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Lakeland Industries Blog

4 Tips to Prepare for the International Lineman’s Rodeo

Posted by Mike Schoonover

Sep 21, 2017 9:00:00 AM

lineman.jpgEvery year in October, linemen from around the world gather to test their skills and knowledge in traditional industry tasks. From climbing to hoisting, and everything in between, linemen compete and hone their skills alongside hundreds of fellow professionals.

Interested in learning more about the International Lineman's Rodeo? Take a look below as we discuss everything you need to be prepared for next month’s big event with advice from linemen who’ve been there.

2017 International Lineman’s Rodeo Event Details

The International Lineman’s Rodeo is an international event, attracting the best linemen from around the world competing in events based on traditional line mechanic tasks and skills. The event dates back to 1984 and has grown to include more than 200 teams and 250 apprentices.

  • The 34th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo is Saturday, October 14th, 2017 in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
  • The 34th Annual International Awards Banquet will be held Saturday evening, October 14th at the Overland Park Convention Center located at 6000 College Boulevard, Overland Park, Kansas.
  • The International Lineman’s Rodeo Expo ’17 will be held October 12th and 13th at the Overland Park Convention Center.
  • The 2017 International Lineman’s Rodeo Safety & Training Conference will be October 11-12th at the Overland Park Convention Center.

The 2017 Team and Apprentice Events will be as follows: Team Events: Hurtman Rescue, Pole Climb, (2) Mystery Events Apprentice Events: Apprentice Written Test, Hurtman Rescue, Pole Climb, (2) Mystery Events

So what can you do to get prepared to compete with the world’s top linemen? Below we highlight tips from real linemen.

How to Prepare Mentally for the Lineman Rodeo Challenges

Lakeland Lineman Mental sharpness is one of the most important aspects of life on the line and in competition because it means you actively prevent accidents and stay safe. Here are a few tips to boost concentration.

  • Get enough sleep. Your ability to stay focused starts with a restful night’s sleep. Build a nighttime routine and stick to it to keep your mind sharp.
  • Stay hydrated. Thirst is a distraction and it usually means your body is already dehydrated. Drink regularly throughout the day to keep your mind and body engaged.
  • Comfort matters. Your ability to concentrate depends a lot on your physical state. If your clothes are soaked with moisture or uncomfortable, your mind will not be 100% on the job.
  • Focus and visualization techniques. One task at a time, deliberate, calculated movements — on the ground that’s easy — 50 feet in the air, that’s when focus is needed most. Practice visualization to help you improve focus and concentration.
  • Control your energy. Learn techniques to control your energy and your emotions. Channeling your positive, determined energy when you are challenged on the line can be the difference between task frustration and success.
  • Meditation and breathing techniques. Don’t overlook the power of meditation and simple breathing techniques to help you boost concentration. Deep breaths can do wonders for focus.
  • Rest and stretch. Take a breather during competition down-time and stretch out sore muscles when your feet hit the ground. Giving your body a break and periodic stretching will help prepare you for the next event challenge.

Lineman Tips to Improve Your Pole Climbing

The traditional practice of pole climbing is a major area of focus a the Lineman’s Rodeo so you need to be prepared. We asked real linemen ‘how do you stay focused and fit in your gaffs?’ Here are the top tips they gave us:

  • Look where you are going. It might seem obvious, but as you climb, don’t be tempted to look at your feet. Instead, look and see where you are headed. As you maneuver, your feet will follow your hands.
  • Secure your feet. Secure your feet before you advance upwards. If you have a tough area to get around, use your feet first, and trust your climbers. Once you’ve established a stable position, continue to climb.
  • Climb the high side. Poles aren’t always straight. Always climb on the high side to keep your body weight above the pole. Position your body on an angle to maintain balance as you climb.
  • Be Confident. Climbing doesn’t always come second nature. Gain confidence in your climbing ability with practice.

How to Choose the Right Lineman Apparel

Your apparel choice can greatly affect your comfort and safety. Choosing an FR garment that lets you stay focused during your tasks is critical in an environment where every detail matters.

Take a look at these key apparel selection factors. How does your FR performance apparel measure up?

  • Select a garment with the appropriate ARC Rating from your hazard risk analysis.
  • Breathability of the fabric, or air permeability, is important to keep you cool on the job.
  • Vertical moisture wicking measures how well a garment pulls moisture off of your skin into the fabric.
  • Transport of moisture refers to a garment's ability to move moisture through the fabric to the outside surface.
  • Spread of moisture takes moisture that has moved through the garment and spreads it on the surface. The more it spreads and the faster it spreads dictates how quickly you will feel dry.
  • Water vapor transmission rate measures how quickly moisture dissipates through a garment.

how moisture wicking works

Why Moisture Wicking Apparel Matters

Choosing an FR garment is important to protect you from the dangers on the job. Choosing FR garments with superior moisture wicking technology will protect you in other important ways.

Choosing FR apparel that wicks away moisture will:

  • Help prevent heat stress
  • Help prevent loss of concentration
  • Help prevent loss of focus and ability

Prevent accidents by selecting FR performance apparel with superior moisture wicking technology to keep you and your colleagues safe in competition and on the job.

Interested in learning more lineman training and fitness tips, and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance? Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide, to learn how you can climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents.

Why #AskForLakeland?

Lakeland set out to create an FR performance line that could exceed FR safety requirements, outlast the elements, maintain lineman body temperature and still be comfortable enough for everyday wear. Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design with maneuverability and comfort in mind. But don’t just take our word for it, ask for the data and you’ll see that Lakeland outlasts the competitors in every category. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.

Lineman safety and performance guide

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Topics: Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

5 Amazing Facts about the History of Lineman and FR Utility Apparel

Posted by [email protected]

Sep 12, 2017 3:00:00 PM

history of linemenThe history of the linemen profession is full of stories involving challenge, courage and teamwork. The apparel linemen wear has also evolved over time to match the speed, stamina and demands of one of the most dangerous jobs in America.

Take a look at the history of linemen and how their apparel has evolved along the way.

1.The History of Lineman in North America

The lineman profession began in the 1840s with the introduction of the telegraph. Lines were installed on trees, and eventually poles, to allow for long-distance communication. With the invention of the telephone in the 1870s, linemen were required to help hang telephone lines across the nation.

As the use of electricity increased in the early 1900s, more linemen were needed to connect communities to the growing power grid. As a profession, the industry was considered to be highly dangerous, as there were limited opportunities for training.

As the demand for electricity increased through the 1930s, linemen were known to travel from city to city, working long stints earning good money, and returning home between jobs. With time, the safety and demands on the job began to evolve.

2. How the Role of Linemen has Changed

While the lineman profession is still considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America, there are now many safety precautions and training courses dedicated to keeping linemen safe. The following organizations are leaders in lineman health and safety:

Moreover, there are now industry standards and best practices designed specifically to address safety concerns on the job. This includes the Transmission and Distribution Strategic Partnership, which was originally signed in 2004. The agreement is between OSHA and representatives from the power transmission and distribution industry, and trade and labor representatives, to provide employees with safe and healthy workplaces. While the primary goal is to reduce industry related death, injury and illness, the Partnership is also trying to develop best practices to address health and safety concerns.

In regards to on the job demands, many linemen are now employed in a regional area and provide ongoing service for electric utilities and other parties in the power distribution industry. Linemen often go to aid in disaster relief and consider themselves as a brotherhood, helping out their fellow linemen nationally and internationally when needed.

As a trade, there are now apprenticeship programs and educational opportunities which provide linemen with the training they need to be successful in their careers.

3. A Focus on Linemen Safety

In addition to best practices, which dictate procedures and responsibilities on the job, linemen are also required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) on the line.

Common items include:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubber sleeves
  • Flame Resistant (FR) and/or Arc Flash protective clothing
  • Bucket liners

These items are required to meet the highest safety standards in the industry, while still providing linemen with the maneuverability and flexibility to work in variable conditions.

4. The History of Moisture Wicking Fabrics

Some of the most important aspects of PPE are functionality and comfort, especially when it comes to apparel. Clothing can be both flame and arc flash resistant, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is comfortable to wear on the job.

Moisture wicking FR garments have been designed over time to incorporate some of the best aspects of traditional moisture wicking, with the FR protection required for PPE.

The original moisture wicking technology was a chemical coating on the surface of synthetic polyester fabric that would wash out over time. Increased demand for wicking apparel meant a demand for longer lasting, better performing garments.

Superior moisture wicking fabrics combine two types of fibers together: hydrophobic (water hating) fibers and hydrophilic (water loving) fibers. Hydrophobic fibers are synthetic, and include nylon, aramids and modacrylics. Hydrophilic fibers feel natural against the skin, and include cotton, wool and lyocell, to name a few. The combination of fibers, spun together with precision, result in a garment with permanent moisture wicking technology.

A garment that is both comfortable and dual-certified for flame and arc flash protection can help linemen maintain safety and maneuverability on the job.

5. How to Choose the Right FR Garment for the Job

Choosing PPE that offers moisture wicking technology can make a big difference in a profession with variable weather conditions.

In fact, FR garments with superior moisture wicking technology can:

  • Help you stay cool in hot temperatures keeping you safe from overheating and heat stroke.
  • Reduce loss of concentration by keeping your mind focused on the job, instead of on uncomfortable clothing.
  • Keep your fine motor skills working by preventing sweat-soaked, restrictive apparel.

What Should You Look for in A Moisture Wicking FR Garment?

  • Dual-certified protection with safety and maneuverability in mind.
  • Look at the garment tag to verify a blend of synthetic and natural fibers, ideally, a 55/45 blend for optimal moisture wicking.
  • A garment that offers permanent moisture wicking technology.
  • Don’t always opt for lighter weight apparel. Just because a garment is Category 1 and deemed ‘lightweight’ doesn't meet it will actually keep you cooler.

Why #AskForLakeland? Lakeland has an extensive background in the production of protective clothing for the chemical, oil, gas and fire industries. Our expertise in protective clothing is now available for utility workers in the form of high performance FR apparel. Our line of FR performance gear is the new industry leader in terms of comfort, moisture wicking and style. But don’t just take our word for it, ask for the data and you’ll see that Lakeland outlasts the competitors in every category.

Interested in learning more lineman training and fitness tips, and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance? Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide Learn how you can climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents.

Lakeland set out to create an FR performance line that could exceed FR safety requirements, outlast the elements, maintain lineman body temperature and still be comfortable enough for everyday wear. Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design with maneuverability and comfort in mind. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.

Lineman safety and performance guide

Sources:

National Safety Council - Safety + Health Magazine
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
National Electrical Contractors Association
Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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Topics: Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

3 Important Reasons Why Reducing Heat Stress is Vital for Lineman Workers

Posted by [email protected]

Aug 29, 2017 11:00:00 AM

linemanappreciation.jpg

Heat stress is a known occupational hazard for many industrial and utility workers, contributing to preventable work related accidents and injuries. As if working with high voltage electricity 50 feet in the air wasn’t dangerous enough, linemen workers must also be conscious of how their body temperature and the temperature outside may be affecting their job performance. Understanding the dangers of heat stress and how reducing heat stress can improve focus, performance and overall safety is extremely important.

What is Heat Stress?

Heat stress occurs when body temperatures rises and the body’s natural cooling mechanisms fail to properly cool the body down. What can start as heat rash, can escalate to heat exhaustion and the most dangerous illness, heat stroke, can quickly follow.

Why Is Heat Stress A Concern for Lineman?

Lineman are constantly working outdoors in variable conditions. Whether you are fighting heat and humidity, or the cold weather, bundled in layers of protective apparel, heat stroke can become a real concern. Moreover, the protective clothing required by law for lineman can often be hot with limited breathability and moisture wicking capabilities, keeping workers hot, sticky and uncomfortable.

Here are three important reasons why reducing heat stress is vital for lineman workers:

1. Heat Stress Can Reduce Job Performance

When the body is dehydrated, which can be brought on by heat stress, mental performance and decision-making capabilities are often compromised. A study focused on the effect of dehydration on workers showed that dehydration could cause a decline in visual motor tracking, short-term memory and attention span, and a reduction in reaction time and arithmetic efficiency.

These factors can reduce overall job performance and affect your ability to function properly on the line. Learn how the moisture wicking fabrics in your FR garments can keep you cool and comfortable on the job.

2. Heat Stress Can Cause A Loss of Focus and Concentration

When the body is taxed for any reason, it can drastically affect focus and concentration. If linemen are continually required to adjust uncomfortable apparel, or if they feel damp and uncomfortable, focus will not be 100-percent on the task at hand.

In fact, a NASA study using telegraph key operators in warm working conditions concluded that as the working temperature increased, the job-related errors increased as well. In 80 degree temperatures, the operators made 5 errors in one hour hour, and 19 errors after three hours. At 90 degrees, the errors increased to 9 the first hour, and 27 in three hours. At 95 degrees, mistakes were drastically higher, at 60 in one hour and 138 in three hours.

This experiment shows that rising temperatures can affect focus and concentration and increase the likelihood of worker-related errors.

Learn more about apparel that can help regulate body temperature.

3. Heat Stress Can Reduce Overall Worker Safety

Body temperature regulation is another important factor for on-the-job safety. If utility workers are unable to manage their core temperature, their performance, concentration and safety will all be negatively affected.

  • Maintaining a consistent body temperature, even with variable outdoor temperature, can help improve worker comfort
  • An improvement in temperature regulation will improve focus and concentration

Being proactive by selecting FR apparel that can better control body temperature can help workers maintain a consistent body temperature and reduce the risk of heat stress.

How FR Garment Selection Can Help Reduce Heat Stress

The clothes you wear on the job can make a big difference in how you feel in your daily tasks. As a lineman, if your apparel is uncomfortable, hot and sticky, it will likely impact your daily tasks and overall efficiencies. A garment that allows you to better control your body temperature means you can focus on the job at hand and moisture wicking plays an important role in thermoregulation.

An FR garment with moisture wicking technology can help pull moisture off of your skin and through the fabric, where it will spread and dissipate from the outer surface.

The absorption rate and spreading speed of your lineman apparel can drastically affect your body temperature. If you FR shirt absorbs your sweat and moisture and spreads it quickly, it means you are less likely to become overheated and dehydrated on the job due to heat related stress.

absorption_spreading_speeds.png

Learn more about superior moisture wicking fabrics and how to select the right one for your team of linemen.

Be aware of the risk factors for heat illness:

  • Hot temperatures, humidity and direct sun
  • No breeze
  • Physically demanding labor
  • Not enough water consumption
  • Heavy apparel

Symptoms of heat illness:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Confusion
  • Thirst, nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Increasing body temperature
  • Excessive sweating or red, hot skin

FR performance apparel that wicks away moisture has the ability
to keep you drier and more comfortable on the job.

Choosing an FR garment that lets you stay focused on the job is critical to help prevent heat stress and associated occupational hazards.

Interested in learning more lineman training and fitness tips, the science of protective clothing and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance? Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety Performance Guide. Learn how you can climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents.

Lakeland set out to create an FR performance line that could exceed FR safety requirements, outlast the elements, maintain lineman body temperature and still be comfortable enough for everyday wear. Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design with maneuverability and comfort in mind. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.

Lineman safety and performance guide

Sources:
Occupational Health and Safetyhttps://ohsonline.com/home.aspx
Safeopedia https://www.safeopedia.com/
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Topics: Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

Moisture Wicking FR Apparel: Improving Lineman Safety, Maintaining Body Temperature

Posted by Mike Schoonover

Aug 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

lineman fr knit moisutre wicking high vis vestFocus on the job is critical for any line mechanic. Mind on task. Be here now. Both mantas of a highly dangerous, volatile line of work.

Just as lineman use precision and deliberate movements to maintain control over thousands of volts of electricity, FR apparel made with precision and deliberate design details can help maintain body temperature and ultimately, safety.

How?

The use of advanced moisture wicking technology can help industrial workers stay more comfortable and drier, which in turn, keeps their minds focused, reducing the risk of accidents.

Learn more about why you should choose moisture wicking FR apparel.

What Is Moisture Wicking?

High performance moisture wicking fabrics were originally created to boost athletic performance in extreme outdoor situations by maintaining consistency in core temperature. Athletes found that their performance improved if they were able to stay drier and cooler in hot conditions and warmer and more insulated in the cold.

Moisture wicking technology is now available for line mechanics and industrial workers and here’s how it works.

Superior moisture wicking fabrics combine two types of fibers together: hydrophobic (water hating) fibers and hydrophilic (water loving) fibers. A superior moisture wicking garment will:

  • Absorb moisture and sweat with hydrophilic fibers
  • Push moisture and sweat away from the body with hydrophobic fibers
  • Pull moisture and sweat through the garment to the outside
  • Spread moisture on the outside of the garment quickly, so it can dry fast
hydrophobic hydrophilic.jpg

The combination of fibers, spun together with precision, result in a garment with permanent moisture wicking technology. It won’t wash away like other 100% non-blended fabrics that are finished in a chemical that eventually washes away. With permanent wicking capabilities, lineman can focus their attention on the job, instead of worrying about moisture soaked, uncomfortable clothes.

Download eBook with more information now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide.

Look at the tag: Data has proven that the optimal blend for moisture wicking is a shirt with a 55/45 fiber blend.

As you select your next FR garment, consider how well it wicks away moisture. What is the fiber blend on the tag? You might be surprised to learn that the fiber blend can affect your job performance and safety.

Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide.

How Does Moisture Wicking Apparel Improve Job Safety?

It is hard to concentrate on your job if you are constantly feeling uncomfortable. That’s where moisture wicking comes into play. A garment that allows you to better control your body temperature means you can focus on the job you are doing.

  • If you can improve your ability to maintain body temperature, you will be more comfortable
  • With improved body temperature regulation, you can remain focused on what’s in front of you
  • Apparel specifically designed for linemen means you can maintain optimal protection and concentration
absorption and spreading.jpg

FR performance apparel that wicks better has the ability to stay drier and keep you more comfortable on the job.

This improvement in comfort means you can keep your mind on task all day, even with changing weather.

By removing the inconsistency of clothing performance from the equation by choosing Lakeland FR Performance apparel, you and your team of linemen should see a boost in overall job performance, safety and comfort. In fact, choosing an FR garment that lets you stay focused on the job is critical in an environment where every detail matters.

moisture wicking details.jpg

Interested in learning more lineman training and fitness tips, the science of protective clothing and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance? Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide. Learn how you can climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents.

Lakeland set out to create an FR performance line that could exceed FR safety requirements, outlast the elements, maintain lineman body temperature and still be comfortable enough for everyday wear. Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design with maneuverability and comfort in mind. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.

Lineman safety and performance guide

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Topics: Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

How to Improve Safety Culture with High Performance FR Fabrics

Posted by [email protected]

Jul 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM

moisture-wicking-FR-garmentThe world’s top athletes wear clothing made from high performance, moisture wicking fabrics so they can focus on the next kick, play or catch coming at them and not be distracted by feeling too hot, cold or damp because sweat soaked uniforms are clinging to them. Keeping them focused on their primary task helps optimize their performance and increase their concentration over the course of the game or match.
 
Can the use of similar high performance FR fabrics in the workplace help keep employees better focused throughout their day and achieve a better safety culture because they aren’t distracted by their clothing?

The History Of Moisture Wicking Garments

High performance, moisture wicking technology has been around for over twenty years. The fabrics were originally created to help boost athletic performance in extreme outdoor situations by keeping athletes drier and cooler in hot conditions, while warmer and drier in cold weather. These fabrics have evolved dramatically over the last few years, creating a challenge for the consumer to understand their evolution and determine which fabrics provide optimal comfort and performance.

Moisture wicking fabrics originally started with a synthetic fiber, like polyester, and the application of a chemical finish which allowed moisture to spread. Eventually the finish would wash out and the fabric lost its wicking abilities. These “original” fabrics are still in the marketplace and can be easily identified. Checking the tag on a garment will reveal its blend of fibers. A garment with 100% of any fiber, along with claims of moisture wicking, identifies the presence of a fabric with a chemical finish. You can also check to see if the manufacturer guarantees wicking for the life of the garment. If they don’t, it likely means they have used a treatment that they know will eventually wash out.

What is the Optimal Moisture Wicking Fiber Blend?

Today, the latest generations of high performance fabrics are made from a combination of fibers. The best fabrics are typically a mix of hydrophobic, water hating, fibers and hydrophilic, water loving, fibers. Hydrophobic fibers can include modacrylic, aramids, and para-aramids, while hydrophilic fibers typically include rayon and lyocell. It’s the combination of these two fibers, blended together, that ensure permanent moisture wicking for the life of a garment. The big question then becomes: What is the optimal blend of these two fibers that creates the best performance and the softest hand?

Blends of these fibers can range from 90% hydrophobic / 10% hydrophilic, down to 55% / 45%. Testing has proven that a more balanced blend, in the area of 55% hydrophobic / 45% hydrophilic, allows for better skin side pickup and transport of moisture across the fabric. If you don’t have enough hydrophilic fiber, the fabric won’t absorb well. If you don’t have enough hydrophobic fiber, the fabric will not push the moisture to the front as well. It is mastering this “balance of the blend” that creates the highest performance fabrics.

Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide Learn how you can climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents.

How to Choose the Best Moisture Wicking Gear

High performance fabrics have some additional key criteria, which can be measured, beyond just the ratio of the blend. The vertical wicking rate measures how fast and far moisture spreads across the fabric. Back to front moisture transport rate can also be calculated, and is critical in helping clothes dry faster, which will lessen the chance of heat rash for the wearer. This also allows more heat to escape your body helping thermo-regulation and preventing heat stress. Water Vapor Transmission Rate, or “WVTR”, calculates the “breathability” of the fabric and was developed by designers to compare and quantify just how much moisture will move or “breath” through a fabric. Each of these factors we’ve described can be extremely important in selecting the optimal fabric for your workers, but one is not more important than another. Determining which high performance fabric is better comes from understanding how the various ratios and rates affect the amount of moisture a fabric moves, as well as how the fabric distributes that moisture across the garment.

Understanding these wicking properties of high performance fabrics becomes key when workers begin to layer garments of various fabrics to stay warmer or cooler throughout the course of the work day and over the four seasons.

How to Layer FR High Performance Apparel

Layering is an important benefit from the selection of high performance fabrics. Layering allows you to wear lighter weight garments that in turn keep the body drier, and either cooler or warmer, depending on the conditions. Several lighter weight garments “layer” to keep the worker drier and warmer than a traditional, single heavy winter garment typically would. Worker functionality and mobility increases by wearing multiple, thinner, lightweight garments, the combined weight of which is substantially less than that of traditional winter wear.

Water vapor transmission (WVTR) is critical to know for mid layers, as sweatshirts and outerwear becomes the conduit to transfer moisture from fabric to fabric and away from the wearer. The higher the “WVTR”, the more moisture is spreading to the next garment.

Choosing a high performance fabric shouldn’t be difficult. Data for all the performance factors we referenced is readily available for most fabrics. Ask for it. Understand the different blends of high performance fabrics and how they perform. Smart shoppers look at the tags to determine the blend of fabrics and will look for that optimal
55% / 45% blend.  


The same high performance fabrics that the world’s top athletes compete in are available to the industrial athlete as well. If you believe your team works harder over 8 hours than most athletes do for the 1 or 2 hours that they compete, then get your team into high performance wicking and layering fabrics and garments. Your team will stay focused on doing their job in the safest most efficient way possible throughout the entire workday and won’t be distracted because of the wet and clammy clothes they’re wearing.

The clothes
you wear on the job, matter — for your comfort, for your performance and for your safety. Shouldn't you choose FR gear with advanced technology and industry-leading design? It’s simple, just #AskforLakeland.

Interested in learning more lineman training and fitness tips, and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance? Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide Learn how you can climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents.

Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design with maneuverability and comfort in mind. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.

Lineman safety and performance guide

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Topics: Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

Lineman Safety & Performance Guide

Posted by [email protected]

Jun 27, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Serious job hazards — they are just a part of the job. It’s why electrical power line installers and repairers are listed in the U.S. Bureau of Statistics most dangerous jobs in America.

But battling the changing elements and temperatures, staying focused on the job and knowing you get one chance with no room for mistakes ... that can be a challenge.

What can you do on the line to climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents?

Learn lineman training and fitness tips, and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance. Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide

lineman safety and performance guideWith Lakeland's FREE eBook, get exclusive access to:

  • Lineman Trade Secrets & Performance Training Tips
  • The Evolution of FR High Performance Gear
  • A Blueprint of Best in Class FR Performance Apparel
  • How to Layer FR Apparel
  • Lineman Rodeo Schedule of Events

The clothes you wear on the job, matter. Protection from arc-flash is your primary concern, but you no longer have to compromise comfort and performance for safety. High Performance FR apparel that combines moisture wicking technology with performance-tested design modifications can boost your comfort, safety and confidence on the job.

Click the graphic below, or follow this link to download your free lineman performance eBook now.

Lineman safety and performance guide

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Topics: Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

A Blueprint of Advanced FR Clothing Options for the Electric Utility Industry

Posted by [email protected]

Jun 1, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Serious job hazards — they are just a part of the job. It’s why electrical power line installers and repairers are listed in the U.S. Bureau of Statistics most dangerous jobs in America.

But battling the changing elements and temperatures, staying focused on the job and knowing you get one chance with no room for mistakes ... that can be a challenge.

Start with your apparel -- is it designed to keep you drier and safer on the job? Take a look below at the newest, most advanced high performance FR apparel on the market. How does your lineman gear stack up?

View and download a PDF version of this graphic, now.

FR-Performance-Apparel.jpg

The Benefits of Choosing Lakeland FR Apparel

SHARP DESIGN FEATURES
You’ve been wearing stylish performance gear for years, now you can get it at work. Lakeland’s contrasting stitch design means you can go from safe-at-work to the gym, the trails or out on the town, with ease.


SEAMLESS UNDERARM GUSSETS
FR shirts designed to eliminate seam pull and shirt rise mean you won’t feel any restriction as you maneuver on the job. In fact, you’ll feel total arm freedom with our industry leading underarm gussets and seamless design. Less chafing and restriction, maximum comfort.


CONTOURED SHAPE FOR IMPROVED SAFETY
No matter what your size or shape, men or women, Lakeland has an FR performance shirt for you. Designed to provide functional fit for all, Lakeland apparel offers a sleek design to reduce bulk and keep you safe on the job.


SUPERIOR MOISTURE WICKING TECHNOLOGY
Our FR garments are designed to pull moisture off your skin to keep you cooler in the heat and warmer in the cold. With your body temperature in check, you’ll see a boost in your comfort and overall safety on the job.

TAG FREE BACK COLLAR
Lakeland FR Performance apparel is designed with your comfort in mind. The tag free back collar means you’ll never fight with an itchy neck tag again.


MOBILITY OF ARM MOVEMENT
Designed to accommodate overhead reaching and side to side movements, the Lakeland apparel arm construction is a thing of beauty. With a singular seam that runs the length of the sleeve and body, the garment is both flexible and functional.

FLAT SEAM CONSTRUCTION
Never feel the scratch of thread again. Lakeland FR performance garment seams are smooth and comfortable against your skin, with fabric laid side-by-side and stitched flat, so the transition of fabric is almost, well, seamless.

FUNCTIONALITY IN THE DESIGN
A properly constructed FR garment should balance safety, protection, fabric quality and comfort, without compromise. Designed specifically to outlast the elements and maximize moisture wicking and comfort, Lakeland’s FR performance apparel is designed with safety and maneuverability in mind.

The clothes you wear on the job, matter — for your comfort, for your performance and for your safety. Shouldn't you choose FR gear with advanced technology and industry-leading design? It’s simple, just #AskforLakeland.

Interested in learning more lineman training and fitness tips, and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance? Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide Learn how you can climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents.

Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design with maneuverability and comfort in mind. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.

Lineman safety and performance guide

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Topics: Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

4 Things Line Mechanics Should Look for in Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

Posted by [email protected]

May 31, 2017 10:00:00 AM

lineman FR apparelThe clothes you wear on the job, matter. Protection from arc-flash is your primary concern, but you no longer have to compromise comfort and performance for safety.

High Performance FR apparel that combines moisture wicking technology with performance-tested design modifications can boost your comfort and confidence on the line.

This article will cover the key information every lineman should know before they select their next FR garment, including:

  • The science of moisture wicking technology
  • How FR clothing can help maintain core temperature
  • New FR shirts design modifications for linemen
  • How clothing can improve lineman safety on the job
  • Tips to select the right FR garment

1. Choose Apparel with Moisture Wicking Technology and the Data to Back it Up

Your apparel choice can greatly affect your safety on the job. Choosing an FR garment that lets you stay focused means your safety will never be compromised by the distraction of clothing discomfort. Moisture wicking technology in apparel is the use of specific clothing fibers designed to pull moisture off the skin, transporting it through the fabric, improving clothing comfort, cooling and insulation.

A garment with superior moisture wicking capabilities can:

  • Pull moisture off of your skin into the clothing fibers to ensure you don’t feel bogged down with dampness.
  • Transport the moisture from the interior of the fabric to the exterior of the fabric, quickly.
  • Spread the moisture on the exterior of the fabric so it can dissipate, to help you feel drier, faster.

This combination of actions is the act of vertical moisture wicking, and the speed at which a garment moves through the stages of wicking from garment to garment is called the water vapor transmission speed. The faster a garment can wick moisture away from your body, through the fibers and spread it on the exterior surface, the drier and more comfortable you’ll be on the job.

LAK_blog_bar-graph-wicking_2017.jpeg

2. Select FR Clothing That Can Help Maintain Core Temperature

Understanding the science of moisture wicking is one thing, understanding how it can improve your job performance is another important consideration.

Research performed in a controlled lab environment shows that Lakeland FR performance apparel:

  • Absorbs moisture 7X faster than FR cotton and 3X faster than all other competitive blends
  • Moves an average 50% more moisture to the exterior of the fabric creating a drier zone next to the skin
  • Maintains moisture movement capabilities at a rate 5X faster than competitors

What does this mean for you? It means that if you choose Lakeland FR, you will see the benefits of the industry’s best moisture wicking technology.In heat and humidity, your FR performance shirt will pull moisture off of your skin and it will dissipate quickly helping you stay dry. In the winter, your FR shirt will be a base layer, but it won’t get soaked with moisture making you feel cold as soon as you stop activity. Instead, it will pass moisture through the fibers to the next layer, keeping you both insulated and dry.

3. Choose FR Shirts Designed Specifically for Lineman

Not only is Lakeland FR performance gear designed to boost your performance, it also features a number of design details specifically requested by linemen. Lakeland FR garments were created for linemen, by linemen, so we took their feedback into consideration.

  • Dual-certified protection with safety and maneuverability in mind
  • Flat seam construction to maximize comfort
  • Tag free back collar to eliminate annoying labels
  • Designed with arm mobility to accommodate overhead reaching and side to side movements
  • Seamless underarms designed to eliminate seam pull and shirt rise and chafing
  • Contrasting stitch design offers sharp contrast and a great look for at-work, at the gym and out on the town
  • Designed to provide a functional fit for all, with contoured shape and a sleek design to reduce bulk

4. Consider How Clothing Can Improve Lineman Safety On the Job

Choosing an FR garment is important to protect you from the dangers on the job. Choosing FR garments with superior moisture wicking technology will protect you in other important ways. Choosing FR apparel that wicks away moisture will:

  • Help Prevent Heat stress. Staying cool in hot temperatures will keep you safe from overheating and heat stroke.
  • Help Prevent Loss of Concentration. If your clothes are full of sweat and bogged down, you may focus more time on managing your clothing than on the task at hand.
  • Help Prevent Loss of Focus and Ability. If your clothes are heavy, restrictive and uncomfortable, your fine motor skills can diminish.

If you don’t have to spend your time worrying about your clothing, you can improve your job performance significantly.

Simple Tips To Help You Choose Your Next FR Lineman Shirt

Why #AskForLakeland? Lakeland has an extensive background in the production of protective clothing for the chemical, oil, gas and fire industries. Our expertise in protective clothing is now available for utility workers in the form of high performance FR apparel. We may be new in the utility community, but we took the time to ask linemen for their feedback on what utility apparel should look and feel like.

Our line of FR performance gear is the new industry leader in terms of comfort, moisture wicking and style. But don’t just take our word for it, ask for the data and you’ll see that Lakeland outlasts the competitors in every category.

In Conclusion, What Should You Look for in A Moisture Wicking Garment?

  • Always look at the garment tag to verify a blend of synthetic and natural fibers
  • Look for a garment that offers permanent moisture wicking technology
  • Look for a tag with a 55/45 blend for optimal moisture wicking
  • Don’t always opt for lighter weight! Just because a garment is Category 1 and deemed ‘lightweight’ doesn't meet it will actually keep you cooler

The clothes you wear on the job, matter — for your comfort, for your performance and for your safety. Shouldn't you choose FR gear with advanced technology and industry-leading design? It’s simple, just #AskforLakeland.

Interested in learning more lineman training and fitness tips, and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance? Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide Learn how you can climb stronger, work safer and prevent accidents.

Lakeland set out to create an FR performance line that could exceed FR safety requirements, outlast the elements, maintain lineman body temperature and still be comfortable enough for everyday wear. Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design with maneuverability and comfort in mind. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.

Lineman safety and performance guide 

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Topics: Moisture Wicking FR Apparel

Understanding the ANSI 107-2015 Updates

Posted by Kyle Kerbow

Jan 17, 2017 9:18:44 AM

ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 Standard Updates will be approved by ANSI Feb 1, 2016. The new ANSI/ISEA 107 standard will be available for download on the ISEA website this week. It combines the ANSI/ISEA 107 Standard and the ANSI/ISEA 207 standards into one.

4 Key things to Note

1. Current ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 and ANSI/ISEA 207-2011 garments are still acceptable and compliant.

•    There is no requirement to change any of your existing garments. This standard offers enhancements and clarification that will evolve High Visibility over the coming years.

2. New Garment HVSA Types added to Class Definitions

NEW HVSA Types
•    Type O = Off Road - Non Roadway
•    Type R = Roadway
•    Type P = Public Safety (ANSI 207 merged)

NEW HVSA Class Definitions
•    Type O - Class 1O
•    Type R - Class 2R and Class 3R
•    Type P - Class 2P and Class 3P
•    Type Supplemental - Class E

3. Smallest Size Garments Type R

•    Small size workers wearing oversize garments can be a safety hazard. While NSA has always offered Small sizes we are pleased the standard now allows for less background material required for the “smallest” size for both ROADWAY type Classes.

Smallest size garment may have LESS background material
•    Class 2R = 540 instead of 775 square inches
•    Class 3R = 1000 instead of 1240 square inches

4. Non FR labeling Now Required

•    “This garment is non flame resistant as defined by ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 Section 10.5”
•     Garments not tested to meet Flame Resistant performance criteria of standards listed in ANSI are required to have Non FR labelling.  ASTM D6413 and NFPA 701 are NOT accepted as they allow fabrics that melt and drip.

Acceptable test methods for FR classification are as follows:

ASTM 1506

ASTM F1891

ASTM F2302

ASFM F2733

NFPA 1977

NFPA 2112

*Note:  High Visibility garments marked as flame resistant shall comply with the requirements of ONE of the above methods in its entirety.

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Protecting Firefighters’ Mental Health: Q&A with Jeff Dill of FBHA

Posted by [email protected]

Dec 12, 2016 10:02:32 AM

blogImage.jpgAs a firefighter and first responder, grit and determination define many aspects of your job. While physical preparation is oftentimes a top priority for individuals in this profession, the importance of becoming mentally prepared to handle the fiercest conditions a firefighter faces is oftentimes overlooked.

I talked with firefighter behavioral health expert and founder of the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, Jeff Dill, about the challenges experienced within this demanding profession in regard to mental health and stress. In the Q&A below, Jeff will touch on how to manage some of the profession’s top stressors and the resources available for fire and EMS leadership teams.

1. As a retired fire captain, what motivated you to establish FBHA?

My motivation began in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Firefighters from my district were dispatched to New Orleans and experienced horrific destruction and devastation. These men and women went to their counselors after their experience, and the trained behavioral health professionals couldn’t comprehend, relate to or understand what these first responders were talking about. In 2009, I became a licensed counselor and began training other counselors and chaplains. Following my training, I began receiving so many questions about what I, along with my network, do for firefighters and first responders. 

In 2011, the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance was established to directly educate firefighters/ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and their families about behavioral health issues such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and addictions, as well as firefighter suicides. 

2. What are some of the major causes of stress firefighters face in their profession today? 

Some of the major causes for stress include calls and management issues. But the top stressors reported to us are marital and family relationships, medical issues, PTSD – they are all wrapped up together. There is a lot of cultural brainwashing in our society – where we are trained to be the best we can, however, we’re not prepared for some of the images we’ll carry for the rest of our life. 

Brainwashing refers to the pressure to always act strong and handle issues on your own. Without an outlet to positively communicate about or re-direct these stressors, a build up takes place and at times, individuals will turn to addictions.

3. Are fire departments required to provide training and workshops to help their employees manage the stressors of their profession?

Chiefs are encouraged to go out into the community to look for Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that offer mental health resources and have a connection with the firefighter community.

Many districts have a board of trustees and one of their responsibilities is to try to establish a relationship with an EAP. In bigger communities and cities, this is a role for human resources with the fire chief’s continued involvement. In all communities, chaplain and peer support is encouraged as well.

In my opinion, many counselors are good people but may not be trained to work with fire and EMS. This profession is very different from others. Unfortunately, there are not enough qualified counselors to work across this sector. The shortage of resources and the inability to connect leave firefighters lacking the help that they need.

My organization, FBHA, now offers 7 different mental and behavioral health workshops. Our most popular focuses on how to create a successful behavioral health program for your team.

4. What are some of the warning signs that a first responder may be having a difficult time dealing with job-related stress?

I’ve interviewed over 800 firefighters and EMTs and the biggest warning signs are:

  • Recklessness
  • Anger
  • Isolation
  • Lost of confidence and skills
  • Sleep depravation

It’s important to recognize warning signs with a colleague and understand that it’s not infringing on their privacy or intruding to offer help. 

Lack of sleep can be another risk factor for behavioral health issues with firefighters and EMTs. There is not much getting around having to run calls at night, but getting naps in during the day can have a tremendously positive impact on your body and stress level.

5. Do you feel like physical activity and good nutrition play a critical role in the mental health of first responders and firefighters? 

Fueling your body with nutritious food and fluids has taken on a major role in the overall health of firefighters. When I started 22 years ago – we all pitched in on the cooking duties and we ate (what we thought) was very well. As the years passed, we saw a bigger push towards a focus on overall nutrition and physical fitness to support our bodies need to handle a high level of physical and mental demands. I would like to see the focus on behavioral health in our profession grow as fast as nutrition and physical fitness have done so over the years.

When I did my first presentation in 2011, you would think I had horns growing out of my ears based on the reactions I received. Now, the growth of this important topic is substantial and we are seeing many firefighter communities coming up with awareness programs. But what price have we paid in the meantime? It is so important that the programs being implemented are effective.

6. What role does a firefighter’s gear play in both physical and mental preparedness?

Many concerns and stressors related to gear is due to aging equipment. Some small to middle sized fire departments and volunteer departments are using turnout gear that is 15 years old. They may be only running 300 calls a year, but they are still running calls. It can be difficult to get funding for new gear, but it is important that these men and women have the appropriate protection when putting their lives at risk to protect their community.

7. What resources can you recommend for firefighters, EMS and other first responders looking for more information about maintaining optimal mental health? 

Below are some fantastic resources for firefighters, EMS and first responders to get the critical information needed to maintain optimal physical and mental health. Additionally, the organizations referenced provide downloadable tools, workshops and seminars that can provide further assistance.

About Jeff Dill:

In 2011, Jeff Dill founded the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance to directly educate firefighters/ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and their families about behavioral health issues such as depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and addictions, as well as firefighter suicides. Through businesses, community support and sponsorships, it is the organization’s hope that the workshops and services will be offered at no charge to those in need. 

Jeff holds a Master’s degree and is a Licensed Counselor. He is a retired Captain from Palatine Rural Fire Protection District in Inverness, Illinois and is a member of the American Counseling Association, National Board of Certified Counselors, International Associations of Fire Chiefs, and is an alumni member of the International Association of Fire Fighters. 

Jeff Dill, and those working with FBHA are dedicated to educating firefighters and emergency service personnel on the importance of behavioral health. 

For more information about FBHA and upcoming workshops, contact Jeff here.

Firefighter Mental Toughness ebook guide 

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Topics: Turnout Gear, Firefighter Combat Challenge, Firefighter Mental Health