Standards

  1. The Cordage Institute: Fiber Rope Requirement Criteria

    The Cordage Institute: Fiber Rope Requirement 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).

    In this post, we're giving a brief overview of the subject matter discussed in the Fiber Ropes, General Standard (CI-1201) which covers the general characteristics and requirements for all fiber cordage and ropes which you can order in full here.

    CI-1201


     

    As we mentioned above, CI-1201 covers the general characteristics and requirements for all fiber cordage and ropes. We'll touch on characteristics that are tested for like Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS), Working Load Limits (WLL), and Safety Factor and the different packaging requirements for commercial use.

    Rope Packaging Labels for Commercial Use

    When buying rope, a unit should have a label noting the product description, diameter/size, weight/length, material, minimum breaking strength (MBS) or working load, the manufacturer's name and address, and country of origin.  This is the basic set of variables you need to know to estimate how your rope will or will not work in a given scenario.

     

    Minimum Breaking Strength

    Simply put, minimum breaking strength (MBS) is the lowest amount of force required to break an object. As mentioned, MBS should be listed on the packaging label.

    Working Load Limit

    In order to determine the Working Load Limit (WLL), you will need to know the Minimum Breaking Strength. Each manufacturer's ratings are different due to different construction processes and materials. To figure for WLL, you will take the MBS and divide it by the Factor of Safety.  

    Factor of Safety

    The default safety factor to which synthetic rope can be subjected is one-tenth (10%) of the manufacturer's documented MBS. It's worth noting that the safety factor accounts for strength reductions associated with knotting/termination and losses in strength and efficiency as the rope passes through sheaves. This should help to explain why the safety factor exceeds the more common 5:1 factor found regularly in ASME B30 for other rigging components.

    So, if you have a 1/2'' Double Braid Polyester rope with an MBS of 11,000 lbs., and dividing your default safety factor of 10, you end up with a WLL of 1,100 lbs.

    11,000 MBS / 10 = 1,100 WLL

     

    More Rope Information:

    Get a free downloadable rope log or learn more about ropes in our Knowledge Base.

    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. The manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used. The use of rope and cordage products has inherent safety risks which are subject to highly variable conditions and which may change over time.

    Compliance with standards and guidelines of the Cordage Institute does not guarantee safe use under all circumstances, and the Institue disclaims any responsibility for accidents that may occur. if the user has any questions or uncertainties about the proper use of rope or cordage or about safe practices, consult a professional engineer or other qualified individuals.

    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


     

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  2. Signs and Banners with Columbia Creative Services

    Keeping employees, team members, and other people on the job site safe is at the top of mind for many people. One integral part of keeping people safe on the job site is ensuring that they are aware of the hazards they may encounter. OSHA requires signs to be posted on job sites which is a great first step. In this week's blog post our Gear Experts® are going to talk about our job site safety banners and motivational workplace banners.

    Job Site Safety Banners


    Our job site safety banners make it easy to quickly get your job site OSHA compliant. All of our banners come with grommets on each corner and in the middle so that you can easily hang them. These banners are available in two sizes – 4 x 2 or 6 x 3 foot. These banners feature all of the common job site signs – dangers, warnings, cautions, and notices, that are all required by OSHA.

    Customizations


    We’ve got two main types of job site safety banners – Tower Climbing Job Sites and Construction Job Sites. But we don't stop at banners. Columbia Creative Services, our marketing partner, offers a wide range of custom branding solutions.

    Tower Climbing Job Sites:

    The tower climbing job site banners have notices that are directed towards… you guessed it, tower climbing job sites. The notices are for fall protection, RF monitors, and overhead work.

    Construction Job Sites:

    The construction job site banner is directed towards general construction. It features notices for electrical hazards, speed limits, and PPE.

    Custom Banners:

    We know that not all job sites are created equal. That’s why we can work with you to customize your job site banner. We've partnered with Columbia Creative Services to customize the signs that are on the banner, provide a banner with clear pockets so that you can switch out signs when needed, and even add your logo to the banner so that people know which company is on the job site. For more information about customization please contact one of our Gear Experts® or click here.

    Motivational Workplace Banners

    Our Gear Experts® have put together a selection of motivational workplace banners. These banners are 4 x 2 feet and come with a variety of messages. They are made of the exact same ultraflex 15 oz PVC material as the job site banners. These banners can also be completely customized. For more information on custom motivational workplace banners click here or contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Columbia Creative Services


    Columbia Creative Services is a marketing agency based in Mid-Missouri that services safety and industrial companies. Our story is a big part of who we are. Because of that, their roots heavily influence our creativity and style. Unlike a traditional marketing agency, their story is a little different. In fact, they got their start by building the brands of two dominant companies in the industrial safety industry.

    Every business is different and that means their marketing strategy should also be different. Focusing on challenging the status quo allows us to use new approaches to help build your brand. This top-notch team is creative, determined, and has an uncanny knack for industrial safety. As Gear Experts, they have extensive knowledge of the safety industry and the gear used to make sure people go home safely to their families every night.

    All-Star Branding

    Columbia Creative Services recognizes the importance of branding. They know that how you present yourself to your customers is the biggest influencing factor in your business. As a result, they focus on breaking through the clutter with a clear and concise message that gets results with these services:

    • Publishing and Production
    • Graphic Design
    • Ad Management
    • Direct Mail
    • Copywriting
    • Web Design
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    • Email Marketing
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Photography
    • Videography

    Columbia Creative Services has a chest of tools ready to build your brand and share your voice with the world. Due to their history in the safety industry, they have consumer knowledge that gives you an advantage over the competition.

     

    Click here to see our full selection of job site safety signs and banners.
    Click here to see our full selection of motivational workplace banners.

    Learn More


    **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.

    Get Social


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  3. Product Spotlight: Arbor Ropes from Sterling Rope

    Sterling Rope Tree Care

     

    Working in the tree care industry, like most at-height industries, requires a set of special equipment to keep you safe and get the job done right. One key piece of equipment rope. The week our Gear Experts® are going to break down some Sterling ropes specifically designed for our arborist friends in the tree care industry.

    Atlas Rig Line

    When you’re removing large trunk sections of a tree you need to know that your rigging system can handle and absorb large dynamic forces. Sterling has been designing ropes to handle large kinetic forces for over 20 years and they designed their Atlas Rig Line specifically for this purpose.

    Features

    The Atlas Rig Line is ideal for removing tree trunk sections, is available in blue and white, and comes in 150, 200, or 600-foot lengths. It is a 9/16” rope with a polyester sheath and nylon core. And, it offers a soft hand, easy knotability, and is designed to be used in a rope friction device, capstan hoist, or pulley.

    Specifications

    The specifications of this rope just go to prove that it means business. With a minimum breaking strength of 11,050 pounds and an average breaking strength of 13,750 pounds – this rope can handle nearly any job. And, it meets ANSI Z133.1 requirements.

    Scion Climbing Line

    Next, we are going to cover the Scion Climbing Line from Sterling. This rope was developed with climbing in mind. It has a very durable construction and has been designed to absorb large dynamic forces.

    Features

    The Scion Climbing Line is ideal for both Doubled Rope Technique (DdRT) and Single Rope Technique (SRT). It is an 11.5 mm rope with a 24-strand polyester cover. The double braided construction provides decreased elongation, easy hand, and great knotability. The tight, durable sheath allows the rope to handle mechanical devices and hardware well and sewn termination ends are available in all length and color options.

    Specifications

    Speaking of length and color options - this rope is available in orange, blue, and green. And, it comes in 150, 200, and 600-foot lengths. For standards, it meets both EN 1891 type A and ANSI Z133 requirements so you know this rope is up to the challenge.

    Click here to see the Sterling Rope Atlas Rig Line

    Click here to see the Sterling Rope Scion Climbing Line

    Click here to see our full selection of Sterling Rope Products

    Click here to see our full selection of tree care products

    **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.

    Sterling Rope Arbor Ropes: 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!

  4. Product Spotlight: TowerPlex Tower Paint

    Painting a tower isn’t like painting most other things. In fact, there is a lot of science (and regulation) that goes into developing a paint that is tough enough to handle the job while meeting federal requirements. We’ve covered the basics of tower paint in this previous blog post. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down TowerPlex Tower Paint.

    TowerPlex Formula


    TowerPlex Tower Paint is formulated to offer durable, long-lasting protection for galvanized towers and other metal surfaces. Our entire TowerPlex line is a pure 100% acrylic emulsion coating that has been thoroughly tested on galvanized and other metal surfaces. Additionally, it meets all federal standards for aviation safe colors. We talked about why you can’t just use any orange or white paint and meet aviation regulations in our Tower Paint 101 blog post which you can find by clicking here.

    How the Paint Works


    The reason why TowerPlex paint is so good for use on towers is because of the alkalinity of the paint itself. The alkaline in the paint allows it to etch itself into the zinc of the galvanized surface. This process allows the paint to form a chemical bond with the tower which subsequently allows the paint to dry quickly and maintain excellent weather resistance.

    Surface Prep


    Before you just grab some paintbrushes or a paint sprayer and start the job, it’s important to properly prep the surface for painting. Every section you are painting must be dry and clean. Make sure that you wipe off any dirt, grime, oil, and anything else that shouldn’t be on the surface. If possible, any spangle needs to be brush blasted or etched with hydrochloric acid until a weathered gray appearance is achieved.

    Primer, Application, and Coverage


    If you are painting an existing tower, be sure to spot prime any rust. If you plan on using TowerPlex paint, the best primer to use is the TowerPlex CC2925 Rust Inhibitive Bonding Primer.

    The paint can be applied from 50 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (10 – 43 degrees Celsius). But, be sure to avoid painting if an overnight freeze is expected or if rain is in the forecast as this can prevent the paint from drying correctly. If the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure that you apply a full wet coat and overlap 50% on each pass to help avoid dusting. Applying the paint can be done with a brush, mitt, or a sprayer. For the best results, TowerPlex recommends two coats over an entire prime base.

    If you think you might need to paint, but you’re not sure if you do or not, you can use the FAA In-Service Orange Color Range Chart to help you decide. Click here for a tutorial on how the FAA Service Chart works.

    Cold Galv Work


    If you need to do any cold galv work before you start painting, we’ve got you covered there, too. Click here to check out our blog post on cold galvanizing compound.

    Click here to see our full selection of TowerPlex products

    Click here to see our full selection of painting gear

    Click here to see our Tower Paint 101 blog post

    Click here to see our full selection of Cold Galv

    **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.

    TowerPlex: 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. RF 101

    When it comes to working in the telecom industry, it’s no secret that there are a wide variety of different dangers. Most dangers can be seen – whether it has to do with falling, having things fall on you, etc. But not all dangers are visible with the human eye – or even any human sense. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down the hidden danger of RF.

    More Than Meets the Eye


     

    RF, or radio frequency, is any electromagnetic wave frequency. In the telecom industry, this is the energy that is emitted from radios or telecommunications equipment. Electromagnetic wave frequencies can’t always be seen or heard, but they are absorbed by your body and, if overexposed, can cause serious harm.

    The Dangers of RF


     

    So, now that we know what RF is and that just because we can’t see, hear, or otherwise sense, it doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Let’s cover some of the effects of RF exposure. The primary effect is heating – think of it like a microwave oven which uses electromagnetic waves to heat food from the inside out. Keep in mind, that while a microwave does use electromagnetic waves to cook food, it is a very large amount of power being concentrated into a tiny steel box. Most telecom related RF situations will not be nearly as drastic as a microwave oven. However, the basic concept is the same. When the electromagnetic waves are absorbed by your body they heat it up from the inside out and you begin to experience RF sickness.

    Symptoms of RF Sickness


     

    RF Sickness won’t be noticed by most people right away. In fact, some people may never even realize they have it, which can cause added risk. The reason people don’t always know they have RF sickness is because the primary symptom is heat. It can be difficult to determine whether you may have RF sickness, or you simply haven’t been drinking enough water and might be dehydrated. With that being said, the symptoms of RF Sickness are most commonly compared to having a fever – making it even more difficult to detect.

    Effects of RF Sickness


     

    RF heats your body from the inside out. That means that as you are exposed to it, it is raising your core temperature. It’s not the same as standing next to a heater where you would feel the heat on your skin rather the heat would begin radiating outward from your core.

    As your core begins to heat and your body begins to lose the ability to prevent your temperature from rising you can start to experience heat stress. The symptoms of heat stress include rash, cramps, dizziness, headache, nausea, confusion, heavy sweating, weakness, seizures, and unconsciousness. We’ve covered heat stress in its entirety on a previous blog post which you can find by clicking here. 

    While all symptoms of heat stress are serious and should be treated immediately, we want to focus on confusion for just a second. Confusion also referred to as irrational behavior, can lead to costly mistakes and potentially fatal accidents. In fact, it is difficult to know if some tower fatalities were caused because of human error, or if confusion caused by RF sickness was to blame.

    RF Exposure


     

    The actual full breakdown of how the human body reacts to RF exposure can get pretty technical and is beyond the scope of a blog post. But, boiled down to its most basic explanation, our bodies are more receptive to lower frequencies. And, because of the way our bodies react to RF frequencies the way that safe exposure limits are expressed is more of a bell curve rather than a straight line. Beyond that, RF exposure tracking uses a 6-minute averaging rule.

    6-Minute Averaging Rule


     

    What the 6-Minute Averaging Rule means is that over the course of 6 minutes your average exposure level cannot exceed that of 100% of the FCC limits. Essentially, what this means is that you could have a brief period where you are at 150% of the FCC limits, but then for the next few minutes you are only at 25%. This is acceptable because the average exposure level over the course of 6 minutes is below 100%.

    FCC RF Limits


     

    As we mentioned above, the FCC has outlined limits for RF exposure that are calculated using the 6-minute averaging rule (0.1-hour periods). The FCC RF limits are applied to “normal environmental conditions and for incident electromagnetic energy of frequencies from 10 MHz to 100 GHz, the radiation protection guide is 10 mW/cm.(2) (milliwatt per square centimeter) as averaged over any possible 0.1-hour period.” Below is a breakdown of what this means.

    • Power density: 10 mW/cm2 for periods of 6 minutes or more
    • Energy density: 1 mW.-hr/cm2 (milliwatt hour per square centimeter during any 6-minute period.

    It is important to note that this guide applies whether the exposure is continuous or intermittent within the 6-minute averaging period.

    Limiting RF Exposure


     

    When it comes to limiting RF exposure there are two main components. The first component is proper training while the second component is a safety monitor.

    Proper Training

    Just like everything in the tower industry, training is an important part of ensuring safety. We have partnered with industry-leading training companies like Safety LMS to offer an online Fundamentals of RF/EME Radiation course. This course was designed to help ensure that employees can recognize the hazards of RF that exist on tower sites – whether that is a tower or a rooftop.

    RF Monitors

    An RF monitor complements training. After all, being trained to understand and handle a hazard is great, but when you cannot detect the hazard with your senses, it’s kind of hard to make sure you’re not exceeding safe exposure limits. One reason why an RF monitor is so important is that it is a shaped probe/shaped response device. What that means is that it has the ability to account for all RF frequencies in the surrounding area (like a rooftop with multiple different types of antennas) and calculate the amount of exposure from each. It then combines those numbers and bounces that against the safe working limits.

    With personal RF monitors like the FieldSENSE 2.0 Personal RF Monitor you can rest assured that you will be able to accurately detect RF. We covered the FieldSENSE 2.0 Personal RF Monitor in a previous blog post which you can read by clicking here.

    We recently featured Max Birch, the lead engineer for FieldSENSE, as our guest on our podcast: Gear Up with Gear Experts. Max dropped some knowledge bombs about RF and helped break down some of the complicated parts of RF awareness and safety. You can find that podcast episode by clicking here. 

    If you have any questions about RF safety or RF Monitors, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see our blog post about the FieldSENSE 2.0 Personal RF Monitor

    Click here to view the FieldSENSE 2.0 Personal RF Monitor

    Click here to listen to our RF Safety podcast episode

    **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.

    FieldSENSE: Guide to Recalibration


     

    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. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. Product Spotlight: Ty-Flot Quick Switch

    Injuries and fatalities resulting from dropped tools are a growing concern in all at-height industries. Many general contractors and tower owners are now requiring tools to be tethered while on the job site. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down the Quick Switch from Ty-Flot and how it can make tool tethering easier while on the job.

    Growing Concerns


     

    Before we break down the kit, we want to address some of the concerns about dropped objects. As we mentioned above, many GCs, tower owners, and other companies are requiring tool tethering on job sites. That’s because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 50,000 “struck by falling object” OSHA reports are submitted every year. Not only is the person holding the tool at risk, but the people below, pedestrians outside the job site, equipment, and lost time are all at risk when tool tethering is not used.

    ISEA/ANSI 121 Dropped Objects Prevention Standard


     

    The ISEA/ANSI 121 Dropped Objects Prevention Standard was released in July of 2018 with the mission of setting safety requirements for the testing of at-height tool tethering equipment. While this standard does not require the use of tool tethers, it does ensure that as long as the tethering equipment you purchase has the ISEA/ANSI 121 badge, you can be sure that the tethers can handle the job. For more information about the Dropped Objects Prevention Standard, click here to check out our blog post.

    Ty-Flot Quick Switch


     

    The Ty-Flot Quick Switch is one of the most innovative solutions for 100% tool tie-off. This line of tool tethering equipment will ensure that you can stay safe on the job without sacrificing productivity. It's expert design allows you to retain the freedom to move your hands freely while working at height.

    Dock and Switch


     

    Keeping the ability for you to use your hands freely while still having 100% tool tie-off can be achieved thanks to Ty-Flot’s unique dock and switch system. There is a clip attached to the tool tether. The clip can be attached to the doc on a bolt bag or other Quick Ship attachment point or via the Quick Switch Wrist Straps. When the tether clip is attached to a dock it cannot be removed unless it is attached to another dock (see the video below for more information on how to dock the lanyard correctly).

    Fully Contained


     

    The Ty-Flot Quick Switch system has another unique feature: it’s always contained on your wrist. Unlike other tool tethering systems, the Quick Switch has been designed with mobility in mind. Staying contained on your wrist provides other benefits as well. It greatly reduces the swing motion when a tool is dropped and it makes sharing tools with co-workers much easier – while still maintaining 100% tie-off.

    Features


     

    The short tether reduces the risk of snagging and fatigue which is common in elastic tool tethers that are longer and attached to your belt. This increases the useful life of the tool tether and helps keep your replacement costs down. Don’t let the small size fool you, though, because this tool tether can hold up to 6 pounds. It’s compatible with Ty-Flot’s entire line of tool collars and any other tool collars available on the market.

    Click here to see Ty-Flot Quick Switch Products

    Click here to see our full selection of Ty-Flot tool tethering gear

    Click here to see all of our tool tethering gear

    Click here for more information on the ISEA/ANSI 121 Dropped Objects Prevention Standard

    **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.

    Ty-Flot Quick Switch: 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. First Aid 101

    While we all would like to live in a world where accidents don’t happen. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Being prepared for accidents can make all the difference in emergency situations. One important aspect of that preparedness is having a first aid kit on site and fully stocked. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down ANSI requirements for first aid kits.

    ANSI Z308.1


     

    The ANSI Z308.1 standard sets the standard for minimum requirements for first aid kits and their contents. Each kit is classified by the assortment and quantity of first aid supplies to treat injuries and illnesses common to workplaces, such as major and minor wounds, minor burns, sprains and strains, and eye injuries. There are two kit classes and 4 classifications depending on the contents and size of the kit.

    ANSI Kit Classes


     

    The kit classes for an ANSI approved first aid kits are broken down into two classes: Class A and Class B.

    Class A

    Class A kits are designed to deal with the most common types of workplace injuries like minor cuts and scrapes, sprains, etc.

    Class B

    Class B kits, on the other hand, are designed with a more varied type and quantity of supplies. They are intended to deal with injuries in more complex or high-risk environments.

    Kit Classifications


     

    Kit classifications further break down kits based on portability, mounting options, resistance to water, and corrosion and impact resistance. These classes are expressed as Type 1, 2, 3, or 4.

    Type 1

    Type 1 kits are intended for use in stationary, indoor applications. They are not portable and should have means to be mounted in a fixed position.

    Type 2

    Type 2 kits are intended for portable, indoor applications. These should be equipped with a carrying handle.

    Type 3

    Type 3 kits are intended for portable use in mobile indoor and outdoor settings. They should have the ability to be mounted and contain a water-resistant seal.

    Type 4

    Type 4 kits are intended for portable use in mobile industries or outdoor applications where the potential for damage due to environmental factors and rough handling is present.

    Supplies


     

    The standard also specifies the minimum amount of supplies to be included with each kit as well as the minimum size or volume of the kit itself. Lastly, the standard specifies that the kits contain first aid supplies in uniform-sized color-coded boxes. Below we feature a chart that outlines these requirements.

    We'd also like to note that unfortunately, some materials in first aid kits do have expirations dates. So, it's important to routinely check your kits for expired materials and replace them as needed. We also recommend that you refill items that have been more than 60% depleted. This will help ensure that you always have the supplies you need when you need them.

    Build vs. Buy


     

    Now you’re probably wondering whether it is better to build your own kit or buy your kit. The answer is both. Building your own kit may be something that you want or feel you need to do. Not every job site is the same, so you may want a custom kit that has supplies in addition to the ones that come in standard kits. The important thing to remember is that you include everything required by the ANSI Z308.1 standard.

    If you don’t want to build your own kit, we’ve got a full selection of pre-built ANSI complaint kits. They come in every shape, size, and classification so you can be in compliance no matter what the job site situation is. You can still add further customization to these kits by adding additional job site specific items. The kit includes everything that is required with extra space for everything that you need.

    Free Poster


     

    We’ve made this blog post into a free downloadable poster available in our Knowledge Base. Click here to download the poster. And, if you have any questions about first aid or which kit you need on the job site, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see our full selection of first aid kits

    **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 PPE is used.

    First Aid: The Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    We're also proud to announce Gear Up with Gear Experts® - A podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction. Gear Up with Gear Experts® is available via your podcast listening platform of choice and in each episode, the hosts (Alex Giddings & John Medina) bring in a gear expert or industry leader to talk about gear, gear safety, tips, and tricks. To find out more about the show and sign up for alerts, head on over to gearexperts.com.

    iTunes | Spotify | Google Play Music

    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. Tower Paint 101

    Why paint my tower? How do I know I’m compliant? These are some of the common questions we get about tower painting. At GME supply we know that knowledge is power, and this week our Gear Experts® are going to answer some of the most popular questions we receive about tower paint and markings.

    Why Paint Your Tower?


     

    The FAA has established recommendations for antenna tower painting and lighting in the Federal Code Advisory Circular 47 CFR Part 17. While these are just recommendations the FCC has been given the authority by Congress to make them requirements. According to these requirements, a tower must be lighted or painted if its height exceeds 200 feet or if it is deemed an aviation hazard in any way. For example, short towers that are near airports must be painted or lighted.

    Does Any Orange and White Paint Work?


     

    In short, No. Your paint must meet specific specifications outlined in the federal standard 595 for international aviation colors. The approved colors are Aviation Orange #12197 and Outside White #17875. Color is not the only thing that you need to be aware of, though. Tower paint has to be 100% acrylic exterior latex, formulated specifically for application on galvanized steel.

    Federal standard 595 for international aviation colors.

    Our TowerPlex Tower Paint is specifically designed for use on galvanized antenna towers and it meets federal standard for the correct white and aviation orange colors. These standards ensure consistency throughout the industry for proper color signaling and paint durability.

    Do I Need to Use a Primer?


     

    Using primer is not required, but it is recommended. Using the proper primer under your paint will help it achieve maximum bond to the steel. If you are planning on spraying your tower paint, a nice full coat of primer is highly recommended. If you are doing spot painting on an existing tower, maybe over some new cold galvanizing compound (cold galv) you will want to put some primer on before you put down the tower paint. Primer works, because the alkalinity in TowerPlex Primer bonds with the zinc layer of the galvanization.

    How do I Apply the Paint?


     

    Application can vary by brand, but with TowerPlex Tower Paint you can apply it between 50 and 110° Fahrenheit using a brush, mitt, or spray. Coverage can also vary by brand and situation, but TowerPlex is meant to cover 592 square feet per gallon at 1 mil dry. Ideally when painting a full wet coat is applied overlapping each pass 50% to avoid dusting. If a freeze or rain is possible in the next 24 hours we recommend postponing the painting. Dry time to re-coat typically takes between 4 and 18 hours depending on the outside temperature.

    How Do I Know If I’m Compliant?


     

    To find out if your paint is compliant you can use an FAA Color Chart.  With this chart, you will be able to match your tower to color swatches that meet FAA guidelines for aviation safe colors.

    If you have a question, or just need more information about tower paint, click here to connect with 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 full selection of tower painting gear.

    Click here to check out our TowerPlex paint selection.

    Click here to check out our FAA Color Chart.

    Tower Paint 101 Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    We're also proud to announce Gear Up with Gear Experts® - A podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction. Gear Up with Gear Experts® is available via your podcast listening platform of choice and in each episode, the hosts (Alex Giddings & John Medina) bring in a gear expert or industry leader to talk about gear, gear safety, tips, and tricks. To find out more about the show and sign up for alerts, head on over to gearexperts.com.

    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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