Selecting Appropriate PPE For Work
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential for keeping employees safe in the workplace, preventing them from injuries or illness. It’s very important to carefully select the appropriate PPE that suits the environment in which you work. The selection of PPE requires a careful assessment of all the hazards present in a work environment, so it’s important to take everything into account when you choose PPE for the workplace.
In any industry, the safety of workers is paramount. You must take everything into consideration when protecting workers against illness or injury. PPE selection needs an assessment of the type, nature, and extent of hazardous situations present in the workplace. There are various different types of PPE that can follow into different work environments.
Eye and Face Protection
The eyes and face are extremely delicate and require proper protection whilst working in an industrial environment. Chemical gases or vapours, flying dust particles, harmful light radiation, etc. can cause serious damage to your eyes and face. PPE like safety glasses, goggles, laser-eyewear, surgical masks, dust masks, etc. offer the best protection.
Jobs that require this type of PPE could include carpenters, machine operators, welders, laboratory workers, painters etc. These jobs are most at risk of eye and face related injuries. For example, if you’re a painter, then wearing a spray mask will help reduce any irritation to the eyes and face.
Suffering from a head injury can be extremely severe, and can be life-threatening for any employee. Construction workers, electricians, plumbers, fitters and many more are occupations that require special gear for head protection.
If you work in an environment where there is a possibility of flying objects and tools or bumping into exposed objects, then you must wear a safety helmet or hard hat to reduce any serious injuries. Head protection not only helps a worker from impact but also offers protection against electrical shock or burning as well.
If you work in an environment where there is a possibility of inhaling foreign particles, such as a closed laboratory or an open construction site, it’s important that you have respiratory protection. Some workers often neglect respiratory protection due to respiratory issues taking time to surface. This is extremely dangerous and can cause long-term health problems.
A simple dust mask can protect you from fumes, dust particles, bacteria etc. Pharmaceutical workers in chemical laboratories can use particle-filtering FFP3 masks to avoid accidental inhaling of powders. Similarly, personnel dealing with paints must use high-quality spray masks for the protection of skin and respiratory organs from fumes and chemicals.
Taking care of your hands at work can remove any possibilities of an accidental shock to electricians, absorption of harmful chemicals to laboratory workers, bruises or cuts to mechanical workers and more.
Gloves can offer adequate protection, however, it’s important that you choose the correct type of glove that can potentially be life-saving. For example, nitrile gloves are great for preventing harmful chemicals from reaching your skin, however, they won’t be enough to help prevent an electrical shock. If your arm is at risk of bruises or cuts at work, then you should consider wearing arm length wire-mesh gloves.
Foot and Leg Protection
A simple disposable shoe cover not only protects you from dust but can also maintain a hygienic work environment. If you’re dealing with fluids, then wearing slip-resistant shoes will improve your grip and also prevent you from slipping over and causing yourself an injury.
If your day to day work life involves heavy machinery, construction, and mechanical work then you should invest in specially designed boots with steel reinforcements.
It goes without saying that hearing protection is only needed in industries such as construction, mining, plumbing and more. It’s important to keep your ears protected if you work in a noisy environment throughout the day.
Single-use earplugs and canal caps are easy to use and offer protection if you’re working with loud machinery. However, ear muffs are reusable and provide soft, over the ear protection.