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Hi-Vis Cooling Products - Staying Cool when the Job Heats Up

avoid and prevent heat stress at workWe know that there's a good number of workers whose jobs mandate the use of high visibility gear - and more specifically, we know that a lot of those jobs also require working outdoors. With summer quickly approaching, the temperatures are beginning to rise and before we know it we'll be in the dreaded dog days of summer. We also understand that staying cool while working in the extreme heat is an important safety factor, which is why we recently wrote a blog about avoiding heat stress in the workplace. However, there are additional safety measures that can be taken to help beat the summer heat, and one of those measures is making sure you're equipped with the proper gear.
 

High Visibility Cooling Products

There is a plethora of high visibility cooling products available and nearly all of them have been designed and developed with the worker in mind. From comfort to functionality, the manufacturers of these cooling products have utilized an array of industry input and new technology to bring you the most effective safety apparel available for those long summer work days. While it does come at a cost, the extra investment is worth every penny; you can't really put a price on safety. Cooling products are an important factor not only for comfort, but the prevention of heat-related illness.
 
Below, we'll take a look at some of the most popular and effective cooling products available and provide a brief description of what they have to offer. We'll also mention a couple common options and whether they're available to that specific product or not. Take a minute to read through the list and see for yourself if there's something that could benefit you at work this summer. Let's face it, you're going to spend a lot of time exposed to the heat while working this summer - you might as well be as comfortable as possible while doing so.
 

Hard Hat Sun Shields

Hard hat sun shields are a great hard hat accessory for those whose work requires prolonged exposure to the sun. They attach under or around practically any hard hat, providing shade to the back of the neck while decreasing the risk of sunburn. Made of lightweight materials, they are non-intrusive and offer excellent air circulation.
 
Hi-Vis/Reflective: Yes
Water-activated: Yes
FR Available: Yes
 

Hard Hat Cooling Pads & Towels

These items are also made specifically for use with hard hats. From moisture relieving head bands and towels to water-activated cooling pads that attach directly to the hat's suspension system, these products keep your head cool by reducing sweat and helping to eliminate excess body heat underneath your hard hat.
 
Hi-Vis/Reflective: N/A
Water-activated: Yes
FR Available: Yes
 

Bandanas, Headbands and Skull Caps

There are several different options available when it comes to cooling headwear. From bandanas and triangle hats to headbands, skullcaps, head wraps and ranger hats, there's never a shortage of choices.
 
Some of the headwear available is moisture wicking and is geared towards pulling sweat and moisture away from your skin where it can easily evaporate, thereby helping to keep you cool. Other items are water-activated and utilize specialty fabrics with unique absorbent qualities that hold and slowly release moisture over a period of hours, helping to keep you cool over a long period of time. Headwear is always made from the lightest materials possible to provide comfort and breathability. These products are perfect for using alone, but also work great underneath hard hats or baseball caps.
 
Hi-Vis/Reflective: Yes
Water-activated: Yes
FR Available: Yes
 

Cooling Vests

Cooling vests are a real godsend for some and there are quite a few different types available. From the average ultra-mesh safety vest to water activated and specialty cooling vests, there's a decent range of products to choose from depending on the level of cooling you need.
 
The water activated vests can be ran under water or quickly soaked, and offer hours to days (depending on the product) of extended cooling. The specialty fabrics don't allow for a quick release of moisture which means that they stay cool longer while slowly releasing cool air against the skin to reduce surface heat and sweat.
 
Other vests are intended for undergarment use and contain liquid and/or gel inserts that can be chilled or froze. The are geared more towards use where heavy clothing is required in situations of extreme heat. They apply consistent, long-term cooling that actually regulates the body temperature and prevents heat stress and stroke.
 
Hi-Vis/Reflective: Yes
Water-activated: Yes
FR Available: Yes
 

Electrolyte Drinks, Hydration Packs and More

In addition to the products that can be worn, there are also other accessories that are a mainstay for the outdoor worker when it comes to staying cool in the summer. Electrolyte drinks are one important item, as they deliver important hydration to your body during times of exertion where the body loses excess liquids from sweat and muscle use. It's highly important to have, at minimum, a decent amount of water on hand, although electrolyte drinks are preferred and recommended. Coolers, portable bottles and even wearable containers are available to offer mobility and ease of access for the liquids of your choice.
 
There are other products that come in handy too such as a portable shade tents and emergency cooling buckets. Many manufacturers offer specialty wear for the summer also, such as shorts and t-shirts that are not only hi-vis, but lightweight and ANSI compliant.
 
Hi-Vis/Reflective: Yes
Water-activated: Yes
FR Available: Yes
 

Get to the Point

Overall, the choice is yours. The information on avoiding heat stress and heat stroke is readily available, as are a bunch of great products that can be used in combination with best safety practices to ensure an increased level of comfort during uncomfortable temperatures. Use the heat stress prevention knowledge - as well as the product technology that's available - to your advantage. Don't be caught off guard in the heat and don't risk your health and well being. Think ahead, be safe and set a good example for everyone in the workplace. Remember, since heat-related illness is 100% preventable, the only way to guarantee your safety through prevention.
 
View a complete inventory of heat stress products on our website right now.

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