Not just for celebrity chefs or homemakers - aprons are a workplace safety barrier
This commonplace type of personal protective equipment is actually an important workplace safety barrier, designed to protect a worker's body and clothing from
- hot or messy splashes
- hazardous chemicals
The above hazards are present in many workplaces, so it's no wonder that aprons are standard issue in such industries and occupations as
- woodworking trades
- welding applications
- X-ray technicians
- maintenance / cleaning staff
- commercial kitchens
- domestic workers
- restaurant servers.
If aprons are required to get the job done safely, the same OSHA regulations apply to aprons as to other personal protective equipment (PPE). Namely, you as the employer must ensure that workers wear aprons as required for safety, and that those aprons are inspected prior to each use, fitted properly, and kept clean and in good repair.
Aprons come in a wide array of styles such as
- full-length aprons
- knee-length bib aprons
- waist aprons
- cobbler aprons - with front and back coverage
- busboy / dishwasher vinyl aprons
- heavy-duty PVC aprons - resistant to acids, oils and punctures
- leather aprons - for carpentry and welding
- Tyvek disposable aprons - to protect against light chemical splashes.
Tyvek aprons are also worn to protect against dust and grime hazards as well as chemical splashes of a lighter nature. When they become soiled, Tyvek aprons are discarded.
When extra chemical resistance is needed, poly aprons, with .75 PE coating, are available.
Radiation exposure occurs when unprotected employees are near a machine that is in operation. For protection, OSHA regulations for healthcare workers advise that lead aprons and lead gloves should be worn in the direct X-ray field by healthcare workers and patients alike.
Woodworkers and welders look good in leather
Leather aprons provide comfortable body protection from dry heat and flames as well as from abrasions and penetration - all hazards faced by carpenters and welders.
Long or short, leather, vinyl or Tyvek, when it's required, workers need to tie on their aprons to keep clean, protect their bodies and get the job done safely.