Every industry has its hazards. Sedentary jobs that involve typing and reading require people to regularly stretch their back and wrists to avoid lower back pain and arthritis later in life. Construction jobs require hardhats and vests to remain safe among vehicles and heavy machinery. Any industry with regular exposure to harmful chemicals? Without chemical garments and protective apparel many thousands of people would be severely injured on the regular. Industrial chemical protective equipment is a standard that needs to be minded every single day to keep workers safe.
The United States is an industrial country. It regularly supplies the world with equipment, food and technology on a constant basis. American factors created nearly $5 trillion worth of goods juts the previous year. For comparison, that’s a third of the nation’s gross domestic product. These high standards and high expectations can cause efficiency to take priority over safety, that of which must never be neglected. Industrial chemical protective equipment is a necessity at all times.
The oil and natural gas industry employees over two million Americans across multiple fields, including but not limited to driving, storage, pumping, consultation and marketing. Petroleum refineries contributed well over $460 billion to the American economy in 2015, as well, making it a very active and thriving financial sector that is in constant need of safety and health programs. When this same year saw private industry employers reporting over three million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, industrial chemical protective equipment must be maintained.
The most important thing to remember about standard equipment is that no garment guarantees safety 100%. Even the most flame-resistant fabrics will still ignite and burn at some point — their primary function is to reduce flames to a minimum and keep them from spreading beyond the ignition point. Permeation is a term for the process in which a chemical passes through a protective film, such as a glove or a jacket. Permeation data is generally provided by two values, the breakthrough time and rate, and should be as high as possible.
Let’s continue talking about chemical accidents, as these can have devastating consequences if not respected. Breakthrough resistance is related to the temperature of the material as well as the surrounding environment. The higher the temperature, the faster the breakthrough. Thousands of workers every year are partially or completely blinded from work-related injuries that could have been easily prevented with the proper gear. Eye injuries cost American companies more than $300 million per year in medical costs and workers’ compensation, to boot.
According to ongoing data provided by the CDC, over 20 million workers actively use personal protective equipment on a regular basis. These can include acid gear for protection against harmful chemicals, eye and face protection, reusable chemical protective clothing and chemical suits. Even the best gear must be maintained and eventually recycled for new models, as well, since nothing is meant to last forever. To keep workers safe and business going smoothly as usual, personal protective clothing must always be on hand.