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  • Be safe, be seen! Get the right hi vis gear

    We all expect to come home safely after a day at work and to make sure our employees and colleagues do too.  If you’re working in an area where there are specific hazards its important to take the right precautions to make sure you are visible.

    As the nights are drawing in and its getting darker earlier, now might be a good time to review your hi vis requirements and make sure you understand the regulations that are in place to provide the right level of protection for your working environment.

    What are the legal safety standards?

    The EN471 specification sets out safety standards for hi visibility workwear. It is split into three classes and making sure you meet the right specification for your working environment is important.

    If you are working on the roadside or on the railway for instance, you may have combined upper and lower garments correctly, but you also need to make sure they meet the right specification individually and have the correct amount or area of hi vis tape on.

    For details on what the standards are and what is required to meet each one, click here

    Hi vis, long sleeved jacket Hi Vis, long sleeved jacket, yellow, £9.14

    Is the hi vis clothing warm enough?

    With the weather turning colder, it is also important to make sure you are protected from the elements.   Do you need quilt lining? Many ‘warm-lined’ jackets are designed for Nordic conditions, some are even fur lined and whilst these are great for really cold spells they are simply too warm for a mild winters day. The problem here is that you may be tempted to discard your outer jacket if you feel too warm…and then will you meet the EN471 safety standards?

    The good news is that  options now open to workers who need hi-vis do include some really high quality, breathable and unlined garments. Some of the fabrics used will block wind but still breath, and so regulate the temperature much better. From shell jackets to mid-weight options to full fur lining we have a solution that will keep you protected at the right temperature.

    Check our breathable executive jacket here :

    Hi vis executive jacket Hi vis executive jacket, £49.50

     

    And, if you’re still cold, just layer up underneath with one of these great hi vis sweatshirts or hoodies:

    Leo workwear Leo Workwear Class 3 hooded sweatshirt. Ask us at CIS for details 01726 742642, sales@cisafety.com

     

    Hi vis for ladies

    For ladies, the range of work wear and hi vis clothing designed specifically for you is growing all the time. Contact us for more information or visit www.leoworkwear.com/ladies

  • A cut above: protection and hygiene in meat and seafood processing

     

    Workers wearing safety and protective gear while seafood processing

    When it comes to protecting workers and ensuring excellent hygiene, the standards required in the seafood and meat industry are particularly exacting. The PPE (personal protective equipment) products used in the meat and seafood processing industries therefore need to be of a very high standard.

    This blog reveals what constitutes a hygienic design and we briefly cover which materials should be used in the making of these products to ensure they are not only safe to use in food production, but that they effectively protect the wearer and resist any substances they may come into contact with in these harsh environments – including food!

    So what is hygienic, or good design?

     

    PU Wellington by CIS Safety

     

    Generally well designed products have as few dirt traps as possible. Dirt traps are sharp corners, ridges, other angular or difficult to clean areas. A good example is this PU wellington, ( PU, is an abbreviation of polyurethane). This product not only has smoothly-rounded profiles but an anti-clogging sole to prevent build-up of debris. Many styles of footwear that offer high slip resistance have sole patterns that are very hard to keep clean.

    Fabric – such as clothing – is generally difficult to keep clean due to its woven structure, and constitutes a hygiene risk unless it is industrially launderable. Most aprons and wash-down clothing are waterproof or wipe-clean, but look out for unnecessary seams or stitching, metal eyelets or pockets and pouches that can retain liquid and pose a hygiene threat.

    Some factories may have specific rules such as no laces on footwear and of course, no metal. Many of our footwear styles are metal free (even slip on shoes or wellingtons may have metallic toe caps), and are made from materials such as microfiber or PU, since leather is also not a hygienic option – nor can it be washed in the way that microfibre can. Which brings us onto materials…

    Which materials should products be made from?

     

    Microfibre cloth

     

    Let’s have a look some different materials used in food industry PPE

    We’ve mentioned leather, and the alternative to leather, microfiber, which is used to make shoes used in the food industry. Features of microfiber are:-

    1. Performance is better than real leather, same surface effect can be achieved
    2. Tear resistance, abrasion resistance, tensile strength are all better than real leather, and it is cold-resistant, acid proof, alkali-resisting, non-fading;
    3. Lightweight, soft, good breathability, smooth surface
    4. Antibacterial, anti-mildew, mothproof, without any harmful substances, eco-friendly
    5. Easy to cut, high utilisation rate, easy to clean, no odours.
    6. Can be laundered.
    7. Cost-efficient.

    Another material becoming common in wellington boots is PU, or polyurethane. This lightweight material has excellent resistance to animal fats and oils, which despite being ‘natural’ are very damaging to some plastics and PVC’s (polymerizing vinyl chloride), as they break them down causing cracking and degradation.

    PU is also cold-insulating, very durable and easy to clean. Boots made from PU are also more comfortable, as not only are they lighter but more flexible and provide better cushioning for the feet.

    As we’ve mentioned, PVC used in making boots is very susceptible to oils and fat, particularly fish oils. In some circumstances these aggressive substances result in the PVC becoming hard and inflexible, reducing wearer comfort and the lifetime of the product.

    Not only is comfort affected, but if movement is also affected, this could become a safety hazard.

    The addition of improvers or elastomisers to the blend when manufacturing PVC can overcome this however, enabling the production of a softer, more flexible material. So the correct blend can protect adequately against both chemicals and natural oils.

    Nitrile is now almost solely used in the manufacture of disposable gloves and reusable gauntlets. Nitrile is a synthetic rubber that is also used (in various forms) in making gaskets, industrial hoses and other oil-resistant applications.

    Again, it is very durable, offers good grip and puncture resistance and has a good chemical resistance, but most importantly it is much safer, as many people have developed allergies to latex.

    Vinyl gloves are still commonly used in the food industry, however these are not generally suitable for use with fatty or acidic foods, since chemicals used in the manufacture of some vinyls can migrate into these foods. If you are handling these types of foods nitrile is again the best option.

     

    So in summary if you are purchasing PPE for use in the seafood industry – or any food processing environment – you need to be aware that the cheapest may not offer the best protection or longevity.

    Avoid any potential health issues, costly mistakes - or even fines – and make a simple checklist:-

    1. Is the design, and material used, hygienic? Is it antimicrobial or antibacterial?
    2. Does the material used present any health issues to staff, or could it contaminate food?
    3. Will the product withstand the environment it is used in?
    4. Does the product protect adequately against any risks present?
    5. Will user comfort (and safety) be compromised by any change in the material due to contact with chemicals or natural oils?
  • Not just a fashion statement! Why all outdoor workers need good quality sunglasses…

     INFIELD-Testimonial-_0015_PSB-Schweisser-RAPTOR

     

    Think of sunglasses and we tend to think of fashion statements.

    But while they may be ‘cool’ they are as vital to safety at work as good old fashioned work boots or high visibility jackets.  We asked our friends and suppliers at Infield Safety Ltd who specialise in protective eyewear, to share some of their wisdom about why protecting our eyes from UV (ultraviolet) rays is so important.

     

    It seems there are a host of eye conditions that can be caused by exposure to UV rays. Photokeratitis, pinguecula and pterygium (also known as surfer’s eye) are all short term conditions which can be caused by or worsened by exposure to UV rays. Longer terms concerns include melanoma of the eye, cataracts and AMD -- age-related macular degeneration which causes you to lose central vision, usually in both eyes.

     

    Our eyes are affected by two different forms of UV light, UV B rays and UV A rays. UV B light is absorbed by the cornea and causes damage to the whole eye as well as surrounding tissue. This kind of light can contribute to pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis as well as skin cancer and premature aging of surrounding tissue. UV A passes through the cornea and can cause damage to the macular and cornea, increasing risk of AMD and cataracts. Of all cancers above the neck, five to ten per cent are on the eyelids

     

    And while we tend to reach for our sunglasses when the sun is bright, in reality, UV rays can be more damaging to our eyes on cloudy days, due to a scattering effect on the light. Even simple reflections such as sunlight reflected off wet roads or white painted walls can dramatically increase the amount of UV rays our eyes are exposed to. For example, if you’re painting a white house, the UV rays you are exposed to are increased by 22 per cent.

    With 20 million eye procedures taking place each year, it seems we definitely need to get better at protecting our eyes. Here are some tips:

     

    1. USE EYE PROTECTION ALL YEAR ROUND. A good quality pair of sunglasses or protective eyewear is a vital piece of workwear even in the winter if you work outside.

     

    2. CHECK YOUR EYEWEAR BLOCKS UV RAYS. Make sure you wear eye protection with good UV protection. Infield’s safety eyewear is UV protective as standard.

     

    3. COVER THE SKIN AROUND YOUR EYES. Make sure your eye protection doesn’t just cover your eyes but the soft skin area around them, which is also vulnerable to UV rays.

     

    Raptor Safety Spectacles: The revolutionary wrap-around lens provides a close fit and fully protects the area around the eyes

     

    Raptor Safety Spectacles: The revolutionary wrap-around lens provides a close fit and fully protects the area around the eyes.

     

    4.  USE CLEAR LENSES WHEN VISIBILITY IS LOW. If you work in variable light conditions, consider clear eye protection to block UV rays on cloudy days while still allowing good visibility.

     

    Terminator Safety Spectacles are available in a wide choice of frames with interchangeable lenses, including clear lenses or darker tints

    Terminator Safety Spectacles are available in a wide choice of frames with interchangeable lenses, including clear lenses or darker tints.

     

    Click here for a full range of eye protection wear

  • 5 key footwear facts that can help prevent accidents in the workplace

    CascadesWaterproof Heavy Ankle Boot at CIS Safety CascadesWaterproof Heavy Ankle Boot at CIS Safety

     

    Our feet are exposed to many dangers at work and, like every other danger, the risk can be avoided or removed if employers take simple straightforward steps to protect their workers.

    Our footwear is out in front, in support. From safety wellingtons to ankle boots, office footwear to kitchen shoes, we offer a huge range of footwear to help improve comfort and safety in the workplace.

    Here are some tips to help you choose the right footwear and also, importantly, to help prevent accidents and injuries.

     

    1  EMPLOYERS ARE LEGALLY BOUND TO MAKE SURE FLOORS ARE SAFE IN THE FIRST PLACE

    Regardless of footwear provision, under the The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers need to make sure that floors and the general workplace are safe. This raises the key point that often the problem is not just with the footwear but the actual surface. Employers should make sure that floors are kept clean and dry and, where that is not possible, special flooring may need to be installed.

     

    2. 80% OF ALL FOOTWEAR INJURIES ARE CAUSED BY AN OBJECT WEIGHING NO MORE THAN 30 POUNDS IMPACTING THE FOOT

    As well as making sure the work environment is safe, it’s important that workers have basic health and safety training for tasks which involve lifting. A box of paper falling off a shelf, for example, can do a lot of damage to a foot, yet no-one would suggest wearing steel cap boots in the office is mandatory.

     

    Lightweight microfibre slip on safety boot at CIS Safety Lightweight microfibre slip on safety boot at CIS Safety

     

    3. THE AVERAGE WORKER WILL WALK NEARLY 2000 MILES EACH YEAR 

    There are three common kinds of foot injury in the workplace. Things falling on feet is one category, injuries caused by slips and trips is another, but there are also conditions caused by fatigue from the distance walked and standing. Lightweight and comfortable footwear can prevent this. We have a range of workplace trainers and footwear for men and women which can make sure that days spent on your feet don’t take their toll.

     

    Grace Ladies slip on shoe Grace Ladies slip on shoe at CIS Safety

     

    4. IN SAFETY FOOTWEAR A HEEL SHOULD HAVE A BROAD BASE AND BE NO HIGHER THAN 4CM. IF WORN FOR LONG STRETCHES, THEY SHOULD BE NO MORE THAN 2CM IN HEIGHT.

    In some companies, a dress code can require that women in particular wear high heels. But European safety standards set out that a heel should be no more than 4cm in height for a reason. High heels are known to cause lower back pain and joint pain as well as increasing the risk of a sprained ankle. We have a range of smart ladies footwear for women who spend a lot of their working day on their feet.

     

    5. SLIPS AND TRIPS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR NEARLY 40% OF ALL SERIOUS ACCIDENTS

    The good news about this is that according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) around 50% of slips and trips can be prevented. Good cleaning and care of floors is important, but as most slips happen on wet floors, a simple safety sign after mopping can prevent a nasty and costly trip.

     

    Take a look at our footwear range here: www.cisafety.com/footwear

Buyer, Cornwall Glass Group
Shortly after Cornwall Glass was formed some 15 years ago I started dealing with yourselves as a Supplier I don't believe in all those years whatever I have asked for - however obscure! you have never let me down - I'd like to think that we have quite a unique relationship thank you very much
Site Manager, International Minerals company
Special note - Amelia has done a great job this year for our site, quick, efficient, good follow-up and courteous, everything you need at the customer interface.
Purchasing, Food Manufacturer
After our BRC audit we received grade : A . I`m really happy, thank you for you and all the CIS team for your help.
Manager, Food wholesaler

You are amazing!!!!

Technical Manager, Seafood
A very good local company delivering a prompt and informative service. Excellent!
Health & Safety Manager, Waste Cleansing & Drain Clearing co
A company that always performs to the word "quality", helpful with innovations in PPE, guidance and support. A company that is a valuable asset to us as a supplier.