Wake Forest, North Carolina, Oct 27th, 2014 – 9 years, 3 months, and 10 days later its over. — Insite Solutions announced today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a Nov. 20, 2013 decision by the US District Court of the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division.
The court affirmed that Insite Solution’s Superior Mark and Last Mark’s floor tape’s do not infringe upon ShieldMark’s patents #8008480 and # 8343292.
I am excited that this chapter of the patent battle is over but appalled at the fact that the loser doesn’t have to pay. There needs to be reform in patent litigation which would halt companies like Shieldmark from bringing frivolous lawsuits hoping to scare and intimidate competitors. There is a big cost both financially and mentally, combined with a drain on time and resources that are associated with a fight. Right wrong or indifferent, many times the aggressors are successful. It’s a real problem and law reform would eliminate or at minimum make one contemplate filing suits said Cliff Lowe , owner of Insite Solutions, LLC.
The Ohio District court did grant InSite’s motion for cost and taxed Shieldmark but the court denied InSite’s motion for partial attorney fees. Without attorney fees, it doesn’t come anywhere close to covering the true cost of a battle that started with a cease and desist letter in July 5th 2005. A fight lasting 9 years, 3months, and 10 days – causes most people to quit and that’s the real problem.
In 2013, the district court heard arguments on the parties’ respective pleadings and held a hearing on a motion for summary judgment. The Ohio court granted Insite Solutions summary judgment and found that InSite’s Superior Mark and Last Mark’s floor marking tapes did not infringe on Shieldmark’s patents. Shieldmark disagreed with the courts decision and appealed to the Federal court of appeals in Washington Dc.
After hearing oral arguments on October 8th, 2014, the Federal Circuit Court Of Appeals entered an order October 14th, 2014 (4 days after the hearing), affirming the 2013 decision. The panel of 3 judges heard oral arguments for over 45minutes and then chose not to enter a written opinion pursuant to Rule 36, which is a court rule that allows the panel to decide without opinion when the lower court’s decision is without an error of law, and/or the record supports the judgment entered.
About Insite Solutions
Holder of an A rating by the Better Business Bureau, Insite was incorporated in April 2001 in Rocky Mount, NC. Currently located in Wake Forest, NC, Insite manufactures and distributes a wide variety of innovative industrial safety products. Insite focuses on developing the most effective solutions to industrial floor marking and traffic control challenges, for both indoor and outdoor applications. Insite has quickly grown into an industry leader in the industrial safety and traffic
My name is Lara Hill, and I am the Marketing Director for InSite Solutions / Stop-painting.com. That’s my thumb in the picture below. Any guesses as to why I took a picture of my thumb to post as the subject of a blog post?
It’s not to show my “thumbs up” approval of Stop-painting.com. And as much as I would like to brag, I am not showing off my new glittery gold manicure, that I did all by myself. The theme of this blog actually ties into the most important underlying theme of our company, which is “why it makes sense to stop painting”.
But bear with me while I tie in my thumb selfie.
Over the weekend, I decided to try an alternative to nail polish. I found some peel and stick strips that were advertised to “last up to ten days”. I was waiting for my son to finish soccer practice, and looking for a way to entertain my daughter and myself for another hour. So I bought a box for each of us.
I typically don’t paint my fingernails because the paint doesn’t stay looking perfect for more than a day or two. By day three, the paint from even the best professional manicure starts chipping away, leaving nails that look worse than if they were unpainted. Even if I do want my nails to enjoy a day or two of color, the painting process is so tedious. I have to have good ventilation, I have to apply multiple coats, and my hands are rendered useless until my nails are completely dry. Even when the paint looks and seems dry, sometimes it hasn’t fully cured, and I end up with scratches and smudges that look like a 4 year old painted them.
So, I decide to try these new “polish strips”. For those of you wondering, I got them at Walgreens for about $5. But the price point is not, well, the point at all.
I should have known better than to leave my 9 year old daughter unsupervised with a new pack of nail decorations. I found her later, and was worried my $5 was wasted by her futile attempts at proper application. I was wrong. She came over smiling, to show me her new pink sparkly nails. She had put hers on all by herself, and they looked great. I was amazed. I asked her, “Did you read the instructions?” “Yea, I did, after I was finished putting them on.” (Any mother of a young girl should appreciate this. We have been through many painful episodes involving screaming and nail polish stains.)
I put on my nail polish strips and they looked better than expected. I thought, “Ok, this is cool for now, but how long will this hold up to my daily routine?” Sometimes my life seems like an alternating pattern of typing and dishwashing. Hence my lack of enthusiasm to shell out $30 for a professional manicure. Just not worth the time, money, and effort for a few days of fresh paint.
So, a week has passed and here I am taking photos of my nails and blogging about them. Nine out of ten of my nails still look good. Not perfect, mind you, but much better than nail polish would have looked at this point. One of the strips did partially peel off my left pinky nail. But all I had to do to fix it was pull off the old strip, and peel and stick down a new strip. I didn’t have to bother with acetone and cotton balls, I didn’t have to wait for a couple coats of new paint to dry. In fact, I fixed it while laying on the couch.
If I want to paint my nails, I have to have all the right conditions in place: a well ventilated room (or nice weather to go outside), plus enough time to complete the whole process, including dry time. I have to have a window of time where I can afford the luxury of not using my hands at all. Can’t cook, clean, work, or even eat. And then, a couple days later when they need to be touched up, I have to line up all those conditions again.
As a busy working mom, I appreciated a system that allowed me to do my nails any time, any place. I wanted to be able to do my nails in those random pockets of downtime that unexpectedly present themselves, like when ballet rehearsal runs over, or I’m stuck in the carpool lane.
And then it hit me how similar this whole thing was to the value proposition of a product that, in my working life, I have been working hard to promote for years: Superior Mark floor tape. At work, we are always striving to communicate these exact points to our prospective customers, who need a way to mark the floors of busy industrial facilities. Painting lines on the floor takes a really long time, and it requires a lot of coordination between various people/departments. The area has to be closed to traffic, production has to shut down, and not just for the painting part. Preparing the floor for the paint requires surface preparation methods like shot blasting, grinding, or acid etching.
Then, after the paint finally dries, and the daily routine starts back up, there is inevitable maintenance. It won’t stay looking perfect for long. But it becomes about the percentage that needs to be redone, and how convenient it is to do that. I was so satisfied with the polish strips because, after a week, only 10% needed replacement. That’s what we try to explain to our customers. The reality is that in industrial facilities, there is heavy traffic that can, at times, damage sections of the tape. But if it’s only 10% that gets damaged, and you can fix it in minutes without having to coordinate anything with anyone, doesn’t the convenience of the process make the decision to stop painting an easy one?
It’s all about convenience. Our customers often have last minute notice on audits, safety inspections, and important visitors. They want their floor markings to look great, but the process of getting to that point has to be convenient. Quick, easy, dummy proof even. A nine year old should be able to do it unsupervised without reading the instructions.
How To Label Chemicals When Migrating Them To Secondary Containers (And Stay Complaint With OSHA’s New GHS Rules)
We are excited to publish this excellent guest blog post written by one of our local MESH Risk Management Consultants, Chris Palmisano. Chris is going to walk us through how to comply with OSHA’s new GHS rules when labeling chemicals stored in secondary containers. Find out a quick tip on avoiding one of the most commonly cited OSHA violations by ready Chris’s straightforward guidance.
This article focuses on educating employers and Safety Managers on the challenges associated with the new Global Harmonization System or (GHS) for classifying chemicals and provides simple solutions for compliance. Compliance is easy when you understand these new changes and how they specifically effect your company and your employees.
OSHA announced that in 2013 Hazcom (Hazard Communication) 1910.1200 violations were the second most frequently cited standard of the top 10 violations in workplace compliance inspections.* OSHA publishes their Top 10 list annually to inform employers about commonly cited standards, so they can take steps to comply, identify hazards, protect employees and ultimately avoid citations.
Besides training employees on the new GHS (Global Harmonization System) labeling elements, new pictograms, and the new SDS (Safety Data Sheet) format, there are more important challenges to compliance such as workplace labeling that many employers and Safety Managers may not even realize.
The best way to explain how Employers comply with the new GHS rules is to first break things down into two categories:
- Employer Responsibilities
- Manufacturer/Distributor Responsibilities
If we look at the figure below published by OSHA, it describes the responsibilities of both parties and the dates each must comply with certain changes and/or implementation of GHS programs.
This article focuses on employer responsibilities, so let’s start with the December 1, 2013 requirement for employee training. Employers were required to train all of their employees on the new GHS labeling elements, pictograms and newly designed SDS format by December 1, 2013.
The new manufacturer GHS label for chemical containers must have six elements. Employers are required to train Employees on these new elements and the new GHS pictograms:
- Product Identified (Name of the Chemical)
- Signal words (Danger or Warning or None, depending on the Hazards of the Chemical)
- Pictograms (Nine different pictures that Display Specific Hazards)
- Hazard Statements (Physical, Health or Environment Hazards)
- Precautionary Statements (General, Prevention, Response, Storage & Disposal)
- Company Information (Manufacturer and/ or Distributor Information)
The Six GHS Label Elements:
New SDS Format:
The new SDS has 16 sections, listed below. Employers must train employees on the new SDS format. What should also be important to employers and Safety Managers is the name change. OSHA officially changed the name of the MSDS to SDS. It turns out that this name change gives them an edge during an inspection. As a former OSHA Compliance Officer, I can tell you that one of the things we always looked for was a prominently displayed MSDS book in the workplace.
Today, if a Compliance Officer sees your old MSDS book proudly displayed in the workplace, they know to ask questions about your Hazcom/GHS training programs. Chances are that you are likely a good candidate for Hazcom/GHS citations. However if they see an “SDS” book displayed in your workplace, they immediately know that you are likely up to speed on the new GHS regulations. So a single name change and changing your cover on your old MSDS book to SDS could help in avoiding Hazcom citations.
The 16 sections of the New SDS:
1. Identification of the substance or mixture and of the supplier
2. Hazards identification
3. Composition/information on ingredients
4. First-aid measures
5. Fire-fighting measures
6. Accidental release measures
7. Handling and storage
8. Exposure controls/personal protection
9. Physical and chemical properties
10. Stability and reactivity
11. Toxicological information
12. Ecological information (non-mandatory)
13. Disposal considerations (non-mandatory)
14. Transport information (non-mandatory)
15. Regulatory information (non-mandatory)
16. Other information, including date of preparation or last revision
Workplace Labeling: THE BIGGER PROBLEM!
So, as you can see training Employees to meet the December 1st 2013 requirement is relatively easy for employers and Safety Managers because you only have to teach your employees about the new GHS label and the new SDS. That said, the June 1st 2016 requirement for employers to have a workplace labeling system for secondary containers is a much more challenging task.
Here’s why it’s difficult. We are all familiar with the old HMIS (Hazardous Material Identification System) to label workplace containers. We use it whenever we migrate a chemical from its parent container to a secondary workplace container as shown below.
The problem is that the HMIS number coding system is NOT concurrent with the new GHS Hazard Classification number codes. The two are in fact reversed. If you already have a hard time getting Employees to label secondary containers, you now have an even bigger problem. Employees will have a difficult time finding HMIS numbers on an SDS and they may confuse these numbers with the GHS Hazard Classification numbers. See the figure below that shows the reversed order of the two systems.
OSHA has stated that Employers can use any system they wish for workplace labeling as long as it conveys the hazards of the chemical. Employers must understand that GHS is a Globally Harmonized System for classifying chemicals internationally for trade. The unfortunate truth is that other countries do not use our HMIS system and HMIS ratings for chemicals are not a requirement in any of the 16 sections of the SDS. Employers need to actually consider discarding the old HMIS rating codes and come with a workplace labeling system that is concurrent with GHS label elements. OSHA says that you have until June 1st 2016 to develop a workplace labeling system.
A more appropriate workplace label would convey the elements of the GHS labeled parent container, as shown below. Holding on to an antiquated HMIS system is a recipe for potential disaster and certain to be a great way to get someone hurt or receive an OSHA Hazcom citation. Employees will rather not label a secondary container than try to figure out the appropriate hazard class numbers.
A workplace label as shown below is a much more efficient and safer way to label secondary workplace containers. Employees need only look at the elements of the GHS labeled parent container and they have enough information to properly label the workplace container.
OSHA is determined to cite employers that do not comply with the new Hazcom Standards and GHS. This is evident by Hazcom Violations being the second most commonly written citation by OSHA nationally.
Training employees on the new six elements of a GHS label, pictograms and the new 16 section SDS format is easy and should have already been completed in December 2013. If you haven’t trained your employees you are already in violation of the new Hazcom standards.
The greater challenge for employers is having a workplace labeling system in place by June 1st of 2016. The old HMIS system is just that, old and out dated. Globally, HMIS is not a requirement on an SDS and serves only to confuse employees, causing them to take the easy ways out. Your workplace labeling system must be easy to use and must convey need to know hazard information that is globally acknowledged to keep employees safe. For more information on GHS and workplace labeling go to:
*United States Dept. of Labor Website: Osha.gov/Top_Ten_Standards.html (2013, October 25). Retrieved September 29, 2014.
We have opened our booth at the IMTS Tradeshow in Chicago. We will be here all week to talk with the attendees about the best floor marking solutions for their facilities. We are excited to introduce some of our new products, the Superior Mark Glow and the Custom Printed Superior Mark Tapes.
This is really an amazing tradeshow, drawing companies from all over the world to showcase the latest and greatest in manufacturing technology. One of the questions most frequently asked is, “Will it hold up to forklift traffic?”
While nothing is indestructable, we believe our beveled edge design makes our tape the most durable on the market. But there will always be things that can damage it, like when a forklift is pushing a pallet that has a nail sticking out from the bottom. Nothing could withstand that. But our tape is easy to maintain if a small section becomes damaged, you can remove it in one piece.
We are looking forward to connecting to customers old and new this week. Visit us in Chicago at McCormick Center in the East Building at Booth E-5851.
We are thrilled to announce our newly designed Superior Mark Glow in the Dark Floor Tape. When the light is removed from the environment, the tape glows to show safe areas and evacuation routes while performing to the high standard of our original Superior Mark Floor Tape. Rather than appearing the familiar off-white color, Glow in the Dark Superior Mark is the first marking material that can be any color in the light and will glow when it is dark. This is revolutionary for facilities that require multiple colors for color coding systems. They can comply with the color coding requirements while also maintaining safety standards in case of power outages or emergencies. Used along with glow in the dark exit signs, safe evacuation routes can be clearly marked. Our Superior Mark Glow in the Dark Floor Tape can be produced in many different colors and is applied just like the original Superior Mark Floor Tape.
Evacuation routes and safety markings are only as good as their visibility and we strive to create products that make safer environments. In recent years, much focus has been placed on the safety and accessibility of facilities. New York City, following 9/11, has established new building codes requiring stairwells and the surrounding areas to be marked with a photoluminescent material that will emit light despite a lack of power or failure of a backup system. In any facility, employee safety is a non-negotiable priority. Conditions in a warehouse or factory are often dangerous without proper lighting and it is important that steps are taken to ensure that all employees are safe.
We are excited about this new product that will help keep your employees safe in any environment. Please visit our website or call 919-569-6765 for complete product information.
Anti-slip tapes and floor treatments are incredibly useful in reducing the risks of slips and injuries in the workplace. They keep individuals safe and reduce the risk of lawsuits and workers compensation settlements in workplaces everywhere. However, the benefits of anti-slip tape are not limited to only the workplace. There are many domestic or recreational uses of anti-slip tape. It can and should be used anywhere there is a risk of slipping.
One of the most popular uses of anti-slip tape is to provide additional tread on wooden stairs. Many people, especially the elderly, utilize anti-slip tape to provide added security when going up and down stairs. This creates not only safety, but peace of mind for an individual and their family as they grow older. Anti-slip tape can also be used as the grip tape on skateboards. It is important that the skateboard has enough tread that the rider will not slip when doing a trick or turning a corner. Although far removed from the factory setting, this is still a very important application of anti-slip tape.
Whenever water or other liquids cause flooring to become slippery, anti-slip tape can be the answer. Many people use anti-slip tape on the floor of their bathroom or on the bathtub itself. Usually, this tape has a higher level of grit. This means that there are more slip resistant particles per strip of tape, but they are smaller so that they are not as abrasive on bare feet. A similar use of anti-slip tape is on boats or docks. This offers protection while working on the boat as well as while sailing and fishing.
Whatever your situation, if you are encountering slippery floors, anti-slip tapes offer an effective solution at a low cost. From factories to bathrooms and everything in between, anti-slip tapes help you maintain sure footing and keep you and your loved ones safe.
While you are trying to determine the slip resistance of a particular substance, a value you are likely to come across in the coefficient of friction. This refers to the amount of resistance present when an object moves across a floor of flooring material. The coefficient of friction, or COF, is calculated by using a testing device such as a tribometer that drags a piece of rubber over a particular flooring. The COF is higher when the tribometer encounters a greater amount of resistance from the flooring. This means that the lower the COF, the more slippery the flooring.
The COF can be broken down into two categories: static (SCOF) and dynamic (DCOF). The SCOF is the value of resistance an object at rest encounters from a particular flooring. The DCOF, on the other hand, is the value of resistance an object already in motion encounters from the floor. Some believe that the SCOF and DCOF are merely two different ways to say the same thing, In a sense, this is true. Both measure the resistance of a particular flooring.
However, using only one type of COF could misrepresent the level of safety in a facility. Since individuals are rarely standing still when they suffer a slip, the SCOF is insufficient on its own to determine the slip resistance of a floor. The DCOF is crucial to determining the risks involved in walking upon the flooring of a facility. However, that does not mean that the SCOF should be disregarded. The value is still useful in determining a change in slip resistance over time or when the floor becomes wet. Both are helpful tools in assessing the safety of a facility, but the SCOF should not be separated from the DCOF. Hopefully being aware of these two measurements beforehand can help guide you in the appropriate selection of anti-slip tape for your facility.
What is a fear that every business has? Bankruptcy? Taxes? Corporate espionage? A workplace accident is most certainly on this list. Whether it be a sprain, fracture, amputation, or worse yet a tragic death of an employee, workplace accidents are detrimental to business on every front. OSHA offers a $afety Pays Program on their website which gives businesses an estimate of what it could cost your business if an accident were to occur, taking into consideration your profit margin and the specific type of incident you are looking into. For example, if an employee were to get a sprain on the job it could cost a business $28,338 in direct costs, $31,171 in indirect costs, resulting in a total cost of $59,509. Now if the incident were more severe such as an amputation as a result of a workplace accident it could cost your business $133,074 in total costs.
Although the program is helpful, the reality of calculating the cost of a workplace accident is even more complex than the $afety Pays Program can provide. There are many factors at play such as the severity of the injury, the amount made by the employee prior to the accident, state laws, and even the age of the injured employee has an effect on the total cost for your business. The bottom line is that workplace accidents are expensive, and could even be detrimental to your business future.
What are some things you could do to avoid accidents? Having a strong 5S methodology is a wonderful tool not only for efficiency but also safety. Clearly marking aisles with floor tape, floor signs, and other 5S tools can greatly reduce the risk of accidents for you employees and in the end will save you money.
Right now stop-painting.com is offering safety sign audit where our national account manager Al Barker will do a walk through in a facility and quickly identify where floor markings can contribute to workplace safety. If you are interested in this service please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (919) 569-6765 to see if you qualify.
Here at Stop-Painting.com we have an enormous selection of floor signs. Many of these have been customized by previous or current customers to meet their specific needs, but we wanted to help customers understand what floor signs are must haves in every warehouse and facility.
The first and most important thing to understand about anti-slip tapes is what makes them slip-resistant. As you’ve probably guessed by now, not all anti-slip tapes are created equal. Some provide better slip resistance than others; some are more suited for domestic use rather than a factory or warehouse environment.
It is important to understand how the slip resistance of the tape is measure to be able to make an informed decision as to which tapes to use. There are a number of ways people have measured the slip resistance of a particular flooring, but only a few have been recognized and established as the standard both nationally and internationally. Most of the standardized methods provide a coefficient of friction (COF), which is interpreted to determine the slip resistance of the floor or anti-slip product.
The first of these tests is called the Pendulum Slip Resistance Tester (ASTM E303-93). It involves setting up a pendulum device that drags a standardized piece of rubber over the flooring and provides a reading for the slipperiness of the floor. The test was first developed in the United Kingdom, so the number is called the British Pendulum Number (BPN). However, it has been adopted in 49 nations and was endorsed in 2001 by the Ceramic Tile Institute of America (CTIOA). When the pendulum misses the floor entirely, the BPN is zero. Number closer to zero indicate a very slippery floors while higher number indicate slip resistant floors. Australia has developed standards for the readouts that have been adopted worldwide by those who utilize the test. For example, external ramps must have a BPN of 54 in order to be considered slip resistant, external walkways such as pedestrian crossings must have a BPN of 35.
The Tortus digital tribometer is another slip-resistance test that has been adopted as a standard in many countries. Tribometers are often referred to as “motorized drag-skid meters;” they travel across the floor a a constant speed under their own power while dragging a piece of standardized rubber. The Tortus measures the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF), or the slip resistance of flooring when encountered by an object already in motion. Readings below.50 indicate a slip resistant floor. Since 2001, the CTIOA has regarded the Tortus tribometer as a secondary standard to the pendulum. The tribometer is sometimes preferred to the pendulum test because it can perform many tests in a short period of time. It is also less likely that the operator can manipulate or influence the results of the tribometer test.
Lastly, the BOT-3000 SlipTester is another test used to measure the DOCF. It is also a motorized drag-sled meter and is utilized by the American National Safety Institute’s (ANSI) B101.3 test, a test designed to measure skid resistance of flooring. It is used to measure DCOF at a lower speed than the pendulum and Tortus tribometer, although it functions the same way as the Tortus. The standards for the BOT-3000 have been developed by the ANSI in order to provide a national standard for evaluating the results of the test. A DCOF of .43 or greater indicates a highly slip resistant flooring. A reading between .30 and .43 indicates a low slip resistance and any reading below .30 is not considered slip resistant. The ANSI has also stated that a minimum of . 45 is required for ramps to be considered slip resistant.
There are several other tests that can be used to determine the slip resistance of flooring, but these three have been adopted by national organizations and have established standards for interpreting their results. As we said before, not all tapes have been created equal, and every company will claim their product is the best on the market. Hopefully, with our research you will be able to understand the best products for your facility and context.keep looking »