In honor of National Safety Month, which takes place throughout the month of June, we are highlighting essential safety gear that every restoration professional should have in their toolkit.
No matter the size or complexity of a job, worksite safety is the number one priority. The National Safety Council reported over four million workplace injuries that required medical attention in the US in 2020 alone. Bringing these numbers down — through awareness, education and resources — is one of their main goals with National Safety Month. Making sure crews are properly trained and equipped with the right supplies, tools and protective gear is a critical step in helping reduce worksite injuries.
Protect your head from any falling objects, debris or even collapsing ceilings. Depending on the extent of the damage to the building structure, water and fire damage restoration jobs can present serious hazards from crumbling beams, ceilings or other materials.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that over 1,000 eye injuries occur every day in the US. To protect your eyes on the job, always wear the properly fitted eyewear that is suited to protect against the unique hazards of the job. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach here. Common hazards may include dust, metal, concrete and other particles in the air, chemicals and eye-irritants, smoke and poisonous gasses or falling debris. Safety glasses with protective sides work well for job sites with light dust, while goggles and face shields are better suited for jobs with higher, heavier particulates.
Selecting the proper work gloves for the job is essential. You’ll want to find professional-grade gloves and protective hand wear that suits the specific needs of your job site. For example, if you may encounter electrical wires, you’ll need electrical-resistance gloves to protect against potential shocks and if you’re handling any potentially hazardous solutions, you’ll need chemical-resistant ones designed to act as a protective barrier and withstand high-toxicity chemicals.
Masks and proper respiration equipment is especially important anytime you’re working on fire or mold restoration, and on jobs that require heavy duty chemicals. Professional-grade masks are designed to keep harmful particulates from entering your respiratory system.
Non-Slip Shoes and Proper Footwear
Falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries. Protect yourself against possible falls with non-slip footwear. Depending on the type of restoration, you may also need to have steel-toed and/or fire-graded boots. Consider the potential hazards you may encounter, from standing water to high heat surfaces, to determine the proper footwear for the job.
Easily visible safety signage can help alert crew members to spills, slippery floors, loose boards, open grates or other potential fall hazards. We recommend using traditional safety iconography to help communicate the messages visually and provide signage in all languages spoken your team members, if possible.
At Atex, we know that safety paves the way for success on every restoration and remediation job. We are here to help you find the right tools, accessories and personal protective equipment (PPE) you and your team need to stay safe at work. If you have questions about how to select the right equipment or where to find it, let us know.