The Chicago chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association has started an online store selling a variety of safety products for members.

“Years ago, we had a similar program that made it economical for our contractors to buy safety equipment. It was a small flier, a sheet you’d fill out to order materials,” said SMACNA Greater Chicago board member Hank Artlip, president of Artlip & Sons Inc. “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 chapter’s safety store is also optimized for use on mobile devices. All of the items are categorized as personal protective equipment and are available at a significantly reduced price, officials said. Items ship for free or are available for pickup by visiting the association’s office.

The store currently sells protective gloves, high-visibility safety vests, ear plugs, hard hats and safety glasses in a variety of sizes.

“We went through a lot of products and a lot of research,” Artlip said. “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. 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.”

SMACNA Greater Chicago is also providing its members with a series of “fun, educational safety stuffers” that are included in each employee’s paycheck envelope free of charge, officials said. This year’s theme is “The Safety Zone,” a parody on 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.”