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  • N95 and P2 masks can be used to protect against coronavirus

    Posted on: 29, Jan

    Can the N95 / P2 masks be used to protect against the coronavirus?

    On the 31st December 2019 the World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei province of China. This virus was a serious concern to WHO as it was a new virus and they did not know how it would affect people in terms of severity, contamination medium and spread rates.

    On the 7th of January Chinese authorities confirmed the new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, SARS and MERS.

    Since then, China’s National Health Commission has deployed masks to healthcare workers responding to the outbreak, and millions of masks have been sent to residents of Wuhan, according to reports. But will these masks stop people from catching the virus?

    We know the coronavirus is airborne, and that it can be transmitted between people. Researchers believe that the virus may have made the jump from animals to people via the inhalation of airborne particles in a seafood market that sold live wild animals. So it makes sense to cover your nose and mouth.

    But what type of Masks are being used to protect against coronavirus?

    There are essentially two main types of masks that are being used to protect against the coronavirus:-

    • Surgical face masks – The type Doctors use in surgery
    • N95 masks. The Australian equivalent rating to the US N95 is the P2 mask.

    Surgical Masks

    Surgical masks are specifically designed to block liquid droplets, and might lower the chance of catching the virus from another person. However, these masks are designed to work well in operating theatres where there are additional stringent hygiene requirements.

    But these masks don’t offer full protection against airborne viruses. For a start, they don’t fully seal off the nose and mouth – particles can still get in. And very small particles can simply pass through the material of the mask. “They might help, but it’s not clear they give you total protection,” says Mark Woolhouse at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

    N95 / P2 Masks

    The United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) does recommend that healthcare providers wear N95 respirators (P2 respirators - Australian Equivalent), face masks that filter at least 95% of airborne particles, if they treat a patient infected with the novel coronavirus.

    In the case of SARS, another type of coronavirus, a large amount of infections originated in hospitals among healthcare workers treating infected people, says infectious disease expert Dr. Charles Chiu. So now, doctors follow the same strict precautions and wear gowns, gloves, N95 / P2 respirators and goggles to reduce their likelihood of infection.

    N95 / P2 respirators offer more protection. They are designed to prevent 95 per cent of small particles from entering the nose and mouth area. But they only work if they fit properly, and aren’t suitable for children or people with facial hair.

    N95 / P2 respirators can also make it more challenging for a person to breathe, so could be dangerous for someone showing symptoms of infection of the new coronavirus, which include coughing and shortness of breath.

    Guidelines for keeping your Workplace and School Safe

    The University of Sydney has put out the below guidance for Staff and Students in order to prevent the spread of infection at the University by following the basic hygiene advice below to stay healthy:

    • Using soap or alcohol-based hand wash frequently and washing hands for at least 20 seconds each time;
    • Avoiding areas where there are people sneezing, covering their mouth or nose if sneezing or coughing with a flexed elbow and disposing of tissues immediately;
    • Avoiding contact with anyone who is unwell; and
    • Not attending study or work if they’re unwell.

    If you have the Symptoms

    If you are worried about your symptoms, and think you may have the virus, call for medical advice before visiting a hospital and potentially spreading the infection, suggests Robin Thompson at the University of Oxford.


    Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2231535-can-an-n95-face-mask-protect-you-from-catching-the-new-coronavirus/#ixzz6CMXe8Q6E


    WHO – Information on the coronavirus as well as links to a poster series that can be printed out and placed in your workplace/School https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

  • Guide to Hard Hat Accessories - What can I wear with my Hard Hat?

    Posted on: 22, Oct
    Hard Hat with Viper Cap Attached Earmuffs Hard Hat with Viper Cap Attached Earmuffs

    There are a lot of questions around the worksite regarding what is and what is not appropriate to be worn on or under the hard hat. Below are some general tips and reasons to help you make your own risk assessment.

    As well as their compliance with Australian standards, hard hats and other PPE rely upon an
    adequate user fit to protect the wearer.

    Any additional Hard Hat accessories or clothing which affect fit could reduce the hard hat’s ability to keep you safe.

    But while it is important to wear complimentary and essential PPE (eg. like Cap Attached Ear Muffs or Visors), how do you decide if it’s safe to wear granny’s knitted beanie under your hard hat?

    First and foremost, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If the manufacturer says don’t do it... don’t do it! But where they haven’t specified if something is allowable, you will have to conduct your own risk assessment.

    1. No Pom Poms, the addition of a Pom Pom on top of a beanie does not allow the Hard Hat harness to sit as designed by the manufacturer flat on the head. Tight knit beanies work better than loose beanies which could see the beanie and hard hat slip around or off your head. The ProChoice Hard Hat winter liner is superior to a Beanie due to the lack of movement in the Liner and hard hat. The Winter liner has velcro straps which enables the Hard hat to be secured to the Winter Liner.
    2. No Caps OR Metal, Baseball caps are a No No, as they often have a metal part in the top middle of the hat. If a very heavy item fell with great force the Harness of the hard hat would impact on this metal top and force undue impact and trauma to the top of your skull. In addition Baseball caps often have a curved brim which prevents the Hard Hat sitting where it should for a sound fit.
    3. Sun and sweat protection is OK. Cotton/polyester or plastic visors, brims and flaps which attach to the helmet are a great solution for staying sun safe throughout summer.
      Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you’re using them correctly and with the right type of hard hat. In addition most Hard Hats are able to easily fit a sweatband for the forehead.

    So this was just a quick guide to help you out on the worksite. However, always remember to conduct a fit test before starting the job.

    Keep safe.

    ProChoice V6 Hard Hat with Safety Glasses ProChoice V6 Hard Hat with Safety Glasses
  • Justrite Flammable Goods Storage Cabinet - FM Approved

    Posted on: 19, Sep

    The Justrite Flammable Goods Cabinets exceed the Australian Standard AS1940 and are also fire tested to comply with the FM Rating, something no other cabinet in Australia can claim.

    Justrite Flammable FM Approved label Justrite Flammable FM Approved label


    All Big Safety Justrite Flammable Goods Storage Cabinets are FM approved. The Justrite Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets are FM Global Fire Tested and Certified and labelled with the above certification sticker.


    FM Global set performance and construction requirements for cabinets designed to provide a safe, secure storage area for flammables and combustibles while minimizing the risk of fire.

    During the 10 Minute Exposure Fire Test, Cabinets must Maintain:

    • Structural Integrity of the Cabinet 1.2 mm Steel

    • Internal Temperature below 163°C (protected by the 40mm Thermal barrier)



  • Safety Shower Modesty Screens and Site Protection

    Posted on: 18, Sep

    For sites which are concerned about Safety Showers and Eyewashes for their employees, there are two additional concerns which Speakman Safety Showers has developed solutions for clients.

    The two additional concerns are:-
    1. Water running all over your factory or warehouse creating a minor flood at 76 litres per minute for at least 15 minutes, and
    2. Employees may require modesty screens to protect them from being viewed as they are saturated from head to toe in water. Especially if they wish to remove cantaminated clothing.

    Big Safety is proud to offer these Speakman Customised Safety Shower solutions for clients throughout Australia.

    The first component is a Stainless Steel Water Catchment platform with outlet. This provides a base which can capture all of the waste water and direct it through one outlet. Below is an image of this unit. Please note this walk on grate can also be configured to provide walk on grate activiation. This means the Safety Shower is turned on as soon as the patient walks onto the platform, avoiding the requirement for the patient to fumble for the pull down lever.

    Safety Shower Drainage Catchment Safety Shower Drainage Catchment and Walk On Grate


    The Speakman Safety Shower Modesty Screens serve two main functions.

    1. In combination with the Drainage catchment above, it helps capture the majority of water from the Safety Shower and direct it through one outlet. This significantly reduces the issues of cleaning up the water deluge created throughout your warehouse by the Safety Shower or eye/face wash.
    2. Secondly these screens provide modesty for the users who will have soaking wet clothes, or need to remove the contaminated clothes from their bodies. In the case of Sulfuric Acid the clothes may be falling off the patient by the time they get to the Safety Shower.


    Speakman Modesty Safety Shower Stall Speakman Modesty Safety Shower Stall


    Big Safety can provide a range of customised Safety Shower and eyewash solutions for your requirements. This includes walk on activations, modesty screens, emergency lighting, sirens, remote alerts and intrinsically safe units. If you would like to obtain a quote please contact us on 1300 73 22 74.

    Till next time. Keep Safe.


    Combination Safety Eye Wash Combination Emergency deluge Safety Shower and Safety Eye Face Wash




  • Safety Alert:- Clarification of Suitable Emergency Escape Hoods For Dangerous Goods Drivers From EPA

    Posted on: 09, Nov

    The EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) and SafeWork NSW have undertaken an investigation into the HFZY 30 EEBD escape hoods and found them not to be suitable for escape purposes and/or not fit for purpose.  The national Competent Authorities Panel (CAP) voted last week to make the HFZY unsuitable nationwide for DG Transport.  CAP also voted to provide clearer guidance in the ADG Code about requirements for escape Breathing Apparatus (BA) which will include a requirement that it comply with AS 1716.


    An example of a ELSA (Emergency Life Saving Apparatus) 15 min Escape hood that complies with AS1716 is the Scott Sabre.


    As regards the duration of air supply, the ADG Code does not specifically state a 15 minute minimum.  However, a 15 minute minimum is implied in a notation Table 12.2 that “a duration of greater than 15 minutes may be required……”  I expect that this will be clarified in the revision to the Code and I expect that a 15 minute duration will be required.


    Please click the following link to view the Letter To Licensees put out by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) on 7 Nov 17 regarding  AIR SUPPLIED SHORT TERM BREATHING APPARATUS SUITABLE FOR ESCAPE PURPOSES .


    The Scott Safety 15 min ELSA Escape Hood Breathing Apparatus complies with AS1716. The Scott Safety 15 min ELSA Escape Hood Breathing Apparatus complies with AS1716.
  • Chance to win a Jetski, for every $200 spent on Prochoice Safety gear

    Posted on: 18, Sep

    Whilst your workers' minds are drifting to the turquoise blue summer ocean, keep them covered with Prochoice Safety Gear, (the Professionals Choice).

    For every $200 ex GST spent on Prochoice, Linq, Pratt or Thortz safety products you receive an entry into the draw to win one of two Prochoice Jetski's and trailer bundle. Whilst you are protecting your workers, you are protecting your own summer holiday dreams.

    Prochoice Safety Jetski Promotion Go into the draw to win one of two Prochoice JetSki's.

    Entries close 30 November 2017, so be quick and enter as often as you can.

    Start shopping now at www.bigsafety.com.au .

    More details on how to register and the promotion conditions can be found by clicking here.

  • Are you looking for an Outdoor Flammable Goods Storage Cabinet?

    Posted on: 08, Aug
    Justrite Flammable Cabinet Weather proof option 160L Justrite Flammable Cabinet Weather proof option 160L


    Our range of Justrite Dangerous Goods cabinets are designed for indoor use, however we are able to customfit a solution that meets Australian Standards and enables you to use these Flammable goods cabinets outside.

    The Features include:

    • Compliance with AS1940 The storage and handling flammable and combustible Liquids:
    • Stainless Steel Hinges
    • Weatherproof Guttering
    • Forklift Channels which help keep the cabinet dry while on the ground & secured to the ground

    This weatherproofing of the cabinets is available on the 160, 250 and 350 L Justrite flammable cabinets.

    Justrite Flammable Cabinet Weather proof option 160L Forklift Tynes Justrite Flammable Cabinet Weather proof option 160L Forklift Tynes
    Justrite Flammable Cabinet Weather proof option 160L Front View Justrite Flammable Cabinet Weather proof option 160L Front View
  • Quick Tip 1:- Your Flammable Goods Cabinet must be lockable

    Posted on: 08, Aug

    The following excerpt from Australian Standards clearly states the reasons why it is essential for all Flammable Cabinets to be lockable.

    AS1940-2004 The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids

    2.3.2 Operations

    The following handling requirements and precautions apply:

    (a) Persons who handle the liquids shall be fully aware of the hazards involved.

    (b) All storage areas shall be secured against access by unauthorized persons at all times.

    Justrite Flammable Cabinets Lockable SureGrip Ex Handle Justrite Flammable Cabinets Lockable SureGrip Ex Handle - Dual lock

    For these reasons Justrite dangerous goods storage cabinets are lockable and can also be fitted with a padlock to ensure authorised personnel only. This double lock option adds an extra level of security to protect your business from theft as well as untrained employees from dangerous substances.

    The Suregrip handle is more streamlined and flush to avoid getting snagged on an old swivel handle sticking out on a walk way.

    Click the following link to find out more about our wide range of Justrite Flammable Goods Cabinets.

    Alternatively click the following link to view the features and benefits of the Justrite Dangerous Goods Cabinets.

  • Benefits of the Speakman Safety Shower Impeller Action

    Posted on: 23, May

    "Not all Safety Showers are born equal" Anonymous

    When considering the right Emergency Safety Shower or Eyewash for your workplace it is critical that you get a unit that is going to work first time, everytime.

    The Speakman range of Safety Showers and Emergency Eye Face Wash units have a few critical features that ensures better performance than its competitors:-

    • The non clogging, self cleaning head ensures that the full shower head will work each and every time maximising the spray area for quicker decontamination when seconds count.
    • The swirling impeller action of these heads, distributes floods of water without voids in the shower pattern to ensure complete body coverage.

    Below is a quick 8 second video showing how the Impeller Action works and its benefits.

  • Does the SE590A - 45L or SE590A - 106 L Portable Emergency Eyewash comply with Australian Standard 4775

    Posted on: 23, Mar
    SE590A - 106 L Portable Eye and Body wash SE590A - 106 L Portable Eye and Body wash

    In accordance with AS 4775 Safety Deluge Showers and Emergency Eyewashes are required to have the following flow rates:-

    Eye washes :-     1.5 L per minute for 15 minutes

    Safety Showers:-              76 L per minute for 15 minutes

    Therefore the SE590A with a 45 or 106 L cylinder do meet the standards for eyewash, however not for a safety shower.

    Therefore the Safety shower (on the 106 L cylinder) and the Drench Hose (on the 45L cylinder) can be described as Supplementary body washes intended as a support system, not in place of Primary Emergency Response Systems.

    Below are some relevant parts of AS4775 to assist you in your decision:-

    AS 4775 Emergency Eye wash & Shower Equipment

    Section: 7 Plumbed and Self -Contained Eyewash Equipment

    7.2 Performance of plumbed and self-contained eyewash units

    When activated plumbed and self-contained eye wash equipment shall deliver flushing fluid to the eyes at a flow rate not less than 1.5 litres per minute for a minimum of 15 minutes. Where the fluids supply to plumbed equipment is time-limited, this shall be clearly indicated and quantified by prominent signage adjacent to the equipment.

    Where eye wash equipment has a time-limited supply of flushing fluid, a risk assessment shall be conducted to identify whether a longer flow period is required. Such a risk assessment may address the nature and quantity of hazardous materials at the location, likely exposure scenarios, distance to emergency response and emergency facilities and so on.

    Appendix F1       Personal Eyewash Units

    The first seconds following an eye injury are often critical to keeping eye injury to a minimum. A personal eye wash may be kept in the immediate vicinity of employees working in a potentially hazardous area. The main purpose of these units is to supply immediate flushing. With this accomplished, the injured individual should then proceed to a plumbed or self-contained eye wash and flush the eyes for the required 15 minutes.


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