Types of Fabrics for PPE in Different Environments

The modern technological advancements in various fields have hastened processes in industries. They have however introduced different elements into work environments that ordinarily had no hazards in the past.

Fortunately, these dangers are specialised such that with the right type of PPE, your workers will be sufficiently protected against various elements in your workplace. There has been extensive research into different fabrics to suit the needs of multiple industries.

As such, when shopping from safety clothing suppliers, you are guaranteed of getting optimal protection for your employees from whichever elements are present in your industry. The first step is to evaluate what elements you want to protect your workers against.

Here are guidelines on what fabrics will work best for different aspects of your workplace.

Flame-Resistant Clothing

Flame resistant fabrics are specifically designed to be self-extinguishing or resist ignition when working near flammable liquids and machines. High-temperature textiles comprise those that can withstand constant exposure to temperatures of above 2000 degrees Celsius in convective, conductive and radiant heat.

There are two fabric categories used for flame resistant clothing. Inherently flame-retardant fabrics include semi carbon, phenolic, aramid, and modacrylic fibers. Chemically modified materials are cheaper compared to inherently flame-retardant ones.

They include synthetic fibers, wool, and cotton. Flame resistant clothing is used by miners, firefighters and those in explosive work environments.

Cold Exposure Clothing

This is designed for workers in cold storage areas, ski areas and wet places as well as those whose climatic area is inherently cold. Temperature adaptable and waterproof breathable fabrics are the categories used for PPE for employees in cold environments.

Waterproof breathable fabrics include synthetic rubbers, polyurethane, and polyvinyl chloride. These are meant to prevent the accumulation of condensation on the inner layers of your PPE causing discomfort.

Temperature-adaptable fabrics are primarily designed for insulation of a PPE wearer’s body. Blended fiber and treated cotton fibers with polyethylene glycol are commonly used for these fabrics.

Mechanical Protective Clothing

Mechanical Protective Clothing

These feature hybrid yarns in interlacing designs to reduce the risk of cuts and to bruise from blades, projected fragments, and punctures. Most mechanical protective clothing combines the use of different high-performance materials including steel, polyethylene and glass fiber.

The same material used in anti-cut gloves is generally used for cloth armor in the same industries at high risk of injuries from flying objects.

Protective Healthcare Clothing

In health care, the clothing is designed to protect workers from the infectious liquids you might be exposed to. The clothing in the healthcare sector should be waterproof, breathable, comfortable, effective and affordable. Microporous and monolithic membranes are the primary fabrics used for safety clothing in this industry.

Picking the right fabric for your PPE makes the difference between well-protected and unprotected employees. You would not want to waste a significant investment in PPE that will only increase the number of lawsuits in your industry because of work-related injuries.

When picking your PPE therefore, go beyond the OSHA-recommended option for your sector to assess the nitty-gritty that makes a significant difference. With the right fabric choice from the above, you can guarantee you employees have optimal protection.