Employers have a duty to provide safety workwear for their employees in order to ensure their safety and good health. This is especially important if employees work in high-risk areas, for instance, if they working close to furnaces. It is also important that the workwear is safe and as comfortable as possible. For instance, if employees work in hot environments, their workwear should be breathable and able to absorb sweat as well as allow movement.
Types of workwear
1. Overalls and dust coats
Overalls and dust coats are available in a range of colours. They are acid resistant and flame retardant. It is possible to sew in reflective tape, should an employer choose to. Overalls also work to keep of possible spills. Overalls have been customised to suit different work areas. Fire is a common workplace risk, and as such fire retardant uniforms help mitigate this risk. When buying fire-retardant overalls, look at the specifications of the overalls so that you can determine the level of protection they offer.
2. High-visibility protective clothing
High-visibility protective clothing is meant to improve the visibility of workers in the work environment. Even in low light, a worker with 'hi-viz' stands out. Hi-viz clothing comes in luminous and reflective shades. They are mainly coats, trousers and overalls, as they are easy to wear. Construction industries are especially required to wear hi-viz clothing due to safety regulations.
3. Protective eyewear
Safety glasses are important to prevent the loss of eyesight. Eye injuries are very common in the workplace. Protective eyewear is required to conform to impact resistance so that they do not break easily. Protective eyewear may include goggles, face shields, helmets and eyeglasses. Protective eyewear is paramount during welding, as they offer protection against UV radiation and prevent welding arc flashes. Modern safety eyewear is manufactured using polycarbonate that absorbs the radiation as well as protects the eyes from flying debris.
4. Respiratory protection
Dust, fumes and gases in the workplace pose a safety hazard and can even lead to death. Respiratory protection is used in instances where there is oxygen deficiency or harmful substances. Dust masks and respirator masks protect workers from any toxins that may be available in the work environment. There are two types of respiratory protection including an air-purifier respirator and air-supplier respirator. An air-purifier respirator cycles contaminated air through a filter, and an air-supplier respirator supplies fresh air, as its name suggests.