Safety Apparel Overview

Safety apparel appropriate for your workplace.

In any given work environment, safety is one of the biggest concerns. How do you keep your employees safe from any dangers or hazards at work? One of the best ways is by appropriately incorporating safety apparel into their uniform.

What is Safety Apparel?

Safety apparel is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE). While personal protective equipment ranges from protective eyewear to hard hats and safety apparel. Safety apparel by definition is clothing designed to protect from injury or infection.

Do Your Employees Need Safety Apparel?

If you are having to ask yourself, “do my employees need safety apparel?,” chances are they do. Safety apparel is very important for employees who are working in low visibility areas. This can be construction sites, doing roadwork, rescue workers, fisherman and more.

How to use Safety Apparel Properly

Whenever you or one of your employees are stepping into a space  considered dangerous, it is important to have on safety apparel. This clothing should be comfortable and not too loose on the body. The fit of the safety apparel is incredibly important. If safety apparel does not fit properly, in either extreme, it could lead to dangerous exposure and contamination or machine snag hazards. It is important to properly train your employees on how to wear this safety apparel properly in accordance to your work environment.

It is important that the color of your safety apparel provides contrast to your work environment. If you are working on the side of a highway it might not be the best idea to get a green or blue colored safety apparel. Something like yellow or orange would be better for higher visibility. There are proven studies that if a person has on a fluorescent garment that can be seen at a distance,it draws attention to that person and makes them stand out from the rest of the background.

American National Standards Institute Safety Apparel Standards

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) classifies safety apparel into three categories:

  1. Class 1 garments: These class 1 garments are for employees working directly with traffic and moving vehicles that are moving no faster than 25 mph. For example, parking lot attendants, employees working in a warehouse where equipment is present or employees retrieving items from parking lots.
  2. Class 2 garments: These class 2 garments are for employees who are involved in work activities with aggressive weather conditions or conditions more elevated then class 1. For example, forest rangers, construction on a highway with cars going faster than 25 mph, airports attendees and emergency responders.
  3. Class 3 garments: These class 3 garments are for employees who need high visibility and might be involved with extremely hazardous situations. For example, survey crews, towing operators and working in extremely dangerous weather.

Safety Apparel Outerwear

Safety pants (for thermal or rain use), safety sweatshirts, windbreakers, and insulated bomber jackets are parimy safety supplies for many industries and companies. Keep warm, safe, and seen with HiVizGard Safety Apparel and workplace outerwear.

­­­­­­­­­­­­Where Can I get Safety Apparel?

Harmony Business Supplies can assist with your safety apparel needs. You can shop our selection of ANSI compliant safety apparel on our store.

Our Class 3 apparel is water-resistant, with retro-reflective stripes on the front, back and sleeves so your employees can be seen at all times. Our safety apparel comes in a selection of colors and sizes range from M-4XL. Call us at (800) 899-1255 or chat with us today to place your safety apparel order or learn more.

 

A Complete Guide to Safety Glasses

A Complete Guide to Safety Glasses

Safety Glasses Eye Protection Guide

The eyes are among the most vulnerable parts of the body, so selecting the right form of protection to keep them safe in certain work conditions is of critical importance. Here, we’ll provide an overview of everything you need to know when seeking out this essential form of protection.

Know Your Hazards

Before you can select the right type of eyewear for your needs, you should start by identifying the hazards in your workplace. Your environment could include any of the following risks, as well as combination of them:

 

  • Chemical: Any line of work exposing individuals to harmful liquids or substances or acids pose chemical risks. These risks include splashes, droplets, spraying, and even causing irritation through mist.

    3M Safety Splash Goggles 334, Clear Lens
    3M Safety Splash Goggles
  • Impact: Occupations like masonry work and carpentry are notorious for their impact risks to the eyes. Sanding, chipping, grinding, and machining are likewise dangerous. Flying particles and fragments can cause serious damage to eyes.

    Crews Checklite Safety Glasses, Clear Lens
    Crews Checklite Impact Safety Glasses
  • Heat: Welding is one common line of work which exposes operators to heat-related damage. Hot sparks and splashes from high-temperature materials can cause devastating burns, not just to the eye itself but also the surrounding skin.

 

  • Dust: If your line of work involves woodworking or buffing of any sort, it’s important to keep your eyes protected against fine dust. Even seemingly harmless particles can cause eye irritation. At worst, they might even cause microscopic scrapes on the eye.

 

  • Optical Radiation: Any job where UV or IR light or laser arcs are produced warrants the need for eye protection. These types of activities could include torch brazing and welding.

Exposure one of these hazards can cause serious damage to the eyes, and could even cause complete or partial loss of vision.

Understand ANSI Devices

ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, sets forth standards for eye and face protection by evaluating hazards and recommending specific types of eye protection to be worn for each. ANSI guidelines identify the following types of eye and face protection:

  • Face Shield: Face shields are designed to either fully or partially protect the wearer’s face. Oftentimes, they consist of a helmet or similar type of headgear and a detachable mask or shield.
  • Full-Face Piece Respirator: Designed to also support the wearer’s ability to avoid inhaling toxins, the full-face piece respirator covers the surface of the entire face, including the nose, mouth, and eyes.
  • Safety Goggles: A general term for safety glasses, this form of protection surrounds the wearer’s eyes to shield them against some or all of the hazards described above. Note the difference between safety glasses, which feature arms that sit on the ears, and goggles, which feature a strap to create a tighter seal against the wearer’s face for a higher level of protection.
  • Welding Face Shield, Goggle, or Helmet: Some types of eye and face wear are designed specifically to protect against the weld spatter and optical radiation produced by welding.

After determining which type of device is best suited for your application based on ANSI guidelines, you can move on and assess which lens will offer the right form of protection.

 

Learn About Lenses

 

When it comes to finding the best type of eyewear for your work conditions, one of the most important factors to consider is lens type. Let’s take a look at some options.

Coatings

Lens coatings can play an important role in enhancing the wearer’s visibility. Some are also designed to prolong the lifespan of the goggles or glasses. Here are some common types of coatings:

  • Scratch-resistant: As its name suggests, an anti-scratch lens/coating on safety glasses can extend the lifespan of the eyewear by protecting the lenses against scratches.

    Jackson Safety V40 HellRaiser Safety Glasses, Smoke Lens, Black Frame
    Jackson Safety V40 HellRaiser Scratch Resistant Safety Glasses
  • Anti-static: In sensitive environments where static could compromise components the wearer works with, anti-static coating helps to reduce dust and can even limit particulate attraction.

 

  • Anti-UV: For workers exposed to UV radiation, anti-UV coated eyewear is a must. These lenses can absorb upwards of 99.9% of radiation, thus protecting the wearer against long-term retinal damage.

    iNOX F-I UV Safety Glasses
    iNOX F-I UV Safety Glasses
  • Anti-fog: If your workplace is located in a humid environment, anti-fog coatings can help you see clearly by deterring moisture buildup on lenses.

    3M Virtual Protective Eyewear V4, Clear Anti-Fog Lens
    3M Anti-Fog Lens Safety Glasses
  • Hard: Hard coatings can be bonded to most types of lenses to prolong their lifespan.

Tints

Different lens colors are designed to support specific types of tasks. To help you decide which option is right for your needs, simply refer to the color wheel. Lens colors will absorb light of opposite shades. For example, blue will absorb yellow light, since they are on opposite sides of the wheel.

  • Amber: This tint blocks blue light and is best-suited for applications where there’s low light.

    iNOX F-II Wrap-Around Amber Lens Glasses
    iNOX F-II Amber Lens Safety Glasses
  • Brown: Glares produced by outdoor light are blocked effectively with brown lenses.

 

  • Clear: If there’s no danger of optical radiation, clear lenses may be a good fit for the task, as they offer a completely unfiltered view of the wearer’s surroundings.

    Crews Checklite Safety Glasses
    Crews Checklite Clear Safety Glasses
  • Gold, Blue, or Mirrored: Like brown lenses, these tints are ideal for outdoor wear because they block sunlight. Mirrored lenses take it a step further by reflecting light.

    iNOX F-1 Wrap-Around Blue Mirror Lens
    iNOX F-I Blue Mirror Lens Safety Glasses
  • Gray: Gray lenses prevent against eye fatigue in outdoor settings by keeping glare at bay.

 

  • Indoor/Outdoor: This tint is similar to gray, except for the fact that it can also be useful indoors since it protects against glare from artificial light sources.

    Jackson Safety V30 Nemesis Indoor/Outdoor Lens Safety Glasses
    Jackson Safety V30 Nemesis Indoor/Outdoor Lens Safety Glasses
  • Vermilion: Often used for interior inspections, this tint can improve contrast.

Filter Shades

A final consideration for glasses is the shade of the filter. The darkness spectrum ranges from 1.5, which is the lightest, to 14, the darkest. While darker lenses are needed for duties like electric arc welding, lighter shades can be used for activities with less risk of optical radiance, like torch soldering. Of course, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and select the darkest available lens that won’t inhibit job performance.

 

As you can see, the world of safety glasses can be overwhelming. With so many different factors to consider, finding the right pair isn’t always a quick and easy task. If you’re seeking safety glasses for your own protection or for your workplace, look no further than Harmony Business Supplies. We have an extensive collection of eye protection available on our website, and if you need assistance deciding which pair is right for you, one of their product specialists will be glad to help.

New ANSI Standards – 2016 Changes to Hand Safety

 

Who is ANSI?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has served as administrator and coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system for over 90 years. Founded in 1918 by five engineering societies and three government agencies, the Institute remains a private, nonprofit membership organization supported by a diverse private and public sector organizations.

This organization is responsible for the standard testings for cut resistant gloves.

 

New Scale & Testing to Determine Cut Scores

The new ANSI standard now features 9 (previously 5) cut levels which significantly reduce the gaps between each level and better define protection levels for the cut resistant gloves and sleeves with the highest gram scores.

New ANSI cut scores will feature an “A” in front of the score.

The new ANSI Standards also outline a new test method for determining the new cut scores. The new test method allows for only one type of machine to be used. Under the previous ANSI standard, the testing could be performed on a couple of different machines. By ensuring uniform testing with one machine, it is easier to compare gram scores for a given material.

img-ansi-test-machines

 

Why A New Standard?

The need was recognized for a more consistent and accurate testing method between ANSI/ISEA and European safety standards. While these changes do not create uniformity between the two standards, they do bridge the gap.

There are three main reasons the standards are changing:

  1. The US and Europeon standards are very different in classification and testing methods, yet both provide a 1-5 ranking scale which causes confusion.
  2. The standards were created prior to advances in PPE technology, and they don’t address current high cut resistant materials.
  3. The 1-5 scale for both EN388 and ANSI/ISEA 105 includes large gaps between some of the levels creating the potential for the use of insufficient PPE.

 

How Is It Tested? – Understanding Test Methods

The sample is cut by a straight-edge blade, under load, that moves along a straight path. The sample is cut five times each at three different loads with a new blade for each cut and the data is used to determine the required load to cut through the sample at a specified reference difference.

This is referred to as the cutting force, which is then equated to a cut level.

img-ansi-test-method

 

What New Cut Levels Mean For You

Cut Protection Glove performance has improved significantly in recent years. As a result, there are more “cut protection” gloves to choose from.

The chart below will show you whether the cut level you have been using has changed or stayed the same. Reference your current rated glove and load with the new levels to find where you fit in to ensure proper protection.

With these new levels, you may need to move up in level to ensure adequate protection.

Be sure to reference the revised cut specs when ordering gloves in the future.

new-ansi-levels

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