Safety clothing is important in the workplace as it protects users against any health and safety risks at work. Also called PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), it lessens the likelihood of injury, illness, and legal issues, and ensures a safe, happy working environment for all.
What is PPE?
PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment, and refers to garments and equipment that are specifically designed to help staff avoid hazards and injury. These are commonly decided upon after a risk assessment has been conducted.
Common PPE safety gear can include safety boots, safety glass, helmets, and specialized work clothes, but it really depends on the type of work your company engages in and what activities require safeguarding.
Why is PPE important in the workplace?
The importance of safety clothing cannot be stressed enough. With most industries these days having a strong focus on health and safety, being geared up for the job fulfills your duty as an employer and ensures your workforce stays protected and free from injury.
Usually the garments protect delicate areas, such as helmets for the head and sturdy boots for the feet. They also protect features such as sight and hearing, and also the mouth and nose to prevent inhalation of dangerous substances.
In which industries is PPE needed?
PPE is important in several key industries and workplaces:
Any industry that carries a risk of loud noises, dust, gases, heavy objects, chemicals, hot surfaces or substances, biological agents, or falling debris, should be investing in safety garments.
What are the most important items of safety clothing?
Boots – important for preventing foot injuries such as punctures, sprains, crushing, and falls, especially steel-capped versions. Gives the foot an extra protective, sturdy layer.
Specialist fabrics – such as breathable, flame-retardant fabrics, or fabrics that are tough but that do not restrict employee movement.
Gloves – The hands are sensitive areas of the body and the most used part of the body during work. Hand protection is essential to avoid burns or splashing from harmful substances.
Respiratory protection – Some industries have presence of debris, dust, particles, gases, and other things that can be damaging to the respiratory system. As such, in these situations, it’s important to cover the nose and mouth.
Eyes and Ears – Your sensory organs are probably the most delicate, sensitive areas of the body and as such they need protection with the use of safety goggles and noise-cancelling headphones.
Head Wear – Helmets protect the delicate skull against falling debris and potential building collapse. Other headgear items can include beanies to keep the head warm, and hi-vis versions to boost visibility.