Practicing on the job safety is just as important as being safe when you drive or when you take necessary safety precautions in your house. This is especially true of industries that are exposed to greater risk on a day to day basis. A few of these industries include construction workers, police and other first line responders, and even utility workers. For some of these professions, the first line of defense is the attire that you wear. Safety gear is provided in some fields and in others, the employee should choose the safest apparel.
Protection for the head and facial features
Suffering damage to the head or facial features can be especially life threatening. If you are working in conditions with potential head injuries, it is important to wear an OSHA approved helmet. The helmet should also be equipped with a flashlight or source of light if any of the work will take place during the evening hours. Other facial safety measures should include safety goggles, a breathing mask for harmful contaminants, and hearing protection for loud working environments.
Perhaps the least protected out of the facial features are the ears. Many people often forget to protect their ears or they underestimate the ability to do damage to their ears. However, permanent hearing loss can be caused by sounds that are louder than 85 decibels. It is not that uncommon to have construction working environments with loud machinery that surpasses that decibel amount.
Protection to the feet
The feet are another commonly undervalued safety concern. Not only do construction workers risk damage to their feet with heavy machinery, but they are also more likely to experience pain in the feet that leads to leg or lower back pain. Some industries do require that workers have special shoes that are made out of extremely durable materials. However, many do not have any special requirements related to comfort. While the average person might walk 10,000 steps a day, a construction workers or laborer might walk more than 30,000!
Internal organs protection
Other serious safety risks include damage to the internal organs or the spine. Many industries, for this reason, require that all employees wear a safety vest. The specific safety vest often depends on the specific industry. Black safety vests are often used in the police departments and might have bulletproof properties. A fluorescent vest with high vis pants might be used for construction workers that are constantly working on the road, often in the middle of traffic. Construction safety vests include reflectors for an easier sighting of drivers and accompanying high vis pants for even greater visibility and safety. Sometimes a high vis jacket will also be worn for colder temperatures.
Safety depending on the specific job
There are many other safety apparel items to consider. But, many of these safety apparel items depend on the specific working industry and the tasks of the worker. While high vis cargo pants might work for one construction worker, they might not be ideal for a worker that does much of their work indoors. High vis pants might not be the best option for a police officer that is attempting to remain unseen. Custom reflective vests are a good option for the construction industry that wants to identify employees, while also giving them a safety vest too.
According to the Institute for Work and Health in Canada, a new employee in their first month at work has more than three times the risk for a lost time injury than others. While some of this is due to a lack of experience and knowledge of safety protocols, some of it is due to not having the right safety apparel items. Clothing items like protective work boots, hardhats, high vis pants, construction safety vests, and ear plugs are important in maintain a safe work environment.