Workplace hazards are real, and the need for industry-appropriate safety gear is indispensable. Another name for safety gear is personal protective equipment (PPE). This is a name given to clothing, accessories, and equipment worn by employees to protect themselves from workplace hazards.
Workers in industries that are prone to workplace hazards such as factories, construction, engineering, and manufacturing work amongst many risks. In Australia, of the 13.4 million persons who had worked at some time in the last 12 months, 4.2% (563,600) experienced their most recent work-related injury or illness during that same period.
Safety is paramount to all industries; however, requirements of each industry vary depending upon their working condition and the types of risks involved. Here is a list of industrial safety gear every worker should wear in Australia.
1. Protective Clothing
Protective clothing is critical as it guards your body against industry accidents that could happen because of welding sparks, chemical splashes, hot oil, water at extreme temperatures. Workplaces that deal with fire call for flame-resistant clothing to keep the workers safe.
Clothing with winter liners is essential for industries where workers need to work near ice or negative temperatures. Another crucial industrial safety clothing is reflective clothing that increases human visibility and saves workers from undue accidents.
2. Safety Shoes
Grounds and surfaces in various industries could be a potential culprit for risks like slips, falls, and obstructions. Industrial floors could be dangerous because of cement, harmful chemicals, wires, and sharp equipment that could lead to injuries like cuts, wounds, or abrasions to the feet.
Safety shoes are firm and slip-resistant. Rubber boots protect workers from shocks, and steel toe boots offer protection against falling objects and sharp things. Hence, wearing industry-specific safety boots is imperative for workers.
3. Safety Glasses
Up to 50 000 eye injuries occur per year – approximately seven in 1000 workers sustain this kind of injury. 60% of all eye injuries in Australia occur in the construction, mining, agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries.
Eyes can be considered to be the most delicate part of the body, and constant exposure to some of the most harmful working conditions can cause serious eye injuries. The eyes are the most complex and fragile parts of our bodies. A dependable pair of safety glasses is a must to prevent critical eye injuries.
4. Helmets and Hard Hats
Head is the most important part of the body. Wearing a sturdy helmet protects workers from head injuries that might happen because of a low ceiling, dropping objects, and falls. Helmets or hard hats with adjustable harness and chin strap keep the gear in its place and protects the skull and jaw.
5. Safety Gloves
Workers often injure their hands and fingers while working in an industry set up. An excellent quality certified pair of gloves could protect workers’ hands from:
- cuts by sharp materials
- extreme temperatures
- bacteriological hazards
- splashes from diluted chemicals
- some of the most important safety gloves are heat-resistant gloves, cotton gloves, welding gloves, chemical gloves, and insulated gloves
6. Safety Masks
Many industries require their workers to come in contact with dangerous gases, dust, foul odours, and other harmful particles. It is estimated that occupational exposure contributes to 29% of lung cancers in men and 5.3% in women in Australia. Wearing a mask could keep these workers safe and healthy. There are two fundamental kinds of masks:
- Air-purifying respirators – These masks remove contaminants from the air to keep the breathing steady. As these masks filter out dust, metal fumes, mists, the respiratory tract remains clean.
- Supplied-air respirators – They supply clean air from a compressed air tank to maintain optimum breathing in areas where there is a shortage of oxygen.