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.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

So what’s happened To Muckboots?

The Original Muck Boot company or Muck boots to the uninitiated, are a brand owned by Honeywell that markets an exceptionally good range of neoprene boots and wellington boots.

The Original Muck Boot Company  began in 1999. The need for a more comfortable wellington boot that did not freeze your feet on a cold winter morning and kept you warm all day has been there since wellies were first used. To wear a wellington boot that felt as comfortable as a pair of your favorite trainers yet offered you all of the waterproof protection of a wellington and the warmth of several pairs of thick woolen sea socks has seen sales sky rocket over the last few years. The traditional premium hunting, shooting, fishing, equestrian brands have suffered significantly as Muck Boot wearers have evangelized about their new discovery.

However, there has been some confusion in the market as Honeywell has sought to rationalize its styles under a set of global common names. There have been several styles sold in the UK that have been named after British rivers such as Spey, Tay, Esk, Tyne, Derwent etc. Honeywell have deemed it necessary to have one style sold in the US or wherever in the world under one style name. Great when you want to buy a Snickers bar in Tokyo, St. Louis or Middlesborough and not have to cope with the old British Marathon bar and get blank looks at a tobacconist in Barcelona. To apply the same logic to a pair of premium willies is frankly bonkers. I only buy my wellies in the UK as I tend not to shop for practical footwear on my worldwide travels, I am too busy taking in the new experiences and environments.

That said, we felt a duty to explain what was and what now is…….

Spey’ is now ‘Woody Max’. Quite why a pair of hunting wellies should be named after a character in Toy Story is beyond the wit of most, although they have alluded to Woody having visited MacDonalds a tad too many times.

Tay’ is now ‘Muckmaster’. Why? No idea. Perhaps our cousins thought that Muckmaster was a more romantic name than Tay.

Tay Sport’ is now ‘Arctic Sport’. The most logical change of the lot as these are rated to cope with some stupidly low temperatures.

Esk is now ‘Chore 2K’. Sorry but I cannot think of anything to say about this name change.

Derwent is now ‘Chore Hi’. As above.

Humber’ safety wellies are now ‘Chore Safety’ or at least will be in Mid-October when the new stock arrives. (We have lots of Humber left as we were sneaky and bought up oodles of stock when we saw the changes coming but be quick – they are going fast).

Tyne’ riding boots are now ‘Colt Ryder’. And I thought that my spelling was poor.

There are more but these are frilly pink and purple versions that are worn in the garden and don’t fit well into a working environment.

It may be a bit irritating – all these name changes and American at that. But it does not take away the fact that they are exceptionally good at what they do. I binned my traditional willies several years ago when I first bought a pair of Tay (sorry, Muckmasters). I can wear them for ten hours a day and not feel the slightest bit tired due to aching feet. What other wellington boots can you say that about?

Granite Workwear – We only sell the good stuff.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Workwear Clothing

J.D. Power and Associates ran some research for the textile industry in North America a few years ago and found that customers are more inclined to do business with employees who wear uniforms because they stood out as professionals and were seen as being more competent and knowledgeable. Those survey results are just as true today and can translate into real bottom line benefits for those companies choosing good quality work wear for their employees. Saving a few pounds and having a workforce that does not look its best is false economy. If you are going to do it then do it properly.

The top ten reasons that businesses should opt for a well put together uniform programme are:

Create an attractive business image. For better or worse, society tends to judge people by how they dress. Selecting an appropriate employee uniform can immediately establish a professional business image that attracts and helps retain customers.

Free advertising. Well designed work uniforms worn in public become walking posters, promoting a company's products and services free of charge.

Improve customer relationships.
Work uniforms immediately identify company representatives who can be approached for purchasing information, thereby improving overall customer service.

Protect the workforce.
Uniforms deliver functional benefits, like wearer safety. For example, high vis uniforms can help protect workers from being struck. Flame resistant (FR) workwear can help prevent injuries caused by accidental flash fires.

Promote a Brand. When employees wear uniforms displaying corporate logos and colours, they help brand and differentiate their business. But remember – whatever you do, do not save a few pennies on an ‘OK’ embroidery or print. Make sure that it looks perfect. This is your company that you are promoting, not some average, run-of-the-mill competitor.

Prevent product cross-contamination. Uniform programs designed specifically for the food or healthcare industries can help reduce cross-contamination threats; those constructed to dissipate static electricity can help prevent damage to sensitive electronic components.

Improve security. Company uniforms featuring specific styles or colours quickly identify who does or does not belong in specific work areas or on job sites.

Create team spirit
. Probably the most under-rated benefit of good quality uniform. Make your employee feel important – he or she is your best sales person. Work uniforms promote a sense of team spirit and a sense of belonging. This, in turn, can improve worker productivity.

Employee benefit. Employer provided uniforms save employees money.

Promote company pride. Work uniforms help in-still a sense of pride and responsibility and can convert employees into "brand ambassadors" outside the actual workplace.

All this is not rocket science. Your accountants will probably have a view that uniform and Workwear is an unnecessary cost centre. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Monday, 4 February 2013

New Range Of Unilite Torches At Granite

At Granite we have extended our collection of professional Unilite touches in order to provide you with the highest quality of next generation LED flashlights, lanterns and headlights suitable for using in demanding work conditions.

Unilite uses only the highest specification components in all of their torches, such as ultra-powerful LEDs from leading chip manufacturers. Each individual component used is picked and tailored specifically to suit industry specific applications.

Here is a snippet of just some of the Unilite products we stock:

Unilite Prosafe PS-T1 Waterproof LED Torch

This waterproof torch is ideal and can even be used for recreational diving with its rubberised head for increased durability and its contoured non-slip rubber grip body. With a beam range of 150 meters and a battery life of 7 hours, this torch can be used as a very handy security light especially because it comes complete with a SOS flash setting for emergency signalling.

Unilite Prosafe PS-FL6R Rechargeable Torch

This little yet powerful touch has a beam range of 250 meters which can last for just over eight hours. Once it’s flat, you don’t have to worry about finding some new batteries as you can simply recharge the battery using the indoor charging base adapter. This hand held touch is the ultimate small torch for emergency services, police support (PSU) and security applications.

Unilite PS-L3RK Rechargeable LED High Vis Torch

Hate torches which require disposable batteries? The robust Unilite PS-L3RK is the perfect solution to avoid the small fortune of replacing batteries as this torch comes with a side charging point so you can easily recharge your batteries. Key features include a 135 degree rotational swivel head, water resistant casing and a 160 Lumen LED Spotlight which lasts for 10 hours.

Unilite PS-LR5 LED Spotlight

This top quality torch comes complete with a 160 Lumen Rotational LED Spotlight and a RED LED light for signalling which can last up to 6 hours. If the battery runs out just pop it in the supplied rapid charger adapter and your good to go again. Don’t be afraid of dropping this spotlight as it has a rubberised base for a greater shock resistance and it is also chemical resistant making it ideal for demanding work conditions.

To view our full product collection of Unilite torches visit Granite Work wear online or get in touch by calling us on 0115 964 0111.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Safety Footwear Standards

You use them for probably 8 hours a day so what you wear on your feet really matters. Getting the right footwear will make life safer and easier. Wearing the wrong footwear can distract you with the pain or make you prematurely tired which has direct implications on safety and efficiency. Saving a few pounds by buying safety boots and shoes is frankly bonkers.  Employers are legally responsible for providing the correct footwear so get it right. Not only will your employees thank you for it and feel more valued, the boss should also be impressed with lower accident figures due to fatigue and better productivity.

EN345 / EN ISO 20345:2007

The safety footwear standard is referred as EN345, EN ISO 20345:2004, and EN ISO 20345:2007. All footwear designed before 2004 and still manufactured up to today carries EN ISO 20345:2004. However, there have been a lot of material and design improvements in the last 8 years so make sure that footwear carrying this standard is up to the mark. EN ISO 20345:2007 is the latest standard for footwear designed or retested after 2007 and this standard sets out minimum requirements that safety footwear must be successfully tested against.

The standard specifies all safety footwear must have toe protection. All Safety Footwear in this standard is at least SB which means it has toe protection against a 200 Joule impact.

Please note that there is another standard, EN346 which requires protective footwear to withstand a minimum impact of 100 Joules but we will not be dealing with this here as the majority of safety footwear being sold is EN345 compliant.

In addition to this there are different protective features for footwear that are represented by a combination of letters.

Rating Features:

S1 A + FO + E
S1-P A + FO + E + P
S2 A + FO + E + WRU
S3 A + FO + E + WRU + P
S4 A + FO + E + Waterproof
S5 A + FO + E + P + Waterproof

Toe protection (SB):

Toe protection must withstand a 200 joule impact. A joule is the unit of energy and this standard is very specific. A heavy weight falling from a low height could have a lot less energy than a lighter weight falling from a much higher height. As well as impacts the toe area must withstand a resting mass of well over one metric Tonne.

It is important to note that the protection does not have to be steel. In fact, alternative non-metallic protection, sometimes referred to as composite or even aluminium can be equally as strong but lighter. Lighter boots can be significantly more forgiving on your lower back over long periods of time.

The rating SB indicates that the safety footwear has a minimum 200 joule toe protection, it can have additional features but it is the most basic and essential for safety footwear.


SB-P has the same features as the SB rating with the addition of the midsole penetration protection.


S1 in addition to the 200 joule toe cap, is classed as antistatic footwear and the sole is also resistant to fuel oil and has energy absorption in the heel area.


S1-P has the same features as the S1 rating with the addition of the midsole penetration protection.


S2 in addition to the 200 joule toe cap, is classed as antistatic footwear and the sole is also resistant to fuel oil and has energy absorption in the heel area. It also has a water resistant upper.


S3 has the same features as the S2 rating with the addition of the midsole penetration protection.


S4 in addition to the 200 joule toe cap, is classed as antistatic footwear and the sole is also resistant to fuel oil and has energy absorption in the heel area.


S5 has the same features as the S4 rating with the addition of the midsole penetration protection.

All safety footwear can have more features than are listed above but these are the minimum requirements to meet each of the safety ratings. So you could have a S1 CI or S1 HI. We have listed the main ratings above. There are more but these are the most common.

Key Description:

Antistatic protection (A):

Clothing, seating materials, and climate factors can cause a build up a static charge of electricity in the body. Some materials in footwear can over insulate the body causing the charge to be held. When you then touch something the charge can rush from your body quickly causing a spark and a small uncomfortable shock. Antistatic footwear will significantly reduce this effect but does not offer full protection for exposure to electronics and explosives work. You will need Electro-Static protection, often referred to as ESD, for this.

Electro-Static Discharge (ESD):

ESD footwear is designed for the electronics, gas and explosives industry and has to meet ESD CEI EN61340-5-1 standard. This footwear has a significantly lower resistance and allows the current to pass to earth more easily. Please note however that there are other factors that need to be taken into account when kitting out your personnel working in such industries. What other clothing are they wearing in order for the charge to earth through the footwear and, as odd as this may sound, we have anecdotal evidence that suggests that ‘larger’ personnel wearing ESD footwear can sometimes fail an overall earthing test.

Midsole penetration protection
(P) - SB-P, S1-P, S3, S5:

Sharp objects where we walk and stand are significant risk not only in the workplace but also outdoors and at home. Midsole protection will guard against nails and other objects. To meet this standard the footwear must be able to resist a penetration force of 1100 Newtons.
Midsole protection is provided by using one of several methods:

Stainless steel or Aluminium insert in the sole.

Kevlar / Lenzi  or other flexible fabric insole.

The Aluminium and fabric solutions are the most flexible and lightest and cover the greatest area of the foot and the fabric insoles also offer much higher thermal insulation.

Insulation against heat (HI):

Insulation against heat: tested for 30 minutes at 150°C.

Insulation against cold (CI):

Insulation against cold: tested for 30 minutes at 1 -20°C.

Energy Absorption (E):

Energy Absorption in the heel region.

Heat Resistant (HRO):

Heat resistant Outsole: To resist 300°C for 60 seconds.

Resistance to fuel oil of outsole

Water Resistant Upper (WRU):

Water resistant upper, not used on all rubber or polymeric footwear.

Metatarsal (M):

Safety boots or shoes with metatarsal protection.

Cut Resistance (CR):

Safety shoes or boots with cut resistance.

Non-metallic footwear:

Safety footwear containing no metal parts are ideal for workplaces with metal detectors like airports eliminating the hassle of removing them and remember, lighter boots can be significantly more forgiving on your lower back.

There are several other classifications which need to be considered such as:-

BS4676:2005 for use in molten metal environments.

EN13832-2 (&) 3: 2006 Footwear protection against chemicals.

EN15090: 2006 Footwear protection for fire-fighters.

EN ISO 17249:2004 Safety footwear for use with chainsaws.

EN5321:2000 Electrically insulating footwear for working on low voltage installations.

BS7971-5:2004 Footwear protection for use in violent or training situations.


CEN/ISO TR 18690:2006 Guidance for the selection use and maintenance of safety, protective and occupational footwear.

For information on how the various performance levels and classifications are assessed and their relevance to practical situations, contact:

HSL-Personal Safety Unit in Buxton on: 01298 218329.