Buyer's Guide for Protective Clothing
While working in a dangerous environment, there are certain things that put your life at risk. Therefore, you have to take certain precautions. What do these precautions include? Is there any equipment needed? Do you need any type of special clothing to protect yourself?
Once you are at work and engrossed in attaining maximum productivity, you may overlook your safety. However, this should never be the case. For this reason, we have to make sure that we are always wearing some sort of clothing to offer us protection from the harsh environment.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the most common protective clothing options in different fields of life. Along with that, we will also explore a couple of other details about protective clothing. Our main is to help you in understanding the purpose of protective clothing.
1. What is protective clothing?
2. Standard Of Usual Type Of Protective Clothing
3. The Various Applications
3-1: Protective Clothing For Construction
3-2: Protective Clothing For Traffic
3-3: Protective Clothing For Welding Industry
3-4: Protective Clothing For Cleaning And Medical
3-5: Protective Clothing For Electricians
3-6: Protective Clothing For Chemicals
3-7: Protective Clothing For Firefighters
4. Benefit Of Using Protective Clothing
5. How To Choose One Good Protective Clothing Supplier ?
What Is Protective Clothing?
Protective clothing is a type of clothing which has been designed to safeguard the wearer's body. Moreover, it can also protect other items of clothing from various dangers such as heat, chemicals and sparks.
Also, protective clothes may protect the surrounding working environment from pollution. The pollution can harm the health of the workers such as those who work in a microchip factory.
There are several parts of protective clothing. Some part of protective gear can offer generalised protection while certain options of protective clothing also offer localised protection.
Many coveralls are used in various industries to offer protection to workers. These coveralls form a barrier between the wearer and the surroundings. Therefore, any negative consequence such as heat, flame, sparks, infections, etc. cannot travel through to the wearer’s body.
What Is The Standard Of Usual Type Of Protective Clothing?
There are certain standards set for protective clothing. Every employer should conform to these standards to ensure maximum safety of their employees.
29 CFR 1910.137 Electrical Protective Equipment:
It talks about the design requirements that suit specific types of electrical protective equipment. While working with electrical connections, it is important to make sure that the protective clothing you provide to your employees is made out of an insulating rubber material.
29 CFR 1910.140 Personal Fall Protection Systems:
“Employers shall ensure that each personal fall protection system used to comply with this part must meet all applicable requirements of this section. This section establishes performance, care, and use criteria for all personal fall protection systems such as personal fall arrest systems and positioning systems.”
29 CFR 1910.132 General Requirements
General requirements state that all protective clothing has to meet these requirements that offer optimal protection.
• Provides sufficient protection against the specific dangers for which they are made. They need to have the following features.
• The protective clothing should be of safe design and strategy for the work to be performed
• The protective clothing should be reasonably comfortable on the wearer’s body to suit the designated conditions
• It should fit snugly. However, it should not be too tight or too loose. If it’s too tight, it will remove the barrier between the wearer’s body and the fabric. It should also not be too loose so that it does not interfere with the movements of the wearer.
• It should also be durable to endure the harsh conditions
• Protective clothing should also be disinfected
• It should also be easy to clean so you can get rid of impurities.
• Protective clothing should be marked to aid in the identification of the manufacturer
The Various Applications Of Protective Clothing
There are various applications of protective clothing that can be used in different fields.
Protective Clothing For Construction
The protective clothing required must be worn while you are at work at all times on the construction site. Each employee is at least required to wear safety glasses and a hard hat. You also need high visibility vests that offer maximum safety with stripes that are reflective.
Workers must also wear shirts that have proper sleeves. The pants should be long and sturdy enough to endure the harsh surroundings. In case the working space is above six feet, you have to make sure that you are also providing your employees with the proper fall protection equipment.
An important piece of protective clothing to wear are bib pants. Bib pants offer protection to the lower half of your body. It is important to protect the lower half of your body especially because it suffers the most in strenuous hours of construction work.
Based on the health-risking circumstances, there are certain potential hazards present that need to be overcome by additional protective clothing. Additional protective clothing can include Safety Belts/Safety Harness.
Site employees that are working at an elevated level (to about 2 meters or more) should be provided with safety harness or belts. This protects them from accidental falls.
Anchorage point of the safety harness should be placed above the head of the worker. This should not be less than 5 meters from the ground level.
This point should be sturdy enough to carry a force of not less than 5000 pounds (2275 kg). The material should be made out of durable materials such as nylon or equivalent that is at least 1 cm thick.
The hooks attached should also be fitted with a double locking device. The device should open only when it is pressed at the two points at the same time for safety purposes.
Protective Clothing For Traffic
Traffic police are a common sight for motorists. You see them at every intersection every day, no matter the weather or season. The traffic police are always on duty regardless of the environmental hazards because they have to direct traffic and ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians.
Therefore, it is important for them to look after their safety as well. But how can traffic policemen take care of themselves? Is there any protective clothing designed to suit their job?
The reflective vests that traffic police wears are one of the most important items needed for safety. It is a special garment that is made out of reflective materials that can effectively reflect back light rays. When you wear the reflective vest, it enables the driver to look at the target which may be at a distance. This is important to effectively ensure the safety of the traffic police.
In the past, the reflective vest was designed in a way that reflected from the front and back. But the side could not reflect the light rays. However, now better designs of reflective vests have come up that have a reflector all around the diameter of your body. The feature tends to enhance visibility in the dark.
Protective Clothing For Welding Industry
Welding safety starts with first understanding of what could go wrong. This will help you in preparation for when dealing with what goes wrong. The risks include electric shock, injuries that are related to inhalation of toxic fumes, eye injury and skin burns.
To start with, you should always give your employees protective clothing and equipment that must be worn during all welding operation. This can include helmets and shields.
For arc welding, the electric arc is a powerful source of light along with other rays such as visible light, ultraviolet, and infrared. Therefore, during all-electric welding processes, workers must use protective clothing so that the harmful rays do not harm their body.
While working with all oxy acetylene welding and cutting processes, workers are at a risk of suffering from harm. Therefore, wearing a welding jacket is necessary to wear to protect the workers from heat, flame, and flying fragments of hot metals and heated materials.
You should also be sure to keep MSDS sheets (Material Safety Data Sheets). This protects from all hazardous materials. Every manufacturer should provide MSDS sheets to keep you aware of any potential risks. This can add to the guidelines which you may need in case there is an emergency.
Protective Clothing For Cleaning And Medical
There are a lot of places where you need the proper equipment in the medical and laboratory areas. In most cases that we will discuss today, protective clothing is needed to protect yourself. However, in the field of medicine, there is another aspect. You have to not only protect yourself but also protect your patient and others around you from any potential health risk.
A lab coat is protective clothing that you need to wear as a barrier that protects you from the chemicals you work with. Your lab coat also makes sure that your street clothes and body are protected from spills, splashes, drops, etc.
It serves as a barrier that keeps you from being exposed to accidents in the lab and, in some cases, might save you from injury or even save your life.
If you get into an emergency you have to remove your lab coat, unlike other articles of clothing. However, the best part is that removing the lab coat is much easier. For instance, if a toxic chemical split and got onto your lab coat, or if a fire started, getting out of it before you are burned is convenient and easy, while still containing the hazard.
Your arms are exposed to the harsh conditions of the laboratory. They are the most vulnerable part of your body while working in a lab. Therefore, if you are wearing adequate safety clothing, you will be protected.
While you are making your hospital visit, you do not want to catch germs and infections from your patients. Who will cater to the patients if you yourself fall sick? That’s the reason why you need to wear a lab coat while practicing medicine.
It works as a barrier to protect you from the infections that can come into contact with your body. The lab coat also saves you from coming into contact with body fluids such as semen, blood, urine. Body fluids are one of the greatest source for an infection to spread.
Moreover, the lab coat should have a few pockets on the front and back. The pocket element does not necessarily add protection to the clothing. It adds value in the sense that it creates convenience for the wearer.
Protective Clothing For Electricians
Whether they guard you against harm from the sun, wind, rain, or fire, protective garments are important for many workers that are associated with the electrical industry. According to the particular work environment, protective clothing is often compulsory. This keeps electrical workers protected from electric sparks and thermal exposure.
The consequences that occur due to wearing proper protective clothing include the potential risk for serious burn injury and death. Cap shell, Inc., is a Chicago-based research company that focuses on avoiding workplace injuries and deaths.
The company reported that almost five to 10 times a day, an electric worker in the United States is injured or killed because of an arc flash accident. It proves to be of the main reasons why NFPA 70E calls for employees to wear flame-resistant protective clothing.
However, you should keep in mind that the main aspect of protective clothing should be that it offers an excellent amount of insulation. Working within the electrical field you have to take care of and protect yourself from the risk of electrocution.
Protective Clothing For Chemicals
Personal protective clothing is needed for workers who may be exposed to working hazards. These hazards can include poisonous or corrosive chemicals, germs or infections, molten metal splashes, thermal exposure, etc.
The protective clothing for chemicals can include aprons, coveralls, coats, pants, hats, hoods, sleeves, gloves, and totally encapsulating chemical protective suits. Another example of special clothing is a protective vest that reflects light for outdoor night workers.
Use of Clothing
It is vital to opt for clothing that is based upon its ability to overcome degradation and spread of toxic chemicals caused by various other agents.
• Wool and specially treated cotton are used for clothing that is fire-resistant and comfortable
• Heavy fabrics protect workers against cuts and bruises from heavy, sharp or rough materials
• Leather guards offer protection against dry heat and flame
• Rubber protects workers against acids and chemicals
• Synthetic materials protect workers from catching fire more easily
• Disposable suits of paper-like material are made to protect workers against dusty materials
• Disposable or reusable suits for liquid or vapour protection should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
Clothing Design Standards
The OSHA rule states that protective clothing should be made out of safe design and construction for the work that has to be performed. The clothing which is selected should have the ability to protect the wearer’s body. It can do so by preventing injury that can occur through absorption or physical contact.
Clothing Wear Factors
These factors should be provided and also maintained according to sanitary and reliable conditions. If the clothing is defective or damaged, then it should not be used.
There is generic chemical resistance information available for protective clothing that should be verified with the manufacturer. This is important since similar materials (for example, nitrile) are available from various manufacturers. So it may vary widely in their performance that depends upon the specific manufacturing methods and glove designs.
Protective Clothing For Firefighters
Flame-resistant coveralls help in providing customers with protection and safety. They reduce the risk of injury that the worker might have been exposed to otherwise. It is essential to make sure that anyone who is continuously exposed to thermal heat or fire flames has the best FR coverall to suit themselves.
Certain FR coveralls can slow down the propagation of fire. This allows the fabric to catch fire at a slower speed. You will notice that there are two advantages to this. There is enough chance for the wearer to plan an escape. Plus, the damage done is far less.
Picking the right FR coveralls to suit yourself can be a huge task. There are many things to take into consideration while picking FR coveralls for yourself. Therefore, you have to be well aware of everything that you need to know before picking one.
Any FR coveralls that you pick should suit your preferences. This is majorly based on the work environment and your own comfort. Some materials might feel good on your skin, while some might not. Thus, you have to pick the right fabric to suit yourself.
The Benefit Of Using Protective Clothing
Occupational safety is important because it also reaches out for the hygiene and cleanliness aspects of a working environment. It offers protection that stops the disease from spreading and from chemical burns or thermal exposure.
It is important to save yourself and your working team from the strong cleaners and toxic chemicals that they may be exposed to repeatedly while working. For anyone who is working in the furnace or kiln, it would be essential to ensure safety from burns and cuts due to the heavy exposure to heat and smoke. Since every job has its own dangers, therefore it is important to deal with the safety issue of every field in a different manner.
There are several benefits of investing in protective clothing for yourself and your employees. Thus, it should not be taken for granted. Always remember that your goal is to maintain a healthy working environment for your employee. You also have to make sure that worker safety should be your first and foremost priority so that it can reduce the risk for long and short-term conditions of your employees.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) helps in preventing injury to staff emergencies and other paramedics on duty. This can occur due to inhalation, absorption, irritants, or through other sources of prolonged contact with various toxic chemicals. Wearing protective clothing works to reduce accidents along with improving the health of your employees which makes it a safer space to work in.
In addition to this, conforming to standards that involve protective clothing gains your reputation amongst among clients and partners. It also provides you with better chances to gain other clients and investors. In turn, this enhances the level of your business
Reputation for a company is an extremely important aspect. This is especially important in the social media era because stories tend to spread like wildfire.
We can also reduce the risk of injury by using specialized type of clothing that is made to suit people from specific fields. These are essential to overcome cross-contamination of chemicals, while also offering protection to the skin and hands. Some workplaces require the use of hands.
This means that direct contact increases putting the person at risk. Therefore to avoid skin diseases such as infections you need to provide your employees with protective clothing. This will ensure their safety while also increasing productivity levels.
How To Choose One Good Protective Clothing Supplier ?
For choosing a good protective clothing supplier, you have to make sure that you are well aware of your demands and needs. There is certain equipment that is needed for working in a set space. Therefore, picking a supplier depends on your priorities.
However, there are certain things to take care of. Firstly, check for reviews. Always opt for products with better reviews. This can also include products that are suggested by family and friends.
Next, you have to check for the quality and durability of the material. If you are working in such conditions that require you to have a strong material to use, then make sure the material is sturdy.
Having the right kind of protective clothing can do wonders for anyone. Therefore, it becomes essential to pick the right thing for yourself.
While picking a piece of protective clothing, always make sure that you are fulfilling the demands and needs of your hazardous working conditions. Once you take care of that fully, your protective gear will surely help you.