About 5% to 10% of the American workforce is employed in construction and labor. These can be great jobs with relatively good pay and benefits; however they are also physically demanding. The average person walks about 10,000 steps a day or less, for example, while those in construction often walk more than 30,000. This sort of employment can also present some of the most dangerous work environments in which a person can labor. This means that that the proper workwear, from high visibility winter jackets to cargo work pants with reflective tape, from earplugs to face masks, are absolutely essential.
Ears and Hearing
Workplaces can be noisy places, and while a lot of companies are well aware of the need for hi vis work shirts, not as many think about the need for excellent quality earplugs that are regularly maintained. The right earplugs can reduce noise levels by 15 to 30 decibels, and since permanent hearing loss can happen with any sounds louder than 85 decibels, having earplugs that fit and are regularly cleaned is essential. Don’t just get warm high visibility winter jackets; get the right earplugs, too.
Face and Eyes
If there’s the slightest chance that debris could be tossed around, face shields or safety glasses are a must. Any kind of grinding, nailing, or cutting could potentially harm the eyes. It’s also important to consider face masks whenever any kind of hazardous chemicals or materials are being used.
Feet and Hands
The average spent on construction and labor foot protection is $70 per person, per year. The construction site holds lots of potential for heavy objects to be dropped on the foot, or shoes and feet to be damaged while walking over obstacles and objects. It’s never worth skimping on strong, protective footwear. Hand protection is important, too, and should be specific to whatever task is being done. Hand gear also needs to fit well. Hand gear that doesn’t fit is likely to be taken off just when it’s most needed, or cause clumsy mistakes that could have been avoided.
Headgear might just be the most important protection any worker puts on. The hard hat not only protects from falling objects, but also from bumps against unexpected fixed objects and electrics. Any hat that has been subjected to a heavy blow should be retired, as should any that is showing visible signs of wear and tear like cracks.
One of the keys here is high visibility. High visibility winter jackets for the cold, custom reflective jackets for special jobs, high vis pants for dim areas, and the right kind of heavy duty rain gear for construction will keep everyone safe, visible, and working.
An average of 4,836 workers were killed on job sites in 2015, which is about 13 per day. Sometimes nothing can prevent these accidents, but a lot of the time forethought, planning, experience, and the right gear could have saved a life. If you work in construction or manage those who do, make sure you’re on the right safety track and have gotten the high visibility winter jackets and other types of safety clothing needed to keep everyone safe.