Every course we teach includes a section that refers to safety on site, and it is something that is incredibly important for every heavy equipment operator, every day. However, part of that dedication to safety includes the clothes we wear, but what do you need to look out for to get the right safety clothing when on site?
Having good boots is important, not only for protection, but for comfort too, there is nothing worse than a pair of boots that hurt when you have a long day ahead of you. Steel toed boots are of course essential, but also look for quality leather than will wear in and provide real comfort, good grippy soles are important too, and always ensure that the lacing is strong and sturdy too.
The right gloves are a balance between protection and flexibility, you don’t want gloves that get in the way too much, as they just become annoying after a while, but very thin gloves don’t really offer enough protection. For winter, insulated gloves, especially those that use effective but light insulation such as Thinsulate, are a wise choice, and for all seasons, goatskin gloves provide strength and abrasion resistance without adding weight.
Glasses should be of the right kind, for instance made specifically to fit over your ordinary glasses if you wear them. All glasses should conform to government safety standards.
There are two things you need from your hard hat, that they conform to safety standards, and that they fit well. Fit is a personal thing, but make sure it’s comfortable to wear, it can become really annoying over a long period if it’s not.
Again, make sure yours complies with regulations, and today many incorporate radio systems so that you can stay in contact with site supervisors.
Having a high-visibility jacket is essential on most sites today, and it is something you shouldn’t ignore. It can be the difference maker and save you from disaster, especially on sites with multiple pieces of heavy equipment operating at the same time.
Finally, think about the rest of your clothing, you want to avoid anything particularly loose, as that has the potential to get caught in mechanisms, and make sure in the winter that you have appropriate warm clothing as needed. It may not always seem too cold, but after a day on site it can creep up on you.