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How to safely store PPE and workwear

How to safely store PPE and workwear

As a business owner, providing PPE to your workers can be costly. However, you can easily control your PPE budget and make your investment as cost-effective as possible by correctly caring for your PPE and workwear. This will help to prolong its lifespan and keep it performing effectively for longer.

Here are our top tips for storing and caring for your workwear to get the best performance out of it, and keep your team safe for longer.

1. Avoid damp surfaces and direct sunlight

Damp environments and direct light sources can both drastically impact wearability and decrease the lifespan of workwear and PPE. Damp surfaces can cause the fabric to become wet, making it more likely to rot and depreciate in quality over time. Direct sunlight contains UV rays which can cause discolouration of workwear and degrade the fabric.

Therefore, when storing PPE and workwear, avoid both damp surfaces and direct sunlight. Ensure you provide your employees with an allocated storage space away from light and damp and set expectations for staff to use this space to store their items.

2. Hang workwear where possible

Where possible, workwear should be hung up on hangers when not in use. This is essential for any damp items – such as items that have been worn in wet weather conditions – as if left screwed up, the wet fabric can start to rot and deteriorate. However, all workwear will benefit from being hung up as this reduces the risk of contamination from other harmful substances such as chemicals and oil spills.

As an employer, having hooks or rails in the set place for workers to store their workwear is a great idea to encourage staff to care for their PPE properly. This also makes PPE inspections easier and will reduce the amount of workwear and PPE that goes missing.

3. Complete regular maintenance checks

Aside from these storage tips, you will also need to routinely check workwear and PPE for signs of damage both before and after use. Minor faults in items can usually be fixed easily, but damage gone unnoticed could lead to the item becoming irreparable. A member of staff who is trained in PPE legislation and its effectiveness at work should be responsible for this, but all staff can help by reporting any damage as soon as possible. Any items with even minor damage should not be used until the problem is rectified to help prevent any further deterioration or harm to the wearer. 

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