Protective Rainwear: Stay Sheltered From Spring Showers

With spring showers right around the corner, rain will soon become a major nuisance for outdoor workplaces. Is your team prepared for wet, dreary outdoor projects?

If you’re in an industry that consistently works outdoors, equipping your team with protective rainwear can dramatically boost employee productivity. While there are no federal mandates requiring employers to supply rainwear, it is highly recommended for employee safety and to ensure that projects will be completed on schedule.

Below, we’re exploring the importance of adequate protection from the rain as well as what qualities to look for in rainwear to ensure your team is properly protected from the weather.

Regulations and Recommendations

protective-rainwear

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. federal agency dedicated to assuring safe and healthful working conditions, does not set specific guidelines for working in the rain. However, there are many rain-related state laws and guidelines for specific industries (such as construction or logging), and storms accompanied by lightning or heavy wind can halt operations if workers are not adequately protected.

While there may not be federal guidelines requiring employers to provide rainwear, it can be downright dangerous if employees are not properly equipped for inclement weather. Ultimately, employees are often required to find their own protection, which may or may not be adequate.

When it comes to productivity, it’s unlikely that employees will be working at peak performance if they’re shivering in cold, damp clothes. Further, the adverse health effects of working long hours in the rain can be problematic, both for employees and safety regulators. Especially in the early spring or late fall, prolonged exposure to rain and chilly temperatures can cause cold stress, frostbite, hypothermia, trench foot and other ailments.

What Type of Protective Rainwear Should Employers Buy?

With so many options available, choosing the right rainwear for your team can be a challenge. Here are a few guidelines:

Complete Coverage

Employees should be equipped with rain-resistant gear from head-to-toe, including a hood or hat, gloves and boots. Having an overlap between the pants and coat (or a one-piece body suit) is recommended for labor-intensive jobs where water is more likely to seep through the gaps. Often, rainwear is equipped with snaps, zippers, elastic bands or detachable components to ensure water doesn’t slip through the cracks. Boots and leggings should also have a similar overlap.

Waterproof, Windproof and Breathable

Water resistance is one thing, but protective rainwear should be “waterproof” to ensure it can stand up to prolonged precipitation. Gear that is “water-resistant” can typically only handle moderate rain for a short period of time, so look out for these terms when shopping.

Additionally, rainstorms can also bring about heavy, bone-chilling winds. Because of this, rainwear should be windproof and able to offer protection from reasonably high wind speeds.

Another factor to consider is breathability. No one wants to work long hours in a wearable sauna, so look for qualities such as “breathable” or “ventilated” when searching for rainwear. This type of gear allows sweat vapor to exit the rainwear’s shell, allowing the body to remain at a reasonable temperature.

High Visibility

Considering how rainstorms can dramatically reduce visibility, it’s important to wear clothing that’s highly visible in order to minimize the chance of an accident. This is especially true for industries that work with heavy machinery, at high altitudes or with potential health hazards.

protective-rainwearFor affordable rainwear that offers all of the qualities listed above, check out the US Standard Products catalog. We offer more than a dozen different lines of durable, protective rainwear for all sorts of different applications, all available in an array of sizes and colors.

Whether you’re in need of full rain-resistant suits or just individual articles of clothing for modest projects, contact us for high-quality, cost-effective rainwear that is sure to protect your team from whatever Mother Nature has in store.

Colored Safety Glasses: More than Just a Fashion Statement

While lens tints on safety glasses look fashion-forward, the primary purpose of the colored lenses is actually to enhance a worker’s vision under various lighting conditions. In this blog, we’re exploring different lens options, their applications and the percentage of visible light transmission (VLT), which refers to the amount of visible light that can pass through the lens.

Popular Lens Colors

Whether you work primarily indoors, outdoors, or require specific color enhancement there’s a lens color out there that’s ideal for your situation. Here’s a look at some of the most common lens colors and their uses:

Clear: Provides excellent optics for general applications where impact protection is required. 85% VLT

Gray: Use for outdoor applications where light and glare can cause eye strain and fatigue. 12% VLT

Light Gray: Serves the same purpose as gray lens, yet allows more visible light through the lens for indoor/outdoor use. Reduces glare from artificial light such as halogen and fluorescent. 62% VLT

Amber: Blocks the blue portion of the visible light spectrum, creating maximum contrast enhancement, particularly in low light. 85% VLT

Orange: Excellent for indoor and low light areas as well as cloudy or hazy days. Blocks out the blue and green light portion of the visible light spectrum. 57% VLT

Fire, Blue Diamond, Emerald, Rainbow, Blue, Silver, Banana Mirror and Copper: For outdoor use where sunlight and glare cause eye strain and fatigue. A mirror coating reflects light, reducing the amount of light that passes through the lens. 9% VLT

Brown: Outdoor applications where sunlight and glare cause eye strain and fatigue. Meets color traffic signal recognition requirements. 12% VLT

Indoor/Outdoor Clear Mirror: Allows more visible light through the lens for indoor/outdoor use. Reduces glare from artificial light such as halogen and fluorescent. 55% VLT

Vermilion: Enhances contrast while reducing all colors equally for optimum color recognition. Ideal for indoor inspection. 55% VLT

Light Blue: Allows more visible light through the lens for indoor/outdoor use. Reduces glare from artificial light such as halogen and fluorescent. 70% VLT

Bonus Features

Sometimes workers need a little extra oomph when it comes to their colored safety glasses. Here are some additional features that are available:

Duramass® AF4 Anti-Fog Coating: Exclusive Duramass scratch resistant coating with anti-fog provides excellent fog prevention in high humidity environments where sudden shifts in temperature occur.

Polarized: For use outdoors to protect from excessive glare that can cause eye fatigue.

Filter Shades: Protects against ultra-violet and infrared radiation generated when working with molten metal, and in welding, cutting, soldering and brazing. See guide below for applications and recommendations for filter shades.

Operation Recommended Filter Shade
Torch Soldering 2
Torch Brazing 3
Light Cutting up to 1”* 3
Medium Cutting 1” to 6”* 5
Heavy Cutting more than 6”* 5
Gas Welding, light, up to 1/8”* 5
Gas Welding, medium, 1/8” to 1/2″* 5

*Indicates thickness of material to be cut

For more information about colored safety glasses and to browse our selection of eye protection, download the U.S. Standard Products Safety Catalog today. All glasses available in the catalog pass the ANSI Z87+ standard for coverage, impact protection and optical clarity, while many also meet the EN166 (Europe), CSA Z94.3 (Canada) and AS/NZS 1337.1 (Australia and New Zealand) standards.

The definitions provided above are general descriptions only. Consult your workplace safety director to ensure the proper application.