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The importance of protective clothing in the workplace

Published: 15 January 2019 - Sarah Mead

Whether it be from heat, confined spaces, unstable structures, biohazards, chemical exposure or airborne matter, there’s a lot that can make a workplace dangerous. Using the right safety clothing to protect your employees from these hazards is extremely important.

Failure to do so has too many consequences for it to ever be worth it. You could be seen in a negative light by the public, or even receive a lawsuit from an unhappy worker. Many entrepreneurs will also agree that losing certain employees is way too detrimental to the functioning and success of the business.

What qualifies as safety equipment?

Standard safety wear includes high visibility clothing, helmets, gloves, goggles and specialised boots. Certain work environments demand additional equipment such as respiratory masks, hearing protectors and head lamps, along with equipment that protects against UV light and radiation.

For the best work clothing money can buy, consider the workwear safety options here. Engelbert strauss offers an extensive range of safety gear at affordable price points. Multiple sizing options are available for all the modern and stylish products in their range. Your employees won’t look better in clothing from any other brand.

For most workplaces, only some of this equipment is really necessary. Assess all the potential ways that your employees can be harmed in their workplace and include the necessary gear in their work attire accordingly.

Facts and statistics

In the UK alone, around 1.4 million workplace illnesses and injuries are reported every year. Playing your part in reducing this number is important.

One of the most common work-related injuries is hearing loss. Many workers can be found in environments where their hearing is at risk, and this poses a threat to workers’ quality of life, as these injuries are often untreatable. A simple pair of earplugs goes a long way in reducing the risk of this happening.

Around 13 million workers are exposed to chemicals that pose a threat to their skin every year. Ensuring that your workers bodies are covered with the right safety workwear to protect against this is extremely important. This also extends to additional gear for protecting vulnerable areas like the face, back and knees.

Poorly lit environments

Workplaces such as coal mines often run on bare-bones infrastructure that fails to provide workers with sufficient lighting. This also applies to sites that are worked on through the night, such as road maintenance. Here, workers risk tripping over unseen objects, not to mention the eyestrain that comes with trying to focus in the dark.

A simple headlamp or utility torch goes a long way in preventing such problems from occurring. Hands free is naturally the best way to go, and nothing beats a construction helmet with a lamp attached to the top. Maximum safety at a minimal cost.

Choosing the right gear

Before buying your desired workwear clothing, ensure that it is sufficient for where it’s going to be used and doesn’t require an additional purchase in order to meet the relevant standards or regulations. A CE marking ensures that the product complies with the respective legislations that surround it.

Ensure that every employee gets their own set of safety gear that is fitted to their liking. It should also not be too heavy, as this may impair an employee’s ability to do their job. The equipment should help them avoid injuries, not cause more.

Hard hats aren’t seen almost everywhere for no reason. They can literally mean the difference between life and death when the wrong object is sent towards your employee’s head. Visors are an excellent addition to hard hats, adding more protection to a worker’s face and eyes.

It’s also important to find out whether certain equipment will work together. For example, whether the helmet will fit around a pair of goggles.

Storage and maintenance

Keeping all your work clothing clean and well maintained not only helps it last longer and do its job better, but it also gives your company a good image. If your employees are walking around in clean, attractive safety wear, your clients will notice.

Training for safety equipment use

If your employees don’t know how to make the most of their safety equipment, or even use it properly, it’s likely going to waste. Knowing the limits of your protective clothing is also extremely important. Training programmes and guides are usually available and are often included with most safety equipment sets.

In most cases, employers are legally obliged to adequately train their employees on the correct use of safety equipment. Frequent inspections should also be carried out in order to ensure that all the prescribed gear is still being put to use.

Adequate safety gear and proper attire is one investment that no business should go without. Your employees will be grateful that you care about their safety, which will only boost your productivity and the quality of their work.

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