For many industries, having ‘the tools to do the job’ is a standard requirement for employees, and that certainly includes Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. PPE goes far beyond hi-vis jackets or helmets, depending on the nature of the work.
An Investment worth Making
A lot of industries and businesses now use cold storage to prolong the life of their products, and making sure employees are kept warm and comfortable is a very necessary business expense. A person is much more productive when they are kept warm, so by providing thermal layers, jackets, salopettes and more, an employer can ensure that their workers’ core temperature does not drop too low. It might seem like a significant initial expense, but in terms of value for money, cold storage workwear is a sound investment.
Don’t Scrimp on Comfort
An employee wants to be warm, but they also need to be able to carry out their job effectively. Make sure you commit to buying cold storage workwear that has the right level of thermal comfort, with the right insulation between the outer layer of the clothing and the employee’s body. Keep movement in mind, and look for PPE that incorporates clever design, like reinforcements on heavy duty areas like knees and elbows. Many trousers and salopettes now have a pocket at the front to house an optional knee pad, designed to give comfort to those having to kneel on a cold floor.
Stick To The Rules
There are rules in place, (The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992), to ensure that where risks to an employee are unable to be controlled by any means, and cold storage would be one of those, then appropriate PPE should be provided by the employer. They must also ensure that all PPE is properly maintained and used correctly.
There are several things that employers must consider when looking into and providing PPE, not least the job it is actually required to do. For example, gloves are seen as a key form of PPE, but in some instances would not be required. For example, when using some sorts of equipment, they could pose a risk, perhaps of entanglement. PPE must fit correctly – not too big, nor too small – and it must be compatible with other elements. If there is a risk that someone working in cold temperatures will also get wet, then additional cold storage workwear must be available to protect the worker from the risks of hypothermia. Having ready access to PPE means that should there be a cold spell, business can continue as usual, without interruption.
There are other things that employees can do for themselves, such as wearing several layers of clothing, provided that they do not pose additional risk, such as by catching in equipment. Finally, it is important to assess each role on its own merit and make sure that the PPE is suitable and appropriate for that job alone, and to assess what is required by the employee to achieve it successfully.