Protective clothing

Sally Drury looks at the latest PPE ranges, designed to offer more comfort and protection than ever before.

Q: What's new in boots?

A: For general amenity use, Makita has introduced the MXT safety boots in a hiker style with leather uppers, nylon mesh inserts in Makita's red and black colour theme and a waterproof membrane. The boots have steel toecaps and steel midsoles, rubber outsoles and energy absorption heels. Resistant to oils and acids, they are available in sizes 6 to 12.

Stihl's Ranger boots offer a high standard of protection against cuts from a saw chain, meeting the new EN17249 Class 1 standard at 20m/s chain speed. The boots incorporate steel toecaps and cushioned soles for grip and comfort. The cowhide outer is water-repellent and the textile lining is breathable. Sizes range from 4 to 13. The boots retail at £150 including VAT.

Q: What's new in brushcutter trousers?

A: Joining Stihl's wardrobe of protective clothing, these new trousers have built-in protection against injury from thrown debris. Users should appreciate the removable thigh-padding intended to cushion contact with a machine's bike or cowhorn handles.

To protect the back from cold, there is an additional rear panel above the waist. The trousers are heavy-duty (60 per cent polyester and 35 per cent cotton), come in black/grey and incorporate high-visibility reflective strips around the leg bottoms. There are air vents in the upper leg area. Eight sizes are offered, from 33' to 45' waist, with 29' to 33' leg lengths. The price is £40 including VAT.

Q: What's new in chainsaw trousers?

A: Stihl has added more benefits to the lightweight, six-ply protective HiFlex trousers to encourage longer wear life in tough working conditions. Extending the Kevlar patch on the front of the leg is intended to extend protection from snagging and wear. This ultra-tough reinforcement now runs from knee to ankle at the front. The latest design is further distinguished by an additional orange flash on the rear of the waistband. The Design C protection is approved to EN381-5 Class 1. They retail at £180 including VAT and sizes range from 33' to 45' waist, with 29' to 33' legs.

Husqvarna offers new protective trousers in "A" and "C" designs, plus "A" carpenter-style trousers. The protective-waist trousers are made of a ventilating material with four-way stretch for freedom of movement. They are reinforced in Aramid material on the knees and Cordura nylon on the lower front. Increased ventilation is provided by using a "spacer" material in the rear and zipped ventilation openings at the back of the legs. Back pockets can also be opened for extra ventilation. The "C" trousers benefit from the same features but with all-round leg protection.

Q: What's new in amenity work wear?

A: Manufactured by Dickies, the new Makita workwear range includes a three-in-one jacket that can be worn as a complete set for extra protection against the elements, or as a lightweight jacket, or a zip-in fleece-only option. The jacket has a concealed hood, a two-way zip front, underarm ventilation and a drawcord waist. Seams are stitched and tape welded. Sizes range from small to XXL.

A new smooth-finish microfibre padded shirt from Makita has a thermal quilted cotton lining, side vents and chest pocket. The Raven pull-on sweatshirt from Makita is now joined by a front-zip version in heavyweight 280g fleece with 100g cotton thermal lining. Features include pouch pockets and ribbed hem and cuffs. Sizes range from medium to XXL.

Husqvarna's workwear department now offers a zip-front micro-fleece with inner membrane to protect against wind and water and a half turtle-neck, zipped "Dry Wear" shirt of fast-drying material. There is also a new lightweight thermal gilet with fleece lining, high collar, outer and inner zipped pockets plus extended back and waist elastic.

The new range of amenity workwear from Stihl, including a black polo shirt and micro-fleece jacket, is intended to provide contractors with a smart co-ordinated looked when out on a job. The shirt is 100 per cent cotton and features the Stihl logo. With 300g/sq m polyester construction, the black and grey jacket provides warmth and wind protection. Features include an elastic adjustable waist, thumb holes in the sleeves, two exterior zip pockets and an inner pocket.

- Edited by Sally Drury. Email

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