Personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE) offers a very practical solution to reducing and in the majority of cases, eliminating the risk of accidents and injuries. Workplace accidents are not only painful and inconvenient for any employees who experience even a minor injury but can be very costly for employers who lose money in man hours, productivity and costly legal claims for negligence.
Safety clothing can provide a safeguard against hazards such as: extreme temperatures, fire, potentially dangerous objects and harmful substances. Ensuring workers safety has been high on the list of priorities for many businesses over the past few years, along with a growing emphasis on compliance with health and safety regulations.
There are a huge number of safety clothing garments on sale to cover a variety of professions and activities, but it is essential that the wearer understand the garments use, as well as its importance. It is always recommended that employees undergo safety training that will teach the importance and necessity of safety clothing and equipment in the workplace.
Protect your hearing
Hearing protection should be worn by any employees who will be exposed to extreme noise levels that are at, or above safe levels. This could include: earplugs that are inserted into the ear canal, ear defenders or inserts which cover the entrance to the ear.
Employers should not use hearing protectors as an alternative to controlling noise levels by technical or organisational methods and protectors should not cut out too much noise, which can lead to isolation and an unwillingness to wear them.
Protect your head
Protect your head against falling or flying items, knocking it against stationary objects or hair entanglements. This could include industrial scalp protectors, hard hats and hairnets or caps. Some hats can be modified to also include ear and eye protection.
Head injuries often occur from a blow to the head but other cases of head injury include slipping, tripping, or falling down and hitting the head.
Protect your body
Body protection may include: overalls, aprons, life jackets, back support and high vis clothing. High vis clothing is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that has highly reflective qualities. They are essential for anyone who works in the dark or in areas with low lighting, for example road maintenance engineers who rely on hi vis trousers and jackets to keep them safe when working along busy roads in the dusk or dark.
Protecting your feet is important for anyone who works within the construction industry or demolition site.
There are two main categories of work related foot injuries. The first includes injury from punctures, crushing, sprains and lacerations and the second includes those relating from slips, trips and falls.
Correctly fitting, professional safety footwear is very important. Not just for general foot comfort, but also to reduce the risk of a workplace injury. The following tips can help select the right pair:
- The inner side of the shoe must be straight from the heel to the end of the big toe
- The shoe must grip the heel firmly – the shoe should not slip at all
- The shoe must have a low, wide based heel. Flat shoes are the most appropriate although heeled safety shoes are now available.