Know your European Chainsaw Protection standards:

July 1st, 2015

All our Chainsaw Protection products are certified and marked to CE standards. The CE mark indicates the compliance with the fundamental health and safety requirements from the European Directive 89/686.

The pictograms on the labels in our protective clothing show the protective requirements, compliant to the European standards: The more onerous the standard, the greater your protection.

Testing is carried out after 5 washes at 60°C and line dried 5 times.

To Buy Chainsaw Protective Clothing and Equipment please click here

EN381 Protecting against Hand-held Chainsaws

The European standard EN 381 is for protective clothing for chainsaw users. Each sub part of the norm deals with a specific part of the body:

EN 381-5 : Norm for chainsaw leg protection
EN 381-7 : Norm for chainsaw protective gloves
EN 381-9 : Norm for chainsaw protective gaiters
EN 381-11: Norm for chainsaw protection on the upper part of the body

The norm also has 4 classes:  each corresponds to the chain speed at which the tests have been done:

Class 0 : 16 m/s
Class 1 : 20 m/s
Class 2 : 24 m/s
Class 3 : 28 m/s
NB Not all classes are authorized in each part of the norm.


Category I Declaration of conformity Working clothing to protect against superficial cuts caused by machines, rainwear.
Category II EC- type test(*)
+ declaration of conformity
Protective clothing and gloves to protect against cuts, safety glasses, helmets and face shields, fluorescent clothing, safety boots.
Category III EC- type test(*)
+ declaration of conformity
+ ISO control of production by notified body or sampling and testing by notified body
Protective wear, glasses, helmets against heat over (100°C); against cold (-50°C);  against electric shock. Protects against falls from great heights.


The CE mark shows compliance with the basic health and safety requirements of the European Directive 89/686.


This part specifies the requirements for leg protection wear. It specifies 3 types/designs of leg protection wear, according to the level of protection:

TYPE A (Front Protection)

Types A and B chainsaw protective clothing are mainly intended to be worn by professional lumber jacks trained for forestry work.

Type A (front protection) covers each leg partly (180°) and 5 cm to the interior part of the right leg and 5 cm the exterior part of the left leg.
Protection must begin no more than 5 cm from the bottom of the leg and end at least 20 cm above the crotch.

TYPE B (Front & interior protection)

Type B is identical to type A but it has an extra 5 cm of protection to the interior part of the left leg.

TYPE C (Occasional/inexperienced users, greatest Protection)

The Type C chainsaw protective clothing is intended to be used by people who normally don’t work with chainsaws or only do so in exceptional situations.

Type C covers each leg all-round (full 360°) protection. The protection starts at max. 5 cm from the bottom of the leg and ends at min. 20 cm above the front of the crotch; likewise at the back: it must start no more than max. 5 cm from the bottom of the leg and ends min. 50 cm under the back side of the crotch.


These 2 images above depict the design of a chainsaw protective jacket – compliant with  standard EN 381-11.

There is just 1 design /type of protection allowed for chainsaw jackets in order to conform to the standard.

The EN381-11 standard defines a minimum surface of protective inlay on the shoulders, arms and chest, on both front and back of the jacket. On the front/upper part of the sleeves the protective inlay must cover a minimum of 80% of the total surface. The non-protected surface from the end of the sleeves must not exceed 70 mm (7cm).


These 2 images above show the design of a chainsaw protective jacket according to standard EN 381-11 plus additional full front protection.

Increasingly, chainsaw jackets are used when working on servicing high platforms ie in works requiring only occasional use of the chainsaw or in exceptional and dangerous working circumstances. So, some jackets have additional belly protection on top of the standard (arm & shoulder) protection – in order to provide even more safety. Ie protection is as a normal chainsaw jacket ….. but there is added protection of the abdomen.


This part details the requirements for chainsaw protective gloves.
It describes 2 designs:


Standard EN 381-7 design A for gloves describes the protective area on the back of the hand.
This protective surface must be no less than 110 mm wide and 120 mm deep at the highest point (without the fingers).


Standard EN 381-7 design B for gloves describes the protection on the back of the hand and 4 fingers. The protective surface must be no less than 110 mm wide and minimum 190 mm high from the base to the highest point.


These are to be worn over safety boots certified EN ISO 20345.
Because safety boots have a steel toe cap there may be a gap in the chainsaw protective covering surface but it mustn’t exceed more than 14 mm from the front end of the boot.


A chainsaw boot is foremost a safety boot in the first place.
A boot complying to EN ISO 17249 automatically complies to EN ISO 20345. Therefore a chainsaw boot doesn’t need to be labelled EN ISO 20345.

EN ISO 17249 has 4 classes that correspond to the chain speed at which the tests have been done:

Class 0 : 16 m/s
Class 1 : 20 m/s
Class 2 : 24 m/s
Class 3 : 28 m/s

Relevant EN Standards for Chainsaw Protection:


This is the standard for protective clothing for use where there is a serious risk of entanglement with moving parts.



Fluorescent background material 0,14 0,50 0,80
Retro-reflective material 0,10 0,13 0,20
Or combined performance material 0,20 - -


There are 2 performance/quality classes for retro-reflective material.
(There are also combined performance materials – ie simultaneously fluorescent and retro-reflective).


EN 388 standard applies to all gloves that provide protection against physical and mechanical hazards due to Abrasion, Cuts, Tearing & Puncture.

Credits: Our thanks to the nice people at SIP Chainsaw Protection – who supplied the graphics and info.

Uvex safety footwear Range

April 7th, 2015

We have just extended our range of premium Uvex safety footwear.

We now include the Uvex Quatro in both shoe and boot versions, with a Gore-tex waterproof option as well. Uvex has a broader range premium quality and ergonomically fitting footwear.

To highlight the role of design and ergonomics plays within the UVex range, we have outliend the key features and benefits of ergonomic safety footwear as follows:

Uvex Safety Footwear & Ergonomics

In relation to work, the term “ergonomics” is understood to cover optimising

1) working conditions,

2) operational processes and

3) the workspace

…all in order to protect employees from fatigue and dangers.

Problems relating to the musculoskeletal system are a common cause of work incapacity and early retirement (due to reduced ability to work). The majority of problems relate to the joints and spine. Among other factors, the occurrence of these illnesses is directly linked to:

a) the type of movement,

b) energy expended,

c) load,

d) posture,

e) vibration and

f) fatigue.

To combat this, in the first instance it is necessary to adjust work processes, workspaces and conditions – ie the ergonomics in the workplace.

In working environments where safety and protective clothing must be worn, a further factor that has not been paid much attention is safety footwear. Safety Footwear has a great influence on the body, movement and load. Studies have shown that in addition to plantar pressure distribution, the construction and design of shoes also affects the body from joint angles in the legs all the way up to upper body posture. Accordingly, it is possible to alter the muscle activation and the strain that is placed on the different areas.

Insufficient support and pressure points can cause foot pain. Given the connection between bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles, the source of commonly occurring problems in the spinal area can often be found in the feet. Pressure distribution across the foot and joint angles is influenced by the individual foot shape and position as well as walking and rolling movements. Other potential negative factors include incorrect foot positioning, such as hollow, flat and splay foot. These malpositions already cause a change in pressure distribution when standing. Other differences that arise in joint angle positioning can also lead to an increase or decrease in muscle and joint pressure by shifting the leverage and points at which force is applied.

Which components of a safety shoe influence the effects?

1) Sole construction

The sole construction influences the pressure distribution and joint angles mentioned above. The shape of the sole affects the area on which the force has an impact and therefore also the pressure distribution. In the same way, joint positions that are adopted on contact with the ground can also be adjusted. This applies both when the foot is placed down and during the rolling movement when walking. Additional supporting or guiding elements are commonly incorporated into the sole structure.

These serve to correct foot malalignments and control movement in order to ultimately prevent injury and strain damage. For example, to reduce overpronation of the foot and prevent adverse strain through this movement, medial supports are often attached to the inner side of the foot. Special torsion reinforcements are quite common in the metatarsal area as they reduce the ability of the front and back of the foot to rotate, thereby preventing injury.
Ergonomic sole design also features in safety footwear in the uvex 1 product range. The sole has an optimised mid-foot torsion stability, flexible grooves to increase movement and a pivot point to support rotation in the front of foot. Overall, the design of the outsole supports the natural movement of the foot from the heel along the outer mid-foot all the way to the big toe.

2) Shock absorption

Without additional shock-absorbing elements, the body must, to a certain extent, absorb the forces that occur when walking itself. Consequently, the forces are distributed to areas of natural subcutaneous fat.

The level of absorption is increased through adjustment of joints by bending more strongly when there is greater pressure. The higher the shock absorption in the shoe, the lower the energy requirements of an individual’s musclesto process the corresponding forces. This also applies to strain on joints and all the way up the spine. The additional material increases the surface area and thereby reduces the pressure on zones that are placed under extreme load. The type of material and shape of the sole determine the level of shock absorption and materials of different densities are applied. A greater level of shock absorption is achieved through lower density materials and a higher number of sole layers. EVA materials are often used in sports footwear, with the addition of gel or air pockets in some cases. Depending on the area of application, PUR or rubber soles are often used for safety footwear. The uvex 1 safety footwear range has a multi-layer sole system, with the mid-sole made from a PUR material with low density to provide optimum shock absorption.

3) Shaft

The structure and material of a safety footwear shaft have a major impact on the comfort of the wearer.

In addition to fit and breathability, the supporting elements are also critical. Breathable materials are used to create a climate inside the shoe that is as comfortable as possible for the wearer. The aim is to wick away moisture coming from the foot and ensure good air circulation. For the best-possible result, this should occur across all layers of the shaft. Wearer comfort also comprises the prevention of friction and pressure points. Ways of achieving this include integrating a padded tongue or collar in the shoe, so that there are no hard edges or rough transitions. The uvex 1 safety footwear range includes a special construction to provide a certain amount of stability for the foot. There is an extension to the outsole which goes beyond the shaft and in this way provides reinforcement. The sole therefore supports the mid-foot and heel, which protects against incorrect strain and going over on the joint.

4) Fit

A further important factor that influences the decision for or against a particular safety footwear model is fit. The individual shape of the foot again plays a role. In addition to the particular features and foot malalignments, this is above all determined by the length and width of an individual’s foot. The length of the foot is generally always catered for by standard shoe sizes. Some safety footwear manufacturers offer multiple width systems with the aim of adapting the interior of shoes to different foot widths. The selection is based on measuring the circumference of the ball of the foot at the height of the base toe joints and the width of the foot measured from the metatarsophalangeal joint (at the base of the big toe) to the basal joint of the little toe. A range of different features, such as insoles that reduce or expand the inside of a shoe, are added to implement this system. Ultimately, the multiple width system makes it possible to cater for a broader range of different foot shapes.
Overall, there are many options for incorporating ergonomics in safety footwear. As has been detailed above, Uvex safety footwear in particular includes many ergonomic features. Nonetheless, constant innovation is taking place to ensure the best-possible protection and support is provided to wearers in their everyday working environment.

Click here to see further Uvex styles:

Globus Gloves

November 7th, 2014

Established in 1995, Globus produce gloves for all types of working environments. Their 3 brands Showa, Best and Skytec showcase great quality for cut protection to secure handling, from heat protection to thermal gloves as well as disposables and gloves to fit many other specifications. Globus invented the disposable nitrile glove that many other brands have replicated in todays world of PPE. They are proud to be very customer-orientated and take the time to go to the end users of their products for feedback as well as asking what they want from a glove to put ideas into new productions to keep on the front line of hand protection.

When deciding which glove is right for the working situation, it is best to understand the 4 numbers that will be shown on any good spec sheet/description. They stand for Abrasion, Cut, Tear, Puncture. (All on a scale of 1 to 4 except Cut which ranges from 1 to 5).

For example, the below Showa 377 is which means it scores 4  out of 4 for abrasion resistance, 1 out of 5 for cut protection, 2 out of 4 for tear resistance and 1 out of 4 for puncture resistance.

The Showa 377 is one of their best sellers, the liner is immersed in Nitrile so it can’t get wet, the black coating is nitrile foam which is porous so will absorb moisture making it ideal for situations requiring good wet grip. The nitrile is robust and combined with foam makes it highly abrasion resistant.

Its warmer counterpart is the Showa 477, very similar to the 377 but with a thermal layer. These make a good alternative to leather driver style gloves and they have the added bonus of having no seams making them more comfortable.

For mechanical engineering jobs, the Skytec range is fantastic. The Skytec Idaho is ¾ dipped making it breathable which is good news for people who need to wear gloves at work for extended periods of time. The light material makes it great for dexterity.

The Skytec Argon is a lined, warmer version of the Idaho. It’s hydro repellent coating on the back of the knuckles keep hands dry from light liquid contact.

The Skytec Aria has great dexterity making it great for intricate work, is ¾ dipped providing limited liquid resistance while being breathable.

The Skytec Beta Red is another popular choice, due to the extreme lightweight material. It makes it more comfortable and allows even more dexterity and allows more nimble, detailed work. It also has the added bonus of being a nice bright red colour, aiding visibility.

The Skytec Sapphire is a cut level 3 glove with PU coating and is ultra lightweight, providing great dexterity. It’s so light and comfortable you can wear it all day without having to remove it. The strength of the material makes it strong rather than its thickness.

The Skytec Ultimus lite is a cut level 5 glove but is still light enough to be used for intricate assembly line work. It sports a re-enforced ‘thumb crotch’, giving extra protection for the area of your hand that is more likely to be injured. It also has a longer cuff to protect the main artery that may be at risk when wearing shorter gloves.

Globus are happy to say, they do extra testing on the 4 main safety criteria for gloves. They test areas of the glove outwith the main palm area to assure their customers that a cut 5 glove is safe to that level on the back of the glove and the fingertips.

Globus Innovation:

They are also on the fore front of developing new disposable gloves which are biodegradable but still have a shelf life of 5 years from production date. Globus have also produced the Showa 306, a next generation product, that is liquid proof but fully breathable. It is made of latex foam with a latex palm and the technology allows air to circulate inside the glove so the wearer doesn’t get too hot providing great comfort and flexibility.

The wide range of gloves available from Globus means that there is a glove out there for any type of working situation. For more information and products click on the below links:

What you need to know to choose life jackets/ floatation devices:

May 9th, 2012

JBS supplies a complete range of life jackets. We are close partners with Mullion (Sioen) life jackets and flotation devices, which are made in Ireland. They have 25 years of experience supplying floatation devices to mariners worldwide. JBS also offers a lifejacket maintenance/inspection service).

Below we list some of the more usual queries regarding life jacket selection:

Question: What is the difference between 275 Newton and 150 Newton flotation device? How do I decide which I need?
Answer: The difference is the level of buoyancy or flotation provided – a 275 Newton having a higher level of buoyancy being nearly double that of 150 Newton. A 150 Newton should only be used where light weight clothing is being worn and no heavy tools being carried. It is not recommended to the used with a flotation suit or a dry suit. (As it is possible that it will not self-right you in conjunction with this type of clothing). A 275 Newton should be used where heavy weight clothing is being worn or tools are being carried, or when wearing a flotation suit of dry suit. All Mullion 275 N lifejackets are compatible with Mullion flotation suits.

Question: What does Newton buoyancy relate to?
Answer: Newton buoyancy basically relates to the amount of upward force or uplift provided by a lifejacket (or flotation suit / buoyancy aid) in the water.
1 Newton = approximately 1 tenth of a kilo (100 grams)
So a 50 Newton buoyancy aid will give 5 kilos of additional uplift in the water; a 150 Newton lifejacket will give 15 kilos of additional uplift; a 275 Newton lifejacket will give 37.5 kilo 27.5 kilos additional uplift.

Question: How long is a lifejacket guaranteed for?
Answer: This depends on the nature and frequency of use. If it is used in a leisure environment on an occasional basis (providing it is well looked after and serviced regularly) then it may well last for tens of years. If being used in a heavy duty commercial environment on a regular basis then it may only last 1 – 2 years.

Question: How often do I have to have my lifejackets operating parts changed / what is the life on these parts?
Answer: The life / replacement period on the operating parts is as follows:
SOLAS light: 5 years
CO2 gas cylinder: 5 years
United Moulders Firing Cartridge: 3 years
Halkey Roberts Cellulose Bobbin: 2 years
Hammar inflation mechanism: 5 years
NB. This is assuring there is no interim damage or corrosion to these parts within this period. If there is, then they should be replaced at this point.

Question: Should a crotch strap be worn at all times?
Answer: It is strongly advised that it should be. Otherwise you fall into the water, the tendency will be for the lifejacket to come up over your head with the force of inflation and the impact of the water. Then your lifejacket will not give you the correct protection and / or support your head out of the water.

Question: How important is a spray hood?
Answer: In an offshore environment, it is very important as it covers the face and protects all your airways – i.e. ears, nose and mouth from water flushing into them from the wave motion. It also provides comfort and a degree of thermal protection to the face by keeping it enclosed and covered.

Question: It is possible to purchase inflation mechanism and gas cylinders for rearming my lifejacket when it has been fired?
Answer: Yes, Mullion supply all rearming parts required for all Mullion lifejackets and rearming instructions can also be supplied.

Question: My garment incorporates an integral inflatable lifejacket. Does the complete garment have to be returned for servicing?
Answer: Ideally yes, as then the JBS service centre can ensure the inflatable bladder / lifejacket can be refilled correctly after service.

Question: Is my weight a determining factor in the selection of my lifejacket? If I am heavy in weight do I need to buy a 275 N instead of a 150 N?
Answer: Not necessarily. Generally speaking larger than average people have more inherent buoyancy in their own bodies and greater lung capacity than smaller people so the additional buoyancy required to support you in the water and self-right you is sometimes less than with a smaller person.

Question: Are your lifejackets filled with EN1095 deck safety harness suitable for lifting purposes? E.g. Helicopter rescue?
Answer: No, this harness is only designated for use with attachment to a safety line on deck and is not designed or approved for lifting purposes

Question: What is the key protection given by a lifejacket?
Answer: The key protection factors of a lifejacket are that on water immersion it will:
Self -right you if you fall in face-down and / or unconscious
Will support your head and upper torso above the water level to minimize the risk of drowning

Question: How often should my lifejacket be serviced?
Answer: For SOLAS life jackets they must serviced at an independent approved service centre approved by both the manufacturer and the National Administration. E.g. In the UK this would be the MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency). They must be serviced at intervals of 12 months maximum.
For CE life jackets there is no legal requirement for servicing but it is strongly recommended that they are also serviced by an independent approved service centre or an annual basis.

Question: What is the difference in weight between a 150 Newton and a 275 Newton lifejacket in its undeployed state?
Answer: Less than 30 grams, which is very little. The common perception is that a 275 Newton lifejacket is a lot heavier and more cumbersome than a 150 Newton, but this is not the case.

Check out JBS Group Online shop for more products or call us on 00353 47 76500

Redi-Chlor Water Decontamination Tablets

May 9th, 2012

Make most any water, drinking water…..Safely…… Effectively.

RediChlor is ideal for all sorts of outdoor activities.

Redi Chlor is suitable for Army, Civil Defence, Red Cross, humanitarian uses as well as camping and general outdoors trekking/hiking, mountain biking activities where pure clean water is vital in typically remote locations.
One tablet of Redi Chlor makes 20 litres (5 gallons) of water safe to drink in just minutes.

• One Bottle of RedicChlor Treats 2000 litres or 500 gallons of water.
• Redi Chlor is an EPA registered chlorine tablet and is National Sanitation Foundation approved.
• Redi Chlor kills bacteria and viruses in just 30 minutes.
• Use the same method 98% of cities use today.
• Redi Chlor is Iodine FREE.
• Redi Chlor makes water safe without the need to boil.
• Redi Chlor cleans water for less than € 0.05 per gallon.
When clean drinking water isn’t easily accessible RediChlor can help.

How RediChlor Works
Chlorination is the recognized and accepted method of treating water supplies throughout the world. When added to water, calcium hypochlorite forms hypochlorous acid. Hypochlorous acid thoroughly destroys microorganisms by penetrating their cell walls and attacking the exposed internal structure.

Just one tablet of RediChlor contains enough chlorine to rid five gallons of water of potentially harmful microorganisms.
• Long storage life – tablet strength decreases only 5% per year.
• Can use for long term water preservation.
• Purifies water for less than 3¢ a gallon. Compare aerobic oxygen at 23¢ per gallon or iodine tablets at 56¢ a gallon.

To say the least, water purification can be an involved and complicated process. Huge books have been written on it. College degrees are based on it. The EPA charged over €200,000 to just test and register this one product. (Maybe that’s why there isn’t more water purification products out there.) RediChlor tablets work by putting chlorine in your water. Chlorine is the recognized method of purifying water all over the planet both because it is effective and because it’s so inexpensive.

Don Peeters at Redi Clean developed a new application for an old procedure by putting chlorine into tablet form. Chlorine bleach is still a wee bit cheaper but over a year’s time chlorine bleach’s strength decreases 50%. It takes the powder 14 years to reach it’s half life. Because of this, liquid bleach certainly isn’t a long term solution unless you plan on rotating it in and out of your storage. Some people store dry chlorine powder (calcium hypochlorite). However, you really need to be careful using this as such a small amount goes a long way. It’s really dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. It also requires a nice set of scales with accuracy down to the milligram. The vast majority of us don’t even know what a set of scales like this look like. Don makes the best of both by taking the powdered chlorine which annually only loses 5% of it’s strength and presses it into pills with just the right amount of powder to purify 5 gallons of water.

Chlorine Concentration: Each capsule will put 11 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine into 20 litres (5 gallons) of water.

How much chlorine in your water is safe: Standard city water systems can have a range of 0.5 to 15 ppm chlorine. This whole subject of chlorine in the water supply is hotly debated, however. Many people feel that any chlorine at all in their water is very BAD. Obviously, the nation’s water-works experts disagree and we could argue about this forever. But there is a solution. Chlorine is a non-persistent agent in water and quickly dissipates out of the water if left uncovered. Don suggested 1 1/2 to 2 hours should take care of this. Pouring the water back and forth between two containers will greatly decrease the time it takes for this to happen.
Chlorine Demand: As organic material is destroyed in the water, it uses up the chlorine. The more heavily contaminated the water is, the more chlorine it will take to get the job done.
To kill most bacteria it only takes 0.5 ppm chlorine.
“Average” non-treated water places a chlorine demand of about 5 ppm.
As these tablets put 11 ppm of chlorine in the water, after it has done it’s job there should be 5-6 ppm of chlorine left.
This is more than an adequate amount of chlorine to ensure all the bacteria has been destroyed. For argument sake, let’s suppose you have water that creates an unusually high demand on the chlorine. Most people can smell chlorine down to 0.5 ppm. After waiting for the 30 minute purification period, if you can smell chlorine in the water you are okay. If there is no chlorine smell, add another pill and wait another 30 minutes then smell again.
Ok. We all know chlorine kills bacteria and viruses but I’ve heard differently about Protozoa: In answering this question Don explained chlorine will kill protozoa but you must use a higher concentration to do this. Cryptosporidium parvum is the hardest protozoa to kill. Don explains a concentration of 20 ppm (that’s two pills in 5 gallons of water) for a period of 3 1/2 hours will kill this pathogen. The much better known Giardia lamblia protozoa also requires a concentration of 20 ppm but needs a duration of only one hour to get the job done. Don suggests if there is any chance at all you have protozoa in your water to follow the above procedure.
Gas Off: As mentioned above, chlorine dissipates quickly out of open water. Because of this, you should insure the water you are treating remains tightly sealed during the waiting period the chlorine is doing it’s thing. If this isn’t possible, be sure you can still smell chlorine coming from the water after the water treatment time period is over.
Using Chlorine For Long Term Water Storage: Chlorine can be safely used to put away water for long term storage but there is a little more maintenance involved than if you were using aerobic oxygen. As you add the water, you need to add chlorine tablets as many city water systems don’t have enough chlorine in them. As this water already contains some chlorine, you may not need to add the whole tablet per every 20 litres/five gallons of water. Be sure you get a good, air tight seal on your container or off gassing will quickly dissipate your chlorine. Every two or three months you should remove the lid on your water container and smell for chlorine. If none can be detected, you should add another tab per 20 litres/5 gallons of water and reseal your container. Even in a sealed container off gassing will continue, but at a greatly reduced rate.
Redichlor is available from

Redi Chlor is suitable for Army, Civil Defence, Red Cross, humanitarian uses as well as camping and general outdoors trekking/hiking, mountain biking activities where pure clean water is vital in typically remote locations.

Hydrosack – a new alternative to the traditional sandbag

December 23rd, 2011

: JBS has a new,  unique, patented, low labour alternative to sandbags. The JBS Hydrosack (or JBS Hydrosnake, if a longer boom is needed). These lightweight bags absorb water and expand to approx 10 times their normal size. This means that you do not need to spend hour filling sand bags.

Once the flood threat has passed, our Hydrosacks can just be split with a knife, and their pulp contents will biodegrade in an environmentally friendly manner. (This again saves the user from having to empty sand bags and dispose of the sand.

 The hydrosacks can be stored for years in a dry environment, where they occupy minimal space. They are then at hand and ready to use quickly when there is a flood threat.

Polycarbonate cutlery and crockery

November 21st, 2011

JBS has a unique range of polycarbonate cutlery and crockery. We have been supplying this to institutional users for various years. The durability and resilience of these products has encouraged us to offer these products to a wider audience now.

As you can see from the video link, our polycarbonates are virtually indestructible; furthermore they withstand normal dishwashing temperatures, and uniquely, they are EN certified to food standards. These polycarbonate knives, forks , spoons, plates, tumblers, jugs and trays are typically used in the following areas:

Hospitals/healthcare/nursing homes
Detention centres, prisons
Army/Police/Emergency relief camps
Charity/temporary accommodation centres

These products are sturdy, proven in over 50 years use and are long lasting (typically over 3 years). They are more cost effective than disposable cups and cutlery, as well as being a green, environmentally sustainable alternative

To view and purchase our range of polycarbonate cutlery and crockery, visit our online shop here


Window cleaning: how to do it and where to get your window supplies

June 24th, 2011

Traditional window cleaning involves a bucket,  JA022021

or even simpler: JA1059,

soapy warm water, Micro fibre cloths JA021065 (or even better, a moon strip sleeve on a T bar), a squeegee and window rubber scraper as well as ladders and maybe some additional tools, such as a scraper, for more difficult marks or blemishes JA003055C

Waterproof neoprene gloves are also useful: PGL01GL .

Click on this link for our range of these items click here.

Alternatively, if you need the professional window cleaning range Unger brand, just phone us on + 353 47 76500

This old fashioned cleaning method is to firstly wash the window: Start from the top with a sponge and warm soapy water and then to wipe all that solution from the window.

Again, start at the top running across and back until all the glass is cleared, making sure to get into the corners. Blue Mila roll/garage is a great aid to polishing the glass after cleaning. The paper not only absorbs the moisture but removes the grime as well.  We know just the place to buy this: – JA10053

Stubborn stains may be removed with Fortisan Crystal Clear or a little vinegar solution before cleaning the whole pane of glass. Bird droppings may need soaking in warm water before they can be removed. Builders residue such as paint or cement and plaster will require a scraper. Care must be taken with a sharp scraper not to damage glass and window frames. In fact you should insist that your builder or decorator remove paint or plaster as they put it there in the first place. If it requires any white spirit then a paint retouch may be necessary.

Deionised water: for Professional Window Cleaners

Forthcoming EU legislation regarding the use of ladders will force the window cleaning professionals to use what is known as the “water fed pole” system using 100% pure deionised water. From the window cleaners point of view this reduces risk of accidents as the work is done while standing on the ground.

Why pure deionised water? Normal tap water contains chemicals such as calcium, fluoride or other salts that will leave streaks and spots on your window if left to dry naturally. In contrast, pure water dries spot free when left to dry in sunlight or the wind.

Pure water is created by a filtration process. This has the advantage of being environmentally friendly and eliminating the use of chemicals and detergents. Pure water has the capacity to absorb large amounts of dirt from your windows. The difference from a customer’s perspective is that initially windows are left wet, as opposed to traditional methods. This may seem a little disconcerting at first but the windows will dry spot free.

In addition to cleaning your windows the water fed pole system has the advantage of cleaning the frames at the same time.

NB If your windows are particularly grimy than using deionised water may take 2 or 3 cleans before they sparkle. Flakey and loose paint will also be removed from any frames.

Choosing the correct fire extinguisher

June 8th, 2011

Choosing the correct fire extinguisher requires some thought, both  in terms of likely fire hazard and the changing rules regarding fire extinguishers. My notes following will clarify the key considerations.

Phase out of Halon in Portable Fire Extinguishers


Halon fire extinguisher manufacturers originally emphasised that Halon 1211 was an all-purpose, efficient medium suitable for any class of fire due to:

  • Its rapid knockdown
  • Its efficiency in terms of the volume and weight of medium required
  • Its safe use in occupied areas and on electrical equipment
  • It being clean in use, with no residues to clean up after the fire was extinguished

Most of these were reasonable claims. However, Halon 1211 was not as good as some other extinguishers in dealing with Class A fires and its use outdoors could be less than effective. But in the right environment and correctly used Halon 1211 was a very useful addition to the armoury of the professional and non-professional firefighter particularly in dealing with aircraft fires, in the computer fires and telecommunications fires. It is also used widely with the military and a whole host of other applications in transport, hospitals and the emergency services.

The Halon 1211 extinguishers quickly gained in popularity under the weight of promotional activity carried out by the manufacturer and the portable extinguisher producers. Since the 1960s, the use of Halon 1211 in portable extinguishers has been promoted as the answer for most fire fighting situations. Why is this now not the case?

Present Situation

When the Montreal Protocol (relating to CFCs) was signed in 1987, many UK manufacturers took the decision to withdraw halon 1211 extinguishers from their product ranges immediately and to concentrate on other products. This action has substantially limited the number of such extinguishers in use and thereby minimised the problem of complying with the Montreal Protocol.

The European Council regulation 2037/2000 has the same implications for halon portable fire extinguishers as for fixed systems: This means that halon portable fire extinguishers extinguishers must not be used in the EC and the only exceptions are for use in some applications in civil aircraft, by the armed forces and by the emergency services for the protection of people.

The Alternatives

There is no single direct replacement for halon 1211 for use in portable extinguishers. In order for an agent to be effective in portable extinguishers, it has to have certain properties, streaming for one, which enables it to be applied to the fire in the right concentrations and without vapourising too quickly.

The halocarbon’s (CFCs) and (HCFCs), were phase-out under the Montreal Protocol. and a number of fire extinguishing halocarbon gases with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) have been developed. The substitute gases used for firefighting purposes tend to be fluorinated gases belonging to a class of chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

These fluorinated gases are not fully acceptable in Europe. HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) are acceptable in the USA and are not subject to the same restrictions in Europe as HCFC. Fluorinated gases do not damage the ozone layer like (CFCs) and (HCFCs), however they are powerful greenhouse gases, are generally long-lived and are included in the basket of gases under the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol placed legally binding requirements on signatories to reduce their carbon (and equivalent) emissions to below 1990 levels. Reducing fluorinated gas emissions will contribute towards meeting this obligation.

Europe has a policy to strictly control the use of these fluorinated gases and this makes things very difficult for organisations using these gases. They are revising legislation to take account of this problems and this will make thing even more problematic in the future.

The case for economic and viable use of these in portable extinguishers still remains to be proved. Based on test results and ratings so far achieved, it is unlikely that customers will be willing to pay a premium for a product that performs only as well as the one it replaces.

The silver lining of this situation was that the voluntary withdrawal of portable halon extinguishers by most UK manufacturers at the end of the 1980s provided the impetus for a concentrated research and development effort into the more efficient use of existing agents. As a result, we have a whole new range of both water and foam extinguishers on the market which, through the development of chemical additives, are now far more efficient in firefighting terms.

These extinguishers are more effective when measured by their fire ratings, as well as being smaller (6-litre capacity instead of 9-litre), lighter, easier to handle and easier to use than any of the superseded 9 lt water extinguishers, which were the basic tools industry for many years. Meanwhile, the simultaneous advances in nozzle design produce small droplet sizes that mean that such extinguishers can and do pass the 35kV dielectric test of the European Standard EN3 and are thus much safer to use on fires involving electrical equipment (Although no manufacturer has yet gone the final step stating that such extinguishers are safe for use on fires involving electrical ignition sources.)

Evaluation of Alternatives to Halon Portable Fire Extinguishers

Halon 1211 was a universal extinguisher that could be used on a wide range of flammable materials. The alternatives may not be suitable for all hazards in a particular location and it may be necessary to select more than one type. It is, therefore, essential that staff are trained properly to identify different types of extinguisher and to use them.

Professional advice should be sought where metal fires or fires involving gases may be a hazard.

Streaming Water

Straight stream water is suitable for uses on fires of potentially smouldering materials such as wood, paper and fabrics which may leave glowing embers. Water is very efficient at cooling and so re-ignition is unlikely. The extinguishers have a long water jet that can be used to penetrate deep-seated fires.

This type of extinguisher is unsuitable for use on fires involving liquids or gases and in fact could spread a flammable liquid fuel. They should not be used on powered electrical equipment.

Water Fog (spray)

Water spray extinguishers are most suitable for use on fires of potentially smouldering materials such as wood, paper and fabrics. They are particularly effective on burning embers but are less effective than streaming water on deep-seated fires.

Some water spray extinguishers can be used on electrical equipment but users should ensure that the extinguisher has been tested and certified appropriately.

Water spray extinguishers may offer a very limited capability on fires involving combustible liquids, again appropriate testing and certification, coupled with adequate training of the operator, are essential.

Foam Spray

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) spray is a general purpose extinguisher which may be used, with appropriate training, on a wide range of flammable liquids and materials.

Foam spray fire extinguishers can be bought by clicking here.

Foam spray extinguishers are relatively light and can be considered as a replacement for halon 1211 extinguishers in vehicles. They are also suitable, with the correct fire rating, for public service vehicles. Depending on the stream pattern, this type of extinguisher may not be safe for use on electrical equipment.

A more modern version of a Halon alternative,  with FM200 or the greener alternative (with NO ozone emissions) has 3M Novec. Just call JBS Group or email if you/your organization have specific requirements.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO 2) may be used safely on a wide range of flammable liquids and materials including live electrical equipment. Care must be taken, however, to avoid contact with the discharge tube and horn to avoid frostbite because these parts get extremely cold in operation.

CO 2 is inexpensive but the containers are relatively heavy and the noise of the discharging gas can be alarming to the untrained user. Once the gas has dispersed re-ignition is a possibility.

Use of CO 2 is particularly recommended in telecommunication rooms and similar applications on board ships.   To see/buy a CO2 extinguisher.

Dry Powder

General-purpose (ABC) dry powder is an extremely effective extinguisher giving rapid knockdown on flammable liquids. It may also be used on potentially smouldering materials. The amount of clean up necessary after use is insignificant when compared to the loss and damage due to the fire.

To see/buy a Dry Powder extinguisher, just click here.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and Perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

HFC and PFC agents are restricted in Ireland & the UK for use in portable extinguishers. It is not the policy of the fire industry to select fluorinated gases for use in this sector except in special circumstances and none are generally available in the market at present.


Staff must be provided with such training in the use of fire fighting equipment as appears necessary according to the role they may be expected to play in a fire emergency situation. Training should be provided by a competent person.


Portable fire extinguishers should be maintained at regular intervals and in accordance with the requirements of BS/ EN5306 Part 3.

This page is based on an article by David Bonnett chairman of the FETA

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector

November 30th, 2010

Ei204 Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The following article in the Irish Times last week, shows how lethal carbon monoxide is. Whereas over 90% of Irish households now have a fire alarm, less than 20% have a carbon monoxide alarm. This is mostly due to lack of awareness. Following the article we give tips on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and a link to buy Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors online at JBS.

The Irish Times –Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toxic gas alarms should be mandatory, inquest told
TOM SHIEL in Castlebar

A MAN whose 20-year-old son died in bed on Christmas morning 2008 after inhaling gas central heating emissions has called on Minister for the Environment John Gormley to make carbon monoxide alarms compulsory in all new homes.
Cathal Hughes, a businessman based in Westport, Co Mayo, told an inquest in Castlebar his son Padraig would still be alive if his gas provider had not withheld information on the availability of such alarms.
“I never knew such an alarm existed,” Mr Hughes said in a statement which was read to the inquest by his legal representative, Eoin Garavan.
Padraig Hughes was found dead in bed at about 9.30am on December 25th, 2008. His twin sister, Emma, who later made a full recovery, was unconscious in bed in an adjacent room.
Yesterday’s inquest, which was conducted by the coroner for south Mayo, John O’Dwyer, heard carbon monoxide had entered both bedrooms through a fractured flue pipe while the Hughes family were asleep at their home at Rosbeg, Westport.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Mr Garavan read the statement by the victim’s father, in which he stated that in 20 years of receiving supplies from his gas provider he had never once received literature about the availability of carbon monoxide alarms.
He continued: “Contrast this with how British Gas – the biggest provider of carbon monoxide alarms in Britain – operates.
“For gas companies to withhold safety information on such an important issue reflects badly on the people who run these companies. My son would be alive today if this information was not withheld.
“There is no regulation in relation to gas installations in Ireland. How many people have to die before the Minister for the Environment regulates and in particular makes it a regulation that these alarms are installed in all new homes?”
Mr Hughes warned: “The issue will not be going away.“People should be made aware of the safety issues. Withholding safety information is not an option.
“It is time the Minister and the department started to regulate on gas installation. No other family should have to go through what we experienced on Christmas morning, 2008.”
The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.


There are several precautions you can take to help protect you and your family from Carbon Monoxide poisoning:

  • Check the colour of gas flames: if it’s blue it’s normal, if it’s yellow this indicates a problem with the appliance in question.
  • Obstructing ventilation of a heating appliance to prevent draughts does more harm than good so make sure vents and filter areas are kept clear.
  • Make sure your boiler and gas heating systems are checked regularly and serviced annually.
  • Look for discolouration and staining around pilot lights and fire places as this is often a sign of the incomplete burning of fuel.
  • Make sure that gas and heating appliances and systems are installed by a RGII/Gas Safe registered and approved engineer.
  • Properties with working chimneys should make sure chimney flues are swept regularly.
  • Buy a Carbon Monoxide alarm so wherever you are in the home you are alerted to a Carbon Monoxide leak.

JBS supplies the Ei204 Carbon Monoxide alarm:- a portable battery powered alarm that detects both high and low levels of Carbon Monoxide and can be placed anywhere around the home. The alarm uses an electrochemical cell sensor which checks Carbon Monoxide concentration in the air every 50 seconds. Even whilst asleep, the Ei204 can help protect you and your family from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide. The Ei204 features a low and high Carbon Monoxide level indicator and horn to warn users of any Carbon Monoxide in the atmosphere. The Ei204 alarm carries third party approvals (EN50291 is available online, Contact Us.