Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Daniel Kidd, on behalf of Mammoth Workwear.
Choosing the right workwear can literally mean the difference between life and death, and that is no exaggeration! Very high risk environments and tasks can require very specific protective clothing, without which the employee or worker could be in very real danger – imagine an astronaut without his space suit, for example!
Now, while most outdoor jobs do not offer exactly the same level of risk as that faced by space travellers, there are sufficient dangers here on earth to necessitate the wearing of proper work clothing. Even without risk assessments being carried out on tasks, comfort must also be taken into account; an uncomfortable workman is not going to perform to the best of his ability.
Weatherproofing is a must for people who work out of doors. An outer garment that cuts the wind and stops rain finding its way to the wearer’s skin should always be available to the outdoorsman. If working in all weathers layers of clothing are recommended and workwear is no different. A thin shirt should lie against the skin, preferably made from one of the new fabrics which wick moisture away from the skin. This will ensure that the worker remains comfortable in the heat of the day. A warm, fleecy jumper or jacket should be next, followed by the waterproofing. This combination allows the workman to dress appropriately and safely for whatever climate he happens to be working in.
Another aspect of comfort is enabling an employee to finish work and easily clean him or herself up. Overalls to protect their own clothing, gloves to protect hands and hair nets to both protect the workers hair and head, but also to prevent workplace contamination, are a must for some tasks.
Workwear should be appropriate to the location of the job, just as waterproofing should be supplied for wet work, so too should high-visibility garments be supplied if the work is to be done on or near a road or busy construction site, or even at an airport. High-visibility clothing can range from a simple sash over one shoulder to vivid full-length garments; choose the appropriate level for the job at hand.
Safety gear must be used with potentially dangerous tools. Welders must wear eye and face protection, construction workers should always wear helmets and safety boots, and people working with toxic fumes must wear respirators and eye protection to avoid exposure. Before any job is started, a risk assessment must be held, with careful thought being given to the needs and requirements of the people working on the project. Many people talk about health and safety legislation with scornful disdain, but it is a fact that considering possible dangers and taking steps to prevent accidents can and has saved lives.
One important consideration is always going to be how much to spend on workwear for outdoor manual workers. It cannot be emphasised enough that while there are excellent areas for thrift and penny-pinching, the health and safety of workers is not one of them. Always purchase good quality safety clothing, preferably from established brands that offer a quality guarantee. Remember that you are going to be relying on this safety clothing to protect you and your health and that will help to remind you exactly what a worthwhile investment that is!
Workwear should always be appropriate for the job in hand, and should help, not hinder, the workman. Used correctly proper workwear can assist the worker, which will result in greater productivity and better results all round.
Mammoth Workwear is a large UK workwear specialist, supplying all the major brands of workwear including Dickies and Helly Hansen
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