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Ensuring workers’ safety during winter months

Workers crucially need to be very visible once dark mornings and afternoons become a daily occurrence.

8th October 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Gilberdyke


ProGARM, the UK’s leading specialist in arc flash protection, highlights the need for clothing that is comfortable, warm and importantly visible during the winter months, the hardest time for workers in the wind energy industry across the UK.

While those across the UK at risk of an arc flash are already encouraged to wear full protective PPE throughout the year, workers crucially need to be very visible once dark mornings and afternoons become a daily occurrence. Yet highly visible arc flash resistant clothing is often disregarded in winter due to lack of flexibility and warmth, the company reports.

In addition to this, many workers don’t realise the many risks involved when working in a dimly lit location and the working rights they have when it comes to demands for more lighting. In fact, employers are required by law to look closely at lighting in the workplace to see what may cause harm or injury and should be aware of the following important points when it comes to lighting:

  • Lighting must allow people to notice hazards
  • Lighting must allow people to see properly and discriminate between colours
  • Lighting must not result in excessive differences in illuminance within an area or between adjacent areas
  • Lighting must be suitable to meet the special needs of individuals

Working in areas that are not properly lit can be extremely dangerous since one incorrect move and an arc flash incident can be triggered. Pair this with incorrect clothing and a lack of knowledge surrounding which are the safest garments to wear and the result could be a life altering experience since an arc flash event is so serious that it could disable the casualty, effecting their ability to work for a long while afterwards and leave them with fatal injuries, the manufacturer continues.

Understanding the need for practicality as well as safety, ProGARM clothing includes ThermSAFE stretch tape, an innovative development that ensures the flexibility of ProGARM garments. This is particularly notable when it comes to knitted clothes. Allowing a full range of movement for the wearer, ProGARM’s ThermSAFE stretch tape has also been certified to the new EN ISO 20471 High Visibility standard, ensuring fully compliant visible, yet comfortable workwear.

Commitment to safety

“We frequently see PPE clothing being worn incorrectly or not at all because a lot of it is bulky, rigid and impractical – it’s all too easy to wear something comfortable and warm in the winter months, but all this seriously compromises the safety of an individual against an arc flash,” said Mark Lant, Technical Sales Manager at ProGARM.

“While many industry workers forget how important it is to be highly visible on-site, in reality this is one of the key elements to ensure when working in an environment where arc flash is a risk. As part of our ongoing commitment to safety and industry innovation, we’ve identified this area to pose a risk to workers especially at this time of year and have created a comprehensive product range that keeps the wearer visible without obstructing day to day tasks.”

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