Klein Tools has been in the business of making hand tools for trade professionals since 1857. Over the last several years, however, the company has expanded its manufacturing efforts to include power tools, test and measurement devices, and personal protective equipment.
“The biggest focus of Klein’s expansion into the field of PPE was offering our customers something that is made specifically with their trades in mind,” said Mark Klein, president of Klein Tools. “As many brands as there are offering personal protective equipment, we knew that we needed to design products with distinguishing features that would stand up to keeping our customers safe in the tough conditions they encounter, and live up to the quality standards that customers have come to expect from Klein Tools.”
This mindset has led the design and engineering teams to work together during the last several years to develop personal protective equipment that would meet the rigorous standards that trade professionals require. Development of the product line included adding new product features that would warrant Klein’s entry into this category. Klein Tools’ line of PPE has continued to grow to include hard hats, gloves, safety vests, knee pads, and more.
Hard hats were the first major update to the new line of personal protective equipment for Klein Tools. With 10 models currently offered, Klein’s line of Type-1 hard hats includes Class C models with adjustable vents (for general use where electrical protection is not required) and Non-Vented Class E models (for use where electrical protection is required, tested up to 20kV). Both options feature cap or full brim styles with an option for an included direct-mount headlamp. Across the board, the hard hats were designed with customers’ safety, comfort and fit in mind.
To give users long-term comfort and proper fit, the hard hats feature an adjustable, open-frame suspension to improve air circulation, coupled with a sweat-wicking band and top pad, both manufactured with anti-microbial and odor control materials. The hard hats also feature easy, one-handed adjustment via a large knob ratchet mechanism that pivots to clear bandanas or ponytails. Additionally, the cap and full brim models are certified for reverse donning to safely wear frontwards or backwards.
While cap and full-brim styles of hard hats have been the U.S. standard for many years, it’s important to note that new models with higher ratings for side-impact protection are becoming the norm for many jobsites. As an added safety measure, the newest Klein Tools hard hats were all tested to protect against side/lateral impact as well as from above – a test that most Type-1 hard hats don’t pass. All Klein Tools’ models meet ANSI Z89.1-2014, CSA Z94.1-15; EN397:2012+A1:2012-Lateral Deformation (LD) standards. That foresight will allow Klein to continue to expand its hard hat line organically as jobsite safety standards for hard hat protection evolve.
While skull protection is important, safety measures don’t end with a hard hat. It is equally important to protect your eyes, which can be damaged by airborne objects big and small. That’s why wearing eye protection in the form of safety glasses is essential. A durable pair of safety glasses offers more protection than regular glasses or sunglasses and is likely to last longer. Most models come in clear or various degrees of tint, so whether working in the dark or in bright sunlight, tradespeople can find the right eye protection for the jobsite.
Professionals should also be wary of what they are breathing on the job. Microscopic particles can cause damage to the lungs and long-term breathing troubles. Respirator masks feature filters to help block out dust, fumes, and mist, and give workers protection from dangers that can often go unseen. Important considerations include the amount of facial coverage (mask/half face/full face), particulate filtration (95/99/100 percent) and oil resistance (N (non)/R (somewhat)/P (strong)). For instance, an N95 mask filters at least 95 percent of particulates and is not resistant to oil. Selecting the right amount of respiratory protection for the exposure is the most effective away to ensure that you leave a jobsite in the same condition you entered it.
2020 has been the year of safety for Klein Tools, with multiple new products added to the personal protective equipment line already this year, and several more to come.
Hand injuries rank at number two on the list of most common job site injuries, which is why hand protection is essential. While Klein has offered gloves for many years, recent additions have brought new and interesting options to trade professionals. Klein’s new Leather Gloves (Cat. No. 60188) are made with professional-grade
goatskin leather and EVA foam for comfort, and have a mesh back and ergonomic shape to provide great dexterity and breathability. The hook and loop closure on the cuff strap provides a snug fit, while knuckles and fingers are protected with PVC guards.
An exciting addition to the glove line is the Cut 2 (Cat. No. 60185) and Cut 4 (Cat. No. 60186) Touchscreen gloves. Both keep you protected while still allowing you to stay connected using your touchscreen devices like phones and tablets. The Cut 2 has ANSI A2 Cut Resistance and EN 388: 2015 4342 B, and the Cut 4 has ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 Cut Level A4 and EN 388: 2015 4442 D. A seamless knit cuff gives wearers a comfortable fit, and nitrile dip technology ensures a superior grip. Both sets of gloves are machine washable, CE certified, and built to last so professionals will be able to use the gloves repeatedly.
The High Visibility Reflective Vest (Cat. No. 60269) was designed to meet the visibility, comfort, and carrying needs of trade professionals. The breathable, lightweight vest enhances visibility for trade professionals on the worksite, and meet ANSI/ISEA 107-2015, Type R, Class 2 requirements. Featuring two large interior pockets and four exterior pockets, including one with a hook and loop closure to keep items secure, this vest has plenty of space to carry pencils and pocket tools. An exterior tab gives you the option to attach a radio clip or other items. Breathable mesh fabric on the back of the vest ensures comfort, and a zipper closure in the front gives the vest a secure fit. Along with the safety green color, 2-inch retro-reflective stripes enhance visibility.
Klein’s Lightweight Gel Knee Pads (Cat. No. 60184) also were designed with comfort and safety in mind. The knee pads feature slip resistant rubber caps to grip kneeling surfaces for enhanced stability and balance when climbing and crawling. Gel and EVA foam cushion the knee to help disperse pressure while kneeling in order to reduce wearer fatigue, meaning that you can wear them throughout your entire work day without them becoming uncomfortable. The knee pads also feature a webbed bottom strap and elastic top strap that are adjustable to give the wearer a comfortable, secure fit.
From groundwork to work at height, Klein has trade professionals covered with safety solutions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 278 fatal incidents in 2018 from workers being struck by falling objects or equipment. To combat those numbers, Klein has a line of Tool Tethers specifically designed to let professionals keep their tools attached to them while working at height, and several tools with unique holes and rings to easily attach to said tethers, preventing them from falling.
In addition to all of this, Klein Tools has several more pieces of personal protective equipment set to launch throughout the duration of 2020. Klein Tools has made a commitment to the design and production of personal protective equipment going forward and will continue to diversify and expand its offerings in the area over the coming years.