Why is it Important to Wear Protective Clothing and Equipment?
In most of the jobs, workers have to deal with on-site exposure to some hazardous chemicals, fumes, dust, small particles and many other major safety concerns are there for them. Day laborers and even skilled laborers are the ones who are at the major risk specially because they are directly involved in the cleaning and construction works.
The construction industry is one such industry where such accidents are quite frequent due to either negligence or failure to follow the safety measures properly by not wearing the protective equipment. Whatever being the reason behind such mishaps this is such a sad situation and the workplaces should follow the safety guidelines strictly.
You might have seen that at any construction site the workers compulsorily wear protecting clothing and equipment like helmets (hard hats) and a dust mask to protect and safeguard themselves from getting harmed and it is advisable to do so.
Some jobs to mention, where it’s important to wear protective clothing and equipment while working include workers in warehouses, heavy equipment and construction workers, emergency services, rail and road workers, maintenance and electrical works. Apart from these, there are several other job roles where the work environment is filled with harmful vapors, fumes and gases.
Types of Protective Clothing and Equipment
A quick look on some very commonly used protective equipment/clothing and for what purpose they are majorly used-
Hard Hats for Head Protection
Hard hats are used at construction sites. Workers wear it to protect themselves from any head injury that might happen due to any falling object at the construction/manufacturing site. It is most commonly used by warehouse workers too. Hard hats are a special type of helmets wore by constructions workers.
Dust Mask for Face & Respiratory Protection
Work environments where there is a risk of inhaling toxic gases, sprays, fumes and harmful particles mixed in air, respirators are used for the safety of workers. Respiratory protection equipment cannot help the wearer if it’s not a good fit and leaks. Since everyone measures differently and people come in all shapes and sizes.
To get the proper selection of respiratory mask done, first of all, a face fit testing should be conducted with the help of face fit testing kit. Fit testing ensures that the selected equipment is suitable for the wearer because then only it can provide the necessary protection.
FFP3 Dust Masks are meant to give the workers a higher level of dust protection. It is very effectively used in pharmaceutical industries where there is a requirement for handling hazardous powders. FFP3 masks have APF20 protection factor providing protection against higher level fine dust or oil/water-based mists.
Full face dust masks will cover and safeguard your eyes, ears, face and head. The main benefit it offers is that it protects not only accidental inhaling of hazardous fumes but eyes and ears are also protected from the harmful effect.
Gloves and Protective Clothing for Hand and Skin Protection
Construction jobs and in many other occupations the hands of workers are in direct touch with a lot of chemicals, glass, hot material, slippery objects, all this can lead to a lot of skin issues like contact dermatitis, skin injuries, various infections, and even skin cancers.
For the protection of hands and skin use of gloves is advised. Whereas in some work environments protective clothing is also required to provide an additional layer of protection.
Earmuffs and Hearing Protection Tools
Many workers are exposed to harmful levels of industrial noise specially when they work near manufacturing units. A lot of cases of hearing loss is reported among such workers. 85 dBA for eight hours is the permissible level to reduce noise-induced hearing loss. While working in such environments it is advisable to use earmuffs and hearing protection tools.
Importance of Wearing Protective Clothing and Equipment
All jobs are not safe to do we know that but it can be made safe by the use of protective clothing and equipment. Some dangers are not visible to the naked eyes but can prove to be very taxing to the human body. Industrial noise is one such occupational hazard which is often discounted.
Wearing of protective clothing and equipment reduce the risk of getting harmed and at the very least the exposure happens to an acceptable level. So, there is no chance of any life-threatening damage happening if complete safety measures are taken.
The damage caused by not following the safety measures can cost someone their lives and most of the time to the person’s dismay, it’s irreversible. The workers who have to work in environments filled with air contaminants like paint sprays, pesticides, fumes, and dust without proper ventilation, can be relied upon respirators for offering them the required protection.
Occupational hazards are common and some jobs are more unsafe than others. But someone has to do that even if the risks are high. So, proper assessment of all these work environments should be a priority. Adequate safety measures taken according to the risk level will ensure the safety and health of the employees and workers.