safety equipment

Beyond the Hard Hat: Essential Protective Equipment Your Workers Should Have

Every construction project has its own set of hazards. In fact, Safe Work Australia (SWA) says that construction is one of the top industries in terms of serious injury claims. It ranks third for worker fatalities, next to agriculture, forestry & fishing and transport, postal & warehousing according to the latest SWA’s 2016 data.

Before setting foot on the construction site, workers should be well-equipped with safety gear to avoid accidents and fatalities. This includes proper protection from extreme weather.

A Pair of Sturdy Boots

A pair of good boots are essential in making sure that the workers are comfortable and protected when walking around the site. Building companies should always opt for steel toe boots since they give the best protection compared to other materials. If the workers need to work in a metal-free area, however, they can wear pairs with composite toes, which are made from carbon fibre, kevlar and plastic.

Companies should also consider the weather when buying stompers. Winter is slowly setting in the country, so the workers may need ones with insulated lining. And since they may be working on slippery surfaces, a pair with rubber soles or even cleats provide maximum traction.

Durable Gloves

safety gloves

Construction workers will deal with vibrating tools that can cause blisters and work with wood that can puncture their hands with splinters. SWA said that over 31% of construction workers had cuts and open wound injuries in 2015. This is more than strains and sprains (21%) and chronic muscle and joint conditions (16%). As such, it’s crucial to equip them with gloves that are durable as they are comfortable.

The type of gloves will depend on the kind of work. For those entrusted with paint and plumbing, they need a pair that’s water and chemical-resistant like nylon and latex. If they need to do some metalworking, they may need cut-resistant gloves made of kevlar and steel/fibreglass strands. For electrical work, they need pairs made of rubber or leather to minimize the chances of shocks. They may also need insulated linings to prevent frostbites during the winter season.

High Visibility and Weather-Resistant Clothing

The site will have a mix of workers walking around, driving vehicles, and operating high-powered tools like cranes. In low-light and poor visibility situations, recognizing what’s in front of you can literally mean life and death. The workers’ safety clothing should have bright colours and reflectors so they can easily get recognized on site, allowing drivers and equipment users to steer away immediately. Their jackets and hardhats should also be weather-resistant to protect them from the harsh winds and snow of Australian winters.

It’s a company’s legal responsibility to keep the workers safe on-site. Therefore, it should never cut corners when it comes to choosing protective equipment. Keeping these safety gear requirements in mind will help building companies choose a good supplier. The best materials for comfort and mobility should also be a priority.

No victory is better than finishing a construction project without any cases of injuries.

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