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When do you require PPE?

Any industry that carries a risk of loud noises, dust, gasses, heavy objects, chemicals, biological agents, hot surfaces or falling debris is required to invest in safety garments. Your field of work and working conditions will determine whether or not you will require PPE. As a rule of thumb, PPE is required by law in environments where health and safety risks can’t be managed or controlled in other ways, such as dealing with hazardous chemicals or at risk of serious injury. PPE includes but is not limited to gloves, foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices like earplugs or earmuffs, hard hats, full body suits, and respirators. At NWT Safety, we carry certified safety equipment for a variety of industries including construction, manufacturing, and oil and gas. We provide options for different safety products and help our customers to find the right solution for their needs. We will not sell a product based on a hunch, we bank on our expertise, knowledge and experience to find the best possible recommendation. Check out our online inventory of safety supplies or visit us in person at our Nisku or Spruce Grove locations. 

What do I do if I don’t know how to choose the right equipment?

Ensuring that you go home at the end of the day safe and sound drives us to go above and beyond to keep you safe. At NWT, we strive to be the go-to resource for safety knowledge, services and concerns. When you visit each of our locations, you are our top priority so that we can understand what you are looking for, your industry and what the best solution is for your equipment. In matching you with the right equipment, we consider the climate you will be working in, the threat level, your industry, and your sizing for a proper fit. Each workplace and industry is required by law in Alberta to perform a threat assessment of the work site to identify potential hazards. Your PPE is chosen based on the hazards identified during the assessment.

There is no such thing as a bad question, and we are here to help answer any safety concerns that you have to ensure you feel safe while you work.

Basic questions to ask my company to know more about my safety needs? 

In Alberta, every worker has the right to know about hazards, the right to refuse unsafe work, and the right to participate in health and safety. If you are new to your industry or workplace, here are some questions that should be answered before starting on the job site to ensure your safety.

  • What are the hazards of my job and how will I be protected?
  • What safety procedures do I need to follow?
  • What safety gear will I need? Will there be training on how to use it?
  • What happens if I am injured?

At NWT, we are focused on helping to provide the best solution for your need, not just making a sale. We have a wide selection of safety equipment and services to help make sure you are prepared for anything, and we are always learning how we can better meet your needs. If we do not have the right solution for your need, we will stay on to help you find a solution and get connected to someone who can help in your unique case.

How often should I change my PPE Equipment? 

PPE equipment should be replaced at the first signs of wear and tear, or once it has passed its expiration date. Most PPE equipment does not have an expiration date, making it important to perform regular inspections. Your inspection should look for signs of:

  • Discoloration or material degradation, 
  • Rips, tears, cracks or visible damage
  • The age of the gear
  • Missing components

If you are uncertain about whether or not your PPE is still up to the safety standard, bring it to our Nisku or Spruce Grove locations. Our qualified staff can assist you with an inspection and help verify the expiration dates, or help you find a replacement. If your PPE needs a changeup, check out our online inventory or stop by in person to find your perfect fit.

How do you dispose of PPE equipment?

Reusable PPE equipment is designed to be heavy-duty and includes protective clothing, respirators or skin protection. Alternatively, single-use PPE is made out of thin, woven materials such as plastic gloves and medical-grade masks. Single-use PPE must be bagged and placed in a closed-lid container for disposal to prevent the spread of infections. Our respirators and protective eyewear are designed to be reusable as long as proper decontamination steps are taken after use. Each product will have cleaning procedures to ensure your safety. On and off the job, accidents can happen. If your PPE is damaged or defective, discontinue use immediately and request a replacement. Any PPE that is reissued must be properly sanitized before use.

How long does a fit test take?

A respirator fit test studies the seal between your face and the respirator’s facepiece. On average, a respirator fit test takes 15 to 20 minutes per mask and must be performed annually. Once your mask passes, you must use the same mask model, style and size while on the work site.

Can you pass a fit test with a beard?

For tight-fitting respirators, beards are prohibited during fit testing as they can interfere with a respirator’s ability to seal against the skin properly. Fumes and dust can seep in through the nearest opening, lessening the effectiveness of the respirator. Facial hair cannot be present between the skin and sealing area, including stubble, beards, sideburns and moustaches. After the fit test, facial hair is allowed as long as it does not interfere with the sealing area. For voluntary or non-tight-fitting respirators that do not require a fit test, facial hair is allowed.

Is fit testing required for the voluntary use of respirators?

Loose-fitting respirators do not require fit testing, but it is mandatory for supplied air or air-purifying respirators. If your employer permits voluntary respirator use, it is best practice to have written documentation outlining the respirator’s recommended cleaning, storage, and proper maintenance protocols. When it comes to your safety, take the extra steps to ensure your safety equipment is maintained so you can be ready for anything

Does a CO2 monitor detect natural gas?

Carbon monoxide detectors are not designed to detect natural gas leaks. Natural gas is transported with an additive to help you more easily detect leaks based on the scent of rotting eggs. To properly detect natural gas, you will require a propane and natural gas detector with portable or plug-in capabilities. Unsure if you need it in your space? Natural gas detectors are recommended alongside carbon monoxide detectors if you have fireplaces, stoves, ovens, or water heaters in your space. Check out our selection of gas detectors or book a calibration service appointment.

What are the symptoms of natural gas exposure?

Be on the lookout for signs of natural gas exposure. Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue or dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe headache
  • Loss of concentration
  • Suffocation
  • Nosebleeds
  • Blistering or pale skin

In the case of exposure, leave the area immediately and contact 911 immediately.

Can you claim safety equipment on your taxes in Canada?

In Canada, if you are the sole owner of purchased safety equipment and clothing that is work-specific and not personal use, it can be deducted from your taxes. This includes uniforms and steel-toed boots. If it is provided by your employer it cannot be claimed on your taxes. If you are given an allowance from your employer to purchase safety equipment and are not required to provide a receipt, it can be claimed as a tax benefit if it meets three conditions. First, the law requires you to wear protective equipment while on the work site, you as the employee purchased the equipment, and the final amount paid is deemed reasonable.