‘Cool’ safety gear lets workers express their interests

Making proper safety gear a top priority on the jobsite is easier than ever with today’s variety of safety glasses and hardhats, which allow workers to express everything from support of their favorite football team to a love of Harley Davidson.

“Style has always been a primary concern of the users of safety gear, not protection,” said Stephanie Steinberger, spokesperson for Direct Safety. But, Steinberger says, while the newest safety products look “cool,” they also meet all traditional safety standards.

Over the years the general trend in safety gear has been toward looking more mainstream, especially in eyewear. Safety eyewear manufacturers such as North Safety Products, Bacou-Dalloz and Encon Safety Products have developed glasses that look and feel like aerodynamic sunglasses and even have special features such as customizable logos or prescription inserts.

Encon offers three lines of Nascar-licensed safety glasses — the Nascar Classic, Nascar II and Nascar GT. All models look like sporty sunglasses with a weightless frame and translucent, wrap-around design. Wearers can choose between 10 different racing team numbers to be displayed on the far corner of the lense on the team series model. On other Nascar glasses, the racing logo is displayed in the temple piece.

Michael Boldon, Encon business manager, says the racing series safety glasses have been some of the company’s most popular products. “Encon has had tremendous success with our entire team series of personal protective eyewear,” he says.

For bike lovers, Bacou-Dalloz has a series of Harley Davidson safety eyewear, which combines contemporary wrap-around sport styling and protection with the motorcycle brand name. Five different models in the series are available, with each displaying the Harley Davidson brand on the corner of the frame or on the temple piece. Most models are available in several colors and all meet the 2003 ANSI 787 + safety standard.

To help meet the needs of an aging workforce in the construction industry, North Safety Products recently released the N-Vision 5600 Series safety glasses, which allows prescription lenses to be inserted on the nosepiece. The glasses have a wide field of view and a non-slip nosepiece to ensure they stay put.

Safety glasses are not the only products that allow workers to individualize their gear. Hardhats also come with extra features and special logos or prints. The website customhardhats.com carries hardhats by manufacturers such as MSA, Fiber Metal, American Allsafe and Western Outlaw, which makes a cowboy-type hardhat. The website takes traditional hardhats and can put everything from company logos, prints or personal artwork on them. The website also offers a series of team headgear, which allows wearers to personalize their hardhats with their favorite professional baseball team, professional or collegiate football team or Nascar driver.