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November 28, 2017
What can you do to brave the outdoor elements this winter? The answer to this question is easy for most of us: layer up. One popular choice is to wear a hoodie underneath a parka. However, many companies have implemented bans on employees wearing hoodies, or at least the hood portion. While your favorite hoodie may be comfy and warm, wearing it to work can cause safety concerns on the job site. The Dangers of Wearing Hoodies at Work Hoods can extend past your eyes and can block your peripheral vision, which limits your ability to see potential danger around you. This is especially important for heavy equipment operators, or anyone who works in and around forklifts and vehicles. The drawstrings of hoodies can become entangled in moving equipment, creating potentially horrific consequences. Anyone who works on the floor of a machine shop or a drilling rig should know the hazards of loose-fitting clothing and dangling jewelry and drawstrings.Pioneer FR Hoodless Hoodies Combines Comfort and Safety Pioneer Fire Resistant Hoodies offer you the comfort and design of a typical hoodie without the hassle of the hood and drawstrings. These “hoodless hoodies” will keep you from breaking any of your company’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rules, with a few added bonuses.Pioneer’s ‘hoodless’ hoodies can be worn on any job site because they do not impair your vision. They can be paired with balaclavas and hardhat liners for maximum protection from the cold.If your company prohibits hooded sweaters and still requires FR attire, Pioneer Hoodies are 100% FR treated meeting the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standards.The hoodie’s convenient quarter-zip design helps to minimize heat loss.Pioneer also offers a Hi-Viz hoodie option that improves how well other people see you should you choose to wear it as an outer layer. [caption id="attachment_13208" align="aligncenter" width="296"] Fire Retardant Hi-Vis Hoodies[/caption] If you’re tired of being told to tuck in your hood or if hoodies have been banned on your job site, Pioneer’s ¼ zip FR pullovers will keep you warm and safe while working in the cold this winter. Stay warm. And as always, stay safe.
November 15, 2017
Winter is here again. More snow, ice, and below-freezing temperatures are here. These are the realities of living and working in one of the coldest countries in the world. With it comes the risk of dangerous slips and falls, which can lead to injury, lost time, and even death. According to WCB falls remain one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities in Canada. To prevent injuries from slips and falls this winter, it’s a good idea to consider getting some reliable cleats to increase traction on the ice and snow.Choose Cleats for Industrial Applications Most of the cleats available today can be attached directly to any size work boot. But not every ice cleat is made the same, or for the same purpose. While any cleats are better than no cleats, the cleats you choose for work should be able to withstand the rigors of your job site. One of the advantages of Rip’s Cleats is they conveniently rotate to the top of your work boot when getting in and out of vehicles or entering structures, where cleats could damage floors or cause you to lose your footing. Rip’s Cleats Clever Design Rip’s Cleats are Canadian made and designed to dig into ice and snow to maintain safe traction on both flat and sloping terrain. Rip’s Cleats are made largely for use in industrial environments and have received good response from electricians, equipment operators, miners, construction workers, and those employed in the oil and gas industry. Rip’s Cleats not only keep you safe; they are easy to use and available in a range of sizes that fit most men and women’s footwear and are designed for use in different working environments where other factors must be considered.Sharp: These cleats have aggressive sharp tips that are useful in any condition.Blunt: Perfect for electrical and building contractors. The blunt cleats have flat tips that significantly reduces the chances of electrical cord piercing and the dimpling of wood floors and surfaces.Cermac: Spark resistant and rounded tips. Cermac cleats are aggressively sharp for icy conditions, but not sticky sharp. Spark resistance makes them a great choice for the oil and gas industry. Be safe this winter. It could be a cold, icy one.
May 19, 2017
Introducing Sellstrom, a renowned manufacture of personal protective products, providing the highest quality at competitive prices. For 95 years, Sellstrom, a Chicago-based safety company, that has built its reputation through its superior products, was acquired in November 2015 by SureWerx. Direct Workwear Ltd has gained a great customer following because for over 31 years we have sought out products based on quality and affordability. Our customer feedback is essential for adjusting our product line based on need and how they stand up to real work conditions. Sellstrom has become known for its premium quality, features, fit and comfort. We are excited to introduce their Safety Glasses, Safety Blankets, Welding Blankets, Hearing Protection, Portable Eyewash Stations and Germicidal Cabinets into Direct Workwear’s product line. As you get to experience Sellstrom’s products whether your work involves welding, oilfield, agriculture or any of trades and function, we are confident we can gain your confidence. With Sellstrom’s entry into the Canadian market, their products compliment the depth of our line and our other branded PPE safety programs that Direct Workwear carries. CSA Standards It is important to note, Sellstrom products are third party tested and certified in accordance to the current CSA standards through one of two accredited certifying laboratories, CSA or CUL. Surewerx prides itself through the CSA certification of Sellstrom’s Safety Glasses, are the first Safety Glasses in Canada to be certified to the latest CSA Z94.3 2015 standards! With Sellstrom, you can be assured of an amazing experience as you enjoy safety and comfort in your task, an experience shared by many other customers who have used their products for over 95 years in the US. Direct Workwear Ltd. looks forward to be a national distributor of all Sellstrom products as they are being introduced to Canada.
September 7, 2016
While the debate rages in Canada over pipelines a little more than 60 years ago a pipeline running from Alberta to Montreal was quite a contentious issue. It ended up bringing down the then Liberal government of the day. To be fair the issue then was more to do with ownership than environmental concerns. Some Background Back in 1954, TransCanada Pipelines was chosen to build the pipeline to get gas to east to deal with their energy needs. It made sense back then to find a Canadian solution as it should make sense today. It is important to note that confederation of Canada of 1867 appeared to be based more on pragmatism than ideology. It seems to be a concept lost on our political contemporaries. Common Sense? If your neighbour four doors down grew potatoes and sold it at a reasonable price, why would you travel to another town to purchase basically the same potatoes. Maybe one of your neighbours didn’t want you to cross his yard to get some potatoes even if there could be benefits to them and benefits to the their neighbour growing the potatoes who needed to sell their potatoes to thrive.Ideology vs Factuality We all could probably agree we need to have a clean sustainable environment. The reality of the moment is we can’t just walk away from an oil based world. If all the oil was left in the ground, civilization as we know it would end. There is no current cost effective or sustainable replacement for our energy needs. Current clean energy on a massive scale is a pragmatic hoax. It takes huge amounts of hydrocarbons to support and make the components for clean energy. And many times the solutions are just exercises in feel good solutions that can be detrimental to the ecosystems that are claimed to be protected. (How many birds and bats are killed by wind farms?)The Reality of Convenience We live in a society of immediate gratification and disposable products. Who really needs individually wrapped slices of cheese. Who needs to be in constant communication with the world and continually upgrade to new and better products. The obscene use of energy is also consumed by those wage war on the obscene use of energy.Is Carbon Bad? Without carbon and oxygen there can’t be life. Carbon is the molecular backbone of life so we can exist and thrive. Plants need CO2 to produce Oxygen. Without healthy plant growth our species wouldn’t survive whether you are a vegan or an omnivore. The question is balance. Global warming is more of geographical problem. Climate change is a natural form of balance.There Are Solutions In the 1960’s one of the biggest environmental concern was the acid rain problems in the US north east and raining on southern Ontario. The rain affected steel structures such as bridges and plant life. Once the problem was found solutions were developed. There is an acknowledgement that CO2 admissions are a current concern and there is a political will to deal with it. It also has become good business practices to reduce emissions.A Final Note There is a floating island of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. My question is why do we not talk about pollution anymore? Why do we drink so much bottle water in our western culture? Why is it OK to kill other species to facilitate the life style choices? Google what plastic does to sea life. The problem of CO2 emissions is a problem of an era of entitlement and convenience, not an organic compound.
August 16, 2016
It’s August here in Alberta. After suffering through a dry, warmish, winter there were times during July that rescue boats were seen on a major freeway in Edmonton. The ground is saturated with all the rain in recent weeks. With one of the strongest El Nino events behind us we welcome La Nina.Predictions for 2016 - 2017 It is a bit early to get a solid prediction, however the forecast appears to be a fairly cold winter for the Prairies and lots of snow for Southern Ontario. (Watch out Niagara Region there could be major snowfalls.)Winter Workwear Alert With two relatively warm winters behind us and a downturn in the price of oil, there could be a shortage of insulated workwear. Manufactures appear to have cut back on production, still having inventory left over from last year and too much uncertainty going forward with the weather and economy. If it gets really cold which could cause a spike in oil patch activity, there might be major shortages in January when the coldest weather is predicted.Good News We have lots of Fire Resistant, insulated, outwear for sale during our 3rd annual Garage Sale and lots of great prices on our Major FR Manufacturer Clearance page. Just go to our site: www.directworkwear.com and click on the Major FR Manufacturer Clearance link and keep scrolling down until you find what you need. Shop early for best selection and pricing. .
May 6, 2016
Being in business for over 30 years and living in Alberta for about 35 years we have all overcome many challenges. I lived through the tornado in 1987, the worst in Canadian history. I was driving home, at the time, north on highway 2 from Calgary, watching as the tornado was travelling north heading directly for Clareview where I lived. With my two young children I drove to the west end where I worked not knowing if my home was destroyed. My home wasn’t but two blocks over it was surreal seeing homes destroyed and a car sitting in some poor home owner’s living room. In the city there were places for those directly affected to go to. Hospitals were minutes away. The radio reports helped you navigate around flooded underpasses and blocked roads. Help was immediate. The Slave Lake Alberta wildfire in 2011 caused the evacuation of the town’s 7,000 residents with towns and a major city fairly close. The difference with Fort McMurray is that a whole city of 88,000 residents, miles and hours away from immediate help had to be suddenly evacuated. A bright, sunny day turned into the Gates of Hell when the wind shifted on an Alberta wildfire. Numbers of people couldn’t get home to get personal items such as passports, medications, pets and supplies. There are thousands of personal stories; some fleeing with children with no food, no water, no diapers and no place to find shelter; some driving with fire raging on both sides of the evacuation route and flecks of ashes and fire raining down on their vehicle. No words can comfort those fleeing from an Alberta wildfire. Action is a different thing. But then again, this is Alberta where people drove up and down the highway with food, water and fuel for those sitting in huge lineups that have run out of gas. This is Alberta where the majority of people and businesses are either doing or donating. This Alberta, the land of evil oil, but more specifically Ft. McMurray that embraced the unemployed and underemployed from across the country when times were good and money flowed east. And now, this is Alberta where the country, from Newfoundland to BC, is donating to help out the residences of Fort McMurray and for that we are thankful. The immediate needs are food, shelter and the basic needs of daily life. For some getting over the shock of being uprooted and losing much of their most personal and precious possessions, the time of healing will take longer. ‘It’s just stuff’ is important and heartbreaking when it’s your stuff. Yet, however difficult it is we have to rebuild and will rebuild. Ft. McMurray is oil and like thousands of others we make our money off that oil. As a business we will keep our prices low and lower where we can. Besides our normal products we have secured some access to pumps, generators, cleaning supplies, disposable clothing and better pricing on Fire Retardant garments where we can. The reality is our business is not just product but the relationships we have with long-time customers and new customers we get to meet. When you need us we will be there for you but for now we pray for your comfort and safety. -Frank and staff at Direct Workwear Ltd. Rex Murphy | Fort McMurray Wildfire
July 29, 2015
Every argument has a counter argument. Some positions are correct, some are incorrect, and some are just muddled by emotion. Is our species moving forwards to adapting and thriving or marching forward to extinction? Global warming will not ruin the earth, it only impacts what is living upon it. My background is in the sciences, which is based on facts. Politics have to do with agendas which can be based on the manipulation of facts to suit one’s purpose or agenda. Whatever the reasons, good or bad, there are consequences. One of the things that always gives me pause is the hysteria surrounding one’s position on global warming. Human society has supposedly been on the verge of disappearing since recorded history. The earth was flat and if one went too far one would fall off, eclipses forewarned of doom, human sacrifices would appease the gods so the rest of the population would thrive. With regards to global warming, human society, in relative terms, is probably less than a split second to the age of the earth and maybe a little more since living organisms have populated our planet. Could you make a judgement of a person’s behaviour in less than a second? Our personal observations and data are just too small of a sample size to make a definitive judgement thus we must look to science and historical evidence for answers. The video linked to this blog makes the case that we might have a CO2 deficit and that all the industry since the late 1800’s may have save ours and other species. It is an interesting piece. Full Disclosure: In University my studies were skewed towards environmental sciences and psychology. I was involved in one of the first re-cycling program in Toronto. I make my living servicing the oil patch but I am still involved in recycling through my business. - Frank, Owner, CEO Direct Workwear Ltd. src="https://ideacity.zoomer.hc1.ca/ideacity15/PatrickMoore2015.mp4">
April 25, 2015
The Industry Health and Safety began as a sincere effort to reduce injury and death in the workplace, however, to some extent, the original purpose has been lost in what might be called “The Industry of Health and Safety”.The Myth In one way or another many of us have come to believe that occupational health and safety is complicated and requires trained professionals to manage. Of course this idea is often propagated or at least quietly re-enforced by many health and safety professionals. In reality, health and safety is not complicated, it is actually quite simple.The Training The National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO) designation has become widely accepted as standard training for health and safety professionals. The training and designation only involves approximately 18 days of theory and minimal field experience. Health and safety professionals are usually paid well and with the short duration of the NCSO training many people pursue a career in health and safety for what is perceived as “easy money” instead of actually being interested or committed to true health and safety. Others pursue higher levels of occupational health and safety training at universities and colleges and seek registration as a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP).The Reality A Health and Safety Management System (Program) is a necessity for businesses to be compliant with federal and provincial statutes and regulations. Once a system is established, health and safety professionals do not really have much to do except be ambassadors or police of the system until something needs to be revised or there is an incident that requires management. In reality, supervisors can be trained to manage the day to day aspects of an existing health and safety system as well as manage any incidents that may occur. In fact, originally, before health and safety became an industry, the NCSO training was created for supervisors.Options Many companies hire a full time health and safety professional and consider it part of the cost of doing business in today’s marketplace. Some companies send their supervisors for NCSO training to save themselves the cost of hiring full time safety professionals. Aside from cost savings, training supervisors in health and safety is by far the superior way to truly ensure the health and safety of personnel as supervisors are usually present and directly involved with the workforce. Other companies simply cannot afford a full time safety professional and do not have supervisors that are trained in health and safety. Influenced by the myth that “safety is complicated and requires trained professionals” these companies may resort to hiring safety consultants. Health and Safety can be big business so consultants are plentiful and often exceedingly expensive.An Effective Economical Solution For companies that cannot afford a full time safety professional an effective and economical solution might be to have one experienced health and safety professional on call (at a reasonable hourly rate) to function just as if he/she was on staff, yet they only pay for what they need. Their “pay-as-you-go” safety professional would be available for system maintenance or revisions, COR maintenance, incident management, field presence, supervisor coaching, training etc. and would be only a phone call away. If you are interested in such a service please call me for further information. In 14 years of experience in health and safety, from the work site to the boardroom in various industries, I have learned that health and safety does not need to be complicated or expensive. Perhaps I can help you increase safety, simplify things, and save costs. Jon Robinson Direct HSE Services Ltd 587-335-1361
March 19, 2015
X on back, vertical on front, stripes 360 around the arms and legs but do you know why? We do after market striping and we get many requests for to vertical stripes to be sewn on the back of a garment to accommodate logos. We won’t do it. It is a safety hazard. A person operating equipment at night can recognize that if he or she sees an X then the person wearing the garment is facing away from them. If the wearer is wearing hearing protection they can’t hear equipment coming or possibly hear the approach at a noisy site. Many people, to try to save money, feel with all the tape on the front and back taping around the arms and legs is not necessary. I tell them to drop the back and front to make a point. Arms and legs gives the wearer 360 coverage. Also if the upper or lower body is obstructed there is still visibility. About 20 years ago I heard a story of a worker crossing a rural, two lane, highway in southern Alberta. It was a moonless night and the driver of vehicle didn’t see the person until it was too late. I don’t know if this is true or an urban legend but the point is obvious. Fashion vs Safety: Black is cool but is it safe. Recently a lot of workwear has been manufactured in black or darker colours. At night it may not make a difference but during the day you may not be as visible. Many sites are now insisting on level 2 visibilities. That means the background has to be visible during the day. This usually is orange or lime yellow garments. The background colour is for daytime visibility and the retro-reflective strip is for nighttime visibility. Logically: the larger the background the greater the visibility. That is why you may see coveralls that are solid orange with just two inch retro reflective stripes. In a future blog I will discuss colour and retro-reflectivity. How effective is my striping: As mentioned I will in the future discuss the science of colour and retro-reflectivity however, I will leave you with two rules: If it is dirty, clean it. It is worn replace it. To work, especially at night, the retro- reflective stripes have to be clean and complete to be effective. Imagine your safety glasses have grease or mud on them. You can’t see well enough to do your job safely. If stripes are full of grease, oil, or dirt it can’t do its job and the approaching operator can’t see you effectively. Yes, it can cost money to replace PPE but what is the cost of an injury or death? ….but that is just my opinion. -Frank, Owner, CEO, Direct Workwear Ltd.
February 26, 2015
We seem to get a lot of questions about fire retardant clothing and many misconceptions or understanding revolving around what is fire retardant and good practice. I will deal with the fabrics first. Generally there are four types of fibre and or blends: 100% cotton, 88% cotton/12% nylon blends and inherently fire retardant fibres such as Nomex (an aramid) or Modacrylic. It is not unusual to find any of these fibres to be blended with other fibres. With the exception of 100% Cotton, which may wash out after about fifty washes, these fabrics fire retardancy will not wash out. In purchasing any garment one should read the laundering instructions or google them to maximize the life of the item. It should be noted fabric softeners should not be used as they can coat the fabric diminishing the effectiveness of the cloth. In our industry we tend to concern ourselves with hydrocarbon flash. Not all garments labelled as fire retardant meets the criteria for hydrocarbon flash. For example, items that only meet NFPA 701 criteria (A test in which determines the garments ability to deter flames from spreading or in other words self-extinguishes). THE NFPA 701 criterion appears basically to be the standard for curtains and sleepwear. Having said this one must presuppose that the manufactured when making a claim of fire retardancy has had the product tested in an accredited lab. It also has to meet the standards of the environment one will be working in. If unsure, the provider should be able to get test results. It should be noted that these tests are conducted under laboratory conditions. In the field if a coverall, for example is soiled with a combustible material, some of that may have to burn off. The point is to keep the item one is wearing as clean as possible. This includes the usage of proper cleaning methods to avoid the garment being contaminated by a lipid (or fat) based substance, such as liquid detergent. Another point that, to me, has almost reached an urban legend status is the idea that only your outerwear has to be fire retardant. There are two components that should be considered: fire and heat. We know that fire retardant fabrics will not sustain a flame once the source has been removed but heat is another matter. If one is wearing a synthetic material under their clothing it could melt from the heat. If worn against the skin it could be very painful if it melts into the skin and potentially lethal from complications. What should be worn is anything made from a natural fibre or fire retardant cloth against the skin. In the jurisdiction I am in it is the law to wear natural or fire retardant fabrics beneath your outerwear. Regardless, law or no law you can survive a hydrocarbon flash. Many manufacturers have invested thousands and thousands of dollars to develop and improve products. There is lots of information on the internet about these fibres, textiles and the manufacturing processes. All I care about is that everyone has the information to work safe and be safe. ….but that is just my opinion -Frank, Owner, CEO Direct Workwear Ltd.
February 2, 2015
It is hard to think about safety when job security is top of mind. Many formally secure jobs are now on hold. One young lad was told to show up on site but he would have to find his own transportation. He was just starting out and went and bought a truck. The job disappeared but the payments didn't. There are many stories like this but the most important thing on or off the job site is attitude. When working focus on the job. If suddenly unemployed focus on strategies to get re-employed. Negative thoughts or emotions will not solve any problems nor playing the blame. We have no control over the price of oil but we do have control how we handle our own circumstances. Maybe it means taking a lower paying job and a leaner life style for the moment but the price will rise and the jobs will be back. But that is just my opinion. Now for some blatant promotion: We know times are tough and many will need to supply their own workwear. Another expense when times are tough, ouch. Direct Workwear Ltd. has reduced their already low prices to reflect the times with many great sales. Check out our sales link. On our Job Board we are accepting resumes at no charge and are offering free ad placements to companies, no hidden fees or upgrades. Employers are not only looking for skills but great attitude. Good Luck -Frank, Owner, CEO Direct Workwear Ltd.
January 29, 2015
There was a recent news item insinuating the price of oil could drop to around eight dollars per barrel. As I write this the price of oil is hovering around $45.00. I will predict somewhere between eight dollars and a hundred and fifty dollars. I am sure the reflex reaction is anybody can predict that. The eight dollar was based on the premise that the Saudi’s can refine oil for less than eight dollars a barrel and have over 850 billion dollars in reserve. On the other hand it could rebound to higher than the price of $147.00 set in 2008 as some pundits speculate based on lack of investment due to the slump. To the writer the other wild card is global tensions in the Middle East inclusive of uncertainty due to the collapse of the government in Yemen and Iran’s future intentions. One must also not forget the US is in an election mode, which could cause a change in current policies. Taking in consideration any of these influences it is fair to suggest predicting the price of oil long term is complex and many factors could cancel or override any other dynamic. In Canada, particularly the West is passenger as this global dance moves forward. Those of us that can remember the oil embargo of 1973, oil was priced at $4.75 a barrel. By 1980 the price rose to $37.42 and five year mortgage rates in Canada by September 1981 was over 20%. I am not offering a correlation between these two facts but all things considered the overall situation is not as bad as it has been in previous years. The facts are that the decline in the price of oil is as predictable as it will rise. What is unusual about this current decline is that it seemed to be sudden and deep. Most indicators seem to be that by the fall the oil should be back to about $75.00. My personal philosophy is to always prepare for the worst and prudently enjoy the good times. But that is just my opinion. -Frank, Owner, CEO Direct Workwear Ltd. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/11370166/Opec-warns-of-200-oil-without-investment-despite-recent-slump.html http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/Historical_Oil_Prices_Table.asp https://history.state.gov/milestones/1969-1976/oil-embargo http://www.ratehub.ca/5-year-fixed-mortgage-rate-history
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