There are as many different coveralls as there are hazards on the job site – sometimes even more, as coveralls need to encompass many different combinations of hazards. With such a wide variety of coveralls to choose from, it can be difficult to find the coveralls which best suit your job and your industry.
To help guide you in your search, the first question you should ask yourself is:
1. What hazards do I face on a day-to-day basis?
Your workplace hazards dictate your choice of coveralls
For some worksites, the need for coveralls is a simple matter of cleanliness. For many mechanics, a day without coveralls means they’ll need an entirely new set of clothes at the end of the day, or else their work grime will quickly become their home grime. Since buying a new set of clothes every day would be an extreme waste of time and money, a simple pair of coveralls is the cheaper choice and one that will keep dirt and grime where it should be: at work.
But on many other worksites, the concern goes beyond keeping clean. As PPE, coveralls need to protect workers from a variety of life-threatening hazards, including errant sparks, high-traffic areas, weather exposure and more.
Proper coveralls can protect workers from:
- Oil and grease
- Sparks, including splashes of molten metal and other hot particles
- Open flames, radiant heat, and other thermal dangers
- Acidic or basic solutions
- Biohazards like blood or other bodily fluids
- Asbestos fibres and other hazardous materials
- Lack of visibility to traffic or equipment operators
- Cold, wet and other environmental factors
While one set of coveralls won’t be able to protect from every danger, identifying the most prominent hazards on your worksite and within your industry can help you choose the coveralls that will best suit you and your fellow co-workers.
Your coverall options
After identifying your workplace’s specific hazards, the next question to ask is:
2. What type of material are my coveralls made from?
Coveralls come in two main categories: disposable and non-disposable, and each of these offers their own set of pros and cons.
- Protect against cross-contamination
- Not very durable
- Limited protection
- Enhanced protection against physical and other dangers
- Very durable
- Expensive to replace if contaminated
But materials go beyond whether they are identified as disposable or not. Choosing the right material will protect you and your co-workers against exposure, flame, moisture and other on-site dangers. This extra protection can include:
- Waterproof lining for those working outdoors or in damp environments
- Reinforced key areas to ensure your coveralls are durable and impact-resistant
- Fire-resistant materials
- Electricity-resistant materials
- High-visibility options to make you and your fellow workers stand out
Research different coveralls
It’s easy to promise protection from the dangers of your worksite, but it’s much more difficult to actually deliver on those promises. That’s why it’s important to research the best suppliers and make sure they are reputable and offer tried and true products.
The third action to take when searching for the right coveralls is:
3. Research the different types that offer the protection you need, in the right material for your industry.
You can be much more confident in brands which adhere to Canada’s strict safety standards, and so, look for CSA-Approved brands of coveralls. And, if available, be sure to read any reviews on the coveralls you’re looking for to see what others in your industry have said about them.
Properly maintaining your coveralls
After you’ve made your decision on which coveralls to purchase, it’s important you get the correct size, to wear them properly and make sure they’re properly maintained.
Be sure to:
- Check the coveralls for damage (before you buy them and after each use)
- Store this protective clothing in a clean cupboard or locker
- Wash them regularly (and store dirty coveralls separately)
- Wearing coveralls over boots rather than tucking them in (to keep your ankles protected)
- Wear additional and appropriate PPE (gloves, hardhat, eyewear, etc.)
Recap to choosing the best safety coveralls
- Identify your workplace hazards
- Decide what material your coveralls should be made from
- Research different coverall suppliers and products
- Properly maintain your new coveralls
Good coveralls offer more than protection
From extra pockets and loops that will allow you to keep extra tools and materials close at hand, to colour and badging options that set your business apart from your competition, coveralls can be so much more than simple PPE. Make sure you purchase coveralls that not only offer the protection you need but ones that will make life at your job better!
The right coveralls for the right job
You’ve asked yourself the right questions and discovered the options available to you. Now it’s time to go get those brand new coveralls and be confident in the informed choice you’ve made.
Want to check out some coverall options? Need some more direction on coveralls from experts in the PPE industry? Call Colony Distribution today! You can trust our recommendations in coveralls because we wear them, ourselves.