Workwear, Protective Clothing, Hand Protection and Protective Footwear:
Protective workwear is just as vital a component of personal safety equipment as a hardhat or safety goggles and should not be overlooked when preparing for a job. Protective workwear can cover an individual from head to toe in safety and is required in most workplaces where hazardous conditions exist.
When you hear the phrase “protective clothing”, one may only think of items such as lab coats worn in laboratories or other hospital type uniforms. Although they serve their purpose and are considered a form of protective clothing, there are various other forms of protective clothing available. Protective clothing is designed to prevent or reduce skin and eye contact as well as inhalation or ingestion of the chemical substance. Proper protective clothing protects the body against contact with known or anticipated chemical hazards and has been divided into four categories.
Level B protective clothing and safety equipment should be selected when the highest level of respiratory protection is needed, but a lesser level of skin and eye protection is necessary.
Level C protective clothing and safety equipment should be selected when the type of airborne substance is known, the concentration is measured, the criteria for using air-purifying respirators is met and skin and eye exposure are unlikely.
Level D protective clothing is primarily a work uniform and is used for nuisance contamination only. It requires only coveralls and safety shoes or protective boots.
Safety vests are a form of high visibility clothing that helps a worker stand out making them more visible, which can aid in preventing unnecessary accidents. Safety vests are worn by a variety of occupations from crossing guards to construction workers. Hunters also wear high visibility clothing and safety vests to make themselves very visible to other hunters to reduce the risk of accidental shootings. For jobs that require working in low light conditions or at night safety vests and high visibility clothing have reflective fluorescent strips on them to make a worker safer. In the road construction industry or anyone who works around oncoming traffic there are three classes of safety vests that can be worn. The first is Class 3 and gives workers the most visibility. When traffic does not exceed 25 miles per hour the Class 1 safety vest is adequate.
Coveralls give full body protection from elements from neck to ankles. Coveralls serve many purposes such as protection form dust or dirt getting on clothing, contaminated particles getting on skin or clothing, puts an extra barrier between ones body and chemical or oil splashes, protection from cold temperatures, and fire resistant coveralls can protect one from sparks, fire, and heat. OSHA places coveralls in the top three most import pieces of protective workwear safety gear for hazard exposure.
Aprons used to be thought of as just something ones mom might wear in the kitchen while preparing a meal or dad while barbequing on the grill, but aprons have advanced since then and are now an essential part of protective safety workwear. They put a protective barrier between the worker and hazards such as chemicals, heat/burn related hazards such as sparks and splashes, impact, and radiation. There are different types of aprons for different needs covering various occupations. Mostly carpenters and welders use leather aprons to protect them from weld sparks and other heat related accidents as well risks of puncture. Disposal aprons are used to protect one from dust, dirt, grime, and mild chemical splashes. Poly aprons are used for a barrier against stronger accidental chemical contact. Lead aprons are used when technicians are performing x-rays and other radiation-involved task. Steel meshed aprons are used mostly in the meat processing industry when knives and other dangerous cutting materials are used to protect from cuts and punctures.
Our hands are a valuable asset and should be protected from risky situations with the proper hand protection. There are many types of hand protection available to protect one from any type of risky work situation. Work gloves are broken down to four categories:
- 1) Leather, canvas or metal mesh work gloves: protect against puncture, cuts, burns, sparks, heat, cold, and impact hazards.
- 2) Fabric and coated fabric work gloves: aid in grip and serve as a protective layer between weather temperature elements, dirt, chafing, and abrasions.
- 3) Chemical and liquid-resistant work gloves: such as latex gloves and nitrile gloves are used as protection from chemical burns, they protect a workers hand from getting wet and they provide a protective barrier when working in laboratory with biohazards such as blood, waste products and other medical fluids.
- 4) Insulating rubber work gloves: are used as hand protection in the electrical field.
In each category certain work gloves may serve one or more of the purposes listed above, but not necessarily all. It is important to know which hand protection is best used for the job at hand.
Protective footwear is another important item not to be overlooked when purchasing protective workwear for your safety such as rubber boots or steel toe boots. Many find steel toe work boots to be cumbersome and heavy, but the amount of foot injuries saved by wearing will keep you and your feet happy. Protective footwear when new can be a little uncomfortable at first, but your feet will adjust as the work boots get broken in. Steel toe boots also come with steel shanks that are mandated to be worn by workers in occupations such as law enforcement, military personnel, manufacturing and construction.
For quick answers to your questions regarding all of your Workwear, Protective Clothing, Hand Protection and Protective Footwear needs, fill out our contact form or call New York Safety Equipment today at 631-563-1677 or 516-458-3563 for additional information.