The many risks in the workplace mean you need top-quality PPE safety clothing to ensure everyone is protected.
The risks to workers in all kinds of environments is now far greater, given the coronavirus pandemic and the ease with which anyone can become infected. All it takes is the touch of an infected surface or breathing in contaminated air and you can fall ill with the pathogen and possibly endure a long struggle to recover. It means getting the right kind of PPE safety clothing has become more important than ever.
Companies might think they have no need for PPE gear, but as part of their basic duty of care towards their workers, ensuing workplaces are safe, clean and healthy places; as set out under UK legislation, providing PPE equipment has become essential in almost every setting. And ensuring it's of high enough quality so that it does the vital job of protecting employees from harm and keeping them safe.
But it's not only coronavirus that has generated enormous demand in quality PPE gear. Almost every work environment has risks that require adequate protection for employees, and different parts of the body need separate PPE equipment, such as:
The mouth and lungs: face masks, so that viruses in the air are filtered out.
The eyes: glasses, screens and face shields, to protect against toxic substances and particles flying from machines, such as welders.
The body: clothing, to protect workers against extreme temperatures, such as in freezers or near furnaces.
The hands: gloves, to guard against corrosive and other potentially harmful materials.
How to Know What PPE Safety Clothing for Who?
To determine who should be using PPE safety clothing and what kind, you should carry out an audit of the types of environments in your business and the possible risks they contain. Look at who is exposed and what the potential harm is, as well as how long they are in that situation for — is it only briefly, when handling certain hazardous materials, for instance, or are they in a high-risk environment for much of the working day?
Even if a hazardous task only takes a short amount of time, such as having to do something for a few minutes from a height or transferring a toxic chemical from one place to another, workers still need adequate PPE protection and should not be permitted to do it without the right gear — even if they insist they will be "fine" and don't want to go to the effort of putting on protective clothing. This, as many employers know all too well, is how accidents can and do happen.
Choosing the Right PPE Safety Clothing
When you're ordering PPE safety clothing for your staff, you want the best you can get; otherwise it might not offer proper protection and could lead to harm. Talk to your workwear supplier about their level of quality, and see if they have the required CM mark on their products, which is necessary under the Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018.
If an employee is working in an area that poses multiple risks to their safety, they will need to use several items of PPE at the same time. So it's important to find out if the items you're considering can be used together without disturbing their function — such as face shields interfering with face masks and the seal is no longer tight.
Another important consideration with PPE safety clothing is the fit. If garments are too large and bulky, staff might find it difficult to work in them and try to get out of wearing the gear. And if they're too loose, they can cause accidents if they get wound up in machinery.
Employees need to be trained in the use of PPE safety clothing because the various items have specific functions and must be put on in a particular way and removed using methods that don't harm the wearer — like when taking off nitrile gloves that may have harsh chemicals on them.
With the right PPE safety clothing, workers will be safe and happy, and managers can have peace of mind that they’re in compliance with workplace legislation and that they are looking after their staff.
WISE Workwear is a leading PPE safety clothing provider to companies all around the UK. Contact us now to order the right PPE for your employees and keep them safe from harm.