A Guide to Safety and Protective Apparel

Safety and Protective Apparel: Types And Applications

Protective and Safety apparel can seem like simple protective equipment. But selecting appropriate apparel can be a daunting process.

Many occupational applications including:

  • traffic management
  • construction
  • manufacturing,
  • chemical handling
  • networking
  • virtually all industries need safety gear of some variety

Some industries require employers carry out risk assessment and provide safety equipment. It’s important to understand what workplace hazards are and how we can address them.

Occupational Hazards and Assessment

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to protect your employees from occupational risks. For that, you need to put in place a risk management.

Relying solely on protective apparel to keep safe is only acceptable when you have carried out hazard assessment and control.

Selecting the right protective equipment for the nature of your employee’s specific job can be a challenging task. Consider applicable laws and draft safety policies and procedures.

It is also important to understand limitations of your protective equipment. If we take an example of a pair of protective eyewear, you will find a warning label saying, “not a substitute for good safety practices and engineering controls”. It means that PPE is the last line of defense against occupational hazards, not the primary one.

Types of Protective and Safety Apparel

There are so many different types of safety apparel that you can choose from depending on the environment of your facility or workplace.

We can classify safety apparel into the following two categories:

  1. PPE or protective apparel
  2. Safety Apparel

High Visibility safety apparel is a kind of workwear that improves your visibility at night or in bad weather.

It serves two purposes:

  1. Makes wearer more visible to traffic
  2. Makes them stand out against background environment

ANSI compliant workwear includes:

  • Durable Safety Jackets
  • Rain Pants
  • Thermal Pants
  • Reflective Safety Bomber Jackets

PPE or protective apparel protects the wearer against many workplace hazards. Such as dirt, chemical spills, containing hair and particle generation, etc.

Safety Apparel clothing is the basic need of workers who have to deal with various hazards on daily basis. However, these safety items allow for particle penetration.

PPE apparel handling can increase the likelihood of contamination. People who have to work in strictly controlled environments can’t wear regular PPE apparel as it can contaminate the environment. Use Disposable apparel designed for cleanrooms instead.

Safety Apparel/Gear

Following are some of the major types of safety apparel:

High-visibility safety clothing [safety apparel]:

High Visibility Safety Apparel
High Visibility Safety Outerwear Apparel

Defined as PPE apparel designed to make the wearer more visible. Low visibility is one of the causes of fatal occupational injuries at construction sites.

Wear high-viz shirts, pants, coveralls, jackets, or any other high-visibility safety apparel to ensure workers’ safety in low-light working conditions.

Whether in office or industrial setting, proper lighting makes all work tasks safer because the sense of sight generates about 85 percent of the information.

If your workplace does not offer proper lightning, make sure your staff wears the right high visibility apparel for the job.

Check out some of the popular high-visibility safety apparel on Harmony

Flame-retardant clothing [safety apparel]:

Flame-retardant clothing [safety apparel]
Flame-Retardant Safety Gear Apparel

These safety apparel protect the wearer against heat and fire up to a certain level. You shouldn’t completely rely on fire retardant clothing when working with open flames.

Compare your work environment or the potential temperature extremes with the ability of your safety gear to withstand heat.

In addition to rubber gloves and aprons, PPE clothing is also designed to prevent harmful exposure to industrial chemicals.

Personal Protective Apparel

Disposable Apparel Protects yourself from particles, liquids, and chemicals in your work environment. Different materials to suit your specific application and offer different areas of protection.

CE apparel protects the wearer as well as the critical product or production process from contamination. The flat-folded CE safety wearables assure that particles do not escape into the critical environment. In cleanrooms, all sources of contamination are strictly controlled.

Disposable Food Safety Bouffant Caps
Disposable Food Safety Bouffant Caps

Clean rooms protective equipment is specifically designed to prevent airborne particles from entering the sterile atmosphere.

Industries such as pharmaceutical, medical, food, and space aeronautical maintain clean rooms as a part of their production processes.

Protective apparel plays a critical role in maintaining the sensitivity of a manufacturing environment.

Here is a couple of examples of protective or CE apparel:

Face Masks [protective apparel]:

Anti-Viral Face Masks
Disposable Anti-Viral Face Masks

Diverse protective product used by a large number of industries; notably, food and pharmaceutical. Face masks not only help the wearer inhale clean air but also function as a tool to maintain a healthy environment.

From Antiviral face masks to Isolation masks, there are hundreds of different types of face masks with literally limitless applications.

Disposable Coveralls [protective apparel]:

Premier Pro SMS Blue Coveralls with Hood & Boot
Premier Pro SMS Blue Coveralls with Hood & Boot

They are manufactured for both protective and safety applications. CE coveralls provide a dry and liquid particulate barrier protection, reducing contamination risks to maintain the cleanliness of the cleanroom.

Beard Covers [protective apparel]:

Disposable Beard Covers
Disposable Beard Covers

Disposable protective apparel such as beard covers and hair nets are the top choice of companies associated with food, research, medicine, and laboratories.

Selecting the right protective or safety apparel for your industrial or commercial application requires diligence.

Communicate with your industry partners whose employees deal with the same kinds of hazards. Ensure your employees’ safety.

About Harmony

Harmony Business Supplies is a well-reputed wholesale supplier of PPE and occupational apparel. We provide premium quality occupational garments and equipment at affordable rates.

You can find a broad assortment of disposable and safety apparel. Visit our site for more information!

Safety Apparel Overview

Safety apparel appropriate for your workplace.

In any given work environment, safety is one of the biggest concerns. How do you keep your employees safe from any dangers or hazards at work? One of the best ways is by appropriately incorporating safety apparel into their uniform.

What is Safety Apparel?

Safety apparel is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE). While personal protective equipment ranges from protective eyewear to hard hats and safety apparel. Safety apparel by definition is clothing designed to protect from injury or infection.

Do Your Employees Need Safety Apparel?

If you are having to ask yourself, “do my employees need safety apparel?,” chances are they do. Safety apparel is very important for employees who are working in low visibility areas. This can be construction sites, doing roadwork, rescue workers, fisherman and more.

How to use Safety Apparel Properly

Whenever you or one of your employees are stepping into a space  considered dangerous, it is important to have on safety apparel. This clothing should be comfortable and not too loose on the body. The fit of the safety apparel is incredibly important. If safety apparel does not fit properly, in either extreme, it could lead to dangerous exposure and contamination or machine snag hazards. It is important to properly train your employees on how to wear this safety apparel properly in accordance to your work environment.

It is important that the color of your safety apparel provides contrast to your work environment. If you are working on the side of a highway it might not be the best idea to get a green or blue colored safety apparel. Something like yellow or orange would be better for higher visibility. There are proven studies that if a person has on a fluorescent garment that can be seen at a distance,it draws attention to that person and makes them stand out from the rest of the background.

American National Standards Institute Safety Apparel Standards

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) classifies safety apparel into three categories:

  1. Class 1 garments: These class 1 garments are for employees working directly with traffic and moving vehicles that are moving no faster than 25 mph. For example, parking lot attendants, employees working in a warehouse where equipment is present or employees retrieving items from parking lots.
  2. Class 2 garments: These class 2 garments are for employees who are involved in work activities with aggressive weather conditions or conditions more elevated then class 1. For example, forest rangers, construction on a highway with cars going faster than 25 mph, airports attendees and emergency responders.
  3. Class 3 garments: These class 3 garments are for employees who need high visibility and might be involved with extremely hazardous situations. For example, survey crews, towing operators and working in extremely dangerous weather.

Safety Apparel Outerwear

Safety pants (for thermal or rain use), safety sweatshirts, windbreakers, and insulated bomber jackets are parimy safety supplies for many industries and companies. Keep warm, safe, and seen with HiVizGard Safety Apparel and workplace outerwear.

­­­­­­­­­­­­Where Can I get Safety Apparel?

Harmony Business Supplies can assist with your safety apparel needs. You can shop our selection of ANSI compliant safety apparel on our store.

Our Class 3 apparel is water-resistant, with retro-reflective stripes on the front, back and sleeves so your employees can be seen at all times. Our safety apparel comes in a selection of colors and sizes range from M-4XL. Call us at (800) 899-1255 or chat with us today to place your safety apparel order or learn more.

 

The 5 OSHA Workplace Hazards

Under the right circumstances, virtually anything could become hazardous in the workplace. With sensible employee behavior and workplace conditions, however, the workplace hazards that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warn against fall into just five main categories. We’ll review them below, and provide suggestions for mitigating dangers for each.

#1: Safety Hazards

(slips, trips and falls, faulty
equipment, etc.)

Safety risks refer to the conditions or substances found in the work environment which can pose danger of injuries. From falling objects to wet floors, these seemingly innocuous everyday risks have the potential to cause serious bodily harm. To minimize these hazards, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Never leave machinery unattended while in use
  2. Practice safety while working from heights
  3. Mandate the use of safety gear and safety apparel, like hardhats, and safety glasses
  4. Have your electrical wiring inspected regularly
  5. Provide the proper signage (like wet floor signs) to notify employees of spills, and clean them up promptly

Safety Hazards include:

  • Spills on floors or tripping hazards,
    such as blocked aisles or cords
    running across the floor
  • Working from heights, including
    ladders, scaffolds, roofs, or any
    raised work area
  • Unguarded machinery and moving
    machinery parts; guards removed or
    moving parts that a worker can
    accidentally touch
  • Electrical hazards like frayed cords,
    missing ground pins, improper
    wiring
  • Confined spaces
  • Machinery-related hazards
    (lockout/tagout, boiler safety,
    forklifts, etc.)

#2: Biological Hazards

(mold, insects/pests,
communicable diseases, etc.)

These types of hazards tend to be exclusive to specific work environments. Particularly, anyone who works with infectious plants, people, or animals may be regularly exposed to biological hazards. Examples of occupations could include laboratory workers, daycare assistants, and personnel in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or nursing homes.

Coming into contact with substances like blood and other bodily fluids, animal droppings, bacteria and viruses, or fungi can put an individual at risk of becoming ill. To minimize these risks, it’s essential that you establish a protocol for handling biohazards and potentially infectious material. Additionally, make sure necessary supplies like disposable gloves are easily accessible. Sorbents can be used to clean up bio-hazards.  These powerful granules absorb the liquid, making them easy to clean-up.

Types of things you may be exposed to
include:

  • Blood and other body fluids
  • Fungi/mold
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Plants
  • Insect bites
  • Animal and bird droppings

#3: Physical Hazards

(noise, temperature extremes,
radiation, etc.)

Physical hazards are environmental factors which can cause injury without direct contact. For instance, radiation, temperature extremes, consistent loudness, and prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays all fall into this category. These are commonly considered the most difficult to detect, because signs don’t always present themselves right away.Like the other hazards listed here, reducing your employees’ risk of being exposed to physical hazards comes down to providing protection.

Hearing protection, for instance, should be considered mandatory for any individuals working around loud machinery. In settings where MEFs and microwaves are routinely emitted, employers must develop practices their teams can follow to limit exposure.

Physical Hazards include:

  • Radiation: including ionizing, nonionizing
    (EMF’s, microwaves,
    radiowaves, etc.)
  • High exposure to sunlight/ultraviolet
    rays
  • Temperature extremes – hot and cold
  • Constant loud noise

#4: Ergonomic Hazards

(repetition, lifting, awkward
postures, etc.)

Like physical hazards, ergonomic hazards may develop over time. Back strain and similar musculoskeletal disorders are often attributed to repetitive workplace motions. Even individuals who work desk jobs aren’t immune to suffering from back pain.

To combat ergonomic hazards, employers can offer training from specialists to help employees understand the importance of proper lifting techniques and posture. More and more employers are also exploring standing desk options to prevent associates from experiencing health complications associated with prolonged sitting.

Ergonomic Hazards include:

  • Improperly adjusted workstations and
    chairs
  • Frequent lifting
  • Poor posture
  • Awkward movements, especially if
    they are repetitive
  • Repeating the same movements over
    and over
  • Having to use too much force,
    especially if you have to do it
    frequently
  • Vibration

#5: Chemical/Dust Hazards

(cleaning products, pesticides,
asbestos, etc.)

Some chemicals are naturally more potent than others. While certain types are only dangerous when ingested or a person comes into direct contact with them, others are dangerous when simply inhaled. If your workforce uses chemicals regularly, you can keep employees safe by:

  1. Clearly labeling all chemicals
  2. Developing a protocol for handling chemicals
  3. Providing employees with the proper safety gear (respirators and gloves, for instance) to wear while in the presence of chemicals

Beware of:

  • Liquids like cleaning products, paints,
    acids, solvents – ESPECIALLY if
    chemicals are in an unlabeled
    container!
  • Vapors and fumes that come from
    welding or exposure to solvents
  • Gases like acetylene, propane, carbon
    monoxide and helium
  • Flammable materials like gasoline,
    solvents, and explosive chemicals.
  • Pesticides

 

No matter which types of hazards your workplace has, Harmony Business Supplies has all of the safety gear and products your team needs to stay healthy and injury-free. Browse through their supplies online now, or contact a product specialist to learn more.