According to the Labor Code, the owner of the company is obliged to provide his employees with appropriate clothing ensuring safety and comfort at the workplace. Occupational health and safety clothing is used in many industries, but it is most commonly found on construction sites, where the number of accidents can be extremely high. Let’s take a look at what safety clothing construction workers should have.
The subject of occupational health and safety clothing is so extensive that many activities related to the construction process take place on the construction site, which unfortunately creates a whole lot of threats. It is impossible to predict every looming accident, so construction workers must be prepared for any eventuality, and the health and safety clothing they wear should protect their health and life. Therefore, it is worth starting with what is most important, i.e. the head.
This is something that, fortunately, seems obvious to everyone, although not everyone wants to implement it. Helmets are as comfortable as a comfortable half-sphere made of hardened plastic with a fastening strap around the neck can be. However, what is most important in health and safety clothing is safety, although comfort is also taken into account. Ear muffs are also usually selected for helmets, although here only people who work with devices that generate excessive noise, hazardous to health, are required to wear them. Examples that everyone knows are pneumatic hammers or grinders.
The basic outer garments will be the so-called dungarees, i.e. bib pants, made of cotton or cotton with the addition of polyester. Of course, the composition and weight may vary, depending on the company producing the garment, as well as the intended use of the garment. For example, safety clothing used in summer will be much lighter, providing air circulation, and even having the possibility of detaching the legs, while winter ones will be much thicker, insulated from the inside. Dungarees are characterized by a large number of pockets, which allows not only to carry tools, but also personal items that the employee may not want to leave outside the workplace, for example a mobile phone.
It is worth adding that the occupational health and safety clothing can be adequately reinforced so as not to be rubbed, and also have protection against various types of dirt. Protection against dirt is not only an aesthetic issue, but is intended to preserve the health of the wearer and extend the usability of the garment itself. Occupational health and safety clothing can be prepared for oil contamination or punctures by sharp objects. Here, however, the most important will be shoes.
Shoes are often underrated, even as part of the clothing we wear every day. In the case of health and safety clothing, we are always sure that the shoes must have a bottom insert to avoid punctures from the bottom. Stepping on a nail or sharp bar is, unfortunately, one of the most common injuries that construction workers experience. Another issue is the metal upper insert, which this time is to protect the toes and metatarsal bones from building materials or debris that could fall off.
Anyone who has ever played sports, especially those based on lifting objects such as deadlifts, knows how delicate the knees are. Occupational health and safety clothing has a solution that is not used in everyday wear, although it would probably be something very attractive for many people. We are talking about knee pads that have two basic functions. The first is to ensure safety, for example, if a construction worker were to trip on stairs and hit his knee on a concrete step. The second issue is comfort, because the knee pads have gel-air inserts, largely similar to those used in sports shoes. Such inserts provide greater comfort for working on the knees, for example with low-lying cables or strips.
Respiratory protection, a popular topic in recent years, is also a very important issue. Protective masks are a well thought-out part of occupational health and safety clothing that provides employees with the comfort of breathing air that is not contaminated with construction dust or paints. Most construction workers use dust masks, but some use specialized face protectors that tightly protect the nostrils and mouth from toxic agents.
The last item in the standard set of OHS clothing at the construction site are goggles. They are not needed when using a specialized mask, but a dust mask will not protect our eyes. The hardened plastic goggles mainly protect against debris and splinters that can fly through the air when people are carrying out construction work. They are also required for almost every work with tools, such as chipping or cutting.
Occupational health and safety at the construction site means that there are fewer and fewer accidents with risk to human health and life. Not everything is predictable, but the old medical adage says that prevention is better than cure, and solutions in the field of occupational health and safety allow us to avoid many misfortunes.