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Prioritizing Workplace Safety: Celebrating June – National Safety Month

June national safety month Liberty Safety

Workplace safety stands as a concern for organizations across all industries. Recognizing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE), Liberty Safety has emerged as a trusted provider of top-quality safety solutions. 

June is National Safety Month, a nationwide initiative dedicated to promoting workplace safety approaches. It’s the perfect time to make sure your employees know just how much their safety matters to you and your business. Liberty Safety shares your commitment to safeguarding employees and is a proud member of the National Safety Council (NSC)

In this blog post, let’s explore the significance of National Safety Month and shed light on these core values your organization shares with Liberty Safety.

National Safety Month: A Time to Prioritize Workplace Safety

National Safety Month serves as a catalyst for organizations to prioritize the well-being of their employees and create a culture of safety. 

This month-long initiative, created by the National Safety Council (NSC) in 1996, aims to raise awareness about workplace safety, reduce incidents, and foster a proactive approach to occupational health and well-being. 

By actively participating in National Safety Month, organizations demonstrate their commitment to protecting their workforce and cultivating a safe working environment. 

Liberty Safety fully supports the goals of National Safety Month through their dedication to providing top-quality PPE products.

Join us in exploring the weekly topics for 2023 Weekly Topics, per the 

Week 1: Emergency Preparedness 

National Safety Month starts with a critical topic: Emergency Preparedness. Every year, emergencies such as natural disasters, fires, and workplace incidents claim lives and cause injuries. Understanding how to respond can make a significant difference.

A well-developed emergency plan and a basic emergency supply kit is vital for both households and workplaces. Training is another crucial aspect. Familiarize yourself and your family or employees with the use of fire extinguishers, the location of emergency exits, and first-aid procedures. The more prepared we are, the better our chances of survival during an emergency.

Week 2: Slips, Trips and Falls 

The second week of National Safety Month focuses on preventing slips, trips, and falls – some of the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. These incidents can occur in any setting, from home to office to outdoor environments.

Good housekeeping is key: ensuring walkways are clear of clutter can significantly reduce the risk of falls. Wearing appropriate footwear also matters. Shoes should provide adequate traction and can prevent slips and trips. Finally, always be mindful of your surroundings, and don’t rush—taking your time can often prevent a potential fall.

Week 3: Heat-Related Illness 

As we move into summer, the third week of National Safety Month emphasizes the dangers of heat-related illnesses, such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion. When it’s hot, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Dressing appropriately is also important. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing helps your body cool down. 

Learning to recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses—such as heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and headache—can help ensure prompt treatment and recovery.

Week 4: Hazard Recognition 

The final week of National Safety Month is devoted to Hazard Recognition. Whether at home, work, or in public places, being able to identify potential hazards can prevent accidents and injuries. 

Safety audits can be useful in workplaces to identify potential risks. Look for things like unsecured materials that could fall, exposed wires, or unsafe equipment. Training and awareness are key to hazard recognition.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility

Let’s use National Safety Month to ensure we’re all doing our part to create safer environments.  To make it easy, here are some key areas to check, first, along with some exceptional products.

1. The Importance of Hand Protection

Hands are among the most vulnerable body parts in the workplace. In order to prevent injuries, hand protection should be essential to ensure workplace safety. Let’s dive into the critical role of hand protection by highlighting Liberty Safety’s FroGrip® P-Grip Ultra-Thin Polyurethane Coated Gloves (4636TCG).

hand protection

These gloves combine excellent dexterity with reliable hand protection, including a 13 gauge hi-vis green polyester shell and touchscreen compatible design. Workers perform their tasks with precision and confidence while wearing them. 

Liberty Safety also offers a product line of gloves designed to resist cuts, abrasions, and punctures. These cut resistant gloves exemplify Liberty Safety’s commitment to offering advanced hand protection solutions. 

By incorporating Liberty Safety’s hand protection gear into workplace safety protocols, organizations can align with the goals of National Safety Month, prioritizing employee safety and well-being.

2. Clear Vision for Safety: Liberty Safety’s Full-Frame Safety Glasses

safety glasses

Clear vision is essential to maintaining a safe working environment, particularly in hazardous conditions. That’s why it’s important to spotlight eye protection with products like Liberty Safety’s iNOX® AURA II™Full-Frame Safety Glasses (1764BG).

These glasses are meticulously designed to provide optimal eye protection without compromising vision clarity. Enjoy:


    • Polycarbonate polarized lenses for maximum protection

    • Soft non-slip adjustable rubber nose piece

    • Anti-scratch coating

    • Compliance: ANSI Z87.1+

Liberty Safety also offers safety glasses with features such as durable frames, distortion-free lenses, and anti-fog coatings. They enhance both safety and comfort for the wearer.

Our glasses not only protect your employees’ eyes from potential hazards but also contribute to creating a culture of safety and awareness in the workplace. They are particularly valuable in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and laboratories where eye protection is of utmost importance.

3. High Visibility, High Safety: Hi-Vis Apparel

hi-vis apparel vest

Visibility plays a pivotal role in workplace safety, especially in high-risk environments. That’s why we focus on high-visibility safety clothing, featuring Liberty Safety’s HiVizGard™ Class 2 Hi-Vis Apparel (C16015GB).

These Class 2 garments are designed for workers near heavy traffic driving over 25 mph and in low visibility areas. Features include a front zipper closure and multiple pockets for convenience and functionality. This Surveyor’s Vest is meticulously designed with a black bottom. This strategic feature serves to conceal any accumulated dirt or grime, ensuring the vest consistently maintains a clean and professional appearance.

 Liberty Safety’s Hi-Vis Apparel ensures that employees stand out. These garments are specifically designed to enhance visibility, making workers easily identifiable, even in low-light or high-traffic conditions. Reducing the risk of accidents and enhancing overall safety. These garments are available in various styles, including vests, shirts, jackets, and pants, catering to the specific needs of different industries and job roles. 

4. Protecting Heads: Liberty Safety’s DuraShell® Hard Hats

hard hat

The head stands as one of the most vulnerable body parts in potentially hazardous work environments, demanding reliable head protection. We highlight the crucial role of head protection by introducing Liberty Safety’s range of Hard Hats

Crafted from durable materials and designed to meet stringent safety standards, Liberty Safety’s Hard Hats offer unparalleled protection for workers’ heads. These hard hats are available in various styles and configurations to suit different industry needs, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit for every wearer. 

Consider the 1404R-HO DuraShell® Hard Hat by Liberty Safety. This hard hat provides robust head protection, ensuring safety and comfort with its sturdy design and adjustable features, making it an indispensable tool for any high-risk environment.  Featuring:


    • Shell constructed from high-density polyethylene

    • Low-Profile design

    • Pillowed brow pad & top ribbon pad for comfort

    • Rain trough on sides and back of helmet channels moisture away

    • Available in 4 suspension

    • Compliance: ANSI Z89.1-2014, Type 1, Class C,G,E

Liberty Safety’s Hard Hats provide reliable protection for workers’ heads, providing a critical safeguard in inside or outside work environments.

Use this month and these resources to bring health and safety to the forefront of your day to day  

National Safety Month serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of workplace safety. Liberty Safety, a trusted provider of top-quality personal protective equipment (PPE), wholeheartedly embraces this initiative. 

Through their commitment to delivering innovative and reliable safety solutions, Liberty Safety supports organizations in their quest to create a safe and secure working environment.

Shop a vast assortment of safety supplies & worksite safety including cut resistant gloves for hand protection, safety glasses for superior eye protection, high visibility apparel, hard hats, and more. Provide your employees with high-quality, reliable PPE to protect against workplace hazards from LibertySafety – the brand you trust.

Explore Liberty Safety’s extensive range of PPE products and support National Safety Month’s initiative

When it comes time to find the best selection of PPE for your workers, Liberty Safety can help. Contact us to learn more about our line of personal protective equipment for your safety concerns.

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Automotive Paint Shop PPE Includes Specialty Gear from DuPont™

Automotive Paint Shop PPE Includes Specialty Gear from DuPont™

Automotive paint does more than create pleasing appearance, it’s a complex technology that protects the metal while creating the chosen finish. For those who work in automotive paint environments, it’s also a potential health threat, which is why choosing the right PPE is critical.

Automotive paint shop workers may be employed in body shops, dealerships, and automotive repair shops as well as factories; they face exposure to similar hazards involved in mixing and applying paints and chemicals that are often toxic or hazardous. 

The paint they spray is typically a mixture that includes not only paint but also thinner, hardener, and a catalyst formulated to suit the substrate and other characteristics of the desired finish. While OSHA regulated operations and NIOSH outlines best practices, extreme care and conscientious use of PPE is needed to protect the immediate and long-term health of workers.

Hazards and Exposures on the Job in Automotive Painting

The routine operations involve a host of chemicals that pose risks related to both acute and long-term exposure, as well as activities that produce dust and particles that are harmful when inhaled. Work in autobody repair and painting exposes workers to a variety of hazards, both physical and chemical. OSHA provides detailed explanations and guidelines for specific hazards within the automotive painting industry. Several common hazards include:

Airborne Particles
Grinding and sanding to remove old finish or as part of the painting process puts dust and particles into the air. This paint and primer dust may have hazardous characteristics that lead to irritation in the respiratory system. Sandblasting, if it is used, also releases silica into the air.

Fans, blowers, and sanders are all typically involved in the painting process in a body shop contributing to the basic noise level. Sanders and spray booth fans run at about 80dB; air blowers may range up to 90 or 100dB, depending on the type and pressure. Hearing damage occurs from exposure to excessive noise in two ways–particular events of loud sounds, and the duration of exposure to elevated noise levels. Generally, the acceptable noise level limit for eight hours would be about 85dB, and that duration before permanent damage occurs decreases with an increase in noise level. Specific tools and equipment can produce noise at significantly higher levels.

Unlike a muscle that can be strengthened, you can’t “toughen up” your hearing by repeated exposure to loud noise. Hearing loss builds over time and is not reversible. 

Physical Injury
Working with cutting tools, sheet metal as well as welding operations presents ample opportunity for injuries. Flying metal fragments can cause eye injuries; welding operations can cause burns and eye damage. Oil and grease can lead to slips and trips that result in falls; and repetitive stress injuries from poor ergonomics when handling tools.

Vapors and Fumes – working with volatile organic compounds that give off vapors
These gases can damage the respiratory system and other problems. VOCs are released by paints, fillers, and solvents. Metal fumes enter the air from welding and cutting.

Automotive paints are specially formulated for their purpose and typically contain a resin or binder, pigment, solvent, and other additives. The resins in these paints are often polyurethanes; isocyanates are essentially, the raw materials that compose polyurethanes.

NIOSH describes isocyanates as “powerful irritants to the mucous membranes of the eyes and gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.” Exposure builds over time and they cause damage to the eyes and skin. Repeated exposure can lead to sensitization and severe illness including work-related asthma. Products containing isocyanates must be handled carefully to avoid health problems and introduce a specific set of cautions and hazards. The damage is cumulative, and the body does not get rid of these once they are taken in.

An introductory guide is offered by NIOSH that reviews a range of chemicals and helps workers to understand the potential health risks associated with each one.

PPE to Address the Hazards

PPE to Address the Hazards

Exposures of all types in this industry tend to be cumulative, whether the exposure is to loud noises or chemicals. The actions you take today will affect not only your health tomorrow, but your length of life and the quality of life you’ll experience in the years ahead. Careful attention to best practices also helps prevent exposing your family to the effects as well.

DuPont™ recommends using the 4P method for assessing risk in the workplace.


Earplugs and earmuffs that are worn all day preserve hearing and address the cumulative effect of noise from fans, paint booth operations, blowers and sanders.

Respirators and face masks protect the lungs and respiratory system from particles, vapors, fumes, and chemicals that can be inhaled. Their use is critical for protecting health, and required  in accordance with regulations for chemicals used and paint booth operating standards. OSHA provides detailed guidance for the use of various types of protective respiratory gear that is beyond the scope of our discussion here.

While awareness of an odor can be an indicator of the presence of a potentially harmful chemical, some chemicals are odorless and cannot be detected by smell. Frequent exposure to certain other chemicals can diminish the sense of smell that would help indicate their presence.

Gloves provide improved grip while protecting the hands against multiple types of injuries. When the hands are exposed to harsh chemicals burns can result, and toxic chemicals can readily enter the bloodstream through the skin. The proper gloves for full dexterity and also protect against cuts and abrasions when working with cutting tools and metal.

A4938 Cut Resistant Gloves

A4938 X-GRIP® gray polyurethane cut resistant gloves

Constructed with a 13 gauge salt and pepper HPPE shell, polyurethane coated palm and fingers, these gloves offer ANSI level A2 cut resistance, breathability, and provide all day comfort.

Coveralls and full-body protective clothing efficiently prevent chemicals from coming in contact with the skin. They also help paint booth workers to produce the best quality coating applications by preventing the lint or dust from clothing, which could damage the surfaces being painted, from entering the spray booth.

DuPont™ Personal Protection is designed with unparalleled expertise and taps into a broad portfolio of technical solutions to meet or exceed global protection standards. For paint shops,  Tyvek® 400, Tyvek® 800, and Tychem® 2000 coveralls offer specialized protection and are available through Liberty Safety to meet the demands and hazards for these task-specific jobs.

Tyvek® 400 TY120

DuPont™ Tyvek® 400 TY120

Coverall with comfort fit design. This style has a collar, elastic waist, storm flap, open wrists and ankles, and serged seams. These garments offer durability and comfort along with softness and breathability. They repel water-based liquids and aerosols and fine particles and fibers down to 1.0 micron.

DuPont™ Tyvek® model TY800

DuPont™ Tyvek® model TY800

Coverall with hood has serged and over-taped seams and elastic thumb loops. It has elastic wrists, ankles and face and an elastic waist (glued-in), a self-adhesive Tyvek® storm flap and a self-adhesive chin flap. Garments resist low-concentration, water-based inorganic chemicals and provide an effective barrier against many water-based inorganic chemicals in low concentration, as well as particles down to 1.0 micron.

DuPont™ Tychem® 2000

DuPont™ Tychem® 2000

Coverall includes a standard fit hood, serged seams, and storm flap in addition to elastic wrists and ankles. A lightweight and durable fabric, Tychem® 2000 fabric provides at least 30 minutes of protection against >40 chemical challenges. Tychem® 2000 is used for light splash protection in a variety of industrial environments.

Advantages of Tyvek® and DuPont™ Products

Tyvek® brings key characteristics into play. Coveralls are anti-static treated to minimize dust entering from outside the spray booth. The specific structure of Tyvek® is stable, durable, and low lint, suitable for settings that demand high air purity. The low lint characteristic of Tyvek® keeps spray booths free of lint and dust so that the best quality finish can result.

Dry linting propensity

The unique structure of Tyvek® material offers a high degree of protection against airborne particles and many water-based inorganic chemicals. As the nonwoven structure of the material forms a multi-layer barrier, its barrier performance will remain intact even if the outer layers become damaged in places. Beyond the durability of the material—Tyvek® is highly resistant to abrasion and tearing—it is also lightweight and soft, as well as permeable to both air and water vapor, providing a high level of comfort.  For specific types of paint or exposure, the protection provided by Tyvek® must be reinforced or enhanced with other accessories, such as those available in the Tychem® range. Some types of paint work present risks not only when applying the paint, but also when preparing the paint or cleaning tools, using solvent washers, and so on. For all potentially hazardous tasks, DuPont™ suggests its range of lightweight and effective Tychem® accessories.

Practicing Protection

NIOSH sums up sound PPE practices for paint application in their poster:

Got everything covered?

Source: NIOSH

Safety and health are protected day by day through effective use of appropriate gear. As a preferred vendor partner with DuPont™, Liberty Safety has a wide range of DuPont™ products and a technical support team to help you make a wise selection for your application.

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3 Tips to Protect Your Team from Heat Stress

3 Tips to Protect Your Team from Heat Stress

Summer’s heat isn’t likely to diminish any time soon. That’s why it’s best to plan for heat before it starts. With that in mind, employers have to seriously consider the steps they can take to protect workers from heat stress, especially those who work outdoors.

Heat stress is caused by multiple factors and can happen to workers and others in all areas of the country–not only those regions known for record-setting highs.

Humidity, work load, duration, and changes in temperature are just some of the factors that contribute to the likelihood that workers will experience heat stress. We’ll take a closer look at these factors and discuss some tips on how you and your team can avoid heat related illnesses.

#1 Equip Your Team to Understand How Heat Stress Affects Health and Safety

Facts About Heat Stress

Heat stress happens when the body cannot get rid of excess heat. The body’s core temperature rises as a result and with that, the heart rate increases. Workers in several industries, indoors and outdoors, are vulnerable to heat stress, including manufacturing workers, miners, warehouse workers, and bakery workers as well as farmers and construction workers.

Symptoms arise as the body continues to store heat. Concentration and the ability to focus are affected and the person may lose the desire to drink, increasing their vulnerability to illness or death if the person is not cooled down.

High air temperature and radiant heat from the sun or another industrial source contribute to the conditions that create heat stress, indoors or out. A lack of air movement increases the effects of heat, and high relative humidity makes it difficult for the body to cool itself through sweating. The right PPE safety gear can protect workers from the sun and bring relief from the heat.

Stay Alert for Symptoms and Offer First Aid

Heat stress can produce a range of heat related illnesses. An individual’s underlying health can also be a factor in how the body reacts to heat and the particular set of symptoms that arise, however these conditions can strike a worker of any age.

That’s why it’s critically important to understand the symptoms that you may observe in your crew–or yourself–and be on the lookout for any unusual symptoms or changes in performance.

Although the severity of these illnesses differs, an individual may not present milder symptoms before a more severe condition, such as heat stroke, occurs; heat related illness does not necessarily move in stepwise fashion, so the symptoms listed need not appear in a particular order to be considered serious.

The right response at the right time can mean the difference between life and death or prevent heat related illnesses from escalating in severity. Fluids, shelter from sun, and cooling are some of the first steps to take. It’s also important to note that the person suffering from illness should not be left alone.

Keep Track of Weather Conditions with Accurate Information

Anticipate and track weather conditions to prepare for periods of excessive heat and prevent injury or illness. The National Weather Service has tools to help you monitor weather patterns so you can better manage heat stress for your workers.

The Heat Index chart offers a way to determine how hot it feels based on a combination of humidity and temperature.

NWS Heat Index
Source: National Weather Service

The NWS also offers guidance to help you interpret the patterns you see on regional heat maps, clarifying the color designations and providing direction for necessary precautions.

Heat Risks
Source: National Weather Service

This resource from the NWS and CDC pulls together the information you need to get a broad look at weather patterns that affect your region as well as the nation. Knowing what heat trends could be headed your way can help guide the way work is scheduled.

#2 Acclimate Workers to Heat Conditions

Gradually Increase Exposure to Heat Conditions

The body takes time to adjust to working in extreme heat. All workers, experienced and new, need to gradually increase exposure during the start of high-heat periods.

NIOSH recommends the following schedule: For workers with previous experience with the job, the acclimatization regimen should be no more than a 50% exposure on day 1, 60% on day 2, 80% on day 3, and 100% on day 4. New workers should increase exposure even more slowly, with no more than a 20% exposure on day 1 and an increase of no more than 20% on each additional day.

Failing to acclimate workers puts them at risk of injury or even death.The majority of heat stress related deaths occur either early in the season or to workers new to the job.

Schedule Wisely to Protect Worker Health

As much as possible, adapt work schedules to avoid heavy work during the hottest part of the day. Workers should be working shorter shifts until they have adapted to the heat.

Water, Rest, and Shade

Employers should provide areas where workers can cool down. Workers should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of cool water, even before they get thirsty, and take regular breaks in sheltered or air conditioned areas out of the heat.

#3 Provide PPE that Cools and Shields

Those who work outdoors are among those at the greatest risk for heat stress. Direct sunlight and high humidity coupled with exertion all contribute to the effects of heat exposure. Employers have the responsibility to provide appropriate heat safety PPE for workers and protect them from heat stress.

Cooling Colors and Shading the Skin

Along with choosing the right PPE, one tip specifically for working outdoors is to wear the right clothing. Cover the skin as much as possible for protection and select light-colored garments made of wicking fibers. Light and high visibility colors reflect the light, keeping workers cooler than dark clothing.

PPE and safety gear can shield workers from the sun with a light-weight layer of protection, such as a neck gaiter, or create shade with protective shields to cover the neck.

Keep the body cool with shade that you can wear, like the HiVizGard™ Hi-Vis Green Fire Retardant Treated Neck Shade, FRNS161G/F. An elastic band attaches this self-extinguishing treated mesh fabric to most hard hats. Trimmed with silver reflective material, this HiVizGard™ neck shade also comes in lime or orange.



Keep the body cool with shade that you can wear, like the HiVizGard™ Hi-Vis Green Fire Retardant Treated Neck Shade, FRNS161G/F. An elastic band attaches this self-extinguishing treated mesh fabric to most hard hats. Trimmed with silver reflective material, this HiVizGard™ neck shade also comes in lime or orange.



Create a full brim of shade with the HiVizGard™ Orange Full Brim Neck Shade, NS162F/G. Shield your eyes from the sun as well as the back of your neck. Trimmed with silver reflective material, this full brim 100% polyester shade fits most hard hats and folds into a pouch for convenient storage. It’s also available in green or orange.



For lightweight, multipurpose sun protection the HiVizGard™ Hi-Vis Green Neck Gaiter, NS163G, can be used to cover the neck, face, or head. Made of a single layer of cool and breathable hi-vis 100% polyester material, it’s soft and comfortable against the skin.

Materials Make a Difference

Polyester fabrics can be used to wick moisture away from the body to keep it cooler; they pull moisture toward the surface so that it can evaporate and keep the skin dry. Polyvinyl acetate, or PVA, is another material commonly used for cooling products because of its absorbency and cooling properties. Used in cooling towels, bandanas, vests and other items, it is beneficial for cooling the body temperature and also comfortable against the skin.



Keep your cool in the heat with the Class 2 HiVizGard™ Evaporative Cooling Vest, C16006GC, that combines the safety of a high visibility vest with evaporative cooling power. Activate the vest’s cooling properties by soaking it in cold water for a couple of minutes, then its evaporative properties will help you maintain a healthy body temperature. A zipper closure helps it stay in place while you work.

Durawear™ Cooling Towel


Keep a cooling towel on hand for easy relief when hot weather hits. Activate the DuraWear™ Blue Cooling Towel, 1930B, by soaking it in water and this light-weight, super-absorbent towel made of advanced PVA will provide cooling relief when wrapped around the neck or used to cool down other pulse points. Antimicrobial treated, it’s durable and machine washable.

Equip Your Team to Stay Safe in the Heat

Everyone is vulnerable to heat. In 2021, data reported by the National Safety Council indicates that 201 people died from weather related excessive heat in the U.S.

Don’t become a statistic – look out for yourself and those around you. Following effective heat related protocols on the worksite, combined with the right cooling gear from a trusted supplier, can protect workers and bring relief. Liberty Safety offers a wide range of protective gear and products to help workers keep cool during summer’s heat.

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Head-to-Toe Protection for Agriculture and Farm Workers

Head-to-Toe Protection for Agriculture and Farm Workers

As we roll into the new agricultural season, it’s time to check on the PPE and practices needed to keep farmers and agricultural workers safe during planting season.

The USDA Economic Research Service reports that in 2021, about 10.5% of the total jobs in the U.S. were related to the agriculture and food production sectors–21.1 million full- and part-time jobs. Employment directly on farms amounted to about 2.6 million jobs.

Employment in Agriculture, Food, and Related Industries, 2021.
Source: USDA

And that’s a large number of workers who’ll be facing a wide range of hazards as they do their jobs. We’ll take a look at the PPE to provide head-to-toe protection from the top hazards faced by those in the farming and agricultural industry.

Farm Safety Tips

It’s common knowledge that farming is considered one of the most hazardous occupations. Weather conditions and time-sensitive activities introduce additional risk factors to the pressure of farming. Exhaustion, working when overtired, or rushing to finish work while weather holds can cause workers to pay less attention to safety precautions. The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center has created a Farm Safety Checklist to remind farmers to Stop, Think, and Act safely. A safety mindset and some basic steps can help get planting season off to a safe and healthy start:

Be Aware of Common Workplace Hazards

Whether the agricultural operation raises poultry, livestock, grain, fruit, cotton, or soybeans, many hazards are common to the people who work in these operations. OSHA offers detailed explanations for many types of hazards that farmworkers face each day, related to the operation of specific types of farms.

As an industry, farmworkers are at high risk for injuries, fatalities and work-related lung disease. In general, farming takes place in more remote locations, further removed from emergency services, making it all the more important to take precautions.


High noise levels are common in farm workplaces and so is hearing loss. Noise produced by heavy machinery, tractors, chainsaws, and many other types of equipment lead to hearing loss if workers are unprotected. Signs posted at high noise areas serve as reminders to use available hearing protection.

Weather Exposure

The same sun that helps crops grow also exposes workers to UV radiation that can damage skin cells and potentially lead to skin cancer. Working in extreme heat can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Rain, snow, and wet conditions impair footing and create a setting for dangerous slip and fall accidents.

Livestock Handling/Heavy Machinery

Working with cattle, other livestock, and heavy machinery present the potential for crush injuries. Taking large equipment on the roadways also raises concerns about visibility and correct operation.

NIOSH reports that the leading source of fatalities and injuries in agriculture is farm machinery, accounting for 23–50% of fatalities and approximately 50% of hospitalizations from non-fatal injuries. Injuries caused by animals, particularly handling livestock, represent 1 out of 8 injuries, second only to injuries related to heavy machinery.


Farm production involves application of a wide range of chemicals including:

As gases, vapors, or particulates, chemicals are readily absorbed through the skin or inhaled; they can enter the body through the eyes, and can be ingested accidentally during the mixing or application process.

The effects of chemicals on the body range from poisoning or neurological toxicity to long-term damage or illness. Workers don’t need to be actively involved in mixing or applying chemicals to be exposed.

Infectious Diseases

Working around animals also exposes workers to bacteria and germs that can lead to zoonotic diseases, or those that can be transmitted from animals to humans. 

These include avian flu, swine flu, and others. The AgriSafe Network offers information on a wide range of zoonotic diseases as well as guides to appropriate PPE for preventing transmission of swine flu and many other diseases.

Musculoskeletal Injury

The nature of many farm operations requires long hours of repetitive work. Repetitive motion, prolonged exertion, working with large animals and moving heavy objects create the risk of injury. Manual material handling, repair work, and milking animals all are connected with increased incidents of musculoskeletal pain.

Respiratory Health Hazards

Farmworkers can be exposed to a life-threatening buildup of toxic gases from manure pits, silos, and confined animal wastes. In poultry buildings the concentration of ammonia can become dangerously high.

Exposure to organic and inorganic dust, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, solvents, and a wide variety of other chemicals have the potential to damage respiratory systems. NIOSH reports also that farm workers have an elevated risk of chronic bronchitis, asthma, and other pulmonary diseases.

Agriculture PPE Solutions

Keeping farmers and agricultural workers safe on the job means choosing–and using–appropriate PPE from head to toe.

1. Head Protection

Certainly, protection from the sun and its heat are a consideration–but what is required is much more than a simple ball cap. Head protection goes far beyond the need to provide shade.

When applying or mixing chemicals, face shields and full head coverings are needed to prevent contact with the skin or ingestion. Protective headgear may include wide-brimmed hats as well as bump caps that are fully washable.

Those who work with poultry, especially when there is a known potential for illness within the population, need head and hair coverings to protect from airborne contaminants.

2. Hearing Protection

Most types of farm machinery are noisy. As a result, noise-induced hearing loss is common in agriculture work. Hearing damage is permanent and that in turn can lead to a reduced quality of life. Protect hearing by using earplugs or earmuffs and identify those areas where noise is greatest to remind workers of the need for hearing protection.

3. Eye Protection

Injuries to the eyes are often preventable simply by wearing the right type of eye protection. Protect the eyes from blows and contact with chemicals, airborne pathogens, dust and particles.

Choose goggles or other protective eyewear appropriate for the activity; eye protection may also be integrated into face shields and full head coverings.

4. Body Protection

In addition to clothing that is sun safe, with UPF of at least 30, for many applications, coveralls are a necessity. Working with pesticides or other chemicals, or for many operations when exposure to avian flu is possible, such as monitoring bird health and other related processes, coveralls are required.

The type of coverall and its characteristics will depend on the application–protective clothing may need to be disposable or it may be a type that can be disinfected.  PermaGuard II™ coveralls are among the protective products Liberty Safety offers for full body protection.



PermaGard II™ coveralls with attached hood and elastic ankles are made of Micro-Porous Film over SpunBonded Polypropylene and offer excellent protection against contaminants, light liquid splashes, and particles. They’re constructed with serged seams, elastic at wrists, ankles, and waist, and have a zipper front closure with storm-fly.

Be sure to choose the correct coverall based on the specific situation. Choosing excessively heavy coveralls could lead to overheating and a new set of risk factors. When working with pesticides, follow the instructions provided with the chemical to select appropriate coverings based on the formulations being used.

When mixing or pouring chemicals, aprons provide additional protection from splashes.

5. Respiratory Protection

Many different activities in farming involve exposure to chemicals, grain dust or particulates that are harmful to the respiratory system.

Choose air purifying disposable masks, NIOSH-approved N95 disposable particulate respirators, or other respirators depending on the hazards potentially present and the specifications of the chemicals involved or the need to filter out certain pathogens. The DuraMask™ N95 disposable particulate respirator with head straps is a popular NIOSH-approved choice from Liberty Safety.


N95 NIOSH disposable particulate respirator with adjustable aluminum nose bridge and latex-free dual elastic head strap for maximum protection.

Working with poultry or livestock, tasks may involve increased exposure to ammonia, manure or particulate matter. Toxic gases, grain dust, chemical sprays, cleaning solutions, and particulate matter all present hazardous exposure for farm workers.

AgriSafe Network offers guidance for helping you select which respirator is right for your application.

6. Hand Protection

Gloves are a key component of PPE for agriculture and farming. In many instances, the right gloves offer improved grip as well as necessary protection from exposure to chemicals, burns, cuts and abrasion.

Choose gloves based on the type of exposure and protection needed. The choice of glove for the purpose is closely tied to the specific formulations of pesticides and other chemicals that will be used; take care to follow instructions closely to ensure the right glove selection.

Many skin diseases result from pesticide exposure. Keep in mind that the primary way that pesticides enter the body is through the skin, and prolonged exposure, as well as acute exposure, carries health risks.

If you have questions or need help selecting the right gloves for your application, the team at Liberty Safety can help. Green Nitrile Gloves are among our popular styles.

Green Nitrile Gloves


Unlined 15 mil gloves, 13” length, with embossed grip on palm and fingers.

7. Foot Protection

Farming is an outdoor job–mud, dirt, and slippery surfaces are to be expected. Working with animals, equipment, or crops, the right foot protection is necessary. Disposable foot coverings may be needed when attending to poultry, especially if illness is present. In other circumstances, waterproof footwear is needed to provide sure footing and slip resistance. DuraWear™ boots are available in plain toe or steel toe versions to provide foot protection.

DuraWear Boots


16” length. One piece injection molded black high molecular PVC compound. Non-skid, bar cleat outsole.

Cultivate Safety

Remember to read labels on all chemical products and follow best safety practices. When selecting appropriate gloves and respirators, the choice will depend on the specific exposure threats.

Farming and agricultural workers face a host of challenges every day. The proper PPE can make the difference between safety and debilitating illness or injury. Liberty Safety is here to help you make the right choice to keep yourself, your workers, and your family safe.

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Staying Safe When Risks are High: PPE for Meatpacking

Staying Safe When Risks are High: PPE for Meat Packing

From steak dinners to backyard barbecues or bacon on the breakfast table, meat plays a significant role in the diet of U.S. consumers.

According to figures from the USDA, consumers in the U.S. were expected to have access to more than 224 pounds of meat and poultry per capita in 2022.

Workers in the meatpacking industry are the ones who handle all the stages from slaughtering to butchering to packaging that go into making that volume of meat available to consumers. The labor-intensive jobs of meatpackers are among the most dangerous jobs in the country, with a high risk of injury from many different sources.

We’ll take a look at some of the main types of PPE that workers need in order to be protected against injury on the job.

What Is Meatpacking?

Meatpacking encompasses the range of activities and occupations involved in slaughtering cattle, pigs, sheep and other livestock for meat that is then cut, processed, inspected and packaged. The North American Meat Institute provides a breakdown of the volume of each category based on pounds processed.

American Meat Processed, 2017
Source: North American Meat Institute

Looking at the numbers another way, in 2023, the market size of the Meat, Beef and Poultry Processing industry is $295.9 billion.

And producing this volume of meat involves the work of many: 578,794 people employed to do the labor-intensive work involved in meatpacking and processing.

As part of the U.S. food and beverage manufacturing industry, USDA figures indicate that the employees working in meat production make up 30.6% of the total employment.

U.S. Food and Beverage Manufacturing Employees by Industry
Source: USDA

Each stage in the process from handling live animals to slaughtering, butchering, and various stages of processing, has its own set of hazards, but many aspects of working conditions are common across a range of occupational settings.

General Working Conditions in Meatpacking

The industry is labor intensive, and workers are commonly exposed to a variety of severe injuries as well as musculoskeletal disorders from repetitive motion, lifting, and overexertion. Workers in slaughterhouses come in direct contact with live animals and may be exposed to infectious diseases and biological agents, as well as the possibility of being injured by an animal.

Within the meatpacking facilities, loud equipment noise and crowded working conditions are typical. The pace of work is fast and often workers are positioned close enough together that neighboring workers could injure each other by mistake.

Facilities are filled with noisy, dangerous machines: saws, knives, bone-cutting tools, and other specialized equipment. Within this setting, floors and surfaces underfoot are often made slippery by water, blood, and grease, creating a slip and fall hazard for workers moving rapidly and surrounded by the constant presence of sharp tools.

Hoisted overhead are heavy carcasses to be butchered, also moving through the facility. Workers often operate in the cold conditions necessary for meat storage, such as refrigerated processing areas and warehouses. They also are exposed to toxic substances in the form of cleaning chemicals and chemicals that make up the refrigeration and chilling systems.

PPE for Meatpacking Protects Against Specific Hazards

On the whole, the meatpacking industry has an illness and injury rate higher than those of manufacturing or private industry, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Identifying and using the right PPE is vital to the health of workers.

1. Head Protection

Head protection is necessary for many workers. Hoists, shackles and hooks are used in lifting carcasses overhead so they can be transported from one station to the next throughout the facility.

Workers could be hit by carcasses as they move or if the equipment transporting them fails and causes them to fall. Hard hats protect against unintended contact with other overhead objects as well as tools being used by neighboring workers.

2. Eye Protection

Protective eyewear helps prevent workers from sustaining eye injuries caused by flying fragments of bone from the cutting or trimming process. They also protect the eyes from cleaning chemical splashes during mixing or application, dirt, and splashes of fluid that could carry disease.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Graph
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

3. Face Protection

Cleaning equipment involves powerful chemicals; when mixing or handling these and other chemicals, face shields provide protection from burns and other injuries. When working with live animals, face shields provide protection from germs and infectious diseases, especially those transmitted by exposure to animal blood or feces. Extra care is needed when handling animals that are ill, and once again, face shields offer a necessary layer of protection.

Germs, bacteria, toxins and chemicals all have the potential to do serious or permanent harm to workers and can easily enter the body through inhalation.  Diseases can be spread from animal to human; toxins and chemicals like ammonia, used in refrigeration systems, can cause burns and irritation in breathing unless workers use adequate masks or respirators.

4. Hearing Protection

Hearing loss is a common problem in the meatpacking industry, but one that can be addressed with the right PPE. Machinery, band saws and other equipment generate high levels of noise that can damage hearing.

Ear muffs or earplugs can bring the noise level down to acceptable levels to reduce the wearer’s exposure to harmful sound and protect hearing. Liberty Safety can help you select the right protection for your application, such as DuraPlugs™ Metal Detectable Corded Single Use Disposable Foam Earplug.

DuraPlugs™ Metal Detectable Corded Single Use Disposable Foam Earplug

DuraPlugs™ Metal Detectable Corded Single Use Disposable Foam Earplug

Super-soft, self-adjusting foam earplugs have a slow-recovery tapered shape for comfort and easy insertion and removal. Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): 32 dB Compliance with ANSI S3. 19-1974

5. Hand Protection

Purpose-suited gloves are a critical part of PPE for those involved in the meatpacking industry. Beyond high-powered cutting equipment, workers use sharp knives in close quarters, making them susceptible to cut injuries from their own knives or those of nearby workers. Wrist and forearm protection are important as well as metal mesh or cut proof gloves.

Very often meatpacking workers operate in cold and damp environments; gloves need to provide adequate protection from cold and moisture as well as enhancing grip. Correct fit is necessary to maximize dexterity and comfort.

Waterproof gloves are necessary to prevent workers from biological hazards and infectious diseases especially when working with animals. When working with cleaning or other chemicals, gloves should be chosen for resistance to the specific hazards in order to protect workers from chemical burns and a variety of skin irritations or diseases.

Protection from heat is needed as well for workers involved in packaging operations working with heat sealing equipment.

Choosing the right glove for the purpose is critical. Liberty Safety has the expertise to help you match the glove to the job and specific type of hazard exposure.

Green Nitrile Gloves

Green Nitrile Gloves

Unlined 15 mil gloves, 13” length, with embossed grip on palm and fingers.

6. Foot Protection

The correct footwear is a vital part of worker safety in meatpacking. Wet, slippery surfaces underfoot are common. Footwear needs to be nonslip to protect workers from slips, trips, and falls on wet, greasy surfaces. Steel toe footwear protects workers from crush injuries from contact with heavy carcasses, equipment, and tools. Working around chemicals or animals, boots and footwear also need to be waterproof to keep the wearer safe.

DuraWear™ Steel Toe PVC Boots

DuraWear™ Steel Toe PVC Boots

16” length with steel safety toe. One piece injection molded black high molecular PVC compound with bar cleat outsole.

7. Protective Apparel

Exposure to germs and bacteria as well as toxic chemicals can be prevented with the full-body protection of coats and coveralls. Coverings protect against infection and, as in other food-related industries, are part of the standard food safety hygiene to protect meat from contamination that could harm consumers. When mixing or applying chemicals, aprons may be needed in addition to coats or other full-body protective gear, to avoid burns or other injuries from splashes.

PolyGard™ Medium Weight Lab Coat

PolyGard™ Medium Weight Lab Coat

Constructed of SpunBonded Polypropylene with a snap front closure and elastic wrists, the PolyGard™ Medium Weight Lab Coat offers superior breathability, extended wear, and complies with federal regulations for food contact.

Staying Safe in the Meatpacking Industry

Orientation and training are two of the most important factors in protecting workers. Ensure all workers, especially young or new workers, are aware of the hazards and provide clear  instructions in how to use PPE.

Involve the employees in the process. Workers must be consistent in wearing PPE and correct fit is critical. Proper fit and function allows the worker to do the best job possible with the greatest degree of comfort. Freedom of movement is needed to allow stretching and bending, but flapping, oversized garments create an unacceptable risk around machinery.

The technical experts at Liberty Safety are always available to help you identify the right fit and appropriate performance specs for the task at hand.

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PPE Construction: Head-to-Toe Safety Gear

PPE Construction: Head to Toe Safety Gear

A wide variety of trades and occupations are considered part of the construction industry. But one common thread exists: Every sector needs PPE to keep construction workers safe.

The hazards workers face on a daily basis may be related to the worksite itself or specific trades and activities. Materials used in certain types of construction or by particular trades also present hazards. Some other hazards are universal.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the main types of PPE used throughout the construction industry and why they are needed.

Construction Environments and Occupations

The built environment is everywhere: Homes, factories, roadways, dams, skyscrapers, drilling platforms, hotels and an endless list of structures.

Residential, commercial and industrial construction involve widely variable worksites and settings, from demolition, excavation and road work to specialized installations, high rise structures, and other extreme conditions.

A multitude of roles and occupations are involved in construction, including these:

Construction PPE from Head to Toe

Job descriptions and working conditions vary, but what all these occupations have in common is the routine exposure to hazards and with that, the need for personal protective equipment to guard their health and safety.

From head to toe, construction PPE is critical for preventing injuries and cumulative heath damage from long-term exposure to environmental conditions, chemicals, and respiratory irritants including these hazards common to construction sites:

Contact with objects and poor visibility are ever present as well. Let’s start at the top and consider the types of protection that may be needed.

Head Protection

The hard hat is the iconic symbol of the construction industry—for good reason, as they protect the head from injury. The wearer is protected from fixed overhead objects and projections, objects that could be falling from above and flying objects such as debris from a fabrication process. Hard hats also offer insulation from electric shock.

Head protection is available in different styles and materials at Liberty Safety. In general, the hat’s purpose is to absorb shocks, including those which, according to an article in Safety+Health, could cause brain injuries.

For optimal protection, ensure correct fit and don’t allow anything to interfere with the hat’s suspension. As with other PPE, inspect your hard hat routinely for damage. If it’s damaged, don’t use it.

Eye Protection

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that construction has a higher rate of eye injuries than any other occupation. Flying particles, chemicals, dust, wood chips, metal shavings, acids and caustic liquids are frequent hazards, not to mention the potential hazards of impact with larger objects on site.

Wearing the appropriate protective eyewear can prevent 90% of serious eye injuries, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Eyewear must fit snugly but comfortably and be selected based on the hazard that must be protected against. Special purposes require special attention to lenses, for example, in welding masks choose the correct filter lens shade that’s appropriate for the type of welding being done.

Ultimately, wearing the protective eyewear is the key to preventing injury. When people have more choices in protective eyewear, they tend to be more consistent in using it.

Hearing Protection

Noise from machinery, equipment, and processes like demolition are constant at many construction sites. If you’ve ever wondered just how loud common equipment on a site could be, OSHA’s pocket guide to noise protection provides context. Forklifts, nail guns, and bulldozers are just some of the noise sources that exceed OSHA’s 90 dBA permissible exposure limit.

Ear muffs and ear plugs can bring the sound down to appropriate levels. Selecting the right hearing protection must take into account other PPE being used, such as hard hats or welding gear so that all the protective equipment fits together and provides consistent protection without introducing gaps or misalignment. Liberty Safety can help you identify the appropriate protection for any application.

Body Protection

Protection for the body begins with being visible—you have to be seen to stay safe. The human body is no match for the powerful machinery everywhere on construction sites, nor does it stand much of a chance against speeding traffic in a highway work zone. High visibility gear, required under many categories of working conditions allows you to be seen.

Vests like HiVizGard™ Surveyor’s Vest or Foreman Surveyor’s Vest  have pockets for radios and other day-to-day essentials. Liberty Safety offers other vests that include large hidden pockets that can accommodate work documents as well as solid front styles with sleeves.

Respiratory Protection

Breath is life, and healthy breathing demands adequate protection on the job. Gas leaks, dust, smoke, chemicals, and work around processes like abrasive blasting all pose respiratory threats. Whether nuisance masks or full body encapsulated suits are needed, the right PPE allows workers to use paints, adhesives and chemicals safely so that long-term health damage can be avoided. Liberty Safety has a range of respiratory PPE and can help you identify the right gear for your application.

Hand Protection

The hands are the part of the body most likely to be injured in a construction workplace. And often many of these injuries are highly preventable, according to Safety+Health. To give hard working hands the protection they need, choose gloves with care.

Start by looking for gloves based on the circumstances of the job. Choose a snug fit that permits dexterity for handling machines and tools. Cuts and lacerations aren’t the only concerns. Welding requires highly specific gloves, and heavy duty rubber gloves are needed for concrete work. Chemical resistant gloves protect skin from burns.

Liberty Safety has the expertise to help you match the right glove to the needs of your workforce to provide comfort, fit, and top performance. A variety of coated gloves offer cut resistance, puncture protection, and protection from chemicals appropriate to specific types of work as well as improve grip and enhance hand comfort for working with tools.

For workers in drywall, excavation, masonry, plumbing, mechanical and related trades, Liberty Safety offers these FroGrip® gloves F4920RT, F4927, F4970SD, 4729SP and many others. Use the ANSI cut resistance standards to help determine the right gloves for your tasks.

Z-Grip® Black Microfoam Nitrile Cut Resistant Gloves
Z-Grip® is a coated seamless cut resistance glove with a black micro foam nitrile palm coated and nitrile reinforced thumb crotch. Style shown is F4920RT.

Foot Protection

For all types of construction work, the ability to walk without slipping and protected from injury is foundational. Puncture-resistant soles prevent nails and sharp objects from penetrating the shoe or boot; steel or composite toes offer protection from crush injuries resulting from falling tools, equipment, materials or machinery.

Long aprons, leggings, and other leg protection are needed for activities like welding or in situations where falling and rolling objects present a hazard.

Stable footing is the foundation of healthy working posture. Protective footwear and boots made of durable, waterproof materials provide comfort and protection as well as slip resistance.

Construction PPE has a Single Task to Perform

The right safety gear for the situation is critical. Think of your PPE as the long snapper in football.

You don’t often hear much about the long snapper, yet this special teams player is critical. Snapping the football with perfect accuracy for field goals, extra points, and punts may seem monotonous, but consistency is everything. Perfection is expected.

In construction, PPE is like the long snapper. It has one job to do protecting workers–day after day–and its reliable performance is absolutely critical. The bar is set high, for good reason: lives and good health depend on it.

Suit up for the day ahead and let PPE do its work–the single-focused, special-teams task of keeping construction workers–and site visitors–safe from injury.

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5 Common Springtime Hazards: What You Should Know to Protect Your Workers

Springtime Worker Protections

The official start of spring is just around the corner. If the warmer weather means you’ll be sending your crew outside, you’ll want to make sure they do it safely. Below we’ve compiled the five most common risks employers should consider before creating a safety plan for their outdoor workers this spring.

1. Allergies

Springtime brings growth and blossoms to plants and trees, but for outdoor workers who suffer from allergies, that means itchy, watery eyes and dry, irritated throats.

And research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that the pollen causing these allergies is only getting worse every spring. It seems that “anthropogenic climate change” (ACC) has exacerbated the season, which now starts 20 days earlier, is ten days longer, and features 21% more pollen than in 1990.

Pollen Counts
A graphic from PNAS shows the trends of annual total pollen integrals (dark red) and spring total pollen integrals (red) (A) during pollen season start date (dark green) and season length (light green) (B) across pollen stations in North America.

To protect outdoor workers who are triggered by allergens, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends first trying to minimize exposure to pollen using protection like face masks or eye protection. For more severe reactions, they suggest over-the-counter or prescription medications.

If you suffer from pollen triggered allergies, safety glasses like our 1790C style are a great option for versatile eye protection, and our easy-to-wear 1895N style NIOSH-approved N95 particulate respirator will help protect your throat when you’re outdoors.

2. Hazardous Chemicals

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), American workers use tens of thousands of chemicals daily. While many of these chemicals are suspected of being harmful, only a few are regulated in the workplace.

As a result, workers suffer more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths annually related to chemical exposures.

Spring cleaning and maintenance often involve many of these hazardous chemicals. OSHA requires workers, especially those working in agriculture, to use skin, hand, and/or respiratory protection when handling these chemicals.

Face masks or respirators can help filter out airborne particles in manufactured chemicals like fertilizers and herbicides. Proper use can reduce the risk of respiratory problems.

Hands and skin can also be damaged when workers are using chemicals. Wearing the correct type of chemical resistant gloves and protective apparel can help further protect outdoor workers.

3. Slip and Fall Hazards

Spring showers bring more than just flowers. They also cause mud and wet surfaces, which can cause workers to slip and fall.

And even though springtime temperatures may rise above freezing during the day, they will fall back at night. Ice may accumulate and present yet another early morning slip and fall hazard. 

But those aren’t the only spring slip and fall hazards, others include:

  1. Washed up debris on walkways
  2. Wet or slick outdoor stairs or handrails
  3. Overgrown landscaping obstructing walkways or hiding hazards

Wearing appropriate head protection, such as a hard hat or bump cap, can greatly reduce the risk of head injuries in the event of slips and falls.

The shoes workers wear can also play a big part in minimizing the risks. Appropriate footwear, such as waterproof boots with good traction, is critical to prevent accidents.

4. Visibility Issues

The spring season is often accompanied by fog and heavy rain, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of accidents. And warmer weather means more people are out and about, increasing the likelihood of incidents due to distracted or reckless drivers.

It’s especially a danger for construction workers who are likely to work in busy traffic areas. Glare and reflections as the sun gets higher in the sky can also make it difficult for drivers to see these workers even in well posted work zones.

To address these visibility issues and help workers see and be seen, workers should have:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule web page provides rule implementation and guidance examples.

HiVizGard™ garments are engineered with comfort and style without compromising safety. The Class 2 Surveyor vests pictured (products C16017F and C16017G) come in two colors and are an effective way to alert drivers of a worker’s presence, especially in low light and dark conditions. 

5. Unpredictable Weather

Springtime is a volatile time of year notorious for having wildly unpredictable weather with sudden changes in temperatures.

The position and intensity of high and low-pressure systems in spring contribute to those unpredictable weather patterns. The National Weather Service credits most seasonal volatility to jet streams, which are narrow bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

Their southward dips can bring cold air and stormy weather to some areas, while northward shifts can bring warm, sunny conditions.

The National Weather Service graphic of the North Hemisphere cross section showing jet streams and tropopause elevations that can cause sudden springtime weather changes.

While some general patterns can be observed, spring weather can be challenging to predict precisely, making it essential to stay informed and prepared for changing conditions.

Workers should wear appropriate clothing, sticking to a layered approach. They should have outdoor apparel that protects against rain, wind, and those sudden up or down temperatures.

Selecting Spring PPE

There’s no getting around it, in the springtime, outdoor workers are exposed to a slew of environmental hazards. The risks depend on the type of work, geographic region, and duration of time they are outside.

Assessing the specific hazards associated with an activity is important before determining the appropriate PPE to wear. It is also important to ensure the PPE is properly fitted and in good shape to provide the necessary protection.

OSHA guidelines for selecting PPE say PPE should fit comfortably and that each worker using it should know:

  • When it is necessary
  • What kind is necessary
  • How to properly put it on, adjust, wear and take it off
  • The limitations of the equipment
  • Proper care and disposal of the equipment

Most PPE manufacturers provide supporting documentation on wearing and using their equipment, which you can reference. You can also check out the free PPE training resources that are online for more information.

Spring Into Safety

Even though outdoor work will always involve an element of risk, no matter what season it is, there are ways employers can help minimize it. This includes risk assessment, proper safety controls, and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

As we move between winter and summer, it’s critical to be aware of the hazards associated with the season and take suitable safety measures to protect your outdoor workers. Liberty Safety can help. Contact us to learn more about our personal protective equipment for this season and throughout the year.

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The Importance of PPE in the Workplace: Defining Hazards and PPE by Industry

The Importance of PPE in the Workplace: Defining Hazards and PPE by Industry

Keeping workers healthy and safe is the most obvious goal of any employer’s safety program.  The benefits of a safe and healthy workforce, driven by regular use of the appropriate PPE, extend to your business as well.

We’ll take a look at some of these business benefits as well as how PPE helps workers stay safe across a range of industries.

Appropriate Use of PPE Brings Benefits to Your Business

Your business is known by the practices you maintain, and how you handle safety practices affects your reputation and your ability to attract the type of workers you want. 

By creating a safe work environment, you can:

  • Show your values. Through safety measures, you can demonstrate concretely that you care about the people who work for you.
  • Set an example. Show that safety is important by having managers and visitors maintain and observe consistent safety practices that include PPE.
  • Relieve worker stress. With adequate protection, people can concentrate better on the job at hand, without the distraction and concern for their own welfare or risk of injury.
  • Retain employees. In a safe environment, job satisfaction is higher. With higher satisfaction, you experience less turnover.
  • Keep absenteeism down, spirits up. Downtime is lower and morale higher when there are fewer accidents.
  • Demonstrate professionalism. Requiring the use of appropriate PPE puts an emphasis on doing things right.
  • Keep your organization in good standing. Compliance with required regulations helps you avoid fines and fees and correct, consistent use of PPE also protects workers and the company from a variety of issues should an injury occur.
  • Increase effectiveness. Using the right PPE often helps people work more effectively – providing better grip, more secure footing, and protection from extreme conditions both indoors and outdoors.

By definition, hazards are the sources of potential injury or damage; risks represent the likelihood of injury from a particular hazard. PPE is designed to prevent injury from specific events and from long-term exposure to hazardous conditions.

Regardless of the industry, multiple hazard categories are often present. PPE offers specialized protection for the eyes, ears, respiratory system, skin, head, hands, limbs, and body as determined by the industry and predominant types of hazards.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential hazards associated with various industries and how PPE helps guard the health and well-being of workers.

General Hazards

Every industry has its inherent hazards. While many hazards can be mitigated through the design and engineering of systems and practices to protect workers, others remain. OSHA describes an array of hazards that can be present in any workplace. The following list gives an overview of some common hazard categories with selected examples:

  • General Industrial Safety: Unsafe working conditions, confined spaces, hazards for slips, trips and falls (on same level)
  • Biological: Mold, insects, infectious diseases, bird or animal droppings
  • Physical or environmental: Noise, temperature extremes, weather conditions, radiation
  • Ergonomic: Repetitive motion, awkward and heavy lifting, musculoskeletal over-extension
  • Chemical: Solid, liquid or gaseous chemicals and dust, particles, dust, toxins that enter the respiratory system or irritate the skin
  • Organizational: Sources of stress including workload demands, violence, and harassment

Along with proper training in safe work practices, correctly used PPE serves as the last line of defense to protect workers from fatal, catastrophic, and other injuries.

Typical Industry Hazards and Relevant PPE

Every industry has its own set of specific standards and safety precautions to be followed. PPE requirements may overlap or be tailored to particular applications. In all industries, falls, slips, and trips are among the most common hazards.

OSHA offers recommended practices to help employers identify hazards specific to their workplace and industry. Across the board, appropriate PPE and hazard communication are vital to maintaining the safety of the workforce.

Several key industry sectors rely heavily on PPE to reduce injuries and improve worker safety in the workplace. We’ll take a look at some of the common hazards in the following industries: manufacturing; food processing and restaurant; maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO); farming and agriculture; and construction. Liberty Safety provides a wide range of PPE to help workers in many industries stay safe and do their jobs efficiently.



Manufacturing encompasses a range of processes that requires protection of virtually every type, from extreme physical and environmental conditions to chemical hazards and a wide range of general hazards. Workers in industrial production roles face hazards associated with machinery, mechanical processes, material handling, repetitive stress, fire and electrical hazards among others.

Food Processing and Restaurant

Food Processing and Restaurant

The food processing industry covers a wide variety of activities, from butchering and meat processing to canneries, bakeries, fisheries, packing plants, dairies, rendering and more. Workers in each category face industry specific hazards.

Restaurant kitchens are high heat, high pressure environments where workers are dealing with sharp tools and the potential for slippery surfaces underfoot while working at a fast pace. The Economics Daily notes that workplace hazards and likelihood of injury depend on the type of food service operation and its activities.

Food Processing Hazards and PPE

Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO)

These activities support every industry, maintaining the means of production and the physical facilities. HVAC workers, plumbers, welders, pipefitters, machinists, and vehicle maintenance crew are just some of the workers who keep operations running and need a wide range of protective gear.

Detailed safety recommendations and specifications are provided by individual trade associations such as the American Welding Society fact sheets and guidelines and the National Fire Protection Association codes and standards for workplace safety when working around electrical hazards.

MRO Hazards and PPE

Farming and Agriculture

The processes involved in producing crops and raising livestock require attention to the health and safety of the workers and the health of the crops and animals under their care. As an industry, agriculture ranks among the highest in the number of injuries reported annually, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In 2020 alone 11,880 injuries related to agricultural production and requiring days off work were reported.

Sanitation involves exposure to toxic chemicals, and farm production work involves exposure to fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals which may be in solid, liquid or spray form. Machinery, saws, tractors, and farm equipment present a wide range of hazards. 

Farm and Ag Hazards and PPE


In the construction industry, falls account for more than one-third of all construction work-related deaths. According to The Economics Daily, published by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 32% of nonfatal injuries from falls, slips, and trips in the construction industry in 2019 required days away from work. Adding to the significance for both workers and employers, for these cases the median time away from work was 28 days.

Beyond the safety harnesses and other devices that prevent falls, construction workers need the protection of a wide range of gear. Falls to a lower level, overexertion related to handling objects, being struck by objects, and falls on the same level are the top four causes of injury in the construction industry, according to data from Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Construction Hazards and PPE

Attributes of Appropriate PPE

Gear Needs to be Comfortable

Must be sized correctly to fit the worker. Eyewear must fit the face correctly, clothing must fit properly. Oversized clothing becomes a hazard because it could become caught in equipment.

Only works when it’s used. If it doesn’t fit correctly and comfortably, it will be avoided–making the worker vulnerable to injury or exposure that could be life threatening.

Gear Needs to be Suited to the Task

Base choice on the situation. What’s ideal in one situation may be entirely wrong in another. Choose the right boots for crush protection or to add increased slip resistance on oily or greasy surfaces. Gloves must be chosen correctly–to provide cut-resistance or to give an improved grip–with the right fit for dexterity. Sometimes disposable gowns and gloves are needed, other situations demand durable clothing designed for repeated heavy use.

Gear Must Perform

Check the standards. As appropriate, PPE must meet the standards to prevent penetration by hazardous materials, toxins, and chemicals.

Choose tested products that have satisfactory performance under real-world conditions.

Do the Job Well, and Safely

PPE both provides protection from hazards and helps workers do their jobs more effectively. The right gear can offer improved grip, better footing, support for lifting and movement, visibility, and temperature regulation.

But to be useful, it has to be worn–and that means workers need to have gear that fits correctly and comfortably, as well as being designed with appropriate levels of protection.

Choosing the correct gear and attaining the best fit can be a challenge. Liberty Safety understands all that goes into that decision and offers a wide range of choices for fit, style, and performance. We can help you select gear that fits your workforce as well as the job at hand.

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PPE That Encourages Flu Safety in the Workplace

PPE That Encourages Flu Safety in the Workplace

Influenza is a yearly occurrence, and it can result in employees missing work and losses in revenue. The right personal protective equipment (PPE) can play a significant role in helping reduce the spread of the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, so far this season, there have been at least 25 million illnesses, 270,000 hospitalizations, and 17,000 deaths from flu.

In response to these alarming numbers, the CDC advises employers help minimize the spread of the flu by:

  • Encouraging flu vaccinations
  • Offering a flexible sick leave policy
  • Maintaining easily accessible hand hygiene stations
  • Using proper administrative controls
  • Providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

Let’s dig a little deeper into the role of PPE in helping protect your team and your business from influenza. We’ll start with the two most impactful pieces of PPE: Masks and gloves.

How Do Masks Help Reduce the Spread of Influenza?

Influenza is thought to be mostly spread through large droplets that directly contact the nose, mouth, or eyes. But a 2020 study showed that individuals with either COVID-19 or influenza expelled fewer viral particles when wearing a surgical mask.

The study shows that masks are an effective precaution people can take to reduce their chances of catching or spreading the flu virus. How much a mask will prevent the spread of flu depends on the type of mask worn, when it is worn and how close the wearer is to other people.

Disposable masks are a good choice for most workers because they can be thrown away instead of requiring sanitizing after each use. This makes them more convenient and less expensive to purchase than reusable masks.

DuraMask™ 3-ply Face Mask with Ear LoopsDuraMask™ NIOSH N95 respirator mask 

3-Ply Face Mask with Ear Loops – Liberty Safety

The nose pieces in the DuraMask™ 3-ply Face Mask with Ear Loops hold their position, so you don’t have to keep pulling it up or down to keep it in place. It’s lightweight enough to be comfortable but sturdy enough to withstand the needed adjustments.

NIOSH N95 Particulate Respirator with Head Straps – Liberty Safety

The DuraMask™ NIOSH N95 respirator mask helps protect a worker’s lungs and throat from exposure to the flu virus in high-risk environments. It has an adjustable aluminum nose piece, comfort-fit nose foam, and a latex-free double-head strap.


5 Ways to Use and Care for Your Face Mask

It’s important to follow the directions in wearing and caring for your face mask. Below are a few helpful tips for the correct and consistent care of masks.

  1. Ensure mask has a proper size and fit.
  2. Avoid touching the mask and face.
  3. Immediately discard the mask in a waste container.
  4. Wash or sanitize your hands after removing a mask.
  5. Disposable masks should be thrown away after they’re worn once.

How Do Gloves Help Reduce the Spread of Influenza?

Research shows that the influenza virus can maintain infectivity on various surfaces such as stainless steel, plastic, fabrics, and paper. That means when you touch objects contaminated with influenza viruses without gloves, you risk transferring the infected material from your hands to your nose, mouth, or eyes.

Wearing disposable gloves when touching surfaces that may be infected may be necessary to protect yourself.

Vinyl disposable gloves, like the DuraSkin® Green Vinyl Disposable Gloves, are great for non-hazardous work environments and are often a less expensive option. They’re good gloves for wearing for a short period when doing low-risk tasks like painting or food prep.

Nitrile disposable gloves, like the DuraSkin® Blue Nitrile disposable gloves, come in various thicknesses. Nitrile is often preferred when workers need more robust protection or chemical resistance, like in a healthcare setting. These gloves are a great alternative for those who are allergic to latex.

DuraSkinⓇ Blue Nitrile Disposable GlovesDuraSkinⓇ Green Vinyl Disposable Gloves 

Blue Nitrile Disposable Gloves –
Liberty Safety

The DuraSkin® Blue Nitrile Disposable Gloves are offered with standard (medical grade) or 6 mils (industrial grade) thickness. Both are powder-free, ISO 9001 factory approved and comply with federal regulations for food contact.

Green Vinyl Disposable Gloves –
Liberty Safety

The DuraSkin® Green Vinyl Disposable Gloves are great for non-hazardous work environments and are often a less expensive option. They are also food-safe and latex free.


Important: Putting On and Taking Off PPE

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every business should establish protocols and provide education on the PPE required. That includes making workers aware of how to safely put each garment on (donning) and take off (doffing).

The CDC provides a general overview for donning and doffing PPE that is commonly worn together. But it’s also a good idea to ensure the protection of your workers by showing them the recommended steps for donning and doffing masks and gloves.

What Else Can Individuals Do to Protect Themselves at Work?

Other ways individuals can protect themselves include:

  1. Stay at home if you are sick. CDC recommends that workers with a fever and respiratory symptoms stay at home until 24 hours after their fever ends (100 degrees Fahrenheit [37.8 degrees Celsius] or lower) without medication.

  2. Keep frequently touched common surfaces (e.g., telephones, computer equipment, etc.) clean.

  3. Try to use something other than a coworker’s phone, desk, office, computer, or other work tools and equipment. If you must use a coworker’s equipment, consider cleaning it first with a disinfectant or wearing gloves.

  4. Stay in shape. Eat a healthy diet. Get plenty of rest, exercise, and relaxation.

  5. Participate in all training offered by your employer. Ensure that you understand your exposure risk, your facility’s policies and procedures for isolation precautions, use of workplace controls, work practices, and PPE protection during aerosol-generating procedures, and potential flu complications.

Help Minimize the Risks Together

When it comes to flu season, putting the appropriate controls in place and using the correct PPE can help ensure everyone can do their job without getting sick.

But the success and productiveness of any business will depend on its commitment to the health and safety of its workers.

So when it comes time to find the best selection of PPE for your workers, Liberty Safety can help. Contact us to learn more about our line of personal protective equipment for respiratory illnesses and other safety concerns.

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Top 10 OSHA Violations and How That Impacts Your PPE Choice

Top 10 OSHA Violations

Complying with OSHA standards is a critical part of keeping your workers safe. But, the most current OSHA top 10 list of safety violations shows us that improvements still need to be made in most areas, including choosing the correct PPE.

Ensure safety doesn’t take a back seat this year by noting where others fall short.

Below you’ll find a graphic representation of OSHA’s top 10 list of standard violations, links to resources that will help you identify the worksite hazards involved, and the types of PPE you should consider for each standard.

OSHA’s Top Ten List

The list of the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA violations for 2022 were the following:

1. Fall Protection – General (5,260 violations)

2. Hazard Communication (2,424 violations)

3. Respiratory Protection (2,185 violations)

4. Ladders (2,143 violations)

5. Scaffolding (2,058 violations)

6. Lockout/Tagout (1,977 violations)

7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1,749 violations)

8. Fall Protection – Training (1,556 violations)

9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment — Eye and Face Protection (1,401 violations)

10. Machine Guarding (1,401 violations)

Resources to Identify Worksite Hazards

Identifying worksite risks is the first step to protecting your employees. The good news is that there are many resources you can use to help. Finding a local or online safety professional for guidance is a great way to get started.

Search for your local American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) chapter. They can help you find a safety professional near you.

You can also look into readily available safety management programs. OSHA suggests reviewing online resources to get more of the information you need to put a plan in place.

PPE Types that Match the Hazards 

OSHA requires companies to pay for and ensure workers have the necessary PPE for their jobs. Providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to your workers is an integral part of your safety program and will help avoid costly fines from the top 10 standard violations and others.

Worksite PPE should include products that complement the safety controls you have put in place. Involving workers in selecting the appropriate PPE ensures buy-in from your team and means they’re more likely to comply with their use.

PPE categories can be grouped by protection type. Starting from the head and working your way down means you’ll get the head-to-toe protection your workers need.

Protection from Head Injuries 

Hard hats can protect your workers from head impact, penetration injuries, and electrical injuries such as those caused by falling or flying objects, fixed objects, or contact with electrical conductors.

Top 10 violations to consider 
Head Injuries

Protection from Eye and Face Injuries

Besides spectacles and goggles, personal protective equipment such as special helmets or shields, spectacles with side shields, and face shields can protect workers from the hazards of flying fragments, large chips, hot sparks, etc.

Top 10 violations to consider 

Protection from Hearing Loss

Wearing earplugs or earmuffs can help prevent damage to hearing. Exposure to high noise

levels can cause irreversible hearing loss or impairment as well as physical and psychological stress.

Top 10 violations to consider

Protection from Hand Injuries

Workers exposed to harmful substances through skin absorption, severe cuts or lacerations,

severe abrasions, chemical burns, thermal burns, and harmful temperature extremes will benefit from hand protection.

Top 10 violations to consider

Protection from Body Injury

In some cases, workers must shield most or all of their bodies against hazards in the workplace, such as exposure to heat and radiation as well as hot metals, scalding liquids, body fluids, hazardous materials, or waste, and other hazards.

Top 10 violations to consider

Respiratory Protection

When engineering controls are not feasible, workers must use appropriate respirators to protect against adverse health effects caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dust, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smoke, sprays, or vapors.

Top 10 violations to consider

Protection from Foot Injuries

Foot guards, safety shoes, and boots can help prevent injuries by protecting workers from hazards such as falling or rolling objects, sharp objects, wet and slippery surfaces, molten metals, hot surfaces, and electrical hazards.

Top 10 violations to consider 

A Safe Workplace is Your Responsibility

Along with offering and training workers on the required PPE, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as an employer, you are responsible for providing a safe workplace.

OSHA provides a Compliance Assistance Quick Start to generate an initial set of compliance assistance materials tailored to your workplace along with information on:

Find the Best Protective Equipment for Your Worksite

Even a cursory look at OSHA’s top 10 list shows selecting the right PPE is an essential part of protecting your workers.

We can help. Consulting with a Liberty PPE Sales Specialist is a great way to hear about what’s currently popular and get the latest on new products you may want to consider. We even have a product sample program you can tap into so you know you’re getting the PPE products you and your team need. Contact us today to learn more.

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