28th April 2024 marks the United Nations’ World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of people at work, particularly those working in hazardous or high-risk environments.

Here at alsico, protection is at the heart of everything that we do. Our foundations are rooted in creating garments that protect people at work, enabling them to carry out their jobs both effectively and safely.

In this blog, our Head of Technical Sales, Phil Briggs, discusses the varied requirements for protective wear today and how alsico is offering today’s workforce the highest level of protection.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to protective wear.

There is a wide range of industries which each have very specific requirements when it comes to protective clothing. Employers in those industries must protect workers from a variety of potential hazards to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Whether it's flame-retardant garments for those in the energy sector, high-visibility vests for construction personnel, or chemical-resistant suits in laboratories, each offers essential protection for members of the workforce. At alsico, we recognise the unique uniform requirements of each sector and work continuously towards improving the level of protection and comfort of the garments available to them. Here are just a few of the ways that we’re already doing this:

Fabrics for every requirement

For protective wear, choosing the right fabrics is critical. When working in the proximity of highly dangerous elements, e.g. heat, electricity or corrosive substances, employees need complete confidence in the protection of their uniform. Selecting the wrong material eliminates the protective element for that environment, jeopardising the safety of the team and rendering the garment effectively useless.

At alsico, we have taken several steps to overcome this risk. In addition to offering one of the largest fabric ranges for protective wear in the market, we take the time to understand our customer’s needs in great detail – in particular, the risks that their teams may be exposed to. Using these insights, we tailor our recommendations and ensure that you have the right protective fabric for the job. Although a material may meet every standard in the book, that doesn’t necessarily ensure that it’s protecting your workforce from the specific risk that they are facing. For this reason, those detailed risk conversations with customers are crucial first step.

Industrial washing

Having the right materials is just one part of the puzzle. In several industries, protective wear must be kept clean, free from dirt or potentially harmful substances, in order to be effective. For example, for workers wearing High Vis garments, if the fluorescent fabric and/or reflective strips were to become dirty then they would not be as effective and could put the wearer at risk. Uniforms gathering dirt is an unavoidable factor in industries such as construction, however, consideration must be given to how effectively the garments can be washed and whether the worker has been supplied with enough to rotate the garments once required.

At alsico, we understand that protective wear garments must be designed to withstand the high temperature washing required to remove stains and keep wearers safe. However, this must not come at the cost of durability. Garments must not become misshapen or deteriorate in quality during the laundry process.

To mitigate that risk, we have significantly invested in the development of our protective clothing fabrics. Ensuring that they remain durable throughout repeated industrial laundering, increasing the longevity of the solutions and eliminating the risk of workers in dangerous environments wearing ineffective protective garments.

Comfort and fit

If protective wear is ill-fitting, this not only makes the garment uncomfortable to wear but can also have a significant impact on the level of protection that it offers.

In some cases, a poor fit can contribute to the garment being ineffective for its protective purpose, for example, where a pair of high-visibility trousers are not available in a shorter length and therefore the reflective strips are not visible on the leg of the wearer.

In others, workers may be tempted to remove items that are causing discomfort, and as a result will have no protection at all in a hazardous environment. A uniform designed and fitted to the workforce’s requirements is essential for adhering to standards and legislation, but also to enable workers to carry out their responsibilities comfortably.

Protective wear fit is an issue that periodically makes it into the news, particularly in reference to women’s uniforms. In traditionally male-dominated industries, uniforms have historically been designed to fit the male body. The requirements have since evolved and those measurements do not translate to comfortable and appropriate fit across today’s diverse workforce. To ensure that all sizes and shapes are catered for, not only do alsico have a large range of garments styles and sizes to choose from, but with 21 production units across 11 countries, we are able to create bespoke items for our customers. This means we can offer custom fabric and fit combinations in both bulk or as one-off pieces.

To hear more from our experts and experience our protectivewear offering in person, visit us on stand 4/G130 at the Health and Safety Event or to find out more about how alsico can keep your workers protected, get in touch at sales@alsico.co.uk.