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Types of Protective Clothing for Different Purposes

10/1/2013 11:51:41 AM | by Anonymous

Clothing: Protective

When the work place or surrounding environment poses risks of injuries that we cannot control, we rely on protective clothing to protect ourselves. Protective clothing refers to goggles, helmets or any other equipment or garments that are used to protect the wearer from any injuries that may occur from hazards. Some examples of hazards include air borne particulate matter, chemicals, electrical, bio hazards, heat and physical. Such equipment can be worn for recreational activities, health purposes, sports or it may be job related.


Protective clothing can be classified like any other categories of clothing which includes headwear, footwear, tops and bottoms. While protective gear on the other hand can be classified under masks guards, pads, shields and many other equipment.


The purpose of protective clothing is to reduce or protect the wearer from exposure to the hazards mentioned earlier where the environment may be deemed unsafe. Thus, whenever such risks or hazards are present, protective clothing must be worn. As the wearer is heavily reliant on the protective equipment, the wearer may face serious injury if the protective equipment were to fail; this is one of the greatest limitations of the protective clothing. Another limitation with protective clothing is that it poses as a barrier between the working environment and the wearer. This may cause various problems in terms of the wearers’ mobility and comfort; some protective clothing may even hinder the wearer from carrying out the tasks needed. Thus it is important to design the equipment to minimize such barriers to improve the safety and working conditions in the given environment.


Types of protective clothing


There are many different types of protective one of which is for combat. These protective clothing used for combat are used mainly for protection against ballistic equipment and are usually worn by military or law enforcement personnel.
A ballistic vest is a type of protective clothing that is worn on torsos, which absorbs the force from shrapnel and projectiles that may hit the wearer in an explosion. This kind of vest is usually quite soft and it is made from many layers of laminated and woven fibers that protect the wearer from small fragments.

For additional protection ceramic or metal plates can be inserted in to the vest to further protect the wearer from fragments but these ceramic or metal plates also make it impossible for the wearer to be injured through a stabbing or slashing attack.


Another type of protective clothing is the helmet. Protective helmets are known to be one of the oldest types of protective equipment that were used by the ancient soldiers. At that time, the helmets were made of leather and brass, then iron and bronze and after steel was invented, the whole helmet was forged out of steel. Today’s military forces use helmets of extremely high quality made of advanced materials such as Kevlar, a type of fiber material that is five times stronger than steel. These materials are extremely effective in stopping bullets and fragments. A ballistic face mask may also be used with the helmet for maximum protection.


In the construction industry, many types of protective clothing are used. The first type of protective clothing would be a helmet which protects the worker from falling objects, bad weather, electric shock and impact with other objects. For working environments which are exposed to harmful gases, fumes, dusts and vapors, a special sort of respiratory system is required for the worker’s safety. There are many types of respirators that can range from cheap disposable masks that use filters or air supplied type respirators which provide a constant supply of fresh and clean air to the user. The type of respirator depends on the type of hazards that are present in the atmosphere.


The last type of protective equipment can be used for sports. Football and hockey players often wear gear to protect themselves from impact with other players and to prevent injuries such as breakage of bones, bruises or cuts.
Thus, protective clothing is an important invention that has probably saved many lives. As technology improves, the limitations of wearing protective clothing will slowly fade away.

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