Getting the right tool for the right job is without doubt of very important when it comes to working onsite or for that matter working in and around the home but of equal importance is the choice and selection of clothing and apparel when carrying out any task, large or small.


It is a fact that 30% of accidents, the majority ending in hospital treatment, are caused by incorrect garments being worn. This could range from long sleeves being caught in machinery to damage to feet or toes through incorrect footwear selection. Of course most of these accidents can easily be avoided if you take the following simple precautions:


1: Always choose garments which fit correctly and are not too loose or too tight.


2: All clothing should be made from material which is suitable for the purpose, an example of this would be Kevlar trousers and jacket when using a chainsaw and not a cotton t-shirt and shorts.


3: Clothing should be colored in such a way that suits the purpose of the task, ie reflective clothing.


4: Boots should comply with the necessary safety regulations Dependant upon the job, ie steel toe cap, resistant to oil, non-slip sole.


5: Headgear should conform to all relevant safety regulation and be fitted securely to the head.


It sounds like common sense but to reiterate the extremely high percentage of accidents could be avoided if just a few simple rules where followed and adhered to.


Many tradesman are sole employees, that is they are boss, teaboy and accountant and therefore it is easy for them to take risks (unnecessary risks at that) as they feel they are outside of the law because they work for themselves. This is, to say the very least, a highly dangerous and idiotic attitude to take and while it is without doubt the tradesman's responsibility to act it must surely be the governments duty to enforce the strict laws which it has clearly set out and guide lined.


Only last week, a small company in Denmark was fined over 200,000 Euros for negligence in a case where an employer lost four of his toes in an accident that could easily have been avoided. The employer was a casual laborer who had been given no formal indication of what safety requirements where needed on site and hadn't been given any safety equipment, he was in fact wearing flip flops!


In short, it's easy to avoid harm to yourself and others when using tools and completing tasks and jobs around the house you just need to follow basic rules and use common sense and if you have any questions then ask your employer to provide you with help, advise and most importantly the correct attire. It is the employers responsibility to give you what you need to carry out your duties in a manner which puts you at least risk from accident.


Act now and think before you get dressed in the morning otherwise you could spend your next night in a hospital bed.


About the Author:


Paul Disley is a health and safety adviser at workwear magazine.



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