Selecting Protective Clothing -- Four Common Mistakes To Avoid

With great care, protective clothing has been specially designed to keep people safe from hazardous substances like particulate matter and chemicals. While the purpose of these garments is to keep a person safe, they only work when they suit the wearer and the job being performed. In fact, choosing the wrong plastic suit or other safety garment could cause harm or even death. It could also put others in danger. This article explores the four common mistakes made when choosing protective clothing.

Not Matching The Protective Clothing To The Job

A plastic suit and other safety garments are made specifically to match preset degrees of safety standards. Some protect against molecular contamination and biohazards, some protect against a certain level of chemical splash, and others only protect against particulate matter and light splashing. When choosing protective clothing that falls below the required safety level, you can put yourself and others in extreme danger. Alternatively, choosing safety garments above the needed level of safety can often make a job more difficult and more costly. When approaching safety situations, it is important to assess the job being performed to determine the risk before choosing protective clothing to match.

Not Knowing How Substances Affect Material

Chemical compounds can affect different types of material in a number of ways. Although manufacturers test disposable garments, they can only test against known mixtures of chemical compounds, so the absorption rate can vary with different mixtures. This means it's up to you to research how your plastic suit or other protective clothing will react with various substances. Combinations of chemicals can drastically change the safety rating of garments, even with ones seemingly secure. Although this seems unnecessary, it is crucial to know how chemicals, especially mixtures of chemicals, will affect different materials.

Wearing The Wrong Size Suit

Regardless of the type of protective clothing or plastic suit, wearing the right size is almost as important as choosing the right material. Wearing a suit that is too small is uncomfortable and can cause strain on the seams that let contaminants and molecules in, possibly even tearing the material. Choosing safety garments that are oversized is not a good idea either. The extra material can become caught in machinery or get in the way, causing serious risk to you and those around you. It is best to purchase a plastic suit or other protective garment that is only one or two sizes larger than your regular street clothing size. This provides you with enough room to wear the protective clothing over your street clothes without being too tight or too loose.

Wearing The Wrong Style Suit

While it may seem no more than a matter of preference when choosing between a one piece or two piece plastic suit, it actually comes down to safety. While most people find two piece suits most comfortable, they leave a gap between your shirt and pants where particulate matter and contaminants can come in contact with your skin. When working with dangerous substances, one piece protective clothing is best.

Remember to keep safety in mind when choosing a plastic suit or other safety garments. While comfort and convenience are factors, safety should be the main priority. By avoiding these four mistakes, you can keep everyone safe, no matter the project or job.


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