Safety workwear should be considered as essential as tools and materials when doing DIY jobs and construction work. It provides protection and reassurance, allowing you to focus fully on the job at hand.
The main areas of clothing to consider are footwear, headgear, gloves and any sensory protection. Here’s a guide to safety workwear:
Even the simplest jobs require protection of your eyes, and sometimes ears. Just a small chip of paint or wood in your eye could be incredibly serious and avoided simply by wearing some goggles.
Goggles offer all-round protection as they create a tight seal completely around the eye area. If choosing glasses, then ensure they too are wrap around for maximum protection. There are also specific goggles for specific jobs such as flip top goggles for welding.
Ear defenders provide effective ear protection when using noisy power tools or when hammering into hard surfaces, but a cheaper option is disposable ear plugs.
There are a variety of protective masks available which are designed for different environments, for instance, to stop large particles such as sawdust, or to protect against the inhalation of fumes and small particles. When working with paint, chemical, and/or dust, make sure the area is well-ventilated with open windows. Ensure that you take regular breaks in fresh air.
Dust masks offer some protection against large particle inhalation. Choose a design that fits tightly. A metallic strip over the bridge of the nose keeps the mask in position and makes it as airtight as possible.
Valved masks are more comfortable than dust masks as the exhalation valve helps to reduce humidity inside the mask. It may also offer a slightly higher level of protection. Valved masks have an FFP rating which reflects what they protect you against, for instance, FFP Rating 3 (the highest) protects against dust, nickel dust, cadmium dust, rock wool, glass fibre, mineral wool fibre, cotton, silica, welding fumes, etc.
Gloves and Bodywear
When choosing hand protection, consider whether you need gloves for avoiding knocks or scrapes, or to protect skin against contact with harmful substances.
Rigger Gloves offer some protection against knocks and scrapes and provides some padding support.
Vinyl Gloves protect against some chemicals and substances that cause skin irritation. Wearing vinyl gloves reduces the need for harsh hand-cleansers.
Latex Gloves are tighter-fitting and thin, ideal for fiddly tasks. They protect against some chemicals but are normally used to keep hands clean.
Knee Pads protect knees when kneeling for floor work. Usually attached to the knees by a strap, they should have thick memory foam filling to give comfort to painful joints which also offers easy movement.
Always consider the most appropriate item for the task you’re carrying out and read any safety warnings/labels for advice.
View our full Safety & Workwear range here.