In Canada, there are 15.5 work-related injuries occurring for every 1000 workers. Employers can help reduce the number of accidents by creating an appropriate policy for workplace attire. Clothing safety regulations can vary depending on industries, however, it is important that workers comply and employers enforce these rules. Industries such as fishing, construction and logging pose the greatest safety risk to employees and require the use of specialized protective equipment. Healthcare workers and lab technicians also face their share of workplace hazards and must follow clothing protocol to keep themselves safe. Even industries in which occupational risk is perceptibly low, such as retail, office and service jobs, can benefit from clothing safety guidelines to prevent accidents on the job
Clothing and Gear Can Save Your Life When You’re Working a High-Risk Job
When you are working at a job that has known safety risks, employers must ensure that workers wear and use PPE when required by law. When industries comply with safety protocol, it improves the lives of employees in a number of ways. While workers at high risk jobs typically face more costly premiums for healthcare, life insurance and even auto insurance policies, insurance companies will look at steps you are taking to lower your risk both on the job and in everyday life to give you a better rate.
While commercial fishing is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in Canada, the mandated use of personal flotation devices and immersion suits has significantly reduced the risk of drowning. Waterproof gear is designed to keep fishermen warm and dry, and boots with rubber soles prevent the risk of slipping on deck. Logging, forestry and construction, which also present a number of hazards, can be made safer with the use of hard hats and goggles.
Protective Clothing Helps Medical Professionals Avoid Contamination
Medical professionals must also take on a unique set of workplace safety risks, such as the transmission of infection and handling hazardous substances. Fortunately, with the use of latex gloves, scrubs, lab coats and surgical caps, doctors, nurses and other medical staff can avoid contaminants, keeping both themselves and their patients safe. Maintaining a sterile environment in hospitals and medical offices is critical for the proper care of patients.
Trips and Falls Can Happen Anywhere
Working in an office, you may spend the majority of your time seated in front of your computer, and not consider yourself at risk or injury. Research shows, however, the office workers are 2-2.5 as likely to suffer an injury from falling than non-office workers. Falls can occur when there is not enough traction between your shoe and the floor beneath it. Workplaces in Alberta have gone so far as to ban high heels in the workplace to reduce the risk of occupational hazard. While you may not have to give up your most stylish pair of shoes entirely, err on the side of choosing practical, comfortable footwear to work.
Every occupation presents its own set of risks, which need to be approached with a preventive strategy. Employers have a responsibility to guide and manage clothing choices to keep their employees safe. An effective dress code can create a healthier, more productive work environment.
How can WSG help?
- Talk to one our safety associates for guidance on developing a policy for appropriate workplace attire.
- Not sure of the correct PPE for the job site or task at hand? WSG can help with a Job Hazard Analysis review. TF 1-866-347-7707