In some industries, work clothing and footwear are essential. They must be adapted both to the work environment, the prevailing weather conditions, as well as possible hazards. Find out when exactly such clothing is needed
Workwear versus protective clothing
Let’s start with what exactly workwear is and why it should not be confused with protective clothing. The purpose of workwear is to protect the worker and his/her personal clothing from getting dirty or damaged in connection with the work performed
On the other hand, protective clothing (also called personal protective equipment) is meant to protect the employee against hazardous and damaging factors present in the working environment. It is worth remembering, however, that in the case of both work clothing and protective clothing, the employer is obligated to ensure employee health and safety at work by providing such clothing and footwear.
Workwear – when it is necessary
Providing employees with work clothing by the employer is regulated by law, more specifically by the Labor Code. It stipulates the obligation to provide employees with working clothes in two cases. The first of these is when the employee’s own clothing may be damaged or significantly soiled. The second case is when technological, sanitary or occupational health and safety requirements simply require it
It is also worth remembering that according to the Code, work clothing should always be issued free of charge. In addition, if you are an entrepreneur, you are also obliged to provide the necessary work clothing and personal protective equipment not only to your employees, but also to persons performing short-term work or inspection activities, during which their own clothing may be damaged or significantly soiled, and also for the sake of safety of performance of such work or activities, which is also included in the Labour Code. It should also be remembered that work clothing and footwear cannot be just any clothing, but must meet the requirements set forth in the Polish Standards.
What other obligations, according to the Labor Code, does the employer have in connection with providing work clothing? First of all, it is the employer’s responsibility not to allow an employee to perform work if he has not been provided with the necessary clothing for the job. In addition, the employer must make sure that the work clothing is in proper condition, so the employer must ensure that it is washed, maintained, repaired, dusted, and decontaminated.
What should good work clothing be like?
Good work clothing is first and foremost comfortable and functional. It should be versatile, and it should be equipped with many pockets. This makes it easier to work and ensures more convenient access to, for example, a tape measure or other tools and accessories
Workwear should also have hooks and handles to which you can easily attach various tools. It is also worth ensuring that the clothing fits the worker – one that is too tight or too loose will make the work much more difficult.
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