Protecting Staff Now and in the Future

Personal protective equipment has never been so important. Aside from the ever-growing demand for PPE within healthcare, rising safety, environment and health concerns regarding harmful emissions and exposure to fire and smoke are driving PPE growth across industry sectors, and for good reason.

The high costs attached to a workplace accident or incident can have devastating effects on a company’s finances, productivity, and all-important reputation. There may be direct costs such as;

-Legal fees, compensation, and sick pay. 
– Hidden costs resulting from delays to projects and schedules perhaps due to absent workers or lack of equipment. 
– And damage to reputation, leading customers, clients, investors, and partners to ‘jump ship’. 

A poor safety record can also make it harder to attract quality staff, fulfil commitments and tender for new contracts.

Some hazards are also growing. Rising investments in electrical infrastructure and an increased focus on safety issues is driving a need for more fire resistant (FR) clothing and clothing that protects workers from arc flash incidents. Growth in the fibre optics and telecommunications markets is also driving sales in anti-static (AS) and fire retardant (FR) workwear that protects from multiple hazards.

We look at what companies are doing to protect their staff, and the future of their businesses by using the right PPE clothing and safetywear

*Source:  
Estimates based on HSE Costs to Britain Model 2017/18, hse.gov.uk/statistics/cost.htm
Labour Force Survey (LFS) self-reported estimates, hse.gov.uk/statistics/dayslost.htm

ARCH FLASH 7 FIRE RESISTANT PPE

Wearing the right arc flash protective clothing can be the difference between life and death. Unintentionally striking electrical cables and pipelines can – and frequently does – cause electric shock, electrical burns, loss of muscle control and thermal burns. The HSE receives around 1000 reports of electrical accidents each year.

Utilities and construction industry operatives involved in road works and other activities at risk of arc flash exposure need to wear the correct class 1 or class 2 arc flash clothing. Arc flash exposure can also be a risk factor for those working in data centres or within the petroleum, mining, automotive or manufacturing industries. While all arc rated PPE apparel is flame resistant, not all flame resistant (FR) clothing is arc rated. Mixing arc flash protection clothing garments (clothing designed to resist fire and the thermal energy generated by an arc flash) with non-arc garments can also seriously compromise protection in the event of an arc flash incident.

Video Source: https://www.progarm.com/

This safety video from ProGARM, one of the leading manufacturers in the PPE FR and ARC clothing industry, shows why you should never mix arc protection clothing with non-arc garments.

Arc flash protection clothing can include everything from insulating warm base layers to waterproof jackets and trousers. We help protect your team from arc flash incidents with flame resistant and arc flash clothing that conforms to multiple industry recognised EN standards. As a supply partner working with the best manufacturers of arc flash PPE clothing, our range includes arc flash and flame protection clothing from ProGARM, Pulsar, Tranemo, Lyngsoe and Beeswift. We also stock a wide range of female PPE clothing.

HIGH VISIBILITY CLOTHING

There is no excuse for not keeping staff safe. Wearing the appropriate hi-vis PPE workwear is a health and safety priority for operatives working within many industries, from utility and construction staff through to marshals and stewards working at busy stadiums . Not wearing the appropriate PPE reflective clothing can also mean no site entry and an inability to work, due to strict health and safety regs.

It‘s an employer’s responsibility to ensure that the correct clothing is chosen for a particular task. In England, the standard of high visibility clothing PPE required is determined by a risk assessment. Depending on the outcome, you may need class 1, 2 or 3 hi-vis yellow or orange PPE polo shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and trousers. There is an increasing move towards orange hi-vis as thunderflies, greenfly and wasps love hi-vis yellow. Look out for the construction staff swatting flies by the side of the road!  

Whatever the colour – yellow, orange, blue, green, pink or two-tone – to be effective, high visibility workwear needs to allow the wearer to stand out against the ambient background found in the working environment. For this reason, orange hi-vis may be unsuitable if there are similarly coloured objects on site, such as orange barriers or cones. The hi-vis outdoor wear also needs to fit well, be compatible with other forms of PPE, and conform to the British Standard for high visibility warning clothing: BS EN 471.

Check out our range of hi-vis wear from leading safetywear specialists such as Leo Workwear. We also stock Portwest workwear including Portwest hi-vis.  

For increased security, high visibility vests, trousers and jackets and other health and safety workwear can be personalised with jobs titles or brand names to help other workers on site identify visitors and colleagues.

FACE AND RESPIRATORY PROTECTION

Interest in respiratory protective equipment (RPE) has soared during Covid-19, but it’s been quietly saving people’s lives for over a century. Helping to protect workers from exposure to harmful substances or viruses, RPE falls into two main types: respirators, which use filters to remove contaminants from the air being breathed in and breathing apparatus which supply breathing-quality air from a source such as a cylinder.

Dust masks and respirators are commonly used within the construction, manufacturing, agricultural and automotive industries where workers may be exposed to substances that contaminate the air in the form of dust, mist, gases or fumes. These contaminants can irritate and damage the skin and lungs. The type of dust mask rating you need: FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3 – FFF stands for Filtering Face Piece – will depend on the type of work you do. The FFP acronym is sometimes further shortened to ‘P’.

FFP1 Dust Masks – Suitable for hand sanding, drilling and cutting

FFP2 Dust Masks – Suitable for plastering and sanding

FFP3 Dust Masks – Can be used for handling hazardous powders such as those in the pharmaceutical industry. This is the minimum required face mask for chemical fumes.  

Half Face Respirator – These can protect from gases, vapours and particulates depending on the filter

As an established RPE supplier, Clothing4Events can supply half masks, full face masks and visors, safety spectacles and goggles most suited to the wearer, task and environment.

As medical protection suppliers, we also stock a wide range of lifesaving PPE for healthcare workers including aprons, gloves and disposable masks.

SAFETY BOOTS, SHOES AND TRAINERS

Of all our PPE lines, our safety footwear has the broadest selection. Ranging from lightweight safety boots to steel toe cap safety boots with ankle support, our cross-industry footwear range ensures there is something for everyone, and from workwear safety trainers and site safety boots for construction workers, to hi-vis safety boots for utility operatives digging up roads.

As there’s ‘no one shoe fits all’ rule when it comes to what to wear, it’s best to let each worker choose from designated styles. Having the correct shoes and boots is key to worker comfort, safety and productivity. Nothing is more demobilising than painful feet.

Before you hand over the catalogue of safety footwear options to employees, assess their workplace risks. This will help you ensure you are selecting the best safety footwear for their needs. A warehouse operative, for instance, may have very different needs to a construction worker who may need anti-slip, waterproof footwear with a thermal lining to work at his or her best.  

Want advice on site safety shoes or the best safety footwear for your business? Contact us for advice. All our PPE footwear is approved to relevant European Standards including EN345 / EN ISO 20345.

OTHER PPE PROTECTION

There are many types of PPE clothing and protective equipment designed to protect employees from specific risks. From fall protection for telecommunication tower workers to ear protection for mechanics frequently exposed to loud noise, having the wrong PPE can be lifechanging for employees. It can also expose an employer to legal claims.  

Fall protection – Choosing the right fall protection equipment is vital for telecoms and other operatives working at height. Clothing4Events fall protection products include harnesses, lanyards and anchorage devices, helping to prevent falling and reduce impact force.

Hand protection – Safety workwear gloves protect from a wide range of hazards including cuts, abrasions and vibration due to the use of hand-held power tools. Protective gloves range from puncture-resistant nitrile dipped gloves through to heat and cut resistant gloves that protect from cuts and heat hazards in one glove.

Eye protection – Wearing the right eye protection is vital to preventing eye injuries resulting from hazards such as chemical or metal splash, dust and flying particles. Safety eyewear includes spectacles, goggles, face screens, face shields and visors. Our anti-fog safety eyewear glasses are ideal for operatives working in the construction, utilities and power generation industry where heat and humidity can be a problem.

Head protection – Falling or flying objects, head bumping, hair getting tangled in machinery and chemical splashes can be avoided by wearing the right protective headwear. There are many options including safety helmets, bump caps, hairnets and full face visors. A well-fitted hat is vital for comfort and safety.

Ear protection – Exposure to high level sounds is hazardous even in short durations. Depending on the work activity, earplugs, earmuffs, semi-insert/canal caps can be used to reduce noise levels to an acceptable level.

BRANDED PPE CLOTHING

Standing out in the crowd can involve more than hi-vis vests or coats. Custom printed and embroidered hi-vis workwear can project a more professional appearance, help raise your brand profile and enable other workers on site to identify who’s who and the company they’re from.

In busy stadiums and public spaces, customising safety uniforms can help communicate a person’s role, e.g. steward or security. In addition to customising hi-vis polo shirts, sweatshirts and waterproof jackets, hard hats can be branded to communicate site visitors and company staff.

Our onsite UK warehouse contains over 50,000 lines of PPE protective clothing products, enabling us to dispatch items without delay. Download our safety protective clothing catalogue or contact us for advice.

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