Work Trousers Buying Guide

If you work in construction, engineering or another form of labour-intensive work, you’ll need to be protected and comfortable. This is where work trousers come in.

Work trousers are an essential part of your workwear, along with work or safety jackets. But what makes them so important? Why should you wear them over jeans, for example? Well, we are here to help you understand what they are and what you should look for.

We will guide you through the key details you need to know for this essential clothing for anyone working outdoors or around heavy machinery. So, whether you’re buying for yourself or a business, you can understand everything about work and safety trousers.

Read on to discover more about work trousers and the essential information about them…

What are work trousers?

Work trousers are the most popular pieces of work and safety clothing – or workwear. They are designed to provide comfort and protection when carrying out tasks either in the workplace or outdoors, particularly in harsh, dark, or even hazardous conditions.

Safety trousers can be found in various styles, sizes, fabrics, and colours to provide you with the best solution to your environment or work. Like normal trousers, they can also be chosen to suit personal preferences, such as different waist sizes and leg lengths for comfort and practicality.

Some types of work trousers are designed purely for safety purposes, such as hi-vis, while others offer a variety of features to keep you comfortable. Classic examples can be the option to add knee pads or multiple pockets for carrying tools and equipment.

What material are work trousers made from?

Most work trousers are made from hard-wearing and durable materials to provide longevity when you are doing manual or labour-intensive tasks.

One of the most popular materials for work trousers is a cotton-polyester mix. This is because the durable combination offers protection against injury from sharp objects. Cotton and polyester also ensure that the tough trousers are breathable and comfortable. This makes them ideal for working in challenging conditions while being safe.

Other types of work trousers, such as hi-vis and flame-proof, are classed as personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE trousers provide you with protection against injury when working in hazardous environments and can be made from a different material. Hi-vis trousers are often made from cotton or polyester with reflective bands for additional visibility.

Synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, are not suitable for use in flame-retardant clothing as they could melt and cause injury if exposed to fire or high temperatures. That is why materials, such as kevlar, are used instead. This is because it’s resistance to heat and strong fibres make it the ideal choice for PPE in this area of work.

Why are work trousers important?

PPE is designed to protect you from injury, keeping you safe while working. There are many different types of PPE, trousers being one of them, and it can protect all parts of the body.

PPE trousers are important for a number of reasons, but safety is paramount. Different types of protective trousers are available and each one offers different levels of protection for various environments. Work trousers can help protect you from hazards such as chemicals and extreme temperatures, so, choosing work trousers for a task is important.

What are the types of work trousers?

Work trousers are split into categories based on their materials or the job they do in a specific environment. We’ve broken down each one below.

Work Trousers

Standard work trousers are, as we’ve said, durable and suited to a wide range of jobs and conditions. They are a general-purpose option and are most commonly available in straight leg designs.

Key Features:

  • Durable
  • Multi-purpose option
  • Comfortable

Work Shorts

These are ideal for warmer weather when it can be too uncomfortable to wear work trousers. However, it is always important to remember safety risks in mind when wearing work shorts. You also need to comply with workplace regulations and laws before choosing shorts.

Key Features:

  • Ideal for warm weather
  • Can be less restrictive than trousers

Hi-Vis Trousers

Hi-vis trousers are well-suited if you work in high-risk environments and can be used for engineering or roadside jobs. They are designed to protect against wind and rain while ensuring you stand out by being highly visible at all times.

Key Features:

  • Highly visible in dark environments
  • Ideal for those working outdoors
  • Often wind and rain-resistant

Padded Work Trousers

Padded or reinforced trousers feature a dedicated pouch to hold knee pads. This helps to provide protection and comfort when kneeling which makes them popular with plumbers, builders, electricians and gardeners, for example.

Key Features:

  • Dedicated pouch to hold knee pads
  • Protective
  • Provides a high level of comfort

What are the features of work trousers?

By going through the types of work trousers, we have already touched on some of their features. However, we’ve gone into more detail below and picked out the key features on the diagram to help you out when looking to buy your own. As an example, we have used a standard pair of work trousers.

  • Holster pockets: for holding tools and equipment.
  • Reinforced pockets: for secure storage of essential items.
  • Reinforced hems: to ensure the trousers don’t fray or become damaged while working.
  • Knee support: can feature reinforced knee support and enhanced durability without the requirement of knee pads.
  • Stretch panels: allowing for increased freedom of movement, particularly at the knee.
  • Stretch fabric: for ease of movement while on the job.
  • Knee pad pockets: provide space for pad insertion while the behind-knee vent allows for air circulation.
  • Pre-bent legs: trousers are made with the legs already bent to make them more comfortable for your work.
  • Breathable fabric: for comfort by making sure you don’t get too hot while working, particularly in warmer conditions where shorts may not be allowed.

What to consider when buying work trousers

When buying your work trousers, there are important considerations you need to bear in mind so you get the PPE that will keep you safe.

The Job and its Requirements

A key mistake that you can make is taking a generic approach when buying work trousers, rather than actually thinking about the specific needs of a job. You should always carry out a risk assessment, and ensure that the equipment you use or provide is fit for purpose.

Fit of the Trousers

We don’t mean the waist size here, we actually mean whether the trousers are a slimmer leg or looser. This can come down to personal preference, but it can also depend on the job you are doing and how much movement you will need from the trousers. You don’t want to have gotten slimmer trousers only to realise you need more room for knee pads.

Functionality of Clothing

You need to consider what you will actually do on the job. Do you need extra pockets? Maybe your work trousers need some knee pads? These small details will make the difference between good and great work trousers that are safe and functional.

Now you’re all prepared to know everything about work trousers when buying your clothing, and you can find the top brands and newest releases at Winfields.

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