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How to pick the right protective overall?

A work overall provides protection against hazardous liquids and gases. But it is important to be able to make the right choice when buying one
Jul 13, 2021 / Michal Jirák

In painting shops, when manufacturing electronic components or during dry cleaning. Every activity requires the use of a different overall. And we know perfectly, which overall you need in your operations.

Whether you call this garment an overall, work suit or protective coverall, it is still one and the same PPE. It is designed to protect the worker from harmful chemical substances. Or, on contrary, to protect the currently processed product against the worker.

And since the purpose of use of the overall differs every time, you must be able to choose the right one based on the working environment. After reading our article, you will be easily able to do so. It requires 6 simple steps.

Identify risks

The first step is the most important. In order to choose the correct overall, you need to know the potential risks at the workplace Once you are able to exactly define the risks, choosing the right overall is a piece of cake.

The risks at your workplace can be professionally assessed by our consultant. Which are the most important questions to be answered by the consultant?

  • What is the form of the hazardous substance? Is it a gas, liquid, vapour or particle?
  • In what concentration is the substance present at the workplace?
  • How long is the worker exposed to the substance?
  • Which other PPE's are used by the workers in addition to the overall?
  • Which activities are carried out by the workers in their job?
  • At which temperature and humidity is the work carried out?

Determine the protection type

Chemical-proof overalls can be divided into six protection categories. So once you know the risks, you know which overall to choose.

  1. TYPE 6 - limited protection against spattering liquid chemicals under EN13034.
  2. TYPE 5 - protection against penetration of solid particles under EN13982-1.
  3. TYPE 4 - protection against liquid aerosols under EN14605.
  4. TYPE 3 - protection against spattering liquid chemicals under EN14605.
  5. TYPE 2 - non-gas-tight overalls (using overpressure) under EN943-1.
  6. TYPE 1 - gas-tight overalls (with a breathable air supply) + complies with extreme requirements for rescue services under EN943-1; EN943-2.

Select other important characteristics of the overall

Overalls do not need to be resistant to chemicals only. They may have other protective characteristics under the applicable standards.

  • Electrostatic properties under EN1149-5.
  • Protection against biological hazards under EN14126.
  • Protection against particulate radioactive contamination under EN1073-2.
  • High-visibility clothing standard EN20471.

Evaluate the toxicity of the chemical substance

Examine all the chemicals to which your workers are exposed. To make it easier, you can use a Safety data sheet. For instance. Appropriate protection is, most of the time, indicated also in the user manual for the different agents.

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Test the overalls in practice

In an ideal case, you should evaluate the resistance of an overall by simulating the work activity without the hazardous substances. It is simple - if the overall is damaged by abrasion and tear during work, you need a more resistant model. Choosing an appropriate size will also significantly reduce the risk of the overall getting caught in between or torn.

In addition, it is essential to learn the dressing and undressing procedure very well. The selected overall must fit perfectly with other PPE used - such as with a full face mask, helmet, shields, gloves, high boots, etc.

Do you need samples of safety overalls for testing? Let us know and, together, we can find a suitable model.

When you also need to be seen

At some workplaces, resistance to chemicals is not sufficient. It is also necessary to meet the high visibility demands. This is, for example, the case with railway workers, road maintenance staff or people working in other hazardous industries. That's why DuPont came with a new protective overall Tyvek® 500 HV.

This overall combines high visibility with chemical, biological and antistatic protection. And it keeps its reflective properties even after repeated washing. Tyvek® 500 HV will certainly comply with the high visibility standard EN ISO 20471:2013 even after many washing cycles.

DuPont overalls are resistant and yet they provide all-day comfort

If the use of PPE's is uncomfortable for the employees, they are reluctant to wear them. Consequently, the ergonomic design and materials went through intensive testing in every-day operation. Workers will particularly appreciate the elastic wristbands and pipe ends as well as the flexible waistband. Thanks to sufficient space in the crotch, the overall allows for easy movement, while the loose collar enables comfortable work. These properties are featured by other DuPont overall models as well.

Tyvek® 800 J - even pressurized liquids and oils cannot penetrate the protective barrier thanks to its special technology. At the same time, the overall removes air and vapours from the body, so that employees do not sweat while wearing it.

Tychem® 6000 F FaceSeal - an overall with a wide flexible hem around the hood opening, which perfectly fits the contours of the face mask and ensures sealing which cannot be achieved by the usual gluing. Thanks to the rear opening, the overall is very easy to put on and take off. However, it remains perfectly hermetic from the front. You can also attach gloves and integrated antistatic socks to the overall to cover the high boots.

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