THE COMFORT SAFETY BRINGS

By | Oil + Gas, Safety

FINDING the utility in one product over another in a specialized market can be difficult, especially when there are many options available.  In order to make an educated decision regarding which product is right for you, you must understand what each product is meant to accomplish and; ultimately, how it will effectively accomplish its task. Put as bluntly as we can, here are the numbers you need to know.  Our gloves are $35/pair retail cost (same or similar to competitor gloves), lasting for up to seven days under heavy drilling (Floorhand) use, and will protect your hand from heavy impact up to 100% better than competitor TPR gloves.  What that boils down to is, these gloves are TOUGH!  You can feel it when you wear them. When it came to the choice of developing a glove that would have to sacrifice either protection or feel, there really was no decision to be made.  In the end, a slightly stiffer, more secure glove helps ensure you are healthy and able to come to work and put the same glove back on tomorrow, next week, and next month.

The evolution of safety gear will always favor more protection for those who wear it. This is our same duty to those who trust our impact gloves. Let’s explore some PPE examples we use and see everyday.

Which of these offers more protection? Which is used in high-performance environments?  What shortcomings of the first design, led to the development of the second?

What about a PPE example we can compare to the current hierarchy of hand protection? The below graphic compares different classifications of impact gloves to likely the most widely used safety system in modern society.  This three-tiered analogy compares the perception of risk to levels of protection.  By using vehicle restraint systems, we are able to explain the critical evolution of impact gloves.   

The first tier of protection is concerned solely with comfort and perceives little to no risk in its use.  The every day cotton or leather work glove seeks to provide basic protection while being as unobtrusive as possible.  Much like the basic lap belt found in older model cars, this is where hand protection starts and offers the bare minimum for what can be reasonably called “protection.”  Because of this, the jump from tier one, to tier two, is fairly evident.  

More material equals more protection. In this second tier lives the current automobile industry’s standard for industrial impact protection. Similarly, the TPR (Thermoplastic Resin) impact glove uses a fancy rubber material to create a flexible bumper between the hand and the elements.

A glove with typical TPR padding provides a compromise between safety and comfort and, much like the commercial seat belt, is effective in every-day situations where protection is provided, but a reminder of its utility is seldom tested.  When a hammer slips or a fender bender occurs, you are thankful for the protection, but for the remaining time, you don’t want to be constantly reminded that the protection is there. However, if we take this analogy further, what about those times we never anticipate, like a head-on collision?  Here, is where we move to the third tier of protection.

No one wants to imagine a scenario in which even the seat belt approved for use in almost every car is not enough to protect you.  The people who are forced to think about this face this kind of danger every time they perform their job. The racecar driver needs the kind of protection that will allow him to walk off the track at the end of the day.  Protection Matters! A five point racing harness may not be practical when driving the kids to and from school, or for taking a long road trip in perfect comfort, but it proves its necessity, time and time again, when it allows a driver to be removed from the crumpled wreck of a race gone wrong, with his health and livelihood intact.

THIS is the utility of CrudeHands Smart Skin Impact Gloves.  It is protection that anticipates and protects against hazards in the most intense, and potentially dangerous, work environments. This glove was developed with the head on collision in mind.  The difference is in the use of a patented D30 material as revolutionary impact protection.  Whereas TPR acts as a bumper against impact, D30 is a unique non-Newtonian flexible material that shocks-up and disperses energy when heavy impact is applied to it.  Hence, offering a protective barrier that is up to 100% more effective than any other impact glove on the market.  This PROtection for PROfessionals what sets our gloves apart and why we believe this material is the evolution of protection!

Let ‘Em Loose For Some CRUDE Use

By | Oil + Gas, Research + Testing

Let ‘Em Loose For Some CRUDE Use

CrudeHands Smart Skin impact gloves powered by D3O are the result of extensive lab and University testing, all to ensure that we bring you the most technically sound product available!  The lab however, can only tell you so much.  The real test for our gloves is in the real world as they are put to work by real roughnecks, on actual hitches.  These are some of the hardest working men and women in the world, and we want to make sure our gloves can keep up!

CrudeHands conducted an impact glove field study in the Permian market. We asked eleven questions to sixteen roughnecks on three different rigs to get an idea of how they use and take care of their CrudeHands gloves. The data we gathered is being carefully studied to learn how we can continue to bring you the highest quality protection AND save companies on their overall glove spend by providing the most durable and washable glove out there.

Prepping the Team

The first question was simply asking our participants to catalogue the number on the trial pair of gloves they were given in order to track the wear and tear of each specific pair used based on the job it was used for.  Each pair of gloves was tested for a full two-week hitch on twelve-hour tours.  Another added variable was the middle of winter testing timeframe, given that the trial gloves selected are intended for warm weather.  If ever there was going to be the perfect time to test the full performance power of CrudeHands gloves, this was not it.  However in order to be ready for the spring season, we had to be ready to push the “roughneck certified” button.

Next, we found out the specific rig role for each participant.  40% of our test subjects identified themselves as floorhands, further indication that our gloves were going to get put through their paces, as this is recognized as the roughest, toughest job on a rig.  The rest of the sample included three derrickmen, four drillers, one motorman, and a single rig manager who proved to be an effective control subject as this position puts the least wear on gloves.

These respondents gave us the exact distribution of rig roles we needed to get an accurate picture of how CrudeHands gloves hold up under pressure. Now that our sample was set, it was time to get our Roughnecks seeing orange!

Time for the Abuse

The first thing we wanted to know regarding our field test was how long each pair of gloves lasted given each respondents specific roll on the rig.  We were pleased to discover, that out of our 16 respondents, five reported their gloves lasting five days while 5 more reported their gloves lasting more than seven days.  In total, 75 percent of gloves tested lasted five or more days.  To put it in perspective, that’s more than twice as long as comparable TPR impact gloves!  To be exact, CrudeHands gloves offered 280% more durability in this sample.

Out of all respondents, only one noted disliking the gloves, but he also noted that this was based on personal preference, not glove performance. We know that the most ideal situation would be to have a vending machine with gloves in a variety of sizes and styles on each rig. Unfortunately, that’s not very realistic, and rather cost prohibitive, but we do our best here at CrudeHands to appeal to every roughneck’s personal preferences without compromising hand impact protection.

Next, we wanted to know how satisfied each respondent was with the overall performance of the gloves they tested. Overall, 40% of our sample noted that they were “very satisfied” with their particular pair of CrudeHands gloves. One respondent did note that they were “not satisfied with performance in cold/wet conditions.” Because of the entirely new engineering process used to integrate D3O technology into CrudeHands gloves, the impact protection pads cannot simply be fitted to a warmer or more water resistant glove as readily as TPR technology… YET!. We have been working diligently on developing a winter glove, specifically suited for cold and/or wet working conditions and hope to have this option available to crews before Winter 2015`.

So how did the gloves hold up when compared to the rest of the impact protection market? Compared to other impact gloves that our roughneck sample had previously tried, we came out on top with 43.75% saying they were “very satisfied” with our gloves as compared to those of our competitors, with others being “Moderately Satisfied.”

One major part of ensuring our gloves perform properly is proper glove care. When we asked the respondents if they washed these specific gloves between uses, 62.5% said yes and 37.5% said no. We followed up with a question regarding why respondents had not been adhering to the recommended glove care instructions.  When we asked, 83.3% of users insisted that the gloves didn’t need to be washed. CrudeHands highly recommends to drilling companies that they have a wash/wear procedure with users wearing one pair of gloves, while the other pair is washing and drying. We also strongly recommend powder detergent to work as an abrasive to the oil-based mud that is likely on the gloves.

In order to keep our glove care instructions up to date, we next wanted to learn about the kinds of drilling fluids/applications being used at the time of glove trial.  66.67% of respondents said they worked in water-based and brine-water drilling fluids while 33.3% said they used oil-based mud. We also offered air-based drilling, foam-based drilling, and aerated drilling as choices. Oil-based and water-based mud are the most common elements used in the field, so this provided an accurate sample for our research.  This sample will help immensely as we continue to develop our gloves and the best ways to care for them.

Final Feedback

Our final question asked, “What specifically let you know that a pair of gloves was no longer able to be worn?” According to 53.85% of respondents, it was due to the gloves developing a “wet feeling.” CrudeHands wants to assure our customers that we are using this feedback to resolve this issue for the new gloves we are currently working on for Winter 2015. Even so, 30.77% of the gloves tested were reported as still suitable to be worn at the end of the hitch, and 15.38% of our respondents said their hitch ended before they were able to get a new pair.  Overall, good news, when there are few to no construction flaws. 

One respondent noted, “I have big hands and they feel too tight” so we’d also like to clarify that we only sent out XL’s for this particular trial, but we do offer up to size 4XL. Visit our site to find out what size you are, or click the thumbnail to download a printable PDF sizing chart:

  

The purpose of all of our research and development is to ensure our gloves go longer and harder than any other without compromising hand protection or a worker’s ability to get the job done. As it is ultimately the roughnecks who will be in these gloves day in and day out, we wanted to hear from our testers about what they thought would help extend the lifespan of our impact gloves and make the product better as a whole. Many said that they’d prefer a different material on the palms. For companies implementing an entire CrudeHands safety program, we are able to customize the gloves to allow for a different type of palm that may be more suitable for a specific work environment. Other comments concerned the gloves shrinking when placed in the dryer or hardening up after a wash. CrudeHands recommends that you follow our specific care instructions listed here on our site if you want to get the most use out of them, or click the following thumbnail to see a downloadable PDF:  

Overall, our field-testing provided some extremely valuable insights about where our CrudeHands Impact gloves are strongest and about which areas need improvement. We are working diligently to provide the best possible impact glove in order to bring you safely home to your families the same way you left them.

Impact Glove “Safety” or “SAVE-ty?”

By | Oil + Gas, Savings

As oil and gas prices continue to fall significantly, companies are finding themselves under more and more pressure to cut spending in order to avoid eliminating positions. Luckily, we at CrudeHands have a solution for you. But first, lets drill deeper into the crude problem.

Why are oil and gas prices falling?

Some might be tempted to answer this question using their knowledge of high school economics; increased supply and decreased demand means lower cost. Although this explanation carries much truth, it lacks the detail needed to allow us to truly grasp the severity of the problem. So, to answer this question conclusively, another question must first be asked; why is the supply increasing? A significant increase in the production of oil and gas is largely, but not completely, due to fairly recent innovations in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” techniques. Fracking is the process of drilling and injecting highly pressurized liquids in order to crack shale rock and release any trapped oil or natural gas. The United States has championed these new techniques and has ramped up production, contributing to the overall increase of global oil and gas supply. However, this alone couldn’t possibly be the reason why the entire oil and gas field is suffering, right? Right.

The Game of Chicken

With prices of crude oil falling below $50 a barrel, oil-exporting countries are experiencing a variety of negative effects, from inflation to recession. Some experts in the oil and gas field feel the need to cut production in order to allow the cost per barrel to rise and finally lift the industry out of its rough patch. Other experts believe that cutting production will cause countries to lose their global market share. These two radically different opinions have caused countries to become engaged in what we, as a Texas founded manufacturer, refer to as The Game of Chicken. The rules are simple; the first country to cut or cease production loses. Loses what, you may ask? Revenue, market share, economic stability, workforce; the list goes on. This all seems unnecessarily complicated, right? If cutting production is the solution, then why does the first to cut production suffer? The first country to give in essentially loses all for the sake of others. In a world where most countries are engaged in a race for economic supremacy, you can see why the previous statement can prove difficult. But, suppose that an important oil-exporting country does in fact cut production. Would all troubles end right then and there?

Lets examine the past in order to predict the future. In the 1980s, a similar slump in the oil and gas field prompted Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest producers of petroleum, to cut their production from 10 million barrels per day to 2.5 million barrels per day. Problem solved? Not even close. Not only did the prices of oil continue to fall despite the decreased production, but the economy of Saudi Arabia also took a large hit. The nearly 75% cut in production caused 16 years of budget deficits and left the country deeply in debt. It seems as if cutting production is anything but the solution. So, what is the solution?

What can CrudeHands do for you?

With the recent fall in oil prices, petroleum-based businesses are desperately trying to determine the steps necessary to reduce supply chain costs. Boardrooms everywhere are evaluating which parts of the supply chain offer the most realistic opportunity for cost reduction. Furthermore, it is predicted that health and safety will suffer as an unfortunate consequence of oil prices plummeting. It is inevitable that certain safety initiatives will fall by the wayside as capital is re-positioned, possibly resulting in a greater loss of life and loss time incidents.

CrudeHands believes that you shouldn’t have to choose operations over safety when prioritizing budget. We are committed to providing you reasonable and effective work force PPE solutions. Although we can’t directly influence the global price per barrel, we can help your business prosper even during times of tightening the belt. Our never ending research and development means more advanced hand safety technology for your roughnecks and increased savings for you.

The Practice of Good Stewardship is a Lost Art

Organizationally speaking, workers want to do right by companies to save, however they just need the tools to participate. It is our new impact glove Crude SAVE-ty program that combines everything that the industry knows about great leadership, implementing policy, and providing easy-to-use tools to positively impact employees’ behavior. This programmatic resource sends a powerful message of stewardship that all workers need to do their part in reducing expenses, hence participating directly in margin enhancement. Through this new found sense of stewardship, CrudeHands predicts that we can exponentially save companies on their overall glove spend. Does it get any better? Yes. This savings is not only inspiring when we are all attempting to tighten our expenditure budget, but the savings are sustainable over time.

CrudeHand’s Crude SAVE-ty program is pioneering meaningful change in oil and gas as we are helping companies transition from disposable gloves to gloves “perceived” as part of worker’s overall PPE. Let’s face it, changing employee behavior is tough work. Real behavior changes require deeper connections with individuals and an opportunity for these individuals to think creatively to solve the circumstances that ultimately led to poor behavior.

Let the Crude SAVE-ty program help your business GUARD SPEND: See it, believe it, talk it, and mentor it.