1. How long has your company been in the health and safety industry?
In 1935 Wallace “Wally” Grossman started a business in his father’s basement where he began to manufacture Heat and Thermal protective apparel. It wasn’t long before the business took off and his father, George, quit his job and began working alongside his son. The family business has continued to grow over the years and is known today as National Safety Apparel®. Today, National Safety Apparel is a fourth generation family-owned business that offers a diverse selection of PPE for thermal protection, cut protection, flash fire protection and arc flash protection, including hi-visibility garments and rainwear – proudly manufactured in Cleveland, Ohio. Our recent acquisitions of TECGEN and DRIFIRE® have expanded our offerings in the flame resistant clothing daily wear and added depth and breadth to our offerings for a full selection of comfortable, high performance FR clothing.
2. What’s the biggest challenge you see facing the safety equipment industry?
The biggest challenge facing the safety equipment industry today is developing PPE that addresses multiple hazards through one streamlined solution. This same PPE needs to facilitate compliance through easy donning and doffing, comfort and mobility: it cannot impact physical and mental well-being. A worker needs to do his job safely without impacting efficiency.
3. How is your company adapting to the challenge?
National Safety Apparel faces the change of developing PPE that addresses multiple hazards through industry engagement and research and development. As a manufacturer, National Safety Apparel is aware and engaged in the regulations and standards that are being created, amended and implemented throughout the industries we serve. With first-hand knowledge, we can invest in research and development to produce garments that are multi-hazard solutions, such as our HYDROlite FR™ rain gear, which is hi-visibility, foul weather, flash fire and arc flash protection. Our hi-visibility FR Control™ shirt is a lightweight, hi-visibility, flame resistant shirt that wicks sweat from the wearer, keeping the wearer cooler and dryer – enhancing their performance – while staying protected. Through research and development with fabric manufacturers and internally, we’ve been able to create garments that allow the wearer to experience comfortable protection while providing companies with the safe solutions that create cost-effectiveness by addressing multiple hazards.
4. Finally, what’s a memorable story of how PPE saved your customer’s life?
National Safety Apparel’s PPE has saved customers’ lives. In 2009, an oil & gas company was looking to implement an NFPA mandated program for its multiple locations throughout the country. Operations leadership at one location did a short-term pilot program with task-specific coveralls. After the pilot program, the coveralls were collected and the company needed to make the decision to implement the program. One employee did not return his coveralls, wore them as he should for specific tasks. Within several weeks of the pilot program’s end, he fell victim to an arc flash incident. He had burns to his face and hands, but was protected by our flame resistant coverall. The garment saved his life, and the company implemented the program. National Safety Apparel’s recent acquisition, DRIFIRE, produces flame resistant clothing and was “Born on the Battlefield” in 2007. Two marines were killed in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb exploded, melting their athletic polyester undergarments onto their skin. The Marines approached the inventors of DRIFIRE to solve the problem of developing a high-performance fabric that does not melt or drip. The solution that was born was a new no melt, no drip, high-performance FR fabric that is comfortable, moisture wicking and fast drying. It was incorporated into the Marine Combat Shirt and worn by Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, evolutions of that fabric are used in DRIFIRE garments throughout the Armed Forces and in industrial flame resistant clothing around the world.
Visit National Safety Apparel at: http://www.thinknsa.com/