The importance of wearing appropriate safety clothing cannot be stressed enough. No one would even consider entering in a quarantine zone without a hazmat suit on. Likewise, personal protective equipment cannot protect employees unless they are using it as per its intended purpose. The purpose of PPE is to protect the employees from safety and health risks at work and to minimise the probability of physical harm.
Safety clothing varies from job to job depending on the nature of the risks assessed. The primary responsibility of providing a perfect solution to employees rests with the employers. They need to be vigilant in providing PPE that is not only in perfect condition but is also fit for the job. In fact, it is one of the crucial prerequisites to ensuring the safety of their workers and therefore abiding by the legal and ethical responsibilities of their business.
Workwear and safety clothing
Workwear and protective clothing comes in all shapes, sizes, materials and weights. This ensures a person is adequately protected and able to apply the level of physicality required.
Disposable coveralls protect the skin against hazardous dry particles and chemical sprays. These are used in various applications and include asbestos removal, construction and pharmaceutical purposes. Disposable coveralls act as a lightweight, full body protector allowing the individual to work freely and safely. Often sold in white for clean chemicals and clinical environments, with blue versions sold for construction related activities. The colour of coveralls can be important for identifying the different risks and substances a person is working in. Despite being multi-purpose, however, disposable coveralls must not be used as fire retardant clothing.
Very often protective clothing needs to be worn in a hazardous area, where people need to be noticed. If a worker is welding rail lines or laying hot tarmac they need to be protected both from the risk of the task and the environment around them.
Types of protection levels
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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