Why Protective Clothing and Equipment is Important
Depending on the occupation or activity in question, personal protective equipment and clothing can vary.
12:59 13 February 2020
From construction work to electrical work, plumbing, laboratory work, and garbage or hazardous waste handling, many occupations require workers to gear up appropriately before embarking on their duties for the day. Even doctors wear the silky white lab coats for a good reason or several, and one of the biggest reasons is safety! As a matter of fact, high-impact sports such as rugby, American football, baseball, skiing, and biking require the participants to wear appropriate clothing and protective equipment. Depending on the occupation or activity in question, personal protective equipment and clothing can vary. However, some of the most common pieces of protective gear include helmets, footwear, gloves, ear muffs, goggles, overalls, and aprons, just to name a few. Nonetheless, protective clothing and equipment serve many purposes, all of which revolve around your safety and protection.
In this piece, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why protective clothing and equipment are important so let’s start counting!
Protection From Injury
Most if not all work and leisure activities are associated with some degree of risk and hazards. However, some have a higher and obvious risk than others. For instance, working in a construction site exposes you as a worker to risks such as noise, flying debris, working at heights, wet floors, and so forth. There’s always a higher risk of tripping and falling, getting hit by a falling object, or sustaining a graze compared to working in an office desk behind the computer screen. Likewise, a motorbike rider is always at risk of falling or getting in an accident and having protective gear on can help minimize injury in case of an accident.
However, depending on the activity in question, it is always upon you to determine which safety clothing and equipment you need so you can improve your personal safety while going about your business. from the example above, a construction worker would need some protective gloves, goggles, ear muffs, a pair of overalls, construction site footwear, a head cap and so forth. On the other hand, the motorbike rider would need some quality riding boots, a helmet, gloves, knee pads, rider’s pants, and a quality motorcycle jacket. If you’re a motorcycle rider looking for the best protective jacket, the folks from Wandering Biker suggest you check these out even as you shop for other protective equipment boots, gloves, goggles, and knee pads. The jacket should be a good fit, have quality padding, and designed to allow proper airflow. Having a quality jacket also protects you from the injurious effect wind can have on your respiratory system over time.
Protects Your Vital External Organs
You only have one pair of ears and eyes. This is why in addition to having a helmet to protect your head and protective clothing for your body, you may need ear and eye protection equipment. Industrial noise has over the past few years come to be recognized as an occupational hazard that leads to hearing loss, especially among laborers in the manufacturing and construction industries. Ear protection equipment like ear muffs reduces the risk of suffering from hearing loss for those working in such conditions. Those in woodworking, metalwork, air-tool, and hot-work operations are also safer with eye protection equipment like spectacles, goggles, or shields that cover the whole face depending on the kind of work they do.
Protection From Long-term (and Short-term) Health Issues
Now, some occupational hazards may not show immediate negative effects upon exposure. This is especially the case when dealing with hazardous waste that possibly contains a wide range of chemical compounds. Long-term exposure to some of these chemicals may lead to long-term medical issues like mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos. While most of such issues come from airborne contaminants, some may also come from physical exposure or direct contact with these hazardous materials. If you work or are constantly engaged in such an environment, always wearing protective clothing and equipment (such as safety suits, gas masks, gloves) can help protect your health.
Improves Productivity and Efficiency
Wearing protective gear gives you a feeling of safety. You’re more confident in yourself when you feel safe and this can have a positive impact when it comes to execution of duties. It’s a huge plus to both you and your employer in case it’s a workplace environment.
Can Absolve You From Liability
When you’re injured at work and you’re wearing your safety gear, it increases your chances of receiving your workers’ compensation benefits. However, it can be harder to get compensated if you were not in your safety attire or equipment when such an accident occurred. This would paint you as the negligent party and your employer could be spared from liability.
Whether you’re employed, self-employed, at work or in your leisure activities, safety always comes first. Nothing enhances your safety more than personal protective equipment when going about your day-to-day activities. The above are just a few reasons you should always ensure you’re in your safety gear whenever necessary.