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What you wear to work in construction

What you wear to work in construction

30th August 2016

What to wear to work in construction

What to wear to work in the construction industry in NZ really comes down to safety, comfort and wearability.

There are going to be different styles/types of dress depending on the season, and what kind of construction you are working in, but here are some basics that will keep you comfortable and keep you safe when you are on the job. We have some uniquely NZ issues - both with workplaces and what we need to wear. The Sun UV rays are also a massive factor these days, especially in NZ. Wearing long-long (long trousers and a long-sleeve top) is certainly recommended these days for outdoors workers. Although this is not compulsory by all companies and on all construction sites, we would certainly endorse wearing long-long.

  • Wear construction clothing that can serve as a sort of protective layer from all sorts of different materials, sharp edges, abrasive materials, etc, but you still want to be able to move and function normally. As long as it’s cool enough to stand wearing them, a pair of Overalls will do the trick. These are generally made out of a heavy duty fabric that will provide you at least a little bit of a protective layer when avoiding getting poked or cut by tools and materials on site. There is an added bonus that because these are a one piece, it’s going to be harder for something that you don't want getting into your clothes to get in.

  • Of course, a pair of Overalls may not be the best and most comfortable option when working in summer. However, you should still go with clothing that can protect you much as possible. A nice lightweight pair of trousers (see the TWZ Titan trousers) can still offer the protection you need. These have double-thickness knees for added knee protection and better wear, and a harder-wearing fabric on the hardest wearing areas - knees and cuffs. There are also heavier-weight options (see Industry Cargo trouser or Craftsman trouser) for year-round use should you prefer.

  • There are many shirt and Polo options to protect your arms from cuts and the suns UV, in both lightweight for Summer, and heavier weights for added protection and/or warmth. Lightweight Polos and shirt options for Summer often include breathable panels to help your body breathe easier and to keep you cooler. Long sleeves are essential for protection from UV.

  • As far as footwear goes, there’s several things you want to look out for. The first is that you want a boot that has a good grippy chunky tread that will allow you to walk and climb over a variety of different terrains/surfaces safely – dirt, gravel and concrete floors to name a few. Protection of the foot is also obviously key, so you want to make sure your footwear choice has the needed safety features. Another one is obviously comfort. You’ll be wearing these all day and you’ll want your feet to still feel good at the end of a hard day. Step into it before buying and check the comfort.

The basic purpose of the clothes you wear to work in construction is to keep yourself as safe as possible, without wearing so much that it hinders your ability to do the job, your comfort, or your safety. If you are ever concerned that you may be wearing the wrong thing, or that certain things aren't allowed at the site you are working on, it does always pay to check with your boss on what is and isn’t allowed.

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