Choosing the most appropriate protective clothing for the summer can be a difficult and confusing task. With so many differing standards, regulations, and a checklist of criteria including size, design, cut, colour, and cost, certainly there are a number of factors to consider. Read on to find out the tips to help you choose the right summer protective clothing.
1. Assess the Risk Associated with the Working Environment
Identify the substances that are present in your work area: particulates, liquids, and gases. Also, you should look at the hazards associated with the substances, such as reactivity, dermal toxicity, etc. Be sure to identify the physical or environmental hazards, such as machinery, sharp instruments, or rough surfaces.
2. Fabric Selection
The nature of the hazard identified will dictate the right protective clothing. It’s true that when workers are more comfortable, they are more productive. Therefore, it is imperative to consider choosing lightweight, breathable, and comfortable fabrics to help prevent heat stress.
If you’re working with non-hazardous substances such as sand, dirt, or grime, it’s generally recommended to go for a fabric that demonstrates maximum particulate holdout properties. Find a fabric that is highly resistant to particulates from the outside but allows moisture, air and vapour to pass through. This will increases the level of comfort.
3. Check the Seam Construction
It is also recommended to look for protective clothing with seams on the back instead of the front. Why? Well, seams on the back usually provide more protection up front, where it is needed the most.
There are different types of seams, they include:
- Serged Seams
This is a basic stitched seam which is the most common protection apparel, where much resistance to perilous substances is not needed. If you want the strongest and most durable seam, then you should consider the one with a three-thread overlap stitching.
- Taped Seams
It is a serged seam, but reinforced with a film tape that’s highly resistant to water and many liquid chemicals. Taped and serged seams are normally found in liquid chemical protective clothing.
- Bound Seams
Bound seams are reinforced with binding for strength as well as tear resistance.
4. Look at the Design and Size
Design and sizing is also another important consideration to ensure effective use. It is therefore very so important that you evaluate the design of the apparel. If the potential exposure to risk is moderate or high, workers are required to have full-body garments. However, where the exposure is low, the risks may be isolated to particular body areas. Working in such environments may require sleeve protectors or aprons.