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6th October 2022

Choosing the Right Protective Clothing

Choosing the Right Protective Clothing

6th October 2022

Selecting protective gear for your staff or team members is like walking the proverbial tight-rope! Their safety and security gets put in your hands, and you essentially become the assurance provider for their ability to earn an income. There is much to be considered, over and above price!

SUITABILITY

Each occupation and industry presents its own unique set of challenges and hazards. The garment needs to be selected to ensure protection against these whilst still taking into consideration the activities required to perform the work, allowing ease of access and comfort to the wearer.

Assessing suitability can fall into 3 compartments – assessment, selection and training.

REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

Protective clothing must meet the national standards set out by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other legislated compliance requirements.

ASSESSMENT

  1. Different occupations, responsibilities, positions, environments etc all present different hazards, so the first step would be to identify these hazards and risks by asking the question “What am I trying to protect myself or my team from?”
  2. Assessing and Identifying these hazards is a task that should not be restricted to one person. A full risk profile is a collaborative effort. Detachment can assist to avoid any conflict of interest especially in terms of cost vs requirements. An outsider will be focused on the true task at hand, which is to ensure the safety of the worker and the workplace, as opposed to budgetary requirements.
  3. Assessing hazards can be placed within the following categories
    • Motion – This includes not only the physical movement of the worker, but any machinery and equipment as well as traffic pathways and area access
    • Climate – hot AND cold burns can occur, injuries due to wet weather or the risk of disease due to severe drought and dust are all examples of how environment plays a part.
    • Chemistry
    • Radiation and lighting
    • Height
    • Blood injuries and sharp objects
    • Electrical

SELECTION

When choosing proper PPE, the fundamental decisions come down to the fabric, seams and design. Decisions can be based on the following questions:

  • What is the probability of the hazard?
    2. What is the likely amount of contact with hazard?
    3. What is the expected duration of contact with hazard?
    4. From what direction is the contact with hazard most likely?

TRAINING

Once the equipment or protective wear has been chosen, it then becomes the responsibility of the employer to educate their staff and / or team members about the how and why.  This education would need to ensure that each person understands how to don the garment and how to make any necessary adjustments. These trials should be done by dressing in the item and actually proceeding to complete the work that will be done in the item to ensure that the activity can be carried out with ease and comfort as well as safety. This will also guard against employees wearing the incorrect size!

Limitations and life expectancy of the garment needs to be known, how to care, clean and maintain the item should be demonstrated and disposing of the item / garment needs to be carefully explained.

ppe blog Remington Supplies has built a remarkable relationship with their customers and value their business and patronage and we recognise the importance of doing the same.

Visit our online store, like and follow us on social media, and become a part of our online community!

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  • Research done via various reference sites **
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