People sometimes ask my why I became an engineer and I have to be frank – it is purely for the fashion statement. Being in the shipyard, they require us to wear certain pieces of clothing and other safety equipment… here’s what I get the pleasure to strut my stuff in every day:
1. Orange Coveralls: Lucky for me, orange is my color (major sarcasm here in case you aren’t picking it up). To make us more visible for safety, they have us wear orange. The coveralls are basically an orange jump suit…this will be all over the cover of Vogue soon….Trust me on this one.
2. Hard Hat: This is key and it has saved my life on numerous occasions. I’m not kidding – I have whacked my head pretty hard on pipes numerous times. Thank goodness I always have this on. The goofy ear looking things on the side are my ear muffs for covering my ears around loud noises – grinders and generators get pretty loud when you’re near by. Plus, they make the perfect hard hat accessory.
3. Dual Language Name Tags: Working in Korea, it’s a good idea to have your identification on you in both the language you speak and the language you’re working in. I have Erin Kendrick on my hard hat as well as 에린 켄드릭 (the Korean version of my name). I have my name tag on my hat and also on my stellar orange suit – I actually think this is pretty cool…certainly not something I would get to wear anywhere else.
4. Safety Glasses: Just ordinary safety glasses and I don’t mind wearing them – gotta protect my baby blues.
5. Safety Harness: This is probably something you haven’t seen before but its purpose is to protect you when you are working at heights. If you are in an area where you could fall, you connect the hook to something strong so that if you do slip, the lanyard will let out to absorb some of the energy while keeping you from falling very far. While I am never in situations where I would need this, we wear it to be a good example for the workers because they are often in those situations and we want them to know that it’s important – we really care about keeping them safe.
6. Gloves: Gloves are another pretty standard safety item – I keep mine on a clip on my safety harness so that I never forget them when I head out.
7. Stains: This isn’t necessarily part of the uniform but it is required if you want people to take you seriously. If you have bright orange, spotless coveralls, you will get many comments about how you’re not really a field engineer. Moral of the story: Go out in the field and prove them wrong! And, if you do that enough, you naturally get some stains all over your coveralls and it’s like walking proof that you’re a bad ass.
8. Steel Toed Boots: I wouldn’t describe these as cute…I’d probably use the word brown. Yes, brown is about the most flattering word I can use to describe these. Oh and heavy. BUT – they keep my feet from getting crushed if I were to be in the wrong place at the wrong time so I can’t complain.
Well, that’s the lovely outfit I get to wear 6/7 days a week. Do you have to wear a uniform at work?