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What is Personal Protective Equipment?

Any piece of equipment used to reduce exposure to risks that might result in severe occupational illnesses and injuries is referred to as personal protective equipment (PPE) (OSHA).

How Does PPE Impact Safety?

PPE shields the wearer from any physical risks or dangers that the working environment may bring. It is significant because it serves as a safeguard against illness and injury at work. Serious repercussions are certain to occur when personnel fail to wear or are not given PPE. Consider this case study as an illustration:

Fred was a member of a construction team erecting several brand-new office buildings for the city. Due to some severe rainstorms that occurred the previous week, the crew was running behind schedule. To complete before the week was out, they were all in a rush. While the roof was being insulated, Fred was charged with connecting wiring to the building’s lower floors. It was a hot day, and Fred struggled to prevent his eyes from perspiring. He was working until he eventually became irritated enough to remove his hard hats in order to cool off. Unfortunately, ten minutes later, a worker above Fred dropped an unlocked wrench from his workstation. The nutcracker dropped 25 feet.

In this case, Fred’s life may have been saved if the appropriate PPE had been worn on the job site. He would have had at least a concussion, but he would still be alive today. Unfortunately, incidents like these occur often across all industries. The majority, if not all, incidents like Fred’s might have been avoided, which makes the situation much worse.

Who Must Provide PPE?

Employers are responsible for providing their employees with the proper PPE. According to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers are required to protect you from workplace hazards that can cause injury or illness. Controlling a hazard at its source is the best way to protect workers.

PPE is considered the last line of defense when it comes to controls. If PPE is required at the worksite, this means that it will be one of the only things protecting you from injury, illness, or even death. Therefore employers are required to ensure that their employees receive and properly use PPE that will protect them against the hazards that are present in their workplace.

Who is Responsible For Paying For PPE?

A rule that wasn’t established until 2008 states that OSHA requires employers to pay for any PPE that is used in the workplace. This standard makes it clear that employers cannot require their employees to provide their own PPE. Even when an employee does provide their own PPE, employers must ensure that the equipment is adequate and will protect the employee from common workplace hazards.

What Else Are Employers Responsible For?

On top of providing and paying for PPE, employers have many other responsibilities when it comes to their workers’ safety and PPE. Some examples of other things they are responsible for are:

What Does OSHA Say About PPE?

When it comes to PPE, OSHA has a wide range of rules and guidelines. In its rules for general industry, marine, and construction, OSHA explicitly addressed PPE. Each standard specifies that several PPE categories should be identical to those established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI ).

The implementation of a PPE program is required if personal protective equipment must be used on a jobsite. This program should address:

What Are The Workers’ Responsibilities?

When it comes to the correct use of PPE, employees too have obligations to perform. For instance, staff members must:

The Ultimate Guide to PPE Selection

PPE comes in many distinct varieties. The majority of these categories may be divided into seven distinct groupings. The following seven PPE categories are:

  1. Eye protection
  2. Foot and leg protection
  3. Head protection
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Hand and arm protection
  6. Hearing protection
  7. Body protection

Each category of PPE will be covered in further depth in the following sections. Within each category, the various PPE kinds and their uses, inspections, and upkeep will be covered.

Eye Protection

Ocular protection is made with the intention of lowering the danger of eye exposure to hazards. The four main categories of eye protection are as follows:

  1. General safety glasses
  2. Impact goggles
  3. Chemical splash goggles
  4. Laser safety glasses

There are a few things to take into account when choosing the sort of eye protection that personnel should wear. One of these elements is eye protection, specifically:

Head Protection

An essential component of any safety program is safeguarding workers from potential head injuries. An employee who suffers a brain injury might be permanently disabled or possibly die. The most popular head protection options are hard hats or safety hats. Hard hats or protective hats should typically:

Foot and Leg Protection

All employees who run the risk of suffering probable foot or leg injuries should wear foot or leg protection at all times. This includes defense against risks including being exposed to harmful chemicals, electrical risks, or the potential for being crushed or stuck in between pieces of machinery. The following are some possibilities for foot and leg PPE options:

Hand and Arm Protection

Employers are responsible for ensuring that employees wear PPE if a workplace assessment finds that the employees potentially come into contact with a danger that could result in hand or arm injuries. One of the most popular forms of hand and arm protection is a pair of protective gloves. There are many different types of protective gloves available, each with special characteristics.

  • Gloves made of light latex, vinyl, or nitrile are the ideal options for workers who come into contact with or near biological dangers like human blood or body fluids.
  • Light chemical-resistant gloves are a fantastic option for workers who handle little volumes of caustic liquids or combustible substances, as the name implies.
  • Gloves that can withstand heavy chemical exposure are ideal for those who handle a lot of hazardous or poisonous chemicals.
  • Insulated gloves: When working around hot liquids, open flames, cryogenic liquids, or electrical risks, insulated gloves are typically used.
  • Employees who handle live animals frequently use these wire-mesh gloves.
  • Fabric gloves offer protection from abrasions, cuts, chafing, and grime.
  • Gloves made of coated fabric: These coated fabric gloves are less likely to slide.
  • The finest gloves for those who do any type of heated job are leather ones.
  • Body Protection

    There are numerous different job risks that might result in physical harm. These dangers might, for instance, include:

    Employers are expected to make sure that workers only put on PPE for body areas that are at risk of harm. The following is a list of some typical forms of body protection.

    Hearing Protection

    It might be challenging to decide whether or not employees need to wear hearing protection. Numerous different variables influence how loud an environment is for workers. The general rule of thumb, however, is that the shorter the exposure period before hearing protection is necessary, the louder the noise. When it comes to hearing conservation, there aren’t many alternatives.

  • Single-use earplugs can be constructed of foam, silicone, rubber, fiberglass wool, waxed cotton, or silicone. They self-form and occasionally function just as well as molded earplugs.
  • Pre-formed or molded ear plugs: These can be either disposable or reusable and require specific professional fitting. They should be cleaned after each usage if they are going to be reused.
  • Earmuffs are a type of headgear that perfectly seals the ear. The effectiveness of earmuff protection may be diminished by the use of glasses, facial hair, long hair, or facial motions. (OSHA).
  • Respiratory PPE

    When it comes to respiratory protection, there are several distinct types of respirators that each function in a different way. An example of a disposable respirator that filters out particles like dust or mist but does not protect against gases and vapors is a filtering facepiece respirator.

    A supplied-air respirator, on the other hand, is attached to a different source that sends clean, pressurized air through a hose. Although a provided air respirator permits workers to be near some gases and vapors, it does not offer protection in a situation when the environment is immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH). Other illustrations of various respirators include:

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    Our aim at Hard Hat Training is to make safety training convenient and reasonably priced. Through frequent, in-depth training, we want to assist businesses reduce accidents and fatalities. Our training resources are regularly updated, allowing us to provide the most comprehensive, current, user-friendly, and OSHA Aligned training solutions available on the market right now.

    All of our courses adhere to OSHA regulations and provide all pertinent safety information on the training topic at hand. These trainings are the result of hours of study and development by our writers and editors, who work tirelessly to give businesses the finest and most important knowledge possible.

    Our course catalog presents companies with over 200 training topics to choose from, and each course is fully narrated and organized to keep the mind engaged. There are a lot of ways to accomplish safety training that are easy, affordable, and convenient. We offer our courses in various learning formats. We offer online courses, training kits, and our train-the-trainer courses.

    It is important to note that most, if not all, of our safety training courses cover the PPE procedures for that specific safety topic. For example, in our Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) safety training, we cover what PPE would best protect employees who are at risk of exposure to BBPs and how to properly use and dispose of PPE. However, we also offer training that is PPE specific. Some of the courses we offer that cover a variety of PPE training are: