Although you might think of workwear as being long-lasting, that’s not always the case. Disposable workwear are items that are designed to be worn once.
While they’re still durable and high quality enough to provide adequate protection against workplace hazards, they’re not designed to be kept. This means they’re perfect for environments where cleaning your PPE thoroughly after use wouldn’t be viable, workplaces where visitors are common, or when working with extremely hazardous materials like asbestos.
A guide to disposable workwear
Disposable workwear is commonplace in a wide range of work settings, specifically those within healthcare, food preparation and cleaning, just to name a few. While disposable workwear is still designed to be durable and high-quality enough to provide adequate protection against workplace hazards, they're not designed to be kept after their first use.
This means that disposable workwear is perfect for environments where it isn't viable for PPE to be cleaned thoroughly after use, workplaces where visitors are common or workplaces where employees are asked to work with hazardous materials and substances.
Examples of disposable PPE
Common examples of disposable PPE found in the workplace include:
Available in a wide range of colours, these hooded garments provide full-body protection against a range of hazards. They are commonly used in healthcare, cleaning and during forensic investigations.
Often paired with disposable coveralls, these overshoes are used to provide protection from spillages and splashes, as well as preventing the spread of dirt from shoes.
These hoods provide an added layer of protection for the wearer's head and can be worn under a helmet or as standalone head protection against hazardous dust or chemicals.
Disposable protective sleeves
Disposable oversleeves provide added protection for the wearer's lower arm and wrists against harmful chemicals and other workplace hazards.
Food industry workwear
Those working in food preparation are generally required to wear a range fo disposable items while working, such as gloves and hairnets/bonnets.
Those working in catering, manufacturing, healthcare and more will often be required to wear a disposable apron while carrying out certain tasks.
Disposable overalls, PPE and the law
By law, disposable overalls - as well as any necessary extra PPE such as overshoes and protective sleeves - must be fit for purpose and provide adequate protection against the hazards being worked with.
To be classed as fit-for-purpose, disposable overalls must be unworn, have no holes or tears in them and have a functioning zip. Overalls should also be checked against these requirements before being used by an employee.
When do I need to wear protective coveralls or disposable PPE?
Employees should have a stock of disposable coveralls and other related disposable PPE items on hand so that they can be easily provided to employees as and when needed.
Common situations and hazards that require employees to wear disposable protective clothing include:
- Exposure to dust, vapours and mists that may cause damage to skin or clothing
- Potential inhalation exposure risks
- Putting other control measures into place in a working environment
- Preventing the spread of dirt and fibres from clothes and shoes
- Preventing skin contact with harmful chemicals or substances
How to choose disposable protective clothing
Key considerations to be made when identifying the right disposable PPE for a job include the wearer, the task at hand, the risks involved and the environment in which the protective workwear/equipment is to be used.
When assessing the level of risk presented by a hazardous chemical or substance, COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) guidelines should be considered and a full risk assessment carried out. This will allow you to better identify the level of protection needed.
Employer responsibilities for PPE
The responsibility to provide workers with the appropriate PPE for any job they may be carrying out lies solely with their employees. Where employees may be at risk of illness or injury in the workplace, employers must ensure that they are able to provide the appropriate PPE free of charge and ensure that all disposable workwear given to employees is fit for purpose.
With this in mind, employers should ensure that they have adequate stock of disposable PPE so that this can be provided to staff members at short notice.
Disposable workwear at Protec Direct
Protec Direct are one of the UK's leading suppliers of PPE and protective workwear. We're pleased to offer a varied range of disposable workwear to industries throughout the UK, with different products offering different levels of protection, ensuring you are able to select the product most appropriate for your employees.
Browse the range now or get in touch with Protec Direct for more information.