Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential for a range of different occupations, and there are many ways that you can protect yourself from potential hazards. Depending on where you work, and what type of tasks you may find yourself doing on a regular basis, it’s important to protect yourself from things that can lead to significant health issues if untreated.
There are a lot of things that come into consideration when you are starting a new job, but one of those that should be mentioned is the role of PPE. Ask your employer if there is any type of additional protection that they give to employees if you believe that something could be hazardous. Check out safety talks to get a better idea of potential workplace hazards and the role that the correct tools play.
Protection From What?
Firstly, it’s worth talking about the different risks that each workplace has. The majority of protective equipment has been designed for specific use and provides coverage against a certain hazard. PPE is the name given to wearable protection that is given to employees. You may need to protect yourself from harmful chemicals, dust, gases, radiation, or even bodily fluids if you work with people who are unwell.
Because of the different hazards that can prove harmful to employees’ health, there is a range of protective gear in order to keep everyone as safe as possible within the workplace. While it may not seem like dust or even radiation in small amounts can be harmful, it is worth mentioning that the more time you spend in these unsafe conditions, the more likely you are to become sick as a result of unsafe working conditions.
Those who work in dusty conditions are just as vulnerable as those who handle chemicals and dangerous gases. This is because dust can settle in the lungs and lead to respiratory conditions over time. PPE can ensure that the employer has done everything possible to protect each employee from this. Corrosive chemicals can lead to painful burns if spilled, which is why people who handle these materials should wear specific chemical-proof equipment as a preventative measure.
Of course, radiation and harmful gases can lead to a range of health conditions over time. These include an increased risk of cancer development, brain complications, and developmental abnormalities. It is therefore essential that each worker is protected as much as possible from the potential hazards specific to the workplace.
Depends On Your Job
The PPE needed varies with each job, and it can be seen in many forms. These include something as simple as a lab coat, goggles, or a hard hat. On the other hand, more drastic PPE includes radiation protective gear which has been designed to prevent contamination and unnecessary exposure to those around you.
Construction workers have a higher risk of being hit by falling objects including debris and other materials. For that reason, the majority of construction sites require everyone to wear hard hats and protective eyewear. This can help prevent workplace injury and ensure that workers feel safe.
Medical workers and nurses who perform surgery and deal with blood also need to wear their own PPE. While their scrubs protect them from spillages and everyday accidents, additional coverage is needed in certain situations. These include detailed surgeries, taking blood, and eye exams.
Examples Of PPE
PPE is beneficial for both employers and workers. This is because it prevents workers from becoming injured or unwell over time, and the fact that it ensures employers are aware of the risks within the specific workplace. These are some of the most common forms of PPE and what they provide protection from.
Our head is one of the most important things to provide protection to. For those that work in a place that uses heavy machinery or where there is falling debris, protective equipment includes a hardhat. Hairnets can also be a form of PPE because they prevent long hair from being caught in machinery or equipment.
Each workplace has its own policies, but it could be worth paying extra attention to your company’s safety procedures. The neck should be protected from falling debris, and sparks that fly if you are welding.
The eyes can be protected from chemicals, projectiles, vapor, and radiation using a mask that covers the face, or safety goggles. Another critical thing to protect is the ears. This is because repeated exposure to high-volume noises can lead to permanent hearing damage or even deafness. Noise-canceling devices such as headphones should be provided by the company if you work with machinery that is particularly noisy.
Another important factor to keep in mind when deciding what protective equipment you may need is the tools that you will be using on a regular basis. It’s also worth ensuring that you have been fully trained in using any given tool so that you are as safe as you can be.
Maintaining tools means that you will need to acknowledge when a piece of equipment or tool is broken, and not to use it until it has been repaired or replaced. Tools can become unsafe if they are faulty, which makes the user more vulnerable to injury.
You have the right, as an employee, to have access to the appropriate tools and equipment needed to perform your job. Whether this is sanitary scalpels, a box of strong tools such as hammers, nails, screwdrivers, art supplies, or monitors if necessary, your employer needs to ensure that you can do your job to the best of your ability.
In addition, you may need to take care of your own PPE. This can include ensuring that there are no holes or signs of damage, and informing your employer when these arise. Protective equipment becomes less effective if it is faulty in some way, which is why these should be taken seriously and replaced when necessary.
While the role of PPE and tools depends on the job, it is important to take it seriously in order to prevent injury or illness over time. Radiation protective measures or chemical protection will need even more rigorous inspection so that workers can do their jobs confidently and comfortably.
Things To Remember
Keep in mind that PPE can vary hugely in terms of its appearance, use, and necessity. The same applies to tools and equipment, and there are different levels of protection required from different employers. Depending on the field that you work in, it could be worth considering what you are entitled to in order to complete your job to the best of your ability without additional complications.
There are also some forms of PPE that you can choose to wear if it would make you feel more comfortable within the workplace. These include hair protection, gloves, and steel boots that protect your toes. Depending on your employer, however, these should be given to employees if they are deemed essential.
There are so many forms of PPE, including steel toe boots, hard hats, hairnets, and gloves. Of course, the amount of protection necessary depends on the field you work within, but the importance of PPE and having access to the right tools for the job should not be underestimated.
This is because of the potential health issues and injuries that can be prevented through PPE and regular tool maintenance. Ensuring that possible accidents are avoided benefits both the employer and employee, because of the legal complications and insurance policies which will come into play if a workplace injury presents itself.