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Monthly Archives: December 2015

  • Winter Safety Gear: Portwest Contrast Thermal Lined Coveralls

    portwest contrast ansi class 3 thermal lined coverallsWorking outdoors during the winter can get pretty sloppy. Between the rain and snow, wet working conditions and general messiness that winter brings, it's a real relief to have a nice pair of coveralls that can keep you warm and dry out there. The Portwest Hi-Vis Contrast Thermal Coveralls are designed to do exactly that, making it easier to focus on your work.
     
    It all starts with a solid and durable fabric, in this case, a very rugged 300-Denier polyester oxford material. The 300-denier fabric is an especially strong weave made to resist tears, rips and snags. This gives the coveralls a longer lifespan and reduces the chances of minor injuries (such as cuts & scrapes) that could occur from accidental contact with heavy materials that could easily penetrate normal polyester. The thermal lining is quilted and loaded with nylon wadding for sufficient insulation and retention of body heat, which is important on those extra-cold days. Another important factor is that these coveralls are polyurethane coated to prevent wind & water penetration and keep you perfectly warm & dry during even the harshest winter climate. As an added bonus, the material has a stain resistant finish to help keep a clean appearance.
     
    As the name implies, the coveralls feature a contrasting design with darker colored legs and lower contrasting reflective striping to give an excellent level of visibility over your whole body. These are ANSI Class 3 compliant coveralls improve safety in all environments, including low-light conditions. The striping arrangement on the legs provides a nice, large area of reflectivity that helps you be seen while working in nearly any position, even laying down.
     
    While the Portwest Thermal Lined Coveralls are certainly warm, comfortable and deliver improved safety, they also have some great convenience features. There are cargo pockets on the front of each thigh with snap closures that are perfect for strong anything from gloves to small tools, and dual flap pockets above the waist. The front closes with a simple zipper, but a button-style storm flap gives additional closure. There's a built-in hood that can be used as needed, which can come in handy during bouts of falling rain & snow. Ribbed inner cuffs help ensure a secure fit while preventing drafts, and the zippered ankles make it easy for these coveralls to zipper right down over your work boots. What more can you ask for? Well, there's also a radio loop to provide easy access to communication without the need to store it in your pockets.
     
    Coveralls seem like they're pretty simple, but the Portwest has surely crossed all the "T"s and dotted all the "I"s. These are top quality, well designed and offer excellent safety for the wet, cold and sloppy winter workdays that you'll be facing. In fact, even if you only use them during the snow days, they're still an excellent investment for the confidence of warmth & dryness when you really need it. Check out the Portwest ANSI CLass 3 Thermal Coveralls on our website to learn more or purchase your own today, we think you'll be very happy with your decision, as will your wallet. There's no doubt that these coveralls are an excellent value.

  • Winter Safety Gear Review: Ergodyne N-Ferno 3-Layer Thermal Liner with FR Shell

    ergodyne n-ferno thermal winter linerThere's nothing more frustrating than working in extreme cold conditions without the proper gear to keep you warm. Ergodyne knows this, and as a leader in the safety industry they've developed the Ergodyne N-Ferno Thermal Liner. It's designed to keep you as warm as possible on the job without sacrificing comfort, safety, or breaking the bank.
     
    Featuring a unique triple-layer construction, the N-Ferno 6877 3-Layer Liner features a 100% cotton FR (fire resistant) shell that helps keep out unwanted wind & water and can last up to 50 washes while maintaining its FR properties. The middle layer of this liner consists of a foam insulation, which creates warmth around the head, neck and ears while the inner layer made up of 100% poly-fleece provides exceptionally soft comfort for all day use. The FR outer layer makes it safe for use around ocassional flames or sparks such as what might be common with cutting, welding and metal work.
     
    One of the best things about this thermal liner is that it gives coverage down around the neck. Unlike a balaclava, this design doesn't provide full-face coverage. It does however, work perfectly for bridging the gap between your hardhat and jacket, or for wearing under your jacket's hood as a secure-fitting insulative layer. This liner is especially good at preventing drafts of cold air from entering your jacket due to its design; you can simply tuck the lower area down inside your jacket collar. The velcro-style neck closure and the elastic forehead area help to ensure a snug & comfortable fit and prevent movement of the liner while it's on your head - meaning you don't have to worry about constantly readjusting it during vigorous work.
     
    This liner comes with specially placed loops where your hard hat suspension can be attached, which is one of the best features of this product. Instead of wearing your hard hat over it, you can simply attach it and then remove the hat and liner as one piece when needed. Not only does it give a better fit, but it prevents your hard hat from falling off and posing a safety risk, and that's a good thing. Speaking of good things, there are also built-in pockets made specifically for placing warmers, which is an excellent idea. Using the disposable hand warmers that are designed for gloves, you can get great comfort and a nice, toasty level of warmth all day. It doesn't really get any better than that!
     
    The N-Ferno 6877 is a great piece of gear that can make a huge difference in your work day this winter. After all, it really doesn't pay to suffer out there, especially when you can get high-quality protection like this for under $25. Learn more or get your own your Ergodyne N-Ferno Thermal Liner today and say goodbye to being cold at work this season.

  • Winter Safety Gear Review: Blaklader 1633 Hi-Vis Work Pants

    HiVis-Supply-blaklader-1633-class-e-work-pantsBlaklader is known for designing serious work wear, specifically, work wear that's made to do its job and nothing more. Every cut, pocket, and stitch has its purpose for making an efficient, long-lasting and functional garment. With a lifetime warranty on their stitching (something that most manufacturers would never even attempt to offer), Blaklader Workwear is a worthwhile investment in safety and comfort. We wanted to take a look at the Blaklader 1633 Work Pants to go over the details, quality and general overall value offered by the Sweedish company and their 55+ years of industry experience.

    The 1633 Work Pants are ANSI Class E compliant and made from an rugged and durable fabric blend of 85% polyester and 15% bomull satin. The pants are CORDURA reinforced in critical areas and specific high-wear points such as the knee, lower thigh, rear pockets, utility pockets, waist, and feet. This delivers exceptional strength and resistance against tears, punctures and abrasion, which provides a long lifespan and prevents minor injuries that could occur from heavy materials whenever fabric might become compromised. While they aren't bulletproof, the CORDURA reinforcements really increase the durability and rigidity of these pants. Not only are they excellent in cold and wet weather, but in any environment where durability is important, from roadwork to home construction.

    For storage, these pants come equipped with multiple cargo pockets on the legs and dual bellowed utility pockets near the waist. These are ideal for tools and personal items. For jobs where you'll be working on the ground or on your knees such as concrete finishing or mechanical work, the 1633 work pants have built-in kneepad pockets. The kneepad pockets are also CORDURA reinforced to prevent wear in an area that faces high contact. All other high contact areas utilize darker, black fabric which helps to hide the appearance of dirt, grease and grime while aiding to make wear less visible. This gives a cleaner overall look in areas that would typically turn black after just a short time from soiling, which is a great added benefit.

    One of the most important things about Blaklader Workwear is their commitment to quality apparel. They clearly stand behind the design and construction of all their garments by offering a lifetime warranty on stitching. Should one of the seams fail or if the pants are no longer usable due to a seam coming apart, Blaklader will either fix or replace the pants at no charge. While it may not sam like a huge deal, it says a lot about the confidence they have in their craftsmanship, something that can really be appreciated nowadays.

    At under $90 a pair, you really can't go wrong with these pants. They are ANSI Class E compliant and feature vibrant reflective striping on the lower leg to enhance your visibility on the job, even in the lowest light conditions. These pants are some of the most well-made that we've seen, giving practical functionality for an ever-changing workplace. The Blaklader 1633 Work Pants are available in varying waist sizes from 30" to 40" and come in hi-viz yellow only. For more information or to order your own pair, visit the product page on our website today.

  • Work King's 3-in-1 ANSI Class 2 Bomber Jacket

    work king 3-in-1 bomber jacketSo, winter is here and you're looking for a new jacket, but there are so many different brands and styles out there that it's hard to make a choice. Where do you start? How about taking a look at gear that's been designed by people with plenty of cold-weather experience.. Namely, Work King Safety who is based in Canada and produces some of the country's most popular and best-selling winter workwear on the market.
     
    The S413 Three-in-One Bomber Jacket from Work King is the perfect example of a high visibility jacket that's been designed with you, the worker, in mind. Made to stand up to the most brutal climates out there, this rugged bomber jacket is made with extremely durable materials and innovative features to deliver a long lifespan and provide everyday functionality in the winter workplace.
     
    Work King has noted the popularity of diversity and flexibility within the safety gear market and has gone to great lengths to design a jacket that's not only perfect for extremely cold environments, but also for the seasons that precede and follow the winter season. This unique 3-in-1 design lets you adapt on the fly to the ever-changing temperature, allowing you to get more usability from a single product as compared to owning multiple garments. So, what does it do?
     
    The S413 Bomber Jacket features two layers. The outer shell, manufactured from 300-denier Oxford Polyester is extremely durable and helps to resist snags, tears, and cuts that other fabrics are prone to. It has a polyurethane coating to provide resistance from wind and water which helps keep you warm and dry throughout the work day. The rugged fabric not only resists wear, but reduces the chances of personal injury by minimizing the likelihood of sharp or heavy materials penetrating the fabric and reaching your skin. While it's not bulletproof, it certainly offers a higher level of protection over more basic materials.
     
    The outer shell also features vibrant 2-inch 3M Scotchlite reflective striping laid over a contrasting 4-inch background stripe for optimal visibility in all conditions, giving it a ANSI Class 2 compliance rating. While many jackets claim to be compliant with ANSI requirements, many fail to reach the standard and/or utilize reflective striping that performs poorly. For the highest level of visibility and reflective quality, Scothchlite it the best product available - this is something Work King understands and implements. Instead of getting a product that barely meets safety standards, you're getting a product that excels, giving you the confidence needed to focus on your work.
     
    The inner-lining of the 3-in-one bomber is made from 300-gram polar fleece for a higher level of warmth and is fully removable. While it can be worn with the jacket during frigid conditions, it can be worn by itself (the liner is also ANSI Class 2 compliant) in temperate conditions. The liner features reflective striping and lower pockets for storage, acting like a separate jacket when worn on its own. On the other hand, the shell can also be worn by itself when the liner is removed, providing ANSI 2 waterproof/windproof safety when the extra insulation isn't needed.
     
    For storage, which is another important factor, this high visibility bomber jacket is equipped with dual-entry front pockets that are perfect for storing gloves, tools, phone, a radio or cell phone, and more. The wrists have adjustable cuffs for a perfect fit that helps eliminate cold air drafts, snow, or water entry. The black bottom lower area gives a more stylish appearance over traditional safety jackets and does an excellent job of hiding dirt, grease, and grime in high contact areas - providing a cleaner appearance.
     
    Whichever way you decide to use the Work King 3-in-1 Bomber Jacket, it's sure to provide consistent comfort, warmth, and visibility on the job. You can see more details, photos and sizing information for the Work King S413 3-in-1 Bomber Jacket on our website. Don't suffer this winter, make work easier with a little help from Work King.

  • Winter Work Safety: Frostbite & Trench Foot Prevention

    frostbite and trench foot preventionWinter is here, and if you're working outdoors in a cold climate, you know just how uncomfortable it can get without the proper protection. While you might be a veteran of winter workdays, it's always smart to be safe and avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits.
     
    The cold air temperature and other unique situations created by winter weather can be damaging and even fatal to your body if they aren't prevented, recognized or treated properly. Two of the most commonly occurring problems are frostbite and trench foot, both of which can sneak up on you relatively quickly. Below is some information on preventing, identifying and treating frostbite and trench foot.
     

    Frostbite

    Frostbite occurs by the body beginning to literally freeze. Usually only an issue in extreme cold, it's most common with the hands/fingers, nose/face, ears, feet, or toes. Once it has began, frostbite can cause permanent damage by cutting off the flow of blood to the affected area. This leads to cell and tissue death, which can require amputation. People with low or reduced blood circulation are at an increased risk of frostbite.
     
    To prevent frostbite, be sure to wear sufficient protection from the air temperate, wind, and any materials that you might be handling. This includes wearing proper insulated gloves, hats and/or face protection, and sufficient insulation around the feet such as heavy socks.
     
    Symptoms of frostbite include reduced blood flow, numbness, tingling or stinging sensations in the affected areas, aching, and bluish or pale, waxy skin.
     
    If you or a co-worker is suffering from frostbite, you should get into a warm space as soon as possible. Do NOT walk on frostbitten feet or toes, as this could increase the damage to those areas. Apply warm water to the affected area (not hot water) and/or warm the area with heat. In emergency situations where a source of heat is not available, use an armpit. It's important to note that you should not rub or massage frostbitten areas because this could increase the damage. Additionally, refrain from using heating sources such as a heating pad, heat lamp, stove, fireplace, or radiator; since the affected areas are froze, burning can occur very easily due to numbness and the inability to properly feel the heat. If the signs are severe or if self-treatment doesn't help, seek the help of a doctor or emergency medical attention immediately.
     

    Trench Foot

    Trench Foot, sometimes called immersion foot, is a condition when an injury to the feet is sustained due to long exposure to wet & cold conditions. Believe it or not, trench foot can happen at temps of 60 degrees fahrenheit if your feet are continually wet. Since wet feet lose heat 25 times faster than dry feet, your body will attempt to prevent heat loss by shutting down the circulation to the feet, resulting in dying skin tissues.
     
    To prevent trench foot, it's critical to keep your feet dry. This means the use of waterproof boots, waders, or similar when working in wet conditions. Job sites with a lot of snow, or melted/melting snow are a prime scenario for causing trench foot. The best bet is to have waterproof workbooks all winter, and to make sure they rise high enough to prevent entry of water.
     
    Symptoms of trench foot include numbness, reddened skin, swelling, leg cramps, tingling pain, blisters, sub-dermal bleeding and gangrene.
     
    If you or someone you know is suffering or believed to be showing the warning signs of trench foot, it's important to take immediate action. First, remove wet boots and sox. Thoroughly dry the feet and avoid walking on the feet as much as possible. Avoid the cold and any water for a generous period of time and until all symptoms are gone. If symptoms don't begin to improve or if the symptoms are sever, consult a doctor or emergency medical help immediately.
     

    Stay Warm & Use Your Head

    We say this time and time again, folks. Your job is an important part of your life, but don't allow it to ruin your life. Practice proper safety on the job to reduce the risk of accidents, injury, or death. Wear the proper safety equipment, follow safety procedures and be aware of your surroundings. Stay educated and informed and make sure that the same is true of your co-workers.
     
    For proper winter workwear products that will prevent frostbite, trench foot and other cold-related health issues, visit our website's winter workwear selection. We have a large inventory of a variety of products from the top brand names, specifically designed to protect those of you who work outdoors in the winter. A small investment can go a long way when it comes to personal safety.

  • Uptick in Convictions & Prison Sentences for Work Related Employee Deaths

    workplace safety convictionsWhile fines, penalties and even restrictions on operations have been the common consequences of work-related injuries and deaths in the US, there has been a rather interesting but not surprising new trend in the courts. In the last 2 years alone, we've seen a large increase in the convictions of CEOs, supervisors, and managers which entail prison sentences in regards to cases involving worker deaths.
     
    Although deaths can occur from a worker's failure to follow safety procedure or the use of faulty or malfunctioning equipment, it's just as possible that higher-ups could be responsible for willful neglect by providing inadequate safety training, equipment or work environments.
     
    Just this week, Donald Blankenship, a rather prominent (former) CEO of one of the larger West Virginia coal companies Massey Energy, was convicted of violating federal safety standards in relation to an explosion that caused the each of 29 miners in 2010. While several other charges were surprisingly dismissed, he still faces up to one year in prison and is scheduled for sentencing. While facts surrounding the case are few, and while the courts prosecuted him without a single witness testimony, it could be said that it's a rather light conviction concerning the circumstances.
     
    There is still, however, a number of recent cases where very severe sentences have been handed down, such as:
     
    - Stewart Parnell who once oversaw Peanut Corporation of America, who was convicted on federal conspiracy charges in September 2014 and sentenced to 28 years in prison for charges related to a salmonella outbreak that killed 9 and sickened hundreds.
     
    - Richard Liu, the owner of Alameda County Construction Company and his project manager Dan Luo were both convicted to 2 years in prison for the death of a worker who was crushed by a wall of dirt after working on a job site that had been red-tagged by city inspectors after heavy rains.
     
    - Brent Weidman, owner of an arizona-based sewer & water company was convicted of negligent homicide for the deaths of two workers who were overcome and killed by toxic gasses in an underground sewage tank.
     
    - Safety manager Saul Florez and company director Angel Rodriguez of Bumble Bee Tuna Company were charged earlier this year with three felony counts each of Occupational Safety & Health Administration violation causing death to a worker after a man was killed in an oven.
     
    - John Wilkes, owner of a Florida tree service company was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this year for aggravated manslaughter after a 14 year-old employee fell 71 feet do his death.
     
    And that isn't the whole of it either, there are several more cases currently in process and/or unmentioned where justice is being served and the excuse of "it was an accident" just isn't sufficient enough and criminal charges are brought forth. While many people who are deserving of charges in relation to worker deaths might not even be charged or considered of any wrong doing, it's becoming clear that death is not an okay side-effect of doing business, and that paying out fines to OSHA and paying lawsuits to families is not a sufficient punishment for neglect resulting in death.
     
    If you're in a managerial position or the owner of a company where hazardous environments are an everyday occurrence of business, it's in your best interests, as well as the interests of your employees and their families, to do your very best to ensure safe working conditions. Cutting corners to save a few dollars might leave you sitting in a room with 4 corners for a very, very long time. Please, operate your business safely and treat your employees as if they were members of your own family. There is no situation where a little bit of time or money is worth a persons life. Be safe out there!

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