When you work in an industrial setting, it’s important that you dress for safety on the job. While each environment will have its own set of rules, which you should follow first and foremost, there are some general guidelines that will help keep you safe.
Skip the Jewelry
Jewelry can post a number of threats in an industrial environment.
- When working with chemicals, you could have an allergic reaction.
- Dirt and pathogens can get trapped on the jewelry, making it unhygienic and not suitable for working around food or in areas that require a sterile environment.
- Loose jewelry, such as long chains, can get caught in machines.
Wear Clothing that Fits Well
Loose clothing can get caught in machines, presenting the chance to pose danger to both your safety and the machine’s operations. In addition, loose clothes can catch on switches, turning them on or off at inopportune times.
It’s important to keep hair from blowing around. Just as with loose fitting clothing, it can easily get caught in a machine. In some companies, a ponytail will do the trick. But this isn’t always the safest option. Hair is best put up on a bun or under a bandana or hat.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Always be sure your shoelaces are tied securely. Untied laces can cause a fall or get caught by passing equipment like tow motors or carts.
Never wear open-toed shoes on a manufacturing floor. This will help protect your feet from falling objects and chemicals. This is important to keep in mind for front-office personnel who may only pop onto the floor from time to time to check on an order or get in touch with an employee. While open-toed shoes may be allows in the “front of the house,” the company can be fined if they are caught on the shop floor by safety inspectors.
If your company requires steel-toed shoes, take care in choosing a proper pair and make sure you’re meeting the requirements. These can be an expensive purchase, but it’s important to get this right – not only for your safety, but also for your comfort. This is so important that we did an entire blog post on how to choose the perfect steel-toed work shoes.
If you work in a setting where there is a risk that you may be injured by someone using equipment not seeing you, you may want to consider wearing a reflective vest or hardhat.
Read the Manual
Ask your supervisor where you can find the Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Most manufacturers keep a copy in the break room for quick reference. Within that book, look to Section 6 and Section 8. Both of these chapters contain information on Personal Safety Equipment (also referred to as PPE).
These manuals will tell you which PPEs you need for the materials you are working with.
Ask your Supervisor
This blogs contains some information that will help keep you safe, but remember, each environment is different. If you have any doubt about what safety gear you should be wearing, always ask your supervisor. They will know what’s appropriate for your particular setting and how to dress for safety on the job.