As mandated by OSHA guidelines, it’s important for industrial worksites to provide their employees with the proper personal protective equipment necessary to reduce the risk of injury or accidents. With such a wide variety of equipment available, you may be wondering about the difference between garments such as coveralls versus bibs. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each.
Coveralls have the primary benefit of providing complete coverage, making them ideal for cold environments where insulation is necessary to keep employees warm. Hi-vis variants of coveralls not only make workers easier to see, but they clearly define their form, which is vital for working environments like highways. Coveralls provide ideal protection from high winds and come with the added benefit of having a lot of pockets.
The downside of coveralls is that they can become uncomfortable in even the mildest weather. They drastically restrict airflow to the upper body and will quickly overheat the wearer. Furthermore, coveralls are not very adjustable, so they can’t be altered or worn differently than their intended purpose.
Overall bibs are a more lightweight solution for PPE. A bib is a loose-strapped holder-type uniform that primarily covers the lower body and the front of a worker’s torso. Overall bibs provide adequate protection against liquids, keeping a person’s clothes dry as they work in wet environments or rainy weather. They’re also generally easier to move and work in, and hi-vis bibs still effectively make employees stand out. Overall bibs are also more adjustable and can conform to a wider range of body types.
The downsides are that these bibs are not ideal for cold weather or if your employees need to keep a lot of gear and equipment on them. Overalls don’t have as many pockets as coveralls, and what pockets they do have can only hold small objects.
Which is Best?
So, between coveralls versus bibs, which is best? As you may have noticed, it really comes down to the environment you’re anticipating. If you know you’ll be working in winter conditions, you’ll want coveralls because they will keep your employees warm and safe from frostbite and hypothermia. Overall bibs, on the other hand, are better for warmer weather or working indoors, and are a better general-purpose uniform that doesn’t restrict an employee’s movements.