It is important to understand the features and limitations of a workwear item. Why do workers use coveralls? There is a number of occupational hazards that can raise safety concerns and drive workers to get suitable safety garments before taking on their jobs. Following are some of the hazards that can be addressed with the appropriate use of coveralls:
Molten metal splashes
Oil, acids and grease
Direct flames and heat
Sparks and flying particles
A coverall must be designed and manufactured to protect workers from a given number of hazards. For instance, a worker needs coveralls made of flame-resistant fabric if he has to deal with sparks and hot particles. A coverall with wrist and leg turn-ups can catch fire easily. Fire-resistant garments are made with the special fabrics that can withstand minor sparks and flames. People associated with firefighting or any working environment where fire and heat is a concern should use fire-resistant safety garments. Every hazard demands a different kind of protective measures and equipment.
Coveralls are used to protect the body from neck to feet and considered as safety gear for many professions from welding and material handling to construction. It is also considered a standard workwear in many jobs.
High-visibility or bright orange coveralls are used to improve the visibility in low light conditions. They add a layer of extra protection for those working in conditions where low visibility can be a hazard. High-vis garments are important for people who have to perform their duties near the road and fast moving objects. Hunters can also use high-vis clothing to ensure their safety.
Employers are supposed to provide appropriate protective equipment to their employees. They also need to ensure the replacement and laundering of soiled or contaminated coveralls. It is advisable that overalls are laundered by reputable launderers so that employees do not expose their family members to dangerous substances.
There are a number of protection levels in working environments. Occupational dress codes also vary from city to city. However, coveralls are considered a commonly used occupational dress no matter the nature of hazards or work. Many people use this kind of clothing just to protect their regular dress from dirt and dust.
Safety coveralls offer many benefits and occupational applications. If your job involves hazards, make sure you consider overalls as your best protective gear. Also, make sure you get your workwear from a reliable coverall supplier or manufacturer.
During the course of my work, I go into many different work sites. Many of them have safety slogans posted on notice boards, in reception and sometimes on the main gate. Some businesses go even further and include their safety slogan on their letterhead and in their e-mails. They have been posted around the workplace in the hope that there will be some subliminal effect on the people at risk. If you have a safety slogan, check with a few members of the workforce to discover what they think of it. You may be surprised.
The first thing to remember about slogans on notice boards or posted up around the workplace, is that they become invisible. They become part of the landscape and do not penetrate the minds of people in the workforce. Even important signs such as “exit,” are not remembered by people who walk past them every day because their minds are engaged in other more important things.
The second thing about a slogan is that it has to be delivered by somebody with credibility. Credibility is measured by the listener. If that person’s credibility is regarded as only average or less, the message will be ignored or will be regarded as totally unimportant. There are plenty of examples of messages delivered by politicians with low credibility failing to arouse and response.
The third thing about a slogan, is firmly in the minds of the people seeing or hearing it. The slogan has to have the ability to pass our T S R test. This is a test that we all apply on a constant basis. It is our That Seems Reasonable test. Any slogan that fails that will also be ignored. If we think a slogan isn’t reasonable we will dismiss it and then ignore subsequent messages from the same person.
We have slogans like “Zero Accidents” and “Zero Harm,” that fail our TSR test because we know they are unrealistic. We know that you cannot totally exclude accidents and harm from the workplace because they are function of risk and risk is an integral part of human life. Slogans like this give rise to cynicism in the workplace and have a negative effect on a lot of other important messages that may be about safety or quality. They also destroy the credibility of the promoters of these messages which, in turn, can lead to a breakdown in workplace communications.
If your organization is trying to find a slogan to emphasize safety, offer this alternative point of view. Instead of a slogan, lead by example and be the behavior you want in other people. This is much more believable than a slogan.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) is a United States federal law which oversees health and safety in both the public and private workplace sectors. Signed into law by President Nixon in 1970, the goal of the law is to ensure the workplace safety of employees, by requiring employers to remove potential hazards such as unsanitary conditions, toxic chemicals, mechanical dangers, and excessive noise.
The legal forerunners of OSHA were introduced with the passing of the Safety Appliance Act in 1893. This was the first federal law to require workplace safety equipment, although it only applied to railroad workers. Later, in 1910, after a series of deadly mine explosions, Congress created the Bureau of the Mines to research improvements in mine safety. With the increased industrial production following World War II, accidents in the workplace soared to an all time high. In the two years preceding the introduction of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, about 14,000 employees died each year from accidents and another 2 million were injured on the job. Additionally, the increase in the use of manufacturing chemicals exposed workers to greater amounts of hazards.
Heightened awareness in the mid 1960’s about the environmental impact of chemical usage increased the public’s interest in protecting worker safety, as exposure to toxins was greater for employees than the environment into which the chemicals were dumped. After President Johnson tried to introduce a comprehensive worker protection bill that later failed, President Nixon proposed OSHA. This compromise bill was less demanding on the employers, although it did utilize the Department of Labor’s ability to enforce employer violations. OSHA officially went into effect on April 28, 1971, which is now celebrated as Worker’s Memorial Day by many American Labor Unions.
OSHA also created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency within the Department of Labor. This Administration has the jurisdiction to create and enforce workplace standards. The Act also formed the independent Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission to review enforcement actions. Finally, OSHA also established the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), another autonomous research organization that forms a part of the Center for Disease Control. By creating independent investigative agencies, OSHA effectively created a systems of bureaucratic checks and balances for the best of worker protection laws and to provide a fair and methodological enforcement of such rules.