Building Basics: What Uniforms Should Construction Employees Wear?
Considering both its value and its risks, the construction industry has higher stakes than any others. This makes it critical for construction companies to outfit their employees with all the resources they need to build effectively, and that starts with uniforms. The better you are at selecting gear for a construction worksite, the fewer problems you’ll have with safety, productivity, and a range of other factors. But before you can select the best possible uniforms and gear, you need to consider:
When selecting uniforms for their workers, employers have a number of considerations in mind, including:
- Cost– As with any resource, employers want to save as much money as possible while still getting quality uniforms.
- Liability– Employers want uniforms that will reduce threats to employees’ health, safety, and overall wellbeing, as any such risks can generate costly legal liabilities.
- Productivity– Employers look for uniforms that leave construction employees free to move around the worksite with ease, carry any tools, and otherwise work productively.
- Visibility– Employers want to identify their construction workers over any distance, and thus choose uniforms that make them highly visible.
In addition to employers’ concerns, it’s also important to take into account:
Employees are primarily concerned with safety and comfort, especially if they work in hazardous or unpleasant conditions. They want uniforms that can keep them warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather, and that leave them free to move around the worksite quickly. Employees also want to be able to do their work conveniently, which is why the uniforms should come with spaces to hold tools and other equipment that they will need on the job. Depending on the type of construction work they do, the uniforms may also need places to attach harnesses and support lines.
Compromising the Concerns
In the construction industry, most of the considerations that employers and employees have line up with one another. Employers’ desire to avoid liabilities, for example, dovetails nicely with employees’ insistence on being safe. Likewise, the same features that make employees’ work convenient also helps them to be more productive. Thus for the most part, it’s easy to find uniforms that will make both parties happy.
The one disconnect between construction employers and employees over uniforms is cost, which employees typically don’t pay directly, and thus don’t take into account. To bridge this divide, employers can pledge to spend a certain amount on each worker’s gear, but give workers the option of ordering more expensive gear with their own money. If an employee is not satisfied with the safety, convenience, or comfort of a standard uniform, they can always order a higher-quality one using their own credit card or money from their payroll account. This leaves workers free to decide what uniform features are acceptable to them without allowing them to spend company money with abandon.