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Meet SafetyGirl

I20140719_094724n anticipation of restoring my new-to-me home, I brought some Safety Girl, Discount Safety Gear, and Construction Gear products home last week. Happily, I got a Friday commute text from my boyfriend that his daughter had decided to rip up her bedroom carpet, that I should stop over, and he was otherwise speechless (him speechless is as close to a medical emergency as you can get). Upon entering the house I could barely make my way to the voices coming from some random crevice upstairs – furniture lined the hallways and sat in the middle of every room. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hello?
He: Up here! Can you squeeze through? Or did you have chocolate today?
Me: I think I got it. How did all the heavy wood furniture get downstairs?
He: Lucy carried it.
Me: By herself!?
He: Yes.
Me: I’m impressed.

There he stood, delegating and watching like a good dad. The old carpet was up already, showing beautiful bare hardwood. Engrossed in her work, Lucy pried tacks and staples out of the floorboards. I vaulted back downstairs to get the gloves, disposable knee pads, and tool belt that were already in my car. “Hey! Try some of this stuff out!” I threw her my bag of new goodies. She was a good sport, especially since I wasn’t sure whether to put the knee pads on horizontally or vertically. I let her do her thing. They protected her knees from stray nails for sure, but one helpful bit of information: don’t put them on bare skin. I think I lost points for that one and she won’t have to shave her knees for a month. Needless to say, adhesion with these knee pads is top-notch. If you put them on coveralls or pants as they are intended, they will last through the job or until you wash the clothing. Note to self: read the instructions before using the product.20140719_094745-MOTION

The gloves fit her like, well, a glove, and kept her hands safe from the sharp tacks, as well as blisters from the pliers when she pulled up the staples.

The story has a happy ending: Lucy finished most of the impromptu bedroom makeover before her sister Grace got home from almost a month abroad (another story for another day). There is some finishing work to be done, but with both girls working together, it will get done quickly. And with products from SafetyGirl, Construction Gear, and Discount Safety Gear, it will get done safely – except for that knee thing.

Afterward: Because Lucy and Grace are under age, I changed their names and forwarded this to my BF for approval. He suggested his alias be something along the lines of movie-star worthy, with authoritative muscle and a heart of gold. He will be known as Mutt. Simply because I can. But he shared that after Lucy removed the knee pads, he put them on himself and said he loved them. They were convenient, easy, and didn’t hurt a bit when he removed them.

Our sites, Construction Gear, Discount Safety Gear, and Safety Girl, have gotten a ton of great-looking new work boots. Avenger, Nautilus are some of the names you will see if you are shopping for the latest looks. Some are the metatarsal style, some are clogs. All are high quality. We know a few companies are revamping their safety shoe and boot programs now, so we wanted to spotlight some of our newest arrivals.


CSGBOTM1000032308_-00_Avenger-Mens-Black-Met-Guard-Mining-BootThe Avenger Black Met Guard Mining Boot boasts a removable insole and offers electrical hazard protection. It’s a lot of boot for under $85.

Another boot by Avenger is the brown Steel Toed Boot made of full-grain crazy horse leather. Full-grain is the strongest leather you can buy. Crazy horse leather is also known as saddle leather and is made by applying special waxes to the surface. It’s an abrasion-resistant boot with a steel toe cap and removable dual density insole.

Here’s one for the ladies: Nautilus’ Women’s Composite Toe Clog in full-grain Nubuck leather with a composite safety toe cap. What’s so great about Nubuck? Nubuck is a top-grain leather that is buffed to give a velvet-like surface. It is highly wear-resistant. While it is stronger and thicker than suede, it is just as soft. It is a luxurious leather and a bit more expensive because of the processing.

CSGBOTM1000032305_-00_Nautilus-Mens-Composite-Toe-ESD-HikerWe offer the ESD hiker, also in Nubuck and also by Nautilus. ESD stands for Electro Static Dissipative construction, which reduces excess static electricity. This handsome brown composite toe boot is waterproof with a removable sockliner.

And what about the Avenger Composite Toe EH (electrical hazard) Boot? air bags, bumper toe, and cross stabilizers! This shoe’s list of specs reads like a new car window sticker!

The list goes on. Why don’t you head over to one of our pages now and find the shoe that will make you glad you retired your old pair!

harnessAccording to OSHA, fall hazards are the leading cause of injury at construction sites. Here at Online Stores, Inc., we have three e-commerce sites that sell safety harnesses: Construction Gear, Discount Safety Gear, and The Safety Girl. No matter why you are buckling up, you will find appropriate harnesses at these sites. Please understand while we also sell body belts, these belts are only to maintain a worker’s position in awkward positions. They are NOT intended for fall protection or fall arrest. This blog writing is only for safety harnesses, the only gear we recommend for fall arrest. TSK4000

I set out this morning to find out more about safety harnesses. It’s amazing what they can do for such a reasonable cost, considering what they go through and the consequences if you don’t use one, right? Everything from expensive fines, to injury or even death. Makes me want to go out and get one even for reroofing my first-story porch!

Because we are safety-conscious here, I have to interject my disclaimer before we get going: I am not a pro. I don’t even play one on TV. Everything I know about safety harnesses was a result of studying the products and what the professionals have to say. And they all say, it’s on you. Regardless who your boss is, what the brand is, what type it is, or the condition it’s in, it’s on you. It’s your life. It is your responsibility for knowing the proper care and usage of your safety harness. It’s your call to strap that harness on.

That said, let’s dig in!

Safety harnesses and peripheral types differ based on the job, but all fall arrest equipment includes the ABC pieces: Anchorage, Body wear, and Connector. If you are doing elevated work like repointing, you would also have a suspension device (like a swing). If you must maintain a difficult position, you would also have a positioning assembly (like a belt). If you are entering a confined space, you would also have a retrieval device (like a tripod with pulley). Miller Lanyard

The device’s purpose isn’t to prevent a fall but to prohibit impact. That said, once you go, it’s about 15 minutes before the professionals arrive to get you down. Therefore, there are neat leg attachments called Relief Step Safety Devices that allow you to put your feet in a more natural position and support them while you wait. I didn’t know that!

All About the Fit

I was surprised to find there are myriad videos showing how to properly don a harness. Evidently there are a bunch of ways that part can go wrong, negating any benefit of the fall device. That’d be me. Supposedly, there are six easy steps to putting on a harness. I haven’t actually tried this, but on paper they seem pretty cut and dried.

  1. Hold the harness by the D-ring and shake to allow it to fall into place.
  2. Unbuckle all buckles.
  3. Slip the straps over the shoulders like a vest.
  4. Pull the end of the leg straps, one at a time, between the legs and secure to the opposite end. If the harness has a belt, connect that.
  5. Connect the chest strap and tighten shoulder straps.
  6. Adjust so that the harness fits snug, but allows full range of motion.

Care and Maintenance of Your New Pet

stretched harnessThe life expectancy of a safety harness is five years. Even knowing that, it is imperative that you inspect your device before every use. Test the webbing by grasping it with hands 6-8” apart and bend into an inverted “U.” Look for frayed edges, broken fibers, pulled stitches, cuts, burns, or chemical damage. Check D-rings for corrosion, distortion, cracks, breaks and rough or sharp edges. Inspect for broken stitching or other signs of wear, of the D-ring attachments. Inspect buckles for unusual wear and frayed surrounding fibers. Buckles should mate firmly. Check grommets for signs of wear – do not punch additional belt holes! Look for signs of activation on the lanyard. Once it’s deployed, it should not be reused. Make sure the lanyard’s springs are tight and the hooks can close firmly. Look for fraying along the lanyard. Inspect it for cuts, snags, and breaks. On a retractable lanyard, make sure the locking mechanism works. Never tie a knot in a lanyard – it reduces the strength by 50%. This Miller by Honeywell video is a comprehensive tutorial on creating a safety plan; fall prevention proper care, usage, and inspection of your safety harness; and the different types and styles of equipment. It’s under a half hour and a great investment of your time!

ImageDiscount Safety Gear, SafetyGirl, and ConstructionGear.com all carry Justin Original Work boots. Today I set out to learn more about them because it’s important to me to know the quality of the products of the company for which I work. Across those three sites, we sell over twenty different styles of Justin boots, from pink cowboy to steel toed work boots.Image

Who is Justin?

Founded in 1879 on deep roots and high ambition, the Justin family began a company that produced hand crafted boots in Fort Worth, TX. Over the years the company grew and moved but eventually settled again in Fort Worth and remained in the family. In 2000, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway recognized the strong value in this company and added it to his empire. My research shows an impressive dossier of quality and hard, proud work in a boot that is still made in the USA.

WImagee look at the attention to detail in the JMAX lace-r work boot, for example. These boots have a comfort notch in the lace-up so the shoes don’t bunch and rub on your foot from bending with every step. They have a Drylex lining and padded gusset to keep your foot stable, protected, and dry. The padded collar protects your Achilles heel and encourages stability of the foot within the boot. They’ve got a soft inner core, a removable gel orthodic, and waxed laces to keep the boot snug all day. No wonder they are known as the “Most Comfortable Boot in the Industry.”

How Do The Sizes Run and How Do I Care For My New Boots?

ImageMost reviewers say that they found a perfect fit with ordering a half size smaller than, or the same size as, their tennis shoe size. A few said a full size down was their perfect fit. When your boots arrive, try them on and walk around in a carpeted area. The throat of the boot is what holds your foot in, and should fit snugly without being too tight. The instep should also fit this way. The ball of your foot should nestle in the widest part of the boot, and the arch of your foot should line up with the inner curve of the boot. If you have purchased a pull-on cowboy boot, the heel will slip just a little, and you should hear a soft “pop” when your foot clears the throat. This indicates the fit is right. Since there is a liberal return policy on boots at Onlinestores.com, there’s no risk in ordering your boots online. With free returns, including return shipping within 30 days from ConstructionGear.com, Discount Safety Gear, and SafetyGirl, you have peace of mind that if your boots don’t fit, it won’t cost you anything extra to return them for the right size within the month.

Caring for your investment is pretty straightforward. For suede leather, just brush with a soft boot brush. For other types of leather, first clean off loose dirt with the brush, apply a leather conditioner and a neutral shoe cream, then polish with a soft cloth until the leather shines. We carry a full line of boot care products.

Anything Else?

I learned quite a bit from Justin’s website and YouTube channel. But one of the most interesting things I learned about Justin boots is that they partner with over 40 other corporations to sponsor Camp Patriot, a camp whose mission is to take wounded-in-combat and disabled US veterans on outdoor adventures. Those who may otherwise slip through the cracks are taken kayaking, mountain climbing, biking, or flown in to stay at a ranch where they can fish and boat with their military brothers. If you would like to donate to Camp Patriot, you can do so here.

 

If you want to follow a Justin boot through production, check out this video!

Why do gas prices increase, and what can we do about it?

According to MEMA, Americans drive about 3 trillion miles a year – that’s about 820 trips from the sun to Pluto and back. As a society, we consume 178 million gallons of gasoline per day (doe.gov). And just when we get some time off to do some things, the price at the pump goes up. Why? The short answer is, supply and demand. Typically, demand spikes around this time, as we go on vacation and have long holiday weekends. When demand goes up, so do prices. Add to the price increase more expensive summer-grade fuels, and the prices climb higher yet. In the spring, oil refineries perform maintenance, which lowers production, making the supply smaller. People want more gas right when there is less of it, and it is more expensive to produce. Taxes in different states, where the station is located in relation to a refinery, and local competition can all impact the bottom line.

So that’s the why. What can we do to keep our budget in check when gas prices rise?

  • Check your car’s air filter – almost 1 in 4 cars could use a new one, and increase fuel economy by up to 10%.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Add another 2.8%.
  • Slow down! (I’m sure this works but I have a hard time doing it, especially in my convertible in the summer…) You can save a few dimes per gallon for every 5mph in speed reduction.Image
  • Keep the junk out of your trunk – heavier vehicles consume more gas.
  • Get your exercise as well as be more environmentally friendly and bike or walk when appropriate.
  • Take advantage of free shipping instead of driving to the store. Great sites like constructiongear.com offer free shipping when you purchase $35 or more.

 

Be Well

Ok, so we got hit hard this winter with relentless snow and bitter temps. Spring is finally here and I don’t know about you, but I get outside to enjoy it every chance I get – biking, swimming, picnics, you name it. And yes, I can even get behind a push mower if it allows me a little sun and exercise. Here are a few of our favorite reminders, along with some helpful product suggestions to make the season as drama free as possible:

  • If biking or running in traffic, wear reflective clothingImage
  • Exercise in the evening to avoid the hottest times of day
  • Rehydrate frequently
  • Cool off and exercise at the same time by swimming
  • Apply a high-SPF sunscreen frequently
  • Watch out for signs of heat stroke (dizziness, nausea, hot and dry skin, confusion, unconsciousness) – and if you spot it, get the victim out of the sun, seek medical attention, and cool him or her down
  • Wear protective clothing in the woodsImage
  • Relieve itching and rashes with a first aid kit
  • Inform someone of where you are going and when you will be home at all times, and carry your phone
  • Know how to swim and observe public pool posted restrictions
  • Learn CPR
  • Never leave children unattended near water and keep a cell phone with you so you don’t have to leave the area if you need helpImage
  • Program emergency numbers into your phone
  • Stay inside when lawn chemicals are being applied

Show Us Yours

Imageconstructiongear.com wants you! Send us your photos of our products in use or on display. If we use your picture, we will send you a $25 thank-you gift to be used on any of our merchandise! email photos to elizabeth.stubna@onlinestores.com with the product’s website item number or SKU, and the name and address on your registered account, so we can be sure to get your prize to you!

Please note the following: you must be a registered user of constructiongear.com (you can register here: https://www.constructiongear.com/customer/account/create/) to receive your non-transferrable credit code. Limit one credit code per registered user of constructiongear.com. Remitting photos indicates your agreement that the photos are your own, and everyone identifiable in them has given consent to have their likeness used by us for any purpose on any onlinestores.com website. Photos must be accompanied by the SKU or item number from constructiongear.com.

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