The right protective clothing and safety workwear to wear for each risk-assessed task is of vital importance in every work situation, particularly in work environments where it can be fatal if we get it wrong.
A huge number of people rely on protective clothing each day. For example, the protective coveralls, protective overalls or protective suits they wear are not just designed to protect a person’s own clothes and body, they can have other necessary functions such as keeping contaminants off the skin, resisting cuts and abrasions, providing warmth in cold conditions and keeping contamination out of products, such as in the food industry.
All protective clothing is a compromise between comfort and protection. Shorts and a shirt may feel good, but if you wear them in an icy blizzard, you may be in grave danger of freezing to death.
Standards and types of safety clothing protection
Protection You Can Count On!
Protective Coveralls can save lives and an employer must provide suitable protection from the relevant work hazards that can’t be eliminated, isolated or reduced to safe levels. Such hazards may include sparks and hot particles, molten metal splashes, direct flame, radiant heat, solvents, acids, alkalis, oil, grease, blood and body fluids, asbestos fibers and other substances.
When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to be responsible for the health and safety of workers in and around areas of hazardous materials and contaminated waste, OSHA responded by formulating an all encompassing compendium of safety regulations that prescribe operating standards for all aspects of OSHA projects. Almost 2 million people are affected by the OSHA Standard today.
In 1990, additional standards proposed and developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) were accepted by OSHA. NFPA Standard 1991 set performance requirements for totally encapsulated vapor tight chemical suits and includes rigid chemical and flame resistance tests and a permeation test against 21 challenge chemicals.
The basic OSHA Standard calls for 4 levels of protection, A through D, and specifies in detail the equipment and clothing requited to adequately protect the wearer at corresponding danger levels.
Level A represents the greatest danger of respiratory, eye or skin damage from hazardous vapors, gases, particulates, sudden splash, immersion or contact with hazardous materials. It calls for total encapsulation in a vapor tight chemical suit with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or supplied air and appropriate accessories Lakeland Level A chemical protective clothing can also be manufactured to meet NFPA 1991 specifications.
Level B situations call for the highest degree of respiratory protection but a lesser need for skin protection. It calls for SCBA or positive pressure supplied air respirator with escape SCBA, plus hooded chemical resistant clothing (overalls and long sleeved jacket; coveralls; one or two piece chemical-splash suit; or disposable chemical-resistant coveralls.
Hazard assessment before choice of protection
To allow the right type of protective clothing and safety workwear to be chosen, all the various hazards in the workplace need to be carefully considered and risk assessed. This will enable the employer to assess which types of workwear are suitable to protect against the identified hazards, and for the job to be done safely, yet efficiently.
All reputable PPE suppliers will gladly assist in advising on the most suitable form of protective clothing to remove or reduce workplace hazards. It may be necessary in a few particularly difficult cases to obtain advice from specialist sources, or even from the PPE manufacturer.
Concerns for general worker safety, including protection from death and disabling injuries and illnesses, as well as protection from the specific threats of chemical agents and splashes, fire, and bullets, have resulted in an entire industry devoted to personal protective equipment. This personal protection equipment includes everything from chemical protective garments and suits to firefighters’ turnout gear, to industrial fire retardant garments, to high visibility garments, to hi vis vests, to safety gloves, to disposable protective clothing, to hospital scrubs.
There are significant revisions and additions to many of the existing standards for worker protective clothing in the areas of chemical protection, and fire protection garments, and it is important for management to keep abreast of national laws and international best practice.
For more information and help with selection of the proper protection clothing visit www.lakeland.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lakeland Industries at 1-800-645-9291.