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Why Health & Safety At Work Matters

Why Health & Safety at Work Matters

Whether it's on oil rigs, construction sites, roadworks or other environments where risk of injury can be high, protective clothing and shoes is an essential part of the modern workplace. Ensure your workers are kept as safe as possible with this guide to protective clothing and shoes.

What is PPE?

PPE stands for personal protective equipment and is defined by the Health and Safety Executive as equipment that protects the user against health or safety risks at work.

find out more about the different types of ppe below:

eye protection

Eye protectors like safety spectacles, goggles, visors and face shields help protect against hazards including:

  • Chemical splashes

  • Metal splashes

  • Dust

  • Gas

  • Other vapours

  • Radiation

safety helmets

Safety helmets are one of the most widely used pieces of protective equipment in the construction industry. Safety helmets, bump caps and hairnets help guard against:

  • Falling or flying objects

  • Pieces of dangerous equipment

  • Hair tangled in machinery

  • Chemical drips

  • Hitting the head against something

On virtually all construction sites, the risk of head injury is present, making safety helmets a must.

ear protection

Ear protection, including earmuffs, earplugs and canal caps, is used to protect against:

  • High-level sounds

  • Long-term exposure to high

  • Level sounds


Most construction sites will operate a high visibility policy. High-visibility (hi-vis) clothing is also used in roadwork jobs and
in traffic management. High-visibility clothing includes vests, bibs, coveralls and long-sleeved jackets and trousers.High-visibility clothing is used to:

  • Alert drivers and pedestrians to a worker's presence

  • Ensure workers can be seen in low light and in dark conditions

On virtually all construction sites, the risk of head injury is present, making safety helmets a must.

safety footwear

Safety footwear, like safety boots with protective toecaps and chainsaw boots, helps protect workers against:

  • Falling objects

  • Slips and trips

  • Chemical splashes

safety gloves

Chemical gloves, anti-cut gloves and welding gloves can help protect against hazards including:

  • Electric shock

  • Chemical splashes

  •  Abrasion

  • Extreme temperatures

  • Cuts and punctures

safety harnesses

Types of safety harness include body belts, chest harnesses and full body harnesses; they're designed to arrest the most severe free falls. Safety harnesses are used to protect workers working at height from falls.

When should I use protective clothing and footwear?

You should introduce protective clothing and footwear like high-visibility jackets, gloves and harnesses when you identify hazards such as the following at your workplace:

  • Contaminated air

  • Falling materials 

  • Moving machinery and equipment 

  • Corrosive liquids and chemicals 

  • Excessive noise 

  • Extreme temperatures

Storing and maintaining protective clothing and footwear

Store protective equipment easily by offering pegs for high-visibility jackets and waterproof clothing, or lockers for footwear. Of course, in some cases, workers may take their clothing home with them.Maintaining protective clothing is essential - doing so ensures it continues to provide adequate protection for your staff. Maintenance will include examining clothing for faults, testing, cleaning and repair. Where necessary, protective workwear should be replaced if no longer fit for use.The safeguarding of your employees should be your main priority as a business. Ensure employees working in higher-risk environments are protected by investing in protective clothing and shoes.

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