• Bill Brandenburg, MD

Dress for the Job – Protect Your Number One Asset, Yourself

When most people think about job wardrobe, they think about impressing clients, bosses, and coworkers by looking nice. This is very important, but not what I am talking about today.


Labor and manufacturing workers, DIY homeowners, and hobbyists are the focus of this blog. Basically, anyone doing physical work!


Keeping workers safe and healthy is what Wander Medicine is most passionate about. The following body systems should be given special attention while working as they are essential for both the continued ability to do work as well as overall health!


Hands

These are vital to physical work. Hands should be protected with the proper type of work gloves. Pay special attention to the hands when laboring and always know where hazards are with regard to them.


Feet

Proper footwear is essential. A blister can take one out of the job. Make sure footwear is comfortable and broken in for a days work. Proper coverage and steel toes can be a foot-saver as well. After a person drops something heavy on their foot or steps on a nail, they usually do not forget this.


Eyes

Sight is vital to most work functions. Always utilize eye protection. Make sure that the sides of eyewear are adequately covered for full protection. Use the proper lenses to avoid hazardous UV radiation, such as sunglasses when working outside or blue lenses when staring at a computer. Use the right eyewear for the job.


Ears

Occupational hearing loss is a huge problem. Loss of hearing predisposes people to dementia and reduces quality of life. Always utilize hearing protection around loud noises or prolonged noises above 85 decibels.


Lungs

The lungs are very vulnerable if air is not clean. Many toxins and chemicals are absorbed much more easily in the lungs than the skin or even the gut. Occupational lung disease is a huge problem. DIY home projects also pose significant risk. Always where the proper mask or respirator if indicated. Breathing is of vital importance.


Skin

The skin is our main barrier from the outside world. Temperature extremes, radiation, chemicals, and physical trauma can all hurt our skin. Wear proper skin coverings at all times. Long pants and a long sleeve shirt should be utilized for those performing physical labor. High visibility clothing or even barrier clothing may also be necessary at times. If the job requires a HAZMAT suit, wear it!


Head

The most important asset we all have is ourselves. Without our brain, we are nothing. Wear proper head protection whenever you are on a job site or recreating. Teach your children to start utilizing helmets as soon as they are riding bikes. Head injuries are devastating! Protect your brain.


While other body systems are important to protect as well, the hands, feet, eyes, ears, lungs, skin, and head are typically the most vulnerable and important.


If you go to space, wear a space suit. If you are demoing a bathroom wear a hardhat, gloves, steel toe boots, long sleeves, eye, protection, ear protection, and a proper mask. Workers are the backbone of our society. Keeping these people safe is our passion.


If you are in need of occupational medicine or primary care, check out Wander Medicine clinic in Boise, Idaho. Our goal is to give working class people the care that they deserve at an affordable price.


Schedule your appointment today by clicking here.


Thanks so much,

Bill Brandenburg, MD


References

- https://www.osha.gov/personal-protective-equipment

- https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/osha3151.pdf

- https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ppe/default.html

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_protective_equipment


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