The importance of protective workwear
Whether it be a simple sun hat or a state-of-the-art spacesuit, the need to protect ourselves whilst we work has been a concern since the dawn of human existence. Self-preservation is an inherent part of our nature and so is the desire to progress, learn more and break new ground. With that in mind, here we explore the importance of protective workwear.
Who Invented the Hard Hat?
Perhaps the most important item of protective workwear is the hard hat that is commonly worn in workplace environments such as building sites, but that are also worn by those participating in sports like rock climbing.
As with many inventions the hard hat, as we know it, was inspired by the military who have used metal helmets for hundreds of years. The hard hat was first developed by US mining equipment company E.D Bullard’s owner Edward Dickinson who modelled it on the metal helmet his son brought home from World War I.
As the brain is the most important part of the body, the need to protect it is paramount in a number of workplace scenarios.
Steel Toe Caps
Although the feet are far less important than the brain, severe injury to one of them is likely to mean taking time off work to recover – enter the steel toe cap boot. Designed to protect the whole foot and particularly the toes these heavy duty protective boots feature a reinforced area at the front that will keep the wearers toes safe from heavy or falling objects.
In addition to these rather obvious items of protective workwear, however, are a raft of other items that have transcended the workplace and are now also fashion apparel.
The Appeal of Protective Work Apparel
One could argue that the ever-popular pair of jeans started life as protective workwear for miners during the Californian Gold Rush. Since then there have been great leaps in technology and industry that have offered us the likes of high visibility jackets and work bags. High vis jackets are a common sight at particular types of music event – raves for example and workbags have been used throughout the fashion industry as blueprints for high street products.
The bottom line, however, is that besides the desire to protect ourselves from harm, there are now legal requirements for many items of protective workwear. Employers can face legal proceedings if those that work for them are not adequately protected and thus the importance of protective workwear is underlined.