Protective Clothing and Industrial Workwear: PPE for All
Gloves and masks are a common sight in most workplaces these days. Everyone understands that this kind of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other protective clothing is used to keep the wearer (and those around them) safe from workplace and environmental hazards.
As an employer, it’s your legal duty to provide a safe working environment, this includes the provision of work clothing that will adequately protect your staff from any possible hazards. As part of this required commitment, all women’s and men’s work wear, as well the protective clothing provided for visitors to your site, must be maintained to a good standard. For example, dirty reflective strips on hi vis clothing will no longer perform well so must be regularly cleaned by a specialist service that can provide a workwear laundry service, tough enough to remove grime but gentle enough to maintain the beneficial properties of the work clothing.
Different industries require different levels of protective clothing. From reflective high vis in the transport industry to Glow Gear and foul weather workwear in the construction industry, and fire retardant clothing in some parts of the manufacturing industry, workwear needs to possess a range of properties. Not all industrial clothing is the same.
Does my business need protective clothing?
Transport, construction or manufacturing - no matter what industry you serve, you’ll need to carry out a risk assessment to identify any hazards in the work environment. Protective clothing should always be the last resort if the risk can’t be dealt with in any other manner, like fencing or permanent removal of fire hazards, etc.
If in doubt of your obligations, you can always ask for advice from a reputable specialist workwear supplier, such as phs Besafe who will happily survey your premises, work with you to understand your needs and recommend solutions for your protective clothing requirements.
As we’ve already mentioned, industrial workwear should always be well maintained – follow the manufacturer’s recommended wash frequency and lifespan – and safely stored to prevent damage or theft. All users of PPE must be trained how to use their work clothing properly, which will include the correct way to fasten clips, zips and ties to prevent hazards of catching or snagging.
Employers must keep records of all protective clothing – who has been assigned what and when, as well as the maintenance schedule and details of any repairs made. This is to ensure proof that, as is legally required, the business owner has ensured that full and proper care has been taken to provide industrial workwear that is consistently fit for purpose. Any loss or damage of work clothing should be immediately reported to management and replaced.
Hi vis clothing
In many industries where staff are required to work outdoors, employees experience dark, cold and wet conditions. Workers in the construction industry, mining industry or transport industry, public services, and leisure and entertainment, even retail assistants often find themselves outside, dealing with the weather.
In addition to being kept warm and dry with industrial workwear such as jackets, coveralls and trousers, staff must also stand out from their surroundings with the use of hi vis clothing. This is imperative to avoid accident with vehicles or moving machinery, both inside and outside. Or simply to ensure that employees can be seen in a crowd, just like stewards or marshals at an event.
High visibility clothing has become an important part of working safely in the UK, with many different types of occupations wearing hi-visibility clothing to improve safety. From operating the school crossing, to engineers working on motorway and railway maintenance and construction projects. Being seen by wearing fluorescent and reflective colours helps to prevent accidents and saves many lives each year. Our foul weather garment range is specifically designed for outdoor work providing comfort and protection from the elements of wind and rain.
Fire retardant clothing
Workers in the manufacturing industry, construction industry or petro-chemical industry, and indeed in many service professions, such as engineers or vehicle mechanics, are often in contact with flammable substances, like oils, paint, fuels or chemicals, therefore requiring flame or fire retardant clothing, in the form of jackets, trousers and coveralls, to keep them safe from burns.
Those working closely with electrical power will need additional protective clothing in the form of arc wear The aim of arc flash clothing is to reduce the amount of second degree burns to a survivable level for the wearer. A full risk assessment should be completed for all PPE requirements.
Regardless of the protective properties of your industrial workwear, it’s vital that wearers are still able to comfortably carry out their routines while using their PPE, without causing further hazard. This means firm but non-restrictive seams, zipped side vents for cooling, and pleats and elasticated joints for easy movement. Useful additions such as pockets and kneepads will be welcomed and all result in protective clothing that staff really want to wear.
It’s important that if several pieces of PPE work clothing are worn together, they don’t compromise the functionality of each other.
PPE work clothing can be expensive so keeping track of your staff’s kit is essential. Branding and logos, as well as staff names, can be added with workwear embroidery or screen printing to ensure that your business’ protective clothing is instantly recognisable should anyone decide to steal it. Having your business identity added to protective clothing using workwear embroidery also promotes your brand and gives the wearer authority in their duties.
phs Besafe offers this workwear embroidery or screen-printing service on just about any garment.
If you’d like to have your premises and employees assessed for correct PPE workwear, or know exactly what industrial clothing your staff need to stay safe, get in touch with phs Besafe. We’re happy to recommend protective clothing for the manufacturing industry, construction industry and transport industry, in fact any workplace. We’ll also help you to maintain women’s and men’s workwear so that your staff can be confident in all parts of their jobs. And with complete UK coverage, we can attend to your needs anywhere.