Personal protective equipment, or PPE, has become an unlikely buzzword in the new era of pandemic and personal safety. However, for many different fields of work, it’s been a common practice for quite some time. PPE in the workplace is an effective tool and it has many different definitions, depending on the type of work you’re in. Whether you’re a doctor, firefighter, or even a server/bartender, PPE is key to a successful and safe work experience.
PPE in the Workplace: Not a Passing Fad
Quite obviously, those medical grade masks that we’ve been asked to wear in public spaces do have their origins in the medical field. When performing surgery, working with immunocompromised patients, or performing other duties— most nurses and doctors will have their handy dandy masks, gloves, and other equipment at the ready. PPE in the workplace for these doctors can often be the difference between life and death for others.
Speaking of life or death, PPE in the workplace for firefighters? That means protecting themselves more than others. Think oxygen masks, fireproof suits, and the like. While your definition of PPE has likely been reserved to what we are being asked to use ourselves, it has a pretty broad definition.
Another field where this gear has more impact on yourself than others is in construction. Steel-toed boots, glasses or eye shields, a harness, and gloves— these are all forms of personal protective equipment. When you’re working with heavy, slippery, sharp materials up on scaffolding, having PPE in the workplace is important. Not to mention when you are welding or working with chemical agents of some kind, protecting your eyes and skin can be a matter of serious injury or death. But, not only is it important, it is also (in many cases) a requirement.
Under OSHA regulations, you must have the necessary gear in certain work spaces. Furthermore, you must also provide training as to how they should be used properly. So, as an employer, you must address hazards to prevent accidents, provide training, and provide necessary equipment to make your workspace safe. In short, PPE in the workplace has many faces and purposes— each one as valuable as the next. When used properly they might just save an arm, a leg, or an eye.
There is much confusion on what a Right to Work principle is (we’ll call it them R2W states for simplicity’s sake). Most people look at these work rights as a “right to get fired”. This is simply not true. The R2W principle allows for every American to work for a living, without the pressure to belong to a union.
Work Rights: What are These Principles?
Right to Work Law
No person is made to join a union and pay union dues as a condition of employment. These work rights laws also ensure that employees are not forced or coerced into joining a union. Additionally, it’s important to notice that these states are not “anti-union”. Instead, R2W states focus on the freedoms of the individual employee.
Public Sector vs. Private Sector
In the public sector, every state is an R2W state. In the private sector, work rights are a little different. All states in the Southeast fall into this category, but major states like California and New York have forced unions.
Standard of Living
When states enact work rights, the quality of life is seriously considered. One of the positives of being in these states is the higher quality of life. Compared to those states that force unionization, R2W states have higher after-tax income. In addition to this benefit, families in these states have more buying power. Last but not least, there are lower unemployment rates.
Negatives of R2W Laws
Conversely, not all the work rights are positive. Those who oppose these specific laws point out that sometimes non-union employees benefit from their union counterparts. Additionally, Democrats have a lot of support from Union members. This means that most states that fall under this category endorse Republican parties.
Both forced unions and the R2W states have their positives and negatives. If you have questions about what your rights are in your states, consult with a lawyer. While you may live in one of these states, you still have rights regarding employment.
Advantages and Drawbacks
At the end of the day, no matter which category your work state falls under— there will be some benefits and some negatives. However, it is important to get familiar with your rights as an employee, an employer, or someone who plans to relocate for an employment opportunity. Do your research, be prepared, and make sure you have protections in place in case of any unexpected work injuries or unforeseen circumstances.
A worker’s hands can be some of their most valuable tools. Your hands are a crucial part of nearly any job. However, much like eye injuries, hand injuries are some of the most common in the workplace. With how important they are, it’s important to know how you can keep your hands safe…
Hand Injuries: Avoiding Common Injuries
Most common injuries
It’s important to first be aware of the most common hand injuries. Often times, cuts and punctures will be common, especially if you work around sharp or pointed objects. However, there’s also the risk of lacerations, which are deeper cuts that could cause more serious damage.
There’s also crushes and fractures. Crushes occur when your hand gets caught between something, usual some machinery, and another hard surface like a wall. These could cause permanent damage, especially to the muscles. Fractures can also occur, as well as occurring after slips and falls.
Using protective gear
Protective gear goes a long way in avoiding hand injuries. The most used form of hand protection is, of course, gloves. However, not every kind of glove will work for every kind of job. That’s why it’s important to choose the right glove type for the job at hand.
For example, if you’re working with sharp objects, you’ll want gloves that are tougher with more layers of protection. Yet if you’re working with hotter objects, then you’ll need more heat resistance. Furthermore, if you handle chemicals, then you’ll need gloves which can protect against chemical burns. These are just a few examples, but it ultimately comes down to knowing what kind of protection you need while on the job.
Be smart when using machines
Gloves are just one part of preventing hand injuries. You’ll also need to be smart and safe when using machinery to help prevent crushes and fractures. This means being alert when using any machinery, as well as using any safety features they have.
Getting distracted while using machinery increases your chances of accidentally injuring your hands. That’s why your focus should remain on the machine instead of anything else that could distract you. Also, many machines will have safety guards or other protections that you can use to keep yourself safe while using or reaching inside of them.
Life as a truck driver can get expensive when you’re on the road. Your truck is like a second home, so you’ll have to pay for some essentials. However, there are means of saving money while on a trip. These trips can help you keep more money in your wallet without sacrificing a comfortable ride…
Saving Money: Budgeting On The Road
Figure out your budget
A budget is a major part of saving money. Figuring out a budget will let you see what it is you’re spending money on and how much you’d like to save. A budget is basically your financial saving plan: once you have it figured out, sticking to it will help you continuously save money.
These days, there are plenty of budgeting apps and guides you can use to your advantage. This will allow you to create and stick to your budget even while you’re on the road. It can be hard to stick to a budget at first, but once you see the savings come in, you’ll realize how helpful it is.
Pack your own food
Buying food is one of the most common expenses for truck drivers. It also quickly adds up and becomes quite pricey. For example, just buying an $8 lunch every day means you spend $40 every work week, and almost $3,000 a year! That’s why cutting back on buying food is a great way to start saving money.
Instead of buying food, try to pack your own instead. Buying groceries is considerably cheaper and can last you longer, especially if your truck has a fridge or microwave. Not only that, but you’ll find it easier to eat healthier too! While you can still stop for food every now and then, you’ll quickly see how much money you can save.
Bring more clothes
Another common expense for truck drivers is laundry. Having to pay for laundry can become a big part of your budget. Paying for it constantly week after week, sometimes more than once, can give your wallet a huge dent.
While doing your laundry is important, there are some ways you can work on saving money. Bringing more clothes can help you cut down on your trips to the laundromat. So will bringing more sheets or towels. While you can’t remove the cost completely, you’ll end up saving more than you used too.
While the summer months definitely bring the heat, they also bring allergens. Many people see their allergies flare up during these months, and they can carry over into the workplace. Workplace allergies can seriously get in the way of your work, just like any work injury. However, there are ways for you to manage and overcome them…
Workplace Allergies: Ways To Manage
Recognize your allergies
In order to manage your workplace allergies, you first need to be aware of what your allergens are. Most people tend to get allergy tests as kids to see what they may or may not be allergic too. However, over time, new allergies could develop, or you could grow out of old ones. Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to get checked again as you get older.
It’s also important to know how severe your allergies are. For example, some allergies might just be annoying, like pollen allergies. However, others may be life-threatening, like food-based allergies. Knowing how severe your allergies are can help you take the appropriate steps to keep yourself safe.
Your allergies & your work
Once you recognize what your workplace allergies are, then it’s time to see how they may show up in your work. This depends on both the kind of work you do, and what your allergies are. For instance, a pollen allergy might impact you more if you work outside instead of inside.
However, some allergies might get in the way no matter where you work. The most apparent kind might be food-based ones. You could run into co-workers who have food you’re allergic to. Or, your work might offer foods that you don’t know the ingredients for, putting you at risk.
Managing your allergies
As it turns out, managing your workplace allergies doesn’t have to be all that complicated. The first thing you’ll want to do it take steps to limit your exposure. Of course, this goes beyond you just staying away from your allergens. It helps to let your co-workers and boss know about them too. That way, they can help make the workplace safer and more comfortable for you.
Still, some allergens might be out of their control. In these cases, it helps to take some extra precautions. You may want to wear some extra protective equipment when working, especially if you’ll constantly be around an allergen. Plus, you can see if allergy medicines can help minimize the symptoms.
Most, if not all of us, have heard of Memorial Day, and celebrated it in some way over the years. Whether you attend a backyard barbecue, fireworks, or spend the day on the lake— Memorial Day is a time to celebrate. However, many people don’t quite understand what Memorial day stands for. Let alone, it’s history, and why it’s worth taking the time to observe. Therefore, on this Memorial Day, we’re going to take a moment to dive into the history. Furthermore, what it means to military families, veterans, and those who have lost their lives in the fight for freedom…
Memorial Day: History, Significance, and Observance
Memorial Day always falls on the last Monday of May. It goes to honor the men and women who have died while serving the United States within the military. In it’s beginning, this holiday was called Decoration Day. Memorial, or Decoration, Day began in the years after the Civil War, and was observed through visiting cemeteries, holding memorials and gatherings. In some areas, there will even be a parade to honor the fallen, and mark the beginning of the summer.
Why did it get its start?
The Civil War was more deadly than any other conflict in U.S. history to date. Due to the magnitude of loss, the government establishes the first national cemeteries. Furthermore, a day of mourning began organically across towns in the U.S. While the true origin of this holiday is not exact, Waterloo declares itself the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966.
Why the last Monday of May?
In its beginning, May 30th was the day of observance. However, in 1968, Congress passes an act to makes the last Monday of May Memorial Day instead— regardless of the date. Their purpose in doing this was to create a universal three-day weekend for federal employees.
Memorial Day is now largely a day of grilling, good company, and cold drinks. However, it’s important to understand why this holiday is in effect, and why we take time to honor those who make the ultimate sacrifice. So, during your celebration— take a moment. 3:00 p.m. on the dot is the national moment of remembrance. Honor those who serve, remember those who were lost, and celebrate the lives of both. To all veterans, military families, and officials— we salute you, and celebrate your hard work and sacrifice.