Educational

  1. IP (Ingress Protection Code) Explained

    Kenwood Radios

    IP (Ingress Protection Code) Explained

    When it comes to shopping for electronic devices there is no shortage of information being thrown at you from all directions. One that you hear of often is the ingress protection rating or IP rating for short. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down IP ratings and provide some additional information about them so next time you’re buying electronics you know that it is more than just letters and numbers.

    Ingress Protection


     

    Let’s start with the basics. Ingress, by definition, is the action or fact of going in or entering. The ingress protection rating classifies the degree of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. Essentially, when you hear that a piece of electronic equipment is water-resistant or waterproof the IP rating provides the actual value to which the device is protected.

    The Breakdown


     

    So now that we know what exactly the IP rating is, let’s talk a little bit about how it works. For our example, we are going to use the Kenwood NX-P500 2-Watt Dual-Mode Two-Way Radio which boasts an impressive IP 54, IP 55, and IP 67 rating. IP ratings are given to a wide variety of electronic devices – like your cell phone, flashlights, power tools, and two-way radios. IP ratings are especially important when it comes to electronic devices that may be used in high voltage situations. In fact, there are often standards that electrical instruments must meet in order to be used for certain types of work.

    IP Value


     

    In its most simple form, IP values function as you would expect. The higher the value the more protected the internal components of the device are. We’ve established that the IP stands for ingress protection, but what about the number value? The first digit rates the device for ingress by foreign objects and dust. This number is going to tell you what kinds of solids could potentially enter the enclosure. This digit is rated on a scale from 0 to 6 with 0 meaning no protection from any solid object and 6 meaning complete protection from the smallest solids like microscopic dust particles.

    The second digit defines the electrical instrument's resistance to ingress by liquids. This digit is rated on a scale from 0 to 8 with 0 meaning no resistance to liquids whatsoever and 8 meaning the enclosure has complete protection. For both digits, the values between define various tests and procedures done to evaluate the protection level of the device.

    IP Clarifications


     

    One criticism of the ingress protection code is that a device could potentially pass a high level of testing while failing lower level tests because of differences in testing procedures. So, let’s take another look at the NX-P500 and break down the 3 different ratings of this device (IP 54, 55, and 67). Let’s start with IP 67. That is about as much protection as you can get. An IP rating of 67 means that the device is completely sealed off from solids like dust (represented by the 6). It also means that the device can withstand total immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes (represented by the 7).

    So, if the radio meets IP 67, why does it also list IP 54 and 55? Well, those two ratings differ from 67 because of the testing process. They use high and low-pressure water jets to test its protection. This simulates real-world applications like falling in moving water and other unforeseen circumstances that weren’t used when testing for the IP 67 rating. It’s always a good idea when looking at devices that you look for multiple levels of rating to ensure that you are getting the device that is most capable to stand up to the job at hand.

    **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.

    Ingress Protection Code Explained: 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.

    Get Social


     

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  2. Kask Helmets: Zenith vs. Super Plasma HD

    Kask Plasma and Zenith Helmets

    Hazards are everywhere on the job site and protecting your noggin from falling objects, or from getting bumped and bruised while walking and climbing is an intricate part of job site safety. This week our Gear Experts® are going to compare two premium helmets from our friends over at Kask.

    Similarities


    The two helmets we are going to compare are the Kask Zenith Helmet and the Kask Super Plasma HD. Both of these helmets are extremely popular and for good reason. They both set the bar in comfort and protection for at-height workers. We are going to start this comparison with some things the helmets have in common.

     

    Features


    The outer shells are constructed of a high strength ABS plastic that provides excellent protection from falls or impacts. Underneath the outer shell is an HD polystyrene internal shell that increases impact protection. Both of these helmets feature universal adjustable suspension systems that utilize a simple adjustment wheel to attain a precise fit. The comfort doesn’t stop there, though. They also feature a soft eco-leather chin strap that is machine washable and prevents uncomfortable irritation of the skin. Last, but not least, both helmets can be purchased in 6 different color options – allowing you to express yourself while still maintaining excellent protection. Those colors are black, blue, red, white, yellow, and orange.

     

    Differences


    Now it’s time to discuss the differences. Both helmets have a range of features that promote comfortability while maintaining a secure fit. But, depending on the requirements of your job site, and compatibility with accessories, you may find yourself choosing one helmet over the other.

     

    Kask Super Plasma HD

    This helmet is perfect for tower climbers and rope access professionals because of its 10-vent air intake system. This system provides enhanced breathability and each intake features anti-intrusion grills to prevent dust and debris from entering the helmet. The headband is made of a fast-drying fabric that pulls moisture away from your skin and disperses it to the outside of the band for quicker evaporation. In fact, the super plasma HD is so comfortable, that the general construction industry is adopting it as a more comfortable and safer alternative to traditional hard hats – this is in large part to the chin strap that prevents the helmet from falling off.

    This helmet is compatible with all of Kask’s visors, earmuffs, and accessories. Keep in mind that some visors and other accessories may require an adapter to properly and safely attach the equipment to the helmet. The Kask Super Plasma HD is a Type 1 Class C helmet which means it meets all of the necessary ANSI and CSA standards for head protection. We covered ANSI helmet classes in more detail in our Safety Helmets 101 blog post. You can also find a free downloadable Safety Helmets 101 poster by visiting our Knowledge Base.

    Kask Zenith Helmet

    If you compare the Kask Zenith side by side to the Kask Super Plasma HD, you’ll immediately notice one big difference – the Zenith is lacking any vents. That helps this helmet achieve it’s Type 1 Class E rating meaning that it is electric shock protected. This helmet is also compatible with Kask Ear Muffs but, it is only compatible with Kask’s Zen line of accessories. Kask does have a wide variety of Zen accessories, though, so you finding the accessories you need shouldn’t be a problem.

    The biggest difference between these two helmets is the type and class rating. Not only is that the biggest difference, but it is also the most important difference.

    Click here to see the Kask Zenith Helmet

    Click here to see the Kask Super Plasma HD Helmet

    Click here to see the Zen line of visors and accessories

    Click here to see our full lineup of Kask accessories

    Click here to check out our Safety 101 blog post

    Click here to download your free copy of our Safety 101 poster

    **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.

    Zenith vs. Super Plasma HD: 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


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  3. 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!

  4. Safety Training 101

    Safety LMS Online Training | Safety Training 101 | GME Supply

     

    It’s no secret that at-height work is dangerous and at GME Supply we pride ourselves in helping keep the dedicated men and women in at-height, industry, and construction safe and productive on the job. When talking about safety, a lot of people focus on the equipment. But the equipment is only half of the safety equation. After all, if you don’t know how to properly use the safety equipment you have it might not keep you safe. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down some key things to keep in mind when selecting training courses for your crew.

     

    Quality


    The quality of the courses you choose will directly affect your training experience, what information and/or techniques you learn, and your ability to continue to practice once the training is over. Here is a list of things to find out about the training company before you invest your hard-earned money in their courses.

    1. Where did the company’s curriculum come from? You want to make sure that their curriculum covers not only the things you need to legally know but also best practices and tip/tricks for self-training and continued education.
    2. How old is the company’s curriculum? Safety training companies aren’t always known for having up-to-date materials. But there are a few companies out there, like our friends at Safety LMS,  who have committed to updating curriculum a minimum of once a year. Safety LMS knows that things can change faster than most people think and that staying up-to-date is the best way to keep crews safe.
    3. Who is teaching the classes? Having an instructor who simply stands in front of you and reads right out of the book doesn’t exactly make for an enjoyable class. Beyond that, someone with no on-the-job experience in the class they are teaching can create a disconnect with students. Finding a training company where the instructors have experience in the industry and who can do more than reading from a book can not only make the class more exciting, but it can give additional insight into the industry and make Q&A sessions easier.

     

    Cost


    Cost is something that no one is immune to. Whether you are the biggest company in the country or a one crew team just trying to get off of the ground, spending money can often times be stressful. Cutting corners in training might save you some money in the short term, but improperly trained staff can lead to severe financial repercussions in the future. Finding a quality course for your employees not only keeps them safe but keeps the business safe too. If an accident happens due to lack of training not only do you lose out on the money from the time it takes to investigate the accident, but you have the potential to lose future jobs, get tied up in lawsuits, and go out of business completely.

     

    Credentials


    The credentials of not only the training company, but the instructors too, is an important part of the training process. Some questions to ask when vetting potential training companies include:

    • Who is responsible for creating the curriculum?
    • Who are the instructors?
    • What credentials do the instructors have?
    • What experience do they have?

    It’s also always good to check with your colleagues and peer groups to see if any of them have attended a training session and what their experience was. Proper training saves lives and ensuring that the instructor is qualified can make all the difference.

    If you’ve got questions about training sessions, or anything training related, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see our full selection of online and in-person training courses.

    **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.

     

    Safety LMS Online Courses: 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: Petzl GRILLON PLUS Adjustable Positioning Lanyard

    Petzl Grillon

    Positioning yourself where you need to be will make the job a little bit easier when working at height. Beyond that, having the ability to adjust your positioning on the fly – while still maintaining 100% tie-off increases productivity while still maintaining safety standards. Adjustable positioning can be done with the use of specialty equipment and this week our Gear Experts® are going to break down the Petzl GRILLON PLUS Adjustable Positioning Lanyard.

    The Petzl GRILLON PLUS


     

    The GRILLON PLUS is similar to the traditional GRILLON. One of the major differences that you might notice is that the PLUS doesn’t have an abrasion sleeve. That’s because, instead of having a standard kernmantle rope construction, it’s made out of heavy-duty aramid fiber kernmantle rope. Aramid fiber rope provides superior resistance to abrasion when compared to nearly any rope which removes the need for the abrasion sleeve.

    Features


     

    Rope

    Not only is the rope stronger, thanks to the aramid fiber construction, but it also features sewn terminations at both ends. The ends are then covered in a plastic sheath to help keep the connector in position while simultaneously protecting the ends of the rope from abrasion.

    Adjustability

    The adjustability of the GRILLON PLUS is all thanks to the aluminum device that comes attached to the rope. This device is well known for its smoothness when allowing a rope to pass through it.

    Versatility


     

    The GRILLON PLUS is a versatile piece of equipment. It comes in two different lengths – 2 and 3-meter versions. And, if the rope ever needs to be replaced due to damage or any other reason, you can easily swap it out with a GRILLON PLUS Replacement Lanyard. Lastly, it can also be used in two different configurations (or, as we call them, modes). Those modes are double and single mode.

    Single Mode

    Single Mode is used when an anchor is directly above you. This mode will comfortably distribute the load between the belt and the leg loops. Your position can be adjusted by operating the handle while holding the free end of the lanyard.

    Double Mode

    When using the device in double mode, the lanyard is fed through the anchor or structure and the end is secured to one of your hip D-rings while the device is attached to your other D-ring. The double mode technique does a better job at distributing the load to the belt while allowing you to pivot and swing to achieve your desired position.

    Certifications


     

    This lanyard is fancy – no doubt about it. Between the top-of-the-line features and versatility, it’s a device that can come in handy for anyone who needs the ability to position while working at-height. But, perhaps the most important feature is the standards this device meets. It meets ANSI Z359.3, CSA Z259.11, CE EN 385, and CE EN 12841 Type C.

    If you’ve got any questions about the Petzl GRILLON PLUS Adjustable Positioning Lanyard, or anything else related to at-height, industry, and construction, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see the Petzl GRILLON PLUS

    Click here to see our full selection of Petzl gear

    **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.

    Petzl GRILLON PLUS Adjustable Positioning Lanyard: 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. Confined Space 101

    It’s no secret that working at-height, industry, and construction is dangerous. But confined spaces bring a whole slew of additional dangers. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down confined space and talk about some of the important things to keep in mind/remember when working in confined space.

    What is a Confined Space


     

    A confined space is an area that has an opening large enough for a worker to access and enter to perform work. The area has a limited or restricted means of entry or exit and is not designed for continuous human occupancy. Because of the restricted means of entry and exit confined spaces are considered one of the most dangerous job sites. Some examples of confined spaces include underground vaults, sewers, tanks, storage bins, pits and diked areas, vessels, and silos.

    Confined Space Work


     

    It is important to know if your job site, plant, or shop requires confined space entry. If it does, you will need to ensure that you are following the appropriate safety precautions. Safety precautions include equipment that has been designed specifically for confined space applications (like a confined space kit). It’s also important to understand and be prepared for hazards that are common to confined space work.

    Hazards common to confined space work include unsafe air, toxic contaminants, electrical hazards, mechanical hazards like augers, and leading-edge fall hazards. While these are some of the common hazards, each confined space is unique and may feature some, all, or additional hazards that we haven’t listed in this post. Confined spaces should, under no circumstances, be entered unless you are trained and authorized and proper safety precautions have been taken.

    Safety First


     

    When it comes to confined space, the safety first mindset is extremely important. Untrained and unauthorized employees should never enter a confined space and a competent person should determine if the confined space is safe for entry before employees enter. Stay alert of changing conditions, know how to contact emergency services, and always have an emergency rescue plan in place.

    A safety first focus for confined space doesn’t have to be limited to inside the space itself. It’s also important to make sure to lockout and tag any mechanical equipment that could activate or energize while the confined space is occupied. You should also have the appropriate barriers and signs outside of the confined space to alert and prevent other people from entering or falling into the confined space.

    Equipment


     

    As we mentioned above, confined spaces vary in size, shape, location, and environment. That means that there isn’t a standard or typical application, so your confined space safety equipment must be flexible as well. Consistent anchorage is rarely found from one job to the next. Some confined spaces like a manhole on a street will require vertical equipment, but others like a tank would have a side-entry or horizontal requirement.

    Choosing the right confined space entry and rescue equipment can be difficult. Temporary jobs require lightweight and easy-to-use portable confined space systems. For areas that are accessed frequently a davit system with a permanently mounted base would be more ideal.

    Lifeline type and length are other variables to consider. In some situations, a back-up system may be required. Typical mechanical devices include man-rated winches and 3-way retracting lifelines with both fall protection and emergency rescue functions.

    If you’ve got questions about confined space solutions, 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 confined space solutions

    Gas Detection 101: 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.

    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. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

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