There are a number of potential hazards and risks to employees’ safety while working on mining and manufacturing worksites. It’s then essential for employees to wear the correct safety equipment and follow the necessary safety protocols to protect their health.
If an accident occurs an employee wearing the right personal protective clothing can reduce their risk of injuries such as broken bones, minor burns, rashes or cuts.
Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations in Australia state employers must provide personal protective equipment to workers at the workplace.
It’s then important for employers and employees to understand the benefits of protective clothing and how to use it correctly.
Here are some reasons why protective clothing and equipment is important:
- Get noticed: Employees wearing high visibility gear are much more likely to be seen by other people. This is especially important if employees are working near machinery or a road where they are at risk of being hit by a vehicle.
- Protect their skin: Protective clothing is specifically designed to protect employees’ skin from cuts, grazes or rashes from hazardous chemicals. Some clothing is also fire resistant and can prevent minor burns.
- Barrier to the elements: Employees are often required to work in extreme conditions such as rain, high winds, freezing cold and extreme heat. Protective clothing will help to prevent conditions such as frostbite, sunburn or wind burn.
Types of equipment
The types of protective equipment used in the mining and manufacturing industries includes safety goggles, steel-toed boots, safety helmets, long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, high visibility vests, ear plugs or hats. It’s also important to have speciality protective clothing and equipment for specific jobs such as welding helmets or arc flash face shields.
It’s the employer’s duty to ensure clothing and equipment is appropriately fitting for each employee. For example, if a respirator is too large or too small it will not prevent employees from breathing in harmful substances. Clothing and equipment may need to be purchased for each individual employee.
Businesses are required to train their employees on the appropriate way to wear protective equipment and how to use it correctly. They should also be instructed on how to store equipment correctly to ensure it remains in good working order.
Organisations must also ensure anyone visiting the workplace wears the appropriate protective equipment where necessary. It’s then essential to inform any visitors of safety procedures and alert them to potential hazards.
The WHS regulations state that it’s the business’ responsibility to ensure all protective clothing and equipment is functional and regularly maintained. This involves replacing damaged or faulty equipment immediately. Employees also have a duty to report damaged equipment and to ensure clothing is cleaned and stored correctly.
Where to buy clothing
It’s important to purchase the right personal protective clothing for each specific situation to protect employees health and safety. There are a number of different options available to choose from, which can make it difficult to purchase the right equipment. It’s a good idea to use an industry supplier, such as Ferret.com.au, who has a wide range of personal protective equipment specially designed for the mining and manufacturing industries.
Wearing protective clothing won’t stop accidents from occurring but it can greatly reduce the risk of injuries and health problems. Protective clothing should be combined with strict safety procedures and regular training to protect employee health and safety.