High visibility clothing used to be only seen worn by builders, construction sites, emergency service personnel, railway and airport hangar workers. Now however it’s everywhere, cyclists, runners, children and pets are wearing clothing that is fluorescent and covered in reflective strips.
How did Hi-Viz become a wardrobe staple for the masses?
In California in the 1930’s a man called Bob Switzer had an accident whilst unloaded crates at a railway yard. He damaged an optic nerve and was advised to stay in a darkened room until his eyesight recovered. Bob and his brother Joseph were both amateur magicians and used this time and the assistance of their father, a chemist to use a black light to discover fluorescent compounds. After Bob’s recovery they continued to experiment and succeeded in producing the first black light fluorescent paints. They founded the Fluor-S-Art Co in 1934 to develop their bright ideas further (sorry!) We know these paints by the name Day-Glo.
The first application of fluorescent paint onto fabric was when Bob dyed his wife’s wedding dress. We are not sure whether that happened before or after their wedding!
Day-Glo’s publicity material summed up how useful it could be.
“What’s so great about fluorescent colour? Fluorescent colour is seen 75% sooner than conventional colour! Fluorescent colour is three times brighter than regular colour! Your eyes go back to fluorescent colour for a second look 59% of the time!”
In 1964 Hi-Viz first came to the UK as it was trialled by Railway maintenance workers in Glasgow.
The Health and Safety at Work act 1994 and the Personal Protective Equipment At Work regulations 1992 (PPE), ensured that high visability clothing would be worn to protect against risks to safety and health. These acts also covered other safety items such as safety footwear, hard hats, goggles, life jackets, respirators and safety harnesses. Many of which are also available from MyWorkwear.
In 2008, the designer Karl Lagerfeld appeared in a French public information campaign. He was wearing a Hi-Viz waistcoat using the slogan: “It’s yellow, it’s ugly, it doesn’t go with anything, but it could save your life”.
So whether you love it or loathe it, Hi-Viz is here to stay. It is always safer to be seen than not, and wearing that rather ‘ugly’ vest may mean the difference between life and death.
MyWorkwear offer a comprehensive range of Hi-Viz clothing including bib & braces, coveralls, jackets/coats, tee and polo shirts, trousers, and vests. We can embroider or print your company name, logo or a message onto nearly every Hi-Viz item we stock.
From October 2nd – 6th 2017 it’s ‘Promotional Products Week’ in the UK.
This is a week where all the pen addicts, stress ball busters, and the magnet maniacs go crazy and flood social media with their wares. So how do MyWorkwear get involved in Promotional Products Week?
You are probably aware that for the past 41 years MyWorkwear has been helping individuals and companies promote their branding effectively by embroidering or printing it onto clothing, uniforms, and workwear.
Did you know that we also offer a range of accessories that can be used for promotional purposes?
Last year, for example, our factory resembled a toy shop as we handled a couple of large orders for gift size teddy bears with small logos on their tee-shirts. Other customers have wanted budget price tee-shirts for handouts at an exhibition. We have also completed orders for canvas bags as a gift with purchase and colourful aprons with an embroidered logo for a gift to attendees at a cooking event. The options are limitless.
As you can probably tell, we don’t get involved in all aspects of Promotional Products. We are experts in working with material based products, so that is what we focus on. Likewise, due to the range of material based products available, we can’t list everything on our website. So if there is something, in particular, you are looking for, please call our team on 01952 585881 and let them help you.
How could your business successfully use promotional products?
The trade organisation behind Promotional Products week – the BPMA shared this infographic on social media this week.
The team at MyWorkwear have lots of ideas of products that you can use for any of these four categories. You may want to spend a little more money on a gift for customer recognition, than that for a trade show giveaway and we can advise accordingly.
How will it make the recipient feel?
Again, the BPMA has carried out research and said that –
Why would you not want to have your customers, potential customers or staff feel positively?
They also have some interesting statistics regarding promotional clothing, which is, of course, our specialty.
If you are thinking of buying promotional clothing, or material based products that can be embroidered or printed onto. Then please visit our website or call our sales team on 01952 585881 and let’s see how MyWorkwear can help get your brand noticed.
MyWorkwear are proud to be supporting our local Shropshire Chamber of Commerce. As a Shropshire Chamber member, we will be standing at their Big Business Expo event. Come along and chat to us on Thursday September 28th at Shrewsbury Town FC, Montgomery Waters Meadow, Oteley Road, Shrewsbury, SY2 6ST.
James, MyWorkwear’s Managing Director, will be on hand to to talk to you about how MyWorkwear can help dress your company. The Expo stands are open between 10am and 1.30pm.
Even if you aren’t a member of the Chamber, but are in business, you’d be very welcome to register and attend the event. It’s a great networking opportunity for businesses of any size.
MyWorkwear have been supplying personalised uniform, PPE, clothing and workwear since 1976. With no minimum order we work with both personal and business customers.
Based in Shropshire, MyWorkwear offer on site embroidery and printing services. If you can’t find what you like online, we also have an in-house manufacturing team. Our team are able to make or alter ‘off the shelf’ uniforms and workwear. Helping you get exactly what you need for your team.
If you would like to make an appointment to talk with James, please email us: Sales@MyWorkwear.co.uk.
We hope to see you on Thursday.
On Friday 22nd September MyWorkwear will be celebrating their 41st anniversary. From manufacturing golf bags and then cycle bags for Halfords – the story of MyWorkwear is still being written, but one we’d like to share with you.
How did MyWorkwear become the UK’s favourite personalised clothing company?
Mike Worthington, shares the story of MyWorkwear over the past 41 years.
I first started the business at the tender age of 23, having gained professional qualifications in A1 product design at Wolverhampton Art College and no ready employment.
My first product was a combined golf bag and trolley called the Clubguard Classic. It had a patented moulding which enveloped the golf club and thus prevented damage and eased selection. The idea was great but the quality less than perfect and garnered a few moans when wheels broke away mid course!
I was getting nowhere fast so decided to use the golf bag sewing machines to make cycle bags. This steadied the ship and I was able to contribute add something to my teacher wife’s salary! However the cycle trade at that time was very “bust or boom” and having weathered a few “busts” concluded that what was needed was a sector which was continually in demand and this proved to be workwear.
Our breakthrough came when a cycle parts customer of ours Halfords required a new bespoke range of coveralls for their new car centres. We stepped up to the plate on a very short lead-time and secured the contract. The coveralls were quite unique with different coloured panels on the chest and the back.
We also worked with Dave Duffield the MD at Halfords to produce a range of clothing called ‘Skyway’ which was BMX inspired clothing and was designed to look as if it had just come from the BMX circuits of LA.
Our second “coup” was to manufacture and supply bespoke garments for the many Japanese companies investing in factories in Britain in the early 70’s. The garments issued from Japan did not fit the British worker due to our length of arms and naturally we were delighted to help get the appropriate sizing.
We worked with companies such as Panasonic, Hitachi, Honda and Nissan to mention just a few. When we first presented to the NEC team in Telford, the uniforms that we had taken to show them were tried on and the pop studs dropped off – luckily they laughed and we got the contract to provide their uniforms.
One of our longest serving product lines, our Anti static Lint free paint plant coverall came about when we were contacted by Micro Laundry who serviced factories that applied paint in clean room conditions mainly for the automotive industry, spraying car panels etc. They wanted us to design and manufacture a specialist suit for ‘clean rooms’. Made from polyester so that the continuous monofilament wouldn’t break. This non-fibre shedding workwear ensured that no lint from clothing would contaminate the paint being applied to vehicles when they were being sprayed. This is a product that we still manufacturer in-house today.
Kwik-Fit approached us in the 1980’s to produce a line of Kwik Fit Junior Suits. These were available as mini replica’s of the Kwik Fit coverall, famed by the advertising campaign ‘You can’t get better than a Kwik Fit Fitter’.
When the Faulklands War broke out, we worked with the MOD to produce Gortex waterproof socks that were stretchy and breathable. This was to help the soldiers who were suffering from Trench foot during the conflict.
It was at the latter end of the 1980’s that we decided to move the focus of the business from just manufacturing into providing pre-made workwear from external suppliers.
James Worthington, my son, and now the MD of MyWorkwear, came to join the company in 2001, he joined us direct from the IT industry, having worked in both the UK and Canada and bought a refreshing attitude to the business, along with a range of lifestyle clothing, that didn’t quite take off!
Around the time that James joined the team, we noticed the change in the way that people were expecting to purchase, or at least browse our wares. Road reps were becoming obsolete and we became one of the first companies to join the online revolution and enable shopping online.
Our website was built in 2001 by Midland Computers and this is where we met Peter Barfield, whom we have been working with ever since.
In the past 15 years the way that the world works and shops has changed dramatically. Since our early days manufacturing for large multinational companies to today where anyone can set up a business and would like to see their logo on one polo shirt. MyWorkwear has adapted and strived to ensure outstanding customer service throughout.
In 2015 Peter Barfield and his business partner Ben Simpson became directors of MyWorkwear. In joining the business they have bought a wealth of IT experience and we launched our new website in early 2017.
The MyWorkwear team are committed to offering an outstanding level of service to customers both new and old, large and small – so if you are looking for your first or your next batch of clothing, workwear or uniform that needs to be personalised with embroidery or printing, then please call us 01952 585 881 or visit our website www.myworkwear.co.uk – We care about getting your logo out there.
Mike Worthington, Founder.
PPE, or personal protective equipment, encompasses a range of items such as gloves, eye protection, and safety helmets used in the workplace to help protect employees from the hazards associated with their jobs.
PPE and safety workwear are important in protecting employees against the sometimes unavoidable health and safety risks that come with completing certain tasks at work. Even when the correct instruction, training, and supervision is in place to ensure employee safety, some risks will always remain, for example, the risk of a chemical spill when handling chemicals. PPE is especially important in protecting against:
- Health risks from inhaling contaminated air.
- Risks to vision from corrosive chemicals.
- Skin damage from contact with corrosive materials.
- Health risks from extremely cold or hot temperatures.
The following guide details the main types of PPE and safety workwear used to mitigate potential risks to employee health and safety associated with chemical hazards in the workplace.
Safety glasses provide the minimum level of eye protection that workers need when handling chemicals. Safety glasses are appropriate when handling small amounts of ordinary solvents, mild strength cleaning agents, and small volumes of diluted acids.
A more rigorous PPE item for protecting the eyes comes in the form of chemical safety goggles. Employees should use chemical safety goggles when the chance of a chemical splashing into the eye is high or when the chemical being handled is highly corrosive, or otherwise dangerous. Handling concentrated acids and using potassium hydroxide cleaning agents are two examples of situations in which chemical safety goggles should be used.
Another important aspect of ensuring chemical safety in the workplace is the provision of chemical safety gloves. Different materials are used to make different chemical safety gloves, such as neoprene, latex, nitrile, or PVC. The type of gloves employees need depends on the chemicals being handled.
Often, employees might need to use longer, thicker chemical safety gloves in the form of gauntlets to protect their forearms from particularly hazardous chemicals.
In terms of potential chemical safety hazards in the workplace, inhaling harmful chemical fumes poses one of the most significant threats to employee health. Proper respiratory protection is vital when there is a risk of inhaling harmful fumes.
Disposable dust masks provide a basic level of everyday protection against airborne dust particles, which may cause allergic reactions and irritate the throat. In situations where employees may be exposed to more harmful fumes, vapours, smoke, or mists, respirators provide the protection they need. Respirators suitable as PPE are usually half masks, covering the nose and mouth. Sometimes powered air respirators might be needed when working in oxygen-deficient environments.
Neck cloths & wraps
Neck cloths and wraps are important pieces of chemical safety equipment used to protect the neck against chemical splashes. Neck cloths and wraps are ideal for situations in which a worker is fixing or altering overhead pipes. Workers need to attach their neck cloth to a safety helmet. Most types of safety helmet can be fitted with a neck cloth.
Anti-splash hoods should be used in particularly dangerous situations when splashes from chemicals could cause severe skin damage. Anti-splash hoods come with a chemically resistant visor that allows for clear vision so that employees can get on with their work while receiving protection from hazardous chemicals.
When working around dangerous chemicals, employees should use proper protective footwear. Special chemical safety boots are designed to be resistant to a range of corrosive and otherwise harmful chemicals. Ordinary boots or Wellingtons are not sufficient—a corrosive acid will quickly destroy a standard pair of boots. Chemical boots provide the additional layer of protection workers need when handling harmful substances.
A chemical safety suit gives an employee full body protection against a range of potential health risks that come with handling certain chemicals. Employees who work around flammable substances can use a specially designed chemical safety suit composed of flame retardant fibres that are extremely difficult to ignite.
Workers who need to enter environments with high concentrations of harmful chemicals can use specifically manufactured overalls to cover the body and protect the skin from potential damage.
The importance of using PPE and safety workwear to ensure chemical safety in the workplace cannot be understated. Such items give employees the extra protection they need at work, helping to mitigate the risk of serious chemical injuries from hazards that are sometimes unavoidable in the workplace.
Provision of PPE is a necessity not an option
Employers should remember that the provision of PPE and safety workwear is a legal requirement in the United Kingdom and non-compliance can result in heavy fines. More importantly, failure to provide the right PPE and safety wear can be detrimental to the lives of employees, with potential hazards including:
- Chemicals, extremes of temperature, or excessive dust.
- Corrosive, combustible, or infectious materials.
It’s important for employers not to put the lives of their workers in jeopardy, and this can easily be achieved simply by ensuring that the right equipment is provided to people exposed to possible chemical hazards in the workplace.
About the Author
Tom Considine is Managing Director of Safety Storage Systems, the leading U.K. manufacturer of chemical storage and chemical safety solutions. Tom is a high respected thought leader in the field of chemical safety, with more than 20 years of experience in specifying and advising on chemical storage safety.
On a weekly basis, the skilled machine embroiderers at MyWorkwear stitch logos, names and designs to over 5000 garments and accessories. Every person and company that we work with has different needs and requirements when it comes to the service that we offer and we offer a great level of service to ensure that their requirements are met.
In 40 years we have been tasked with turing intricate designs into embroidered logos. We have also assisted new businesses who simply want to add their name to a shirt. One of our oldest customers still lets us know that he first came to us when he needed a weeks worth of polo shirts and a fleece for himself. He now has over 200 staff in his employ and we continue to work together to ensure that they are all kept workwear happy.
Be prepared to be hypnotised as you watch one of our embroidery machines in action.
If you are looking for workwear, uniform or clothing that can be personalised with either embroidery or printing, then why not contact MyWorkwear today to see how we can help.