Safety Gear

The best safety products for home and work

Whether you are a professional or semi-professional handyperson, have a home workshop or just occasionally fix things about the house, the right safety gear can make the difference between life and death. Every year, thousands of people die in accidents that could have been prevented with basic, inexpensive safety equipment. Here are a few safety products you absolutely cannot do without when making home repairs or working in a workshop.

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Safety Eyewear and Dust Masks

The eyes are among the most vulnerable areas on the human body. Therefore, first and foremost, everyone needs a good pair of safety goggles or glasses, especially when working with wood, metal, chemicals, sharp implements or power tools.

Remember that the best safety glasses protect not only the front area around the eye but also the sides of the face. Regular eyeglasses are not protection enough, so those who require glasses to see should pick out special safety goggles designed to fit over eyeglasses to provide complete, effective protection.

Dust masks are another important but often overlooked piece of safety equipment. Often obligatory in the workplace, they are also essential in the home workshop to prevent damage to the mouth, nose, lungs and breathing passages. Many types of chemicals, solvents, adhesives and paints are toxic to the lungs and can cause long-term damage, including asthma, breathing problems and inflammatory lung conditions. To protect yourself against such harm, select the type of dusk mask best suited to your task or industry — you'll want a full breathing system for certain types of toxic chemicals, but other substances, such as paints or wood chips, require only an inexpensive, disposable dust mask.

Work Gloves and Boots

Secondary in vulnerability to the face are the hands and feet. Since most craft, assembly and skilled labor is done with the hands, most workers are vulnerable to finger, hand and arm injuries. Heavy-duty work gloves are specially designed to protect the hands against a wide range of dangerous substances, from wood chips and fiberglass to molten metal and chemical solvents.

In many cases, the feet are also vulnerable to damage from spills and debris. A heavy pair of work boots is a must in almost every workshop or garage, and the additional protection of steel toe boots is necessary in certain contexts, such as in shops where heavy objects need to be carried or maneuvered, or where hot, cold or caustic materials may be spilled.