Reasons to Use Safety and Protective Clothing in the Workplace Protective gear is often a must in occupational settings where manual labour is performed and where the risk of injury is always present such as in construction work, plumbing, electrical and other industries that require manual labour. Protective clothing is any type of equipment that is intended to be worn at work to protect the wearer against any risk to health or safety. This type of clothing is often designed to be water proof, fire proof and shock proof, a material that affords long term protection or short term protection to allow the wearer to escape harm and move to a safer location.
State Regulations and Policies The importance of workplace safety is reflected in New Zealand government policies on workplace safety and protection. Strict laws on workplace safety require employers to provide safety and protective clothing for its workers who are exposed to harm or injury during the course of their workday. Any lapse in providing workers with the right protective gear for the workplace can open up the employer to legal sanctions and even criminal action,especially if such lapses lead to the death or injury of a worker or employee. This also becomes the basis for any legal claims family members may have against the employer or owner of the property where work was being done.
How Safety and Protective Clothing is Chosen The type of protective equipment and clothing is determined by an expert and certification is given to companies that offer the most suitable type of protection for employees. Supervisors and managers are also often provided with the right training to help them determine and choose the right kind of protective equipment and clothing for their workers. Protective gear is not only limited to those worn by persons in the workplace. Visitors and guests who are exposed to harm or danger when in a certain location are required by law to be given protective equipment such as suits, safety boots and hard hats to reduce the risk for injuries and health risks.
Basic Personal Protective Equipment Personal equipment protective equipment varies depending on the type of work being done. They can be classified into the following categories:
head protection (hard hats, caps, hoods ) breathing protection (masks, air tanks) eye protection (shades, goggles, anti-UV eyewear) hand protection (gloves, tongs) safety footwear (safety boots, steel-toed work boots, etc.) skin protection (overalls, coveralls, protective shirts and long-sleeved coats)
Other safety equipment (harnesses, safety netting, air filtration equipment) Workers who have to work on heights have to be equipped with harnesses and sites should have safety netting to protect against falls. Masks with micro-spore filters and built-in sterilization features protect lab workers working with dangerous chemicals and live organisms from possible contamination.
Protective gear and clothing can reduce the risk for injuries and accidents in the workplace. This is the reason why there are state requirements and guidelines for the wearing and use of safety clothing for those working in the manual labor, health and research industries, and other forms of occupation where the chances of injuries from accidents in the workplace are higher than the average.