The evolution of Personal Protective Equipment


Personal Protective Equipment (or PPE for short) has come a long way since it’s rather primitive beginnings to now being required by law in several industries to keep workers safe and protected.

While it’s always a bit of fun to look back at the past and have a giggle at how far we’ve come, some of these original concepts of PPE still have design principles that we stick to today. Here’s a short rundown on the evolution of personal protective equipment, and how it’s changed by today’s standards.

From steel helmets to hard hats

The yellow hard hats of today which are synonymous with building sites were originally made from steel, then aluminium and then fibreglass in years gone past, frequently worn by construction workers and shipbuilders who were always running the risk of having things dropped on their heads. While the original design hasn’t changed that much, the hard hats of today are mostly made from high density polyethylene, with modifications made to include ventilation, face shields ear defenders and even incorporating cameras.

Galoshes and overshoes

At Regal Disposables, our overshoes are always a customer favourite – soft, lightweight and durable with elasticated edges to make them easy to take on and off they’re certainly more convenient than the original galoshes. These rubber boots that were worn over regular shoes were popular for people working outside to prevent them from getting muddy or wet, but we have to say we’re very thankful that designs have changed, making them much more convenient and easy to use.

From Jane Austen fashion to 21st century protection

What could we mean here? Why, it’s oversleeves of course! Our high quality polythene oversleeves are elasticated at both ends so you can pull them on and off in a flash, and they’re perfect for care and food industry workers. They weren’t always for personal protective uses though, as in the Regency period, it was quite common for women to have detachable gossamer sleeves on their dresses, called oversleeves to make their gowns extra fancy – so really more of a fashion statement than a protective necessity.

Hairnets to mob caps

Keeping hair out of the way is a must in the food preparation industry, even those with short hair are required to keep everything tucked away and out of sight to maintain strict hygiene standards. The disposable mob cap evolved from the old-fashioned hairnet, although now of course it’s much more sophisticated (well, in so much as a hairnet can be sophisticated). Our caps are a soft design so they’re comfortable to wear all day, with an elasticated head cover to keep everything firmly in place. They’re also double stitched for extra durability, and available in a variety of colours making it even easier to manage your team and assign different roles in the kitchen.

We offer excellent quality PPE to cover every part of you, from your head to your toe – and it’s all perfectly suited for the 21st century. Ready to start ordering? Call us on 0151 423 0452 for more information or to place an order today.

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