All heavy industries have to obey some international labour laws which require them to provide their workers with the best protective clothing to work in tough industrial working environments. Industries such as oil, gas, electricity & utility, welding, metals, shipbuilding, etc. an employer is always responsible for the safety of his workers, thus to mitigate the risks, the use of workwear material comes into play. Such industries have exposure to hazardous and life-risking factors such as high levels of heat, flames, sparks, electric arc, metal splashes, chemical burns, and so forth. The following protective measures must be taken for the workers’ safety in heavy industries.
7 types of protective material for the workers’ safety
Safety for the worker’s head
To protect the worker from any kind of head injuries, wearing a helmet is mandatory in such working fields. What makes a helmet safe and rather an important accessory paired with the uniform is the harness and the comfortable sweatbands that are to be made from protective fabric.
Protection of the eyes
Industries that involve hot metal splashes and sparks from welding, harsh chemical fumes, flame and fire, must require safety goggles for the worker’s protection. Therefore, the workwear textiles ensure that these goggles are efficient enough to resist the aforementioned hazardous factors. Eyes are the most delicate and fragile parts of the body and every year workers lose their eyesight or eyes while working. Hence they need to wear protective glasses while working. There are goggles designed specifically for welding purposes and while working with chemicals etc.
Keeping the respiratory system safe
As we all Industrialization has led to the worldwide phenomena of pollution and it has tremendously affected a lot of worker’s lungs. Hence, all industries now include protective material in the face masks, to ensure that the worker’s lungs are safe from any hazardous pollution.
Safety for workers hands
All workers have to work manually, i.e. with their hands. Unfortunately, the hands turn out to be the most ignored body part of these workers as they deal with harsh working conditions, and hands and fingers are usually hurt the most while working with even simple machines. Hence hand gloves must be made from such a protective cloth (such as leather) that keeps their hands and fingers safe from vibrations, flames, cuts, and chemicals etc.
Protection of the feet
When workers have to wear in fields that are usually slippery or extremely cold or hot, then safety boots or shoes are an important accessory of the workwear fabric. People who have to work in the oil, gas, metal, welding, and electricity & utility industry have to specifically wear these boots which are to resist any form of risk such as electric arc (in that case insulation is an important factor while designing the boots), flames, hot metal splashes, sparks, chemical droplets etc.
Protection of the ears
Working with heavy machinery means having to hear the loud noise constantly which in return affects the hearing ability of the person. Therefore working in loud sound conditions requires earplugs, and industries that involve drilling, welding etc. do require such safety equipment as a part of their workwear material.
The correct workwear clothing
Workwear textiles including jackets and pants for the worker that are made from high-grade material, and are strong and durable are good enough to be considered as workwear protective clothing. Such pants, jackets and aprons must be made from protective fabrics that are fireproof, can also resist the damage of sparks, metal splashed, electric arc, and so forth.
Types of risks and protective material for them
By now, you must have had a fair idea of what types of risks do workers have to face every day when working in heavy industries.
Oil and Gas Industry
The oil and Gad industry involves a lot of digging and drilling. And not only that, the workers are exposed to high levels of fumes, heat, flames, and spillage as well. The protective cloth used for making the everyday wear uniforms of workers in these industries must be flame and fire redundant and also be durable as rigorous washing is required. Therefore the fabric must be strong enough to bear frequent washes so that the uniform doesn’t wear out quickly.
Electric and Utility industry
Similarly, the electricity and utility industry is perhaps very risky due to the risk of exposure to electric arc, shocks and sparks. Their uniforms as per the ISO certifications are to be made of material that does not conduct electrical arcs and the boots and gloves and other accessories are also made of leather as leather is also a natural insulator.
Metal and welding foundry
Industries such as shipbuilding, automotives, welding and metal involve the handling of hot metals, and metal splashes. In this scenario the uniforms are made of such protective fabrics that can not only ensdure metal splashes but are aslo skin friendly, and breathable as working environments are already too hot to work in.
The ISO certified fabrics used in such protective clothing majorly include pure cotton as it is breathable and skin-friendly. Synthetic fabrics are usually avoided as they have a chance of catching fire more easily. Other than cotton the following fabrics are used:
- Wool and specially treated cotton fabrics are meant to be fire-resistant and comfortable.
- Leather protects the workers against dry heat and flame.
- The rubber material is used for protection against acids and chemicals.
- Disposable suits of paper-like material protect against dusty materials.