Clothing is an important part of everyday life. Not only does what you choose to wear provide protection from the elements, but it also helps you express your individual identity. Before you go to work, though, you must think twice about whether your clothing increases your odds of sustaining a serious injury at work.
At some worksites, employees wear a standard uniform. Still, whether your employer provides clothing or you choose your own, you must think about fit. Here are four ways loose clothing may cause workplace injuries.
Factories, processing plants, warehouses and other job sites have equipment that can be dangerous. Put simply, loose clothing and high-powered machinery do not mix. You do not want a machine to use long sleeves or baggy pant legs to pull you into its inner workings.
In a variety of industries, slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths. For example, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls accounted for nearly 40% of all construction deaths in the United States in 2017. While falls happen for different reasons, loose clothing may cause you to trip.
Some job sites are messy places. Even though you may work with chemicals, waste or food products, you do not want to soil your clothing. Contaminated garments may cause you to develop a rash or skin condition. If you wear dirty clothing, you may also contaminate your work product.
Ill-fitting clothing may also be too restrictive for you to perform your job duties safely and comfortably. Straining to compensate for loose garments may increase your risk of developing a repetitive stress injury. You may also sustain an acute injury because of restrictive clothing. As such, if you regularly carry heavy loads or otherwise move during the day, choosing clothing that fits your body properly is important.
Even though loose clothing often contributes to workplace injuries and deaths, you do not have to become a statistic. By understanding the dangers of wearing the wrong outfit at the workplace, you can better plan for staying safe on the job.