Workwear worn by those in the construction, engineering, or trade sectors performs a more demanding function than most clothes. Therefore, uniforms for these physically demanding jobs must ensure that the wearer is visible at all times, comfortable, permits freedom of movement, and provides safety from hazards in the workplace.
This article, put together by Workwear specialists Alexandra, showcases the top garments and accessories that builders, engineers, tradesmen and others working in the facilities sector can use to ensure they remain safe while on shift.
Workwear trousers are designed to provide comfort and protection when completing tasks on construction sites or outdoors, particularly in harsh, dark, or potentially hazardous conditions. Standard work trousers are tough and versatile, making them suited for a wide range of jobs and situations.
To provide the optimum option for your workplace or environment, safety trousers are available in various designs, sizes, fabrics, and colours. Like conventional trousers, safety trousers can be adjusted to specific needs, such as varied waist sizes and leg lengths for comfort and convenience.
Work trouser materials
Most work trousers are made of tough, long-lasting textiles to enhance durability when undertaking manual or labour-intensive tasks.
Cotton-polyester blends are a popular material for labour trousers. This is owing to the material’s long-lasting capacity to protect against sharp object damage, breathability and comfort. As a result, trousers made from this fabric are ideal for working in potentially dangerous environments while remaining safe.
Tungsten Holster workwear trousers are an example of excellent workwear. These are modern and effective cargo pants made of durable ripstop fabric, the ideal hardwearing fabric. These are the pants that will work as hard as you do, with extra holster pockets for storing your go-to tools and contrast knee pad pockets.
Other types of work trousers include hi-vis, waterproof and flame-proof, which are examples of personal protection equipment (PPE). PPE trousers, which can be made of various materials, protect you from damage when working in hazardous settings. Hi-vis trousers, for example, are frequently made of cotton or polyester with fluorescent stripes for greater visibility.
Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or nylon, should not be used in flame-retardant clothing because they can melt and cause harm when exposed to fire or high temperatures. As a result, materials like Kevlar are used instead. This is due to its high heat resistance and robust fibres, making it a good choice for PPE in this industry.
Safety shoes are a type of footwear meant to keep your feet safe while performing dangerous duties. When worn correctly, they significantly minimise the chance of injury to the wearer.
While most often used in the construction industry, safety shoes can be used for a variety of applications:
- For usage on-site in the trade sector.
- Porters transporting heavy machines and carts in the healthcare profession.
- Chefs in the catering industry might use them to protect their feet from falling things in the kitchen.
- For store clerks to wheel cages around the store in the retail sector.
- When undertaking DIY activities at home.
What kinds of safety footwear are there?
The four fundamental varieties of safety footwear are boots, shoes, trainers and Wellington boots. Each offers a unique level of protection and may be used in various circumstances and settings.
To qualify as ‘safety footwear’ in the UK, an item of footwear must conform to EN ISO 20345 standards, which describe the primary and supplementary standards for business safety shoes.
According to EN ISO 20345, safety footwear should protect the wearer from injuries caused by objects that are bumped, crushed, falling, or rolling. It should also protect you from stepping on sharp or pointed items, extreme heat or cold, and hot chemicals.
The best accessories
Alongside the safety trousers and shoes are several accessories that can help to make life on a construction site safer and easier.
Often associated with the medical sector, the easy-to-use design of a fob watch makes them perfect for use across all industries, including trade and facilities.
Fob watches are a timepiece with a clip that holds them in place to hang upside-down from a uniform. Because they attach to your uniform, you never need to worry about misplacing them or having to leave what you’re currently doing in search of the time.
Moreover, their pin clasp design also means you can remove them as simply as you attach them, which is especially useful for removing them before you need to wash your clothing.
Often sold in multipacks of up to 10, earplugs are essential for any tradesperson working on a loud construction site to protect their hearing. Their hypoallergenic material can be worn by almost anyone comfortably because it morphs to the shape of the inside of your ear. Look for ones that are attached to each end of a neck cord so you can dangle them over your shoulder when not in use.
Goggles are an essential accessory for the eye safety of anyone working in construction, but some goggles perform better than others. Look for polycarbonate goggles made to EN166 1B standards with ventilation to prevent them from fogging up when in use because they’ll be much more comfortable to wear for the length of your shift.
When choosing safety garments for your tradespeople role, always double-check the safety requirements of your job before making a purchase. You should also ensure that you purchase from reputable suppliers who can guarantee the quality of their clothing.
At Alexandra, we ensure all our safety garments are made to the strictest standards in line with the relevant sector EN ISO guidelines.
You can purchase any of the garments from this article at our online store here.