While the term 'clothing accessories' may more commonly bring to mind fashion magazines, impractical shoes and colourful scarves, accessories are also an essential component of many workwear outfits, although they serve an entirely practical purpose. Workwear accessories generally protect the safety of the user, as well as improving the functionality of the entire workwear outfit.
- Hats: Hats are an essential workwear accessory for anyone spending long hours outside in the sun or in the cold. Protection from UV rays is important to prevent skin cancer, especially for tradespeople working through the hottest hours of the day. Sun hats should be worn in combination with sunscreen and breathable cotton workwear that sufficiently covers the skin. In the colder months, many tradespeople are required to work early in the mornings or late at night to avoid traffic or other disturbances, making warm workwear accessories such as beanies essential choices. Hard hats are essential on all construction sites or in any environment where there is a hazard present from unstable structures or falling objects.
- Boots: Heavy duty workwear boots are hardly considered an accessory any more, as very little can be done without them. Boots need to be comfortable, weather resistant, tough and durable to allow the wearer to get on with their job. The same type of high topped leather boots with tough rubber soles are used in nearly all practical workwear applications, from construction, to mining and agriculture.
The tough leather used in workwear boots protects the feet from the weather, ensuring that the wearer stays warm while working, while the thick soles provide grip when working on wet or slippery surfaces. Many workwear boots feature reinforced steel cap toes to protect the wearer from the many hazards of a typical work site.
- Hearing Protection: Many industries involve hazards presented by high levels of noise that can be not only irritating but potentially very damaging. The use of workwear accessories such as earmuffs or earplugs is essential for all tradespeople working with heavy machinery or in environments where noise levels are unhealthily high. Workwear that provides hearing protection is essential because extended exposure to loud noises causes trauma to the inner ear, resulting in irreparable hearing loss.
- Eye Wear: In many workplaces, the presence of fine dust particles presents a hazard to human health. Safety goggles are essential workwear accessories when sanding or cutting materials such as timber, metal or plastic which produce fine particles that can be damaging to the eyes. Similarly, standard workwear must be complemented by safety eye wear when soldering metals or working with other materials at a high temperature.