Workwear Materials: a Guide to Hi Vis, FR & Chemical Resistant

Workwear Materials

Workwear Materials: a Guide to Hi Vis, FR & Chemical Resistant

When deciding on safety wear, it is essential to select the right workwear materials and fabrics to make sure that you and your employees are always safe and well protected. In fact, different industries present very different hazards that individuals may face. Working in construction is nothing like working in manufacturing, food handling or healthcare environments, so wearing any type of safety workwear is not enough.

After guiding you through the different types of protective gloves, today we will introduce you to the most common workwear materials and fabrics.

Workwear Materials and Fabrics

workwear materials

Hi-Vis Materials

The light-reflecting property of hi-vis clothing is created thanks to the use of reflective materials (usually glass bead reflective tape and micro-prismatic tape) and fluorescent colours. The most used and effective colours are yellow and orange, even though blue, red, green, or pink can be used as well. The sun’s ultraviolet rays and the light coming from other sources react to these reflective materials and the fluorescent colours to create a glowing appearance that improve both day and night visibility.

Fire Retardant Materials

Fire retardant (FR) clothing is designed for workers exposed to high temperatures and combustion, as it won’t keep burning once the source of combustion is removed and it helps to minimise injuries if it happens to ignite. FR clothing can be made from materials that are naturally flame-resistant (like Nomex, Kevlar and Modacrylic) and other fabrics that are treated with special chemicals to improve their protective properties. However, FR doesn’t mean fireproof, so it is extremely important to check the correct standards and select the most appropriate garments to the task and work environment to minimise risks.

workwear materials
workwear materials

Chemical Resistant Materials

This type of workwear materials protect workers who handle hazardous materials or are exposed to chemicals. The most common chemical resistant materials are Neoprene, Nitrile, Butyl, Polyvinyl Chloride and Polyvinyl Alcohol. To choose the right material, it is necessary to perform a hazard assessment and identify the specific type of chemicals you will be working with. It must be noted that chemical resistance decreases over time due to use, therefore protective clothing should be replaced regularly.

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