Australian Glove Standards.

There are a number of Australian work glove standards.  Here is a list of the most common.Mechanical hazards gloves

AS/NZS 2161.3:1998 (EN388) – Protection against Mechanical Hazards
The EN388 standard applies to all types of protective gloves with respect to mechanical aggression from abrasion, cutting, tearing and puncture. These ratings are calculated from laboratory test results and do not replace the actual testing of the product in real conditions in the field. The results also enable you to compare the performance between various products.

AS/NZS 2161.5:1998 (EN 511:1994) Protection against Cold
The EN511 standard defines the requirements and test methods for gloves which protect against convective or conductive cold down to -50°.  This cold can be linked to climatic conditions or industrial activity.

AS/NZS 2161.4:1999 EN407:1994) Protection against thermal risks (heat and fire)
This standard specifies test methods, general requirements, levels of thermal performance and the marking for protective gloves against heat and/or fire. It is to be used for all gloves which protect the hands against heat and/or flames in one or more of the following forms: fire, contact heat, convective heat, radiant heat, small splashes or large quantities of molten metal.

AS/NZS2161.10.3:2005 (EN374-3) – Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms – Determination of resistance to permeation by chemicals
The EN374-3 standard involves determination of the resistance of the materials making up the gloves. Resistance to permeation is assessed by measuring the time for a chemical to breakthrough glove material. Samples are cut and placed in a permeation cell which enables the chemical to be placed in contact with the outer surface of the glove. Air or water is passed through the cell to collect any chemical that has broken through the inside surface of the glove. It is recommended to only use the test results, which have basically relative values, to compare the materials on the basis of the major categories of passage of time.

AS/NZS 2161.10.2:2005 – Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms – Determination of resistance to penetration
Adopts EN 374-2:2003 to specify the method for the determination of the resistance of protective gloves to penetration. The primary test is an air leak test, and gloves meeting this Standard are considered to be suitable for use against biologically hazardous material

AS 2161.6-2003 Protective gloves for firefighters

AS/NZS 2161.8:2002 – Protection against ionizing radiation and radioactive contamination

Ansell – A Guide to EN Standards for Gloves
Elliott’s Quality Safety Gear – Glove Standards
Active Lifting Equipment Co Pty Ltd – Australian/New Zealand Occupational Protective Glove Standards

“Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation.”

Sperm-eggso says an Jan 2012 article in the Fertility and Sterility Journal.

I’ve written before about the risks of burns when using laptops.  This is something new.

The article basically says that using a WiFi will, if you’re a male:

  1. damage the DNA in the sperm.
  2. reduce the ability of the sperm to swim, which impacts fertility.

Previous laptop articles:
Laptops and burns – the problem
Nice toasty laptop skin

“What’s wrong with the door?”, asked our Facilities Lady.

door not operationalIt’s got a sign on it saying “Door Not In Use.”

The slightly longer story is that people were using this entrance as a shortcut, which was disruptive to the staff in the immediate work area.

It wasn’t really an Health and Safety issue, so we couldn’t restrict access as such.

But I got to thinking.  If I could obtain an official looking sign, and label the door/cover the electronic swipe point, it might just discourage the shortcutters.

It worked a treat.

Continue reading

“Would Sir like the Sentinel Chicken with that?”

"Sentinel chicken flocks are used to monitor flavivirus activity in Australia. The main viruses of concern are Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) and atKunjin which cause the potentially fatal disease encephalitis, in humans.”

Use TinEye to find the original photoWhich was one of my thoughts when the building owner decided AGAIN to test the air-conditioning system to see if the fumes that caused 8 injuries, was now fume free.

NO it wasn’t.  “We’re mine canaries!”, was my other thought. 

“Thought we’d run the air-conditioning unit to see if anyone noticed…”

– was the building owners response.

A quick email to my management, and some stern words from a WorkSafe Inspector, has stopped that sort of air-conditioning testing from re-occurring.

So what’s with the African American woman with the happy smile on her face?

It’s a Sentinel Chicken of sorts.  I keep a full “muscled porn” copy of it in my notebook.  Which is kept in my workbag.  Sure it could have been a photo of Goatse, or “Two girls, One cup”; but you have to draw the line somewhere.

And it worked, “That’s disgusting, perverted and sick.”, was the comment from my ex.

‘Ah so you’ve been though my notebook.’


Pole Dancing during work breaks?

186149-sexual-harassmentA FEMALE road construction worker is considering whether to sue a Victorian contractor over claims she was harassed for two horrendous years.

Kate Mathews, 37, the only woman employed in the company’s roadwork gangs, claims she was forced to endure countless remarks and questions about her sex life.

She says she was told she could provide pole-dancing entertainment for the men during work breaks.

I have a simple test for this sort of harassment.

The mother/sister test.

If you wouldn’t behave like that to your mother or sister, then you shouldn’t be behaving like to your co-worker.

The final straw for Kate Mathews?  She left after one co-worker told her he was going to rape her.

Further reading:
Ex-labourer Kate Mathews says sexual harassment forced her out of a job
Road construction gang ruined my life, says Kate Mathews
Hot Topic: Woman road worker’s sex case
Workers rally to support Kate

3AW Radio:
Road-worker subjected to porn, abuse


Laptops damage sperm

In today’s Age newspaper was this article:
LAPTOP computers may be damaging male fertility because they overheat men's scrotums, new research suggests.

If you are going to use a laptop, you really want to invest in a lap desk.

“Why?”, you ask?

Well apart from the risk of cooking your scrotum*, there is also the risk of third degree burns, and “toasted” skin.  A quick Google for laptop desks, turns up these:
Lazy Laptop stand logitech lap desk

(click on the pictures to be taken to the vendor’s websites)

* – when I was a pimply faced youth, I learnt in a sex education teacher that a hot bath was effective in killing sperm.  Seems now that a quick 30 min session of World of Warcraft will do just as well…

The Tombstone Imperative

Sketch of the collapse from the inquest files VPRS 24P3 Inquest Deposition Files, unit 120There is a term in aviation safety, called “The Tombstone Imperative”.  Yes, it’s a bit of gallows humour.

The term means that a fault or flaw will not be fixed until the costs of the deaths outweighs the cost of fixing the problem.

Health and Safety laws in Victoria received a massive kick-start 40 years ago today.  35 construction workers lost their lives on 15th October 1970, when, during construction of the West Gate Bridge, span 10-11 collapsed and fell 164 feet.

There are many factors which led to the span collapsing.  If I had to name one, I’d say the rush to get the project finished.  It was running behind.  The rush led to construction management taking decisions which cost lives.

The 35 workers deaths weren’t in vain.  In the words of survivor Tommy Watson

“In those days, we didn’t have legal rights around safety like we do today, we couldn’t get an independent engineer to look at it,” he recalls. “It was all on the boss’s say-so and the engineer Jack Hindshaw assured us it was safe. His words were ‘If it wasn’t safe, I wouldn’t be here.’ Well, he died and took 34 men with him. I learned from that day, to never, ever take the boss’s word on safety.”

Nice toasty laptop skin.

erythema-ab-igne-sm - image courtesy of The Dermatology Blog - http://thedermblog.comI’ve written before about laptops and burns.  In a case from 2008, a 24 year old male suffered a second-degree burn on his thigh.  In this mornings news paper, there was an article titled

Laptops can cause ‘toasted skin syndrome’.  (the picture on the right is an example of "’toasted skin syndrome’.)

In one recent case, a 12-year-old boy developed a sponge-patterned skin discolouration on his left thigh after playing computer games a few hours every day for several months.

"He recognised that the laptop got hot on the left side; however, regardless of that, he did not change its position," Swiss researchers reported in an article published in the journal Paediatrics.

I’ll do a full write-up when I get a copy of the Paediatrics.article.

Update: You really should consider using a lap desk (Lifehacker article)

Finally learnt what a VESDA is.

HFC-125-Fire-Suppression-Warning Been working around Computer Data Centres for years, and they’re all had VESDA fire detection systems.  Until the other day, I never needed to know how they worked.  As the fire detection system just worked, and heck, if a fire alarm went off, it was a case of evacuating the floor.

I walked into one of our small data centres, as I wanted to check the safety of a rear emergency exit door.  What greeted me was a flashing red beacon.  After a couple of quick phone calls, it turns out it was the “VESDA has been isolated” beacon.

The VESDA is simply put, a very cleverly designed smoke detection system.  Very Early-warning Smoke Detection Apparatus.  Though a grid of pipes, air is drawn over a smoke detection sensor.  Should the VESDA detect smoke, it will do something.  That something is often to trigger an alarm.

VESDA was mostly an Australian invention, an initial prototype having been developed by the Australian Postmaster-General’s Department in the early 1970’s.  You can read a bit more about that here.

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