Personal Protection & Clothing

The last line of defence, protective clothing, sometimes known as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an essential part of health and safety compliance in the workplace. At Cromwell, we understand the importance of keeping people safe, and stock a wide range of protective clothing, including safety helmets, respirators, waterproof clothing and much more.

We're proud of our selection of safety clothing and equipment, which has been carefully chosen from well-known brands like 3M™, Ansell®, Bollé®, and Skylotec®.

What is protective clothing?

Often referred to as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), this kind of workwear is designed to protect the wearer against occupational hazards such as excessive heat, extreme weather and workplace hazards.

Protective clothing types

There's a huge choice of protective clothing available at Cromwell.co.uk as listed in the following categories.

• Arc flash & flame retardant protection - This clothing includes coveralls, trousers, jackets and accessories that conform to ISO 11612:2008 standards and are designed to protect the body from extreme heat and flame

• Arm protection - This term covers protective sleeves of various lengths that can be used in a wide range of industries. Cut resistant sleeves deliver cut protection to EN 388 standards. While welding sleeves offer burn protection to EN 407 standards. Disposable sleeves used widely in chemical handling and healthcare setting provide a barrier to infective agents (EN 14126)

• Body support - For workers who have pre-existing health conditions, back support and wrist straps help to prevent further injury

• Chemical protective clothing - These category III items include aprons, coveralls, jackets and trousers, as well as a range of accessories to protect against chemical splash and radioactive contamination

• Eye protection - This category includes safety glasses and safety goggles that cover against most hazards and/or working environments

• Fall protection - For those who regularly work at a height, fall protection includes harnesses, carabiners and hooks, anchorage and much more

• Hand protection - This covers gloves and gauntlets designed to protect against all kinds of workplace hazards, including mechanical hazards, extreme heat, chemical handling and specialist environments to name but a few

• Head & face protection - For environments where bumps and scrapes, impact from a height or liquid splash is a risk, bump caps, safety helmets, and face shields offer excellent protection

• Hearing protection - Ear defenders and ear plugs as well as dispensers and accessories protect workers against extreme levels of noise and damage to the ear drum

• Hi-vis clothing - High visibility clothing including body warmers, trousers and t-shirts that meet standards for EN ISO 20471:2013 as well as British Rail standards RIS 3279-TOM

• Knee & elbow protection - For workers who may fall and scuff knees and elbows, or who find themselves kneeling in hard and uneven terrain, knee and elbow pads protect against mechanical risk, bruising and, in some cases, puncture injuries

• Safety footwear - Safety boots, trainers and shoes keep the feet safe in a wide range of working environments

• Weatherwear - Protective clothing against cold, wind and rain includes jackets, trousers, and full body suits

• Respiratory protection - Delivering a wide choice of breathing equipment including respirators, masks, and face coverings, you'll find just what you need to keep you safe from all kinds of breathing hazards

• Welding protection - Including goggles, helmets and shields, the welding protection category provides a wide range of products to protect against all welding types.

• Workwear - For branded uniforms, aprons, hairnets and dispensers, our range of workwear offers everything you need to clothe your staff

• Welding clothing - Protect against molten metal splatter, sparks and heat with a choice of aprons, jackets and trousers compliant with EN ISO 11611

Considerations when choosing protective clothing

• Hazards - risk assessments will highlight hazards and the level of risk to employees.

• Health & safety law - a thorough understanding of PPE legislation will help to identify what's needed for your staff.

• Company Health & safety policy - this may require more protection than legislation dictates.

• Job role - every job will have risks associated with just that role and PPE should be selected accordingly.

• Disposable / reusable? - will the item be laundered for reuse or is it contaminated after single use and must be disposed of accordingly?

• Fit - all PPE should fit comfortably and shouldn't be too loose or too tight. Safety shoes can often be fitted by suppliers to ensure a good fit.

• Other PPE - Some items of PPE are designed with integrated features such as helmets with earmuffs and face shields. Where clothing and equipment must be worn in conjunction with other types of PPE, checks must be carried out to ensure the same levels of protection are maintained.

• Cost - there's always a range of pricing options available for PPE to suit all budgets.

Protective clothing jargon buster

To keep you informed and up to date on employers' responsibilities, we've broken down and explained the key points of health and safety legislation.

What is the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999?

This piece of parliamentary legislation clearly outlines the safety requirements and responsibilities of employers for health, safety and welfare in the workplace (as described in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974).

Let's break down the basics...

To provide a safe and compliant workplace, employers must:

• Provide safe equipment - staff must be trained how to use and maintain safety equipment

• Consult, inform and train employees - ensure staff know their responsibilities

• Conduct risk assessments - implement actions to ensure the risks are reduced

• Provide proper facilities - includes kitchen and toilet facilities

• Provide first aid kits and appoint and train first aiders

• Reporting - accidents at work, incidents and near misses, and work-related injury and illness

• Appoint a competent person to manage health and safety

FAQs

Can PPE be shared and reused?

Sharing PPE isn't recommended for a number of reasons. Cross-contamination can occur when items like respirators and ear protectors are shared between staff, which could lead to infections and illness. Discarded safety helmets or bump caps may have been compromised during previous wear; in which case they will no longer comply with safety standards. It's considered best practice to provide all staff with their own PPE or to provide disposable alternatives to remain compliant with safety legislation.

How often should PPE be replaced?

As a rule of thumb, PPE equipment like helmets and bump caps should be replaced every five years. However, other items of PPE such as hi-vis jackets and safety shoes can be replaced once they have become worn and no longer provide adequate protection.
It should be noted however, that regardless of timescales, once an item of PPE has become damaged or has taken an impact (in the case of a safety helmet for example), it should be replaced immediately.

For more information on Protective Clothing, see our Safety Technical Expert Guides...
https://www.cromwell.co.uk/info/safety-technical-expert-guides/