The Basis Of A Safe And Productive Workplace: Work Apparel

A better working environment significantly raises productivity levels on an individual and collective basis. That’s why leading companies around the globe now focus on providing the best working environment for their staff.

Besides productivity, there’s an alarming number of hazards and accidents happening daily. And the lack of safety workwear creates grave safety and health concerns for employees and companies. Here, we explain why work apparel is the basis of a safe and productive workplace and different types of safety workwear.

Employees’ Safety

Work apparel provides both physical protection and peace of mind to employees. Moreover, wearing safety workwear makes the workers more confident as they work on their daily tasks. For example, quality men’s work clothes will ensure the worker stays safe, ensuring higher motivation and productivity levels.

When employees are well-equipped and safe, employers are more relaxed as their workers can perform their duties better and avoid otherwise dangerous situations that could harm their health.

Abiding Labor Laws

Modern labor laws state that the health and safety of employees are the employer’s responsibilities. That’s especially true when the workers work in challenging occupations and conditions. Rigs, mines, and construction sites are just a few high-risk working environments where employees need to wear protective clothing to stay healthy and perform well.

And if the employers aren’t paying enough attention to the safety of their staff, the government can charge hefty fines and even ban the company altogether. That’s why employers must provide the required work apparel to their employees and abide by the labor laws.

Reducing Occupational Hazards

Work Apparel

Employees who work in dangerous workplaces, such as construction sites and mines, are more likely to experience an occupational hazard. Construction jobs can become life-threatening even because of a minor mistake, and mines involve toxic fumes.

Nowadays, jobs have become even more challenging, pushing employees to perform better. However, they’ll be exposed to risk daily without adequate safety apparel. And this constant fear of danger will restrict their performance, minimizing productivity.

Better Visibility

Employees who wear the proper high-visibility safety workwear can work better in low-light conditions. Many jobs require workers to work at night. And if they don’t have high-visibility work apparel, they’ll be exposed to potential hazards while performing their tasks.

Protection Comes in Many Forms

Many body parts need to be protected when performing particular duties, and there’s a plethora of safety apparel on the market. However, many cheap, substandard products don’t do much at protecting workers. That’s why it’s vital to learn to distinguish quality from quantity safety workwear.

Below are some thoughts on different aspects of safety apparel.

Protective Apparel

Safety apparel comes in all shapes, sizes, weights, and materials to ensure a worker performing a specific duty in a specific environment is properly protected and can perform well.

For example, disposable coveralls protect the skin against hazardous chemical sprays and dry particles. They are used in different applications, including asbestos removal, pharmaceuticals, and construction purposes, and act as a lightweight, full-body protector allowing a worker to work safely.

They are often sold in white for clinical and chemical environments and blue for construction jobs. Their color can be vital for recognizing various hazards and substances an employee is working in. However, despite being multi-purpose, coveralls shouldn’t be used as fire-retardant apparel.

Protective clothing often needs to be worn in hazardous areas where workers must be noticed. For instance, people who are laying on hot tarmac or welding lines need to be protected from the risk of the duty and the conditions around them.

Electric Arc Protection

Employees who work in and around electricity need electric arc protection. Sometimes, workers may be working alongside powerful electrical discharge where they need to be protected from up to 21,632 °F. Since electrical arcs can happen in various situations of varying intensity, a one-size-fits-all approach can’t be applied.

Adequate protection can be recommended only after the health and safety risk assessment and considering the full ergonomic implications.

Hand Protection

Although safety clothing should cover hands, there are specific factors to consider when choosing the right gloves for the employees. For example, insulated gloves protect hands from extreme temperatures, but will they allow the worker to carry out the task efficiently and easily?

As with other types of protective clothing, a risk assessment must be executed to identify the risks and choose appropriate gloves for safe and efficient performance. Moreover, gloves should be inspected before use for small tears and cuts. Checking the gloves is critical because the level of protection can reduce with use.

Foot Protection

Workers’ feet should also be protected, just like any other part of the body. After all, many workers spend most of their working hours on their feet, performing various tasks. The right choice of work boots will mostly depend on the working environment and surfaces employees walk on.

For example, if the working environment involves dangers of heavy and sharp objects falling, employees will need to wear appropriate work boots or shoes with safety toe caps or even met guards. And if the terrain they walk on is slippery, they’ll need quality footwear with slip-resistant outsoles.

Comfort is another thing to consider when choosing adequate work footwear, as employees need to be comfortable to perform well.

Respiratory Protection

There are various products designed for respiratory protection in different industries. Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) protects workers from inhaling airborne contaminants that may pass unnoticed.

The main concern is identifying whether there’s sufficient oxygen to support life, as there’s a misconception about how a respirator operates and what it can do. A respirator will only remove the pollutants it was designed to deal with and allow us to survive if there are adequate levels of oxygen to support life.

If there aren’t adequate levels of oxygen in the area employees need to access, they’ll need an alternate type of RPE, such as a breathing apparatus.

Respiratory conditions need to be taken seriously because permanent damage can occur slowly through inhaling a contaminant over long periods (chronic effects) or immediately from a single breath (acute effects). Either way, these hazards can be devastating to an employee.

Again, the right RPE will depend on the hazards the workers face. For this reason, it’s essential to conduct a risk assessment to determine the appropriate form of RPE needed for specific working conditions.

Eye Protection

Many associate safety and health risks with accidents like injuries from lifting objects or falling from height. However, many unusual dangers, such as a chemical splash in the eye, can cause painful temporary injury or even permanent blinding.

Eye protection can prevent hazardous particles from entering the eye. However, many times, workers won’t be able to predict the direction of a potential chemical splash, so eye goggles may not be an optimal solution. Nevertheless, a full-face visor can ensure maximum protection. And maximum protection is critical.

Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is vital when working in an excessively noisy environment, and comfort plays a pivotal role because the hearing protection needs to be worn securely without discomfort. The risk of exposing ears to harmful noise can be avoided through the right choice of hearing protection.

The choice between wearing large earmuffs or small earplugs depends on the working environment and the worker’s personal choice. And while the main purpose of hearing protection is to block noise, it’s also essential that the worker can hear warning signs and communicate instructions.

Work Apparel Is Vital for a Safe and Productive Work Environment

After reading this article, you have a good idea about the importance of choosing the appropriate protective equipment. The right work apparel can raise productivity levels by ensuring safety, protection, and comfort in a specific work environment and even save lives.

That said, it’s critical to choose the appropriate safety clothing, including everything from clothes and shoes to the eye and ear protection, depending on the work conditions and duties. By doing that, you can ensure a safe and productive environment your employees will love to work and give their best. That will, in turn, positively reflect on your company’s bottom line.

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