4 Commonly Neglected Pieces of Safety Workwear

safety yellow sweatshirtsIt’s time we had a fireside chat about something we all know we shouldn’t do but do anyway. About $70 is spent on every employee on foot protection every year. We love a good work boot and never go to a job site without them. Why, then, are there other pieces of vital safety workwear that we start using less and less?

It’s good to be comfortable with your job. We exist in an industry that — thankfully — is becoming safer and safer. This is because of little details like safety yellow sweatshirts, hi visibility clothing, and the like. When we get too comfortable and start neglecting to wear these things, that’s when unnecessary risk increases exponentially. Let’s look at the most commonly shelved types of safety clothing.

Eye protection
Safety glasses are getting better, but they’re still a hassle to wear at times. They’re also one of the smallest wearables that protect one of your most important (and delicate) physical assets. When you’re sweating and fogging up your goggles, think twice before tossing them to the wayside. Inconvenienced vision is a much more manageable alternative to eye damage.

Ear protection
Another subtle, yet delicate part of the anatomy that wears down over time is your hearing. Especially working daily around loud machinery, that constant beating your eardrums take without ear protection is more harmful than you might think. Ya heard?

It seems like a no-brainer, but if you work with your hands and severely injure your hands, you might not be working for a little while. You protect your feet all day long in boots, so protect your hands all day long in gloves. It’s no manicure but you’ll keep yourself from nagging, obnoxious minor injuries you’d sustain without gloves.

Visibility gear
Arguably the easiest to forget is high visibility workwear. We’re often working in wild weather conditions and it’s easy to opt for t-shirts over safety yellow sweatshirts when the temperature is stifling. Operational hazards increase when you aren’t as easily seen. Be visible regardless of the weather.

There’s a theme of comfort shining through here. It’s good to be comfortable doing a job, but you’re never above the possibility of danger. Especially in these aspects. Accidental injury is easily avoided by protecting yourself from harmful forces (like gravity, noise, errant shrapnel, etc.) that aren’t in your control. Work smart, work hard, stay protected.

Operational Hazards: Paying Attention While Managing Dangerous Tasks

We talk quite a bit about keeping ourselves safe on the job. Paying attention to external dangers is an obvious part of keeping yourself out of harm’s way. Sometimes popping on your safety uniform isn’t as protective as you might think, so we’re here to talk to the folks operating the dangerous equipment and how they can remain vigilant enough to keep the safety of surrounding coworkers in mind.

Safety uniforms and workwear actively keep employees safe, though in staying protected from instances of equipment being operated by other people, the most attentive personal precautions can falter. It’s a two-way street and calls for close attention on both ends. How can someone operating dangerous equipment maintain attention enough to ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them?

Treat it like new

Complacency is a common cause of injury, most often found in the one-third of employees who are injured within their first year and are forced to take recovery leave. We don’t hear much about experienced workers falling victim of similar complacency, but it’s important to note. Perhaps the machine you use daily is old news to you. Treat it like new, exercise the same caution you did on day one and you’ll automatically slow the process down for those within your equipment’s danger radius.

Head on a swivel

As a kid we were told explicitly when about to cross the street to look both ways, then look both ways again. The same applies here. So you looked and didn’t see anyone within the operational danger zone. Look again. People quite literally come out of nowhere and it’s better to holler at someone to move than frantically wondering where they came from while they’re getting patched up in the emergency room.

Slow it down

Jobs hastily done are rarely done their best. Haste also increases the likelihood of avoidable accidents and injuries. This is especially true of operators of dangerous machinery. There’s a lot of mistakes in rushed work that many types of safety clothing can’t protect from and it’s the operators’ responsibility to see to the safety of the people around them. Quality and safety shouldn’t be rushed.

All in all, worksite safety remains a two-way street of attentiveness paid by workers around danger and those operating dangerous equipment. At the end of the day, these tips will keep every party safe all the way to happy hour.