Bring your ‘A- Game’ to that next Home DIY or construction project by investing in specialist workwear to keep you warmer and safer this winter!

Why Wearing Proper Workwear Makes Sense

Suitable workwear is a crucial element of any DIY project, offering safety, functionality, and comfort, which are essential for both amateur and professional work. For a relativity small spend, you stand to gain for all these reasons:

Protection from Hazards & Over Exposure

Unlike an average jumper and pair of jeans, Workwear is constructed from more durable fabrics and contains reinforced areas that protect against cuts, abrasions, and punctures.

  • It protects you from hazards associated with DIY or construction tasks like electrocution, chemical hazards, or slippage. It is usually made from fire-resistant materials that protect against heat and flames.
  • Workwear clothing usually contains high-visibility elements that enhance safety in low-light conditions.
  • Long-term exposure to certain DIY activities without proper gear that prevents contact with your skin or lungs can lead to health issues. For example, respirators and masks protect against inhaling dust and toxic substances, while gloves can prevent skin irritation and damage. You should also protect your eyes and ears if subject to prolonged exposure to bright light or high decibels.

More Comfort and Mobility

You will find that higher-quality workwear often provides even more comfort and mobility. Look out for ergonomic features like gussets and pleats that allow for a greater range of movement. DIY tasks usually demand much more bending, stretching, or reaching for a longer duration and from awkward positions.

Cost-effective Durability

Workwear is usually made with more rigid or long-lasting materials and reinforced to withstand harsher environments and repeated wear.

Functional, Useful and Practical

You’ll find many hidden and welcome features in your workwear items that speed up your efficiency!

  • Look for multiple pockets, loops, and hooks for carrying tools and other essentials. When you have everything you need on hand, it’s also safer in the long run as you’re not constantly reaching for tools and can do more without assistance.
  • Workwear is designed for weather protection. Look for insulated jackets, double seams, waterproof materials and thermal layers. This is particularly useful in Ireland, where the weather can be unpredictable!

Professional-looking and Safety Compliant 

Look the part! Feel the Part!

Wearing proper workwear can project a more professional image for those who do DIY projects professionally or share their work with a broader audience.

  • If you are in the trade, it is essential to show compliance with safety standards, so wearing appropriate workwear is not just practical but is also a legal requirement. Professional tradespeople or those working in environments within larger organisations or more significant projects will be subject to more specific safety regulations.
  • It helps your mental preparation! Workwear can also have a psychological benefit by getting you into the right mindset, and enhancing focus and efficiency.

A Quick Checklist of Workwear Essentials for Ireland

Safety Gloves

Different gloves can protect you against various hazards, so look for the right ones for the job. Gloves can be either cut-resistant, thermal, provide electrical insulation, chemical-resistant, or just be entry-level general-purpose work gloves.

For example, The Thermal Grip Glove is perfect for construction, transportation, refuse collection, maintenance and local authority work. This glove has a warm acrylic ten gauge liner and is ideal for more heavy-duty outdoor tasks or people working in cold conditions.

Eye Protection

 Use safety glasses or goggles to shield your eyes from dust, debris, chemical splashes, and intense, prolonged bouts of UV light or bright flashes, depending on the specific task.

For example, the Portwest Tech Look Plus Spectacle has a dual use with classic arms or a wide elastic band. There is a detachable foam that offers additional protection against shocks and dust. It boasts flexible arms for a more comfortable fit. The removable EVA foam gasket provides extra comfort and protection against shocks and dust.

Ear Protection

 Use earplugs or earmuffs to protect against hearing damage in environments with high noise levels.

For example, the Portwest Classic Ear Muffs EN352  are ultra-light and compact, boasting an adjustable length for a secure and comfortable fit. It is also a non-magnetic metal-free design, being nickel and ferrous-free.

Safety Helmets or Hard Hats

Protect the head from falling objects, bumps, and electrical hazards. Some may have integrated communication systems for team coordination.

For example, The Expertbase Safety Helmet is made from a High-density polypropylene shell and is secured with a 4-point plastic suspension harness. A soft sweatband is also included for a more ergonomic and comfortable fit.

Respiratory Protection

Masks or respirators are essential to prevent inhalation of harmful particles when working in dusty environments or with toxic substances.

For example, the Portwest FFP1 Mask Blister Pk of (3) is designed for jobs involving dust, mists and fibres – it can be used in concentrations of contaminants up to 4 times the WEL.

Body Cover: Coveralls or Overalls

Provide full-body protection against dirt, chemicals, and other hazardous materials. Some are disposable, while others are made for repeated use.

For example, the Portwest ST11 Coverall PP 40g is lightweight and comfortable with a front zip opening and elasticated cuffs and hood. It boasts elasticated stitching around the hood, both the leg and sleeve hems and elasticated stitch detail around the waist, making it a great fit. and securing you further from contamination or leakage.

Jackets and Coats

Insulated, waterproof, or windproof outerwear for working in cold or wet conditions.

For example, the Portwest Hi-Vis Bomber Jacket provides comfort, quality, safety and weatherproof functions. The two-way front zip, studded flap, and knitted storm cuffs provide ultimate protection.

Safety Footwear

Includes steel-toe boots or shoes that protect feet from heavy objects and sharp hazards and provide slip-resistant soles. Some are also designed to protect against electrical hazards.

Safety Wellingtons are also available for better grip and protection in outdoor environments.

For example, Portwest Protector Boot 42/8 S1P is an absolute best seller amongst workers in many trades as one of the most comfortable and sturdy boots on the market. You’ll get comprehensive protection with a 200-joule steel toecap, steel midsole and a slip-resistant, energy-absorbent heel.

Work Trousers

Durable and often equipped with reinforced knee areas and multiple pockets for tools. Some have features like waterproofing or thermal lining for outdoor work.

For example, The Snickers AW Stretch Trousers HP come in a Slim or Loose fit in an assortment of colours.

High-Visibility Clothing:

 It is essential for ensuring workers are easily seen in low-light conditions or busy environments. Includes vests, jackets, and trousers with reflective strips.

For example, the Portwest Hi-Vis Band and Brace Vest have a Lightweight and comfortable fit that includes Reflective tape for increased visibility with Hook and loop closure for easy access—available in all three EN ISO 20471 conforming colours.

Tool Belts or Utility Vests

 For carrying tools and equipment conveniently, keeping hands free for work.

Knee Pads

It is essential for jobs requiring a lot of kneeling, providing cushioning and protection for the knees.

For example, the 2-layer Snickers Kneepads are designed to reduce strain. These lightweight, flexible, and durable knee pads provide everyday working comfort if you frequently kneel.

Who Should be Wearing Workwear For?

Workwear is not just for professionals and merchants; engaging in regular DIY at home is worth it, especially when you’re likely to be working outdoors on your property in this Irish weather.

Do you know someone who loves DIY? It would also make an excellent gift to keep them safe, warm and more efficient in the long run!

Here’s a list of all the occupations that may benefit from some or all of the specialist workwear we’ve listed!

  • Construction Workers: Nearly all the items on the list are essential for construction workers. Safety footwear, hard hats, high-visibility clothing, and gloves are crucial for their safety on construction sites.
  • Electricians: Safety footwear, especially those designed to protect against electrical hazards, gloves with electrical insulation, and eye protection are vital for electricians.
  • Carpenters and Joiners: Durable work trousers, safety footwear, gloves, and eye protection are essential for carpenters and joiners to protect against wood splinters, nails, and other sharp objects.
  • Plumbers: Work trousers with multiple tool pockets, safety footwear, and gloves are essential for plumbers, especially when working in tight or damp spaces.
  • Landscapers and Gardeners: High-visibility clothing for working in areas with vehicle traffic, sturdy gloves, knee pads, and weather-protective outerwear are necessary for landscapers and gardeners. They must also keep warm, so well-insulated clothing matters here.
  • Road Workers: High-visibility clothing is crucial for safety, along with safety helmets and ear protection to guard against the noise of heavy machinery.
  • Painters and Decorators: Overalls or coveralls to protect clothing, safety footwear and gloves, and clothing from paint and materials.
  • Factory or Warehouse Workers: Safety footwear, gloves, high-visibility clothing, and sometimes hard hats, depending on the environment.
  • Mechanics and Automotive Technicians: Durable work trousers, safety footwear, gloves to protect hands from oils and chemicals, and sometimes eye protection.
  • Farmers and Agricultural Workers: Durable and weather-protective clothing, safety boots, gloves, and sometimes respiratory protection for handling chemicals like pesticides.
  • Emergency Services Personnel (e.g., Firefighters, Paramedics): High-visibility clothing, safety footwear, and specific protective gear relevant to their emergency response roles.


Fit The Item to the Job

If you were choosing equipment to carry out that next Handy job, you would be careful about selecting the tool with the right size, gauge or strength, right?

Well, the same should apply when picking out workwear and safety wear. Remember, it is not a luxury but a necessary piece of equipment. It could make all the difference to whether you emerge intact from the job!