Toolbox Talk: Clothing for Construction
Guide for Discussion: There is one industry where today’s fashions just don’t make it. That is the construction industry! Fancy duds are likely to get caught or snagged and cause you to fall or get hurt in some other way. Your clothing should not only be appropriate, but rugged enough to stand up to the use it will get.
Keep Your Shirt On. Always wear a heavy duty shirt, preferably long sleeved with the cuffs buttoned at the wrist. Don’t wear it loose or baggy, keep it tucked in to avoid snagging. Your shirt will protect you from sunburn, so keep it on even when the weather is hot. It also will protect you from scrapes and from skin-irritating materials, such as concrete water and poison ivy. Don’t wear anything around your neck that can dangle and get caught in machinery.
No Baggy Pants. Wear straight-line pants of propper length without pocket flaps or cuffs. They should not be baggy or so long that the heels of your shoes get caught in them. You probably can’t keep your pants on without a belt. If you belt is too long, cut off the extra length or run it through additional belt loops. In this way it won’t get caught and pull you into machinery.
Leave Jewelry Home. One of the most common causes of amputated fingers is jewelry, such as rings, wrist watches and bracelets. It may look nice, but if it gets caught in machinery, you’re in for a very painful experience.
Put Your Best Foot Forward. Different jobs call for different kinds of foot-wear, but, generally, properly fitted, high-top, lace-up, steel-toed safety boots should be worn. They give you more support than other boots and more protection in case you drop something on your foot. Wear rubber boots when working in wet material, especially if it is deep. Spreading concrete is a good example.
Winter Wear. During cold weather, two light, woolen shirts are better than one heavy one for warmth. Gloves and hard hat liners are also advisable in cold weather.
Dress Right. When you dress for construction jobs, remember that you are not out to model the latest fashions. Your work clothes may not make you the sharpest person on the block, but you will look a lot better than you would if loose clothing or jewelry caused you to get caught in a machine.
Note: Always promote a discussion of any of the topics covered in the Tool Box Talks. Should any question arise that you cannot answer, don’t hesitate to contact our OSHA authorized trainer Marcos Caballero. He can be reached at:
Marcos Caballero (813) 498-0359 or MCaballero@ConstructCorps.com.