All About Work Clothes and Safety Gear

Before you start a job, consider your clothing, footwear and headgear. Most building materials and tools now come with specific manufacturer's guidelines on what kind of safety equipment should be worn when handling or using that product.
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Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Coveralls

Choose long-sleeved coveralls made from hard-wearing materials that allow you to move freely and protect you. Many include pockets and loops for carrying tools, such as hammers and screwdrivers. Coveralls and gloves can be taped together at the sleeve when complete cover is required.

Tool Belt

A quality leather tool can last for years and be used to store tools during and after your project is complete. Do not carry sharp tools that could pierce the tool belt or yourself. If you don't have that many tools, or for less complicated jobs, a smaller nail pouch may suit you.

Nail Pouch

Designed to carry small items such as nails and screws, a nail pouch may also have side loops to hang tools.

Knee Pads

Essential for doing flooring jobs and perfect for gardeners, a good set of knee pads will protect knees when kneeling down for work. They usually attach to the knee using Velcro straps.

Leather Gloves

Heavy-duty gloves offer some protection against bumps and scrapes and also provide some padding support.

PVC or Latex Gloves

PVC gloves will protect against some chemicals and substances that cause skin irritation and they will reduce the need for harsh hand-cleansers. Latex gloves are tighter-fitting and thinner than PVC. They are useful for precise tasks and protect against some chemicals, but are normally used just to keep hands clean.

Work Boots

Good-quality footwear that covers the feet entirely will protect against falling objects and sharp or abrasive materials. Choose boots with a firm sole rather than athletic shoes. Those with steel toes provide the best protection.

Hard Hat

A molded-plastic hat is designed to protect the head from falling objects and hard surfaces. Make sure that the hat fits correctly and is comfortable.

Machinery Helmet

Combines eye, ear and head protection. Visor and ear protectors clip onto a hard hat. Helmets may be supplied ready-assembled, but if assembling it yourself, follow the instructions carefully so that the helmet functions correctly.

Ear Plugs and Protection

Headset ear covering provides effective hearing protection when using noisy power tools. Ear plugs offer a disposable, inexpensive alternative to a headset. Take care not to push the plugs too far into the ear.

Safety Goggles and Glasses

Wearing protective goggles or glasses is essential when you may be exposed to flying debris, also for painting or sanding a ceiling. Use glasses with a wraparound lens for maximum protection. Make sure goggles have a tight seal completely around the eye area; gaps will make them less effective.

Harnesses

When working in raised areas, you may need a harness to safeguard you from falling. Harnesses vary in design, so check for fit before buying one. A harness must be checked and serviced regularly to be sure it is in sound and safe working order. Harnesses may be attached to fixed scaffolding via a connecting lanyard with a specially designed hook.

Dust Mask

Offers some protection against inhaling large particles. Choose a design that fits tightly. A metallic strip over the bridge of the nose keeps the mask in position and makes it as airtight as possible.

Valved Mask

This is more comfortable than a dust mask as the exhalation valve helps to reduce humidity inside the mask. It may also offer a slightly higher level of protection.

Respirator Mask

Equipped with cartridge filters and exhalation valves, this type of mask will protect against breathing in substance particulars. The disposable filters should be changed frequently.

Face Mask

Required when working with toxic substances. Manufacturers will specify if this type of face mask is used. Regular correct cleaning and inspection of parts are essential.