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Protecting the most valuable resource – people!

Published:  02 July, 2014

Wenaas – the North Sea oil and gas industry’s leading provider of workwear and PPE - has reinforced its enviable position as the safety expert by selling its one millionth Ambassador fire retardant coverall.

For more than 80 years, Norway-based Wenaas has been protecting people every day of their working lives from head-to-toe. It is recognised as the trusted brand of choice to protect the workforces of thousands of companies across the globe. Its mission is to offer cutting edge safety products within the heavy workwear and PPE market, safeguarding users without compromising on functionality, comfort and durability. Wenaas’ vast experience means that the workwear and PPE market leader understands the explicit demands of various job roles within the offshore Oil and Gas industry, and in turn the importance of providing personnel with specific and appropriate high quality protection for different work areas and multiple hazardous situations. Workwear and PPE needs to be 100% effective, 100% of the time. Wenaas ensures that this is the case and offers complete safety protection - without compromise - to millions of workers on a daily basis.

Whilst the UK offshore Oil and Gas industry holds a positive track record for safety, E&P activity is moving into more hazardous and remote areas as the search for previously inaccessible reserves continues. This presents increasingly challenging environments for workwear and PPE. Any company operating in this sector will tell you that protecting their people is the priority, and this is where the specialist range of Wenaas workwear and PPE has become indispensable.

Equally, ask any company where they see demand in the future and they will tell you that emerging economies across the globe are where oil demand is set to boom. And an increased and diversified workforce, requires the very best in protection.

Following a number of years in development - and after extensive feedback and improvements from wearer trials - 2014 sees a major overhaul of the Wenaas offshore Oil & Gas workwear range, the largest the company has undertaken.. Designed for the ultimate in protection and peace of mind, this range is entirely fit for purpose with anti-flame, anti-static, anti-arc and UV protection provided.

New Offshore: the next generation in FR protection

This exciting, innovative new range is led by the next generation of FR coveralls which replace the outgoing Ambassador – appropriately called Offshore. The new upgraded range includes many new developments and improvements over the Ambassador and is available in several versions:

• 100% cotton Daletec 350g/m²

• Daletec 350g/m² Anti-static & Anti-arc

Lightweight 220 g/m² Anti-static & Anti-arc

All come with design enhancements to create a more contemporary styling, UV protection and improved fit, along with Oeko-Tex 100 certified breathable fabric which is free from harmful or allergy-inducing material, providing superior comfort, increased mobility, ease of movement and therefore better safety. In addition, new features such as knee pad pockets have been added to enable knee pads to be inserted for improved wearer protection and with two way YKK zips, an array of pockets and adjustable fittings, wearers have everything conveniently to hand.

New Offshore Winter Antistatic Coverall

With the already harsh offshore conditions becoming even worse in winter, product development experts at Wenaas have created the new offshore winter antistatic coverall. Recognising the health and safety challenges of maintaining warmth and comfort for wearers, whilst maintaining maximum dexterity and ease of movement, Wenaas has employed the latest materials and construction. These have been carefully selected to provide a warm, waterproof coverall that is specifically designed to withstand the rigours of the Oil and Gas industry in the harshest of winters. The durable cotton fabric with antistatic fibres means the same garment can be worn by workers operating across different work areas with risk of exposure to multiple hazards, as anti-static and anti-flame protection is provided, as well as a consistent uniform appearance, simplified stock holding and efficient procurement.

New Oilmaster 2: for tough work in tough conditions

Wenaas has been designing and manufacturing industry-leading safety footwear under the well-established Forma brand for more than 90 years. This year, the footwear has been rebranded to Wenaas to reinforce its head-to-toe safety philosophy.

The new Oilmaster 2 footwear range has been specifically developed for the Oil & Gas industry, created using the latest technology and innovations in construction with the specialist, extensive knowledge of the Wenaas design team. Key features of the Oilmaster 2 range include:

• High, mid and low fit options

• Internal memory foam for increased ankle stability & comfort

• Shock absorbing cushion material for comfort

• 3M Thinsulate lining for lightweight warmth & comfort

• Composite toe cap & 100% nail protection

• Electro Static Discharge

• Oil, chemical & heat resistant out sole up to 300 degrees c

New Offshore Winter Gloves: sublime warmth with supreme movement

The Wenaas brand will also now be featured on all previously branded Odin gloves, which includes the Offshore and Extreme ranges, , as well as the new Offshore Winter model. This anatomically-designed rigger glove has been created to provide maximum grip, safety, comfort and dexterity during harsh offshore winters.

Extreme & Offshore gloves feature:

• Exceptional grip

• Oil & liquid resistance

• Breathable premium microfiber finger fabric with added reinforcement in the areas that matter most

• Thermal plastic rubber impact protection

• Extra EAV foam padding on knuckles

Each product line also has additional features, such as the Offshore’s enhanced visibility and the Extreme’s CE level 5 cut resistance. The Offshore Winter insulation with Dry Tec waterproof and breathable membrane is an innovation in workwear, designed specifically to suit the Oil and Gas winter environment.

Layering up for enhanced protection

It is vital to remember that safety in a hazardous offshore environment doesn’t stop at the external protection. Optimum levels of safety are achieved by correct layering. Selecting the appropriate base and mid layers for the environment, activity and temperature is an important and integral part of providing the correct safety protection.

Wenaas works closely with Devold® Protection to supply comfortable undergarments which protect against cold, heat and flame. Wenaas recently commissioned independent burn tests conducted in a laboratory at North Carolina University, using mannequins covered in hundreds of sensors to measure the effectiveness of layering when its fire retardant Offshore coverall is subjected to flames.

The results evidenced that using Wenaas FR coveralls together with Devold® underwear, as opposed to normal cotton underwear, reduced the extent of second and third degree burns by almost 30%. This is an exceptional result considering a 50% burn injury means a high risk of loss of life and highlights the importance for operators and contractors to provide the appropriate undergarments, as well as coveralls, to effectively protect their workforce. See the impressive laboratory burn tests at www.offshoreeuropejournal.com

The future for workwear and PPE

Development is always key in the Oil and Gas industry, and ensures that product development is at the very core of the business. Innovations in workwear and PPE technology and design not only need to advance in tandem with the challenges of new and harsh environments, but also keep up with the requirements of an ever growing and more demanding workforce. With 20,000 jobs set to be created in the North Sea alone during 2014, the all-encompassing, high levels of safety, comfort and quality product provision from Wenaas are exactly what the industry is looking for.

The emergence of new markets in the global shale Oil and Gas sector is also a significant development for Wenaas. Validation of the environmental benefits, as well as clarity surrounding the health, safety and environmental hazards of fracking processes, are likely to be key drivers in increasing the requirements for workwear and PPE in the shale oil and gas market and Wenaas intend to be ready to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Wenaas has a long history of providing workwear and PPE to UK based operators, drilling contractors and service companies. Wenaas strives to make it as easy as possible for its customers to access its products. In order to achieve this, the company has recently made a step change by supplying the UK Oil and Gas industry through distributer the JBS Group.

Established in 1944, JBS has invested heavily in its Aberdeen presence with new premises in Bridge of Don. JBS holds some of Aberdeen’s largest stock levels of workwear and PPE and provides value added services such as fast turnaround heat seal, logo embroidery and alterations services, together with a walk-in showroom and trade counter for advice and sales.

The new premises are also the venue for regular PPE and safety training, presented by third party safety experts. Recent training includes days held by Wenaas on standards and innovations in flame retardant garments and gloves.

Grattan Boylan, Chairman at JBS, said: “Wenaas workwear and PPE has been developed for the intense conditions of the oil and gas industry, with a real understanding of the risks that need to be considered when protecting personnel.

“Wenaas garments are tough, durable and comfortable and companies which supply this brand to their offshore personnel demonstrate a true investment and commitment to their safety.

“By bringing the design expertise, in-depth experience and innovative approach of Wenaas, together with JBS Group’s rapid and streamlined distribution channels, customers reap all the rewards.”

jbsgroup.co.uk

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