Nobody likes waking up to a downpour on a weekday. But with the right rain safety tips, you won’t have to let a little drizzle stop you from getting in a hard day’s work. When soggy weather strikes, make sure you have the right gear at the ready. Utilizing effective products not only helps keep you dry and comfortable, it also protects you from the safety hazards created by wet conditions. OSHA requires that employers pay for personal protective equipment, including rain gear. As spring brings in those April showers, don’t skimp on safety: stock up on these key rain wear products and keep these tips in mind.
Your basic, go-to protective work boot should always be waterproof. Boots made from natural or treated leather stay sturdy in damp weather. Your boots should also have thick rubber soles with sturdy grips to help prevent slippage. Slips and falls are some of the most common workplace accidents and can lead to serious and costly injury, particularly when working from heights. Surfaces, especially common industrial work surfaces, such as metal, can become slippery in the wet conditions. A good, well-made pair of waterproof work boots can help ensure your safety in the rain. (Plus, it’s no fun working in damp socks.)
A hammer that slips through your fingers can be damaging to your toes, or, worse, the head of a coworker below you. Prevent the precipitation from giving you a slippery grip with a pair of waterproof palm coated work gloves. For extra protection, select a variety with added features such as “gripper dots” on the interior. Nylon and pigskin leather are reliable, breathable materials for waterproof gloves. For cold winter conditions, select a thicker variety with fleece lining for added warmth. For precision work, chose a close-to-the-hand-fit. Whatever variety you select, this is one rain safety tip that can make working with your hands so much easier.
For steady downpours, it’s best to suit up with heavy duty rain gear. Cover your full exterior with a long waterproof jacket. Unless you like wet jeans, it’s best to add waterproof pants as well. For outdoor work such as construction, landscaping, trades or resources, rain suits are an absolute necessity. They are available in different materials, and the kind you ought to select is often a question of personal preference.
Nylon and polyester rain gear is breathable, so you won’t get too hot. It’s also lightweight and flexible, so it’s easy to pack up and throw on in a pinch. However, the convenience is offset by the fact that it is not always 100 percent waterproof after it has been soaked for a while, so the clothes you wear underneath may wind up damper than you would like. The alternative option is PVC. PVC rain gear is essentially a cotton or polyester shell that’s coated on the outside with a material similar to rubber. Models made from PVC is heavier, thicker, and slightly more cumbersome. On the plus side, its thickness makes it more durable, and it is completely immune to being soaked through. PVC is often the best choice for long-term, heavy-duty jobs.
Waterproof gear is the first and most crucial step. But for added protection, or when protected gear just isn’t available, spray or lightly smear a silicone-based water repellent on any fabric or non-patent leather fibers — such as boots, gloves, and belts — that will be facing rain exposure.
Making sure you have the best waterproof gear is the first step to ensuring injury-free work in inclement weather. However, one of the most important rain safety tips is to work carefully and at a slow, yet steady pace. Even the most advanced equipment can’t mitigate the risks of sloppy procedures. Make sure all your employees are aware of best practices for doing their unique jobs in the rain.