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HiVis Supply Blog

  • Listen to the Info: Occupational Hearing Loss is No Joke!

    occupational hearing lossIn the United States alone, over 30 million people are exposed to hazardous or dangerous noise levels in the workplace - and believe it or not, noise-related hearing loss has been noted as one of the largest occupational health hazards for over 25 years. In the past 10 years alone, almost 125,000 workers have sustained serious and permanent damage and/or loss of hearing as a direct result of exposure to excessive noise in the workplace.
    If you've ever suffered from ringing ears, stuffy ears or any sort of temporary hearing damage from high noise levels then you may want to take note. While the symptoms may only be temporary, repeated occurrences can lead to sudden permanent damage with little or no warning. While many of us may find excessive noise to be more of an annoyance than an actual danger, it's surely something that shouldn't be overlooked.
    While the hearing damage is usually irreparable, there are other hazards to excessive noise levels that can further expose an individual to health risks on the job, such as physical and psychological stress. Also, excessive noise inhibits the ability to communicate and can be a precursor to unintentional ignorance of other loud sounds that could otherwise be a warning for an immediate unseen danger.
    It's important that when you're working in an environment with repetitive or sustained noise of an excessive level, you learn to distinguish what's "too loud".
    How Loud is Too Loud?
    • If you're hearing ringing or humming in your ears after leaving the noisy area or after leaching work for the day.
    • You have to yell in order to be heard by others who are less than 3 feet away.
    • You experience temporary hearing loss at or after work.
    If you're experiencing any of the above, you're at risk for permanent and irreversible hearing damage and/or complete hearing loss. Don't take this lightly! For more information on how to manage excessive noise and prevent hearing damage or loss, visit the OSHA page for Occupational Noise Exposure where you can read detailed information about the risks.
    Additionally, keep your ears protected from damaging noise whenever possible with the proper ear protection. There is a variety of ear protection products available that are highly effective at helping to prevent damage to hearing from extreme noise on the job. Hearing loss is a serious matter, please don't underestimate the risk.

  • Recent Study by 3M Reveals Not All Safety Gear is Created Equal, Workers May be at Risk

    Think you're safe at work? Think again! A recent insdustry study by 3M shows that 1 in 3 high visibility safety garments that are marketed as ANSI Class 2 compliant do NOT meet the standard ANSI Class 2 reflectivity requirements. Check out informative and surprising video below.

    Yes, that's correct - one in three garments that were tested failed to meet the proper brightness requirements to be categorized as ANSI 107-2010 Level 2 brightness.
    In other words, yourself, or one out of every three co-workers (or employees) could be much more likely to suffer from an injury on the job site.
    Based on 79 different garments purchased via multiple avenues on the open market, 33% failed to meet ANSI 107 brightness standards when tested by a third party.
    Ensure and demand the utmost safety for yourself, your co-workers and your employees with 3M Scotchlite reflective materials. HiVis Supply has a full range of work safety gear equipped with 3M reflective striping at guaranteed everyday low prices.

  • ML Kishigo Class 2 Professional Surveyor's Safety Vest: Where Quality Meets Functionality

    ml kishigo class 2 professional surveyors vestAs a surveyor, you know that it's important to have the proper tools to complete your job. You're often required to work in areas where a vehicle or toolbox aren't near or readily available and anything that makes your work more efficient makes you more productive. More so, your job often requires you to work in hazardous high traffic areas that require the assistance of high visibility apparel to help ensure your personal safety.
    The team at ML Kishigo is fully aware of this and have continued to design and manufacture some of the industry's finest surveyor's safety vests to date, including the ML Kishigo Class 2 Professional Surveyors Vest.
    The S5000 & S5001 (lime or orange) Professional Series Surveyor's Safety Vest is constructed from high quality materials and is designed to meet the specific needs and job requirements of a surveyor. It is an ANSI Class 2 compliant vest, made with a solid polyester front and a mesh rear for to improve airflow and breathability during warmer temperatures.
    In an effort to offer maximum safety on the job, the vests feature 2-inch reflective striping from 3M that are laid over 3-inch stripes of contrasting color. However, the safety features aren't all that the Professional Surveyor's Vests have to offer. They're loaded with features to make your job easier and more organized, such as:
    • Zippered Fromt Closure
    • Left and Right Chest Microphone Holders for Hands Free Communication
    • Dual Lapel Grommets
    • Reinforced Webbing for Enhanced Strength in High Stress Areas
    • Plush Neck Liner for Improved Comfort
    • Left Chest 2-Tier Pocket w/dual Function Flap
    • Large Right Gusseted Pocket
    • Lower Outside Pockets with Flaps
    • Left and Right Stake Pockets
    • Left and Right Spray Can Pockets
    • Lower Inside Left & Right Full Length Zippered Pockets with Straps
    • Hidden Back Pouch with Left & Right Side Zipper Access
    Clearly, ML Kishigo understands what's required out in the field - just one more reason why they're a trusted brand when it comes to high quality, hi-vis work wear. If you're a surveyor who's looking to improve both your safety and productivity on the job, you'll definitely want to take a look at the ML Kishigo Professional Series Surveyor's Vest.
    Additionally, throughout the month of May, HiVis Supply will be accepting entries for our HiVis Giveaway where 5 lucky winners will be receiving one of these great Surveyor's Vests. It's free and easy to enter, no purchase required. Simply 'Like' us on Facebook and enter for your chance to win. Stay tuned to our blog by bookmarking it now for the latest HiVis info, product details and safety news.

  • Ladder Safety: High Number of Workplace Incidents Require More Attention

    workplace ladder safetyA recent paper that's been published within the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has been quite an eye-opener. The paper evaluates the number of injuries and deaths as a direct result of work-related ladder accidents by compiling data from many different injury surveillance systems and the results are quite alarming.
    While there is an abundance of data available, it takes time to mine through and it's hard to get current and consistent numbers, so the paper has focused on the 2011 work year in an effort to provide the most accurate report possible.
    Within 2011, there were 113 fatal falls from ladders. Another 15,460 falls were non-fatal and resulted in at least a day of lost time and 34,000 non-fatal ladder injuries that required treatment in emergency rooms.
    The Ladder Fall Injuries (LFIs) report shows an abundance of preventable injuries and deaths for workers. It simultaneously highlights the need for research and action that can help create awareness while aiding in the development of innovative technologies to assist in the prevention of falls.
    According to the data, men and Hispanics showed an increased rate of fatal and non-fatal LFIs when compared to women and non-hispanic persons of other race/ethnicity. Additionally, they discovered that accident rates increased with age and fatality rates were noticeably higher for workers who are self-employed. Interestingly, establishments with fewer employers had a higher rate of death or injury due to LFIs.
    Construction and extraction were found to be the two most likely industries to suffer accidents with ladders, followed by installation, maintenance and repair work.
    Of all fatal LFIs on record for 2011, nearly half (49%) of those show the implication of head industries. Most non-fatal LFIs involved damage to upper and lower extremities.
    Another factor mentioned within the report is the height of the falls, which was documented for 82 of the 113 fatalities recorded and for 11,400 of the 34,000 non-fatal falls which were recorded. Almost 90% of all non-fatal falls occurred at a height of less than 16 feet with heights between 6 - 10 feet being the most common. As for fatal falls, heights of 6-10 were the most common, yet they only accounted for 28% of the total fatalities on record.
    Overall, the numbers seem quite alarming considering ladder safety should be common knowledge. While accidents and equipment failure do happen, proper awareness that could be created by ladder inspection and other preventative procedures should be able to lower these numbers significantly.
    The paper, was written by Christina M. Socias, DrPH, of CDC; and Cammie K. Chaumont Menéndez, Ph.D., James W. Collins, Ph.D., and Peter Simeonov, Ph.D., all three of whom work for NIOSH’s Division of Safety Research. The authors have also implemented several suggestions for employers to help prevent ladder falls.
    View this CDC report here, and keep in mind that ladder safety is a serious concern and should be reviewed in your workplace to ensure best practices. To aid in reducing and/or avoiding LFIs in your workplace you can download the Free NIOSH Ladder Safety Smartphone app for for both iPhone and Android devices. The app is loaded with cool features that will ensure a safer step up.

  • Mamximum Comfort, Maximum Visibility with HiVis Work Shirts

    hivis shirtsWhen it's freezing cold outside, a high visibility safety vest or jacket is ideal for providing safety on the job. But during the spring, summer and fall, a jacket is too warm and even a simple safety vest adds another layer of clothing which can be quite a burden. If you're looking for maximum comfort, ANSI compliant safety and minimal layers of clothing, you might want to take a look at our high visibility shirts.
    Hi-vis shirts are available in a variety of different styles including t-shirts, long sleeved t's, and buttoned short & long sleeve work shirts. From the fluorescent-colored enhanced visibility designs to ANSI Class 2 and 3 compliant, there are shirts for practically any application. Some of the features available include microfiber fabrics for optimal breathability and even FR Rated shirts for situations requiring FR protection. They're also equipped with the same highly reflective striping materials that's used on safety vests such as 3M Scotchlite, so you're not sacrificing safety for comfort.
    Aside from comfort and lightweight ANSI compliant protection, another major benefit of high visibility shirts is that even the short sleeved t-shirts have more fabric than a sleeveless vest, so you're getting a larger amount of high visibility fabric on your body - which is always a plus from a safety standpoint.
    If you're interested in simplifying safety this year while improving your level of comfort on the job, be sure to check out our complete line of Hi Vis ANSI Class Shirts today. There are plenty of styles to choose from, including your favorite brands like ML Kishigo and Red Kap. As always, they're all available at our everyday discount pricing.

  • Prepare to Beat the Heat with High Visibility Cooling Products!

    hivis cooling productsAlthough the extreme heat of summer is still a couple months away, those scorching temperatures will be here before we know it. A day of hard work in an outdoor environment during the summer can be physically taxing, and in many cases quite dangerous. To make things easier while achieving a consistent level of comfort and safety, consider investing in the proper gear for the job this year.
    Just as high visibility gear ensures you can be seen, 'cooling gear' is another important element of staying safe on the job. When the temperatures rise, manual labor an physical exertion can quickly catch up to you causing dehydration, heat stress and even heat stroke. Cooling gear aids in keeping your temperature at a stable level, preventing heat stress and ensuring you're as comfortable as possible when the temperatures reach extremes.
    At HiVis Supply, we carry a complete inventory of high visibility cooling products which vary widely in use and serve a broad range of cooling needs for specific applications. We stock an assortment of head & neck gear, safety vests, shirts, hats and sun shades, heat stress/stroke rehabilitation products and even electrolyte drinks.
    All of our heat stress and cooling products have been specifically designed with the worker in mind. Many of these products offer cutting-edge technology and materials to absorb moisture, enhance breathability and provide safe and effective alternatives to ordinary hi vis safety wear. Technology has come a long way in recent years and manufacturers are doing their best to develop functional, practical products to help deal with the blazing summer heat so you can focus your energy on your job.
    Check out our High Visibility Cooling Gear today and discover the unique cooling products that will help make your summer work day a breeze. Our everyday low prices and free shipping on all orders over $150 are sure to keep you feeling cool in any situation!

  • Reducing the Risk of Workplace Injury with Personal Protective Equipment

    personal protective equipmentTo showcase the importance of personal protective equipment in the workplace, we've put together this little fact sheet. Not only can the proper safety gear prevent accidents or death, it can drastically diminish the chances of serious injury on the job.
    If you're working in an environment where your personal safety can be enhanced from the use of additional protective equipment, don't hesitate to do so. Incorporating preventative measures that will decrease your risk of injury is always a step in the right direction.
    While you might think you've been properly protecting yourself on the job, statistics show that:
    • Only 16% of workers who suffered head injuries were wearing hard hats
    • Only 1% of workers who suffer face injuries were wearing face protection
    • Only 23% of the workers who suffered foot injuries were wearing safety shoes/boots
    • Only 40% of the workers suffering eye injuries were wearing protective eye equipment
    The vast majority of the instances mentioned above were received while performing normal job duties at a typical job site. In other words, a substantial amount of injuries that happened were injuries other than what might be considered common for a specific task. While protective equipment alone cannot guarantee the absence of injury during an accident, it's a positive measure that can greatly decrease the injury that might be sustained. It's important to expect the unexpected.
    The data that we've compiled below comes directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and has been broken down by the different types of personal protection equipment that are commonly used on the job.
    Head Protection
    When it comes to head injuries, the resulting damage can be quite serious. 86% of head injuries included cuts or bruises to the scalp/forehead and concussions occurred in 26% of incidents. Over a third of overall head injuries are a direct result of falling objects striking workers.
    Foot and Leg Protection
    66% of workers suffering leg and/or foot injuries were wearing protective footwear while 34% were wearing regular street shoes. Of the ones wearing safety shoes or boots, 85% were injured due to being struck in an unprotected area of the shoe or boot.
    Eye and Face Protection
    Of the injured workers who were surveyed, nearly all of them indicated that the use of face and/or eye protection was not a normal practice or not required for the type of work being performed when the accident occurred. Nearly 1/3 of all facial injuries are caused by blunt metal objects weighing one pound or more. Cuts, lacerations and punters occurred in 48% of cases while fractures and lost teeth accounted for nearly 27%.
    These are just a sample of the statistics. There are many other types of injuries that can be sustained on the job including hand and arm injuries, torso injury, damage from failure or improper use of respiratory equipment and even impairment or loss of hearing due to a failure to utilize proper ear protection.
    Remember that personal protective equipment is not a replacement for proper procedure and safety gear does not eliminate hazards. Every workplace is different and the risks that are presented can constantly vary. Stay safe, remain aware and always protect yourself with the proper safety gear.

  • Workplace Safety Tips for 2014

    workplace safety tipsNeed a quick refresher on workplace safety? Maybe just a bit of motivation? Maybe you practice safety 100% of the time and are confident that you don't need any tips, but chances are that you know someone who does. Take a look quick look through these safety tips to help yourself remember to always promote a safe working environment.
    Create a Safe Work Space: Whether you're operating heavy equipment, flagging traffic, running a drill press or working a conveyor line it's critical to keep your work area as safe as possible. Faulty or worn components, dangerous debris and other hazards can cause serious injury. Even if it's not an immediate threat, an unrelated occurrence could cause an otherwise overlooked or ignored hazard to become a dangerous factor when making split-second decisions.
    Maintain a Clean Work Space: The cleaner the better. Clean environments contain less foreign material and therefore fewer potential hazards. Less clutter also promotes better productivity and performance.
    Involve Your Peers: Don't forget that accidents and injury on the job are not always the fault of the injured. Things that you choose to do on the job can have a direct effect on the safety of others. Take ownership of safety for yourself AND your coworkers. If everyone does so, you'll have a safer overall environment. Safety is a group effort!
    Get/Give Clear & Proper Instructions: When working amongst immediate hazards, it's important to have a clear line of communication. Whether you're giving or receiving instructions, make sure that those instructions are communicated effectively and provided in written or printed format if necessary. One wrong move can cost a life; people rely on the instruction of others to be sound.
    Focus on the Smaller Picture: While the term safety is often generalized, it's important to pay attention to the small details. While major safety concerns are always important, it's equally important to never overlook the small dangers as they can tend to add up quickly.
    Encourage Awareness: Whether you're an employee or an employer, it's important that everyone on the job is aware of any hazards. Encourage your employees or coworkers to report safety hazards to management in an effort to prevent injury or death. An employee should never be afraid to communicate legitimate safety concerns.
    Don't Take Shortcuts: If taking a shortcut increases the risk of possible injury, don't do it. Don't attempt to complete any task or job with any less protections in place than you normally would. One time is all it takes for a lack of proper procedure to cost a life.
    Maintain Machinery: The importance of this can't be stressed enough. The details will vary, but anything with moving parts should be cleaned, inspected, maintained and serviced on a regular basis to minimize any present dangers. Know your equipment and learn to identify warning signs. Questioning the "what if's" is a good rule when deciding if machinery requires service or attention. For example, "the part seems a bit loose but it's still working. But what if it did come apart?" Always consider a worse case scenario when questioning the importance of safety.
    Review Safety Standards: Whatever the job may be, it's critical to review safety standards on a regular basis. This is especially true when new employees are present. Review as a group and encourage teamwork when it comes to preventing accidents. Ensure that everyone understands the risks and knows how to identify potential hazards.
    We understand that most people know their job well but it's critical that EVERYONE knows their job well in order to ensure a safer and more efficient workplace. Please, don't wait until it's too late. Accidents will happen, but any accident that can be prevented isn't an accident after all.

  • ML Kishigo Black Series ANSI Class 3 Windbreaker

    ml kishigo black series windbreakerWorking outdoors has both its advantages and disadvantages. One of the most critical aspects of an outdoor workplace is obviously the weather, yet too often it seems that we're either braving the extreme cold of winter or trying to find a place to cool ourselves from the scorching summer sun. Ideally, we'd prefer the weather to be somewhere in the middle - not too hot, not too cold. Usually it's only during the spring and fall that we get to enjoy the luxury of ideal working conditions. But what type of high visibility gear can be worn during these mediocre temperatures? When it's a bit too warm for a bulky for a sweatshirt or jacket and still too cool for a t-shirt, what's the answer to safety and comfort? A windbreaker; and ML Kishigo has just the product.
    The Black Series Windbreaker is the perfect answer to the rather mild and unpredictable months of spring and fall. Manufactured from 100% lightweight polyester it offers enough protection to dampen the wind yet provide breathable and flexible high visibility safety when you need it the most. It also functions perfectly as a space saving backup that can be kept in a car or locker and used on an as-needed basis. Better yet, it's ANSI Class 3 compliant so it's suitable for practically any job site.
    As are all ML Kishigo's products, the Black Series Windbreaker is designed for a tough job. Comfort, safety and functionality has always been trademarks of the brand and they've surely been incorporated in the design of this windbreaker.
    Being ANSI Class 3 compliant, it features plenty of reflective striping for poorly lit environments and decreased visibility. Strategic placement of these materials on the garment provide you with the best overall reflectivity to ensure that you're seen by drivers, equipment operators and co-workers. After all there's no such thing as being too safe, right?
    Adjustable wrist cuffs allow for a secure yet comfortable fit while adjustable waist cinches are located on the interior of the zippered front pockets to prevent from being snagged on equipment or materials. We think that's quite clever from a safety point of view - not to mention it provides a cleaner look.
    There's also a vertical pocket on the left chest with a waterproof zipper for anything that needs to remain dry during wet conditions. Unique shoulder shoulder vents have been integrated as well to allow heat to escape during rigorous activity, keeping you cool enough to prevent sweating and discomfort. The black fabric areas of the underarm are made from a more durable ripstop material to help prevent wear while providing a clean appearance in areas that might normally appear soiled from frequent contact with materials or equipment. Not too bad for a windbreaker!
    The ML Kishigo Black Series ANSI Class 3 Windbreaker is available in HiVis Lime or Orange (WB100 or WB101) in sizes Medium through 5XL and is priced just under $50 at right now. It's a solid investment in long lasting comfort and safety, two things you definitely don't want to spend the work day without. If you're interested at taking a shot to win one for free, be sure to enter our April HiVis Giveaway on our Facebook page for your chance.

  • Stay Ultra-Dry with ML Kishigo Brilliant Series Rainwear

    brilliant series rain gearWhen you think of a rainy day at work you probably have unpleasant thoughts of waterlogged clothes, wet feet, and water dripping into your eyes. Not to mention slippery surfaces and standing water that seemingly make even the simplest tasks a burden. Working in the rain is no fun for any of us, but unfortunately some of our jobs require it. On a more positive note, there are ways to make the work day more bearable and productive, even in the wettest weather.
    The folks at ML Kishigo have been designing and manufacturing some of the best high visibility safety gear on the market for quite some time and have put a significant amount of effort into creating high visibility rain gear that's affordable, performs well and keeps you visible in even the most extreme weather conditions. The Brilliant Series Rain Jacket and Rain Pants are no exception, and in fact, they're the perfect example of top quality gear for the rainy season.
    The Brilliant Series Jacket and Pants are made from high quality 150-denier polyester oxford fabric which provides maximum durability in a lightweight and breathable style that will keep you dry without retaining too much heat and sacrificing your comfort on the job. Of course, they are 100% waterproof featuring sealed seams to prevent even the smallest amount of water penetration.
    While the jacket features a waterproof front zipper with storm flap and waterproof zippered pockets, it also has a vented back and underarms to improve air circulation while keeping out any water. The pants utilize waterproof side cargo pockets and adjustable leg cuffs that provide a comfortable and secure fit. When it comes to storage, dryness and comfort, Brilliant Series Rain Wear offers the best performance available.
    But what about safety? The Brilliant Series Jacket and Pants have that covered also.
    Both products employ Reflexite prismatic tape for ANSI Class 3 protection, but that's not all. Reflective trim pinstripes are used around the edges and seams offer enhanced visibility to ensure the utmost protection and safety. Used in combination, the jacket and pants are some of the most effective garments available for working outdoors in rainy or wet environments. As a touch of style and for the purpose of maintaining a cleanly appearance in areas that usually discolor from dirt and contact, ML Kishigo has incorporated black fabric into the lower areas of both garments to help hide dirt and prevent discoloration.
    If you're serious about staying dry on the job this year, be sure to check out these two products in the high visibility rain gear section of our website.

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