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DynaGrace Enterprises adds TOSIBOX® Products to GSA MAS Schedule

DynaGrace Enterprises adds TOSIBOX® Products to GSA MAS Schedule

DynaGrace Enterprises, a Data Science, Emerging Technology, and IIoT Automation WOSB Firm, has partnered with Industrial Automation powerhouse TOSIBOX® to add their line of products to the GSA Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). The IIoT products give federal government buyers easy access to advanced technology solutions.

“Our GSA MAS federal government contracting vehicle enables us to reach more facility managers as well as those agencies focused on remote maintenance, access control, and data collection with trusted and secure devices. By getting involved in development projects, keeping the government infrastructure safe, and developing automation solutions, we enhance the government’s infrastructure keeping our nation strong.” Says Linda Rawson, President, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises.

Patented TOSIBOX® OT Networking Platform

TOSIBOX®, with its patented OT Networking platforms, is an ideal solution for anyone looking to connect devices for remote maintenance, access control, data collection, or any Industry 4.0 (IoT) initiative. TOSIBOX® uses the latest IT technologies, including 256-bit AES encryption, RSA Matching, physical-first Multi-Factor Authentication, and secure boot, all wrapped in a fully automated platform.

TOSIBOX® Lock 500

TOSIBOX® Lock 500

When organizations are looking to find operational efficiencies by digitizing processes and systems, previous networking choices have proven to be complicated and expensive. In addition, lacked a built-in security profile that ensures a consistent and safe digitization strategy.

With TOSIBOX®, the inventors of Operational Networking (OT Networks), organizations can connect devices, buildings, infrastructure, SCADA, CCTV, and anything else in the organizational digitization strategy. The cost-effective integration utilizes TOSIBOX® automation and creates private OT Infrastructure leveraging the internet and remaining separate from traditional public internet tools like Static IPs, and DNS server farms. TOSIBOX® is especially helpful with secure organizations using highly encrypted VPN connections.

With TOSIBOX®’s built-in cybersecurity and frictionless IT/OT connection method, organizations can connect operations across town or the globe, without having to invest in new IT infrastructure. Now you can connect what you want to connect without having a team of IT Experts to engage devices for decision support, remote maintenance, or any other Industry 4.0 initiative. In a world with tightening resources, IT professionals can stay focused on the mission and leave the day-to-day OT networking to TOSIBOX®.

Partnering Makes Sense

“By partnering with the team at DynaGrace Enterprises, we will go beyond the commercial space and bring a cost-effective and secure OT platform to US Government agencies. Growing a global brand requires two things in my mind: Great tech and Great Partnerships.” says William Behn, President of TOSIBOX®, Inc., ”DynaGrace Enterprises has a proven track record bringing technology and services to government agencies, and we are proud to be in partnership with this women-owned business to accelerate the choices government agencies have.”

DynaGrace Enterprises and TOSIBOX® are laser-focused on the modernization of older facilities, driving organizational efficiencies through secure digitization, raising technical and cybersecurity standards, and drive massive energy and operational efficiencies to facility managers across the DoD.

Customers can learn more about DynaGrace Enterprises by visiting DynaGrace.com or calling the company directly at 888-676-0058. DynaGrace Enterprises is a Data Science, Emerging Technology, and IIoT Automation Firm located in Utah.

Marijuana and Workplace Safety

Marijuana and Workplace Safety

For some situations, like office work, the primary safety hazard might be a paper cut.  In industrial professions, employee safety is at risk every day.  Because of legalization of marijuana, industrial accidents could occur more often because marijuana can impair an employee’s coordination and motor skills.

Where is Marijuana Legal Right Now

Despite many states legalizing cannabis in the United States, marijuana remains an illegal drug according to the federal government.  The government classifies cannabis or marijuana as a Schedule I drug.  Schedule I drugs, under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), are those drugs that possess a high potential for abuse and for which there is no currently accepted medical use. The DEA reviewed its classification of marijuana in 2016, and affirmatively chose to keep marijuana on the list Schedule I drugs.

A nice map from DISA Global Solutions shows the marijuana legality by state with links to the state law.

Map of Marijuana by State

Map of Marijuana by State

How is Marijuana Use Impacting Safety on the Job?

People try marijuana to get “high.”  The psychoactive ingredient,  tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana stimulates the brain to produce dopamine which relaxes the body.  According to an article by WebMD, How Marijuana Affects Your Mind and Body, affects sensory perception (brighter colors, louder sounds), reaction time, motor skills, and increase risky behavior.  For an employee working in an industrial environment, operating machinery, or driving industrial equipment, these effects can be deadly.

According to a study, How does marijuana use affect school, work, and social life?, by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 55 percent more workplace accidents, 85 percent more injuries at work, and 75 percent more absenteeism when an employee tested positive for cannabis.

The Employer Usually Wins a Lawsuit

As a result of cannabis use, an employee’s job is terminated.  When this happens states typically side with the employer even if the employee has a medical marijuana card.  However, marijuana is still Schedule I drug which is illegal according to federal law. Federal law supersedes state law.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act sides with the employer when it comes to medical marijuana use
  • If an industrial accident occurs and a worker is injured, worker compensation is not provided if an employee was under the influence
  • Most health insurance programs do not cover medical cannabis as part of their list of prescription drugs

What Makes a Good Drug Policy?

An interesting study on the impact of Drug-Testing programs by the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) shows the effective use of pre-employment drug testing concludes it is useful to employers choosing job applicants.  An employer drug policy should include:

  • Management training to ensure enforcement the drug policy
  • Employee support options including company assistance or local resources
  • Clearly defined use and possession guidelines
  • Criteria for post-accident analysis
  • Rules employee’s conviction or arrest for drugs

Legal authorities review drug policies and workplace procedures to ensure reduction of litigation by employee.  Policies may change based on state or even federal law and could change frequently.  The drug policy should have a date and acknowledgment by the employee.  By having this information, litigation against the employer is protected.

Cannabis

Cannabis picture by pixabay

The health and safety of your workforce depend upon you to keep them safe.

Linda Rawson, is the Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, inventor of WeatherEgg, and the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Top 10 Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

Top 10 Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

Household plants can improve indoor air quality.  People lined their windowsills in growing numbers with greenery after NASA published a series of research dating back to the early 1980s, saying that indoor plants could purify the air. Sadly, a little wishful thinking seems to have been going on back then.

Researchers now claim that you would need 680 plants in a 1,500-square-foot home for the leaves to fight toxins. Indoor plants have other health and air boosting benefits that you don’t need to build a jungle wall-to-wall to enjoy.

Even a small quantity of foliage could improve the quality of indoor air.

Because Americans spend most of their time indoors, a top priority should be good air quality. So why not add to your living room a few easy-care plants?

The following 10 plants help remove pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and carbon monoxide.

English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

English Ivy

English Ivy Photo Credit Costa Farms

The classic, elegant, English ivy is lovely as a ground cover or as a house plant, which is ideal for removing dangerous chemicals from the house. It can grow in complete shade to full sun, it can be formed, and it will likely survive several years with the proper care.

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)

Bamboo Palm

Bamboo Palm Photo Credit Stevens Plant Care

Because of its preference for the proportion of sun and shade, the bamboo tree or red palm produces a large house plantation, which also helps remove harmful components such as benzene and formaldehyde.  Palm trees thrive away from cold drafts in pleasant amounts of light. They can bring plenty of greenery to your space and reach 12 meters high but are growing slowly. Keep your bamboo palm in a larger container at least three years before re-potting.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Modestum)

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen Photo Credit Linda’s Flowers

The Chinese evergreen is a healthy plant with low to medium-light conditions. It usually reaches 1 or 2 feet. While it helps keep the Chinese evergreen atmosphere safe, it is essential to remember that an irritant is present in the Chinese evergreen that can be poisonous to animals.

Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii)

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisy Photo Credit Cascade Floral Wholesale

This famous annual is helpful when placed indoors to remove the gasoline and to improve the mood of the house. Be aware, however, that Gerbera daisy is best in warm temperatures at or above 75 degrees F.

Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata)

Dragon Tree

Dragon Tree Photo Credit The Tree Center

A beautiful office plant, the Dragon Tree would be a great complement both indoors and outdoors with a green to purple leaf color. It would also fit in perfectly in the office because it can withstand low light.  The Dragon tree is among the best for removing trichloroethylene and xylene from indoor air.

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (SansevieriaTrifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

Mother-in-Law Tongue

Mother-in-Law Tongue Photo Credit Hirt’s Garden

A sturdy and succulent mother-in-law tongue is a good home plan for beginners and is capable of surviving under certain harshest conditions, including a broad range of light and temperatures. Be cautious, however, not to over water or not to water at all.

Mum (Chrysanthemum Morifolium)

Mum

Mum Photo Credit NC Cooperative Extension

Not just for memorials, Mums have lovely flowers, which are accessible and inexpensive in garden shops in the spring. These perennials are also suitable for interaction with plants because they sometimes take a deadhead (the pinch of spent flowers).  Display it in a cool place under the sun for 10 hours. These plants are toxic to animals if consumed, so keep it out of reach. You can plant it outside in spring when the risk of frost goes away.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)

Peace Lily

Peace Lily Photo Credit Mark and Spencer

One of the best plants to combat poisonous substances is the Peace lily.  Known for their ability to battle formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, are relatively simple plants that handle and even show indications of dropping when need to be watered. This plant may be slightly poisonous to animals and people, so after touching the plant, it is essential to clean your hands.

Spider Plant (ChlorophytumComosum ‘Vittatum’)

Spider Plant

Spider Plant Photo Credit Gardening Know How

The spider plant is one of the simplest air-purifying indoor plants for beginners or forgetful owners to grow. Spider plants fans of light, indirect sunlight shoot with flowers that ultimately develop into baby spider plants.  The child plants can be placed in their pot while still connected to their mother plant. Then once they are rooted, you snip them off. Please give the plant to your friends, or increase your collection of plant life.

Dracaena (Fragrans ‘Massangeana’)

Dracaena

Dracaena Photo Credit Jordan’s Jungle

A common species, Dracaena is known for their beautiful foliage, which varies from green to yellow and has proven to prevent formaldehyde. It looks fantastic in the shape of tree but can also be cultivated as shrubs.

Whatever your choice of house plant is one of these plants will help indoor air quality.

Linda Rawson, is the Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, inventor of WeatherEgg, and the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

What is a Fit Test?

What is a Fit Test?

If you are working in nursing, manufacturing, construction, or other industries that are commonly affected by airborne hazards, the respirator fit test is probably not a new term to you.

Generally speaking, a respirator fit test is a test that will show whether a person can wear a tight-fitting respirator without leakage. The test must be conducted using precisely the same respirator, which should be worn by the worker, and when the worker needs to wear glasses or another protection when wearing the respirator, he or she also needs to wear them during the test.

Respirators are classified as either loose-fitting or tight-fitting. Since respirators cannot protect you if they do not fit tightly, the respirator has a tougher standard. OSHA requires respirator-fit testing only on tight-fitting respirators, and those respirators that do not depend on a tight seal around the face of a person do not undergo testing.

You know what a respirator is but do you know which your staff is going to need?

Qualitative V.S. Quantitative Respirator Fit Test

There are two significant types of respirator fit tests. It is either qualitative or quantitative respirator fit test. Here are the distinctions between the two respirator fit test.

Qualitative Respirator Fit Test

Qualitative Fit Test

A professional conducting a Qualitative Fit Test Photo Credit 3M

Qualitative fit testing is a pass / fail test technique that utilizes your sense of smell or taste or your response to an irritant to identify leakage in the face piece of the respirator. The real amount of leakage is not measured by qualitative fit testing. Whether the respirator performs or fails, the experiment is based on identifying your face piece leakage of the sample material. OSHA accepts four methods of qualitative fit testing:

  • Bitrex, which leaves a bitter taste in your mouth;
  • Irritant smoke, which can cause coughing;
  • Isoamyl acetate, which smells like bananas; and
  • Saccharin, which leaves a sweet taste in your mouth.

Half-mask respirators are usually used for qualitative fit testing-those that cover your mouth and nose. Half-mask respirators, as well as elastomeric respirators, can filter face piece respirators-often called “N95s.”

Quantitative Respirator Fit Test

To identify leakage, quantitative fit screening utilizes a device to assess the real quantity of leakage in the face piece and does not depend on your sense of taste, smell, or irritation. During this sort of fit test, the respirators used will have a probe attached to the face piece that will be connected by a hose to the device. OSHA accepts three quantitative fit testing techniques:

Quantitative Respirator Fit Test

Quantitative Respirator Fit Test Photo Credit Levitt Safety

  • Ambient aerosol
  • Controlled Negative Pressure
  • Generated aerosol

Quantitative fit testing is used for tight-fitting respirators.

Many employees need to wear prescription glasses or personal protective equipment, like safety goggles or earmuffs, while doing a job. If you fit into this category, then during the respirator fit test you must wear these items.  Wearing these items during testing ensures they do not interfere with the fit of the respirator.

Before using a respirator in the workplace, the fit of your respirator must be tested and retested annually to ensure that the respirator you are using still fits you. The testing utilizes the particular make, model, style, and respirator size you’re going to use.

While it may be easy to lose track of respirator fit tests, it is an essential element in compliance with OSHA. Furthermore, the respirator fit test is a vital instrument to keep your staff secure and healthy from environmental hazards. The OSHA page is an excellent tool if you want to learn more about the specifics of respirator fit testing.

References:

https://www.osha.gov/video/respiratory_protection/fittesting_transcript.html

Linda Rawson, is the Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, inventor of WeatherEgg, and the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

DynaGrace Enterprises Adds Respirator Fit Test Product to GSA Schedule 66

DynaGrace Enterprises Adds Respirator Fit Test Product to GSA Schedule 66

DynaGrace Enterprises, a WOSB, professional services company has added another quality line of products, Respirator Fit Test products, to the GSA Schedule 66 – Scientific Equipment and Services Schedule Contract. DynaGrace Enterprises is the first women-owned firm in Utah to be a vendor on that prestigious GSA schedule.

This federal government contracting vehicle enables us to reach more occupational health and safety managers as well as those agencies concerned with worker safety, regulation, and compliance,” stated Linda Rawson, President, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises.  “Our newest vendor, Accutec-IHS, increases our ability to provide products that keep workers safe.

Accutec-IHS, with their AccuFIT9000™ Quantitative Respirator Fit Tester, is ready to be the smart choice for Quantitative Respirator Fit Tests.

The AccuFIT9000™ is an ideal solution for the industrial, pharmaceutical, first responder, and mining respirator users who are looking for one product that can address all their fit testing needs affordably. The newly developed high-efficiency CNC device, the AccuFIT9000™ uses the OSHA protocol as outlined in 29 CFR 1910.134, Respiratory Protection Programs.

A quantitative fit test measures the “goodness” of the respirator-to-face seal of the person being tested. In the case of the AccuFIT9000™ the challenge agent is naturally-occurring ultrafine particulates. The AccuFIT9000™ measures the concentration of the particulates in the ambient atmosphere and the breathing zone of the respirator.  The measurement is done while the test subject is performing a series of exercises as described in 29 CFR 1910.134.  The “Fit Factor” is then calculated which is a ratio of these two values.

Since the test results do not depend on the ability of the test subject to taste, smell, or sense an irritation caused by an artificially-introduced challenge agent, the test itself is entirely objective. The test provides a defensible analysis including metrics.  The administrator of the Respiratory Protection Program is able to maintain a log of employees and fit test results.

Linda Rawson passionately says, “If you are working in a toxic or hazardous atmosphere where a respirator is required, and if the respirator doesn’t fit, you will breathe in toxins.  It is that simple.  Let’s face it.  We want to keep workers healthy for years to come.  We are deeply concerned about the air quality of the nation. We are concerned with the air people breathe both at work and in their daily lives and want to make sure the employee is as safe as possible.”

The press release is located here: DynaGrace Enterprises Adds Respirator Fit Test Product to GSA Schedule 66

Customers can learn more about DynaGrace Enterprises by visiting the company’s website at DynaGrace.com or by calling the company directly at 888-676-0058.

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