Workwear

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application

When engineering and administrative control measures are unable to reduce exposure to hazards that may impact the torso of the body, employees should be supplied with, and wear effective workwear. This will include the ability to see a worker in all light conditions.

risk assessment

The process of carrying out a risk assessment should include a site survey that identifies workplace activities, lists the hazards present and assesses the level of risk that needs to be covered through the provision of protective clothing.
Determining the level of protection required should include which parts of the body require protection, the type of protection and with reference to appropriate standards should they exist.
Research should be carried out to identify products that provide the required level of protection and should be supported with appropriate documentation and product labelling. Specific attention should be given to the functionality of garments that are multi-layered or are worn in conjunction with other types of PPE.
Wearer trials are an important part of the evaluation process and obtaining wearer feedback is critical to ensure product suitability. Issues relating to sizing, ease of maintenance and durability are important factors.

HIgh VISIBILITY

AS/NZS 4602.1:2011 specifies garment parameters for high visibility clothing where high risk applications exist. These design requirements are structured around the needs of road and rail traffic workers. However, it is recommended that workers in industrial workplaces with similar risk factors adopt this standard.
Specific garment design may vary depending on the workplace environment such as weather, type of work being undertaken and comfort considerations.

Garment Classifications:
The garments specified in this Standard are classified as follows:

(a) Class D -    A garment designed for daytime use.
(b) Class N -    A garment designed for night use using retroreflected light.
(c) Class D/N -   A garment designed for day and night use.

sun protection

AS/NZS 4399 sets out requirements for determining the rated ultraviolet protection factor of fabrics used for sun protection garments and other items of personal apparel (such as hats) which are worn in close proximity to the skin. It also specifies appropriate detailed labelling requirements.

Protection ratings:

UPF 15, 20    Good Protection
UPF 25, 30, 35    Very Good Protection
UPF 40, 45, 50    Excellent Protection

Note: UPF ratings should not confused with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) ratings which are not applicable to textiles.

useful references

AS/NZS 4501 Set:2008  Occupational protective clothing Set.
AS/NZS 4602.1:2011  High visibility safety garments Part 1: Garments for high risk applications
AS/NZS 4399:1996  Sun protective clothing - Evaluation and classification.

Safety Tips

  • Ensure protective clothing is maintained with instructions to ensure optimum performance.
  • Where possible select HI VIS colours that contrast to the prevailing background in the work area.
  • Garments should be critically examined at 3-6 month intervals for damage, excessive fading, or the retroreflective material has ceased to be fit for purpose.
  • Procedures covering the handling of contaminated clothing should be established eg. toxic chemicals & dusts.
  • All workers should be trained in the correct use and maintenance of personal protective equipment.