Ballyclare has launched a new range of PPE that it believes reflect the face of today’s rail sector.
The DryShell PPE, which comprises two types of jacket, an over-trouser and a boiler suit, borrows from the same Hi Vis clothing Ballyclare supplies to the fire and rescue service.
What sets the DryShell range apart is its use of an advanced yet cost-effective high performance breathable fabric that creates an extremely strong waterproof barrier while remaining soft, flexible and lightweight for wearer comfort.
The layered fabric uses a breathable membrane to stop wind, rain and sleet passing through but allowing moisture to escape by absorbing and dissipating sweat through the diffusion of water vapour molecules. This keeps the wearer warm and dry and allows him or her to work more comfortably for longer.
Both the DryShell long jacket and boiler suit feature a two-layer version of the fabric with a mesh liner to protect the membrane from being scratched or ripped. A more robust three-layer sandwich with a heavy-duty lining is used on the standard jacket and overtrouser.
Ballyclare’s new DryShell range is ideal for the many businesses serving the rail industry that are looking for a fabric choice that is more suited to their budgets, without compromising performance or compliance with rail standards.
Maggie Shaw, Ballyclare’s national sales and service manager for rail, believes the range complements the company’s existing product offering. Customers get more cost options yet still have access to the quality and performance that Ballyclare is renowned for.
Says Maggie, ‘We are very excited about DryShell. This is a technically advanced fabric that is fully compliant with the exacting demands of the rail industry. So the thinking behind our new range was simple. Here was an opportunity to optimise the use of a new fabric to hit certain price expectations. At the same time, here was a chance to revisit our designs to ensure they continue to meet the aesthetic and ergonomic requirements of today’s rail workers. We know there are more women working in the industry and generally people are larger in size. People also carry tablets and smartphones these days to do their job trackside. Our designs reflect all these changes.’
Comfortable and Practical
The guiding design principle was to combine protection with comfort, practicality and aesthetics. ‘There is no reason why a garment that is fit for purpose should not look good at the same time. This is important to our customers,’ says Maggie.
While Ballyclare has kept many signature design features that customers have grown to appreciate over the years, the company has also worked hard at updating the block, cut and shape of the new range and adding extra functionality.
Says Maggie, ‘We know people love our adjustable cuffs and fishtail backs, but we have introduced extra styling features that draw on our experience from other PPE sectors. The overtrouser, for example, draws inspiration from our firefighter kit.’
The new DryShell long length jacket features two deep.
angled hip pockets with storm flaps for waterproofness plus a chest pocket for a mobile phone beneath the double storm flap. There is a large internal zipped pouch pocket for carrying a tablet as well as an internal pocket designed to take a wallet and keys. There is also a pocket for a mobile phone on the left sleeve.
The double storm flap front fastening has a two-way zip and sealed seams to provide maximum protection and full waterproofness. The high scalloped collar is designed to tuck into a hard hat and features a chin guard. A longer rear fishtail protects the lower back against the elements. The flat-knit internal cuffs have an adjustable Velcro strap for a snug fit. This stops water running down the sleeve when working overhead.
The standard length jacket is equally well specified with two deep, vertical hip pockets offering easy access and maximum storage plus an internal mobile phone pocket and sleeve pocket. The seams are sealed. The garment features the same outstanding attention to detail on the cuffs, collar and fishtail shaped rear as the long jacket.
The DryShell overtrouser, with its three-layer construction, is tough yet comfortable enough to wear throughout a long shift. One of the standout features is the fully adjustable braces and elasticated waist that have been designed to provide a relaxed, unrestricted and secure fit whether working upright or bent over. Extra fabric is also provided for warmth around the lower back.
The trousers have a single thigh cargo pocket and two side access pockets. All seams are sealed to provide full waterproofness while ankle zips make sure putting on and taking off the garment is easy. There is also a zipped fly with a Velcro over flap.
The DryShell boiler suit comes fully lined with a quilted polyester layer and is comfortable to wear all day long. The waist is elasticated at the back and adjustable internal cuffs offer a snug fit to stop water running down the arm when working overhead. The numerous pockets include patch front pockets with Velcro fastening flaps, two front pockets with flaps plus a mobile pocket on the right sleeve. Sealed seams provide full waterproofness along with a front fastening two-way zip with double layer studded storm flap. The high scalloped collar is designed to tuck into a hard hat and has a chin guard. Ankle zips make sure putting on and taking off is easy.
All the garments in the DryShell range are approved to GO/RT 3279, EN ISO 20471:2013 and meet the requirements of EN343: 2003/A1 2007 Class 3. They are also suitable for industrial laundering if required.
Robust and durable, DryShell will provide many years of service, especially if purchased as part of a fully managed service option where Ballyclare manages the complete process of testing, sizing, fitting and supplying personnel with the correct garments. Throughout the service life of each garment Ballyclare takes care of its laundry, maintenance and repair.
The launch of DryShell is another exciting milestone in the Ballyclare story. Last year saw Ballyclare assimilated into a new parent group called Uniform Brands Limited. This business now owns the complementary Pionér brand of high quality flame retardant clothing and the Faithful brand of made-to-order workwear.
The new DryShell garments will be joined with two other soon-to-be-launched product ranges that will offer multiple levels of protection and comfort to welders and other rail workers who are exposed to flash fire and electrical arcing. GO/RT compliant, these garments will meet all the standards covering flame retardancy, calorific value, static and chemical splash.
Concluded Maggie, ‘2015 is an important year for us, especially in the rail sector. DryShell has been thoroughly tested, both the fabric and the garments. There is already a great deal of interest in it. We will be building on this success in the months ahead with further new product announcements. All I can say to customers is watch this space. We are committed to raising the bar when it comes to providing our customers with a satisfying combination of protection, performance and compliance at a very attractive price.’
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