Wednesday, 10 September 2014

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 maintainance 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


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.

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.

Friday, 30 May 2014

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.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Enough is Enough!

Before the onset of Trench foot we feel duty bound to advise you of the options for some sound waterproof footwear.

The Rocky

Crafted with a supple full grain cowhide leather and a waterproof breathable membrane, the Rocky is another quality safety boot from the V12 stable and has all of the benefits of a top quality walking boot.

Incorporating a waterproof covered zip on the inside of the ankle for easy access and quick release. Perfect for a search and rescue boot.

A lightweight, wide fitting, non-sparking and thermal insulating toe cap and midsole, scuff cap and tough ankle support.

A full bellows tongue helps to prevent the ingress of dirt and water and an ergonomic padded collar provides added comfort when flexing. Inside there is a full and removable shock absorbing footbed made from a non-compressing compo.

The Muckmaster

If you need warm, comfortable safety wellies then these are perfect. They are so comfortable that you feel as if you were wearing trainers and wonder why by mid-afternoon on a long shift, your feet don’t ache and why you don’t feel tired. We have a large range of the Original Muckboots in stock.

And for those of you that live near a river, or a stream that is now a river.

In either a safety  spec with toe-cap and mid-sole protection or without. In a tough Texoflex tear resistant fabric.

Granite Workwear – we only do the good stuff.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Thermal Safety Footwear

Not something that immediately springs to mind until the weather turns really cold. Then the toes start to freeze up no matter how much you wiggle them about.

There are a few good products on the market that keep the worst of the cold away.

Firstly – keep your feet dry. An obvious comment but one often overlooked.

Secondly – choice of socks. If you need more than one pair then you are doing it all wrong! If you have non-waterproof boots then go for the Sealskinz waterproof socks. If your boots are waterproof then go for the V12 Endurasok. We don’t want to confuse you with too many variants of the same thing.

The Original Muck Boot Company have replaced the best selling thermal Humber Safety Wellingtons with the new Chore Safety. If you need warm, comfortable safety wellies then these are perfect. They are so comfortable that you feel as if you were wearing trainers and wonder why by mid-afternoon on a long shift, your feet don’t ache and why you don’t feel tired. These are the only boots where we are confident that you only need a regular shoe sock.

A lace-up safety boot that will protect you down to -40 degrees is the Rockall Alaska boot. Lightweight and designed primarily for freezer/cold store work. We are getting very positive feedback as a general work boot.

If a slip-on safety boot is more your thing then the V12 Tomahawk Rigger boot with its Thinsulate lining should keep your feet very toasty. Very good value for an excellent boot.

And if you want to wear what every self-respecting inshore fisherman is wearing then go for the aptly named Ice Pack Safety Wellingtons. Perfect when worn with the VSOK4 work socks.

Remember that if you are buying these boots for yourself that you do not pay VAT.

John Ruskin said that ‘Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.’

That is what we do at Granite Workwear – We only do the good stuff.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Have You Ordered Your Waterproof Onesies For Christmas?

We have had some additions to the family since last year and all of them are proving to be very popular.

The traditional Flexothane overalls are selling as well now as they were 5 years ago. Built to last and as waterproof as you are likely to get.

The 5616 Thermal high vis version is still a favourite for wind farm operatives, outdoor stockyard and fork lift drivers. Offering superb all-round protection during the winter months.

Sales of the PR505 Rail approved overalls have already hit last winters’ total sales as word gets around regarding their value and versatility. The zip-in Thinsulate liner has made these a year-round favourite.

The three new additions are all being trialled with major users and feedback has been very positive:

440 Cabin thermal High vis waterproof overalls. These offer an alternative to the uber-waterproof 5616 Flexothane. The main benefit being improved breathability. These have been tested at a major airport where the 5616 have been used for pressure-washing and the 440 Cabin have been used for more aerobic activities. These are available in Yellow and Orange high vis.

So you don’t need the thermal properties of the 440 Cabin then the 6453 Tanner are ideal. If you don’t like your overalls thermally lined but lightweight and are happy to wear a thermal base layer then these waterproof overalls are perfect and will serve you all year round.

And if high vis is not necessary then the 441Mills Thermal waterproof overalls are just the job. Would suit any occupation where fluorescent high vis would not be wanted such as farming, veterinary practices etc. Anywhere where animal husbandry is involved. The muted grey colours are broken with retro-reflective tape that it will get you noticed but not alert the livestock.

And finally, our best-selling non high vis overalls from Baleno. Their Arctic overalls. Incredibly good value at £ 49.95. We supplied the RAF last winter with these for their groundstaff and transport sections.

So, no need to get cold and wet this winter. Invest in some decent Workwear – you are in it 8 hours a day so make it work for you.

Granite Workwear. We only do the good stuff.

Monday, 16 December 2013

So Just How Many Balaclavas Can You Have?

With the forecast set to turn a bit nippy over the next few weeks, just how well are you kitted out to keep the worst of the cold and wind away?

If you thought that there was just one balaclava then you haven’t been doing your homework.

Our best seller was designed for rail use, having been certified for GO/RT3275 rail standard. The XUT30 is made from a fine-knit dual layer poly-viloft – the most traditional of thermal knitted fabrics, with mesh ear pieces to aid communication. Suitable for temperatures down to -20° Celsius. A seriously good investment at £9.45.

If it’s just to keep off the worst of the weather then go for the XUT14. Ideal for temperatures down to -5° Celsius and a steal at £7.95.

For those pyromaniacs amongst you then the FR rated XFRC14 Protex/cotton is excellent value at £9.95. Very popular for offshore oil.

If you are particularly concerned about getting struck by lightning then the XFRASC14 Electric Arc rated FR Balaclava (which is also anti-static) is likely to float your boat at £ 12.95. Maximum protection at minimum cost.

Strictly speaking the following two helmet liners are not balaclavas but do tick almost all of the boxes if you had to describe them. Balaclavas were originally designed and made for the British troops in the Crimea war. I love the Wikipedia description: During the Crimean War, knitted balaclavas were sent over to the British troops to help protect them from the bitter cold weather. British troops required this aid, as their own supplies (warm clothing, weatherproof quarters, and food) never arrived in time. So no change there then!

I am sure if thermal insulation, hook & loop fastening and a structure to allow them to be fitted into helmets were available then the balaclava may never have been invented. However, not sure if the troops would have appreciated the high vis orange colouring and reflective tape. Ideal for all high vis applications and meeting the requirements of GO/RT3279 rail standard the JSP thermal helmet liners will keep you as snug as a bug at £ 13.95.

If these are a little too over-engineered for your liking than our standard Thinsulate helmet liners are exceptionally well priced at £ 7.95.

You will probably realise that most of the heat generated by the body by area  is lost through the head. So why do we not cover it up effectively and very inexpensively in cold weather?

For those of you that don’t like to be noticed you may want to select something from our ‘Country Clothing’ section.

Noiseless, breathable and waterproof you will resemble Nearly Headless Nick when walking through the woods or bird spotting.

Granite Workwear – we only sell the good stuff.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

It’s that time of year again..

Fruit ladders, orchard ladders or tripod ladders – call them what you will. Working at height without the aid of a safety line or safety net requires something a little more than ‘reliable’. Especially when they can go up to nearly 16 feet / 4.8 meters.

They are an ideal set of ladders for fruit picking, hedge cutting / topiary, window or caravan cleaning.

Granite Workwear supply two types that should cover pretty much all of the terrain that you are likely to need one for. They are made from a high grade aluminium alloy with an all welded structure and a telescopic back leg making these ladders light, durable and weatherproof. On the standard model the back leg is telescopic. On the fully adjustable model, all of the legs are height adjustable for those really awkward locations. The feet are clawed to reduce a slip risk.

They have a high strength to weight ratio and a wide base for added stability. Just to make sure that you are as safe as possible we can also supply protective rubber boots to give you added stability on hard surfaces. They have double runged steps and can handle a safe working load of up to 100Kg. If you need something stronger, we do supply Tripod ladders that cope with 150Kg – just call to arrange.

The height options start at:
4 feet / 1.2meters with 4 steps at 4.4Kg.

 6 feet / 1.8 meters with 6 steps at 6.2Kg.

8 feet / 2.4 meters with 8 steps at 8.2Kg.

10 feet / 3.0 meters with 10 steps at 10.2Kg.

12 feet / 3.6 meters with 12 steps at 12 Kg.

14 feet / 4.2 meters with 14 steps at 16Kg.

16 feet / 4.8 meters with 16 steps at 21Kg.

We can also supply spare back legs, pins, springs and rings if you abuse them too much.

Be safe, buy once, buy well.
Buy from Granite Workwear – we only sell the good stuff.