Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Brand Focus – Flexothane Workwear at Granite Workwear

One of our biggest ranges we stock here at Granite Workwear is Flexothane, on site you can pick and choose between the three brands within the range: Essential, Flame and Kleen.

What is Flexothane?

There are several reasons why this fabric is special, for example it's taken many years of research and development to get to the standard used in today's workwear. Without trying to get too scientific Flexothane is a polyurethane coating on top of a knitted base fabric. This fabric provides excellent protection as the polyurethane coating is stretchable (approximately 150%) and the knitted base helps make it waterproof and windproof, noiseless and highly tear resistant. Up to 50% lighter than conventional waterproofs and extremely, this fabric is also resistant to oil and fungal growth.

Garments produced from Flexothane are durable and easy to care for, this stretches across all the three brands we sell, however there are a few slight differences:

Flexothane Essential

The Essential is ideal for lighter workwear duties along with domestic requirements. No garments in this range are hi-vis but just like the flame and Kleen range every item is fully wind and waterproof as well as being lightweight and breathable. Perfect for leisure!

Flexothane Classic

The Classic collection is made from a one-sided PU coating on a polyamide knitting and  has been designed for those who work in the following industries: horticulture, agriculture, grounds maintenance. 

Flexothane Flame

Flexothane Flame, the name gives it away but this is made from flame retardant Flexothane. This category features many garments that meet several workwear standards for various professions, just click the product you're interested in and we have outlined what standards it complies to. With high frequency welded seams, this clothing is 100% waterproof and windproof.

Flexothane Kleen

Flexothane Kleen has been designed specifically for the food preparation industry, all garments are washable at 95 °C. The royal blue colour used for the majority of this collection is ideal should any part of the garment become caught in the food items it is very easy to see. 

Flexothane Anti-static 

Made from flame retardant and anti-static Flexothane, the conductive yarn  avoids the building-up of static charges -that could ignite an explosive atmosphere.
Flexothane Flame 9728 FR High Vis Jacket

Before the introduction of Flexothane, waterproof garments were often heavy, cumbersome, uncomfortable, as well as hard to maintain. This is a technical fabric that promises you excellent protection and will be around for many more years to come. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Receive A FREE FXD Beanie With Selected FXD Orders

Whilst stocks last we are offering a FREE FXD beanie when you buy any FXD work pants or jean on Granite Workwear, this offer is completely exclusive so make sure you don't miss out.

We're among the first FXD Workwear sellers in the UK. Originally from Australia, Function By Design (F.X.D) offer carefully designed workwear that performs better and looks killer whilst doing it.And because they're made with Duratech material, they'll stay looking good for longer.

Below are some of our favourites sellers from the FXD range that are included in this great detail:

This offer is only valid for a limited time only!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Exclusive Granite Offer - Receive A Free Bootbag With Selected Boot Orders

We have a very special offer for all of customers, recieve a FREE boot-bag worth £20.34 with Muck Boot and Grubs Thermal boot orders.

This bag is fantastic to throw in the back of the car and keep everything clean. Made from waterproof fabric and vented, you can avoid that soggy feeling and damp odour that you can get when you use your much loved Muck Boots.

Whilst stocks last we are offering a FREE boot-bag with selected boot orders on Granite Workwear, this offer is completely exclusive so make sure you don't miss out.

The selected boot orders include:

Monday, 1 February 2016

Hearing protection – what should I choose?

Risk assessments should involve understanding the level of noise within the working environment. Sound measuring can be used to select the type of hearing protection that is required but as a guide we have listed the main features that should be considered when selecting the solution:-

Remember when reviewing the requirements that noise energy doubles every 3dB – it is not a linear scale….

So what should I choose?

The European Physical Agents (Noise) Directive 2003/10/EC came into force in 2006. In simple terms, the Directive requires that hearing protection should be available at 80dB, and must be worn at 85dB. As a rough guide, when it is necessary to shout in order to be heard 1 meter away the noise levels may be 85dB or more.

Firstly, ensure that the product conforms to EN352. There are three basic standards to take into account. When selecting the ear defenders you must ensure that the products are certified to one of the following standards:-

Ear Muffs EN 352-1:
Ear-Muffs: Two ear cups that are filled with sound absorbing foam. Each cup has a soft pad that is either foam or foam and liquid filled. The ear cups are held in place with a tensioned neckband or headband.

Ear Plugs EN 352-2:
Ear-Plugs that are inserted into the ear canal to seal the entrance.

Helmet Mounted Ear Defenders EN 352-3:
Ear defenders that are designed to be attached to industrial safety helmets. They are adjustable, so they can be positioned over the ear when required.

There are additional standards for more specific products as follows:-

EN352-4: Level dependent ear muffs.
EN352-5: Active noise reduction ear muffs.
EN352-6: Ear muffs with electrical audio input.
EN352-7: Level dependent ear plugs.
EN352-8: Entertainment audio ear muffs.

SNR (Single number rating).
This is the number of potential decibels the hearing protection will reduce the noise by when correctly fitted.

The objective is to select a suitable product that reduces the wearer’s noise level down to between 70dB & 80dB. To reduce the noise level to below 70dB may impair the wearer from hearing any alarm or warning sounds.

HML (relates to frequency)
H=High.  M=Medium.    L=Low.  This relates to how the product performs within these general frequency bands. The values of each of these (attenuation levels) will be located on the product packaging. Note that a SNR of 27 will not necessarily be attributable to all frequency levels – this should be considered when selecting a product for a specific frequency.


The ear is very delicate. The damage that can be caused is often non-recoverable. Figures from HSE show that during 2006/7 280 instances of work related hearing loss were diagnosed. However, as hearing loss is cumulative over a period of years, many individuals will not realise that their hearing is being affected.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Arc Protection with Granite Workwear

The risk posed by electricity on the rail network is made clear by Network Rail’s Life Saving Rules.

Three rules deal specifically with electricity: never assume equipment is isolated - always test before touch, with an approved method, this is not Scalextrix, you do not test with any part of your anatomy!

Always test before applying earths or straps and always be sure the required plans and permits are in place before you start a job or go on, or near, the line.

The consequences of not following these steps when working around 25 KV overhead lines is all too real. But even when all the rules are followed, accidents can occur. Equipment failure is another real risk.

The majority of orange fire resistance (FR) work-wear being used on the rail network today does not comply with the GO’RT 3279 high visibility standard, even though they include silver reflective tape in the EN configuration.

Two new products

Pulsarails Combat Coverall and Combat Trouser are flame retardant, anti- static and electric arc protective and comply with GO/RT 3279.

Using a patented Protex multi-fibre blend - Protal 5, the range has a 16 Cal/ cm2 ATPV rating, virtually double the performance of the next market-leading fabric. Combined with the Xcelcius Electric Arc Base Layers, the level of protection increases to 42.6 Cal/cm2.

Some of the benefits of Protal 5 include excellent breathability and wicking properties, as well as an enhanced electric arc performance because of its ability to shed the metal electrodes from an arc blast. When welding, it sheds sparks and molten metal, extending the life expectancy of the coverall.
Unlike all of its current competitors it also has excellent abrasion resistance.

On top of its safety credentials, the Combat Coverall has been designed with the wearer in mind. The coverall includes breast, combat and rear pockets, an elasticated waist and adjustable cuffs. The triple stitched inside leg, front and rear rise seams, and five extra crotch bar tacks reduces the risk of splitting.

Other features include non- conductive plastic studded wrap around cuffs, a front storm flap - which conceals a two-way plastic zip, internal knee pad pockets and double stitched FR reflective tape in the chevron design.

The Combat Trouser has all the attributes of the Combat Coverall but with a slightly elasticated waistband and triple press stud fastening and zip fly.

To be worn in conjunction with the Pulsar FR Combat Trouser, the Pulsar FR high-visibility orange Class 3, GO/ RT 3279, flame retardant polo shirt incorporates 3M Scotchlite thermally- applied reflective tape, FR collar and cuffs, and concealed three button placket.

If it gets a little chilly, then why not layer up with the Pulsar FR high visibility orange Class 3, GO/RT 3279, flame retardant sweatshirt. Again, both garments are manufactured using a Protal blend of FR fibres to guarantee the highest level of performance without compromising on comfort or fit.

The Xcelcius Electric Arc Base Layers are manufactured from a knitted Protal- blend and comply with EN11612 (FR), EN1149 (AST) and IEC61482 (Arc) standards. Both top and bottoms have a 9.2 Cal/cm2 ATPV rating. When worn in conjunction with the double- layer balaclava, it ensures maximum next-to-skin protection. All styles incorporate red contrast FR thread.

Granite Workwear is probably the largest stock-holder in the country of Pulsar and Pulsarail products. If we don’t have it in stock then it’s probably not in the country!

We  are also a RISQS accredited supplier to the Rail Industry.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

New GO/RT Clothing coming in September this year

These details are correct as of 9th July 2014.

The high-visibility clothing standard is presented in the Railway Group Standards document, titled 'High Visibility Clothing'.

The importance of these standards is to ensure the safety of all workers and maintenance teams whilst working on railway lines. Regardless of whether the line is live or not, it is a mandatory requirement that high visibility clothing is to be worn with track or lineside working. 
Rail workers in GO/RT
Rail workers wearing the GO/RT standard clothing

Typically, such GO/RT clothing products feature high-visibility vests, overalls, jackets and polo shirts. These two new products, coming in stock from early September, revolutionise the current rail industry standard clothing. 

First on the list, we have the new GO/RT Hooded Sweatshirt. This product conforms to the Level 2 GO/RT 3279:2008 standard, giving you the comfort that these products meet the national Railway Group Standards. 

This product is ideal for the more modern user, with the attached hood and cords to allow for adjustment to meet the user's requirements. The inclusion of the front pocket allows for storage space if required by the user. So, why wait? This new stock is an opportunity not to be missed!

Both the European Standards and Railway Group Standard require that all high-visibility clothing products incorporate both fluorescent and retro-reflective materials. GO/RT 3279 specifies orange for the fluorescent colour to be used for the clothing. All of our products that we feature on our website conform to these standards.

Click here to be taken to this product on our website

For our final product, we have the new GO/RT Sweatshirt, which also conforms to the Level 2 GO/RT 3279:2008 standard.

With the upcoming Autumn conditions, these two new products are ideal. The high quality hem, cuffs and 280gsm fabric give you the protection you need to suit your requirements. 

Click here to be taken to this product on our website

Both of these products range in size from Small to XXXXL. Make sure you order early to get your products whilst stocks last. 

Granite Workwear - we only sell the good stuff.

The implementation of these standards has resulted in work to be carried out and completed in a safe manner. This September, there is a launch of two new GO/RT standard products to the rail industry range, which offer the user a different style of clothing than previously seen before.

Monday, 2 March 2015

GO/RT 3279 Railway Group Standard

These details are correct as of 27th May 2014. If in doubt search for GORT3279 Issue 8 dated 1.3.2014 which currently specifies the latest amendments to the standard.

You may be carrying out maintenance work on track, where no trains are running – called 'green zone working'. However, work is undertaken on active railways, during day and night, and under different weather conditions. In this 'red zone working', the dangers are very real and it is important that the highest levels of visibility are maintained.

The European standard of high visibility garments BS EN ISO 20471:2013 (a recently updated version of EN 471:2003 + A1:2007) permits a small number of fluorescent background materials, the railway standard specifies one colour only -  Orange.

But this is not just any orange. No orange high visibility garment without the GO/RT 3279 specification is certified for use on UK railways on the line-side or on or near the line.

The garments need to exceed the requirements in EN ISO 20471 (EN 471) for both the minimum area of the orange background material and retro-reflective tape used in the garment. Also, the orange colour must meet the highest level of photometric performance criteria that is specified within the standard. Hence the products must be tested and certified to this standard. These garments must also meet with the requirements for Class 2 garments as set out in BS EN ISO 20471.  If in doubt, request a copy of the certification from your PPE supplier. These should be available on demand. There is an exception for mini-vests ‘Where duties require the use of high visibility clothing, but the nature of the work does not involve possible obscuring of the high visibility clothing, a high visibility mini-vest having a reduced area of visible material, conforming to section A.4 of this Appendix, is permitted’.

On or near the line is defined as ‘within 3 meters of the nearest rail of any line and on the line itself’. ‘On a platform this applies to only the part of the platform within 1.25 meters of the platform edge and only when an engineering or technical activity is taking place’.

Line-side is defined as ‘the area between the boundary fence and the point that is called ‘on or near the line’, and where someone would be within view of the driver of an approaching train or movement’.

Additional PPE that is mandatory to be worn ‘on or near the line or on the lineside is:                   Safety helmet (these should be supplied with a chinstrap where there is a danger of them falling off) – that complies with BS EN 397. Bump caps complying with BS EN 812: 1998 do not meet the requirements for safety helmets, but may be worn as an alternative to a safety helmet by those engaged in working on rail vehicles below sole-bar level.

Safety footwear that complies with BS EN ISO 20345 that provides support to the ankles and includes mid-sole protection and had a covered toe cap. Rigger boots do not meet these requirements for ankle protection.

There are exemptions for certain operations and these are listed in Network Rail reference NR/SP/OHS/021 dated February 2007. If in doubt then refer to this publication.

Other exemptions may be granted by an application to Network Rail Head of Occupational Health and Safety for approval and shall be accompanied by a supporting risk assessment.

Myth Buster:

Some myths, probably by suppliers of GO/RT 3279 clothing, have suggested that there are various additional requirements which need to be met in order to sell more of their own products over their competitors. Most of it is made-up so we just want to clarify a few points.

Printing / Logos:

The GO/RT standard states that the visible materials of the garment must not be compromised by the addition of company names or logos. This does not mean that no logos or prints are allowed. It means be sensible - that the area covered by the prints must not affect the purpose of the garment which is to be noticed. Black, reflective and coloured printing is allowed.

The current wording in the standard (NR/L2/OHS/021, Issue 3) on this is:

‘The outer layer of the upper body clothing shall be clearly marked between the vertical retro-reflective bands’ (silver stripes) ‘on the back with the name or logo of the individual’s Sentinal sponsor or other name or logo agreed with Network Rail (e.g. project, sponsor’s parent company or trade association). This may be in colour or black and either screen printed or incorporated within a panel, which may be retro-reflective.’

Retro reflective stripes above the knee on trousers:

Some of our customers have stated that they have information from a reliable source that Network Rail is planning to change their standard/policy on work trousers to state one band must be above the knee. Not true, the minimum standard required by Network Rail for work trousers to be worn  is BS EN471: 2003 Class 1 and GO/RT3279.

As from 1st January 2009, all maintenance staff going on or near the line must wear all orange PPE. This was referred to as the ‘All Orange PPE initiative’. The move to all orange meant the addition of orange high visibility trousers (or over-trousers) to the  PPE requirement. The instruction applied to all staff and contractors who work for maintenance or who come to work in maintenance worksites. This included anyone from outside of maintenance but working under the protection of a maintenance COSS. This also includes Supervisors and Managers.

As an additional note – shorts are not permissible.

Hoods on garments – should they be tear-off?

Is there a guide for wearing / not wearing hoods on waterproof or any other GO/RT3279 garments? There is nothing mandatory with reference to having or not having a hood permanently or temporarily attached to a garment. Obvious safety concerns would mean that if you were working on or near the line then a tear-off hood would be advisable to take into account any snagging issues. Advice / comments from Network Rail when querying this issue in 2009 stated ‘No hoods to be worn. We would much prefer garments not to have them at all, detachable or not.’ However, this is NOT written in the GO/RT3279 standard at the time of writing.

Thermal balaclavas:

Unlike hoods, Balaclava’s with Mesh Ear apertures  are permitted , advice from Network Rail in 2010 stated that the reason for mesh ears (in balaclavas) is to make sure the product cannot prevent the wearer from hearing a warning given by a lookout or a train driver for example. It is also worth noting that as Balaclava’s are not an item of PPE so they do not have to meet any colour specification.

Waterproof / breathability of foul weather clothing:

In addition to GO/RT 3279, foul weather high visibility jackets and over-trousers must achieve the standard of BS EN 343 class 3 for water vapour resistance and water penetration.

General recommendations by Network Rail:

Any employee or contractor of Network Rail who goes on or near the line or on the lineside shall be required to wear full-length trousers to mitigate against the risks from lineside vegetation and the consequences of slips, trips and falls.

Ideally trousers should be high-visibility and meet the requirements of BS EN471: 2003 and GO/RT3279, however this is not mandatory.

Upper body clothing with full-length sleeves is also preferable, to protect against risks from vegetation and of sunburn, but is not mandatory. However, sleeveless garments, such as singlets or vests, are prohibited.

Sunglasses may be worn, but tinted lenses should be avoided where there is a requirement to distinguish colours accurately. Photochromic (e.g. Reactolite) lenses should be worn with caution; whilst they darken rapidly in bright conditions, they take much longer to clear in dark conditions.
Any PPE identified as necessary through work activity risk assessments shall be provided and used as required by the safe system of work and working instructions. This includes, for example, hearing protection, eye protection, gloves, etc.


Employers: shall be responsible for providing their employees with any PPE (including foul weather clothing) which is required by the nature of their job. This shall be provided free of charge and shall be renewed free of charge as and when necessary to ensure that it remains effective in use.

Site managers: shall be responsible for providing any PPE over and above the generic requirements for going on or near the line which may be required on that site. For example, on a particularly noisy worksite, the site manager shall be responsible for providing adequate hearing protection. In addition, site managers shall be responsible for ensuring that any PPE or workwear required for particular locations or tasks is used by employees as required.

Employees: are responsible for using PPE and workwear as required, for keeping it clean and maintaining it in a reasonable condition and for requesting its replacement when it becomes ineffective.

The NR PPE and work wear specification, NR/SP/OHS/021 can be found on the Network Rail Safety Central website.