OSHA Recommended Protective Apparel

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA ) has published standards for all manner of personal protective clothing. They further recommend types of protective apparel that varies based on the industry in which you work. In general, safety apparel is designed to protect all parts of your body against the most common hazards you face. For instance for protective clothing in electrical threat situations, the items must be clearly marked “Class” 0,1,2,3,4, (protection from 5,000 to 70,000 volts) to inform the wearer what level of protection they provide.
The first key to having the correct safety clothes is to be aware of the potential hazards you face. Safety clothes designed to protect against chemical threats may be useless if you face fire or electrical dangers. But if you face hazards that indicate the use of chemical protective clothing, you can examine OSHA standards to learn what you should wear and what level of protection you need.
If you work in a chemically-related environment or are put in dangerous situations only rarely, you might want to consider the newer line of disposable protective clothing. There are disposable coveralls along with shirts and pants combinations that are also disposable. Safety shirts and safety pants that are disposable can save an employer a great deal of money if they place the same employees in hazardous situations only sporadically or clothing can be contaminated with liquid or air borne items that make their reuse potentially dangerous. OSHA supports their use as long as they provide the required level of protection for the wearer.
ISO 11611:2007 specifies minimum basic safety requirements and test methods for protective clothing including hoods, aprons, sleeves and gaiters that are designed to protect the wearer’s body including head (hoods) and feet (gaiters) and that are to be worn during welding and allied processes with comparable risks. For the protection of the wearer‘s head and feet, ISO 11611:2007 is only applicable to hoods and gaiters. ISO 11611:2007 does not cover requirements for hand protection.

This type of protective clothing is intended to protect the wearer against spatter (small splashes of molten metal), short contact time with flame, radiant heat from the arc, and minimizes the possibility of electrical shock by short-term, accidental contact with live electrical conductors at voltages up to approximately 100 V d.c. in normal conditions of welding. Sweat, soiling or other contaminants can affect the level of protection provided against short-term accidental contact with live electric conductors at these voltages.


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