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Home Improvement / December 20, 2020
Whether you are an avid DIY enthusiast or work in the field of construction, knowing when to replace your personal safety gear is imperative to your health and safety. While most safety gears are made to last, there will eventually come a time that you have to replace them.
And you definitely don’t want your gear to be the one that puts you in harm’s way, which can happen if you wait too long to replace your gear. To know if it’s time to get new safety gear, here are the signs that you should look out for:
Your safety shoes are what keeps your feet and toes from getting severely injured in case of an accident, like when you drop something heavy on your feet. So if your shoes are showing signs of damage or excessive wear, it’s high time to replace them before you encounter a nasty accident.
For steel toe gumboots, dented toes are a clear sign that you should get a new pair. For any other type of safety shoes, the signs of damage or excessive wear include separation of seams, wrinkling, tilting, lack of traction, and leakage inside the boots.
Visibly thin material
After a hundred cycles or so in the washer and dryer, the fabric of your safety clothes is bound to get thinner over time. This is especially true if you use the clothes regularly and if you wash them in hot water every time.
If you notice that portions of your safety clothes are getting visibly thin, this means that the level of protection they offer is no longer the same. Hence, you have to replace them as soon as possible.
Not sure if your safety clothes are getting too thin? Hold them up at a light source. If you can see the light through them, they need to be replaced.
Holes and tears
If there are holes in your safety clothes, gloves, mask, boots, or any other gear, your risk of exposure to danger becomes greater. Even if the rest of the gear is intact, you should consider replacing them immediately if there are holes present. Patches may work, but only for some time and even then they may not be as safe as fully intact gear.
If you use PPE or personal protective equipment that has an expiration date, make it a point to check that date regularly to ensure that it’s not already expired. If it is, it’s high time to get a replacement. The manufacturer put that expiration date on there for a reason and ignoring it can increase your risk of getting ill or injured at work.
It’s also imperative that you buy authentic PPE. Inauthentic or counterfeit PPEmay be cheaper, but they do not offer the same level of protection as the authentic ones. The money you save is not worth the pain, suffering, and expenses that can happen if you get injured on the job.
Discoloration and fading
The discoloration is another sign that your safety gear is nearing the end of its lifespan, especially in the case of high visibility clothing. The change in color can start off by the material turning white, which means that the inner fabric may have been excessively worn already. If you wait too long and the fabric inside is exposed, the gear is already compromising your safety at work.
When you start noticing discoloration or fading on your safety workwear, get a replacement as soon as possible. If you work on a construction site or a similarly dangerous situation, the loss of reflectivity on your safety clothing can be extremely dangerous.
Safety gear is made to be durable, but it won’t last forever–even if you are careful with it. So if you start noticing these signs with your personal safety gear, get them replaced to ensure your safety while working or doing a DIY construction project.