The coldest time of the year is upon us. 2018 started with a massive winter storm on the East Coast followed by brutally cold conditions. Wind chill warnings were issued in most of the East Coast states. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from the exposed skin caused by wind and cold. As wind increases, it draws heat from the body and drives down internal body temperature. For example, at -19 degrees Fahrenheit, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minutes. A massive winter storm, referred to as a “bomb cyclone”, traveled up the East Coast, dumped a foot of snow, and created blizzard-like conditions.
Several locations experienced record-breaking temperatures. Summit conditions at Mount Washington were so cold that the temperature was the second coldest on Earth. According to Mount Washington Observatory, the temperature hit minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of minus 90 degrees. Additionally, the strong winds brought coastal flooding that reached historically high levels in some New England communities. Cars were stranded and pedestrians had to be rescued from cold water and ice overflowing into the streets.
CBS News confirmed that at least 22 people nationwide have died from the recent blast of the Arctic air that stretched from Maine to Texas.
Cold weather safety is a vitally important topic that should be discussed with workers prior to performing any outdoor projects. Cold stress can be a fatal threat: workers exposed to freezing temperatures risk losing body heat, which may lead to frostbite, hypothermia, or death. The signs of cold-related illnesses include paleness of skin, sensation of cold, or pain. When you notice these symptoms, you should quickly go indoors, out of cold, replace cold, damp clothing, with warm, dry clothing, and have some warm food or beverages. Depending on the severity of the situation, heat packs may be needed at the neck and the armpit areas. To prevent serious cold-related injuries, always dress in layers, take frequent breaks, stay hydrated by drinking warm liquids, and consume warm foods, like soup, that will keep you warm during extremely cold temperatures.
The disposable, air-activated heat packs from PIP are mini hand warmers for those extra cold days. They are the ideal size to even use in your headwear and gloves. These “mini furnaces” are perfect not only for those working at construction sites or in manufacturing but also for recreational outdoor activities and winter sports.
Using goggles with a Thermo Lens System is a perfect solution to prevent eye damage in extreme temperatures. The high-rated Pyramex V2G-XP Heat/Cold Resistant Goggles combine two lenses to insulate against extreme cold and extreme heat, dust, flying particles, the wind, the sun glare, and the harmful UV rays. The interior acetate lens includes a protective layer of the air between the two lenses. This Thermo Lens System keeps the heat and the cold from getting to the face and eliminates fogging.
The NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ gloves feature the double-duty protection with a high-level of cut/slash resistance, paired with the superior cold weather protection capabilities. These gloves offer a 15-gauge seamless knit hi-vis orange outer shell made of a cut-resistant fiber blend that enhances worker safety and the soft brushed acrylic thermal inner layer. They are an ideal solution for the following applications: construction, mining, masonry work, oil and gas, sheet metal and glass handling, trash collection, recycling, transportation, refrigeration industry, snow cleaning, and forestry.
The PIP Waterproof Reflective Bomber Jacket provides excellent protection from the elements and can be used by utility and construction workers, survey crews, railway and metro workers, as well as emergency response personnel.
Call us at 800-829-9580 to get a full list of cold weather protection products that we offer, or visit us online: https://www.pksafety.com/all-products/cold-weather.html
By Samantha Hoch, Marketing, Haws Corp.
During cold seasons, it is important that outdoor drinking fountains and bottle fillers are equipped for the potentially harsh winter weather. Many drinking fountains and bottle fillers are designed to withstand extreme climate conditions from an external durability standpoint, yet it is pertinent to ensure internal waterways do not freeze and create damage.
If you have an outdoor drinking fountain and/or bottle filler that has a bury valve installed below the frost line and a freeze-resistant push button, or an outdoor wall-mounted fountain with a freeze valve box and waterways inside of the building (kept at above 50°F [10°C]), then the equipment does not require any additional maintenance or preparation for winter conditions and can be left on for use throughout all seasons.
Any hydration products installed in areas that reach freezing conditions should be inspected for freeze-resistant components. Check the owner’s manual for component details. If it is determined that the equipment is not freeze-resistant by design, then follow the steps outlined below to winterize your outdoor hydration equipment.
All Haws drinking fountains and bottle fillers use a patented push button activation valve (5874PB/5874PBF) with front access for adjusting stream height, and for replacing the cartridge by use of a simple spanner wrench. This allows for easier access and maintenance.
STEP 1: Turn off water via the shutoff or on/off valve
STEP 2: Disconnect supply line tubing from the shutoff valve at the lowest point and let water drain from the tubing
STEP 3: Remove the cartridge from the push button valve
A. Remove button using the provided spanner wrench. Button must be rotated so spanner wrench holes line up. Twist off push button.
B. Remove the cartridge retaining nut using the spanner wrench by twisting counterclockwise until the nut pops off
C. Remove cartridge and store for reuse
STEP 4: Thread the retaining nut back on along with the push button
This article was originally published on HawsCo.com blog, December 5, 2017.
Exposure to extremely low temperatures for an extended period of time may cause serious health problems and complications if protective measures have not been taken care of before starting work on a project in severe weather conditions. The most common symptoms of being affected by cold include memory loss, uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsy movements, numbness, white or grayish skin color in the open body areas, which can be a result of the frostbite or hypothermia. If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. Hypothermia occurs if the body temperature falls below 95° F. In this case, the situation is qualified as an emergency and requires an immediate medical attention.
To stay safe during winter, familiarize yourself with these terms to identify the extreme weather conditions and to fully understand the alerts issued by the National Weather Service.
Freezing Rain: rain that freezes when it hits the ground and creates a coating of ice on roads and power lines.
Sleet: the rain that turns into ice pellets before reaching the ground, which causes moisture on roads to become slippery.
Wind Chill: the wind chill effect is the temperature as it “feels like” when you are outside.
Winter Weather Advisory: the winter weather conditions that may be hazardous.
Winter Storm Watch: the storm watch that is issued 12-36 hours before a severe storm hits your area.
Winter Storm Warning: the winter storm is in your area.
Blizzard Warning: alerts the population in the affected area that the sustained winds or gusts of 35 mph or more, and the reduced visibility due to snowfall are expected to last for three or more hours.
Frost/Freeze Warning: expect the below-freezing temperatures in your area.
Learn the signs of cold-related illnesses and how to help affected workers:
What kind of PPE will help you stay safe while doing your job during cold season? Here are our top 5 picks for cold weather protection.
NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ gloves provide double-duty protection with a high-level of cut/slash resistance, coupled with the superior cold weather protection capabilities. These amazing gloves feature a 15-gauge seamless knit hi-vis orange outer shell made of a superior cut-resistant fiber blend that enhances worker safety and the soft brushed acrylic thermal inner layer. They are an ideal solution for the following applications: construction, mining, masonry work, oil and gas, sheet metal and glass handling, trash collection, recycling, transportation, refrigeration industry, snow cleaning, and forestry.
The disposable, air-activated warming packets made from Iron powder will keep you warm for about eight hours if you insert them into your gloves. These “mini furnaces” are perfect not only for those working at construction sites or in manufacturing but also for recreational outdoor activities and winter sports. To activate, open and shake a pouch for about 10 seconds.
Ideal for cold and rainy conditions in construction, municipalities, and shipyards, this Hi-Vis Yellow Rain Jacket and Pant Suit is made of lightweight polyester with a 100 % waterproof polyurethane coating. The jacket features a zipper closure with a storm flap, roll-up hood, and elastic waist pants for extra comfort. Two-inch reflective tape adds superior visibility. The suit meets ANSI 107-2010 Class 3 standards.
According to OSHA, “protecting workers’ eyes from wintry conditions is an important yet easily overlooked part of an overall … safety program. Without the proper cold weather eyewear, workers are vulnerable to an array of hazards, and the chances for injury increase significantly.” Using goggles with a Thermo Lens System is a perfect solution for those who are at risk of eye damage. The high-rated Pyramex V2G-XP Heat/Cold Resistant Goggles combine two lenses to insulate against extreme cold or high heat and resist fogging, dust, flying particles, the wind, sun glare, and harmful UV rays. The interior acetate lens includes a protective layer of air between the two lenses. This Thermo Lens System keeps hot and cold from getting to your face and prevents fogging.
The high-performance Muck Boot Chore boots are 100% waterproof and are comfortable to wear in temperatures from sub-freezing to 85 ° F. These black boots are 12″ tall and include Vibram outsoles and a steel toe for extra impact protection.
Call us at 800-829-9580 to get a full list of excellent cold weather protection products that we offer, or visit us online: https://www.pksafety.com/all-products/cold-weather.html
By Matt Murdock, COO at Wind River Investments and Alert Plus, LLC
Across the northern regions the leaves have changed color and fallen from the trees, the sound of chainsaws fills the forests as people gather firewood for the coming winter, and homeowners have begun winterizing their houses as temperatures drop.
Mean winter temperatures in much of North America will go well below 0F this year, but what can be done for the average natural gas employee whose sole source of gas detection is a portable gas detector whose lower operating temperature is -4F? How can gas leaks and air quality be known in weather conditions well below the operational rating of their equipment? This very problem struck our community only last year.
On the morning of November 22, 2013, 5 natural gas employees in Wyoming went to work as usual. At 10:15 a.. they began to weld repairs on a condensate tank, the resulting explosion hospitalized 4 of the 5 men and the fire was not put out until 1 p.m. (Casper Star Tribune, Nov. 22, 2014). The cause? Despite practicing normal safety procedures, the welding ignited ambient natural gas in and around the tank. The obvious question is why would anyone in their right mind begin welding when gas levels were so high? The answer is simply nobody – unless they didn’t know the gas levels were so high. On that day at approximately that time, the weather services recorded temperatures at -6F and wind speeds at 4.6mph bringing the wind chill down to -13F or even lower out on the Mesa. This is 9F below the rating of their handheld gas sniffer. This story, minus the explosion, is lived out day in day out throughout natural gas fields across North America and Europe 6-8 months a year.
In a post entitled “Baby it’s cold outside…” an Industrial Scientific writer advises his readers about using gas detection in cold weather. “The low temperature rating for continuous operation of most Industrial Scientific portable instruments is -20 degrees Celsius. However, they may be used at lower temperatures for intermittent periods… The response of the instrument will get sluggish at temperatures below -20C… The display may get dim and even go blank if it freezes… Battery run time will be reduced at low temperatures. Below -20C expect at least a 30- 40 percent reduction in run time… A good rule of thumb for using your gas detector in cold temperatures is that your gas monitor can generally stand to be out and working in the cold as long as you can. If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for the instrument as well.” Two things should be noted at this point: 1) -20C is only -4F and in cold regions that’s considered a balmy day, 2) while many natural gas employees must regularly work in temperatures below what is comfortable to them, production equipment does not have the luxury of jumping into the cab of a truck to warm up for 5-minutes before going back to work.
Hand cuts and wounds are preventable, yet they still account for roughly 30 percent of all workplace injuries in the US. How do you choose the right cut resistant glove for your application? First, evaluate what types of gloves you are using now and if they do the job. Do you have any new projects that will require new PPE? Then, identify solutions – do you need to switch to a new brand or just need to upgrade the cut-level protection currently being used. Then, talk to a trusted supplier or distributor (like @PKSafetydotcom) to make sure you have your workers’ hands protected with the highest quality and the proper cut protection rated PPE for your job.
The new generations of gloves by Honeywell — NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ and FRGrip™ Plus 5 — are ideally suited for the tasks where workers need the high level of cut protection as well as gloves that offer protection for the cold and the arc flash without having to give up comfort and dexterity.
An excellent tool for avoiding accidents, NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ gloves provide double-duty protection with the high-level of cut and slash resistance, coupled with superior cold weather protection. These amazing gloves feature a high-vis orange outer shell made of a highly cut-resistant fiber blend that enhances worker safety and an inner layer made of brushed acrylic thermal. The ¾-dipped foam PVC coating helps resist abrasion and offers grip in both wet and dry environments and prevents liquids from penetrating the glove, helping to keep workers hands dry and clean. While flexible enough for hand movement, these gloves are less bulky than other models of thermal protection gloves and offer excellent dexterity for jobs that require tactile sensitivity. NorthFlex Gloves provide both superior insulation and extra comfort. They are the perfect solution for the following applications: construction, mining, masonry work, oil and gas, sheet metal and glass handling, trash collection, recycling, transportation, refrigeration industry, snow cleaning, forestry, etc.
Hand injuries due to flame or arc flash can be devastating. Wearing the wrong kind of glove can add to injuries because a traditional fiber glove will melt onto the skin when exposed to heat. The FRGrip™ Plus 5 glove is composed of inherently flame-retardant and heat-resistant fibers that will not degrade under high heat and will provide reliable hand protection from flash fire hazards. Not just a fabric swatch, the entire FRGrip glove was tested to the glove standard for arc flash including the liner, the polymer-dipped coating, and overedge. Neoprene and nitrile, the bi-polymer dipped coating provides excellent heat, grease, and oil resistance. The orange color allows for a faster visual identification in hazardous environments. Applications include oil, gas and petrochemical industries, construction, mining, sheet metal and glass handling, trash collection and recycling.
1. NorthFlex FRGrip™ Plus 5 gloves are not dielectric and do not provide protection against electrical shock. NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ and FRGrip™ Plus 5 gloves are cut-resistant but not cut-proof. It is not recommended to wear them while operating a moving or serrated blade without safety-guard.
2. NorthFlex FRGrip™ Plus 5 gloves provide protection up to a specified heat/energy level (5.6 Cal/Cm2) without melting. However, thermal heat can still be felt through the glove. A worker can receive burns if the heat is too high. Remember to always check if the PPE that is being used has an arc rating equal to or greater than the calculated incident energy.
Safety experts are here to help you with finding the proper hand protection solution for your application. Call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.
We recently learned about a nationwide program instituted by the U.S. Department of Energy that promotes the use of clean and sustainable energy through weatherization funding. It’s the Weatherization Assistance Program. This came to our attention when a couple of new customers approached us from community action groups that specifically carry out weatherization services. These customers purchased gas detectors for their organizations so we looked into it a bit to find out more and how they are helping their communities. We worked with the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, and B.C.M.W. Community Services. They found us after being advised to purchase RKI Instruments four gas monitors that would bring them into OSHA compliance for their services and qualify them for their state’s funds. One of our Corporate Account Experts worked with them to help choose the right solution for gas detection in their projects, and recommended the GX-2009 4-Gas Monitor from RKI Instruments.
What’s Involved In Weatherization?
In order for a residence or building to be properly weatherized, it will need to undergo an audit. During the home audit, several elements in the home are checked and assessed for energy use in every room and to pinpoint problem areas. These include appliances and home electronics, insulation and air sealing, lighting and daylighting, space heating and cooling, water heating and windows, doors and skylights. Services and upgrades may include:
Some upgrades that are often needed in a weatherization retrofit are: insulating walls, attics, water heaters and pipes, sealing doors, basements and crawl spaces, applying weather stripping and caulk or replacing doors, windows, walls and roofing, installing new HVAC and ducting, and even adding solar energy panels. Confined spaces, like attics and crawl spaces, may be poorly ventilated and, as a result, contain insufficient oxygen or hazardous levels of toxic gases.
Why Are Gas Monitors Needed for Weatherization Projects?
Contractors and service providers encounter a wide variety of health and safety risks when entering a home to accomplish weatherization audits and services. In order to qualify for federal and state funding through the Weatherization Assistance Program, the organizations that carry out these projects need to ensure they are OSHA-compliant. OSHA requires gas monitoring of confined spaces before entering them in order to prevent serious injury or death. In 2015 the definition of a confined space was expanded to include attics and crawl spaces. Most commonly, there are cases where a worker could be exposed to hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, combustible gases or a combination that would poison them or leave them with a lack of oxygen. RKI Instruments is a very dependable and respected brand of gas detection equipment. It makes sense that the OSHA representative recommended these instruments to the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program for their gas detection needs. PK Safety carries many RKI Instruments gas detectors and is happy to help you find the right gas detection solution for your projects.
What Are The Benefits of Weatherization?
Weatherization improvements in buildings and residences can make a positive environmental impact through clean energy use and reduced need for energy consumption. Through the program, organizations are working with qualifying low-income residents who normally wouldn’t be able to make this type of change, and also help them with a reduction in energy bills. In addition, the safety of the residents is often improved with better air quality in the home from newer, retrofitted insulation and filtration systems.
Improved insulation, windows, and sealing leaks around doors and wall joints can keep heat out of your home in the summer and in during the winter. These simple changes can really reduce energy use through the seasons. Depending on your climate, you will have different needs for levels of insulation, moisture control and ventilation. Insulation provides resistance to heat flow, and the more heat flow resistance provided in your insulation, the lower the heating and cooling costs and the more comfortable it will be. Not only is weatherization good for your energy bill, it can help with safety issues caused by aging appliances, insulation, and HVAC systems.
More About The Weatherization Assistance Program and Services
Instituted by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Weatherization Assistance Program will fund qualifying community organizations like these, to help local low income residents to reduce energy bills and improve health and safety. The U.S. Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office coordinates with local and state leaders to accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency improvement best practices and technologies. These partnerships help American communities overcome barriers to clean and efficient energy use.
The state governments and local agencies usually work to leverage this Energy Department funding with other federal, state, utility and private resources to increase the amount of homes that can be weatherized. The local agencies and organizations work to provide weatherization assessments and services to those who may be in need of solutions or improved technologies for home energy upgrades.
The U.S. Department of Energy developed the Home Energy Score system to build market value for home energy efficiency with nationwide household recognition. In order to score a home, a builder or contractor will use the “house-as-a-system” approach for evaluation. A home is audited and receives a score that reflects its energy efficiency based on the structure, heating, cooling, and hot water systems. This approach ensures that the team of building professionals consider all the variables, details and interactions that affect energy use in the home. In addition to this, they evaluate the occupant behavior, site conditions, and climate.
Who is eligible for Weatherization Assistance?
Weatherization Assistance resources are available in every state through the U.S. Department of Energy. More than 30 million U.S. families may be eligible for weatherization services nationwide. Energy services are provided by the states’ local weatherization agencies, and each state has slightly different eligibility requirements. If you receive Supplemental Security Income, you are automatically eligible to receive weatherization services. Not only owner-occupied households are eligible, but renters who meet the criteria are eligible if the landlord accepts the terms of the weatherization contract.
DOE guidelines mandate that states must give priority eligibility to the elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, and families with high energy burden or high energy use. Each state sets how these priority factors will be applied. One of the primary factors affecting eligibility is income. Depending on what state you live in, you are eligible for weatherization if your income falls below the “200% poverty level” (as defined in http://waptac.org/data/files/website_docs/government/guidance/2013/wpn-13-3.pdf).
Options for assessing and completing energy efficiency through weatherization are available through your state and local government’s Weatherization Assistance Program, and likely through your local energy providers home efficiency programs. Check your local government and power company website for more information. Thank you to organizations like B.C.M.W. Community Services or the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program for providing service options and promoting clean energy use.
This post was originally published in A CONSUMER RESOURCE FOR HOME ENERGY SAVINGS, December 14, 2016.
It is cold in most parts of the U.S. Some areas of the country are more susceptible to severe cold weather than others. Also, some types of outdoor jobs require extra effort to stay warm. These areas include wilderness, parks and forest services, conservation and environmental industry, construction, petroleum and chemical industry, meatpacking, fishing and fish processing, and farming.
Are you working long hours outside? We recommend wearing gloves, hats, and jackets specifically designed for cold weather to protect yourself from frostbite. What if you have all this clothing on, but are still freezing? Consider getting express warming heat packs! What are these little inserts for? If you activate them and put them into your gloves or shoes you will get an instant warming effect for at least 8 hours! Here are a few suggestions: PIP Heat Packs and Occunomix Hot Rods. Their technical characteristics are very similar and they both work wonders by making your hands and feet warm again in a matter of minutes. They come conveniently packed and are easy-to-activate. Check them out.
Heat Packs: 399-HEATPACK Hand Warmers by Protective Industrial Products
These non-toxic packs generate up to 8 hours of warmth. They are the ideal size to use in your headwear and gloves! To activate, just remove them from the package.
If you love to hunt, fish, jog, work in the yard, or generally be outside in winter, try this handy product to get warming results fast. You will warm up in no time, and be ready to continue your adventure. Also if you have to do a lot of holiday shopping, try putting the hot packs in your pockets to conveniently keep yourself warm while shopping. You will like the fact that they are reusable so you can use them over and over again with no problems.
Hot Rods Hand Warmers by Occunomix
These disposable, air-activated warming packets are made from Iron powder. To activate, open and shake a pouch for about 10 seconds.
Shrug off the coldest days with these “mini furnaces”. They are perfect not only for those working at construction sites or in manufacturing but also can be applied for other outdoor activities. Any outdoor sports, like winter camping or ice-skating, for example, will be easy with these little helpers which will keep you warm. Of course, all tech lovers will tell you that there are now the battery-operated ones, but nothing can beat the simplicity, affordability, and safety of Hot Rods.
If you have questions or need help finding the right protective gear, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.
Have you ever felt like you are lost in a jungle of raingear not sure what to choose? Understanding the difference between waterproof and water-resistant work wear will allow you navigate easier and solve your next rain gear challenge like a pro.
Although many jackets offer some level of water protection, if you have to work outside in the rain for an extended period of time, water-resistant or waterproof clothing will be a perfect solution depending on your particular situation.
1. Water-resistant gear is lightweight and can handle light rain for a short time. This type of jacket works great for some activities that are brief, outside in drizzly conditions. In windy, wet weather and in situations when you are highly active, for example, working at a construction site, you will need more protection.
2. Waterproof gear (rain coat or rain suit) keeps the rain out and is a cost-saving alternative ideal for frequent use in heavy rain. It also makes sense to add waterproof gloves to protect your hands.
Today’s protective rain gear is based on advanced technology and provides complete protection against unfavorable weather conditions. Some rain jackets are also flame-resistant and hi-vis, and provide excellent resistance to most chemicals, oils, and acids, and are able to keep you warm.
Air permeability in rainwear is a game changer. No one wants to work in a “wearable sauna” – that is why breathability is so important. The key component of rainwear fabric is a membrane, bonded to a protective fabric to create a laminate that blocks the rain while also allowing sweat vapor to escape. Today’s jackets have much better breathability performance than the previous versions. This diagram helps you understand fabric composition and how rain gear protection works.
1. PIP Waterproof Reflective Value Bomber Jacket 333-1766-LY
The Waterproof Reflective Value Bomber Jacket 333-1766-LY provides excellent protection from the elements and can be used by roadway construction workers, survey crews, utility workers, railway and metro workers, and emergency response personnel. It’s ANSI 107 Class 3 certified for safety on the road and on sites where you need to be seen.
2. PIP Hi-Visibility 2-Piece Reflective Rain Suit 353-1000LY
Ideal for rainy conditions in construction, municipalities, shipyards, this Hi-Vis Yellow Rain Jacket and Pant Suit are made of lightweight polyester with a 100 % waterproof polyurethane coating. The jacket features a zipper closure with a storm flap, roll-up hood, and an elastic waist pant for extra comfort. Two-inch reflective tape adds superior visibility. The suit meets ANSI 107-2010 Class 3 standards.
3. Muck Chore 12 in. Steel Toe Boots CMS-000A
Wearing boots in the rain is imperative. The high-performance 12″ tall Muck Boot Company’s Chore Boots are 100% waterproof, lightweight and flexible. They feature the steel toe, the steel shank for additional arch support, the bootstraps, and the top quality Vibram outsoles based on the latest technology in providing comfort and reliability, even in the temperatures ranging from sub-freezing to 85°F. The 5mm NEOPRENE four-way stretch nylon, the Airmesh for extra breathability, and the self-insulating CR flex-foam ensure a snug fit to keep out cold temperatures and keep workers’ feet warm. Perfect for wearing in different job environments from muddy livestock fields to oil drenched grounds, the Chore Boots will also work great for rainy roads and construction sites.
4. MCR Memphis Waterproof Luminator Drivers Glove 34411
The Memphis 34411 Luminator Drivers Glove is a grain pigskin glove (great for abrasion resistance and breathability) from MCR Safety with Thermosock® lining and hi-vis reflective tape on the back. This 3-layer system is made to keep your hands warm and dry in bad weather working conditions. Instead of water soaking through leather, the waterproof layer keeps the Thermosock® lining dry. The durable grain pigskin outer layer remains pliable, even after going through repeated wet/dry cycles. We have had success with customers using these gloves in the snow for tire chain installation and removal, shoveling, snowmobile riding, and staying warm while directing traffic. The hi-vis reflective stripe and bright orange color on the back help keep you visible in low light conditions.
Don’t get soaked. Stay safe and dry with @PKSafetydotcom.
If you have questions or need help finding the right protective gear, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.
Folks experienced in working under harsh conditions are usually great at keeping themselves warm. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to review some cold weather protection basics with your workers before the temperature hits extremes. Now is a good time to hold a safety meeting and explain the importance of hypothermia prevention. In general, the objective should be learning or refreshing the knowledge of best practices on how to conserve body heat and avoid bare skin exposure when working in cold weather conditions.
1. Wear insulated jackets, heavy coats, and coveralls which provide superior protection combined with a good range of motion.
2. Use your helmets and hardhats with insulating liners and a mouthpiece to effectively protect head and neck.
3. Wear gloves with a double-layer lining or insulated mittens for better dexterity and comfort. Seamless string knit gloves have excellent thermal insulation properties and a snug, comfortable fit that does not chafe or irritate skin.
4. Sometimes, in warmer climates, it is sufficient to wear a beanie and a scarf to cover your head, neck, and chest from the cold and the wind. Fleece liners with drawstring perform both functions and are ideal for use in cold weather work conditions in such industries as construction, woodwork, refineries, oil drilling, maintenance, and mining.
5. If you are continuously walking on extremely cold surfaces, wearing double-layer thermal socks and insulated boots with steel or composite toes is a good idea.
6. Create an instant barrier between the frozen ground and the feet by standing on a mat. Go inside the building during your break and have a hot beverage to warm up.
7. According to OSHA, “protecting workers’ eyes from wintry conditions is an important yet easily overlooked part of an overall eye safety program. Without the proper cold weather eyewear, workers are vulnerable to an array of hazards, and the chances for injury increase significantly.” Goggles with a Thermo Lens System are perfect for protecting those at risk of eye damage.
Following these basic safety practices will help you make sure you don’t fall prey to the chill.
If you need the expert advice about the best means of cold weather protection, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at www.pksafety.com, and follow us on Twitter @PKSafetydotcom.
By Samantha Hoch, Marketing Specialist, Haws
EMERGENCY RESPONSE BEST PRACTICES :: PROTECTION AGAINST HYPOTHERMIA
Low ambient temperature and wind chill may simply be part of the job in cold climates, but they can have a lethal effect on exposed skin – particularly when combined with hazardous conditions where safety showers are required. This problematic combination creates a scenario for an ineffective and injurious emergency shower response. In some cases, inappropriate safety equipment can actually speed up the potential for cold-temperature related injuries like hypothermia. To ensure everyone’s safety, awareness and adherence to proper procedures and safety standards is critical.
UNDERSTANDING COLD-TEMP RELATED INJURY RISKS
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) defines hypothermia as a cold-temp related injury in which normal body temperature drops to or below 95°F/35°C. Symptoms include drowsiness or fatigue, bluish skin, uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech and clumsy movements. Permanent tissue damage and death can result if hypothermia is left untreated.
EXPOSED FLESH in 0°F/17.8°C with 10mph wind
speed is in danger of hypothermia within 1-minute
Specific conditions in cold-weather climates can increase the risk of cold-temp related injuries, including hypothermia, which can affect a person even when land temperatures are above freezing or water temperatures are below 98.6oF/37oC. Factors influencing these injuries include:
• Low ambient temperatures and/or wind chill
• Wet skin, which freezes at a higher temperature than dry skin
• Exposed skin
While the ANSI Z358.1 Standard outlines suitable water temperatures as tepid – with a defined range of 60 to 100°F/15.5 to 37.77°C – and requires a full 15-minute drench period, the low end of this accepted temperature range can exacerbate the effects of hypothermia, particularly when exposure lasts the entire drench period. In addition, ANSI Z358.1 Appendix B6 states: Colder ambient temperatures might require an enclosure for added protection – even with water supplied in the ANSI Z358.1 specified temperature range, there is a high risk of hypothermia for wet victims exposed to frigid ambient temperatures where loss of body heat is intensified by the effects of evaporative cooling and wind chill. It is crucial that the proper safety shower system is provided to prevent an incident where hypothermia could intensify an injury to a victim already in a hazardous situation.
SAFETY SOLUTIONS FOR COLD-WEATHER CLIMATES
Haws Integrated™ offers a variety of customized, ANSI compliant enclosed safety solutions for all climates. Features specific to equipment intended for use in cold-weather climates include combination units enclosed in booths with all-weather insulation, water-proof exterior coating, self-closing shower doors, built-in heaters, internal hot water supply and medically superior, non-injurious water flow, all of which qualify as industry best practices. Enclosures eliminate frigid environments by providing a shower area at a safe ambient temperature, out of the elements. Properly preparing a site for the use of climate specific equipment can mean the difference in minimizing or increasing the severe effects of cold-temperature injuries.
This guest post was originally published in HawsCo.com Blog, Aug.31, 2016.
By Dan Hudson
Ever wondered if cold weather adversely affects your monitors? And if it does, what can you do to minimize the effects? Industrial Scientific’s Brad Day provides helpful insights for all you unfortunate souls who have to work out in the cold. Thankfully, with summer around the corner, maybe you can just tuck this article away for the next few months!
Download publication by Brad Day: Operating Gas Detectors in Extreme Temperatures
This post was originally published on http://confinedspacework.blogspot.com/
Every storm leaves work to be done. Sometimes that work needs to take place at night. It’s typically important, dangerous, and soggy. At PK Safety we’ve got everything you need if you’re out in the storm this season.
You may have noticed we’re big on Protective Industrial Products or PIP as they are called. Their rain equipment is both well-priced and functional. We especially like the 2-piece Hi-Visibility Rain Suit for this type of work. It not only moves well while you’re hauling or chain-sawing or whatever it is that’s dragged you out into the rain, but it also has a Class 3 reflective rating. That’s not the namby-pamby Class 2 rating. This two-piece rain suit meets the standard of 1,240 in. sq. of background material and 310 in. sq. of retro reflective material using 2-inch strips of highly reflective tape that can be seen a long way off when light shines on it. And that can come in handy during low-light situations.
PIP’s Long, Reflective Raincoat is also good for work in rain, though it might not be as good in high wind situations. PIP makes some excellent rip-stop waterproof nylon pants as well. These are heavy-duty enough to be worn in the trades as well. The pants feature two side-access pockets, one rear zipper pocket, two cargo pockets, and is reinforced in heavy wear areas. The legs are gusseted to get your boots in easily and close with hook and loop (aka Velcro).
I still think one of the most important items to have while our restoring order during storms is the Aervoe Super Rechargeable LED Road Flare. Not only are these things incredibly bright, long-lasting, crush-proof, and waterproof, but they also have a heavy-duty magnet on the bottom that allows you to quickly attach them to the sides of cars or whatever metal carnage you’re dragging out of the way. This is a significant improvement over the traditional burning safety flares that had to be on the ground.
If you have questions about getting your crew supplied with reflective, protective gear, give us a ring at 1-800-829-9580.
Photo credit: Gabor Degre
We’ve written in past posts about the importance of hand protection in the oil and gas industry. The statistic that 50% of injuries in this field are to hands probably isn’t terribly surprising considering the work, but it does point to the need for better protection as well as improved processes that keep hands out of potentially damaging situations.
While hand protection has improved over the past years with notable examples such as the Black Stallion Impact-Resistant Gloves providing knuckle padding and gel-pack palm to cut down on the sting of repetitive hammering, nothing was made and tested specifically for riggers.
If specialization is what it’s all about these days, certainly the Lift Extreme Cold Protection Winter Rigger Gloves take the cake. Designed over a period of several years, these gloves were made to provide incredible protection for the bones in the hand while at the same time retaining dexterity and appropriate weather protection. A summer model is also made by Lift with the clever name of Lift Rigger Summer Gloves. Summer gloves provide the same heavy-duty thermo-plastic resin protection plates as the cold weather protection gloves but without the triple-threat poly spandex, fleece and 3M Thinsulate layers.
Unlike so many products on the market these days that deliver form over function, the Lift Rigger gloves were tested over a period of 16 months, involving 7 different prototype productions and more than 25,000 hours of field testing. And they still came out with a glove that is cool enough for Iron Man to wear.
Lift rigger gloves all have bright green aspects, but if visibility is especially important there is a Hi-Vis Rigger Gloves that provides all the protection and functionality along with blindingly bright green color. The Hi-Vis version, like the other gloves in the line has oil resistant Kevlar palm and fingers. The Kevlar also provides outstanding abrasion and wear resistance. The unfortunately-named thumb crotch is double-stitched and also reinforced for wear protection. All these gloves are also fully washable and will not stretch, contract, or stiffen. The EN Cut Level 2 applies to all of these Lift rigger gloves.
If you have questions, we’ve got you covered. Get it? Covered. Gloves. Never mind. Just give us a ring at 1-800-829-9580 and we’ll find the perfect fit for your glove needs.
Whatever your take on Global Warming, we’re pretty sure the rain is still going to fall. Snow even. Let’s face it, the end of the world might take a while. If you’ve been hoping global events would make buying new rain and cold weather gear for your workers unnecessary, you might want to reconsider. Fast.
If you’re already experiencing wet weather, you probably don’t live in California. You also probably already know if the gear from last year is still holding up. If you picked up PIP Hooded Long Raincoats last season, you probably are just reading this blog post because you love safety. Those coats shed water like rain off a duck’s back.
If you do find yourself in the market for rain or cold weather gear, we’ve got options in at a couple of different price points. In the mid-range, we’ve got an excellent Hi-Vis, polyester 2-piece rain suit from PIP that meets Class 3 reflective suit requirements. They even look cool. If you’re looking to save money, the Onguard Economy Three Piece Rain Suit is as effective and economical as it is silly looking (yes, that’s me in the product pictures). This rain PPE is priced well, but we are limited to stock on hand, so hurry while supplies last. And in all fairness, it’s not a beauty contest and those Onguard suits work great.
Cold weather is definitely coming as well. I’m paraphrasing Game of Thrones here, of course. But the theme is the same – prepare in advance and you won’t be out in the cold without your Towa PowerGrip Insulated Orange Gloves. Trust me, these babies come in handy when the temperature dips down in the teens. Or you can go old school ice fisherman style and go with the MCR Ninja Ice Gloves. They also feature thermal protection and have nitrile-dipped palm and fingers for excellent grip characteristics.
Another excellent way to keep warm is the PIP 3-Layer Helmet Liner. This is the kind of inexpensive winter protection that makes a big difference. It’s got a hook and loop closure (what we used to call Velcro) around the neck and fits under your hard hat or helmet. This polyester, foam, and fleece liner makes a big difference in your core body temperature when the mercury has withdrawn into its little ball at the bottom of the thermometer. One-layer fleece hoods with face muffs are also available from PIP and provide very good protection without impairing vision or movement.
If you have questions about protection from the cold, call our customer service reps at 1-800-829-9580 for some friendly conversation and good advice where winter protection is concerned.