Millions of people rely on safety and protective clothing every day. The coveralls, overalls or protective suits keep contaminants off the skin, resist cuts and abrasions, provide warmth, and keep products free of contamination, such as in the food industry. A coverall can save a life and suitable protection is assessed for sparks and hot particles, molten metal splashes, direct flame, radiant heat, solvents, acids, alkalis, oil, grease, blood and body fluids, asbestos fibres, etc. So protective clothing and workwear ranges from the lowly safety apron and boiler suit to the gas tight suits mentioned below. The standards identify six Types to cover all eventualities - Type 1, Type 2 and so on down to Type 6. In general terms Type 6 is the lowest protection level, namely ‘reduced liquid spray protection’. Technical fabrics and fibres go from reflective clothing to chemical protection.
Type 1 is the highest level protection, being ‘gas tight’, fully encapsulating suits which are completely sealed against the environment. Type 2 is a similar construction but defined as ‘non-gas tight’, and requiring a positive pressure to be maintained inside the suit by means of pumping air into it. High quality safety / protective clothing / PPE must be comfortable to wear and fit well. Otherwise it will not be accepted by the wearer and not used correctly.
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