GME Blog

Climb Higher - A blog about Tower Climbing Safety Gear

  1. Cadweld Demonstration


    Creating quality and reliable cable ground is an important part of the construction process. Using welding kits, like the Cadweld Plus Electronic Exothermic Welding Deluxe Kit can help ensure a proper, high-quality weld and keep you and your crew safe and productive on the job. This week our Gear Experts®  are going to break down how to use the Parallel Splice Mold and K-Cups from the Cadweld Plus Electronic Exothermic Welding Deluxe Kit to ground cable. For more information on the regular & plus kits, click here to check out a previous blog post.

    Cadweld Connections


     

    A Cadweld connection has a carrying capacity equal to or greater than that of the conductor and will withstand repeated fault currents without failing during operation. Cadweld connections also consistently exceeded IEEE® 837 2014 EMF test requirements and have been certified by an independent lab.

    Prep


     

    Prep is equally as important because it can prevent accidents from happening. To prep for the weld, be sure to thoroughly clean the mold and copper wires using an approved Cadweld Mold Cleaning BrushAdditional cleaning of the copper wire with a wire brush may be required to remove any grit or corrosion. Next, preheat the wire and the mold using a heat torch. This will get rid of any excess moisture that could negatively affect the weld quality. 

    Setup


     

    Once you have completed the preparation steps, it’s time to put everything in place to activate the weld. 

    Step 1: Start by placing both wires parallel in the mold and use the mold handle to clamp it shut. You should feel a click when the clamp is completely closed. 

    Step 2: Next, take some Cadwld Mold Sealer and fill the bottom opening of the mold so the weld material doesn’t escape when the chemical reaction starts. 

    Step 3: It’s important to remember that you want to make sure your mold is level so the welding material flows into the correct channels once it has been ignited. 

    Step 4: Then, place the K cup of welding material in the top of the mold with the ignition tab exposed. 

    Step 5: Attach the electronic igniter to that tab and close the top of the mold.

    Step 6: Step away from the mold and hold the operator button on the ignitor control unit until the ready light turns off. At this point, the reaction will occur.

    Step 7: After the reaction, allow 30 seconds for the mold to cool before removing it from the wires. 

    Now you have a permanent splice between the two copper wires. Below is a demonstration video where we go through these exact steps to create a weld. You can also check out that video by clicking here or going to our YouTube channel.

    Click hereGot questions about welding with Cadweld gear? to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see our full selection of Cadweld equipment

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Cadweld Demonstration: The Video


    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts | A podcast for at-height workers, industry, and construction.If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  2. The Cordage Institute: Fiber Rope Inspection & Retirement Criteria

     

    The Cordage Institute

    When it comes to working at-height, inspecting your equipment can make all the difference in job site safety. We’ve covered rope inspection in a previous blog post. You can find that post by clicking here. This week our Gear Experts® are going to provide a broad overview of the organization that sets standards for inspection.

    The Cordage Institute


     

    Fiber rope standards are established by an organization called the Cordage Institute. The Cordage Institute was founded in 1920 and is comprised of a group of fiber rope manufacturers, their suppliers, and affiliated end-user organizations. While the cordage institute sets a wide variety of standards for a wide variety of uses, the standard that is of interest to our industry is the International Guideline for Fiber Rope Inspection and Retirement Criteria – specifically section 4 (CI 2001-04).

    CI 2001-04


     

    As we mentioned above, section four covers fiber rope inspection and retirement criteria. This section is further broken down into sub-sections that outline the different requirements for an effective inspection and retirement program.

    4.1.1

    Section 4.1.1 states that the user is responsible for establishing a program for inspection and retirement that considers conditions of use and degree of risk for the application. It outlines that a program should include:

    • Assignment of supervisory responsibility. Meaning that an individual should be made responsible for establishing the program, training and qualifying inspectors, and preserving records;
    • Written procedures;
    • Training;
    • Record keeping;
    • Establishment of retirement criteria for each application; and
    • Inspection schedules

    4.1.2

    Section 4.1.2 states that ropes that secure or control valuable assets or whose failure would cause serious damage, pollution, or threat to life warrant more scrutiny than ropes in non-critical use. It goes on to state that if a fiber rope is used in a highly demanding application, with potentially critical risks, the advice of a qualified person should be obtained when developing the specific inspection and retirement program.

    4.1.3

    Section 4.1.3 states that the user should continue to revise and refine the program based on experience.

    CI 2001-4.3


     

    Section 4.3 covers rope inspections logs. We have talked about the importance of a rope inspection log in this previous blog post. This section states “An important tool for rope evaluation is a log. This will include data on the type of rope, time in service and description of intended use. The details of every inspection should be entered in the log as to date, location and conclusions. The log should include a regular inspection schedule”.

    Most rope manufacturers include a rope log with their rope. However, if you don’t think it did, or you have lost it, we provide a free downloadable rope log in our Knowledge Base.

    CI 2001-5.1.1


     

    Section 5.1.1 covers rope tags. This is a tag that is attached to the rope that outlines the rope, model number, manufacturing date, MBS, and manufacturer. If this tag is illegible the rope should be retired immediately. If the rope does not come with a tag you can make your own. Also, using shrink tube is an inexpensive solution to attach your tag to a rope and keep it protected.

    Rope Inspection


     

    Section 6 outlines rope inspection. We took a deep dive into rope inspection in this previous blog post. It also talks about rope care & maintenance – like rope wash which we talked about in this blog post. Last, but not least, it covers proper rope storage. We covered rope storage in this blog post.

    Rope Retirement


     

    If a rope’s tag is illegible or if it no longer passes inspection, it is time to retire the rope and purchase a new one. Rope retirement doesn’t mean just throw the rope back in your truck or trailer, it means cutting the rope into pieces so small that it would no longer be useful for a crew to try and use.

    If you’ve got any questions about rope, rope inspection, or rope retirement, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see our full selection of rope.

    Click here to download your free rope inspection log.

    Click here to see all of our rope focused blog posts.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Rope Videos: The Playlist


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  3. Anti-Vibration 101

    When it comes to working in at-height, industry, and construction there is no shortage of dangers. From the risk of falling, heat stress, and cold stress, to dropped tools and deadly gasses, the job site is a minefield of potential hazards. One lesser-known (or at least less frequently talked about) are the dangers of vibrations. This week our Gear Experts® are going to discuss the dangers of vibrations and how the use of Anti-Vibration Gloves can help protect you.

    Bad Vibrations


     

    When the Beach Boys wrote Good Vibrations, they definitely weren’t talking about the kind created by power tools. Using power tools is common on the job site and hard to avoid. Power tools are great – they make extremely difficult tasks easier and save valuable time by making quick work of tasks that would take a lot longer by hand. But, the battery or plug powered devices are pumping out a lot of power and in turn, create a lot of vibrations when in use. Overexposure to those bad vibrations can lead to Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

    Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)


     

    HAVS is diagnosed in three main components.

    Peripheral Neuropathy of the Hands

    This component can cause a loss of dexterity, tingling, and numbness.

    Secondary Raynaud’s

    This component is sometimes referred to as vibration white finger (VWF) and has been described the BC Medical Journal as the most dramatic manifestation of HAVS. Secondary Raynaud’s produces intermittent whitening of the fingers. It typically starts at the tips of the fingers and will travel up your fingers as the disease progresses. You may also experience tingling, pricking, chilling, burning, or a numbing sensation.

    Musculoskeletal Issues

    This is the broadest and least defined of the three HAVS components. Symptoms of musculoskeletal issues include weakness, pain of the hands, wrists, forearms, and elbows, and discomfort.

    Preventing HAVS


     

    HAVS is a serious condition and has been around for decades, but preventative measures can be taken to reduce the effects of vibrations on your hands and arms. Anti-Vibration Gloves have been specifically designed to help prevent the vibrations made from power tools and heavy machinery from making it to your body. But, as with all equipment, knowing the right ones to use is important.

    ANSI S2.73 // ISO 10819


     

    The ANSI S2.73 standard for anti-vibration gloves outlines testing requirements and certifies that the gloves meet or exceed the requirements.

    This standard requires that the gloves meet the following specifications:

    • Must have a full finger design;
    • Must reduce “medium range frequencies” (also referred to as TM) by at least 10% compared to a bare hand;
    • Must reduce “high range frequencies” (also referred to as TH) by at least 40% compared to a bare hand;
    • Must have padding no more than 8mm thick in the palm;
    • Must have at least 50% more padding in the fingers and thumb; and
    • Must not have any break between the palm pad base and fingertips.

    For more information on anti-vibration gloves, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Click here to see our selection of anti-vibration gloves.

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  4. 3Z RF Vision Antenna Aligner: Small Cell Mounting

    3Z Small Cell Mounting

    With the 5G rollout in full swing accurate antenna alignment is going to be more important than ever. This week, our Gear Experts® are going to cover the importance of accurately aligning 5G small cell antennas to maximize high-band mmW frequencies and Massive MIMO beamforming antenna performance.

    5G Challenges


     

    5G is a massive leap in cellular technology that will bring near gigabit mobile speeds. It will open up new opportunities for a range of industries from consumer to public health and beyond. But, as with any leap in technology, there are roadblocks that have to be overcome. 5G brings some new challenges that aren’t as prevalent with typical LTE antennas on a tower or monopole.

    Coverage vs Speed


     

    In dense city landscapes, the deployment of 5G will be carried on the backs of small cell antennas that are mounted on buildings, light posts, or any structure that can be used to support an antenna and position it in the direction it needs to be. The reason for this is because of coverage distance.

    Small cell antennas have an extremely powerful signal strength – and they need to in order to transmit 5G. But, as a trade-off for power, the distance they can cover is severely diminished. That means these antennas will need to be positioned closer to the ground.

    Line of Sight


     

    Carriers are using 5G New Radio modeling software to develop their network and rollout plans. But, this software isn’t perfect when it comes to identifying nearfield RF obstacles that could render the antenna useless. That’s where the RF Vision Antenna Aligner from 3Z comes into play. It features a line-of-sight target camera that can help installers both identify and record potential antenna obstructions when performing on-site surveys. Once you’ve achieved a comprehensive antenna alignment with a line-of-sight survey a report is automatically generated of the site for sharing with the carrier.

    Small Cell


     

    The RF Vision is a versatile aligner and fits most antenna types. It features GNSS dual frequency technology to deliver accurate alignment readings – even in high-density urban areas. But, with that being said, aligning small cell antennas still isn’t a walk in the park. Small cell antennas are typically housed in a cylindrical canister which conceals up to 3 directional antennas.

    Alignment can be easier with the use of the small cell reference plate for the strap clamp that comes with the RF Vision. In fact, the small cell reference plate is so simple to use that you simply attach it and line up the tool with the correct antenna. Let’s go ahead and break that down, too.

    Small Cell Reference Installation and Use


     

    The first step when using the small cell reference plate is to install the rubber bumpers to protect the small cell housing. Next, you want to mount the reference plate on the bottom of the strap clamp pointing in the same direction as the rubber bumpers. Please note that you will need to flip the mounting plate for the alignment tool so that it is pointing in the opposite direction of the bumpers and reference plate.

    Once the tool, mounting clamp, and reference plate are securely attached, locate the reference arrow on the bottom of the small cell antenna. That arrow tells you which direction each antenna is facing within the canister. Line the reference plate up with the desired antenna and strap the mounting bracket down tightly so it can’t be moved. Now, you're properly lined up with the antenna and you can proceed with aligning the antenna.

    If you’ve got more questions about the 3Z RF Vision Antenna Alignment Tool or small cell antenna alignment, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    We’ve covered many of the features, accessories, and financing programs offered by 3Z in past blog posts which you can find by clicking here.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    3Z RF Vision Antenna Aligner: Small Cell Mounting – The Video


    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  5. Product Spotlight: 3M SecureFit Safety Helmet

    Protecting your skull is an important part of job site safety. After all, without your head – it’s kind of hard to do anything. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down the all-new 3M SecureFit X5000 Series ANSI Safety Helmet.

    The Features


     

    Let’s start with the basics of this helmet. Like most standard helmets it features suspension and adjustment options. But 3M has taken these basic features a step further to create a quality helmet that breaks the status quo.

    Suspension

    This helmet features 3M Pressure Diffusion technology in the suspension to increase both comfort and security. In fact, the Pressure Diffusion reduces the force on your forehead by up to 20% when compared to older styles of 3M helmet suspension. The suspension also has been designed to sit lower on the head to further reduce the pressure and increase both comfort and security.

    Adjustments

    What good is a helmet that has comfortable suspension if the helmet doesn’t fit on your head you ask? Well, with 15 different adjustment settings that allow for a range of different height and front-to-back settings, you won’t have to worry about that anymore. Plus, the smooth, turning ratchet suspension system makes the headband adjustments quick and easy.

    Additional Features

    This helmet doesn’t just stop at basic features like suspension and adjustment options. It also includes accessory slots and clips integrated into the helmet that are compatible with a wide variety of 3M accessories. And, it includes a UVicator sensor that is installed on the helmet. The UVicator sensor changes color from red to white over time as it is exposed to UV (ultraviolet) light. Once the color has changed to white it indicates that that the helmet should be retired due to UV exposure.

    Design


     

    You’ll notice as soon as you look at the helmet that it doesn’t look like a traditional safety helmet. That’s because the design is inspired by modern climbing helmets. Who said you can’t be safe while looking cool? And, the brimless design ensures that you have a better awareness of hazards.

    Standards


     

    Now we get to the most important part – standards. After all, you need to know if this helmet is something that you can use on a specific job site. All 3M SecureFit X5000 Series helmets meet ANSI Z89.1-2014 and are Type 1 helmets. We covered helmet standards in more detail in our Safety Helmets 101 blog post. We also have a free Safety Helmets 101 poster that you can download from our Knowledge Base.

    Options


     

    This helmet comes in a wide variety of options. First, you can choose if you want standard or reflective. Then you can choose whether you want a vented or non-vented helmet. The last thing you can choose is color. This helmet is available in a total of 8 colors.

    For more information about the 3M SecureFit X5000 Series ANSI Safety Helmet you can view the product here or click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    3M SecureFit Safety Helmet: The Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  6. Product Spotlight: PPG Keeler & Long Anodic Self-Priming Cold Galv

    PPG is a household name. Primarily known for their paint and coatings, PPG isn’t a name that comes to mind for most people when they are thinking about cold galv. But, through their Keeler and Long brand, PPG offers a full line of Self-Priming Cold Galvanizing Compound. This week, our Gear Experts® are going to break down Keeler & Long Anodic Self-Priming Cold Galvanizing Compound.

    Cold Galv 101


     

    Cold galvanizing compound (cold galv for short) is a single component zinc coating that is used to protect bare steel from rust and corrosion. It is applied like paint, but it’s not paint. It actually gives the same protection as hot dipped galvanizing and it also makes painting a tower easier. Cold galvanizing compound acts as an active coupling to the bare steel parent metal to form an electrolytic bond. In the presence of an electrolyte (aka moisture) the zinc dust in the cold galv will sacrifice itself to protect the steel.

    For a more complete breakdown on cold galv, surface prep, application methods, and more click here to check out our full Cold Galv 101 blog post.

    Keeler & Long Anodic Self-Priming Cold Galvanizing Compound


     

    The Keeler & Long Anodic Self-Priming Cold Galvanizing Compound is a rust inhibitive coating designed for corrosion protection in a single coat. Keeler & Long Cold Galv is self-priming in many applications and will dry when applied in temperatures down to 35 degrees Fahrenheit as long as the temperatures are expected to rise over the following months. The Keeler & Long Cold Galv Compound is usable for coating weathered galvanized or previously painted surfaces of transmission or communication towers, poles, substation structures, chain link fencing, buildings, and bridges.

    Features:

    • Basic Data for Mixed Product at 77-degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees C)
    • Volume solids: 92% +/- 2%
    • VOC (Supplied): EPA Method 24: 0.5 lb/US gallon
    • Dry to touch: 24 hours*
    • Dry to topcoat: 2 months*
    • Dry to handle: 3 days*
    • Shelf life: At least 24 months when stored cool and dry
    • Not recommended for shop application

    *Drying times may vary depending on temperature, humidity, and air movement. Mix thoroughly before application.

    You can access the full datasheet on Keeler & Long Cold Galv by clicking here.

    For more information about cold galvanizing compound, or if you have any other questions, click here to contact our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to view the Keeler & Long Anodic Self-Priming Cold Galvanizing Compound

    Click here to see our full selection of cold galv

    Click here to see our Cold Galv 101 blog post

    Cold Galvanizing 101: The Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  7. Rope Protection 101

    Rope is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in at-height work. Whether you are using it as a lifeline or for lifting and rigging, knowing and caring for your rope can often be the difference between life and death. We’ve discussed rope inspection and the importance of caring for your rope by washing it in previous blog posts. This week, our Gear Experts® are going to break down rope protection.

    Rope Protection: Overview


     

    Rope protection is, wait for it…, the act of protecting your rope from being damaged by things like sharp edges. It is done with the use of a piece of equipment that has been specifically designed to protect rope against edges. The most common situation that creates a need for rope protection is the inability to properly anchor your rope directly overhead. In many rescue and rope access situations your rope may have to come into contact with an edge that isn’t exactly designed to be safe for rope. Whether it’s a building, beam, or rock face, that type of contact can cause unnecessary abrasion and ultimately decrease the life of your rope.

    How to Protect Your Rope


     

    There are two major types of rope protection: rope guards and mechanical rope protectors.

    Mechanical Rope Protectors

    Petzl P68 Caterpillar Rope Protector

    Mechanical rope protectors, like the Petzl P68 Caterpillar or DBI Sala 8700302 Rope Protector, are usually made from metal links with rollers in the center. The metal links are connected by smaller links that allow for flexibility over edges. The rope can move up and down on the rollers as needed providing a smooth process and preventing any damage caused by the edges. Mechanical rope protectors are more expensive than rope guards because of their metal construction.

    Rope Guard

    Sterling SafeGuard Rope ProtectorRope guards, like the Sterling SafeGuard or the PMI Supermantle Rope Protector, are much more economically friendly and lighter than their mechanical counterparts. While each rope guard is constructed a little bit differently, the basic functionality is the same. They work by covering the rope (usually with some form of canvas) and allowing the rope to slide through the guard when it needs to move up or down an edge.

    For more information on rope protection solutions, or any questions about rope, rope inspection, or proper rope care, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Click here to check out our rope focused blog posts.

    Click here to see our full selection of rope protection solutions.

    Rope Protection: The Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    Gear Up with Gear ExpertsIf you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  8. Heat Stress 101

    It seems like just yesterday we were experiencing a polar vortex through the middle of the US and begging for warmer weather. Well, that warmer weather is finally here. Working in the cold has risks – we broke those down in our Cold Stress 101 blog post and working in the heat has its own set of risks. This week our Gear Experts® are going to talk about heat stress, symptoms, and ways to prevent it.

    Heat Stress


     

    Like we mentioned above, the heat of the summer can not only be uncomfortable, but it can have a huge impact on the job site in the form of heat stress and UV overexposure. Heat stress not only decreases employee performance, costing employer’s money and productivity, but it can be a very serious health risk. In fact, heat stress hospitalizes nearly 3,000 workers every year. Heat stress can take many forms like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    Heat Stress Symptoms, Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke


     

    Heat Stress Symptoms

    Some symptoms of heat stress include:

    • Rash;
    • Cramps;
    • Dizziness;
    • Headache;
    • Nausea;
    • Confusion;
    • Heavy Sweating;
    • Weakness
    • Seizures; and
    • Unconsciousness

    Heat Exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion is when the body is losing fluid faster than it’s being rehydrated. Headaches, physical weakness, heavy sweating, and nausea are all signs of heat exhaustion. If you experience these symptoms find a cool place to rest, stay out of direct sunlight, and try to rehydrate your body with fluids. If symptoms do not improve in a reasonable amount of time, seek medical attention.

    Heat Stroke

    Heat stroke is when your body can no longer regulate your temperature properly. Convulsions, loss of consciousness, lack of sweating, or difficulty breathing are all signs of heat stroke. If you experience these symptoms you need to seek medical attention immediately because they are potentially fatal.

    Hydration is Key


     

    Obviously, the best way to avoid heat stress is to avoid being outside in the heat. However, we know that isn’t a realistic tip because the world doesn’t stop moving on hot days. So, the next best way to avoid heat stress is proper hydration. Strenuous work and high-temperature environments can result in a worker losing multiple liters of water in a single hour.

    According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommendations, workers should be drinking between 24 and 32 ounces of water every hour. This amount could increase as temperatures rise.

    Clothing Plays a Role


     

    Clothing also plays a huge role when it comes to heat management. After all, wearing a winter coat in 100-degree weather isn’t exactly a good idea. Not only does clothing protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun (UV exposure), but it also allows the body to make the most of its natural regulatory processes (sweating).

    Summer Workwear

    Lightweight and loose-fitting clothing will maximize the effectiveness of sweating. Light colored clothes will help reduce the amount of heat your clothing absorbs and, as mentioned above, will help protect your skin from UV rays. Full brim hard hats help keep that hot sun from direct contact with your skin as well.

    Hard hats / Helmets

    Unfortunately, when it comes to hard hats and helmets that are required on the job site, the options you have are often limited. A hard hat or helmet that is exposed to direct sunlight can be like having a little oven on top of your head. On top of that, full brim hard hats don’t exactly offer a ton of coverage for sun protection.

    Hard hat Neck Shades


     

    With hard hats being required, but not having a whole lot of protection, hard hat neck shades have stepped in to bridge that gap. Hard hat neck shades easily connect to the suspension of any hard hat or helmet and can make a serious difference when working in the summer heat.

    Chill-Its

    The Chill-Its line from Ergodyne have been designed to help prevent heat stress and add additional comfort when working in the heat. For example, the 6717 Hard Hat Pad with Neck Shade helps protect the back of the neck from UV exposure while adding a little extra padding for comfort. If you’re looking for more advanced protection, the 6670CT Neck Shade has a built-in cooling towel. The towel is made of a PVA material that when contacted with water or sweat activates a super evaporative cooling process.

    Heat stress is no joke and prevention should be taken seriously. If you need more information on heat stress, how to prevent heat-related illnesses, or any of our cooling products, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Click here to see our selection of neck shades

    Click here to see our selection of cooling gear

    Heat Stress 101: The Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  9. The Multiwave SmartAligner: Future-Proof Design

    It’s no secret that aligning antennas requires precise measurements that can be relied on time and time again. We’ve covered various antenna alignment equipment in previous blog posts that you can find here. But, what if there was an antenna aligner that was future-proof? Meaning it didn’t get outdated because of advances in technology and that if it needed a major update you wouldn’t have to send it anywhere or replace it. That’s a bold statement in a world where technology is advancing at incredible speeds. This week, our Gear Experts® are going to break down the future-proof design of the Multiwave SmartAligner.

    There’s an App for That


     

    We’ve covered the features and benefits of the Multiwave SmartAligner in previous blog posts that can be found here. But, we haven’t really addressed their revolutionary app that is available for both Android and iPhone. The app has been around for over 5 years and is constantly being updated with new features. In fact, it’s had nearly a dozen application updates since it was released.

    The Multiwave SmartAligner App


     

    So, there’s an app, but what does that actually do to help when on the job? Well, the app has a ton of features that help with training, measurements, and reporting.

    Training

    Antenna Aligners aren’t cheap and the last thing you want to do is send someone 200+ feet up a tower with no real experience in how to operate the tool. Not only does it waste time and money, but the chances of something going wrong and the device being damaged are increased. That’s where the simulation mode comes in.  Simulation mode allows you to train staff on how to use the device from the ground on a smartphone. And, you can use simulation mode without even owning a device – meaning you can already know how it operates before you buy it.

    Measurements

    With the ability to pre-program measurements from the app, you can ensure that you have the information you need when you’re working on the antenna. For added control, you can also set parameters for employees that lock their allowed margin of error. This feature can save valuable time and prevent costly mistakes.

    Reporting

    With a full suite of reporting features, the SmartAligner App can help speed up job completion time. Take pictures and jot down notes all within the app and easily attach them to your report.

    We have a full training series that covers the setup and operation of the mobile app. You can find that series by clicking here.

    Future-Proof

    How does this app make the device future-proof? Well, it’s all in the updates. Most antenna aligners on the market don’t have the ability to be updated from an app. Instead, you have to send the device in for costly software and hardware updates. Or, potentially just purchase a whole new unit. Multiwave built a device designed to stand the test of time and updates are as simple as opening the app.

    The Tool


     

    We’ve talked a lot about the app, but what about the aligner itself? Well, it’s a pretty impressive piece of equipment – and boasts several features that separate it from the competition. The patented bracket allows the Aligner to be mounted securely and directly to most antennas without the need for costly accessories. The bracket is engineered to enable 18 different mounting configurations which help the tool automatically provide the Azimuth, Tilt, and Roll without having to do any math.

    The SmartAligner includes an easy to read backlit LCD screen that provides the information you need to do a proper alignment. A 3-point design provides more accurate alignment than any other product in its category. It does this by capitalizing on the best-in-class sensor spacing without increasing the size and space requirements of the tool. Last, but not least, the Aligner comes with a heavy-duty waterproof case so you can make sure to safely and securely transport your Aligner wherever the job may take you.

    For more information about the Antenna Aligner click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to check out the Multiwave SmartAligner

    Click here to check out our full selection of SmartAligner accessories

    Click here to check out our past Multiwave blog posts

    Click here to see our video series on the Multiwave SmartAligner App

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Future-Proof Antenna Alignment: The Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  10. The Hierarchy of Fall Protection 101

    We talk about safety a lot and that’s because safety is what we do. Staying safe while on the job not only ensures that you can go home to your family and friends every night, but that you can stay productive. It's OSHA Stand-Down Week 2019 and this week our Gear Experts® are going to give a broad overview of OSHA Stand-Down and break down the Hierarchy of Fall Protection.

    OSHA Stand-Down Week


     

    Every year OSHA has a Stand-Down Week that is observed in the interest of preventing falls in any at-height industry where falling is a hazard while on the job. OSHA encourages employers to have a “Safety Stand-Down” where employers talk directly to employees about safety. Employers should take this break to focus on fall hazards and reinforce the importance of fall prevention. OSHA and NIOSH have provided a ton of resources that employers can utilize when participating in OSHA Stand-Down Week. You can find those resources by clicking here.

    How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down


     

    Conducting a Safety Stand-Down can be done in many ways and can tie into safety discussions that companies are already having. Some Stand-Down ideas include a toolbox talk, equipment inspections, rescue plan development, and job hazard overviews. If you’re not sure what to talk about, our blog, YouTube channel, and knowledge base are full of valuable resources to spark discussions.

    The Hierarchy of Fall Protection


     

    The main goal of OSHA Stand-Down Week is fall prevention, so we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the hierarchy of fall protection. The hierarchy of fall protection is a method of categorizing fall protection into 5 stages. The stages go from “No Risk” (Stage 1) to “High Risk” (Stage 5). Those stages are:

    1. Hazard Elimination;
    2. Fall Prevention;
    3. Fall Restraint;
    4. Fall Arrest; and
    5. Safety Monitor.

    The Break Down


     

    So, now that we’ve covered the stages of fall protection, let’s dive a bit deeper into each stage and what they actually mean.

    Hazard Elimination (Stage 1)

    Hazard elimination is the act of completely removing a hazard via construction or maintenance. Basically, it means that the risk of falling has been completely prevented. For example, fixing a hole in the outer wall of a building is hazard elimination. Once the hole has been fixed, no one can fall out of the building.

    Fall Prevention (Stage 2)

    Fall prevention is the use of equipment that has the purpose of completely preventing access to a fall hazard. While the fall hazard has not been “removed” by means of construction or maintenance (stage 1), it has been blocked with equipment that has been designed for that purpose. Guardrails are an example of fall prevention.

    Fall Restraint (Stage 3)

    Fall restraint is a system that prevents a person working at-height from falling. This is done by using specialty equipment, like a lanyard, to connect a worker to an anchor that prevents the worker from reaching an area where the risk of a fall exists.

    Fall Arrest (Stage 4)

    Fall arrest is a form of fall protection in which a piece of specialty equipment stops the descent of a person who is falling. An example of this would be a self-retracting lifeline.

    Safety Monitor (Stage 5)

    Safety monitor is the highest risk stage in the Hierarchy of Fall Protection. This method is used in situations where it is proven that all other types of fall protection are not possible or would increase the potential danger. A competent and trained person is assigned to monitor the work of others in this situation.

    Clearly, stage 5 of the Hierarchy of Fall Protection is the most dangerous and least preferred method. If you have any questions about the Hierarchy of Fall Protection or the equipment required at the different stages, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    The ABCs of Fall Protection


    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

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