Helly Hansen isn’t just an apparel brand – it’s an institution. For 140 years, the company has been designing and manufacturing high quality performance apparel and is amazingly popular within the skiing and sailing industry. We all actually have Helly Hansen to thank for the world’s first supple waterproof fabrics and the world’s first fleece. If anyone could possibly know how to keep people warm and dry, it’s them. Fortunately for all of us in the construction industry, they also put their knowledge and unparalleled style into designs worthy of the jobsite as Helly Hansen Workwear (HHWW). Their goal? To create workwear that not only performs on the toughest jobsite, but also looks like something you’d wear out after work.
Helly’s signature workwear line is the Chelsea Collection, which is designed with tradesmen specifically in mind. The Chelsea Construction Pant is their bestselling pair of construction pants and, after spending the last few months in them, I now understand why. HHWW has loaded this pant with tons of small details that I am still finding, all with a reason and purpose. When you look through the features list of this pant, it’s almost like you are buying a tool chest or work-bench. There’s a pocket for almost everything a tradesman carries.
Chelsea Construction Pant
When I first received the Chelsea Construction pant, I couldn’t help but notice its style. It’s not common to be impressed by the look of construction pants – not much has changed for the past couple decades. I’ve been wearing the black/charcoal pant (link to Amazon), but now, with the newly released Timber color, I want two pairs. The material is durable, yet lightweight and breathable for hot weather. All of the stitching is double or triple. Trust me, you will not be busting your seams. After a few months of use there are still no signs of wear, unlike the jeans I have used in the past that faded within the first few weeks.
The Chelsea pant has your standard reinforced knee and cuff like most construction pants, but HHWW has added features to stand out from the rest of the pack. The reinforced knee has an opening for knee pad inserts directly sewn into the pant. The knee pad slot is adjustable for a perfect fit no matter what your line of work is, and the leg length is extendable in order to get a perfect fit. The pant also comes with reflective elements for added visibility without looking obnoxious.
The real star of this pant is the hanging front pockets. They are not a gimmick and you’ll find yourself using them regularly. Guys that are hard on their pants will instantly think that the hanging pockets will fall off within the first couple of weeks. These won’t; they are built strong and are made for carrying nails, screws, and any item you may have in your tool pouch. I work on a large job where we carry 2-way radios and the pockets are perfect place to carry my radio where it won’t fall out or get in the way. If you want to use your tool belt, simply tuck the hanging pouch into your front pockets.
Below, you can also check out a video review of the new Timber color Chelsea Construction Pant by Helly Hansen's Ambassador Matt Elliott:
Chelsea Shell Jacket
Another star in the Chelsea lineup is the Chelsea Shell Jacket. It may be the hottest time of the year right now, but we’re only a couple months away from firing the heaters up. The jacket is made with the same focus on comfort, style, and performance as the pants are. Throughout the spring, I was repping my Racer Blue Chelsea jacket and I don’t think I’ve worn a different jacket since I received it. As a testament to Helly Hansen apparel being just as functional off the job site as it is on the job site, not only did I wear it during an early morning 5K, when it was 40 degrees and raining, but I also wore it during a golf outing. I shot a -12 that day. OK, fine, it was during a 4-man scramble and some mulligans were used, but the jacket kept me completely dry and warm throughout, so it had to help. I only wish that I wore the construction pants, as well, since my lower body was completely soaked and freezing.
One of the other great things about this jacket is that it incorporates reflective tape strategically throughout. I’ve been on tons of jobsites where workers will wear a sweat shirt over their hi-vis shirt to stay warm, but they sacrifice their safety by doing that. If your job site requires an ID card, Helly’s also got you covered with a loop at the bottom hem. With this jacket you don’t have to choose between being dry, warm, or comfortable – you’re covered in every circumstance.
We’ve put our Helly Hansen work wear to the test and it has met and exceeded our expectations. We can’t wait to see what they release next.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a lot of jobsite safety rules since its creation in 1971. Some of those rules have become outdated, due to a variety of reasons, or have caused unnecessary confusion for companies due to wording. Earlier this month, OSHA proposed 18 revisions to existing rules, with many affecting the construction industry.
There’s no doubt that drones are the hot technology item for the construction industry. They allow you inspect your overall site more quickly, take aerial photos for marketing and documentation, measure tonnage and volume of on-site stockpiles, and even monitor employee productivity. Now, one company has designed a drone that can safely inspect structures for damage and detect cracks as small as .0039 inches wide (.1mm), when fitted with an HD camera.
Not all demolition videos can be implosions and that’s OK, because each type of demolition is its own art form. Sometimes contractors are bound by the constraints of the job, especially when located in an area with a large concentration of pedestrians and other public areas. That was the case for the construction site of the future One Vanderbilt Tower in New York City, which just completed the demolition of five different buildings covering an entire city block.
The number one goal on every construction site should be that all workers make it home safe at the end of the day. The sad reality is that hundreds of construction workers are killed on the job site every year. Last year, contractors were working on an indoor activity center for a high school in Argyle, Texas, when the 30 foot tall structure quickly collapsed, killing one man in the process.
Construction work can be a workout in and of itself many times. The hours are long, the tools and materials are heavy, but that’s not stopping a young worker in central China from adding some additional exercises to his daily routine.
2016 has been a big year for OSHA, as the organization has raised the cost of fines for safety violations for the first time since 1990. Made, effective in August, fines were raised 78%, making the cost of a serious violation $12,471. The construction industry is by far the most affected by OSHA regulations, as it accounted for 43.3% of all citations, 52.92% of all inspections, and 44.16% of all penalties assessed from October 2015 to September 2016. Of all specific types of contractors, roofing contractors account for the largest quantity of citations (6,924), following by framing contractors (3,810), and masonry contractors (2,501).
“They don’t build ‘em like they used to,” as people love to say. That phrase could definitely be applicable to the 93 year old Broadway Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas, that refused to fall even after it was lined with explosives. This certainly isn’t the first time a demolition has failed and it’s probably not the last.
Dubai has held the record for world’s tallest building since the opening of the Burj Khalifa in 2010. The gigantic tower, which houses office, residential, retail, and hotel space spread over 163 floors stands 2,717 feet (828m) in the air. It was an impressive feat, once in which Dubai and the United Arab Emirates pride themselves on, but in a few short years, its crown will be passed to a new record holder.
One thing’s for sure about Milwaukee Tool, they aren’t satisfied with putting the same tools out year after year. They’re constantly improving age old classics and leading in the innovation of new tool solutions. Their latest announcement is a variation on their extremely popular line of M18 tools.
The weight of dirt is serious business and the force it provides should not be underestimated. Depending on the moisture content, soil can weigh around 2,000 pounds per cubic yard. Many construction workers die each year from trench collapses due to improper shoring and benching techniques, but weight and force calculations are also extremely important in the design and construction of retaining walls.