Welcome to the blog!
Here's What Can Happen if Your Hands Are Too Dry This Winter

The winter comes with its share of hardships - even if landscapes covered in snow are great to look at. Those who must battle the cold, dry air outdoors know the damage it causes can be painful for the skin.

Not only are dry and chapped hands painful, but they can also get itchy and be impossible to deal with.

Luckily, restoring the moisture in your hands usually quickly helps soothe pain and can bring them back to a state that’s manageable.

Let them go for too long, however, and other problems could arise.

Dangers of Dry Skin

While painful to deal with, there are some other, more serious issues that could occur if allow your dry hands to go on untreated. Over time, cuts and breaks in the skin can happen easily because it has no elasticity. These broken areas could bleed, sting and even allow infections to enter. You’ll want to be on the lookout for red itchy hands since this is where it all begins, and also because this can be the start of a condition called eczema.

How to Prevent Dry, Cracked Hands

Apply Lotion: Apply a moisturizing lotion throughout the day as needed to help to soothe the skin and hands. If your hands are in water throughout the day or you spend most of your time outdoors, you may need to reapply more frequently.

New Soap: Be sure the soap you are using to keep your hands clean also includes some soothing ingredients. While it’s important to clean the hands removing all moisture from the skin will only create the achy dry hands most complain about.

Use Gloves: The other option to help prevent dry, cracked hands is to use gloves. This protective gear offers a shield from the elements. Latex gloves to stop water from hitting your skin too frequently as well as thick gloves for the outdoors to protect them from over-drying can all be used.

Shop for individual packets of lotion to stock up your first aid kit. This convenient option will provide relief at the worksite, in the office and whenever needed without having to lug around a bottle of lotion.

We also have a number of glove options to choose from in our protective equipment section. Spare yourself and your workers the agony this winter. SHOP NOW!   

Protective Gear & Equipment for Agricultural Safety

Employees who are involved in the storage, mixing, blending and distribution of fertilizer can experience serious injuries or death on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a Regional Emphasis Program in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. The goal of the program is to make sure that companies in the industry comply with OSHA’s standards to protect workers.

The program began on October 1, 2018. During a three-month period, OSHA will reach out to employers to educate them about hazards and encourage them to make changes to comply with government standards. OSHA offers free assistance to employers so they can bring their operations into compliance. After the conclusion of the outreach period, OSHA will undertake enforcement activities until at least September 30, 2019.

Why Fertilizer Is Dangerous

Ammonia fertilizers are commonly used in agriculture because they can enrich the soil with nitrogen. Employees in the agriculture industry are at risk because of exposure to fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) and agricultural anhydrous ammonia. They may be exposed to toxic gases and dangerous chemicals, and fires or explosions can occur if safety standards are not met.

Anhydrous ammonia fertilizer is in a liquid form. It can be dangerous if it is spilled or sprayed onto an employee’s body or in the eyes. A high concentration of ammonia gas can cause respiratory symptoms.


How to Keep Employees Safe

Because of the risks inherent in working with ammonia fertilizers, precautions need to be taken at all times. Employees should always wear chemical goggles and keep their skin covered. If the skin or eyes come into contact with ammonia, the area should be flushed with water before seeking medical treatment as soon as possible.

Following proper procedures and inspecting equipment can prevent many accidents. Before transferring fertilizer, workers should check valves, lines, and connections for damage or other problems to prevent spills and leaks. Any issues should be addressed before using the equipment. Only equipment specifically designed for anhydrous ammonia should be used.

Ammonium nitrate fertilizer should be stored in a ventilated building where it is protected from water and kept away from any combustible materials. The size of the piles and the amount of space between them should meet safety standards.

How to Protect Your Workers

1st Aid Supplies has a variety of protective gear that is appropriate for a wide range of occupations. Employees who work with ammonia fertilizer should wear gloves, masks or respirators, and protective clothing to prevent illness or injury on the job.

If your employees handle fertilizer and you are not currently in compliance with OSHA’s standards, the current education and prevention outreach period is the perfect time to take the measures necessary to keep your employees safe.

Order protective gear from 1st Aid Supplies today!

Common OSHA Violations and How to Prevent Them

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) creates guidelines and regulations to prevent accidents in the workplace. These rules are intended to protect employees from serious injuries or death.

Accidents on the job can lead to medical bills, worker’s compensation claims, and lawsuits. In addition, companies can be fined thousands of dollars for each OSHA violation found during an inspection and may be forced to suspend or halt their operations until problems have been corrected.

Given the many risks involved, it is in an employer’s best interest to comply with OSHA’s mandates, yet every year businesses across the country are cited for violations. These are some of the most common issues.

Fall Risks

Falls are responsible for many serious injuries and deaths. Employees who work on construction sites or in mines, or who perform maintenance or cleaning duties in high places, are at the greatest risk. Many accidents can be prevented by using protective equipment, such as harnesses and hard hats, and by thoroughly training employees.

Breathing Issues

Respiratory hazards are common in some industries, such as manufacturing, mining, and building remodeling and demolition. Workers can breathe in dust, fumes, and contaminants such as asbestos that could cause permanent respiratory illness and even death. If workers might be exposed to these types of hazards, they should be warned of those risks, provided with masks or respirators, and trained in how to use them.

Faulty Equipment

Employees who work with machinery of any kind on the job could be injured by malfunctioning parts. Machines that are out of order should be clearly marked and should be disconnected from sources of electricity to avoid injuries. Lockout/Tagout procedures should be followed consistently.

Failure to Warn of Dangers

Some accidents occur simply because workers are not made aware of dangers around them as OSHA requires. If employees work in areas where they could be exposed to hazardous chemicals, toxic fumes, falling objects, or other conditions, simply posting warning signs can prompt workers to be vigilant and take precautions to protect themselves.

Safeguard Your Employees and Your Business

These are some of the most common violations that OSHA inspectors discover when they visit businesses. When violations are identified, companies are penalized financially and may be unable to continue normal operations for days, weeks, or even months, until problems have been addressed. If a worker is injured or killed on the job because a company failed to comply with OSHA regulations, a lawsuit could financially cripple the business and tarnish its public image. The company might never recover.

Given all of these risks, it makes sense for owners and managers to comply with OSHA’s rules. If your business needs protective equipment, warning signs, or anything else to keep your employees safe, 1st Aid Supplies has what you need. Place your order today!

The Importance of Handwashing and Other Tips to Keep Germs Away

Germs are everywhere – on surfaces throughout the house, in your car, and at work. Coughing, sneezing, using the bathroom, and touching people and objects can easily cause bacteria and viruses to spread and lead to illness.

Germs can cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea that can have a significant impact on people’s daily lives. Adults may need to stay home from work, which can lower productivity. Kids may be unable to attend school, which can interfere with their ability to get an education and can also require parents to lose wages and get behind at work in order to stay home and take care of them.

When and How to Wash Your Hands

It is impossible to avoid germs altogether, but handwashing can reduce your exposure. You should always wash your hands after you use the bathroom or change a diaper; before and after you take care of someone who is or may be sick; if you touch an animal, or its food or waste; and after you touch trash or a trash can. You should also wash your hands before preparing or eating food and should never share utensils or cups with others.

Start out by wetting your hands with clean, running water. Then apply soap and rub your hands together to create a lather. Include the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Continue to scrub for at least 20 seconds, then rinse your hands under running water. Dry them with a clean towel or under an air dryer.

Teach your children to wash their hands at a young age. Demonstrate proper technique, remind and supervise your kids, and set a good example by following your own advice.

Other Ways to Prevent the Spread of Germs

If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer is a good alternative that can help remove germs in many situations. Use a product that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Rub it all over the surfaces of your hands and fingers. Hand sanitizer is not as effective at removing visible dirt and grease, but it can help when hands have picked up germs from coughing, sneezing, or touching objects.

If you have a cold or virus, cover your mouth when you cough. Use your arm, not your hand, so you don’t get germs on your hand and then transfer them to the next object you touch. If you need to sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue or your arm.

Wipe down surfaces you touch frequently, such as your computer’s keyboard and mouse, door handles, light switches, and remote controls. If you have children, clean their toys with disinfectant wipes to avoid transferring germs to other members of your family or to your children’s friends.

Order Supplies to Prevent the Spread of Germs

1st Aid Supplies carries several products that can help protect you from germs, including antimicrobial wipes and hand sanitizer. Stock up today to keep yourself and your family healthy.

Protect Yourself from Blood-Borne Pathogens

In some types of work, employees are exposed to blood on a regular basis. Doctors, nurses, dentists, phlebotomists, and paramedics routinely treat patients who are injured or need to draw blood for testing or make incisions to provide treatment. Technicians who analyze samples in a laboratory may handle the blood of dozens of people on a daily basis.

Why Personal Protective Equipment Is Critical

For people in these lines of work, the risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens is significant. It is impossible to tell if a sample of blood contains HIV, hepatitis, or another type of pathogen without laboratory testing, which is why healthcare workers should take measures to protect themselves in all cases. Employees who are exposed to blood in the course of their work should use personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of contracting a blood-borne illness.

Choosing the Right Protective Equipment

The type of PPE required will depend on the situation. Someone who handles tubes of blood in a lab can be adequately protected by wearing gloves, but a surgeon or dentist may have a higher risk of exposure because of the possibility of blood spraying. In those situations, healthcare providers should protect themselves with gloves, a mask that covers the nose and mouth, goggles, and a gown that covers clothing. First responders may need to use different types of PPE depending on the circumstances and the extent of the patient’s injuries.

Workplace Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide PPE if workers can be expected to come into contact with blood in the course of their duties. The type of PPE that must be provided will depend on the line of work and the risk of exposure. Protective equipment must be readily available to employees and must be provided in a variety of sizes. Employees should be trained in when and how to use PPE and should be encouraged to do so. Protective equipment should be disposed of in approved containers or bags after use.

Protect Yourself and Your Coworkers

If you work in a field where you may come into contact with other people’s blood, you should always use personal protective equipment to avoid exposure to an infectious illness. Any blood sample should be considered potentially contaminated. Exercise an abundance of caution and wear gloves and other types of protective equipment that are necessary based on the circumstances. Following safety protocols consistently can keep you and your fellow employees safe.

1st Aid Supplies offers a complete line of personal protective equipment to keep workers safe from blood-borne pathogens.  Protect yourself and your employees by ordering gloves, masks, and other supplies today.