Page 45 - OHS, March 2021
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To specify the right industrial protective gear, also assess the types of chemicals used at the jobsite. For example, if the worker is exposed to acid, choose a rain jacket, bib or full suit that is impervious to acid. Acid gear often features double heat-welded construction for strength and reliability in hazardous conditions.
Water repellent. Water repellent refers to an extra surface coating that improves the overall performance of the rainwear. It is used to describe both water-resistant and waterproof products.
Most waterproof/breathable rainwear features an applied durable water-repellent (DWR) finish. DWR is a manufactured chemical that repels water, causing the rain to bead up and roll off the outerwear. This is similar to how wax on a car causes the rain to bead up and roll off the car, protecting the paint job beneath.
Just as you must periodically wax your car, you will also need to reapply a durable water-repellent treatment when it wears off. When is it time to reapply? The answer: when the rain stops beading up or if you start to experience cold spots from where the finish has worn off. Dirt and oils, which attract water, can also negatively impact the longevity of the DWR application.
Protective Gear That Meets Cross-seasonal Needs
Safety professionals have lots of options when it comes to choosing spring PPE. Options that shouldn’t be overlooked this spring include reversible, cross-seasonal 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 designs. There are even jackets in the marketplace that can be worn in seven different ways thanks to their clever design.
Removable fleece inner shells and zip- off sleeves allow the wearer to adapt to changing weather conditions, increased activity levels and new seasons and climates. If you get hot while working, it’s easy to remove the fleece or sleeves.
High-visibility fabrics on one side and stylish fabrics on the reversible side provide the wearer with hi-vis protection at work as well as an after-work jacket, too.
Cross-seasonal gear is a good investment because it is thoughtfully designed to transform from a jacket to a vest and from workwear to everyday wear. It can be worn in several seasons because of its versatility, making it a cost-effective PPE solution.
Let’s Spring into Action
ThThis spring will mark the fifirst anniversary of worldwide lockdowns due to COVID-19. 2020 was a challenging and unpredictable year fifilled with uncertainty, dismay, economic hardships, loneliness, sadness and anger. With vaccine deployment across the globe, let us renew our hope for a better year. As the poet Alexander Pope said in his poem Essay on Man, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”
This spring, stay vigilant to keep your workers safe from COVID-19 while also keeping them safe with protective gear that blocks the wind and rain that
naturally occurs during this season. Aftfter all, a comfortable and safe worker is a hopeful and productive worker.
Mary Padron is a Sr. MarCom & Event Specialist at Radians, a top-tier manufacturer and supplier of high performance PPE to reduce the risk of personal injury in the workplace.
1. explainers/news/meteorological-spring- daylight-average-temperatures
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