Category Archives: Reference

Is Your Workplace GHS Compliant?

OSHA’s updated Hazard Communication Standard rule changes go into effect on June 1, 2016.  Will your workplace be compliant with the new GHS labeling standards by then?

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is an international standard for communicating the hazards present in chemicals.  Effective June 1, all workplace labeling must be replaced by GHS pictograms, and employees must be trained to recognize the new communication standards.

There is still time to make your workplace compliant!  Contact us today for help with the transition, or you can purchase GHS compliant labels and new SDS booklets on our website.

Time is running out – make sure your workplace is in compliance today!

More information on the new Hazard Communication Standard:
OSHA Hazard Communication Standard
Background on the switch to GHS
GHS Fact Sheet

Cut Injuries Costing You?

Have you ever considered the cost of unsafe cutting tools in the workplace? Knife-related employee injuries are all to common, yet often avoidable with proper use of safety cutters. The following information comes from our friends at Slice (original post here).

The Cost of Not Using Safety Knives


How much does it cost your company if one of your employees suffers a simple knife-related injury on the job?

a. $1,000
b. $10,000
c. $50,000 or more

Factor in medical attention, sick pay, lost work time, fines, delays, and insurance costs. The National Safety Council estimates the average total incurred cost per workers’ comp claim for hand, finger, and wrist injuries is more than $19,000. OSHA says direct and indirect costs for laceration injuries total $36,472.

And those are average costs, so knife-related injuries can easily top $50,000 and beyond.

Yet knives are a standard part of industrial workspace —utility knives, razor blades, box cutters, craft blades and more. Employees use them to cut cable, plastic, paper, tear through packages, open boxes, unpack deliveries, unload stock, trim, slice, and more.

If knives are everywhere in the workplace, so is the potential for injury. Cutting injuries send more than 1,000,000 workers to the hospital every year. According to a study on reducing knife injuries conducted by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, 51% of knife injuries were finger related, 33% were hand related, and 5% were arm related. That’s a massive 89% on the upper limbs!

Preventing Lacerations

You can dramatically reduce knife-related accidents and injuries in your workplace, improve the safety of your employees, and protect your company’s bottom line by implementing Safety Knife Programs and implementing Safety Knives and Safety Box Cutters to reduce lacerations.

We’ve put together a free paper on The Top 3 Things You Can Do NOW to Reduce Cutting Injuries. Download it now by clicking on the below link.

This post was provided by Slice, one of Ritz Safety’s key partners in providing cutting-edge safety equipment. Distributed in 30+ countries, Slice cutting tools are used by more than half the Fortune 1000 to reduce injuries and lower costs by replacing dangerous metal blades with patented Slice ceramic-blades. With tens of millions of units sold world-wide, Slice is making cutting better, safer and more exciting by integrating new technology and visionary functionality and design.

Gas Cans – Knowing What to Use

Fuel, whether it is gasoline or diesel, likely runs many aspects of your business. If not stored properly, that same fuel can be a serious safety and compliance concern. Is your fuel stored and transported in FM and DOT/UN approved containers?

If you answered “no,” or you’re not sure, take a look at the guide below, which was created by Justrite, one of our partners in safety. This guide will help you find the right container for your business, so you can stay safe and compliant!

Justrite Tech Talk – Containers

Looking for the right gas can for your application? Check out the range of cans we carry, or call us at 1-800-451-3077 to speak to a safety expert today!

Calculate the Heat Index Quickly with OSHA’s Heat Safety app

With the Summer heat upon us, now is the time to ensure your work force has access to proper heat relief gear. But how do you assess the risk level from day to day? How do you account for changing temperatures and conditions through the course of a work day?

Thankfully, OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool is here to help! Available on Android and iPhone, the Heat Safety Tool provides a quick calculation of the Heat Index, the relative Risk Level, and even provides a list of precautions that should be taken under current weather conditions.

Keep your employees safe this Summer with Heat Relief products from Ritz Safety, and the Heat Safety Tool from OSHA. Click one of the links below to download the app.

Heat Safety Tool – Android

Heat Safety Tool – iPhone

Fall Protection Tops OSHA Fines for 2014

According to recent report by Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN), fall protection violations topped OSHA’s reported workplace violations for 2014, resulting in nearly $20 million in fines levied against employers. (Top OSHA Violations…)

DBI7605060 app

The construction industry accounted for the vast majority of fall protection fines, gathering $17 million among specialty trade contractors alone. Other industries, from heavy and civil engineering to real estate saw large quantities of fines levied as well.

Fall protection is serious business.  Proper adherence to OSHA rules and regulations can mean the difference between life and death or serious injury for your workers. Click here for more information on OSHA’s fall protection standards. 

Not sure if your jobsite is in compliance with the relevant regulations? Ritz Safety can schedule a jobsite safety audit to help you stay safe and avoid costly violations. Contact us today to request a safety audit at your location!

Cutting Through the Confusion of Cut Resistance

Workers and employers seeking cut resistant gloves in today’s marketplace have more options than ever before. From traditional leather and knit cut resistant fabrics, to more advanced, lightweight coated options, picking the right glove for the job is a daunting task! Cut resistance levels can add another layer of confusion to the mix, as different measurement standards are used or cited by different manufacturers. With all this complexity, how do you find the glove YOU need? Our friends at DuPont® (makers of Kevlar® brand cut resistant fabric) have put together a useful guide for understanding the ins and outs of cutting-edge cut resistance. The full guide is linked at the bottom of this article.

The first thing to consider in choosing a cut resistant glove is the Cut Level. But, three different standards exist, and they are not interchangeable.

  1. ASTM F1790 (US) and ISO 13997 (International)
    These methods both use a straight-edge blade under load to cut a sample. The sample is cut five times each at three different loads, to determine the required load to cut through the sample at a reference distance of 20mm.
  2. ASTM F1790-05
    This is an updated and more accurate testing method, which improved on the results found using the old ASTM F1790 test. As a result of this more stringent testing, material tested under the new standard will typically achieve a lower cut resistance rating than in previous tests with the old method.
  3. EN 388
    The EN 388 test method uses a circular blade under a fixed load. The blade moves back and forth across the sample until it is cut through. The cut resistance is measured as a ratio of the number of cycles needed to cut through the test sample vs. a reference material.

All test methods assign a Performance Level from 0 – 5 to each glove. These levels give a good general idea of the performance of a glove, but the actual performance values should be used when comparing two products. In addition, ASTM and EN 388 cut levels are NOT interchangeable. See the charts below for details on how the cut levels break down.

ANSI/ISEA Cut Levels (using results from ASTM F1790, ASTM F1790-05 or ISO 13997 tests)

ASTM Cut Level Table

EN 388 Cut Levels

EN 388 Cut Level Table

The Gloves category on our website now allows you to filter results by ANSI or EN cut levels. If you’re looking for more information, or need some help comparing different glove options, contact one of our experienced account representatives. For more information about cut resistance testing, check out this comprehensive guide from DuPont®.

Hydration Still Matters in Winter

It’s easy to remember proper hydration on a hot summer day, but hydration during the cold months is just as important. Check out the chart below for some tips on monitoring and maintaining proper hydration this winter (or any time).


Remember – the body is 60 – 70% water. Even a small drop in hydration can cause serious side effects – from impaired work performance to exhaustion, disorientation or even hypothermia. Water and electrolyte beverages can help maintain and replenish the body’s hydration levels.

Here are 7 tips for handling cold stress and managing dehydration risk factors during the winter. These tips come to us from Sqwincher, a valued Ritz Safety partner, and supplier of a whole range of electrolyte replacement drinks.

  1. Use extreme caution in environments of 32°F or below.
  2. Allow the body to adjust to cold weather gradually.
  3. Cold weather apparel is necessary, but can increase the risk of dehydration. Be sure to wear layers, and monitor yourself for proper hydration.
  4. Thirst and sweat can be misleading in the winter. Use the self-monitoring tips below to check hydration levels regularly.
  5. Be familiar with the symptoms and warning signs of cold stress (see link below).
  6. Prevention is much easier than recovering from a cold stress injury.

How to monitor hydration levels and prepare for cold weather stress (courtesy of Sqwincher).


First Aid Statistics – 7 Facts

Part 2 of our 4-part series contributed by Donna Wishart (a CPR/First Aid/AED trainer we have partnered with in the Tampa area) helps to explain just why first aid training is so important. Workplace injuries and accidents are far more common that we might think – read on to discover more!

Safe practices while at work, home, or play can prevent many injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Once injury or sudden illness occurs, effective first aid can make the difference between a rapid or prolonged recovery, a temporary or permanent disability, and even life or death.

That is motivation enough to ensure you and your employees are first aid and CPR/AED trained, but wait until you read the statistics.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, defines first aid as “emergency care provided for injury or sudden illness before professional emergency medical treatment is available.” The statistics for workplace or home injuries or deaths are alarming. An incident can happen anywhere, to anyone, at any time.


  1. Workplace injuries and illnesses kill about 2.2 million people in the world each year.
  2. Accidental injury is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for individuals younger than 44 years of age.
  3. Fifteen workers die each day in the U.S. from traumatic injuries.
  4. Approximately 4 million workers suffer a nonfatal injury or illness each year.
  5. In the U.S. about 1/3 of all injuries happen at home.
  6. In the U.S. about 20% of injury deaths happen at home.
  7. For every home injury death there are approximately 650 nonfatal home injuries.

Having someone at your workplace that is certified in first aid or CPR to deliver initial emergency procedures until EMS arrives can be the difference between life and death. Are you and your employees trained and ready to respond in an emergency?

Donna Wishart is the owner of Wishart Safety Training, Inc., a local partner with Ritz Safety in the Tampa, FL area. Wishart Safety Training currently offers a variety of first aid training classes.

Tune in for part 3 of this series for a true story of a life that was saved by the successful application of CPR and emergency first aid.  You won’t want to miss this!

Class 2, Class 3, Non-ANSI…What Kind of Hi-Vis Gear Do YOU Need?

With so many different options for high-visibility apparel, how do you know if you’ve got the right gear? Check out our handy guide to the ANSI/SEA 107-2010 for quick and simple definitions of Class 1 (or Non-ANSI), Class 2 and Class 3.

Use this guide to determine what level of hi-vis gear is required in YOUR workplace:

Ritz Safety carries a wide variety of Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 safety apparel. We’ve got the gear to fit your compliance requirements and jobsite needs.

Heat Illness is Dangerous – Do You Know the Signs?

It’s hard not to love a good, warm Summer day, but spending 8 hours or more working in the heat can lead to serious side effects. Even though it is now officially Fall, the risk of heat illness is still present. Do you know and recognize the signs of heat illness? And, are you prepared to help your workforce manage the risk factors, and recover from early warning signs of heat illness? Keep reading to make sure!

Cool Down

Preventing Heat Illness is all about managing risks and educating your workers. Check out the graphic below for some great tips:

Heat Relief

Looking for more tips and resources on heat relief? Check out OSHA’s Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. Or, take a look at the Heat Relief products Ritz Safety has to offer!

Stay safe, and stay cool!