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Definition - What does Overalls mean?

Overalls are a type of safety clothing made of tough cotton, denim or linen and usually used as protective clothing while working. It is a loose fitting pair of pants with supporting cross-straps, or a full or half sleeve shirt that is worn over regular shirts, vests and trousers to protect them from heat, cold, splashes, sparks, flames and flying debris etc. in the workplace.

Overalls are also called dungarees.

Safeopedia explains Overalls

Some basic reasons to use overalls include:

  • Protect clothing - They protects regular clothing that are worn underneath
  • Protect the body - They protect the body like a piece personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Warmth - They retain heat radiated from the body and keeps the wearer warm in the cold weather
  • Visibility - If they are designed for the purpose of use in the dark or low light conditions, they normally reflect when illuminated by a light such as a headlight.
  • Special - Some are coated with special material such as water repellant, fire proof coats etc.
  • As a uniform - Overalls are also used as a uniform and come in various colors and designs to recognize which sub department the wearer belongs to

Overalls come in a variety of different kinds, such as:

  • Work overalls - A pair of overalls normally used by the workers in the workplace
  • Bib and brace overalls - Have an additional piece of fabric at the chest and belly
  • Water proof overalls - Used in wet weather
  • Flame retardant overalls - Used by fire fighters
  • Hi vis overalls - High visibility overalls are used by workers on the roads, rails, and near cranes etc.
  • Padded overalls - With padding material covering the inside for use in cold weather
This definition was written in the context of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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