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Safety apparel encompasses specialized clothing and equipment crafted to shield individuals from diverse hazards encountered in the workplace or specific environments. Its primary objective is to mitigate the risk of injury and bolster the safety of workers or individuals facing potential dangers.
Various types of safety apparel have been crafted to specifically address workplace hazards and ensure the safeguarding of individuals. Here are some common categories.
Purpose: Improves visibility in low-light conditions or areas with moving vehicles.
Examples: Reflective vests, jackets, or shirts in vibrant colours.
Purpose: Provides a barrier against physical, chemical, or biological hazards.
Examples: Flame-resistant clothing, chemical-resistant suits, and coveralls.
Purpose: Safeguards the head from falling objects or electrical hazards.
Examples: Helmets, and hard hats.
Purpose: Avert foot injuries in hazardous environments.
Examples: Steel-toed boots, and safety shoes.
Purpose: Shields against eye injuries from particles, chemicals, or other hazards.
Examples: Safety goggles, and face shields.
Purpose: Prevents injuries to hands from cuts, abrasions, or chemicals.
Examples: Work gloves, and chemical-resistant gloves.
Purpose: Defends against inhaling harmful particles, fumes, or gases.
Examples: Masks, and respirators.
Safety apparel undergoes stringent safety standards to ensure the effectiveness of its protective features. These standards vary based on the specific type of safety apparel and the hazards it aims to address. Several notable safety standards include.
Collaboratively established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), these standards focus on high-visibility safety apparel. For instance, ANSI/ISEA 107 outlines requirements for reflective materials and garment design to improve visibility.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops standards for flame-resistant clothing. Examples include NFPA 2112 and NFPA 70E, which address flame-resistant garments and electrical safety in the workplace, respectively.
Providing standards for a diverse range of protective clothing and equipment, ASTM International includes specifications such as ASTM F2413, which outlines performance requirements for protective footwear, including steel-toed boots.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States sets forth regulations and standards for workplace safety. This includes guidelines on personal protective equipment (PPE), encompassing safety apparel.
Within the European Union, safety apparel is subject to EN (European Norm) standards. For instance, EN ISO 20471, akin to ANSI/ISEA standards, pertains to high-visibility clothing.