Workplace safety has always been a critical matter and demands serious attention. This is why every worker is required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), especially when working in highly hazardous environments.
Common PPEs include hard hats, safety shoes, and safety vests. However, not much has been said about “safety pants”.
So, what are safety pants? What are their different types? What purposes do they serve? How do they protect and benefit workers? Find out more in this article.
Table of Contents
- The Safety Pants
- The Origin of Safety Pants
- What Are They for? What Are Their Benefits?
- Tips for Selecting the Right Safety Pants
- Types of Safety Pants
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Safety Pants
Safety pants belong to the big family of safety apparel or personal protective equipment. Just like the other PPEs, safety pants are designed to protect workers from workplace hazards such as chemicals, equipment, and other dangerous materials or simply to provide the wearer with extra safety and security.
Examples of safety pants are flame-resistant pants worn by firefighters, protective leg gear worn by workers in certain hazardous industries, or pants with built-in knee pads for skateboarders or rollerbladers.
The Origin of Safety Pants
The history of safety work pants can be traced back to the 18th century when denim jeans were the “pants of choice” for seafarers and dock workers. However, the most popular pair of denim jeans were invented in 1873 after a worker’s wife requested a designer to create a durable pair of pants.
It was Jacob Davis who designed the pants and later sought the help of Levi Strauss, a businessman who supplied the fabric. Together, they created what are now iconic “blue jeans.”
However, it was not until the 20th century that the jeans officially became known as “workers’ pants”. Due to the fabric’s durability and the added reinforcement, blue jeans became popular among other professions, such as miners, cowboys, and farmers.
In addition, the fabric’s blue color made it ideal for “concealing” the dirt accumulated after a long day’s work.
Nowadays, blue jeans are now replaced with protective pants made of other materials.
What Are They for? What Are Their Benefits?
Some of the common materials in these security pants contain polyester, or a mix of cotton and polyester, known as polycotton. These new synthetic materials keep safety pants durable while being more comfortable and breathable than denim.
Depending on the profession and the environments workers are exposed to. Safety pants are modified to produce desired properties. They can be specifically designed to provide effective protection against fires, chemicals, and extremely high temperatures.
Some may also feature reflective tapes that ensure safety when working in low-light or low-visibility conditions. These added features allow the wearer to be easily seen by others and reduce the risk of accidents or injuries.
In this regard, they have become a staple for men’s safety clothing – and women’s too.
How much a pair of safety pants is worth varies depending on a number of factors. Some include the specific type of safety pants, the brand, the materials used, and the features included. The price tag could go from as low as $50 all the way to hundreds of dollars per pair.
For example, a pair of basic flame-resistant work pants may cost around $50 to $100. Meanwhile, a pair of more advanced safety pants with high-visibility reflective strips or built-in knee pads may cost around the neighborhood of $150 or more.
It’s important to note that safety pants have to meet specific safety standards and regulations. You’re investing to keep yourself or your employees safe. Make sure to choose a reputable brand that produces pants within the necessary requirements for your particular industry or application.
Some of the best safety pants manufacturers are:
Tips for Selecting the Right Safety Pants
1. Identify the workplace hazards and requirements
By identifying these factors, you can ensure that the materials and features of your pants are aligned with your work environment and are giving you optimal protection.
Additionally, you should also know the PPE requirements are set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) from your workplace to make sure your outfit is compliant.
2. Choose pants with good quality materials
With tip #1 in mind, buy safety pants made with good quality materials. This is because the kind of materials dictates the durability of the pants.
Since you’ll be wearing these safety pants an awful lot, you should also look for the following features:
- Abrasion Resistance
- Odor Control
- Mesh ventilation
3. Pick the right size
Picking the right size is crucial in making sure that you are comfortable and your movements are not restricted when working.
Types of Safety Pants
Now that you know what to look for in a pair of pants, you are now ready to determine which type of safety pants is right for you.
The classic pants provide durability, protection, and ventilation for the wearer, with strong materials, padding in the groin and knees, and mesh lining to prevent overheating.
2. High Visibility
These pants come in fluorescent colors and feature reflective materials that make them highly visible. These safety reflective pants are often worn in workplaces with low visibility or just to make the wearer visible against their surroundings.
This type, also known as the bib and brace, is most common in industrial workplaces because of its protection against dirt and stains.
This is a popular option among workers who kneel frequently, such as carpenters or gardeners, for its provisions for knee pads on the leg area.
5. Waterproof Pants
Those who are exposed to water or wet conditions go for this kind of pants. Aside from being water-resistant, they also have reflective bands to improve the visibility of the wearer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I wear shorts at work?
Yes! Although there is no such thing as safety shorts, there is also no regulation prohibiting them from being worn at work. However, before sporting shorts at work, be mindful of the requirements you have at work.
Can I wear denim jeans at work?
Wearing denim at work may be limited due to certain work safety requirements. But it is also good to know that there are jeans with reflective stripes that may be worn to increase visibility. These safety jeans are ideal if you want to wear something functional and also fashionable.
What workwear provides the highest visibility?
A combination of class 3 safety pants, vests, and other safety apparel provides the highest visibility. The ANSI Class 3 is optimal for workers stationed in low-visibility areas and those with heavy traffic.
So what are safety pants? Safety pants are a piece of clothing that is designed to protect workers from injuries and accidents while on the job. They come in different styles, materials, and sizes to cater to various work environments.
It is essential to prioritize safety in the workplace, and safety pants are an excellent way to do so. By wearing safety pants, you can protect yourself from various hazards that may arise during work. Remember, keeping yourself safe should always be a top priority.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.