Personal Protective Equipment

Train Workers in the Use and Care of Protective Work Clothing

When a worker has to wear a respirator or hearing protection, it may seem obvious that they will require training in the use and care of their equipment. When the subject is protective clothing, the need may be less obvious—but it is still there.

Here’s some training advice you can use for workers who have to wear protective work clothing.

Worker Training

As with all safety gear, workers should inspect their protective work clothing before each use. Instruct them to look for:

  • Holes
  • Tears
  • Worn or discolored places
  • Broken or missing fasteners
  • Any other signs of damage

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If damaged, the clothing should be properly repaired or discarded in an appropriate manner and replaced. Make sure that they know where to get materials for repair and/or replacement gear.

If their protective clothing will be used together with other protective gear, make sure that workers know how to use the pieces together. For example, should hard hats, respirators, and safety shoes be worn over, or under, chemical-protective coveralls?


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Specialized training is necessary for workers wearing clothing to protect them from harmful chemicals. They should be taught precautions to protect themselves and others from chemical contamination. They should:

  • Remove contaminated clothing only in the designated changing area.
  • Never touch any part of the contaminated clothing without gloves.
  • Remove clothing from the top down so contaminants from the jacket or apron don’t touch their unprotected legs.
  • Always wear gloves to unfasten zippers, snaps, or other fasteners.
  • Place contaminated clothing in proper containers for cleaning or disposal.
  • Always wash exposed skin with soap and water after removing chemical-protective clothing.
  • Never wear contaminated clothing home or launder it with other laundry.

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