Canadian Occupational Safety

December/January 2019

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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26 Canadian Occupational Safety | New ASSP app brings virtual reality to fall protection training Fall protection training is critical to the safety of workers who perform jobs at height, and the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) is making it safer and easier for them to learn best practices through a virtual reality (VR) application. The new ASSP VR Fall Protection Experience enables workers to train in settings that mirror actual environments without the dangers that come with high- risk tasks. In the United States, fall protection is the most frequently cited safety violation, and falls accounted for 38 per cent of all construction deaths in 2016. "Virtual reality is an innovative tool that enables a worker to be trained and evaluated without ever putting that employee in a precarious position," said Keisha Raines, manager of online learning at ASSP in Park Ridge, Ill. "Studies have shown that the closer you can replicate reality in your training environment, the more the training experience will stick." The benefits of virtual reality training include realistic exercises when hands-on experiences aren't feasible; reduced cost of training workforces of any size; and consistent training for each worker regardless of the location or trainer, said ASSP. Wearable band prevents electrical incidents Each year, thousands of employees suffer electrical contact injuries, with millions exposed to this danger on a daily basis. These incidences cost millions in insurance payout with even more lost to operations. Currently, there are no ambient, connected, always-on devices used to detect electricity. Workers rely on processes to de-energize and follow lockout procedures. But the new Proxxi device provides that fail-safe backup to virtually eliminate the risk. Proxxi, developed in Vancouver, is a wearable voltage sensor that detects energized equipment and notifies the user of danger. By analyzing a user's proximity to an energized device, Proxxi notifies the user via multi-sensory alerts when the warning zone surrounding the device has been crossed and again when the limits of approach have been breached. This data is captured by a mobile app and made available to the rest of the organization in their dashboard. "Proxxi is always-on and always aware. It's like an extra set of eyes to warn workers when they are at risk," said Proxxi CEO Campbell Macdonald. "It can radically reduce risk of electrical contact injuries and electrocution." Designed for industrial workers at risk of electrical contact injury, Proxxi provides companies peace of mind and visibility through connected monitoring and insights into employee safety. The dashboard issues reports that provide insight on safety procedures and training as well as long-term summaries that allow supervisors to see trends and spot outliers. It also provides filtering options to drill down for further inquiry and insights. The data can be organized by worker, team, location and date. Proxxi is a single solution that works in any voltage environment from 480V to 250kV. With the Proxxi mobile app, users can move from low voltage settings to high voltage settings in seconds. Proxxi is also a great solution for low voltage and unqualified workers. This includes manufacturing, mining, construction and first responders. Users can tailor the settings to the voltage and distance needed for each use case. New Honeywell gas detector listens for leaks Honeywell has announced a new connected gas detector that listens for leaks ultrasonically, complementing fixed gas detectors to better protect workers and facilities against deadly toxic and explosive gas leaks. Gas leaks in well-ventilated areas disperse rapidly and may not be detected by conventional fixed-point or open-path detectors, according to the United Kingdom's Health and Safety Executive. Honeywell's new Searchzone Sonik uses advanced ultrasonic technology, including a sealed, piezoelectric sensor, unaffected by weather conditions and background noise, to provide leak detection of high-pressure gas leaks. Ultrasonic gas detectors are typically located high above the areas they monitor, making siting and servicing the devices a challenge. Searchzone Sonik includes an ultrasonic test tool to help choose the proper location for the sensor and an easy-to-use mobile app for streamlined installation, operation and service from the ground level. "Keeping personnel and assets safe is the number 1 priority for industrial plant operators, and advanced gas detection is a critical part of the solution," said Carl Ritzberger, marketing director for fixed gas detection at Honeywell Industrial Safety. "Searchzone Sonik, combined with fixed- point and open-path gas detection, provides another level of protection in any environment, from harsh winter conditions to desert extremes. It incorporates advanced algorithms to respond only to the unique ultrasonic signature created by a high-pressure leak, and its solid-state sensor is sealed from moisture and contaminants to ensure accuracy and reliability." The Searchzone Sonik is suitable for applications that require emergency shutdown and other automatic controls in the production, storage, processing and distribution sectors of the oil and gas industry. The gas detector is easy to install, commission and maintain through an app when paired with an intrinsically safe Android smartphone with Bluetooth connectivity. PRODUCTS & SERVICES WorkFit-TX converts office desks to sit- stand work stations The WorkFit-TX Standing Desk Converter is an adjustable standing desk by Ergotron. It fits more users with an X-shaped lift that folds close down to the desk to keep the right monitor-to-keyboard-tray spacing. With a height-adjustable, back-tilt keyboard that sits below the work surface, this ultra-low sit-stand work station delivers leading ergonomics when sitting and standing. It provides 20 inches of keyboard height adjustment to meet the ergonomic needs of most computer users. The height-adjustable drop-down tray places the keyboard at the most comfortable position, and it offers "infinite, click-free height-adjustment points from an easy-to-find handle," said Ergotron. Plus, the gas spring provides quick height adjustment without cranks or motors. The WorkFit-TX easily modifies an existing space without the cost of expensive professional installers and it ships fully assembled with no special mounting or tool-adjustments required for installation. The desk moves straight up and down on a tabletop, so it doesn't move into a worker's workspace.

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