The Chicago chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) says it has launched its new online Safety Store, which allows members to purchase a variety of safety products at the touch of a button. SMACNA represents nearly 350 contractors and 4,000 sheet metal workers in the Chicago area.
“Years ago, we had a similar program that made it economical for our contractors to buy safety equipment,” said Hank Artlip, SMACNA Greater Chicago board member and president of Artlip & Sons, Inc. in Aurora.
“It was a small flyer, a sheet you’d fill out to order materials. It’s been a few years since we’ve instituted it, but now we’re bringing the concept into the new age where it’s online and much more user-friendly. It’s just another way to add value for our members.”
The online Safety Store has been mobile-optimized, making it convenient for on-the-go members to order products from the field, if necessary. All items — most of which display the SMACNA Greater Chicago logo — are categorized as personal protective equipment (PPE). They are available for members to purchase at a significantly reduced price, and include free shipping. If items are needed sooner than shipping time allows, members also have a pick-up option by visiting the association office.
Currently, five products in a selection of sizes are available in the Safety Store: protective gloves, high-visibility safety vests, ear plugs, hard hats and safety glasses. Each item was selected based on a number of factors, including comfort, design and value.
“We went through a lot of products and a lot of research. We talked to both large and small contractors to get their opinions on products that would be feasible. These consumable items are something we all need,” Artlip said. “We’re offering good products, and we’re certainly offering good prices. It’s all part of what we consider to be safety, and we’re providing a service to our members.”
In addition to the Safety Store, SMACNA Greater Chicago also provides its members with a series of safety stuffers that are included in each employee’s paycheck envelopes. This exclusive membership benefit is offered free of charge to ensure that workforce safety stays top-of-mind. This year’s theme is “The Safety Zone,” a parody of the classic TV series “The Twilight Zone.”
“Safety is certainly something everyone talks about and everyone’s a proponent of, but it’s one of those things you may not concentrate enough on until something happens,” Artlip said. “We try to keep it in the forefront.”
SMACNA Greater Chicago members who are interested in purchasing PPE from the Safety Store can visit http://smacnagreaterchicago.org/safety-store.html.