When working in an industry regulated by OHSA standards, finding a knowledgeable uniform vendor can help keep your company’s occupational health and safety programs in check. It’s important to not only supply your employees with the appropriate protective uniforms, but also to maintain the garments in order to keep an increased level of employee safety. When working with the right vendor, including uniforms that improve your work health and safety programs can be easy. Here are 3 important considerations that will ensure your uniform program is a success:
1. Make Sure Your Work Uniforms Are Safety Uniforms
OSHA regulations require that you take the necessary safety precautions based on your work environment. While you should already be following OSHA standards, a quality uniform vendor can help you find ways to customize your uniform to provide even better safety precautions for job tasks that may be specific to your business. Depending on your industry, you should consider the following methods of uniform protection and ask your vendor how you can improve your employee’s safety using each:
Protecting your employees against burns can be done in multiple ways using different types of flame resistant (FR) garments, and you should use the ones that will allow your employees to work comfortably while keeping them safe. If your employees are working near moving mechanical parts or machinery, opting for fitted FR shirts and pants instead of FR coveralls may be a safer option, removing the danger of baggy clothing.
When working with electrical equipment, it’s important to make sure all parts of the uniform are non-conductive. Replacing metal buttons and zippers with plastic or velcro straps is a viable option that can improve employee safety.
Workers in labs can experience dangerous chemical spills, so it’s necessary to be able to remove the contaminant before it comes in direct contact with an employee. If the contaminant has spilled on an employee’s clothes, snap front lab coats work well for fast and easy removal.
Making sure your employees meet minimum visibility standards is important, especially for those working near moving vehicles. Increasing their visibility is an easy way to increase employee safety. Adding additional reflective material especially to the sides and back of an employee’s uniform can greatly improve others ability to see them.
2. Perform Proper Uniform Cleaning and Maintenance Procedures
To increase occupational safety, you need to properly maintain the uniforms that provide that safety. Often when employees care for their own garments, the garments get worn out and faded, and safety features can become compromised. Flame resistant clothing should be washed with only certain detergents. Reflective materials can become worn and lose their shine, so materials should be replaced when necessary. If your employee gains or loses weight, uniforms can become too baggy or expose the wearer, so you should always have properly fitting uniforms. When you partner with a full service uniform rental company, you can rely on them to do all the cleaning, repairs, and resizing for you.
3. Use Uniforms to Increase Your Work Safety Standards
You should understand the ins and outs of your business environment and be able to think beyond OSHA standards. When working with your uniform vendor, let them know the specifics of the work dangers and processes that employees typically go through. They should be able to help you customize additional safety features specific to your business environment. Some additional features include:
- Color Coordinated Uniforms – Great for quick recognition in facilities with multiple departments.
- Breathable/Layered Garments – Make sure your employees don’t become overly hot or cold.
- Removable Barriers – Garments like lab coats and scrubs can be made easy to remove in case of contamination by using snap front buttons and elastic sleeves.
Working with a uniform vendor should allow you to explore many different safety features that are applicable for your industry. For additional ideas on personal protective equipment for your industry, check out our breakdown of OSHA standards and equipment selection.
Improved workplace safety is only one of many benefits of company uniforms. Want to know how company uniforms can solve the 5 biggest company challenges? Download your copy of our free e-guide to find out.