Just as there are plenty of cars that will get you from A to B, just like safety equipment that will keep you safe and cover your OSHA requirements. But not everyone wants to drive a Smart Car. In fact, if you drive all the time or you have lots of equipment to haul around (to take this metaphor a bit further) that little sucker may not be the right choice at all. Let’s take a look at some of our most popular ppe and the upgraded items that may just be a better bargain at the end of the day.
First off – gloves. We sell tons of MCR 1200S Economy Work Gloves. They’re good. They’re fine. They are the gloves that your dad used to use when he was making a fence in the backyard, and they still work great if you’re carrying lumber or loading up a truck or running a wheelbarrow around the site. But if you’re a carpenter or someone who operates power tools or other machinery, these just aren’t the gloves for you.
The ATG G-Tek MaxiFlex Gloves 34-874 are our most popular these days. Yes, they’re twice as expensive as the economy gloves. But they may last twice as long without tearing at the at the thumb crotch, and there are other benefits. The MaxiFlex is a string knit glove that is dipped to provide a thin nitrile coating over the fingers and palm. It has a snug fit that doesn’t have extra material to get snagged or grabbed while you’re pushing lumber through a table saw. The improved grip from the nitrile coating is perfect for picking up nails or screws and holding them while using your hammer, and it still helps keep splinters out. If you’re working in the cold, Towa makes a similar nitrile-dipped glove that is insulated (and orange) called the PowerGrab Hi-Vis 41-14400.
What about fall protection? Certainly a properly fitting Protecta AB17510 harness is going to keep you from hitting the ground at an unhealthy rate of speed (as long as you’re properly tied off). But you’re going to be fairly uncomfortable for the duration of the time you’re working and not falling. I did say properly fitting too. These harnesses are pretty comfortable if you give yourself plenty of room. If you wear it like a loose jacket, it doesn’t bind or chafe at all. Unfortunately when you fall, you will experience the jerk from the lanyard stopping the harness followed by your impact with the floor or lower level because you slip right out of your straps. The Protecta harnesses aren’t really designed for guys working at height all day, every day.
Guys who work at tower climbers or doing construction with their feet off the ground either don’t wear their equipment properly, have permanent rashes around their legs and over their shoulders, or they’ve upgraded to an ExoFit or Petzl full body harness. Both of these manufacturers have spent their Research and Design dollars figuring out how to let a working man (or woman) stretch and work while staying protected. More expensive. Yes. Quite a bit in some cases. But professionals have professional tools, and comfortable fall protection is part of the uniform for many folks.
If you’re looking for the cheapest personal protective gear for your company, just make sure it doesn’t cost you more in the long run. If you’ve got questions about the best quality for the best price, we have the answers. Just ask. You’ll find us on the phones and answering questions online Monday through Friday from 7am till 5pm PST.