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Industrial Workwear: How to Choose the Right Coveralls

Men in coveralls and industrial workwear

Coveralls are one of the most important forms of industrial workwear for providing full-body protection.

In many industrial settings, the surrounding environment determines the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) workers are required to wear. In some situations, full-body workwear (i.e. coveralls) is required to protect an employee from any number of hazards, the main ones being heat and harmful chemicals.

In other instances, coveralls are necessary for keeping workers from getting overly dirty. Mechanics and other industrial employees constantly work around grease and other oil-based products, which can leave stubborn stains. By utilizing an effective coverall cleaning program, it’s possible to keep a constant supply of industrial uniforms to keep your workforce looking professional.


The Benefit of Coveralls

Of all the different types of workwear available, coveralls are some of the most convenient to use. Designed as a one-piece garment, they fill loosely over clothing, meaning workers can easily put them on and take them off.

Perhaps their greatest benefit is their ability to protect pretty much the entire body, from the wrists right down to the ankles. Some versions even come with hoods to protect the head. When worn with appropriate headwear, gloves and work boots, they offer complete protection.

That might be why such a diverse range of industries uses them:

  • Mechanics
  • Painters
  • Fishermen
  • Train engineers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Utility crews
  • Miners
  • Ranchers
  • Pilots
  • Firefighters
  • Construction
  • Road workers


Designed with Purpose

Depending on the nature of work being done, coveralls can be adapted in many ways to protect the worker. Understanding their specific requirements will help you determine which style is best suited for a particular industry.

  • Material can be waterproofed for those working outdoors or in damp environments
  • Uniforms can have reinforced knees for workers who bend down constantly
  • Material can be coloured differently for style or identification purposes
  • Available in fire-resistant materials for employees working around open flames
  • High-visibility options for people working around moving vehicles, or in low light conditions

For more on high-vis PPE, read: Industrial Uniforms and the Importance of Visibility.

Many styles of coveralls also feature a number of straps and pockets suitable for holding or attaching tools and other equipment.

Sometimes, disposable coveralls are required because they become contaminated by a harmful substance and can’t safely be reused (i.e. asbestos removal).


Types of Hazard

Employers must provide suitable workwear protection for employees in workplaces where hazards can’t be eliminated or isolated. These hazards include:

  • Sparks and hot particles
  • Molten metal splashes
  • Open flame and radiant heat
  • Solvents
  • Acidic or basic solutions
  • Oil and grease
  • Blood and bodily fluids
  • Asbestos fibres and other hazardous materials


Once You Choose Your Industrial Uniform

In order for coveralls to perform as intended, it’s important that workers are fitted with the correct size and that they wear them properly and take care of them. This includes:

  • Checking garment for damage both before and after use
  • Maintain PPE regularly
  • Store protective clothing in a clean cupboard or locker
  • Store dirty clothing separately
  • Wearing coveralls over boots rather than tucking them in
  • Wear additional PPE (gloves, headwear, eyewear etc.) as appropriate


Looking to rent or buy coveralls and other industrial workwear? JET Uniform & Supply can tailor a uniform program to suit your company’s budget. Some of our other value-added services include industrial laundry, mending and embroidery. Call us to talk to one of our knowledgeable representatives.