Exploring Safety Equipment for Extreme Environments

As a trade professional, you likely know the ins and outs of safety best practices—the importance of wearing the right gear and having the right protective equipment on hand has probably been drilled into your head since day one. But what about those times when you’re pushed out of your comfort zone? Literally. Throughout the course of your career, you’ll likely encounter extreme scenarios and environments that will call for extreme safety measures. Here we’ve outlined some of those common “extreme” environments and exactly what you’ll need to ensure maximum safety on the job.

Small, Enclosed Spaces

Whether you’re working in a multi-mile tunnel or a small crawlspace under a home, tight, enclosed spaces present a unique set of safety challenges—they’re often dark, have poor ventilation, and pose serious risk in the case of a fire, to name a few. Stay safe in this extreme environment by ensuring you always have a hard hat, safety glasses, protective footwear, a portable hand and/or cap lamp, and a self-rescuer on hand.

Heights

From conducting roofing work, to changing a light bulb, to washing windows on a skyscraper, heights are a common factor involved with many jobs. And while all jobs include some fall risk, when you’re working at extreme heights, a fall can lead serious injury, if not death. In additional to traditional PPE gear, the gear needed to work safely at extreme heights might include a harness, anchor, lanyard, deceleration device, and a mechanical prusik.

Extreme Heat or Cold

No matter the temperature, the work still has to get done. When working in extreme heat—whether outdoors or in a sweltering space such as an engine room on a ship, you’ll want to wear moisture-wicking fabrics and drink plenty of water. Here, we put together a guide for working safely in hot weather. In the cold, you’ll want to dress in layers and always wear an insulating hat to retain your body heat. Read more in our cold weather gear guide.

Unsanitary Environments

For some workers, such as waste collectors or sanitation crews, germs and general “yuck” are just part of the daily job. But across all lines of work, you may have to deal with unsanitary environments on occasion, and when that occurs, it’s crucial to have the right protective gear. When dealing with hazardous materials, there are different levels of protection required depending on the risk of exposure. In general, however, you should always wear protective eyewear, a hard hat, and chemical-resistant gloves and boots, and also have a respirator and full body suit on hand.

Order Your Extreme Environment Safety Gear Today

US Standard Products is a nationwide provider of quality operational and safety products. Contact us today at 844-877-1700 to learn how we can help equip you and your team with the proper gear needed to safely work in extreme environments.

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Cold Weather Gear Guide for Outdoor Workers

Everyone always complains about the cold in the winter, but did you know that frigid weather is actually more deadly than heat? A report by the National Center for Health Statistics reveals that winter cold kills twice as many Americans than summer heat. Each year, approximately 2,000 people die due to weather-related causes. Of that population, 63% of deaths are caused by exposure to cold and/or hypothermia, while only 31% are attributed to heat-related exposure such as heat or sun stroke.

That said, if your job requires you to work outside in the winter months, it’s even more critical for you to be prepared with the proper gear to keep you safe—not only from the dangers of the job—but also from the dangers of the cold. Here, we’ve compiled some of our top wardrobe tips to keep you safe and warm as you work outdoors this winter.

1. Dress in Layers

One of the worst things you can do when working outside in the cold is break a sweat. Once your clothes trap that moisture, there’s no drying out while you’re on the job—if and when you do cool back down, that moisture will feel mighty frigid.

The trick to avoid a freezing cold sweat? Dress in layers. That way, once you amp up your activity level, you can simply take off a layer to prevent getting over heated.

2. Pick Smart Materials

As you layer on your winter clothes, pay close attention to the materials of the fabrics and the order in which you put them on. The layer closest to the skin should be made of fabric that’s effective at wicking away moisture. Popular options include synthetic fabrics, merino wool, or bamboo.

Next, you’ll want to insulate. Choose materials such as wool, goose down, or fleece to keep warm. Last, you’ll want to protect yourself from the elements with a shell-like jacket—ideally, something that’s both waterproof and breathable.

3. Wear the Right Gloves for the Job

You probably already know that given your profession, there are specific features you should look for in gloves. Manual labor and civic maintenance professionals should be on the lookout for cut protection, impact protection, and multi-purpose gloves, while knit gloves are generally sufficient for landscapers. No matter your job, if you’re working outdoors in the winter, you should most definitely be wearing some sort of gloves, if not to protect your hands from your work, to protect them from the cold-related ailments such as frostbite.

4. Be Seen

It’s important to make yourself visible during all seasons, but wearing reflective gear is especially critical in the winter months, as the hours of daylight are shortened. Since it’s likely you’ll be working in the dark, consider investing in reflective gear with electronic light-up features. Flip them on to be sure you’re seen at all times.

U.S. Standard Products is an industrial supplies distributor based in New Jersey, providing operational and safety necessities ranging from ice melt to work gloves, and so much more. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow U.S. Standard Products on social media:

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