Test Your Knowledge – Heat Stress Quiz

Heat stress is a serious issue that affects individuals worldwide, especially during hot summer months. According to OSHA, 18 of the last 19 summers were the hottest on record. And workers experienced more than 3,500 injuries and illnesses related to heat each year.¹ By understanding the causes, symptoms, and prevention measures, we can better protect ourselves and those around us.

As we find ourselves during summer season, it is important to understand the dangers of heat stress at work and how to help prevent it. Heat stress can have severe consequences, ranging from mild discomfort to life-threatening conditions. But how well do you know the ins and outs of heat stress and its prevention? Take our heat stress quiz to find out!

What You Should Know About NFPA 72®

NFPA 72® is the most widely recognized code with respect to fire detection, signaling, and emergency communications. More importantly, many municipalities adopt NFPA 72 into their own fire codes, which means that once adopted, NFPA 72 becomes part of the law.

Because NFPA 72 is a vital part of fire and gas safety, it’s important for industrial organizations that are concerned with fire protection and life safety hazards to understand the critical changes within the code; especially changes that have occurred over the past several years.

What is NFPA 72?

NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code® is a consensus standard of the National Fire Protection Association or NFPA. NFPA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and reducing loss by providing information and knowledge through 300 consensus codes and standards.

Here’s how NFPA summarizes the NFPA 72 consensus code:

“NFPA 72 provides the latest safety provisions to meet society’s changing fire detection, signaling, and emergency communications demands. In addition to the core focus on fire alarm systems, the Code includes requirements for mass notification systems used for weather emergencies; terrorist events; biological, chemical, and nuclear emergencies; and other threats.”

What does NFPA 72 have to do with fire and gas detection?

A major overhaul of NFPA 72 in 2019 and a 2022 code revision have shifted how organizations are (or should be) thinking about fire and gas detection and protection.

With a major change such as this come major questions. We compiled the top 3 most common questions about the NFPA 72 updates and revisions and posed them to our Fire and Gas Systems Operations Manager Corey Miller. Not only does Corey have decades of experience in fire and gas safety, he is a member of NFPA and works on the NFPA 72 Signaling Systems for the Protection of Life and Property Technical Committee®.

Here’s what Corey has to say about the changes to the code, and the implications for industrial applications.

What changes were made to NFPA 72 in 2019?

NFPA 72 is a guide for local authorities that have jurisdiction over fire protection. Because it’s been around for many years the code has morphed and changed. Right now, updates are issued every three years. The next code revision is coming in 2025, although we don’t expect any major revisions.

The most recent and significant change came in 2019 when the committee made big strides—and big changes—to the code by closing out a separate gas code (NFPA 720) and bringing it into NFPA 72. As a result of this code change, state and local authorities are beginning to mandate a combined fire and gas system like the HazardWatch® FX-12 Fire and Gas Detection System.

In the old days, fire authorities didn’t want fire and gas codes together. Now, as organizations shift from using diesel and gasoline to natural gas, there’s a bigger concern for combustible (methane and hydrogen) and toxic (carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide) hazards. Unlike residential applications where natural gas contains the odorant mercaptan for easier detection, commercial applications require additive-free natural gas.

But, without a compliant gas detection solution, there’s a good potential for undetectable natural gas leak hazards. Because these fuel transitions are happening, the committee felt it was time to revise the code, giving it more “teeth” so to speak.

Is NFPA 72 applicable only in the U.S.?

No. NFPA 72 is a guide for state, local, and regional authorities across the globe who are concerned with fire and gas safety. In addition to being adopted in virtually every state in the U.S., NFPA 72 is prevalent in many other countries. Canada uses its own code, CSA, although CSA often references standards issued by other organizations in other countries, including NFPA.

Is compliance with NFPA 72 really necessary?

Another thing to keep in mind is this: There’s a certain comfort level for fire inspectors when they see an NFPA 72-compliant system. We’re even seeing a trend among the insurance industry where some are offering discounts for NFPA 72 compliance.

To ensure compliance with the latest and greatest code, it’s standard practice for the big design firms and others to look at the code, using it as a basis for designing a new facility or updating an existing one.

So, before installing a fire alarm panel, we recommend verifying compliance with NFPA 72, not just for fire but also for gas. It’s important to know that very few fire alarm panels have combined NFPA 72-compliant fire and gas detection systems.

As a global leader in the development, manufacture, and supply of safety products to protect people and facility infrastructure, we’re on a mission to help reduce death, injury, and property loss resulting from fire, and related hazards, which is why our HazardWatch FX-12 Fire and Gas Detection System is verified for NFPA 72 compliance.

State-of-the-Art Fire and Gas Detection & Protection

One of the most critical elements of fire protection and life safety are fire and gas (F&G) systems. F&G systems are used to monitor environmental conditions. They provide early detection of fire and gas hazards to help save people and property from harm. They also alert emergency responders.

As a consensus standard for F&G systems, NFPA 72® provides specific requirements for the installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire and gas detection systems.

Of course, it’s important to refer to the full code for details and specifics. However, here are some key requirements of NFPA 72 as it relates to fixed gas and flame detection (FGFD) products:

  • Smoke detectors, heat detectors, flame detectors, and gas detectors must be properly placed to ensure adequate coverage and early detection of fire and gas hazards.
  • Systems must be wired properly and have a proper power supply to ensure reliable operation.
  • Systems must include adequate notification appliances, such as horns, strobes, and speakers, to alert building occupants in the event of an emergency.
  • Systems must include central monitoring stations or other means of alerting emergency personnel, such as a fire department connection (FDC) or remote monitoring service.
  • Systems must be regularly tested and maintained to ensure proper operation and compliance with applicable codes and standards.


Other standards may apply or supersede NFPA 72, so be sure to consult with the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), fire department, or qualified fire protection professional to determine the unique requirements for your building or facility. These authorities, agencies, and professionals may be best qualified to assess your facility’s risk factors, as well as review local codes and regulations, providing guidance on whether an NFPA 72-compliant system is required.

At MSA, we’re committed to providing next-generation safety solutions, which is why our FGFD solutions are designed and tested to meet the world’s most demanding safety standards, including NFPA 72.

If you still have questions about NFPA 72 and its impact on your fire detection or life & safety system, we invite you to talk with one of our experts.

Revolutionizing Workplace Safety: The Power of Connected Gas Detection Devices

Workplace safety is continuously evolving, with technological advancements playing a significant role in enhancing the well-being of workers, particularly in industries where hazardous gases are present. Among these innovations, connected gas detection devices have emerged as one of the  game-changers for safety managers and Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) professionals. This article will explore some ways that connected gas detection devices can help enhance worker and worksite visibility, help simplify compliance, and ultimately help EHS professionals establish comprehensive connected safety programs with the data and insights to reach both short and long-term safety and productivity goals.

The Power of Connected Gas Detection Devices

Connected gas detection devices – meaning those that come with out-of-the-box cellular connectivity to leading national networks PLUS automatic integration with cloud-based software solutions – can provide safety managers with the visibility, data, and reporting to help enhance worker safety and awareness, simplify regulatory compliance, streamline fleet management, and improve training and education.

Most connected gas detection devices currently on the market can operate as wearable technologies, designed to be worn by workers in industries including but not limited to oil and gas, utilities, and construction, where exposure to dangerous gases is a risk or potential risk. These wearable devices can be easily attached to a workers’ – including lone workers’ – clothing or personal protective equipment (PPE), to help ensure safety and visibility. By providing real-time monitoring of gas levels, worker location, and behavior in addition to other practices and technologies, these connected devices can help build a proactive, adaptable gas detection safety program.

Here are some of the benefits of these connected gas detection technologies:

Enhanced Worker Safety and Awareness

Connected gas detection devices can help an organization significantly improve worker safety by providing real-time monitoring of gas levels and worker location. For example, a lone worker in a confined space or in upstream or midstream operations may encounter hazardous levels of gases without the ability to respond or to notify others. With a connected gas detection wearable, safety managers can monitor the situation remotely and take immediate action if gas levels become or get close to becoming dangerous. This proactive approach to safety can help prevent accidents and foster a culture of safety within the organization.

Simplified Regulatory Compliance

Compliance with industry regulations is part of maintaining a safe work environment and avoiding costly fines. Connected gas detection devices can help to simplify regulatory compliance by automating processes and reducing the time spent on manual reporting and record-keeping tasks. In addition, by providing real-time and historical data on worker detector usage, safety managers can identify specific behaviors to correct, and more quickly and easily ensure that their workers are accountable and that their organization is adhering to regulatory standards.

Streamlined Fleet Management

Managing a fleet of gas detection devices can be complex and time-consuming. Connected gas detection devices can help simplify this process by providing safety managers with a centralized platform to manage their fleet. With cloud-based software solutions, safety managers can quickly and efficiently assign devices to individual workers, monitor calibration schedules, deploy over-the-air updates, and ensure that devices are properly maintained. This level of control can improve device reliability and help reduce the risk of accidents caused by malfunctioning equipment.

Improved Training and Education

Connected gas detection devices provide safety managers with a wealth of data that can inform safety training and education initiatives. By analyzing worker location and detector usage data, safety managers can begin to identify trends and areas where additional training may be necessary. This targeted approach to safety education can help ensure that workers have the knowledge and skills to operate safely in hazardous environments.

Connected Gas Detection Devices in Action

Not sure what implementing a connected safety program could look like for you organization? Take the case of Rimrock Energy, a natural gas processing facility in Colorado, for example. Rimrock faced challenges with their portable gas detectors, including durability, battery life, and maintenance issues. These issues increased costs and created concerns about the devices’ reliability and compliance.

Rimrock sought a new portable gas detection solution that would be durable, reliable, and capable of automated compliance and fleet management, as well as provide reliable digital data and enhanced situational awareness for lone workers. As a result, they chose the MSA ALTAIR io™ 4 Gas Detection Wearable and Grid cloud-based software as part of MSA’s Connected Work Platform.

This solution allowed them to support their gas detection program with reliable connected devices, easily track compliance, streamline fleet management, and enhance visibility and alarm awareness. As a result, Rimrock achieved an approximately 75% reduction in detector maintenance costs, nearly 100% standard operating procedure (SOP) accuracy with compliant detectors, streamlined compliance management and tracking, automated bump and calibration tests, and an enhanced lone worker program with better visibility.

The ALTAIR io 4 Gas Detection Wearable

Connected gas detection devices have ushered in a new era of workplace safety, helping deliver enhanced worker protection, streamline regulatory compliance, optimize fleet management, and bolster training and education initiatives. The ALTAIR io 4 device stands out as a robust and reliable solution that features seamless integration with MSA Grid cloud-based software, equipping safety managers and EHS professionals with invaluable insights and alerts.

What sets the ALTAIR io 4 apart is its built-in connectivity to Grid cloud-based software, eliminating the need for extra IT support or software services. This robust device boasts resilience to a 25-foot drop test, resistance to extreme temperatures, a dust and waterproof IP68 rating, and the cutting-edge performance of industry-leading XCELL® sensors.

Embracing connected gas detection devices is an excellent way to help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses while cultivating a safety culture within organizations. By harnessing the power of these tools, companies can better help safeguard employee well-being, adhere to industry regulations, and ultimately, lighten the load for EHS professionals.

Click here for a brief video demo showing how the ALTAIR io 4 can help you forge a safer work environment.

Prepare for Seasonal Heat Stress: The OSHA NEP and Tips for Employers

Heat stress is often a significant concern for workers in outdoor industrial environments, such as construction, working at height, and oil and gas, especially during the summer months. With temperatures rising, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented a National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Outdoor and Indoor Related Hazards, which has been effective since April 8, 2022.¹ The purpose of the NEP is to “ target high-risk industries and focus agency resources and staff time on heat inspections.”¹ Here is an overview of the OSHA NEP on heat stress and some tips to help reduce heat stress for industrial workers in outdoor environments.

OSHA NEP on Heat Stress

The OSHA NEP on heat stress is aimed at reducing the risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries in outdoor workers. The program emphasizes the importance of helping to prevent heat stress and provides guidance on how to implement effective heat illness prevention programs.

Under the NEP, OSHA compliance officers are expected to evaluate the heat-related hazards in the workplace, including the environmental conditions, job tasks, and personal protective equipment (PPE) used by workers. The NEP prioritizes heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80°F.² Employers are also encouraged to implement a heat illness prevention program that includes the following elements:

  • Written Plan: Develop and implement a written plan that outlines the procedures for preventing heat-related illnesses and injuries. The plan should include provisions for monitoring weather conditions, identifying high-risk tasks and employees, and providing appropriate training and PPE.
  • Training: Provide training to employees and supervisors on the signs and symptoms of heat stress, how to prevent it, and what to do if a worker shows symptoms. Training should also include information on the importance of hydration and the use of PPE.
  • Water, Rest, and Shade: Provide access to water, rest, and shade for workers who are at risk of heat stress. Workers should be encouraged to take breaks in shaded areas, and employers should provide cool water for drinking and cooling.
  • Acclimatization: Implement a program to gradually acclimate new and returning workers to hot weather conditions. This can include starting with shorter work shifts or reducing the physical demands of the job until workers are fully acclimatized.
  • Monitoring: Monitor workers for signs and symptoms of heat stress and provide medical treatment as necessary. Workers should also be encouraged to report any symptoms to their supervisor or a designated safety coordinator.
  • Buddy System: For new workers especially, employers are encouraged to implement a buddy system so that these workers are not alone in extreme heat conditions.

What to Expect During OSHA Heat-Related Inspections

OSHA Instructions include the below actions for compliance safety and health officers during heat-related inspection.³

  • Review OSHA 300 logs and 301 Incident Reports for any entries indicating heat-related illness(es).
  • Review any records of heat-related emergency room visits and/or ambulance transport, even if hospitalizations did not occur. (This may require the use of a Medical Access Order.)
  • Interview workers for symptoms of headache, dizziness, fainting, dehydration, or other conditions that may indicate heat-related illnesses, including both new employees and any employees who have recently returned to work.
  • Determine if the employer has a heat illness and injury program addressing heat exposure.
  • Document conditions relevant to heat-related hazards.
  • Identify activities relevant to heat-related hazards.

Tips to Help Reduce Heat Stress

In addition to implementing the OSHA NEP on heat stress, there are several tips that employers and workers can follow to help reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries in industrial work environments:

  • Wear Appropriate Clothing: Workers can wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that allows for ventilation and sweat evaporation. Clothing that is light-colored can also reflect sunlight and heat.
  • Use Cooling PPE: Employers can provide cooling PPE, such as cooling vests or bandanas, to help regulate body temperature in hot environments. Innovative cooling technologies, such as the ReflectIR™ Thermal Barrier technology featured in the MSA V-Gard C1™ Hard Hat can also help to reduce heat stress by keeping the inside of the hard hat up to 20°F cooler. The C1 also includes a moisture-wicking sweat band with breathable foam padding for additional comfort and sweat management.
  • Stay Hydrated: Workers can drink water frequently throughout the day, even if they do not feel thirsty. Employers can also provide electrolyte drinks or popsicles to help replace lost fluids and minerals.
  • Take Frequent Breaks: Workers can take frequent breaks in shaded areas or air-conditioned spaces – to help regulate body temperature and avoid heat stress.
  • Limit Sun Exposure: Workers can avoid direct sun exposure whenever possible and use sunscreen with a high SPF to protect their skin.

Heat stress is a significant concern for workers in outdoor industrial environments, but the implementation of the OSHA NEP on heat stress and the adoption of effective prevention programs, can help reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries.

Integrated Facilities Management: Solutions To Help Improve Compliance, Contractor Management, and Facility Safety

Facilities management (FM) plays a crucial role in helping ensure the smooth operation of commercial buildings and facilities. FM teams are usually responsible for hiring and managing various contractors to address repair and maintenance issues. However, this aspect of FM can come with certain requirements, such as complying with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations, and inherent risks, such as managing on-site contractors and potential facility hazards.

First and foremost, failing to comply with applicable OSHA standards can result in significant penalties, legal consequences, and reputational damage for your organization. Integrating compliance measures into facilities management practices can help mitigate risks and ensure a safe working environment for employees, contractors, and visitors.

OSHA Compliance

OSHA regulations cover a wide range of health and safety requirements, including but not limited to:¹

Hazard Communication

The intention of this standard is to help ensure that employers and employees know about the potential of hazardous chemicals at the worksite and the steps to take to protect themselves. FM teams are required to develop and implement a written Hazard Communication Program and comply with additional aspects of the standard.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Facilities managers must ensure that appropriate PPE is provided and used correctly by employees and contractors when conducting work on-site. This includes conducting regular assessments to identify PPE needs, providing training on proper usage, and monitoring compliance with PPE protocols.

Electrical Safety

Wiring deficiencies are one of the most-frequently cited hazards by OSHA. FM teams should conduct routine inspections of electrical systems, equipment, and wiring to identify any potential risks.

Fall Protection

Working at heights poses a significant risk in many facilities. FM teams must implement effective fall protection measures, such as guardrails, safety harnesses, and proper signage. Regular inspections of fall protection systems and ensuring that employees and contractors receive appropriate training on fall prevention can help support compliance.

Recordkeeping and Reporting

OSHA requires that many employers provide accurate and up-to-date recordkeeping of workplace injuries, illnesses, and incidents. Facilities managers should maintain detailed records of incidents, including near misses, and report them as required. Integrated FM platforms can streamline this process by providing a centralized system for incident reporting, tracking, and analysis.

Contractor Management

One of the major challenges often faced by FM teams when working with on-site contractors is compliance with corporate policies, and holding proper insurance and relevant credentials. Uninsured or uncredentialed contractors accessing company locations can pose a significant risk. To address this, FM teams can leverage integrated FM platforms that enable the real-time monitoring of contractors regarding relevant information, such as that contracts, insurance, and credentials are up to date.

Planning ahead for contractor PPE needs can help ensure you have enough supply of the right PPE for the job.

Health and Safety Risk

FM teams can have a vital role in preparing for and managing potential facility risks that could jeopardize employee, contractor, and customer safety. Establishing standardized procedures and systematically recording the actions taken can help mitigate longer-term risks.

Conducting safety inspections across locations is often a key part of a FM team’s function. To help ensure consistency and thoroughness, FM teams can employ trained safety professionals to conduct comprehensive site inspections with documentation identifying safety hazards and recommendations for PPE and processes to help reduce risk and improve compliance.

FM teams should be prepared to anticipate even the most unexpected on-site emergencies. This includes familiarizing contractors with emergency procedures and providing access to location maps, exit points, and evacuation routes.

Solutions for Integrated Facilities Management

Consolidating facility management efforts under a single, unified team can help drive efficiency, improve safety, and simplify compliance. When selecting a partner to help transform your FM efforts, consider both their safety expertise and ability to supply the PPE and safety products needed. MSA solutions range from consultative services to protection and detection equipment that can help support on-site contractor safety, facility safety, and OSHA compliance.

Solutions include:

  • On-Site Inspections and Hazard Assessments
    • MSA and our authorized Integrators and Partners can perform hazard assessments and recommend application specific solutions.
  • Latchways® Vertical Ladder Lifeline Kits
    • Allows for hands-free movement up and down the entire height of a fixed ladder, eliminating the need to disconnect and find new tie-off points while ascending or descending.
  • XTIRPA™ Confined Space Entry System
    • Provides vertical or horizontal entry into many common confined space applications such tanks, vessels, transformers, sewers & manholes. The system is lightweight, portable and easy to set up.
  • ALTAIR io™ 4 Gas Detection Wearable and Grid
    • Designed to be worn by individual workers, the ALTAIR io 4 device offers automatic cellular connectivity right out-of-the-box, to deliver real-time data including worker location and detector usage. With Grid, you get real-time visibility across your worksites—including workers and workflows—accessible from anywhere with an internet connection via desktop or mobile.
  • V-SERIES® Fall Harnesses
    • Provide superior comfort and increased flexibility, with a racing-style buckle and pull-down adjustment that helps workers get the right fit that lasts throughout the shift.

Integrated facilities management can help mitigate risks in three key areas: OSHA compliance, contractor management, and health and safety. By implementing standard procedures, sourcing appropriate PPE and safety equipment, and partnering with the right safety expert, organizations can help enhance their risk mitigation strategies and maintain a safe working environment.

OSHA’s New National Emphasis Program To Prevent Falls: What It Means Across Industries

On May 1, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) introduced a National Emphasis Program (NEP) focused on fall prevention. This program aims to “significantly reduce or eliminate unprotected worker exposures to fall-related hazards in all industries that can result in serious injuries and deaths.”¹

Expanding the Focus Beyond Construction

Unlike previous initiatives that primarily targeted the construction industry, the new NEP applies to all industries, recognizing that falls can occur in a variety of work settings. This expansion acknowledges that fall hazards are present in multiple industries and emphasizes the broader relevance of safety measures when working at heights.

The NEP targets the following non-construction activities:

  1. Roof top mechanical work/maintenance
  2. Utility line work/maintenance (electrical, cable)
  3. Arborist/tree trimming
  4. Holiday light installation
  5. Road sign maintenance/billboards
  6. Power washing buildings (not connected to painting)
  7. Gutter cleaning
  8. Chimney cleaning
  9. Window cleaning
  10. Communication Towers

The NEP also allows for inspections in other non-construction work activities where a worker is observed working at height.

Inspector Authority

Under the NEP, OSHA inspectors are authorized to initiate inspections based solely on the observation of someone working at heights, without the need for additional probable cause or a potential violation. This grants inspectors significant power and allows them to proactively identify and address fall hazards.

It is important to note that the NEP specifically states that “observations may occur during the CSHO’s normal work-day travel or while en route to, from, or during, other OSHA inspections. If a potential imminent danger condition exists, an inspection shall be initiated in accordance with the Field Operations Manual (FOM) Chapter 11 and document in the case file diary.”¹ The NEP indicates that “The CSHOs shall contact the Area Office to obtain supervisory authorization to begin an immediate inspection.”¹  In the event that the CSHO cannot reach the Area Office, he/she “shall initiate an immediate inspection provided the activity will not interfere with any higher priority inspections or assignments. In these cases, the CSHO will give highest priority to preventing further employee exposures where fall hazards were observed.”¹

OSHA Effort to Enhance Workplace Safety

In 2022, for the 12th year in a row, Fall Protection topped the list of OSHA’s most-frequently cited standards. And Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that approximately 13% of all fatal workplace injuries were associated with falls.² According to Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker, “This national emphasis program aligns all of OSHA’s fall protection resources to combat one of the most preventable and significant causes of workplace fatalities.”³

Promoting Compliance and Preventive Measures

The NEP states that it aims to promote compliance and encourage the implementation of proactive measures. For example, it says that OSHA inspectors will provide guidance and resources during inspections, offering employers the opportunity to improve their fall protection protocols and help ensure compliance with safety regulations.

Additionally, the NEP states that “Each Area Office and Regional Office must develop and implement a comprehensive fall prevention awareness outreach program for 90 days prior to initiating inspections under this NEP. Area Offices and Regions must continue at least quarterly outreach efforts after the initial 90-day outreach period has concluded.”¹

What You Can Do To Prepare

OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on falls signifies a significant shift in OSHA’s approach to workplace safety. To help make sure you are compliant with OSHA regulations and that your team is prepared with the proper understanding of PPE and industry requirements for working at height, MSA offers in-person and virtual fall protection training courses of various levels. Learn more about available training courses here.


[1] https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/directives/CPL_03-00-025.pdf
[2] https://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/construction-safety/fall-protection-construction/OSHA-launches-emphasis-program-for-falls/
[3] https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/punctuation/rules-for-using-single-quotation-marks.html

Confined Space I.Q. Quiz – Test Your Knowledge!

More than two million workers operate in confined spaces every year across a variety of industries.1 Confined space entry can be challenging, and often, can be dangerous.

Think you know everything about confined space entry and exit?

Take this quiz to test your confined space I.Q.!

Occupational Health & Safety 2023 Industrial Hygiene Awards: Two MSA Products and Services Recognized

Two MSA products and services were recognized in Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) magazine’s 3rd annual Industrial Hygiene Awards:

  • V-Gard C1™ Hard Hat – recognized in two categories
    • Heat/Cold Stress: Apparel
    • Heat/Cold Stress: Equipment
  • Training
    • Category: Education & Training

The awards honor outstanding product development achievements of health and safety manufacturers whose products or services are considered particularly noteworthy in their ability to improve industrial hygiene. This year’s contest attracted entries in 21 award categories, with an independent panel of highly qualified judges choosing the winners.

“As my first awards program with OH&S, it was gratifying and educational to learn about so many top-tier industrial hygiene products,” OH&S Executive Editor David Kopf said. “Thanks to every company that entered and many thanks to our anonymous panel of judges for sharing their expertise, experience and time in reviewing and scoring all our entries.”

To stay up to date with the latest industry trends, resources, and product news, subscribe to the Spotlight on Safety blog.

Case Study: How a Natural Gas Processing Facility Helped Increase Efficiency with a Connected Gas Detection Program

Implementing a connected gas detection program doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a transformation of your gas detection program, that in the long-term, can help simplify safety, curb risk, and boost productivity.

Rimrock Energy, part of the Rimrock Energy Partners, LLC, is a natural gas processing facility in Colorado. Rimrock recently implemented a connected gas detection program – and has experienced positive results.

The team at Rimrock identified some specific challenges with their portable gas detection program that were ultimately leading to growing costs and concern about detector reliability.

In addition, detector deployment and compliance were also a constant challenge, as the fielded devices did not offer convenient ways to understand basic usage and compliance—let alone provide assistance to Rimrock’s lone workers in real time.

To help address these issues, Rimrock implemented a connected safety program, utilizing MSA’s ALTAIR io™ 4 Gas Detection Wearable and Grid cloud-based software.

Initial results of Rimrock’s connected gas detection program include:

  • Reducing detector maintenance costs by approximately 75% with detector maintenance
  • Achieving nearly 100% SOP accuracy

Download the full case study below to learn more about how Rimrock partnered with MSA Safety to help optimize their gas detection program.

How to Help Improve Safety During Your Next Turnaround

Turnarounds are regular, planned breaks in production at a petrochemical plant or oil and gas refinery to repair, inspect, test, or upgrade equipment. They require additional staff, and every minute the plant or refinery is non-operational costs the company money, which can make turnarounds expensive. Anyone who has experienced a turnaround at a plant or refinery knows the impact they can have on operations, employees, and safety.

Due to the monetary cost, high pressure, temporary workers, and additional safety risks, many companies take additional precautions during turnarounds at plants and refineries. This article will discuss some safety risks, focus areas, and available PPE to help keep workers safe while conducting this maintenance, so you can get your facility back up and running.

Some significant safety risks associated with turnarounds.

Turnarounds can last a few weeks, a few months, or in some cases, a major turnaround can last for a few years. The time required for a turnaround – and any issues resulting from inspections conducted during a turnaround – can impact revenue and overall project timelines; which often makes turnarounds fast-paced and high-pressure.

Here are a few significant turnaround risks:

New and temporary workers.

Turnarounds are big, complex jobs that often need to be completed in a tight window of time, and the workforce of a plant or refinery may balloon to accommodate the extra work. These new workers may not always start out being familiar with the hazards of the work area or the safety rules of the company.

Non-routine work.

Major turnarounds typically occur every few years, which means your workforce may be inexperienced or rusty regarding best safety practices and effective planning for specific non-routine work.

Longer working hours.

Due to the desire to get the plant or refinery back to regular operations as soon as possible, work shifts may be longer and more frequent for each worker.

Three focus areas that can help keep your workforce safe during your next turnaround.

Maintaining open communication.

Maintaining consistent communication with full-time workers and the large influx of temporary workers, including clear communication of safety standards and expectations, can help prevent workplace accidents. Pairing new workers with experienced workers, for example, is an excellent way to show them the ropes and help make the communication process more effective.


You already ensure that your existing full-time employees are trained and familiar with the hazards and best practices of your plant or refinery.  Providing your temporary workers with the same level of care and consideration for the work they will be doing, such as site orientations, PPE and equipment training, and safety expectations, can also help prevent workplace accidents. For example, Certified Training Course options available either online or in-person to help prepare workers of all levels for a turnaround.

Personal Protective Equipment.

The nature of turnarounds means that workforces can grow by hundreds or maybe thousands of workers for jobs, including jobs that are not routinely performed, that may only last for a few weeks. As a result, many plants and facilities may not have enough supply of the proper PPE available to accommodate these workers. Consider planning ahead to have adequate supplies of the right PPE on site and ready to use at the start of your turnaround.

What PPE could you need during a turnaround?

Here are some important pieces of safety equipment to consider for your next turnaround.

Fall Protection

Turnarounds can present fall hazards for workers.  Here are some options for selecting the proper fall protection for each unique application.

Latchways® Vertical Ladder Lifeline Kits provide hands-free movement on a fixed ladder and eliminate the need and risk of disconnecting and reconnecting during ladder ascent and descent.

V-SHOCK® SRLs help make SRL selection quick and easy, with distinct housing colors for leading edge vs. non-leading edge.

V-SERIES® Harnesses provide superior comfort and increased flexibility, with a racing-style buckle and pull-down adjustment that helps workers get the right fit that lasts throughout the shift.

Tool Tethers help prevent dropped objects, which can be especially helpful if the site has additional workers working at increased speed during a turnaround.

Head Protection

You may need additional head protection solutions for your workers.

Topgard Full Brim Hard Hats provide protection in high-temperature environments and wherever dielectric protection is needed.

V-Gard Cap Style Hard Hats provide top impact protection as Type 1 hard hats, while maintaining comfort and durability.

Gas Detection and Respiratory Protection

Opening up certain equipment in plants or refineries during turnarounds can release or create a risk of releasing explosive or toxic gasses. In addition to training, the right gas detection and respiratory protection can help protect your workers.

ALTAIR io™ 4 Gas Detection Wearable offers automatic cellular connectivity right out-of-the-box, to deliver real-time visibility to help drive safety and productivity.

G1 Industrial SCBA supports diverse respiratory protection needs, with a facepiece that allows for APR use with a variety of cartridge options and remote cylinder connection.

Visit msasafety.com to find the right PPE for your turnaround needs.