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Monthly Archives: September 2016

  • High Visibility Winter Headwear

    high visibility winter headwearAs temperatures begin to drop, you might find yourself grabbing a hat on your way out to work. While any type of hat will keep you warm throughout a cold workday, only a high visibility hat offers an extra level of protection on a potentially hazardous job site. With bright colors and reflective accents, you can't go wrong by improving your ability to be seen this winter.

    High Visibility Winter Beanies

    Beanies are a staple of cold weather. These are your typical, tight-fitting knit hats made with a flexible design. Beanies hold tight to your head to help stop the release of heat while protecting you from the elements. High visibility beanies like the ML Kishigo 2826 Knit Beanie have a single lower ridge, while others such as the Tough Duck Reflective Knit Beanie have a folded ridge. There are a variety of styles to choose from, most of which sport reflective striping to further enhance your visibility. Beanies are an affordable, simple and effective method of staying warm all winter long.

    High Visibility Balaclavas

    Even though you might not recognize the name, you've probably seen or used a balaclava before. The unique yet simple design of a balaclava offers coverage for your head, face and neck. Similar to a ski mask, high visibility balaclavas have eye openings but no opening for the mouth. Ideal for frigid temperatures and fast winds, the balaclava will protect your head and face in any environment. The long neck tucks effectively inside the collar of your jacket to prevent drafts of cold air. Many different styles of high visibility balaclavas are available, from simple knits to Thinsulate and Fleece Lined versions.

    High Visibility Aviator Hats

    Aviator hats? Aren't those for the hats used by WW2 pilots? Surely they are, and for good reason - they work! High visibility aviator hats can vary in design but they generally have the same purpose - keeping your head an ears as warm as possible. These hats are lined with warm, insulative materials and feature large flaps on each side which usually tie under the chin. They feature a reinforced brow that offers extreme warmth for the most brutal weather and reflective accents to give you that extra bit of confidence in low visibility working conditions. The Tough Duck High Visibility Thinsulate Aviator Hat is a great example for under $20.

    High Visibility Hard Hat Liners

    Hard hat liners aren't necessarily new technology but they've come a long way. If your job requires a hard hat, you owe it to yourself to have a warm, protective hard hat liner during the coldest months of winter. High visibility hard hat liners come in a variety of types and styles but they all have one thing in common - they feature loops or rungs designed for the head strap on your hard hat. Once attached to your hard hat, these liners deliver extra protection while ensuring your hard hat is secure on your head. It's the best of both worlds. One of our favorites is the Ergodyne N-Ferno Winter Liner with Thinsulate.

    Before choosing your high visibility winter headwear, be sure to consider your work environment, general winter weather conditions (temp, wind, precipitation), and budget. You might decide to have more than one product for normal days and another for extreme cold. For example, if you're working in an area with icy winds you'll probably fare best with full face protection. For wet environments, polyester lined headwear will be more beneficial over simple knit products. The goal is to be as warm, safe and comfortable as possible so you can focus on doing your job.

    Check our our complete selection of high visibility winter headwear today, we have the perfect solution for your winter workplace needs. Stay warm out there!

  • How Dangerous is YOUR Job?

    how dangerous is your jobHow dangerous is your job? It's hard to tell exactly as many factors come into play when creating statistics but there's always a pattern that exists. Over recent years, it's clear that some industries and careers tend to be more dangerous than others.

    Currently, the average rate of fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers is about 3.5. Respectively, here are the general top 10 occupations with the highest rates of fatality:

    • Fishers and related fishing workers: 116.0
    • Logging workers: 91.9
    • Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 70.6
    • Farmers and ranchers: 41.4
    • Mining machine operators: 38.7
    • Roofers: 32.4
    • Refuse and recyclable material collectors: 29.8
    • Driver/sales workers and truck drivers: 21.8
    • Industrial machinery installation, repair and maintenance workers: 20.3, and
    • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers: 18.0.

    The top industry sectors with fatalities are:
    • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting: 26.8
    • Mining: 19.8, and
    • Transportation and warehousing: 13.1.

    The percentage of worker fatalities by age:
    • Under 16: < 0.5%
    • 16-17: < 0.5%
    • 18-19: 1%
    • 20-24: 5%
    • 25-34: 17%
    • 35-44: 19%
    • 45-54: 25%
    • 55-64: 20%, and
    • 65 and older: 12%.

    BLS reported there were 4,547 workplace fatalities in 2010. The highest number of fatalities by industry are as follows:
    • Trade, transportation and utilities: 1,141
    • Natural resources and mining: 768
    • Construction: 751
    • Professional and business services: 356, and
    • Manufacturing: 320.

    Learn more about workplace fatalities at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Website. Stay safe out there and always remember to do things properly - don't take shortcuts that pose a hazard to your (or other's) health or well-being.

  • Choosing the Proper Winter Safety Jacket

    winter safety jacketWhen the temperatures drop it's important to wear the proper work clothing, especially when working outdoors. There's a huge number of manufacturers and suppliers offering high visibility winter safety jackets but not all products are created equal. Furthermore, not all products are suited for the job, or, for your job.
    When choosing the proper winter safety jacket, it's best to look for apparel that offers the specific features you need on the job. Check out the list below to be sure you're spending your money wisely and getting the best product for the demands of your job.

    High Visibility and ANSI Safety

    If your job title and/or tasks require a certain level of reflective or ANSI compliant clothing, make sure you purchase something that at least meets those minimum requirements. Also, consider the quality of the reflective components. Personally, we like to recommend gear with 3M reflective striping. On another note, it's never a bad idea to purchase an ANSI 3 jacket even if your job only calls for ANSI 2. Better safe than sorry, right?

    Durability on the Job

    This is a serious concern. Often times, we see people with gear that keeps them warm but has terrible durability characteristics. Sometimes the situation is opposite and they have extremely durable gear that isn't warm enough. It's important to find the perfect combination for your individual needs. Winter workwear is more expensive than summer gear, and you don't want something that falls apart in mid-January. Look for 300-denier ripstop materials for the ultimate in durability.

    Temperature Control

    Yes, winter gets cold. However, choosing the proper gear depends on your job's requirements and physical demands. If you're an equipment operator you might need less insulation than someone laboring outside on the ground. On the other hand, vigorous work will quickly raise your body temperature, even in the coldest environments. The best idea is to find a happy medium. Consider high visibility jackets with removable liners, or 3-in-1 jackets that can be changed on the fly.

    Other Factors

    What about waterproof gear? A hood? A detachable hood? Do you need plenty of pockets for storage or are you okay with standard glove pockets? Will an elastic waist prevent nasty drafts of cold air to keep you warmer? Will a jacket with a vented design help control your body temperature? Is a parka-style jacket too large for physical work and will it hinder your safety? Maybe a high visibility bomber jacket is better? Maybe not.
    Consider what will work best for you in the areas of safety, performance and comfort before making your decision. Get started with your search and find the ultimate winter safety jacket here. Stay safe out there this winter, and don't forget to stay warm!

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