PPE for bike building



Sep 26, 2012
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Do you use any "Personal Protective Equipment" for bike building?
Aprons, gloves, overalls, dust masks, etc.


I don't really use anything except for eye protection when appropriate, and old clothes designated as ok to get grease and other stuff over.

I've toyed with the idea of getting an apron or overalls to minimize mess on my clothes, but never have.
Once or twice I've used surgical type gloves and enjoyed the experience of not needing to wash my hands after. But mostly I cbf, plus it seems kinda wasteful.

What's your experience?
 
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May 18, 2020
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Eye protection always because they are prescription and the world is fuzzy without them. 100% cotton shirt and pants because melted synthetics on the skin kinda hurt and leaves scars. Form fitting clothes to keep from snagging on things and getting caught in rotary tools. Welding shades when welding. Beyond that not much really and I make my living wrenching. I wish I had protected my hearing better, tinnitus suuuuuuuuucks.
 

Captain Awesome

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Aug 9, 2012
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For just general maintenance? Gloves, always gloves. Big fan of nitrile gloves because they're cheap and allow me to keep dexterity. Also like the vinyl dipped synthetic gloves for a bit more protection. Eye and ear pro for power tools. Welding, necessary precautions

Oddly enough though..............I am generally wearing flip flops :giggle:
NOT when welding though
 
Sep 26, 2012
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I wish I had protected my hearing better, tinnitus suuuuuuuuucks.
I don't generally use dedicated hearing protection. But I usually have sealing earbuds for music that double as protection when I'm using power tools.

I've been lucky on the tinnitus front. Hearing is not as sharp as it used to be, and I get a crackle with noises at certain volumes and frequencies, sounds like a blown speaker. But that's about it, nothing too intrusive. I know it can get much worse.

Gloves, always gloves.
Do you mainly wear them to stop dirt or damage?


I forgot about footwear. I always wear my safety Vans.
20210414_143147.jpg
 

Captain Awesome

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I don't generally use dedicated hearing protection. But I usually have sealing earbuds for music that double as protection when I'm using power tools.

I've been lucky on the tinnitus front. Hearing is not as sharp as it used to be, and I get a crackle with noises at certain volumes and frequencies, sounds like a blown speaker. But that's about it, nothing too intrusive. I know it can get much worse.


Do you mainly wear them to stop dirt or damage?


I forgot about footwear. I always wear my safety Vans.
View attachment 154370
My hearing is shot. Too many years around hydraulic machinery, turret presses, and gunfire. Oh well

I mostly wear the gloves for the sake of easy clean up, but I'll wear them during assembly too just to keep handprints and oils off the parts

Big points for Vans :thumbsup: I've got a couple dozen pair in the closet
 
Aug 8, 2020
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...I am generally wearing flip flops :giggle:
In college my roommate and I built bunk beds. He was wearing sandals. During instal we dropped the top metal frame right on his foot from about 5 feet up. We both screamed. We both looked down and saw that the edge of the frame had landed straight across the top of his toes. But somehow miraculously he had scrunched up all five toes just in time and the edge cleared his toes with literally zero mm clearance. I've never done serious work in opened toed shoes since. Terrifying.
 
Jun 13, 2015
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Junk clothes for anything that will impart bad smells or involves grease, oil, etc. and old shoes for putting holes in the beaver dams. I have an Israeli military gas mask with NBC filters for painting. Grinding, sanding, whatever, I wear lab goggles (which I only started doing after I got a scar on my eye from metal sneaking past the sides of my regular glasses, luckily just on the white part), and an N95 because I'm paranoid of lung disease after watching my mother die of it (wish I had started earlier). When I don't need dexterity (like with painting), I use those dishwashing gloves that go up the arms like gauntlets—they're super cheap, impervious to a host of chemicals, and they last a while. I also wear foam earplugs for the louder tools to preserve what I have left of my hearing (In isolation, I actually can hear a wider range than I should be able to for my age, but I have nerve deafness from too many concerts when I was younger, so forget trying to listen to conversations in noisy places. Luckily, I'm an introvert and I didn't like dating extraverts so it an infrequent problem). Sometimes, I'll wear disposable gloves for greasy or dead things (I'm surrounded by wooded ponds, so dead things pop up, sometimes on their own, sometimes in the vermin traps), but I'm often too impatient to get them, they rip too easily, and that's why I have pumice soap.
 
May 18, 2020
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If you remember using rotary dial phones, I hear a sound, 24-7, like the dial tone and it is loud. I almost always have to have music playing in the background to drown it out some. Guns, my occupation, concerts, stereo cranked to 11, and motor racing all contributed.
 
Jul 30, 2013
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When teaching, I typically wear a canvas apron to lend an air of respectability and professionalism...misleading as that may be (ha). Surgical gloves for the really grimy tasks, though Go-Jo usually does the job. Eye protection and a 3M respirator when the situation calls for them.

Strangely enough, I'm one of the few from my past profession who doesn't suffer from tinnitus, and I don't do anything particularly special to avoid it. Just lucky.
 
Oct 18, 2008
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I wore shop aprons for years, then Bucky in the 'Get Fuzzy' comic started giving Rob grief for his "half-dress"... I kinda miss the pockets, but now I change into a Carhartt work shirt when I get to the shop. :21:

(Actually at the same time my aprons were wearing out anyway, and I didn't like the new version...)
 
Feb 26, 2017
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Good stuff! Very proud of you fellow Ratters! I did some work in construction safety management and a very powerful behavioral tool along with PPE was the safe performance self assessment (SPSA). This is kinda a clumsy name for a simple action. The idea is that before you start a task, you stop, take a breath, and think about how things could go south. Then you take whatever action necessary to proceed safely with the task. Be safe!
spsa.jpg
 
Sep 15, 2010
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I wish I had protected my hearing better, tinnitus suuuuuuuuucks.
Absolutely agree about tinnitus. Got tinnitus via a reaction to a prescription drug I was taking. I can usually ignore it, but in places without any background noise to mask the tinnitus, it can get annoying.

Also agree about synthetic fabrics and the burns they can cause. I always insisted on natural fabrics around campfires/firepits. Used to get complaints, because when my kids were school age, a lot of what they wore was made of synthetics.

In my teens, I did a lot of wood stripping with a caustic liquid/gel paint stripper and no gloves. Also sprayed pesticides on fruit trees in my family's backyard with no protective gear, and probably a lot of other poor safety choices. I am surprised that I have survived six decades despite my youthful stupidity.

Now it's always gloves, eye protection, hearing protection etc.
 
Sep 26, 2012
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a very powerful behavioral tool along with PPE was the safe performance self assessment (SPSA)
Here's another powerful tool to help you be more safety minded. When you're fifteen, take a piece of wood you need to put a hole in, sit in on your lap, then drill through it into your leg.

Take a guess how I know this.