It’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.
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.
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.
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.