Why a One Size Fits All Approach to Protective Clothing Can Harm Your Workers

Accidents caused by Ill-fitting Protective Clothing

Protective clothing that doesn’t fit properly can reduce the effectiveness of protection for potential hazards, and can even result in more accidents, sick days and displeased staff. Clothing offered to employees should aid them with their work and account for different body shapes and sizes. It should also consider the tasks workers will be doing, and the level of flexibility and protection needed. It has also been found that women struggle to be given gender specific workwear that is not made for the female body, especially if they are pregnant.

Clothing Can Harm Your Workers

Protective clothing that is too small can leave body parts exposed to hazards when the person moves, and can restrict movement which is especially dangerous when completing tasks such as climbing ladders. This will also cause strain on the fabrics which then may tear. In some circumstances, air gaps between the person’s body and their clothing is essential for thermal insulation. Firefighters for example, need this to help protect them from heat.

How to Get the Right Size for You

In addition, protective clothing that is too large can also pose issues such as excess material that may then become trapped in machinery or get in the way of certain tasks. For example, work boots that are too big can increase the risk of tripping, and larger than necessary gloves may slip off.

Sizing guides should be available with all major retailers but ultimately it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure all workers have well-fitting protective clothing. A range of sizes should be offered and all workwear should be tested by workers by doing different activities and noting fit and flexibility. The most important thing is to make sure that all employees feel comfortable and safe at work, and can do all tasks asked of them without restrictions.




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