You may work on a jobsite, but that doesn't mean your closet needs to be full of flannel and denim. Construction clothing manufacturers are combining style and durability in the latest garments for today's electrical workers.
The Energized Look
‘That’ll be $120 for the visit and $45 an hour...’
The Clothes: Sometimes you just don’t want to worry about matching a shirt with a pair of pants, and on those days, Workrite’s 110NMX-45 coveralls will solve your color coordination problems. Not only that, their Nomex IIIA fabric is flame-resistant. When you’re feeling a little more confident about picking out a two-piece uniform ensemble, Red Kap’s short sleeve industrial work shirts and pants offer a little more flexibility.
The Gear:Telecom rooms aren’t exactly hazardous locations, but it doesn’t hurt to have the appropriate gear with you. You never know when you might need Bullard’s model 3000 hard hat, but you know what they say about being safe and being sorry. When it comes to being safe and being stylish, 3M’s Strikers safety glasses may look good hanging from a pocket, but they can come in handy when the environment gets a little more hazardous. And when it’s time to write up that service bill, IDEAL’s Pocket Pal will let you store your wire cutters on your hip, freeing up your hands so you can relieve your customer of a little money.
It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here
The Clothes: When maintaining high-voltage breakers or similar equipment, arc flash PPE like the Pro-Wear line from Salisbury will make sure you’re prepared for the worst. Available in 8 cal/cm2 to 100 cal/cm2, the suits can be ordered separately or as part of a kit that includes a safety jacket, overalls, and a hood that meets ASTM 1506. Even if you aren’t coming into direct contact with the equipment, flame-resistant clothing is still the best option. Made of Indura flame-resistant cotton, this 7 oz. work shirt from Cintas Corp. is lightweight enough for industrial environments but still offers necessary fire protection. And these flame-resistant relaxed fit jeans from Carhartt’s FR line not only protect against fire, they also include an arc-resistant, high-tension snap closure and a brass zipper fly with Nomex zipper tape.
The Gear: The breaker cabinet may not be open, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to protect your eyes. Not only are they patriotic, Strikers safety glasses also have five-position adjustable temples. Salisbury’s Pro-Wear PPE kits also include anti-scratch safety glasses and rubber insulating gloves and leather protectors.
Get Ready for the Catcalls
The Clothes: For the construction worker who’s comfortable with both his manliness and the occasional updraft, the Workman’s Kilt from Utilikilt is the answer to the question, “How can I show a little more leg at work?” Heavyweight canvas construction, more loops and pockets than you can possibly use, and a “modesty snap” between the legs that lets you climb ladders without giving the other guys a show make this the perfect garment for the confident post-’90s man.
The Gear: If the manskirt makes you question your manliness, throw on a pair of tinted safety glasses and some big boots to toughen things up a bit. These hard-coated polycarbonate lenses from 3M offer 90% UV protection, and the 8-in. Compressor boot from Wolverine combines safety with comfort, thanks to steel-toe protection, electrical hazard protection and a removable full-cushion insole. And the Omega II hardhat from 3M may come in handy in case your co-workers decide to express their opinion of your alternative fashion sense by making your head a target.
All photos by Gabe Hopkins/Vedros and Associates