Stay Safe As It Gets Dark: Safety Clothing Options For Popular Autumn Activities

As the days grow shorter with autumn moving along, safety clothing options on the work site extend further into activities outside of work. Just because it gets a little darker and colder outside, doesn’t mean people stop enjoying outdoor activities.

There are distinct dangers during this season that aren’t existent or, at least, as common in the spring and summer. Safety clothing companies spend quite a bit designing safety clothing options for people in a vast array of outdoor activities. Let’s look at some.

Outdoor exercise

High visibility jackets, reflective pants, and numerous athletic safety clothing options line shelves in sporting goods stores everywhere. Whether early morning or evening, visibility is limited as the year draws to a close. Suiting up for your jog, bike ride, or even just walking the dog, it’s important to wear something that will clearly tell vehicles and fellow pedestrians “here I am, please steer clear!”

Hunting

Hunting season is open for bows and is right around the corner for guns. High visibility clothing isn’t only essential during hunting season, it’s the law to wear it. Every year, there are fatal hunting accidents when limited visibility ends with a hunter shooting another hunter in tragic accidents. Stay safe, stay seen. Also, permanent hearing loss can happen when you’re exposed to sounds louder than 85 decibels. You’re not too cool for ear protection when shooting firearms, so don’t neglect it.

Hiking

Whether a veteran hiker or just someone who wants to soak in the beauty of autumn foliage, it’s good to be wary. The aforementioned hunting accidents have been known to occur when people walking in forests wander inadvertently into a hunting area and are mistaken for wildlife. Hike wearing bright colors, be wary of hiking in unfamiliar areas, and try to avoid situations with low or limited visibility.

Don’t hide away in your house until spring. We’re in the midst of one of the most beautiful seasons. Get out there and enjoy it. While you’re enjoying it, a little safety goes a long way. Stay seen this season and soak in the fall as much as possible.

‘Dangerous Jobs’ Take On A New Form As FBI Clear Booby Trapped House

Work injuries are a fact of work. They’re mostly avoidable and work is generally injury free, but there come times that danger rears its ugly head and causes trouble. One study shows that it’s employees in their first month of working at a new job who are three times more prone to injuries than others. That said, some jobs are a bit more dangerous than others. Like the FBI, for instance.

Safety jackets for work take on a whole different form when emblazoned with the letters FBI. Such was the case when an FBI team was tasked with clearing a property in Oregon. Typically, you don’t need the FBI to clear a foreclosed property that’s being repossessed, but in this case, they proved essential.

Oregon resident Gregory Rodvelt was the former homeowner that called for an FBI sweep. When his property was repossessed, authorities suspected it might be dangerous. In the past, he had been charged with illegal possession of explosives and, if that’s not enough, the property had a posted sign that warned of improvised explosive devices.

Naturally, the judge who ordered the property to be repossessed urged caution. And rightly so.

The FBI team found several different booby traps outside the house, some utilizing steel animal traps, while another took the form a trap that would discharge a shotgun shell. Most of them were avoided and disarmed by the FBI team, but when they entered the house, another shotgun shell was discharged, hitting an agent in the leg. Most types of safety clothing won’t stop a shotgun shell at point blank range and this was no exception. The agent was injured but is fine now.

Rodvelt, however, was apprehended in Arizona and is being charged with the assault of a federal officer. He later confessed and gave details on how he set up the traps, even talking about the house saying, “I would not race right in.”

When you’re getting ready and dreading safety jackets for work or any other type of safety workwear, reflect on the FBI sweep of Rodvelt’s booby-trapped house. Suddenly, wearing high visibility construction clothing won’t seem quite as much of a burden.

The Top Four Noisiest Jobs Of 2018

Some people might complain about the person in the next cubicle over being a bit chatty, but nothing can compare to these noisy jobs. Some professions are so loud that having safety gear to protect your hearing is necessary to prevent serious long-term damage to the eardrums. Here are the four loudest professions to work in this year, and some of the best safety workwear for each to keep workers protected on the job.

      1. Carpentry
        While the volume can vary depending on if you’re working in close quarters or not, carpentry is without a doubt one of the loudest professions out there. Industrial saws can create noise of 70db or more, and nail guns can range between 110 and 130db. Because the loudest noises are usually over fairly quickly, earplugs should be able to help in this situation. Earplugs can lower volumes by 15 to 30db, if worn properly.
      2. Mining
        Being in close quarters with jackhammers and drills that can reach 120db is sure to cause a few headaches on the job for miners. Earplugs or earmuffs are helpful for this sort of work, but don’t forget to wear high visibility clothing too; if your coworkers can’t hear you, they should at least be able to see you.
      3. Construction
        Construction is already a dangerous line of work, with plenty of risks to health and safety beyond just hearing. However, hearing is still a major concern: between jackhammers, trucks, bulldozers, and other loud industrial equipment, ear protection is an absolute must. This, of course, is in addition to the standard required construction safety vests, hard hats, and other high visibility safety workwear.
      4. Airline Ground Crew Members
        Anyone working on the ground at an airport, next to jet engines that can reach volumes of 140db, definitely needs appropriate safety clothing. This includes anyone who might be exposed to that sort of volume: ground control, baggage handlers, maintenance personnel, and more. Be sure to wear the best ear protection you can find in this line of work.

Any of these noisy professions require appropriate gear to stay safe. Make sure you purchase the best safety workwear available, especially ear protection. Protecting yourself on the job is important, regardless of the type of work you’re doing.

The Big Little Things That We Should Protect The Most

The most vital, and easily damageable, parts of your body are often the smallest. Flinching is a natural, involuntary response your body is programmed to enact when it feels something vital is in danger. Protect your head, and the like.

Fortunately, we’ve advanced enough that all types of safety clothing and specialized safety workwear are being developed and improved to protect us from errant dangers. What are we protecting the most? As vital safety becomes habitual, it can fade into complacency. They may be small, but these parts of your body you’re protecting are as big as it gets.

Eyes

Sure, those reflective pants for work keep you seen, but it’s tough to do anything without being able to see. One of the most sensitive parts of your body, eye safety is incredibly important, yet susceptible to shortcuts. Every time it’s sunny outside, we go to our sunglasses, yet, on the worksite, sometimes it’s easy to think oh, I can do this one thing real quick. You know what we’re talking about. Those are the avoidable moments that make for tragic reflections. Wear those safety glasses and keep your peepers peeping.

Ears

This is a subtle one, definitely among the most neglected parts of physical safety. It’s not that loud is a relative opinion that your physical biology knows to be false. Permanent hearing loss can be caused by sounds louder than 85 decibels. We’ve worked with enough people — namely men — whose machismo in the face of noise is unhealthy. Protect your ears, so we don’t have to repeat this.

Head

Thought we were forgetting something. Everything mentioned before is attached to the one piece that makes it all function. If you’ve ever seen some of the horrifying close-call videos on YouTube, or have experienced close calls yourself, that a hard hat has saved, then you know the importance. Keep your dome secure and protected 100% of the time, because, without that, your eyes and ears won’t really matter.

Wearing reflective pants for work might keep you visible, but protecting the head-located essentials will keep you seeing, hearing, and alive. Don’t fall into a lazy rut born from habit. Use your head and help yourself keep your head.

Haphazard On The Homefront? Safety Precautions To Bring From Worksite To Home Project

orange safety vestWe’re probably going to sound like your grandfather right now, but danger never goes off-duty. Sure the worksite has danger lurking around every corner and it’s important to keep your head on a swivel, but what about those pesky home projects? Once you’ve taken off the orange safety vest from the site and head home, what then? More injuries happen when people are doing work outside of work than you think.

This happens most often because of a lapse in care that’s common with working within comfortable, familiar spaces over which you have a semblance of control. We’re here to tell you to be careful and to chronicle some of the most common home improvement/around-the-house related injuries that befall even the most careful.

Don’t lift the thing, Heracles

Probably the most common at home injury, overestimating your ability to lift the heavy thing and straining something. We understand that you need to get stuff done around the house, but you’ll be getting even less done if you try to overexert during a lift that’s too heavy and throw out your back. Let it wait until you have help and save yourself a literal backache.

Can you hear me now?

Wear earplugs. Period. The little accessories that are worksite mantras often fall to the wayside in the comfort of your own yard. Your eyes and ears are just as sensitive at home. Human beings shouldn’t be around 85 decibels of sound for more than 8 hours, so when you’re running your chainsaw at 120 decibels without ear protection, you do the math. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean everything is a little laxer. Especially when it’s the eyes and ears.

Good things come in twos

Piggybacking off the first point, working at home alone is always a hazard. Accidents happen without plan nor regard for your schedule. Having work buddies with you (or close by) will help alleviate the physical stress some jobs have on one person. Most importantly, having another person around in the case of an emergency is vital. Worksite accountability, home or not, is pivotal to safety.

We know that home projects aren’t all formalized with orange safety vests, high visibility workwear, and the traditional worksite wardrobe of safety clothing. When home projects come knocking and your regular safety workwear is off, take a moment and note the pieces of safety you might be leaving out before diving in.

How to Choose the Right Uniform for Your New Company

construction safety vestYou’ve started a new company and it’s time to hire employees. Depending on your business, there are many factors that go into choosing the correct type of uniform for your new employees. When deciding on what to get, consider these factors when making your final decision.

Function
This is the primary factor in choosing your employee’s work attire. Nothing matters quite as much as this one. If your company involves construction, it’s unlikely you’ll want to put your employees in a skirt. What does your business seek to accomplish? What are the tasks you will be doing each day? And how does the clothing allow your employees to accomplish this task? For employees that need to do a lot of running around and leaning over, like food service and construction, stain-resistant pants and shirts are a necessity. If you work outside, your employees might need high visibility pants and jackets to be seen at night. Think about how your employees move and what is needed to keep them safe.

The branding
Ask yourself this: what kind of message are you trying to convey with your uniform? If you work in a restaurant you may opt for light, cotton safety shirts with a prominent logo so your employees are identifiable to your customers. If you’re hiring employees to work in an office space where they rarely interact with customers or business partners, allowing more casual attire may be an option. Consider the placement of your brand’s logo on your employees’ work attire. If your employees work outside, displaying a logo on a custom reflective jacket is a great way to catch the eye of your consumer.

Safety is a must
If you’re working in a dangerous environment, the proper safety precautions must be enforced. A new employee is three times more likely to hurt themselves within the first month than older employees.

These types of jobs might include construction workers, traffic enforcers, police officers — these careers all require the use of a bright construction safety vest, often seen in the form of a construction safety vest. Though your new job may not require construction, it’s a good idea to purchase a construction safety vest for each of your employees if you ever work outside or at night.

Durability
To avoid replacing your work attire often, it’s important to make sure you get a comfortable, yet durable fabric. You want it to wash easily, but look good. Depending on the type of business you’re running, polyester may be a better option than cotton if the job gets dirty. Luckily, safety clothing comes in a variety of colors and fabrics to protect your employees.

Choosing the right work attire for your employees is never an easy task. Consider these factors when you choose your employees’ new uniform.

Good Boots 101: Protecting Your Feet the Right Way

safety clothes

There are vast categories of types of safety clothes. It’s not our place to downplay the importance of any particular type of safety workwear, yet there is a particular emphasis to be put upon proper footwear. One of the most important parts of your safety uniform starts with your feet.

We spend a lot of time on our feet on a daily basis and elements of the more rough-and-tumble jobs we’re a part of demand footwear that’s up to the challenge. Usually, we cover the importance of safety clothing for the whole body, but today we’re going to look at the importance of solid footwear. That’s right, your work boots.

Most people take an average of 10,000 steps every day, while construction workers take upwards of 30,000. You’re on your feet a lot, not to mention the other hazards of the job site. When you’re choosing boots, remember these important considerations.

Usage
Different safety clothes for different jobs. It seems self-explanatory, but the number of workers who buy boots for the wrong job is astounding. The boot for a mechanic will be different from the boot for a forest ranger. Consider the elements of the job you’re doing day-to-day, do some research, and look into footwear accordingly. There might be crossover in some places, but all footwear and jobs are not interchangeable.

Fit, Fit, Fit
You’ve found the perfect pair of boots, great. Now you have to consider the fact that you might be taking upwards of 30,000 steps per day, walking around and doing work on your feet for long spans of time. You could have the most perfect boot for the job, but if it fits poorly you’ll be generally uncomfortable and could end up injuring yourself. Test them out before committing.

Quality Before Coupons
Because you’ll be spending so much time in your work footwear, buying quality products is much more preferable than saving a few bucks. You’re not necessarily investing in fashion so much as protection, usability, and durable functionality. Like with all safety clothes, you’re not walking the runway, you’re keeping your body comfortable and out of harm’s way from the ground up. That’s worth a lot more than the savings you’ll get from a sale.

Your feet are your foundation. Really invest and pay attention to how you protect them on the worksite. The last thing that you need is a stubbed toe that could’ve been avoided by better boots. Now, lace up and get to work.

3 Tips for Staying Safe When Working on the Roadside

workwearWorking on the roadside can be an extremely dangerous job. Between operating heavy machinery, an unsafe work environment, and every regular Joe driving by too fast in their massive SUV, it’s a recipe for injury.

Unfortunately, that’s the name of the game. It’s a dangerous job and you have to live with those risks, right? Not exactly. Yes, roadside work is inherently dangerous, but as a worker you can take steps to reduce those hazards. Here are a few tips for staying safe on the job.

Familiarize Yourself With the Jobsite Safety Plan
Your supervisor will have a jobsite safety plan as well as a plan for traffic control through the work zone. Both plans will outline proper procedures regarding where pedestrians are and aren’t allowed to be, where certain barriers will need to be placed, the flow of traffic, lighting, and more. It would benefit you to read through these plans carefully before starting any work so that you are completely familiar with how things should work, and thus keep safety at the forefront of your mind.

Be Seen
Never assume that someone sees you. You could be one of those tall inflatable things with the crazy waving arms that dealerships use, and still, somebody might not see you. So it’s in your best interest to take every precaution you can to make yourself as easily seen as possible. That means your workwear needs to be high visibility. Reflective safety vests, hi vis jackets, high visibility pants, and even hi vis rain gear should all be articles in your workwear closet. Besides wearing high visibility clothing, you should also know the blind spots of the heavy machinery that are in use within the work zone, and never be in an area that you really don’t need to be in — especially if there are known hazards. If you need to walk by a piece of equipment that is in use, be sure that you make eye contact with the operator to know that they see you. Never stand behind heavy machinery, vehicles, or other pieces of equipment.

Don’t Forget About the Night
Your risk of injury skyrockets as soon as the sun sets and the moon rises. The glare from the headlights combined with the overall darkness will create a low-visibility situation for drivers. That means a high-danger situation for you. During night shifts, you should be more attentive than ever, and wear as much high visibility workwear as possible. Follow safety measures to the letter, and ensure that your work zone is well lit.

The dangers of roadside work are numerous and aren’t limited to the hazards of oncoming traffic. The loud machinery can be dangerous to ear health, and permanent hearing loss can occur after exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels. There might be asbestos in some of the older materials, then there’s the hot tar for paving the roads, falling objects, and much more. It’s imperative to be vigilant and safe in your roadside work zone.

Need to purchase high visibility clothing? Check out our inventory today.

4 Commonly Neglected Pieces of Safety Workwear

safety yellow sweatshirtsIt’s time we had a fireside chat about something we all know we shouldn’t do but do anyway. About $70 is spent on every employee on foot protection every year. We love a good work boot and never go to a job site without them. Why, then, are there other pieces of vital safety workwear that we start using less and less?

It’s good to be comfortable with your job. We exist in an industry that — thankfully — is becoming safer and safer. This is because of little details like safety yellow sweatshirts, hi visibility clothing, and the like. When we get too comfortable and start neglecting to wear these things, that’s when unnecessary risk increases exponentially. Let’s look at the most commonly shelved types of safety clothing.

Eye protection
Safety glasses are getting better, but they’re still a hassle to wear at times. They’re also one of the smallest wearables that protect one of your most important (and delicate) physical assets. When you’re sweating and fogging up your goggles, think twice before tossing them to the wayside. Inconvenienced vision is a much more manageable alternative to eye damage.

Ear protection
Another subtle, yet delicate part of the anatomy that wears down over time is your hearing. Especially working daily around loud machinery, that constant beating your eardrums take without ear protection is more harmful than you might think. Ya heard?

Gloves
It seems like a no-brainer, but if you work with your hands and severely injure your hands, you might not be working for a little while. You protect your feet all day long in boots, so protect your hands all day long in gloves. It’s no manicure but you’ll keep yourself from nagging, obnoxious minor injuries you’d sustain without gloves.

Visibility gear
Arguably the easiest to forget is high visibility workwear. We’re often working in wild weather conditions and it’s easy to opt for t-shirts over safety yellow sweatshirts when the temperature is stifling. Operational hazards increase when you aren’t as easily seen. Be visible regardless of the weather.

There’s a theme of comfort shining through here. It’s good to be comfortable doing a job, but you’re never above the possibility of danger. Especially in these aspects. Accidental injury is easily avoided by protecting yourself from harmful forces (like gravity, noise, errant shrapnel, etc.) that aren’t in your control. Work smart, work hard, stay protected.

What to wear when working at height?

working at heightWorking at height is one of the most dangerous activities in construction, maintenance and facility management. Not only are workers exposed to the elements, but also to the risks of falling. The use of fall protection safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) saves lives daily.

In this blog we will look at the PPE you should wear for safely working at height. From specific PPE for preventing falls to standard PPE for keeping employees safe. While equipment goes a long way, we always urge caution when working at height.

Collective protection
Collective fall protection always take priority over personal protection measures. Installing equipment such as guardrails, for example, will transform the entire roof into a safe zone were no fall protection PPE is needed. However, there are plenty of situations where guardrails cannot be installed and PPE will be the lifeline of a worker.

PPE for fall protection
The specific PPE that should be worn for working at height is determined via a risk assessment. Equipment ranges from fall restraint (preventing falls altogether) to fall arrest (stopping a fall when one occurs).

A restraint system consist of a full-body harness, a work positioning lanyard and a connector, which the user can connect to an anchor point. The length of a lanyard prevents a user from falling over the edge of the roof, and the safest way to prevent this, is to use a lanyard with a fixed length.

In the case of a fall arrest system the user also wears a full-body harness and has a connector to hook up to an anchor point, the lanyard however has an integrated energy absorber specially designed to minimize the impact of a fall on the human body. The length and strength of the materials are all determined by the situation.

Additional protection
Additionally to specific fall protection PPE, such as a harness and the correct lanyard, those who work at height should wear proper protective clothing, footwear and hard helmets. Some job sites also require the worker to wear protective gloves, hearing protection or safety glasses.

Protective clothing
Protective clothing should be comfortable to wear, compatible with other workwear, not limit movement, and not be too loose, as to prevent snagging. Ideally pockets should be able to be closed off completely to prevent items falling out. For working at height long pants, that leave no skin exposed, are required. Preferably in combination with knee pads.

The clothing should also help protect workers from environmental conditions. In the cases of extreme weather conditions more clothing may be required, such as a jacket with a large hood that can be worn over a helmet. On the other end of the spectrum, workers are just as likely to be exposed to sunlight. To protect workers from heat-related illnesses they should wear head protection and cover up skin. Please pay attention that no clothing hampers the fit of the harness!

Footwear to prevent slips
Proper footwear is very important in minimizing fall risks. Rooftops, or outside walkways, can get slippery for a number of reasons, for example dead leaves or rainfall. Even workers who need to work at height indoors can face slippery surfaces due to saw dust or oil spills. Footwear must have really good grip in order to prevent slips, but it should also be hard to protect feet from falling objects. Next to this, safety shoes should be comfortable and fit correctly to ensure full stability and prevent exhaustion.

Buying PPE
We’ve gone over some of the PPE used for working at height. As every situation differs, so does the equipment. There is no one-size fits all when it comes to working safely. Employees should determine what fall protection measures and PPE are needed for workers at height. They then need to provide their employees with the PPE and the instructions for use. It is the responsibility of the buyer, in this case the employer, to ensure that the PPE conforms to local legislation and OSHA standards.

Guest post by Danine Timmer for XSPlatforms in Chico California.