While it’s a given that many industries do need safety clothing for obvious reasons; the full picture isn’t clear. We’re going to attempt to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of why it’s necessary for companies to provide safety wear or clothing to their employees. Sure it’s not necessary in an office environment, but if there is any sort of industrial edge or hazardous activity then safety wear is a health issue that needs to be addressed.
Safety is Key
The most apparent and clear reason for safety clothing is in the name; safety is important for many industries. If you work in a warehouse environment lifting heavy deliveries or working with chemicals, it’s not exactly smart to do this in chinos; you’re going to need to keep yourself safe. Consider goggles, padded jackets, helmets and other non-negotiables; without these the slightest provocation could land you in hospital or worse. In the UK, lack of safety clothing for employees has led to class action lawsuits and other nasty surprises.
Productivity is also an aspect to consider for kitting your work place with safety clothing. Consider how injuries affect your output as a company. Key workers out of commission for long periods of time can hurt your company profits. Consistency can also be achieved as safety standards that are set are followed through on; it’s also useful for employers to know how much output they can achieve in order to fill quotas.
Many insurance companies won’t touch a company that doesn’t provide employees safety equipment or clothing and this could be a big deal for an employer looking to cover not only their workforce but their product too. If a company distributes safety clothing for protective measures and an employee is injured through negligence, then the onus falls to the employee and not the employer. Another major aspect of why safety clothing is important is identification; a uniform can communicate danger quicker and more efficiently than the actual danger can. If you’ve seen a reflective vest just outside a construction site, it almost immediately communicates you should be aware. This is useful, responsible and the right thing to do.
Finally the last reason safety clothing is worn is related to all of these previous ones and that is saving money. Saving money on insurance, potential medical costs, signage and workforce are all reasons you should provide your workforce or wear safety clothing yourself. It’s a cliché because it’s true; it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.
Eugene Calvini is a writer and HR consultant; advising potential labourers on the importance of safety shoes and the correct work shoes for men make up the literal foundation of all aspect of his precautionary advice.