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HiVis Supply Blog

  • 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!

  • Workplace Safety: Eye Protection & 90% Injury Preventability

    workplace safety eye protectionThere's a lot of talk about workplace safety, but we find that one of the most overlooked aspects of personal protection on job sites is eye protection. Protecting your eyes at work is commonplace for welders and machinists, but there are hundreds of other occupations where eye injury is a real risk that often goes unacknowledged or ignored.
    If you're working with any of the following materials or tools, it's critical that you think twice about protecting your eyes:
    • Liquid Chemicals
    • Powdered Chemicals
    • Caustic Substances
    • Grinding/Cutting Tools
    • Granular Products or Materials
    • High Heat or Flammable Materials
    • Machines with Small Moving Parts
    • Airborne or Super-Lightweight Materials
    • Solvents and Cleaners
    • Heavy Machinery
    • Falling, Crumbling or Easily Breakable Materials/Products
    • Pressurized Products/Equipment/Materials
    • Sharp Objects or Sharp Moving Parts
    • Fibrous Materials or Products
    • Adhesives
    • Intense Light
    While the list may not be complete, it can provide some very real insight into the many ways your eyes can be harmed, by both accidents and/or long-term exposure.
    If there's any chance of something splashing, sparking, exploding, slivering, shattering, bursting, or blowing into your eyes, you need to utilize some sort of eye protection. Whether it's googles, safety glasses or a safety shield, it might prevent you from losing your vision or suffering irreversible damage that can be debilitating, painful and costly.
    According to the CDC, here are over 2,000 work-related eye injuries each day that require medical treatment in the US. ABout a third, or 650+ of those require emergency room visits.
    Even when wearing eye protection, studies have shown that 40% of these eye injuries occur when people are wearing eye protection - but wearing the improper type or wearing them wrong way was a major factor. While certain eye injuries can happen even when eye protection is properly utilized, the majority of injuries in which eye protection was being used is due to safety glasses without side shields.
    Not surprisingly, almost 70% of all accidents involving eye injury occur from flying or falling objects, sparks and debris striking the eye. Of the injured workers themselves, 3/5 of them estimate that the particle causing the damage was smaller than a pinhead and traveling faster than an object that had been thrown. This valuable insight, along with other statistics tells us that tiny, fast moving particles are the most common cause of eye injuries. There are many ways this can occur, from a simple gust of wind to piece of aluminum dust being thrown up by a sander or cutting tool.
    Accidents happen, that why they're called accidents. However, eye injuries are one of the only injuries that experts claim to be 90% avoidable.
    We often take our eyes for granted, but we need to make a better effort to expect the unexpected. It might take some getting used to and it may be a minor annoyance, but improving your use of eye protection could end up saving your sight and your career. Life is too short to suffer avoidable accidents, and it only makes sense to protect your eyes from common workplace hazards.
    Learn more about eye protection from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the CDC's Eye Safety Resources & Information page. Stay safe out there!

  • The ML Kishigo Black Series Windbreaker

    ML Kishigo Black Series WindbreakerWith the fall season closing in on us, it's time to begin preparing for cooler temperatures. In the outdoor workplace, this usually means adding an extra layer of clothing. While we're still a few months away from the brutal cold of winter, it's nice to be comfortable when the temperatures drop. The ML Kishigo Black Series Windbreaker offers a perfect combination of warmth and safety to make your workday easier during the beautiful but often chilly fall weather.
    The Black Series Windbreakers (WB100/WB101) are ANSI Class 3 compliant and constructed from lightweight 100% polyester fabric, giving you unmatched flexibility and water resistant protection throughout the workday. To meet the needs of demanding work environments, this high visibility windbreaker is equipped with ripstop reinforcements in high-wear areas, giving it a longer lifespan and improved durability over most hi-vis windbreakers. The black side panels and underarms of this windbreaker provide better contrast when compared to solid colors and have a cleaner, more stylish appearance to them. You're going to look better, be more visible, and feel safer than you've ever felt in windbreaker.
    If you're worried about functionality, the WB100 Windbreaker will set your mind at ease. With VizLite reflective striping that exceeds ANSI Class 3 standards, you're going to be visible in even the worst weather or low-light conditions. Also, unlike many windbreakers, this jacket is equipped with shoulder vents that allow just enough warm air to escape so you don't get too warm during vigorous physical work. The adjustable waist and wrist cuffs ensure the most comfortable and secure fit at any given moment, preventing cool drafts and uninvited water during periods of rain.
    To protect important items, the left chest of the Black Series Windbreaker is equipped with a waterproof zippered pocket. The lower front pockets are also equipped with zippers and perfect for simple storage of gloves and similar personal effects.
    If you're looking for comfort and safety this fall, be sure to take a closer look at the ML Kishigo Black Series Windbreaker. It's available in Lime (WB100) or Orange (WB101) in a variety of sizes. In our opinion, it's one of the best, most functional hi-vis windbreakers on the market at the moment, with quality craftsmanship and an affordable price of right around $50.

  • How Non-ANSI Apparel Could Save Your Life

    how non-ansi apparel could save your lifeMost of us know the drill. ANSI-rated garments meet a specific requirement that's been put in place to enhance visibility in hazardous, busy, and often chaotic work environments. But what about the work environments where ANSI Class safety gear actually lowers our visibility?
    It may sound odd, but it's a totally valid question. Generally speaking, it's the bright colors and mandatory reflectivity of an ANSI Class garment that allows us to be seen. However, in some circumstances we must consider that these qualities are useless from a safety perspective and that Non-ASNI apparel - although considered "less safe" - could be more beneficial to the wearer. It might even save lives.
    Imagine working in forestry during the prime months of fall when tree's leaves are changing colors and display vibrant hues of yellow and orange. Imagine working road repair on a heavily wooded and curvy 2-lane backroad during the same season. Imagine the lack of color contrast when a firefighter sporting yellow hi-vis gear battles wildfires among a blazing landscape of yellowish-orange flames. In all of these situations - especially during the daylight hours - the reflectivity of ANSI gear becomes somewhat irrelevant and the bright colors may actually work against their original intentions. What was meant to help you stand out from your surroundings is now doing the opposite. This is how Non-ANSI apparel could save your life.
    By definition and specifications, all ANSI gear requires a specific surface area (usually measured in square inches) of bright colored fabric and a specific surface area of reflective material. Regardless of how much reflective material a garment has, if the material isn't bright yellow or orange, it doesn't meet ANSI standards. This is why you'll see black safety vests with ANSI Class 3 reflectivity levels that are labeled as Non-ANSI. The black material itself fails to meet ANSI requirements.
    While "black-bottom" ANSI gear has exploded into the market in recent years, it still doesn't offer the level of contrast that a black safety gear might offer in these rare but very real environments mentioned above. So what is one to do?
    If your job has an ANSI standard, it needs to be adhered to. However, if you're wearing your ANSI 3 vest to improve your visibility in an environment where ANSI 3 is not technically required, you might want to rethink your actions. There are a lot of us who wear garments that carry a higher ANSI rating than our job or task requires, and we do this to improve our own safety. However, we could be unintentionally increasing the risk of accidents or even death without even realizing it. Before you make the decision to throw on your ANSI-rated safety vest, ask yourself if it's the most beneficial protection for the tasks at hand. Could a black, red, or even blue non-ANSI vest improve your ability to be seen by motorists, co-workers or equipment operators? It's something we deserve to consider.

  • Workplace Safety: Working in Heavy Traffic

    workplace safety working in heavy trafficWe live in a busy world. While it might be ideal to keep all job sites free of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, that's not always possible. More often than not, workers who build and repair roads, bridges, sewer & water lines, power lines, phone lines, and a variety of other job tasks are required to work in the immediate vicinity of heavy and often dangerous traffic. Whether it's a side road in a suburban area or a busy interstate highway during rush hour, the hazards of the job are greatly magnified when working near moving vehicles.
    Many companies offer safety training for those working in close proximity to moving traffic, but in most cases you're just required to wear your high visibility safety gear and told to "look out for traffic". Of course both mobile and stationary barriers are often used to separate work sites from the highway, but this isn't always the case. Sometimes workers have little to no real protection from fast moving vehicle traffic, leaving a good operation of their safety up to the motorists themselves.
    To reduce the chances of an accident, injury or death when working in heavy traffic, it's important to practice the following:
    Be aware of your surroundings: Know what's in front of you and behind you at all times. When working in close proximity to moving traffic, always be aware of which direction the traffic is heading, how much buffer space exists between you and the road, and what type of barriers are used. Don't forget that large trucks, mobile homes, tractor trailers take up more space and often make a closer approach to your workspace than normal passenger vehicles. Always be sure that hoses, ropes, power cords and similar objects are far enough from the roadway as to not be sucked in by wind or the draft of passing vehicles.
    Expect the Unexpected: A lot of the time, you only have so much control over your safety. The rest of it is up to the passing motorists. This is the reason that work zones have reduced speed limits which reduce the chances of high-speed accidents. At any given moment, a driver who may not be paying attention could veer or the roadway heading in your direction. Also, rising/setting sun, fog, and low-visibility caused by bad weather or night time conditions can further hamper motorist's ability to see. Likewise, tires can blow out and parts can fall from vehicles or tractor trailers, acting as deadly projectiles that can easily cause bodily harm or death.
    Go Prepared: Always be sure you're wearing the proper ANSI compliant high visibility garments. One great idea for working in or around traffic is to use a breakaway safety vest. These safety vests utilize velcro-style breakaway points which will easily rip apart with enough force. If your breakaway vest or jacket is caught on a passing vehicle, the garment will separate instead of dragging you along with it. In either case, wear as much reflective apparel as possible to ensure motorists can see you. Safety glasses should also be worn in close proximity to traffic because debris such as sand and rocks can quickly become airborne and present a hazard.
    The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration has an abundance of information in regards to highway, work zone, and traffic-related safety. You can visit their website HERE to learn more about highway safety. You can also view their Workzone Hazards Awareness resources to learn more tips on working safely in area with vehicle traffic.

  • Workplace Safety: Preventing Hearing Damage

    workplace safety preventing hearing lossOne of the often-overlooked dangers of the workplace is hearing damage. Sometimes people ignore the danger of hearing damage and other times people don't seem to realize it poses a legitimate threat. The truth is that hearing damage is very real, and anyone working in an environment with excessive noise is subject to suffering some sort of hearing loss.
    The reality of the situation is often surprising to some people. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to operate a jack-hammer 10 hours a day to damage your hearing. Often times, people suffer permanent hearing damage and/or loss from working in an environment that might not seem dangerously loud. If the sound is repetitive or constant, it doesn't have to be at an extremely high decibel to do damage. Many industrial workers, equipment operators, and processing plant employees have suffered problems like ringing ears, decreased hearing sensitivity, mild to intermediate hearing loss from nothing other than spending so much time in their work environment near mid-level noise intensity. Others have suffered very serious ringing of the ears and massive hearing loss due to being used to the sound intensity and/or failure to utilize hearing protection.
    So, how do you minimize hearing damage? It's rather simple - hearing protection is the single most important factor. If you're going to be working near excessive noise for specific tasks, be sure to have proper protection available at all times. It's easy to use and then remove the protection as needed when the sound intensity decreases or the tasks requiring hearing protection are complete. If you're working in a medium-noise facility where long-term exposure is a concern, consider wearing disposable ear plugs. They can be worn in a loose fashion that helps protect your ears by muffling loud noises while still making it possible to hear and communicate with others.
    Remember, your ears don't have to hurt for noise to hurt your ears. Too many people disregard the importance of hearing protection while ignoring the possibilities of hearing damage because they assume that if sound levels aren't hurting their ears then it's okay. It can take quite some time for hearing damage to develop or show symptoms, but it can also happen instantaneously in the right environment. Protect your ears, be safe, and keep hearing protection at your disposal.

  • ANSI Class 3 High Visibility Safety Vests

    ansi class 3 high visibility safety vests
    High visibility safety vests are an important aspect of workplace safety for anyone working in a hazardous environment. They ensure a higher level of visibility than normal clothing and decrease the likelihood of workplace accidents by making sure you can be seen among co-workers, equipment operators, motorists and others.
    ANSI Class 3 high visibility safety vests provide the highest level of safety and are usually reserved for this working in the most dangerous environments. This includes busy roadways where traffic moves in excess of 50mph, however, class 3 garments can be used by anyone looking for optimal safety. They're very common among truck drivers or utility workers and anyone working in harsh weather conditions where visibility is substantially reduced. In fact, although your job might only require ANSI Class 2, many people opt for an ANSI Class 3 safety vests for the added protection they offer.
    The requirements for ANSI Class 3 safety vests are an impressive 1,240 inches of high visibility background fabric (lime/yellow/orange) and 310 square inches of reflective striping. Due to the strict standards, ANSI Class 3 vests can often be larger than class 2 due to the required minimum surface area. Nearly all class 3 vests feature short sleeves to meet this requirement, often resembling a t-shirt more than the classic sleeveless vest design. Generally, they're equipped with more - or wider - reflective striping but this depends on the design.
    ANSI Class 3 Vests are most commonly used by road workers, utility workers, brigde builders, miners, railroad workers and anyone working in close proximity to very large equipment. It's also especially common for marine workers, depending on their job tasks. Again, even though Class 3 garments may not be mandatory for your job duties, they offer the highest level of safety and visibility.
    As a major retailer of high visibility safety garments, HiVis Supply stocks a variety of ANSI Class 3 gear, including the newest and most popular styles from the industry's top brand names. Shop or browse our selection of ANSI Class 3 Safety Vests today and save on safety!

  • The Ultimate Utility Shirt - GSS Safety's ANSI Class 3 Performance Utility Shirt

    gss 7505 ansi class 3 performance utility shirtWhen we think of ANSI-rated clothing, it's usually about nothing more than safety compliance for the workplace. It's not often that you find safety, comfort, style and durability in a single garment - but the folks over at GSS safety are doing something about that. The new 7505 Performance Utility Shirt delivers everything you could ask for and then some.
    To start, these shirts are made from a highly durable and lightweight ripstop fabric to give the perfect balance of strength and comfort. The material is quick-drying and rapidly wicks away moisture, making it a great choice for warm environments. It features front and rear vents that allow for enhanced airflow to reduce sweat and help maintain a stable body temperature. The fabric is also treated with a unique technology that gives you 50 UPF sun protection to prevent burning and irritation while working outdoors in direct sunlight.
    The 7505 Performance Utility Shirt is designed with a relaxed fit, which also helps to improve airflow and comfort. It features roll-up sleeves that can be secured with a button tab located near the upper arm to prevent accidental unrolling during job tasks, and a buttoned front closure. There are dual front chest pockets and also a convenient divided pen/pencil pocket on the left arm shoulder for easy access. The segmented reflective striping lends additional airflow, improved flexibility over solid striping and is less likely to buckle after wash & dry cycles, giving you a longer lifespan for your dollar.
    Ideal for any type of utility work, this ANSI Class 3 compliant high performance work shirt gives you the best of both worlds, offering unparalleled comfort and exceptional safety compliance. Available in high visibility lime or orange, the GSS Performance Utility Shirt can be purchased in sizes M - 5XL for only $54.50. Learn more or get yours today and feel the difference throughout the workday. Stay safe (and comfortable) out there!

  • ML Kishigo Keeps It Cool with the 9120 High Visibility T-Shirt

    ml kishigo 9120 hi vis t-shirtSummer is here and the temps are heating up, but are you keeping as cool as possible at work? Proper clothing is critical and so is your safety - thankfully the ML Kishigo 9120 High Visibility T-shirt has you covered in both areas. These shirts are designed for optimal comfort and performance, even in the hottest weather - and they don't sacrifice your visibility to do so.
    Manufactured from a lightweight and highly breathable microfiber polyester fabric, these high visibility t-shirts help reduce body heat by promoting the quick evaporation of moisture and allowing for maximum airflow. You stay cooler for a longer period of time, making it easier to concentrate on your job and keep your body temperature at a reasonable level when compared to hi-vis shirts made from other fabrics.
    The high-contrast design of these shirts gives more visibility than normal ANSI Class 2 shirts by featuring 2-inch silver reflective striping laid over a wider hi-vis stripe that contrasts the color of the shirt itself. This creates a more vibrant garment that helps motorists, co-workers and others see you - reducing the chances of an accident or injury on the job. The fabric is also flat-stitched instead of layered, giving you the same level of thickness in the contrasting areas as the rest of the shirt for lightweight comfort.
    If you're looking for a t-shirt that offers as much visibility as possible, the 9120 series by ML Kishigo is an excellent choice. It also features a front chest pocket for simple storage and is available in high visibility lime or yellow. These shirts are ANSI 107 Class 2 compliant and available in a variety of sizes.
    ML Kishigo makes quality high visibility garments and these shirts are no exception. Make your life easier without having to worry about what to wear at work! Stay cool and safe this summer by picking up a few for yourself - at just $20.95 each, you really can't go wrong.

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