posts

Mary E. PadronBY MARY E. PADRON

Radians Marketing Communications & Event Specialist

76% have avoided a specific activity due to safety concerns

Image: Campus Safety Magazine

FUN FACT: 76% of Millennials have avoided a specific activity due to safety concerns.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) "is the most common, permanent, and preventable occupational injury in the world." Because Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, having surpassed Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, how can we motivate them to protect their hearing at work and in their personal lives?

Most safety managers are familiar with the primary methods to help prevent hearing loss, including education, engineering and administration controls, "buy quiet" practices, and the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs), such as foam ear plugs and ear muffs.

However, with Millennials, there is another tool which can be helpful—technology and the evolving smart phone apps that help measure sound. After all, Millennials have grown up on technology and respond positively to it. They are tech-savvy, well educated, and they love a good smart phone app.

How can you tell when a noise is unhealthy for your ears? There's an app for that. Sound-level meter apps available for smart phones "can have a tremendous and far-reaching impact in the area of noise control," says CDC. The mobile nature of the smart phone makes it easy for Millennials to take control of their hearing health by downloading apps that measure the decibel level of sounds in the environment around them. CDC and NIOSH say the benefits of these apps include:

  • Raise workers' awareness about their work environment
  • Help workers make informed decisions about the potential hazards to their hearing
  • Serve as a research tool to collect noise exposure data
  • Promote better hearing health and prevention efforts
  • Easy to use

Although many smart phone apps are very accurate, they should not be used for OSHA compliance purposes or professional-grade sound measurement. Instead, sound meter apps should be used as a tool to screen surrounding environments for noise pollution, including workplaces, gyms, concerts, power appliances, kitchen tools, loud moving vehicles, airports, etc. Smart phone apps are not intended to be used in diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition, nor are they intended to be used as legal evidence for workplace/merchandise safety.

However, the inexpensive cost, ease of use, and portability of smart phone apps can provide Millennials with an approximate value of noise levels to motivate them to use hearing protection devices, which include foam ear plugs, passive and electronic ear muffs, custom-molded ear plugs, banded protection, etc.

Below are five of the more professional rated apps in the marketplace. Remember, smart phone apps are not as accurate as a professional SPL noise meter, which can cost in the thousands of dollars. However, the affordable apps below, when used properly, can provide a good approximate value of the noise levels in your environment.

Five Noise/Sound Meter Apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

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In 2014, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a pilot study to determine which smart phone apps were the most reliable. The resulting paper, "Evaluation of Smartphone Sound Measurement Applications," was published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. They studied both iOS and Android apps. For more in-depth scientific information about the most reliable. The resulting paper, "Evaluation of Smartphone Sound Measurement Applications," was published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. They studied both iOS and Android apps. For more in-depth scientific information about the most reliable smart phone sound-level meter apps, visit http://asa.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1121/1.486526

Winter is coming—Keep workers warm with heated gear

November 14, 2017, Posted in Blog Posts

Mary E. PadronBY MARY E. PADRON

Radians Marketing Communications & Event Specialist

DEWALT Heated Jackets

The cold, the dry, the wet and the wild

The Farmers' Almanac warns of a brutal 2017-2018 winter and has dubbed it as “The cold, the dry, and the wet, and the wild.” If you are one of the 16 million people who watch Game of Thrones, you’ve seen just how harsh and dangerous a cold winter can be.

Today’s winter work wear has truly evolved since the late medieval days when animal fur and plate armor provided warmth and protection during a cold winter. Safety professionals have many apparel choices to keep workers safe from the dangers of over exposure to harsh weather conditions. One way to turn up the heat this winter is choosing battery-powered heated jackets.

Dangers workers face in extreme weather conditions

Cold weather can endanger lives and destroy the well-being of workers whose jobs put them in the midst of frigid temperatures and extreme weather conditions. According to OSHA, protective clothing is recommended for work at or below 4 degrees Celsius or below 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

If outdoor workers are outfitted with proper PPE, their risks of getting hypothermia, frostbite, or catching a cold are greatly diminished. Bad weather and storms often limit visibility, so if the PPE has high-visibility features, such as reflective tape, the risk of being struck by a vehicle is also decreased. A side benefit of wearing proper PPE in harsh elements is that workers are more comfortable, which helps to improve performance and productivity.

Battery-powered heated gear delivers unparalleled comfort to users

One innovation in cold weather technology is battery-powered heated gear frequently available as heated jackets, hoodies, and vests. Often powered by 20V lithium-ion batteries, heated jackets feature carbon fiber heating elements that distribute heat to core body areas, such as the neck, chest, waist, and middle back.

Heated gear commonly includes a built-in LED controller that allows the wearer to adjust the jacket’s temperature setting to high, medium, or low. This feature allows workers to adjust the warmth of the jacket or vest based on changing weather conditions or on their level of exertion or activity.

Many heated apparel in the marketplace, such as DEWALT® Heated Jackets, can provide up to nine hours of core body warmth and are designed with durable fabrics that are wind and/or water resistant, depending on the style. The battery component features a USB power port for charging portable electronics, such as a smart phone or iPad. Plus, select styles of DEWALT heated jackets are designed with gusseted underarm areas and stretch articulated backs that allow for free range of motion and ease of mobility, which is very important to workers.

Winter is coming—prepare today to keep workers safe, productive and comfortable

Before the winter season begins, hold a safety meeting and discuss hypothermia, frostbite, and cold stress first aid with your workers. This would be a good time to discuss inclement weather policy and to hand out winter gear to your work crew. Keeping workers warm and dry with carefully chosen safety gear will improve morale and lead to improved productivity on winter jobsites. Leading manufacturers of PPE have product champions and safety specialists who can help you carefully choose your winter safety gear.

Check out all our heated work gear!

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