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Work Clothes and Safety

"Clothes to Die For". How many times have we heard that phrase before? But it takes on a bit of a different meaning when we apply the heading of safety to it. How many times has it occurred to you that your clothes may cause you to be injured?

The fact is that the clothes you wear to the job site can affect your safety. A simple example is the length of your pants. If they are too long you can easily catch your heel in them coming down a ladder or trip yourself while backing up.

Although you don`t see very many construction workers wearing ties that can catch in moving machinery, you do see a lot of long sleeves which can pose the same threat as a tie. If your sleeves are long, keep them buttoned at the wrist. Don`t roll them up or leave them loose. Also keep your shirt tucked in and your belt tight. This may all sound silly but there are many people who have been maimed or killed because their shirt got caught in moving machinery. Also, it is not a good idea to wear gloves around moving machinery.

Watch your shoes. Make sure they are in good condition and are suited for the job you are doing. Tennis shoes on a construction worker make as much sense as a fireman wearing sandals. Good leather work boots with rubber soles are best for the construction site. In many cases steel toed boots are a requirement. In cold weather, rubber boots should be worn with woolen inner boots or heavy woolen socks. Never work in wet boots or shoes.

Keep your clothes clean. Clothes that are dusty and greasy can cause skin irritations. Clothes that are soaked with oil and grease can catch fire from a spark or cigarette.

For keeping warm, wool is about the best. Two layers of lightweight wool are warmer than one very heavy layer. Wool absorbs perspiration but if it gets soaked the best thing to do if you can`t change clothes is to keep moving. Wool gloves are also warmer than leather or cotton gloves. In cold weather, if you need leather gloves for protection, wear wool-lined leather or wool gloves inside the leather ones.

If you are in cold weather don`t play Mr. Macho or Ms. Cool by not wearing enough to keep warm. You are most likely going to wind up sick if you`re not careful. Remember that the clothes you are wearing don`t create heat; they retain the heat of your body. Make sure that your gloves, shoes, collars and belts are loose enough to allow for circulation. And if you don`t have enough to keep warm, some paper wrapped around you chest inside your shirt or jacket makes a good wind breaker in an emergency.

I am sure you have heard the phrase, "Dressing for Success". I guess that might be true in many cases but when it comes to personal protection let`s start a new phrase: "Dressing for Safety".

  Other Articles:  
  Our Safety Program  
  Welcome to the Simplex Safety First Program. These Safety First Topics are free to be used as you see fit to promote a safe workplace. Most companies will hold their Safety First Meetings each Friday or on payday. Normally, copies are made of the topic and passed out to those attending the meeting. The person presenting reads the topic aloud while the others follow along. Following the reading of the topic there is an open discussion on the topic. Close attention is paid as to how that week’s topic applies to the job site. Also encouraged are discussions regarding safety concerns and safety items of interest. Click on the link above for complete details.  
  Your Hearing: Keep it for a Lifetime  
  This Safety First Topic looks at hearing loss and how it can be prevented.  
  Working Together  
  This Safety First Program describes the effectiveness of working together with your company and fellow employees in ensuring a safe working environment.  
  Work Clothes and Safety  
  This Safety First Topic explains the importance that clothes are workers personal protection. If the clothes are not worn properly, it can affect your safety.  
  Why Prevent Accidents ?  
  This Safety First Topic strongly discusses the importance to prevent accidents in the work place.  
  What You Can Do to Prevent Cold Stress Injuries  
  This Safety First Topic discusses what you can do to protect yourself from cold stress injuries. Remember, it doesn`t have to be freezing for cold stress to occur.  
  Using Portable Electric-Powered Tools Safely  
  This Safety First Topic discusses specific OSHA guidelines to help tool users recognize the hazards associated with the different types of tools and the safety precautions necessary to prevent those hazards.  
  Understanding Safety Signs  
  This Safety First Topic takes a look at different types of signs; what they mean, and how they should be used.  
  Safety and Saving Time  
  This Safety First Topic discusses ways to ensure that time is utilized to its best, and you will make the job easier, smoother, quicker, and safer.  
  Protecting Your Eyes  
  This Safety First Topic deals with protecting your eyes at the worksite.  
  Protect Your Hands  
  This Safety First Topic deals with protecting your hands at the worksite.  
  Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls  
  This Safety First Topic discusses what can be done to prevent slips, trips and falls. Most of the suggestions in this article can be used on the job and at home.  
  Preventing Heat Stress  
  This Safety First Topic discusses ways to prevent heat stress and how to recognize the symptoms of a number of heat-stress conditions.  
  This Safety First Topic takes a look at the content of an MSDS and provides some other important information for using an MSDS.  
  Look and Live  
  This Safety First Topic deals with paying attention and "looking" which is the most important and basic principle of accident prevention.  
  Industrial Ergonomics  
  This Safety First Topic has discussed the symptoms and causes of injuries caused by poor ergonomics.  
  How to use a jack properly  
  This Safety First Topic deals with one of the easiest pieces of equipment to operate in any industry: the jack.  
  Back Safety  
  Back disorders are listed in the "top ten" leading workplace injuries published by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.  
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