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Card #10

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Volunteering is supposed to be fun and rewarding, and that allows lots of latitude in what you wear. Whether you are dressing up or down, make sure what you wear doesn’t interfere with the safety of the tasks you’ll be performing as a volunteer.

The FACTS: What you need to KNOW

  1. Wearing the wrong shoes can lead to slips, trips, and falls, which make up over 25% of office injuries. Sensible shoes with closed toes will protect your feet from crushing, dropped items, blood-borne pathogens, or spills.
  2. Loose items, such as jewelry, loose sleeves, or an untucked shirt can get caught in equipment and cause sudden injury.
  3. Hypothermia (when your body becomes too cold) and hyperthermia (too hot) can be caused by wearing the wrong clothing.
  4. Specific work attire is required around food, since your clothes carry bacteria and pathogens.

#10 What to Wear (“Safe Work Attire”)

The Actions: What you need to DO

Wear sensible, comfortable shoes that are appropriate for the task. Consider bringing an extra pair of shoes if you are not sure about what you’ll be doing.

Leave jewelry at home, and choose clothes that won’t get caught on equipment. Even if you are not using the equipment, if you are operating in the same space, it is a risk.

Read Safety Card #3, Volunteering in Extreme Temperatures, and bring additional clothing, if necessary.

If you work with food, wear clean clothing, an apron, and appropriate shoes. Bring a hat or hair restraint and remove jewelry.

Volunteer Safety Videos are under development and will be available in 2023.

Links, Resources & More

  • Take a free safety course from Nonprofit Safety Hero. If you're thinking about what to wear, you might look at Food Safety or Tools & Equipment.
  • Learn more about OSHA and WISHA laws that govern workplace safety for both volunteers and paid workers.
  • View a complete list of volunteer safety topics from Volunter Safety Hero.