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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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