Work pants are part of the average worker’s everyday life. They’re part of a worker’s protective equipment but they’re often overlooked as a component of worker safety. Taking them for granted can have undesired consequences—they can make the difference between an uneventful day at work and a serious injury.
So, let’s look at what makes quality work pants and the potential safety risks of not wearing an adequate pair on the job.
What’s So Great About Work Pants?
Unlike normal, everyday pants, specially designed work pants are made from a high-quality, heavy duty blend of materials, allowing for a stronger and more durable protection than afforded by standard pants available on the market. They are often made from a blend of cotton, polyester, denim, or other heavy duty material and tend to have double stitching and strong, reliable pockets to ensure that they do not rip easily. Work pants go through a large amount of strain when they’re worn in the construction yard, on the factory floor, or in other work sites, which makes that kind of durability highly important.
(Find out why One Size Does Not Fit All When It Comes to Protective Clothing.)
There are many different styles of work pants, each designed for a particular use. For instance, holster pants can store a large number of tools, which means you no longer have to wear a tool belt, which can save you time, money, and inconvenience. Cargo work pants, on the other hand, won’t replace your tool belt but they do have numerous heavy pockets that allow you to carry additional items.
Why Do Work Pants Matter?
A lot of workers select the pants they wear on the job based on comfort and style, but there is one other really important consideration that is often overlooked: safety!
By wearing specially designed work pants, you can reduce your chances of suffering injuries to your legs and knees from common workplace hazards. Whether you are working in an office or on a building site, there are a huge number of potential hazards that you must avoid, and work pants should be part of the personal protective equipment that keeps you safe.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Risks Work Pants Can Prevent?
Lacerations are the most common injury that can be prevented by wearing work pants. Their heavy duty materials help reduce the chance of a sharp object reaching and piercing the skin.
Lacerations are very common in construction environments because of the unusually high amount of sharp objects, such as nails, splinters, and blades. When working surrounded by all of these hazards, it’s important not to neglect protecting any part of your body, including your legs.
If you work in any work environment with open flames, wearing standard pants can actually increase your risk of injury. Flames can melt most clothing, which is usually the cause of the burn, not the flame itself. To prevent these injuries, make sure that you wear flame retardant clothing, including work pants.
Knee and Muscle Pain
Knee pain is often linked to age and activity, but in the case of plumbers and electricians the usual cause is the fact that they spend the majority of their working life kneeling. Working with your knees to the ground for prolonged periods of time puts an excessive amount of pressure on the leg muscles and the knee joints, and if the pain eventually becomes unbearable, it can force these technicians to stop working.
(Learn about the Top Ergonomics Issues in the Workplace.)
The strain of kneeling can be reduced by using knee pads. These, however, can be cumbersome, inconvenient, and while focused on a task it can be easy to forget to put them on. Instead, workers can opt for work pants that have knee pad pockets built into them. Inserting knee pads into these pockets will soften the impact of kneeling and won’t require you to carry around or wear extra protective gear.
Why We Love Work Pants
We love work pants because they’re an underappreciated but important part of a worker’s personal protection equipment. But we know that style matters, even on the work site, and that workers might avoid wearing the safer alternative because of their ugly appearance. That’s why we wanted to make it easy to get work pants that are durable and are well-designed. Because you should never have to choose between safety and style.
Check out the rest of our content about Personal Protective Equipment here.