The purpose of protective workwaer is to minimize the risk of bodily harm. One must define the requirements for the level of protection, comfort, and mobility needed. Protective clothing for serious risks should also be designed so that it can be quickly removed if exposed to chemicals or intense heat. Protective clothing is marked with so-called pictograms (EN standards) to indicate what they protect against. Protective clothing that protects against multiple risks is thus marked with more pictograms.
Protective clothing marked A, B1, and C1 are not suitable for use in work where one risks exposure to temperatures over 100°C or the risk of splashing with metal. They should only be used when there is a risk of brief exposure to flames and temperatures up to 100°C. If one risks getting splashed with molten metal and other hot substances, the protective clothing should also be marked with code letters D or E:
A - limited flame spread (mandatory)
B - protection against convective heat transfer (B1-B5)
C - protection against radiant heat (C1-C4)
D - protection against splashes of molten aluminum (D1-D3)
E - protection against splashes of molten iron (E1-E3)
F - If one risks coming into contact with hot objects (with a temperature less than 180°C), the protective clothing should provide protection against contact heat and be marked with code letter F.
When handling different types of chemicals, one may need different protective clothing depending on the type of chemical being handled. Note that you should always contact us to be on the safe side when handling chemicals.
In the tables below, we provide guidance on the selection of protective clothing for different applications:
Selection of protective clothing for different applications. The tables show the brands Microgard, Microchem, and L.Brador.
Chemical breakthrough for different types of chemicals. The table is specific to Ansell AlphaTec 3000/4000.
Note that the material used for the two air ducts in the ventilation opening does not have the same chemical barrier as the rest of the Microchem® 3000 fabric. The air ducts' task is to prevent physical splashes from entering directly through the ventilation opening. For breakthrough times for all chemicals, contact us or the manufacturer. All information is intended as guidance only.
Outdoor climates can be very demanding on work clothes, which places high demands on materials that are durable and hard-wearing. Choosing clothes that can withstand wind, rain, and cold is also very important, as well as considering whether the garment needs to have a breathable function.
Mechanical risks can include cutting and puncture injuries. If one wears clothes made of ordinary fabric, they do not provide protection in environments where there is a risk of cutting oneself on sharp objects or knives. Using protective clothing with the right properties and materials is extremely important. Even though the body needs to be protected, it is also important that one can perform work tasks in a smooth and comfortable manner. Discomfort that arises from the garments not fitting comfortably can lead to safety regulations not being followed.
Sometimes it's necessary to wear work clothes that protect against conducting electricity. ESD (Electro Static Discharge) refers to electrostatic discharge. Discharges occur because the surface of some materials can become charged with static electricity generated by contact, friction, and separation. Clothing, work surfaces, floors, etc., can all contribute to building up charges of several thousand volts. Today's electronics have become increasingly sensitive as they often use thinner conductors and smaller insulation distances. Static electricity can never be prevented, but the risk of damage from discharges can be reduced with proper protection. Therefore, there are several effective measures for creating an ESD-safe area and avoiding ESD damage. Educating and informing staff creates awareness of the problem and an understanding of necessary measures and hopefully increased caution.
If you work in an environment where there is some form of traffic or if you work outdoors in the dark, it is important to choose clothes with reflective material that is clearly visible from a distance. This can be on roads, docks, construction sites, unloading areas, parking lots, airports, etc. The Swedish Traffic Administration's manual "Work on the road" specifies the requirements for personal protective equipment:
"Persons performing road work shall wear approved high-visibility clothing with reflectors to make them easily visible to traffic. The clothing shall meet the requirements for EN 471 (now also EN 20471) Class 3. The fluorescent material shall be yellow and/or orange. The clothing shall be marked with the class of the garment. Garments with illegible markings are not approved. Vehicle drivers shall be able to detect personnel working on a road or street in darkness, mist, fog, or other similar conditions of poor visibility using low beam headlights. Therefore, personnel in such circumstances shall also wear high-visibility trousers with reflectors placed low on the garment, meeting at least the requirements of EN 471 (now also EN 20471) Class 2. Visitors to roadwork sites as well as personnel delivering goods such as pipes, reinforcement bars, and more should also wear approved high-visibility clothing."